Friday, September 30, 2005

The Undertaking

The darkness lifts, imagine, in your lifetime.
There you are - cased in clean bark you drift
through weaving rushes, fields flooded with cotton.
You are free. The river films with lilies,
shrubs appear, shoots thicken into palm. And now
all fear gives way: the light
looks after you, you feel the waves' goodwill
as arms widen over the water; Love

the key is turned. Extend yourself -
it is the Nile, the sun is shining,
everywhere you turn is luck.

Louise Gluck: The House on Marshland

I discovered this poem, and Louise Gluck, thanks to Poems on the Underground, in the mid-1990s. I find it magical. Pure expansiveness, relaxation and joy. And yet, is it about death?

I went to Egypt, on a Nile cruise, a few years ago. As the river flowed by and the reeds and fields and waterfowl came into view, then disappeared, I carried the poem with me.

Templates, templates ....

Finding the right Blogger template is like buying a car. They all look great in the showroom, but you really, really do need a test drive before you make up your mind. I wanted an easier-to-read font, so am going to give this one a shot.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Stalemate via email

I should reply
But I don't
A battle of silences

Do I want to continue?
I don't know
Fear says end it now
But I don't


Thursday, September 22, 2005

It takes the time it takes ...

Yes, I know, I need links. Haven't yet sat down and figured how to do them on Blogger. This will come. In the meantime, enjoy the blog as a Work in Progress. Less is more ....

Monday, September 19, 2005

Where I'm From

Reading other people's contributions on this theme some months ago first gave me the hankering for a blog where I could post mine. Belatedly, therefore, this is where I am from:


I am from Chivers’ jellies, Cadbury’s Drinking Chocolate and a red Raleigh bike
From the Queen’s Coronation, and Music While You Work,
From Peter the budgie and a succession of cats

I am from cow parsley, may blossom, and hedges laced with dog-rose
and grassy meadows existing only in sunlit memory, long since lost under concrete

I am from good manners and respect for authority,
From no hire purchase and a monthly housekeeping allowance,
From respectability, musicality, screaming silences, and the memory of poverty and loss,
From one’s unpredictable rage and pain and the other’s baffled passivity,
And from the scars these left

I am from the wide light-drenched skies of the East Anglian marshes
and from the grey stone and green wet hills of Wales at Christmas,
I am from funny Uncle Geoff who played the organ, and the grandmother who taught in the slums

I am from Sunday School,
But also from the spiritualists’ messages from the dead,
From beliefs that salvaged something lost

I am from holiday walks along the prom, piano lessons, roller skates and scabby knees, from kirby grips, gingham frocks, and socks that wouldn’t stay up,
From Tony Hancock and Tommy Cooper,
and the soccer results on Saturday afternoons

I am from cockling on low tide mudflats, pick-your-own strawberries, and windfall apples,
From albums of fading photographs, and cards kept and treasured; from love, a forgiveness of sorts and a resurrected communication

I am from repression, insecurity, regret, laughter, endurance, and a battered, eccentric faith.
And these are with me still.

First Post

I have no idea in which direction these blog posts will take me, but I know that writing can be powerful, therapeutic, sometimes fun. Having been a commenter on other blogs for many months, I have been hesitating on the edge of the pool and have not quite had the courage to dive in. Well, here goes!