#Raise The Volume: 'A Poem' chosen by Roy Fears

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This is my favourite poem of all time! I think we can all see ourselves as the ‘voice’ of the poem and maybe even the people who call.

For me it represents the feelings of despair when you focus on others problems to mask your own. At the same time, it makes a comment on the way we ‘model’ how we want to be cared for. Either way it is a powerful message in finding balance; to love and be loved, to care and to care for in equal measure.

Roy poem

The Centre of the Universe – Paul Durcan

Pushing my trolley about in the supermarket;
I am the centre of the universe;
Up and down the aisles of beans and juices,
I am the centre of the universe;
It does not matter that I live alone;
It does not matter that I am a jilted lover;
It does not matter that I am a misfit in my job;
I am the centre of the universe.

But I’m always here, if you want me –
For I am the centre of the universe.

I enjoy being the centre of the universe.
It is not easy being the centre of the universe
But I enjoy it.
I take pleasure in,
I delight in,
Being the centre of the universe.
At six o’clock a.m. this morning I had a phone call;
It was from a friend, a man in Los Angeles;
“Paul, I don’t know what time it is in Dublin
But I simply had to call you:
I cannot stand LA so I thought I’d call you.”
I calmed him down as best I could.

But I’m always here, if you want me –
For I am the centre of the universe.

I had barely put the phone down when it rang again,
This time from a friend in Sao Paulo in Brazil:
“Paul – do you know what is the population of Sao Paulo?
I will tell you: it is twelve million skulls.
Twelve million pairs of feet in one footbath.
Twelve million pairs of eyes in one fishbowl.
It is unspeakable, I tell you, unspeakable.”
I calmed him down.

But I’m always here, if you want me –
For I am the centre of the universe.

But then when the phone rang a third time and it was not yet 6.30 a.m.,
The petals of my own hysteria began to wake up and unfurl.
This time it was a woman I know in New York City:
“Paul – Ney York City is a Cage”,
And she began to cry a little over the phone,
To sob over the phone,
And from five thousand miles away I mopped up her tears.
I dabbed each tear from her cheek
With just a word or two or three from my calm voice.

I’m always here, if you want me –
For I am the centre of the universe.

But now tonight it is myself;
Sitting at my aluminium double-glazed window in Dublin city;
Crying just a little bit into my black tee shirt.
If only there was just one human being out there
With whom I could make a home? Share a home?
Just one creature out there in the night-
Is there not just one creature out there in the night?
In Helsinki, perhaps? Or in Reykjavik?
Or in Chapelizod? or in Malahide?
So you see, I have to calm myself down also
If I am to remain the centre of the universe;
It’s by no means an exclusively self-centred automatic thing
Being the centre of the universe.

I’m always here, if you want me –
For I am the centre of the universe.

Chosen for #RaiseTheVolume by Roy Fears, Drama Therapist.

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