Fake Floor – Waves of Words

I had the privilege recently to be involved in a workshop and performance night called ‘Waves of Words’, which was about writing inspired by and responding to the Poppies:Wave sculpture that is currently on Plymouth Hoe.

My contribution to this project was ‘Fake Floor’. I wanted to write something that was based in reportage of what I saw and heard when I visited the project. I saw lots of people taking photos in front of the sculpture, including wedding photos. I heard a guide explain to everyone passing that the floor the poppies were installed on was fake.

And that seemed to me to be an interesting metaphor which captured something of what was going on. Something that looked simple was more complicated. People were weaving the artwork into their own timelines, as well as remembering.

Here’s the poem. It was first performed on 10th November at the Plymouth Athanaeum in a sequence with works by Laura Quigley, Gabi Marcellus-Temple, Thom Boulton, and Laura Reinbach.


She assures everybody,
‘It’s built on a fake floor.’

Silver heels and blusher
for the bride framed by
the pretty red poppies.
Flash! The camera fires.
Gather up the petticoats
and back to the car.

‘There’s 6000 poppies.
It’s a fake floor.’

A dad gets a close up of
a 3 year old pushing
his pedalless bike.
A boy bumps a knee
dismounting his scooter
for a family portrait.

‘It’s a fake floor.
There’s 6000 poppies’

and sixty thousand selfies;
keepsakes we carry home.
If we capture our best side
memorializing, overlay filters
of all we would want said
and done, if we promise,

if we really promise;
it couldn’t happen here.

No brides without husbands,
no fathers without sons,
no missing generation
from the family portraits,
no one to remember at the
going down of the sun,

just the slow Plymouth rain
drumming on a fake floor.

Simon Travers, November 2017

Vanity Project Outtake – City In His Veins

This is one of the poems that got lost along the way of Vanity Project. ‘Home 2’ is in part a postcard to Torquay and Totnes, but I wanted to write a little love letter to my adopted hometown, Plymouth. I got put off when I heard the phrase ‘city in his veins’ in a different poem a few weeks after writing it. I could never find anything better to work in its place. But it has some fun lines, so here it is.


track thirteen on the car stereo
electric windows winding down
200 miles and 30 years on
an echo blown from the underground
methodists with a glowing cross
moths around the burger van
the greenest of all go’s
the loudest of all gold’s
the city in his veins

the carpet of the wildflower streetlights
the mirrorball inside his eyes
this new kaliedoscope of neon
the world at 30 miles per hour
an aluminium shell and seatbelt
his lawyer’s coming home tonight
dream a hometown dream
leave on the hallway light
he’s got the city in his veins

Simon Travers, 2017

vanity project title


FRIDAY – 05:57
HI – 13:47
HOME 2 – 26:57
JUPITER – 32:28

Please play and share widely. If you’d like to add a review, email me or contact by twitter.


Friday Night Repeats – Pentecost

Just a quick repost for this video I made. Pentecost is track number 11 of 13 on Vanity Project, a 40 minute film I will be posting online in a week’s time.

The track is typical of but towards the cheery end of Vanity Project, and the video uses a version of the same effect that I use on the film.

Here is a video of a track from Vanity Project, called Pentecost.

So this is living;
all snot and sacrament,
clocks with blank faces,
I’m utterly floored.
I’d dry your feet with my hair
but, ‘you know’, friction burns.
With every head bowed, every eye closed,
it’s Pentecost.

So this is breathing;
tongues of the angels,
the tears of my fathers
bed down on my cheeks.
‘Is that oil on your hands?’
No, I’m just a sweaty man
with an earthquake in my heart
at Pentecost.

As a young man, I had vision.
As an old man, let me dream.
So this is falling;
it’s not the first time.
Oh God, when you smile.
Oh God, when you smile.
Sing your evening perfume songs,
scratch our names upon a wall.
Rise up and walk
to Pentecost.

Simon Travers (C) 2017


If you look closely,  there’s a small white dot below the moon. 

Two years ago today,  I was walking across the car park into work. I noticed by the moon a small spark in the sky that refused to give into the first light. Google sky map told me it was Jupiter. 

That moment sparked a poem which sparked the project I’ve been working on for the past 2 years. The project is called Vanity Project. I hope it will appear as a straight-to-youtube film later this year.

I took this photo this morning in the car park at work. 2 years later,  Jupiter still stands beside the moon. 


Checked the sky map on my phone.
Jupiter stands beside the moon,
a pendant for an amber necklace,
toasted light with milk for breakfast
bluntly slicing the street-haze.
No mechanism for counting days,
no concrete plans to change plans soon.
Jupiter stands beside the moon.

(c) Simon Travers,  2017

Reaching the lower order

Getting towards the end of the poems that I wrote for the Ten10 project. I’ve put 3 more up tonight. They combine a heady mix of cherry cake, ephemera and 1950’s mechanical calculators.

Cricket Teas with the Archbishops