The Return

November 30, 2018

The souls of all my dears have flown to the stars.
Thank God there’s no one left for me to lose –
so I am free to cry. This air is made
for the echoing of songs.
A silver willow by the shore
trails to the bright September waters.
My shadow, risen from the past,
glides silently towards me.
Though the branches here are hung with many lyres,
a place has been reserved for mine, it seems.
And now this shower, struck by sunlight,
brings me good news, my cup of consolation.

Anna Akhmatova
translated by Stanley Kunitz with Max Hayward

strangle it and move on

November 30, 2018

When we killed what we were to become what we are, what did we do with the bodies? We did what most people do; buried them under the floorboards and got used to the smell. I’ve lived my life like a serial killer; finish with one part, strangle it and move on to the next. Life in neat little boxes is life in neat little coffins, the dead bodies of the past laid out side by side. I am discovering, now, in the late afternoon of the day, that the dead still speak.

Jeanette Winterson
Gut Symmetries

Variations on the word sleep

November 29, 2018

I would like to watch you sleeping,
Which may not happen.
I would like to watch you,
Sleeping. I would like to sleep
With you, to enter
Your sleep as its smooth dark wave
Slides over my head

And walk with you through that lucent
Wavering forest of bluegreen leaves,
With its watery sun and three moons,
Towards the cave where you must descend,
Towards your worst fear.

I would like to give you the silver
Branch, the small white flower, the one
Word that will protect you
From the grief at the center
Of your dream, from the grief
At the center. I would like to follow
You up the long stairway
Again and become
The boat that would row you back
Carefully, a flame
In two cupped hands,
To where your body lies
Beside me as you enter
It as easily as breathing in.

I would like to be the air
That inhabits you for a moment
Only. I would like to be that unnoticed
And that necessary.

Margaret Atwood

only me

November 29, 2018

I close my eyes and I let my body shut itself down and I let my mind wander. It wanders to a familiar place. A place I don’t talk about or acknowledge exists. A place where there is only me.

James Frey
A Million Little Pieces

Poems & Words

November 29, 2018

We all write poems; it is simply that poets are the ones who write in words.

John Fowles
The French Lieutenant’s Woman

My heart

November 29, 2018

I’d cut up my heart for you to wear if you wanted it.

Margaret Mitchell
Gone with the Wind

Like Magic –

November 28, 2018

There is something about words. In expert hands, manipulated deftly, they take you prisoner. Wind themselves around your limbs like spider silk, and when you are so enthralled you cannot move, they pierce your skin, enter your blood, numb your thoughts. Inside you they work their magic.

Diane Setterfield
The Thirteenth Tale

Ringing Bells

November 28, 2018

During the reign of Queen Elizabeth first, it became popular to ring bells to ward away evil spirits, especially those at the foot of the bed as it was said to frighten them away. They were also rung during prayers to guide departed souls.

The Wiccan’s Glossary

a crooked tree

November 28, 2018

Once upon a time there was a crooked tree and a straight tree. And they grew next to each other.

And every day the straight tree would look at the crooked tree and he would say, “You’re crooked. You’ve always been crooked and you’ll continue to be crooked. But look at me! Look at me!” said the straight tree. He said, “I’m tall and I’m straight.”

And then one day the lumberjacks came into the forest and looked around, and the manager in charge said, “Cut all the straight trees.” And that crooked tree is still there to this day, growing strong and growing strange.

Goran Dukić
Wristcutters: A Love Story

And you blame your neighbour for being a stranger

Your Christ is Jewish
Your car is Japanese
Your couscous is Algerian
Your democracy is Greek
Your coffee is Brazilian
Your Chianti is Italian

And you blame your neighbour for being a stranger

Your watch is Swiss
Your shirt is Indian
Your radio is Korean
Your holidays are Tunisian
Your numbers are Arabic
Your writing is Latin

And you blame your neighbour for being a stranger

Your figs are Turkish
Your bananas come from Cameroon
Your salmon comes from Norway
Your lemons come from Morocco
Your lychees from Madagascar
Your peppers from Senegal

And you blame your neighbour for being a stranger

Your mangoes come from Bangui
Your coconuts from Ivory Coast
Your pineapple comes from California
Your vodka comes from Russia
Your beer from Rhineland
Your oranges from Australia

And you blame your neighbour for being a stranger

Julos Beaucarne