A Man of Sentences


This is reworking of ‘A Man of words and not of Deeds
I have been coming back to this for almost 17 years now. In 96 I arranged the original poem for two voices using an exhaling/ inhaling breathing technique ( I’m actually breathless thinking about it) in a collaborative piece called Executions as part of EXPO with the lovely Lindsey Warnes Carroll. I had to hold her under water in a fish bowl. ‘Give me a pin and I’ll prick it in!!’ ‘Who’s your Master?????‘ Lovely lovely Memories!!
The poem came to me again this morning and I felt compelled to rewrite it.

A man of sentences and not of actions

Is like a building site full of mechanical contraptions
And when those contraptions begin to ache
It’s still like a building site for heavens sake
And when heavens sake begins to sink
It’s like dog on a frozen rink
And when that dog begins to melt
It’s like a piss puddle you once smelt
And when that smelt begins to fuse
It’s like those thoughts of them and you
And when your yous becomes my mes
It’s like the birch across your knees
And when your knees fall eventually off
It’s like you’re left with a persistent cough
And when your cough turns to a sneeze
Your meds! Your meds! IS what you need.

© Catherine Crosswell


The Original

A man of words and not of deeds
Is like a garden full of weeds
And when the weeds begin to grow
It’s like a garden full of snow
And when the snow begins to fall
It’s like a bird upon the wall
And when the bird away does fly
It’s like an eagle in the sky
And when the sky begins to roar
It’s like a lion at the door
And when the door begins to crack
It’s like a stick across your back
And when your back begins to smart 
It’s like a penknife in your heart 
And when your heart begins to bleed

You’re Dead, You’re Dead, You’re dead indeed!


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