"I wrote some of this on a ladder. It didn't wobble."
I made Britain from what I saw,
Sanding paint, breathing toxic dust.
It shaped before me by chance hand,
Stubborn remains of what had been.
And its edges, coloured and ragged,
Jutted from land into a sea
Of cold, clean, sand-smooth, grey plaster.
And then the island shape was gone,
Cleansed from sight, like imaginings.
And I painted anew, slow, white,
Deliberate strokes, spread even,
Equally flat, smooth edge to smooth.
And what I created as God,
King, painter, was a plain, white wall.
I wondered then, my labours done,
If this new land, formed above dust,
Perfect, Jerusalem Maybe,
Was the space we might occupy,
If one day, all that makes us real,
Different and original,
Is allowed forever to pass.