Poem 189 – Who Am I?

Who am I?
I am how others see and shape me, friends
and colleagues, neighbours, enemies. I shift expression, slide to meet whoever stands
before me now. I am your husband, friend
and lover, sharing lives, and tears and dreams.
You’ve had my best and worst. I wonder what
you see, you who knows me best, who am I?
I am my work, my nine to five and more;
it’s how we catalogue and frame the other.
I am the teacher’s son, the scientist’s too,
designed by nature, nurture, chicken, egg.
Does anybody know the essential me,
the one beneath these morphing layers?
                                                                                I don’t.
He is not there, he doesn’t exist. I am
only because this web creates, remakes me.
I am I and you and him and we.

Who is the real me? A counterpoint to my previous poem (Poem 188 – Exposed). Those of faith might spot another allusion and contrast.

© Ben Quant 2023
Photo by Hermann Wittekopf on Unsplash

Poem 188 – Exposed

I shed my face,
the one I placed
upon my face
this morning. Here,
with you,
                    it lies
discarded it’s

The truth beneath
revealed, my veins,
and flesh displayed
to you. No need
to pause,
stripped back, you stand
naked before me.

Watching the ease shared between Paul Whitehouse and Bob Mortimer in ‘Gone Fishing’ I found myself reflecting on the nature of friendship.

© Ben Quant 2023
Photo by Harli Marten on Unsplash

Poem 187 – The Zone

The zone.
Eyes fixed, focussed yet absent,
two metres from the pedals.
All else excluded.

Legs spin.
Driving mechanical motion,
mental metronomes
propelling forwards.

Time ceases.
Suspended, gathered for
one purpose; moment, man
and bike united.

one splintering thought invades.
Awareness shatters in
momentum broken.

Occasionally I discover the zone when cycling, a joyful but fragile place.

© Ben Quant 2023
Photo by Florian Kurrasch on Unsplash