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  • Jack Pascoe

Nature vs Nurture; A Perfect Storm

Updated: Apr 12, 2022

By Jack Pascoe

Nature vs Nurture

When you're hearing the cry

of the chromatic crew

and your heart is hankering

for something that's new.

When you're stealing the light

and you think you got through,

but all of the sun in the desert

won't do.

When the sea is still swirling

with waves that devour

and it bothers you badly

for many an hour.

Just look at the pavement

and notice a flower.

Nature has grown up through nurture;

that's power.

A Perfect Storm

First you get a pack of cloud,

a tablespoon of condensation,

a piece of a twisted misty shroud,

and a thimble of thunder for your vibration.

Whip up the winds to shake the barley.

Drown the rice and all the corn.

It punches like Tyson and sounds like a Harley;

that's what I call a perfect storm.

Standing under trees as the rain begins.

The leaves beat like drums.

Gather the prisoners on the island.

Shelter them within their huts.

Force the door against the wind

and force it well until it shuts.

Let their minds run ragged with thought.

Let them read and be re-born.

Together in dreams, but never in body;

that's what I call a perfect storm.

Patiently waiting

where the boats come in to dock,

and the stray cats scrounge for sardines.

Puddles filled with oil begin to boil.

Rusted gutters mutter of mouldy butter,

and they stutter while stuck in a rut,

startling perching ravens who flutter.

Shutters are banging. The water is high.

Oaks are falling in the woods.

Poets are watching beginning to sigh.

Merchants are putting a lock to their goods.

Inside a church on some cold dead highway,

Gabriel pipes up and blows on his horn. They're hoping to get through the week until Friday;

that's what I call a perfect storm.

Even though we're all a bit older, the jagged boulder

that lays on the river's bed

has become smooth.

Now the stars glitter in the tarmac of the road

and the red lights swim in strange unison.

I've wanted to whip the night into shape and break the stubborn mouldy old dough.

Hey ho, let's go.

They gave me the ball, I knocked it for six,

and nearly knocked over a crucifix.

and a crowd gathered round to the sound of "You'll be slaving away in the vestibule!"

I hope their tongues can tie knots for I'm building a boat set to float above the silver linings.

Hail is falling, babies are bawling.

Wind chimes jingling madly.

Lear offers up his crown.

The prisoners take it from him gladly.

Replacing it with a wreath of flowers

he dances through the misty dawn

unaware of his fleeting mortality;

that's what I call a perfect storm.

Oh the hours that I've spent on the trail of a rocket ship dodging galaxies and watching clocks drip.

I've walked by the angels looking quite dapper, but I sure wish they had caught me in my prime.

Open up the gates of Eden.

I can hear the call of a lying python crying out for the property police.

Hopefully this will pass on by when I find my mind and purpose at peace.

Instead I sit and wrestle with my shortcomings

asking myself if I should pander and play to the inner-villain

or try to embrace my inner-vision. Should I make myself the ringleader in the circus of grey nuance? Should I shoot through universes and make black holes for dead air to fall in to? Should I play cards with white rabbits and wander garden paths?

Is there an ellipsis as we gather here today to get through this thing called life?

Is there a sweet smell to the napalm's fall? Can you hear me well? Can you hear me at all?

About Jack Pascoe:

Jack Pascoe is a poet and creative non-fiction writer. He began his creative career on the Cardiff spoken-word scene in 2009 where he won several poetry slams and shared stages with the likes of Mab Jones, Monkey Poet and Attila the Stockbroker. In 2016, he completed his bachelor's degree in creative and professional writing under the tutelage of Tim Atkins and Tessa McWatt at the University of East London. After his studies he travelled extensively through Europe, North Africa and Asia gathering inspiration and honing his craft. His work has been printed in several independent poetry magazines, has appeared in galleries alongside visual artists, and has been published in collaboration with a community-based project called CityLife. He currently resides in Cardiff where he enjoys walking along the Taff writing haikus.


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