‘Chaos A Raw and Undivided Mass’ Mass 1/4 : Transformations Poems (Book 1)

7 Mar


George Braque Metamorphoses

February 2013-March 2014

17 poets, 15 months, creating 1 contemporary reworking of Ovid’s Metamorphoses

See the Transformations Page for more details or the ‘Present Collaborations’ Tab


4 Poems Inspired by Book 1 


John Austin Brooks, Nell Perry, Lenka Monk

& Kate Garrett



by John Austin Brooks 


Change the only constant, it would seem

Organised chaos, enforced to order

Worlds turned upside down and pulled inside out

Notable absence of the change consultant


New brings uncertainty and with it opportunities

Displacement breeding fear, brings forth war

Old scores to be settled

Mortal creations mere amusements to self placed greater beings


Hazy perfection, close up reveals the battlefield

Once more the need to be powerful, dictating

Whilst others embrace and explore this new world

Boundaries crossed, lines broken, connections linked


A crescendo of characters and sub-plots are interwoven

The modern day soap opera playing out ‘olde’ style

Stability forming, yet its skin rarely setting

Was this truly what the orchestrator had in mind?





of beginning *

*                 *               *

slush of dark slimes pupal black in felsic gob piles slickening galaxies scratched

together sickly and the void is something you can feel dust-dull the clouds pale

fukushima lucent insect star-itch in a worlding both necrotic and of birth abyssal

midst where once was not much rather speak of bodies ever such lipid like thoughts as 

shape with unshape being as a song only transcience can exist utterly as the lux second

metal of newborn sky liquid turns and turns thingly in unquiet


by Eleanor Perry


Ode to Men

by Lenka Monk


Why would Gods pollute the pure chaos with men?

Is it a vanity of adoration, but to what end?

Then to damn their creation with merciless flood.

The shattered earth quenches its thirst with human blood.


The cracking of the world teeters on the edge of a blade,

With rumbling thunder love diminished and so swiftly turned to hate.

Their wrath so meaningless when the stars begin to dim,

The simple truth: even the immortals are not without a sin.


Barren wasteland reaches out to majestic marble halls

Only to find ghostly shadows locked behind the golden walls.

Silent prayer on the altars drowned beneath the tidal waves

The regret of divine beings lies beside the unmarked graves.


Now they roam in endless circle without love, without sense.

Is there someone left to pity their own ruptured existence.

Over the eons faith grows weaker, ultimately dies and rots

To survive for eternity Gods need men and men need Gods.



Before / After *

 (after Ovid’s ‘Cosmogony’, Metamorphoses: Book I)

by Kate Garrett


 Before the poem, there is Chaos.


 Before language, there are droplets of sensation:

 steel grey grief slides into scarlet rage melting

 with golden joy into pink lust. Emotion soup.

 Before the emotion, a cloud of experience:

 sunlight through the window of the 98 bus,

 a child’s fever dreams, the taste of whiskey,

 and a hamster spinning its wheel in the dark.

 A stranger’s smile. The smell of her perfume.


 After Chaos, there is alchemy.


 After the poet tugs moments from the ether,

 matched with the right spoonful

 of emotion, the new blend distils into words.

 After the words, there are patterns:

 this careful dosage of beats, lines, sounds.

 After the mixing, there is the poem:

 the patterns, the words and moments,

 sensation and syllables, held together with a hush.


After the poem, there you are.




* = Poems to be included in our ‘Transformations’ Exhibition and poetry reading  in September 2014 at Hanse House, King’s Lynn, Norfolk


To track down these great poets:

John Austin Brooks:



Eleanor Perry:



Lenka Monk:


Kate Garrett:



More next week! 


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