i am hidden in plain sight

like the genius busker

on the underground

i blend with it all effortlessly

like a cloud in the sky

i am everyman



you do not notice me


i am a force of nature

and you are blind to it

looking in all places for

the saintly ones

for the clerics

for the gurus

the sifus


you do not notice me


time traveling shaman

next door

on this ordinary street

where life unfolds

as it should

as a flower does



i notice it all


Mr Benn was a BBC children’s program from the 1970’s. I loved it and when I look back now I can see why. The magic really appealed along with the idea that there were doorways to other worlds and times. The shopkeeper was a Zen Master as was Mr Benn.


Tonight’s prompt for my Scribble It hosting at Toads Why not pop by the Garden and leave a poem of your own?

Also submitted to OLN night at dVerse


39 thoughts on “noticing

  1. sarahsouthwest says:

    Wow, Mr Benn as urban shaman.

    It’s one of those series I remember as being around an awful lot, but they hardly made any episodes.

    I like the idea of magic happening next door, right under our noses.

  2. alisonhankinson says:

    I loved Mr Benn, he was a true wizard. I always wanted a door like that. I once lived next door to John Cooper Clark…I suspect we all have extraordinary ordinary lives. Maybe it is more important that we notice rather than that we are noticed…I am not sure.

  3. Charley says:

    I’ll talk about the way you set up this poem, which is wonderfully in keeping with the topic. The first stanza denies that there is a mystery, the second affirms there is one. In the final stanza you reveal it. Fairly basic… but done very well. The killers are the separate lines, of course. Together it clicks, and clicks well (as befits a percussionist).

  4. ladynyo says:

    We didn’t have a Mr. Benn in the states, but we did have other ‘influences’ on children. Mr. Rogers who pushed kindness, etc. Howdy Doodie who ….I don’t remember what he pushed, but I guess it was good for the kiddies. Cookie Monster, who my father loved when he was dying….those scary four little aliens that delighted my young son and terrified me….perhaps they all had a sorta Zen message. But I like your poem, Paul, cause it sums up what should have been.

  5. Laura Bloomsbury says:

    ‘”clothes maketh the man” and Mr Benn was a masterful chameleon – the narrator is so nicely understated.- as are these lines, revealing what is right before our eyes.

  6. Gospel Isosceles says:

    The single best exercise I’ve found while traveling was to see ‘it’ in all people: the vendor, the street sweeper, the commuter, the child shining shoes. Admittedly, it’s much more of a difficult exercise to practice this way of seeing in one’s home town.

  7. Frank J. Tassone says:

    How easy it is to take for granted the ordinary in our midst while seeking some extraordinary revelation. Like Robert Pirsig says, “the truth knocks at our door, and we say, ‘go away! I’m waiting for the truth!'”

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