Obstacle Racing

Why always the qualm

And never the success?

Why always the unattainable?

That relentless yearning

For the other side of the obstacle





And inevitably demolished in its entirety;

Only to form the foundation of yet another

Looming block of luxury flats

In the perpetual obstacle race

of Man.

Musings on Time

There is no before and after.

Iapetus and Chronos inextricably tied

(the question and answer to all that is).

What is time without death

But the changing of dark to light?

And what of death without time?

That shapeless heap sitting alone

With neither Erebus nor Nyx upon his throne

of dust and bone.

Yet here lieth the paradox

Through which all experience is sewn

And brought to an abrupt halt.

Along the tightrope we walk

Devised by those ancient Three –

Working time backwards with their hands:




But we must open our arms to

The skepticized Lethe;

Back to formlessness;

Back to Chaos.

To regard

Is to throw to the past,

To view from afar;

And know.

But to live

We must experience and exist

In that fleeting moment from which

We forever come and go.


Nurture and Nature,

We are what we remember;

But I can’t really remember

That much anymore.

Mnemosyne. I can’t recall the last time I saw her.

Perhaps that time she wore green,

But perhaps that were but a dream.

If we are what we remember,

Then why does it matter?

-I’ll choose my own reality.


On we run;

Deceiving yet deceived,

Believing without belief.

We, the conquerers of our time.

There the Other stands,

There but not there.

A hiccough and the shadow falters

(stumbling to catch its breath).

Back away from the well,

Back away from the door

Whose painful constriction no one is spared.

There I stand,

There but not there.

I catch a glimpse through the veil,

A moment beyond the pale,

Try to hold it and fail.

I hiccough and falter.

Royal London

The old gods are dead;

The new, paralysed and strange.

Those that once touched the heavens

Have been hurled pitilessly

Back down to Earth;

Kept alive only by dialysis,

Fuelled along only by those remaining few

Who cluster for warmth

Around the fire of Old.

Even the heavens have retreated

They must have seen too much,




Nothing has changed.

We are born and fattened,

Exalted and maddened,

Educated and saddened

-And yet it remains.

Expelled from the cave of comforting flickers

T’ward the dazzling lights and unnerving snickers,

Respite discovered solely in pictures

-And yet it still remains



Nothing has changed.

At The National Gallery

We’re all hungry for the lie.

Watch them circling;

Hear them babble, gabble, jabber and yak;

Feel them gnashing their teeth with

The promise of sustenance.

They do not come here to work.

-Let them rest.

The do not come here to think.

-Let them feed.

“I see what you mean when you say it’s flat,

But there’s so much movement”.

Mindless regurgitations from Mother to Child,

Mindless yet still mindful,

Mindless yet essential;

Without which Old and Young would

Whimper in the face of the Abyss

Why come here at all?

Do not whimper,

We are all starving.


A back gone,

A heart undone;

A mind so weary that not even the Sun

Can pierce the soul

And say: Spring has come.

Take the exam whilst holding the answers,

Challenge the man that you know you can conquer,

Place just ahead the boundaries

And then slowly saunter

Up to the edge and say: Look Dear,

Look how far we’ve come.


They say it comes to those who wait

So wait I shall, wait till late.

I’ll wait until the daylight breaks

And floods in through these naked windows.

I’ll wait until I rise again

Love again, fight again.

Stumble, fall and cry again

Try once more and die again.

The infallible cycle begins once more,

With Mnemosyne knocking at my door

Always close by she begins to implore

Me to watch as the mind’s garden grows.

Charlie Schaffer

Charlie Schaffer

Charlie was born in London in 1992. After gaining a foundation diploma in Fine Art at Central Saint Martins, he studied BA Fine Art:Painting at the University of Brighton. He is currently living and working in Whitechapel, London, where he paints and writes.
Charlie Schaffer

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