Tuesday, December 30, 2014


Beside you,
lying down at dark,
my waking fits your sleep.
Your turning
flares the slow-banked fire
between our mingled feet,

and there,
curved close and warm
against the nape of love,

held there,
who holds your dreaming
shape, I match my breathing

to your breath;
and sightless, keep my hand
on your heart's breast, keep

on your sleep to prove
there is no dark, nor death.

"Nightsong" by Philip Booth, from Lifelines. © Viking Press, 1999

Someone Else’s Life

It was a day of slow fever
and roses in the doorway, wrapped
in yesterday’s news of death.

Snow fell like angels’ feathers
from a dark new sky, softly announcing
that some things would never be the same.

I listened carefully to doubts and revisions
of someone else’s life, safe in my room of tomorrow,
a passing witness to sorrow and wonder.

Then night came and I was quickly
drifting inside that life. I was leaving mine.
Snowflakes continued to fall.

The street was deserted and dim.
Shrapnel wounds blossomed in stone walls.
There was no proof of the current decade,

and I could not recall
the names of faces that I knew
the smell of places where I’d lived

and why I lay alone now
so close to a vast, empty floor, so far
from the sun, so far.

Kapka Kassabova

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Poem Without Mystery

O to be a lock-keeper in Żuławy
on a non-essential branch of the canal,
amid a flat landscape. Every day
to ride a bike to a concrete cabin
smaller than a news kiosk. To watch through
a little square window the risings and settings
of the sun. To have no idea about art, to know
where the pike lurks, where the eels. On
a misty morning, drinking tea

with a dash of spirit, to hear on the radio, which only
gets one channel, that in the world there are
over ten million species of plants and
animals, and not to believe it, or
that there are countries where people are dying
of hunger, and to think about it, and forget
to open the sluice. And flood several nearby meadows.
And not bear any consequences for it.

Tadeusz Dąbrowski


I still sleep on the left side of the bed
and take long walks in woodland with our dog,

we like nowhere better
than that sloping wooden bench

where moss climbs up the legs each winter
and dies back yellow in early summer.

There’s still vodka in the fridge and blue
beneath the scar on my left ankle,

where the door caught me
trying to follow your departure.

Today I hugged someone who felt like you,
it was difficult remembering that sense of safe.

Chimera Lay

Monday, December 15, 2014


I like pouring your tea, lifting
the heavy pot, and tipping it up,
so the fragrant liquid steams in your china cup.

Or when you’re away, or at work,
I like to think of your cupped hands as you sip,
as you sip, of the faint half-smile of your lips.

I like the questions — sugar? milk? —
and the answers I don’t know by heart, yet,
for I see your soul in your eyes, and I forget.

Jasmine, Gunpowder, Assam, Earl Grey, Ceylon,
I love tea’s names. Which tea would you like? I say,
but it’s any tea, for you, please, any time of day,

as the women harvest the slopes,
for the sweetest leaves, on Mount Wu-Yi,
and I am your lover, smitten, straining your tea.

Carol Ann Duffy

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Canopy Shyness

Have been photographing this for years, marveling at the patterns this creates, but never knew there is a name for it. And what a lovely name.

"Canopy shyness is the tendency of trees to reduce competition between adjacent trees by maintaining a space between branches."

Canopy Shyness: http://www.venerabletrees.org/canopy-shyness/

Rain Tree Raagaas: https://plus.google.com/u/0/photos/106491954401233999557/albums/5975107197985931905

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