Words are easy, like the wind; Faithful friends are hard to find.
— William Shakespeare

Sunday, June 28, 2015


“…inevitably, there is no shore, no limit to our knowing."
Sandford Lyne (on Ralph Waldo Emerson)

The Triumph of Death
Pieter Bruegel, the Elder (1562)

And now I will tell you the truth. 
Everything in the world comes. 
Mary Oliver

~  ~  ~

It is a ravaging, this winter of incremental death.
A garden hosepipe stirs only dust the colour of ashes,
the bombings wounded 200 worshippers
injured for life
fragments of grass like shards of bone and the water
will not drain away into ground too arid to drink.
midday Friday prayers
deadly shooting during Bible study

I took a shovel today, scraped the blade into empty beds.
Moving soil from here to there seemed an act
her death will lead to change
the bodies were borne my mourners
of utmost futility, but two robins watched me at work
hopping close to my feet for the chance of a worm.
the presence of strange men
on the same day as the massacre

This drought will peel the bark from trees; yet I wonder
that some green things still live in my garden.
the victims were innocent holidaymakers
hundreds of people running and screaming
Perhaps they count on sacred promises
far more than humanly possible, at least for me.
it was deafening
was the victim first killed before decapitated?

The day is still. It feels empty but not sullen
as a breeze stirs the leafless branches.
fatally shot as she sunbathed
we are at war
The sky is clear, the forecast was sunny
which means no rain, no kindly blanket of snow.
pulled an assault rifle out of his umbrella
cut (off) the evil hand

I am sure there is truth to be had for those who seek;
love to be found in unexpected places; peace, even,
the objectives of the criminal act have failed
the toll will likely rise
here where this is only mud in the culverts, not flesh
nor blood. Yet my tears will not cease their flow.
a young girl serving icecream
a suspect has confessed to the grisly crime


On Wednesday, April 25, 2012, Ellen Wilson posted a challenge Writing Poetry from the Inside Out, based on the work of author, Sandford Lyne. I have taken much inspiration from her post in the writing of this piece, despite not exactly following the instructions - or laying bare the messages the world sent to me today on both the left and right hand side of the page. All texts in italics are taken from news reports at News24.com, printed on Sunday, June 28, 2015. They reference acts of terror in Kuwait, France, USA, Tunisia and Mali.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Four Views of a Single Reflection

The mediator of the inexpressible is the work of art.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Untitled (Mirrored Cubes)
Robert Morris - 1971

A year past fifty seems no more
than a silver coin slipped through
the lining of a jacket to the furthest corner –
a thing of little purpose forgotten.

An artist holds an uneven mirror
up to the spectator and asks that he
look long at one fallible reflection –
a person out of place in the world.

A wind may blow continuous
traces of dust and bitter leaves
until the teeth ache from grinding –
a lover rendered impotent by disuse.

This view of contemporary life
may go through various distortions
travel over the edge of city window panes –
an invalid marooned in hostile territory.


Inspired by the sculpture of Robert Morris: "He typically arranged these (geometric forms) into ‘situations’ where ‘one is aware of one’s own body at the same time that one is aware of the piece’. This work demonstrates the principle. As the viewer walks around the four cubes, their mirrored surfaces produce complex and shifting interactions between gallery and spectator." [wikiart.org - link given above]