Poem: Flawed

I was approached to write a poem by Tullamore Dew Irish whisky company, on the topic of ‘realness’. It’s part of their ‘Death to Dishonesty’ campaign, and each poet who was approached was asked to write with pieces of charcoal made from a bonfire of things the public found fake in the modern world. The plan was to get artists and poets writing true and beautiful things with the resulting charcoal. This is what I came out with (full text below):

Three sheets of paper with handwriting on them, with a bottle of whisky and a piece of charcoal on the third sheet of paper


Toast to the moments when we
Put our cameras away
And just breathe it in.
Because this moment is more complex
Than our cameras can capture
So put away your momento machines.
Rely on your eyes.

Real rarely translates to perfect pictures
And Real will not be scored by power chords
Or swelling strings.
Real’s soundtrack will be
Voices, traffic noises, birdsong,
And the drumbeat thudding in your chest
Whenever Real walks by.

And Real will not be shot
At vanity angles
Through Vaseline lenses.
Real will be 3D, flawed
And right in front of you.

Real might have twigs in its hair
And spinach stuck in its teeth
But it’s here and it’s now
And so are you.

You might be wearing worn jeans
With the shirt you’d forgot was unflattering
But it doesn’t matter
Because Real’s staring you straight in the soul
And it doesn’t care if you left your cool
On your coathook this morning.

Just breathe this moment in:
No momento machines
No jukebox reruns
Just toast to the here and now
While Real’s hand reaches
For yours.


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