founder of naked leader
Naked Leader Week – 161 (w/c Monday 19 June 2006)
Leadership from a different perspective – Maurice Spillane
Maurice Spillane is a poet. He has kindly given me permission to share one of his recent poems, in his words, “about a simple event, leaving the motorway and coming home. However, each decision links to the past when other decisions had profound consequences. The journey becomes the catalyst, the catalyst itself a deviation, the deviation a link back to the journey.”
Please feel free to share with anyone whose life you touch
When you leave the M4, like all motorways,
Your choice is limited.
You can go north or south.
North is towards the hospital and the town,
The road lit up at night like a landing strip.
If you go that way, you will drive in a brake-slip
From the rush of speed, but you won’t get lost.
Going south is different.
The lights are dim and few, and going up the hill
Kills your speed. A controller flashes 50
And you slow down some more,
Then slower again before turning left,
Down a dark country lane where a man
Parks his car with the tail out as a warning,
Then the glasshouse where my lights approach
And slip around by the pin-prick hedge
As the road bends, but bends with attitude.
There are no choices between these lines.
Then accelerate and back over the M4,
Like cheating, like repeating with another chance
That announced itself some time before,
Then move to slow and fast as the road permits
Until you come to the passing places,
Where every time through here is touching fear.
But you’ve come from the motorway
And the locals are still in second gear
As you would have been this morning.
You think: this is too fast, one day I will meet myself
In this passing place and then we shall see.
But not tonight.
Sharp right and sharp left,
Right again by the village inn,
And if you are careful you will see the gap,
A gap in a hedge, easily missed, a mantilla entrance
Unfolding like tossed hair to the very few.
And now you slow right down, turn off the radio,
Ease into the ease of coming home.
The dog barks, and you wait for the latch,
The signal to step into her arms and wrap her smile
Around the open door shadows and candles,
And her soft smells that weave us into a place
Where decisions no longer seem
The same as once they had been seen.