After every war
someone has to clean up.
Things won’t
straighten themselves up, after all.

Someone has to push the rubble
to the sides of the road,
so the corpse-laden wagons
can pass.

Someone has to get mired
in scum and ashes,
sofa springs,
splintered glass,
and bloody rags.

Someone must drag in a girder
to prop up a wall,
Someone must glaze a window,
rehang a door.

Photogenic it’s not,
and takes years.
All the cameras have left
for another war.

Again we’ll need bridges
and new railway stations.
Sleeves will go ragged
from rolling them up.

Someone, broom in hand,
still recalls how it was.
Someone listens
and nods with unsevered head.
Yet others milling about
already find it dull.

From behind the bush
sometimes someone still unearths
rust-eaten arguments
and carries them to the garbage pile.

Those who knew
what was going on here
must give way to
those who know little.
And less than little.
And finally as little as nothing.

In the grass which has overgrown
reasons and causes,
someone must be stretched out
blade of grass in his mouth
gazing at the clouds.

Wislawa Szymborska

Wander round the cafés

August 8, 2019

During the evening I would wander round the cafés or the little dance halls on the front. With utter indifference I let strangers sit down at my table and speak to me. I was so enchanted by the mild night air, and the lights, and the soft lapping of water, that nothing and no one could cause me annoyance.

Simone de Beauvoir
The Prime of Life: The Autobiography of Simone de Beauvoir; 1929-1944

Love hurts

August 8, 2019

And people like you exist to remind us that some love hurts like hell.

Lukas W
Your love hurts

the meaning of life

August 8, 2019

One cannot ignore half of life for the purposes of science, and then claim that the results of science give a full and adequate picture of the meaning of life. All discussions of ‘life’ which begin with a description of man’s place on a speck of matter in space, in an endless evolutionary scale, are bound to be half-measures, because they leave out most of the experiences which are important to us as human beings.

Colin Wilson
Religion and the Rebel

The first Doctor (William Hartnell): If you could touch the alien sand and hear the cries of strange birds, and watch them wheel in another sky, would that satisfy you

The second Doctor (Patrick Troughton): The fools. The stupid fools!

The third Doctor (Jon Pertwee) : A straight line may be the shortest distance between two points, but it is by no means the most interesting.

The fourth Doctor (Tom Baker) : Never be certain of anything. It’s a sign of weakness.

The fifth Doctor (Peter Davison) : There’s always something to look at if you open your eyes!

The sixth Doctor (Colin Baker) : Rest is for the weary, sleep is for the dead.

The seventh Doctor (Sylvester McCoy): Think about me when you’re living your life one day after another, all in a neat pattern. Think about the homeless traveller and his old police box, with his days like crazy paving.

The eighth Doctor (Paul McGann): Gallifrey! Yes! This must be where I live. Now, where is that?

The war Doctor (John Hurt): No. Great men are forged in fire. It is the privilege of lesser men to light the flame. Whatever the cost.

The ninth Doctor (Christopher Eccleston): You think it’ll last forever: people and cars and concrete. But it won’t. One day it’s all gone. Even the sky. My planet’s gone. It’s dead. It burned, like the Earth. It’s just rocks and dust. Before its time.

The tenth Doctor (David Tennant): And, I’ll tell you something else: We just met Queen Victoria!

The eleventh Doctor (Matt Smith): Are the peoples of this world guilty of any crimes punishable by the laws of the Atraxi?

The twelfth Doctor (Peter Capaldi): I’m the Doctor. I’ve lived for over two thousand years, and not all of them were good. I’ve made many mistakes, and it’s about time I did something about that…

The thirteenth Doctor (Jodie Whittaker): Don’t worry, I’ve got a plan.