One Last Kiss

May 28, 2018

If that one last kiss is still
The thing you’d long to give someone
Then give it now before they’re gone.
Give it daily; never be caught out
For never passing on
The one last kiss you’d give
Just because you didn’t know
That’s what it was.

Frieda Hughes


May 27, 2018

The fog comes
on little cat feet.

It sits looking over harbour and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.

Carl Sandburg

The is the green

May 27, 2018

The forest of lost souls by Toshiyuki Ueda

The is the green we grew up in – the humid blue of the blur of our adolescence; the weedy heat. The are the roads we drove into the country with whoever had sweet, cheap wine. The song of gnat and firefly and nightingale and frog. This is the sky of watery silk under which we wrecked our hearts, cried out. Wild onion in the high grass, and magnolia – cloud of blossoms – where we lay some nights till dawn beside the one, the one, the only one, and then another love. This is the place I chose exile from, sharp-hearted, sure of some brighter world. And, still, how it takes me back. How the dark trees make a leafy arch above us as we pass. How you grip the wheel and laugh, don’t say, Remember. Don’t say anything.

Cecilia Woloch


May 27, 2018

sitting in the flood

Those who know me in my life beyond the page are likely amused to read me expounding with such reverence on the subject of silence, since I avoid it strenuously. Or is it as Kafka wrote to his lover Felice in 1916: does “silence avoid me, as water on the beach avoids stranded fish”? There is something involuntary in my speaking, the flapping and flailing of my desperate tongue. Silence is generally associated with passivity and expression with action, but for me silence requires the greater effort. My mind turns again to drowning: the poet Seamus Heaney spent his childhood on a small farm in Ireland where each spring his family forced the overflow of newborn puppies below the surface of a barrel of water. Their sputter, their squirm, then their stillness: this is how it feels to hold words back. “The strain,” Kafka writes elsewhere, “of keeping down living forces.” Silence is the water that fish breathe, but for puppies it’s what kills them. What kind of creature am I?

Carina del Valle Schorske
On the Perilous Potential of Feminist Silence


May 27, 2018

Do you like me? Would you miss me if I disappeared? Have you been depressed?

Vita Sackville-West
Letter to Virginia Woolf, August 1927

Last night

May 27, 2018

Hard Truth

May 27, 2018

I can see you

Religions may begin as vehicles of longing for mysteries beyond description, but they end up claiming exclusive descriptive rights to them. They segue the ardour and uncertainty of seeking to the confidence and complacence of possession. They shift from poetry to packaging. Which is what people want. They don’t want to spend years wandering in the wilderness of doubt. They want the promised land of certainty, and religious realists are quick to provide it for them. The erection of infallible systems of belief is a well-understood device to still humanity’s fear of being lost in life’s dark wood without a compass. ‘Supreme conviction is a self-cure for the infestation of doubts.’ That is why David Hume noted that, while errors in philosophy were only ridiculous, errors in religion were dangerous. They were dangerous because when supreme conviction is threatened it turns nasty.’

Richard Holloway
Leaving Alexandria: A Memoir of Faith and Doubt


May 26, 2018

When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we’ve no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I am tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along public railings
And make up for the snobbery of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick flowers in other people’s gardens
And learn to spit.

You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
And eat three pounds of sausages at a go
Or only bread and pickle for a week
And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes.

But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
And pay our rent and not swear in the street
And set a good example for the children.
We must have friends for dinner and read the papers.

But maybe I ought to practise a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old and start to wear purple.

Jenny Joseph