Opposite The Mansion’s Temple

Video poem filmed down Queens road Brighton Page 29 of the book “Sea Sores – A Brightonian Book“.

Written about seeing a couple of guys sobering up in the dawn light of an abandoned church yard. Their place of rest was opposite the prosperous Free mansion’s lodge, known as ‘the temple’. One of the two men sat on an old grave plinth; while the other lay upon the uneven turf and beneath both lay the remains of Brighton’s long dead.

Each figure posed like a statue might, very still and silent, as if every angle was carefully considered by a craftspersons eye.

The night had been cold and yet the dawn was opening and the transition between the previous evening, the seasons and elements met at this moment of tranquility and anyone who knows Queens road knows tranquility is not often used to describe it.

The two men went largely unnoticed as the occasional commuter strode toward the nearby station. Stripped back by accident or design to a silhouette – to a point which most others would find disturbing. Like a tree branch exposed to the heavens or a path cut into the contours upon a steep hillside by the centuries exposing some bedrock beneath, that exposure, dispelled an illusion held at most other hours, one which comforts us most: the belief those filing cabinets of signature deeds and calenders neatly laid with appointment, shall sustain order out of the sea of chaos we captain our lives, the chaos which those two figures had embraced unto a new day’s light.

Behind the black Victorian railings of an older temple they waited, holding their pose in contempt for the temple opposite, they held a dignified stillness, like depictions of myths in movement but struck out from the mountains cold marble. They were for me, for a moment, fables in a living form, disturbing by that present stillness, because their architect was chaos and they had – it would seem – discovered a calm upon it, one which few others would have the courage, or the misfortune to reach.

Sea Sores Collection: sketches of life in Brighton.




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