deep within me

May 22, 2018

I felt and saw the night outside deep within me. Wind and wetness, autumn, bitter smell of foliage, scattered leaves of the elm tree.

Hermann Hesse
The Fairytales of Hermann Hesse
(trans. Jack Zipes)

Woman at dusk

May 15, 2018

The day slips its skin.
A line of beech waits for the moon.
Birds are mousey in the hedge –
a small one aches across the sun.
The sky is a chrysalis,
then a molten line like the lip of the sea,
then too much fire to be sad.
The woman steps inside.
From her kitchen window, stars.

Catherine Ayres

little, obscure places

May 10, 2018

a resaurant

I have been thinking of places we ought to go together – little, obscure places, here and there in Paris. Just to say – here I went with Anais – here we ate, or danced, or got drunk together. Ah, to see you really drunk sometime – that would be a treat! I am almost afraid to suggest it – but, Anais, when I think of how you press against me, how eagerly you open your legs and how wet you are, God, it drives me mad to think what you would be like when everything falls away.

Henry Miller
Letter to Anais Nin, March 11, 1932

Why Trust This World

May 8, 2018

after Catherine Barnett

this one here with the shit-smeared sidewalks
and the bottle of cheap white emptied
and the migraine’s blooming
and the lack of overage protection
and the inclement weather affecting my commute
and the losses already suffered, the more I just can’t handle
and the two cats chasing tails
and every green thing in the fridge going, gone, the body only wanting
what I cannot ask for
and the body sexless as a Sunday
and the elevator broken
and the hope in a higher dosage
and the tulips tossed
and the rain that traps me, the trains that trap me
and the night smacked into, the question, lack of evidence
and the too casual kill-yourself joke like eggs floating the way they do
and the pushing past what I am capable of
and the mouth mouthing purpose
and the forgetting, the whatever of it
and the body by the bridge or the implied erasure of the body
like when they say just stay alive
and the prayers I’m kept or not kept in
and the worsening, the visiting hours
and the board games with the missing pieces
and the missing
and the light caught, the thick drapes
and the vital signs taken
and the three square meals
and the applesauce, the weak coffee
and the pellet shits
and the names for feelings, names for pills,
lack of hooks and hangers, the brown paper bags –

Anna Meister

A summer view

He stood there staring at the empty field, remembering the things that had happened in the summer. He remembered the pedestal table and the apples and the way the sun had browned her arms and face. He remembered the blue dress and the way she had looked without it and the movements of her body as she brushed her hair in the lamplight at nighttime. He remembered how she had painted the house and how honest she was and how he had trusted her.

He stood there for a long time. Once he turned as if to go back, and then changed his mind. His eyes were short-focused and full of trouble. The yard was dark with big evening shadows and the little farm seemed to have shrunk in the evening sun.

H E Bates
The Little Farm


May 7, 2018

The Well at Mylor

May 6, 2018

At Mylor
the water of the well

bears the armour of the light,
it hides and escapes

and stays still
under its hood of rock

amid a galore of graves
and green leaves,

spring of fresh water
beside the sea,

a find, a treasure,
a pedigree,

no idyll
but the essential source,

now retired
from its work of sole sustenance,

living among memories
of former fame,

a saint’s hand dipping in
like a taper unquenched,

coins splashing down
for reverence, not luck,

from time to time,
a self-baptism,

secret and quick,
for some

prefer their ritual
out of doors,

water understands this,
and loves the brow

fanned with its body
for reasons the water easily guesses,

for it is the one who blesses,

freely it runs
its long unceremonious

through my fingers,

and on my lips
tastes ferriferous,

blood-hint at the periphery,
pell-mell mint at the heart.

Penelope Shuttle

trees and sky and night

It was New Year’s Eve and a cold damp day that penetrated while the elements ran wild across the landscape. Skeins of mist hung tenuously upon the high banks and draped the bare trees. My surroundings were white and hushed and I’d lost all sense of time as I walked. In places the ground underfoot was several feet deep with compressed snow from some weeks ago.

I had turned off the main path to follow an upward track which I knew led me to the edge of the forest. Here the ground was slushy underfoot, worsened by the water streaming down from the hills. Everything was so breathlessly still and silent. It was as if the mist had erased all sound as well as every contour.

I reached the outskirts of the forest and saw the dark conifers puncturing the mist. But then something made me stop. It was music. High piping music that seemed to resonate on many levels simultaneously. It flowed through my body and spirit, as if the chords were able to penetrate hidden doorways into my soul. I was porous, living and breathing somewhere between substance and time. Gradually I became aware of a presence, a feeling that I wasn’t alone.

I saw him first, a small bearded figure, half human half goat, dancing on a small hillock playing the pipes. I immediately thought of Pan, but he was much smaller, a faun in fact. He was no more than a metre in height. And then I saw that he was surrounded by animals of all kinds, in a circle. There were shy woodland animals, squirrels and foxes, and mythological ones such as satyrs and centaurs. It was some form of animal gathering.

Stephanie Wilson
Meeting with a Faun

kinda odd

May 5, 2018

A coffin

I know a woman who keeps her coffin in her front room. Her boyfriend made it. I’ve seen photos of him lovingly planing the wood before presenting it to her as a gift. It now sits in her lounge, ready for the day she dies, and she doesn’t see it as a threat. She loves it. The lid is open and a mannequin stands inside, wearing a black dress, while a stuffed raven sits perched on top.

When I told her that having a coffin in the lounge was, how can I put it, kinda odd, she just laughed and said it’s the rest of us who are truly strange. ‘We’re all going to die,’ she told me. ‘Facing that, is the most natural thing you can do.’

Peter Laws
Sinister Minister
The Irish Times 10th April 2018

Strangeness which is the essence of beauty is the essence of truth, and the essence of the world. I have often felt that; when the ascent of a long hill brought me to the summit of an undiscovered height in London; and I looked down on a new land.

Arthur Machen
The London Adventure