M. John Powell (MJP) from England …………..


… But all our differences are under the same illusion.

Protagoras: “Man is the measure of all things …”


A hidden implication lurks in the undergrowth, with the birds, the tortoises, the hares, the cows and goats, the bees, the flowers, the imagination is the measure of all things (therefore) – … He walked up to the jukebox, he put five coins in the fountain.  He pulled the trigger.  My grandmother was used to emptying the ashes – she would jiggle them into the ash scuttle on cold mornings when only the grandfather clock could be heard and the morning still stood still outside the parlour window.   Where do you put ashes but in a garden?  In the modern world this, however.  Birdsong in sharp air.   The imagination’s improvidence is useless.  Cheese on toast was a staple.  The sound of pigeons cooing in the woods that led to the chalk pit.  There is nowhere to put it; it is the correlate of the appendix – the ash – better to have none then to walk around with – just a sack of ash – just as finally wood fires are no longer needed.  Science seems to have proven something beyond the measure of finality: wood fires are not needed.  There on the dresser.  A brass swan that was actually an ash tray. So how whatever of the actual world seems, must necessarily be, is, so – ah! an analytically undeniable condition, for the imagination is imaginary.  Imaginary!  Take this out into that meadow yonder, and wait there.  Between that woods and this hill you will see a train pass.  That train is who you will be when you grow up.  This common sense understanding has been – standard practice was to get a milk pail from the farmer delivered on a flat bed cart drawn by a horse – extracted from its place in obscurity and cleared up in its obscurity finally into what appears to be the now self-evident light of rational perception.  Reading by oil lamp was difficult but the light lent a magic to objects that during the day had seemed quite ordinary.  The imagination is imaginary.  Leave it there.  What more obvious fabulation can there be then this nothing that rests on even less than thin air like the hair of a cloud that is about to be pierced by a flock of geese flying south?  But on the other hand, if the imagination is real too – what?  Suppose.  The imagination is like the suspending filament of the Sword of Damocles – if you served tea it would be from water boiled over a wood burning stove – threatening yet also preventing … allowing for the breath that we stay the world with and steal away to have and to hold waiting for the sword. For our imaginings are not real.  How long can we continue pretending that the world is otherwise?

Reverse this argument into a sort of side street.  To get the indicator to work you had to bang the window upright; out it would pop like a toothbrush with a triangular lozenge for the brush: turn right.  Shout.  Put the ash scuttle back in the picture along with the grass and the flowers scattering to the four winds once and for all this tedious task amongst the birds and the frost.  From this point of view, of a sort of historical absolute, which is to say from a religious point of view well, not so.  Of course.  In these terms, historically, it would appear – and even to start it required manual intervention – a starter handle needed for the motor; try crank starting the damn thing on a cold morning; that this dilemma is one that has been prevented from arising because we do not imagine God – since God must imagine us … So religion!  A white sand of thin snow was the only perfection.  God! There is the compelling invocation of the Deity, confirming the independent reality of what otherwise would be the mere kingdom of human fantasy.  To show that humanity’s place is not imaginary but actual to reality we construct a world of other-worldly devised human ends.  There on the endless tide feel the growth of a bone in your neck touching the centre of the v of the clavicle.  Pretty girl!  These are the ends set by God Himself in His mystery.

I – the person writing this blog – do not think this, by the way.  Paper aeroplanes became an obsession.  The perfect flight.  I believe that no invocation of a God is needed, if the decision is made again, and we look and thus witness the extent of the dust and dispossession of the ‘actuality’ that is the sense of the world, the plane would leave your hand, curve down, wobble, find a balance on the wind, straighten itself, and then appear to progress as by its own power, taking a route perfectly plotted but certainly not expected by you; subtending as human misery, seeing it as it is; rounding a corner and then disappearing!  Perhaps it landed in the water butt somehow?  I think that freedom is what lies elsewhere – no need for the finite possession of a concrete knowledge.  Planes were replaced by arrows.  But the reasons for being persuaded in this way are uncomfortable.  They are to do with the recognition that humanity is a protean puzzle, not lost in infinity but a cul de sac.  Finally we had to acknowledge the power of television.  Only so can values can be understood.  I am not going to give all the clues away …


Most of my writing is kind of place-holding.  (See ‘Writing on’).  Writing is a hammer and anvil.  Or, it is an ineptitude that only endless repeats of the same strings of words but in different orders rectifies.  For if you need lots of reflexive practice taps of the hammer before you can deliver the blows that will shape the thing into actuality, the horse standing in the corner of the smithy can only draw one conclusion.  Most of what goes on here is just noise in the smithy.  I’m thinking.   That is all!

3 Responses “M. John Powell (MJP) from England …………..” →
  1. One of my students asked me if this was my blog–same name, overlapping interests, she said some same stylistic traits.

    I don’t think this blog is by me, right? I wonder if you could say in your note about you enough so that readers won’t confuse us.


  2. bibomedia

    February 29, 2008



  3. Jerry Anderson

    May 4, 2009


    If you want to add Facebook or email sharing buttons to your blog posts, there’s a plugin that does it for you:


    Hope you find it helpful!



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