poems and photographs 22


(photographs: Tom Davis)


Saturday, October 4, 2008



actor, Strange Shadows





strange shadows



I am the fire round which the planets turn. I am the heat that holds the sun in place. I am the angel of coincidence. I am the rock on which your world is based. The person that you think you are, each of you, the Barbie doll to which you give your love, each of you, it is my plastic plaything. My toy, my dream, mine to discard or destroy. This you that you love, it is fluff, it is fiction. I can blow it away.

From the play Strange Shadows, by Deirdre Burton and Tom Davis





Friday, October 3, 2008










oh rose, oh perfect paradox: desire
unsleeping, though so many eyes
are closed

Rainer Maria Rilke, transl Tom Davis

Rilke died at the age of 51, believing that his death was to be from blood poisoning as the result of having been pricked by a rose thorn.
He wrote this epitaph for himself.

Note on the translation





Thursday, October 2, 2008










Not a red rose or a satin heart.

I give you an onion.
It is a moon wrapped in brown paper.
It promises light
like the careful undressing of love.

It will blind you with tears
like a lover.
It will make your reflection
a wobbling photo of grief.

I am trying to be truthful.

Not a cute card or kissogram.

I give you an onion.
Its fierce kiss will stay on your lips,
possessive and faithful
as we are,
for as long as we are.

Carol Ann Duffy





Wednesday, October 1, 2008

a new blog: scamels










Against the rubber tongues of cows and the hoeing hands of men
Thistles spike the summer air
And crackle open under a blue-black pressure.

Then they grow grey like men.
Mown down, it is a feud. Their sons appear
Stiff with weapons, fighting back over the same ground.

Ted Hughes





Tuesday, September 30, 2008








purple white


Out of the purple drifts,
From the shadow sea of night,
On tides of musk a moth uplifts
Its weary wings of white.
Is it a dream or ghost
Of a dream that comes to me,
Here in the twilight on the coast,
Blue cinctured by the sea?
Fashioned of foam and froth --
And the dream is ended soon,
And lo, whence came the moon-white moth
Comes now the moth-white moon!

Frank Dempster Sherman





Monday, September 29, 2008








the double bass


He is a drunk leaning companionably
Around a lamp post or doing up
With intermittent concentration
Another drunk's coat.

But close your eyes and it is sunset
At the edge of the world. It is the language
Of dolphins, the growth of tree-roots,
The heart-beat slowing down.

John Fuller





Sunday, September 28, 2008



aspidistra (Westmere, late September 2008)





my mind is full of aspidistras


I. My mind is full of aspidistras. I went to the house of the glorious witch. We ate hummingbirds' eggs and small slices of persimmon glazed with honey. I wanted her to teach me how to fly, but all I could say was 'aspidistras'. In the courtyard, hummingbirds hummed—a sad tale of missing eggs. I took the hand of the glorious witch. We walked together among the persimmon trees. 'Teach me how to dream of aspidistras,' I begged her. She laughed her honey-glazed laugh and then, and then, we were flying like hummingbirds, high above the courtyard.


III. Two days ago I was floating beneath the surface wondering whether to come up for air and today I'm all hummingbirds. My garden is full of persimmons and cups of spaghetti. I have flown with a witch until breakfast. A man from Japan made a white stucco room disappear which has got to be a good thing. I have played with mules and danced through aspidistras. Our minds, unfortunately, have minds of their own. Three hummingbirds. All humming.

From Janis Freegard, Three Hummingbirds





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