Recent Posts

31 January 2013

I saved a baby who fell from a window

For a while
I found myself
looking upwards more –
for open windows.

And swishing my hand
past my ear, to try
to recreate
the sensation
of the baby’s fall.

Taken from the Guardian's 'Experience' feature, 19th January 2013. Submitted by Ailsa Holland.

29 January 2013

Poets say

science takes away
from the beauty of stars –
mere globs
of gas atoms

Nothing is “mere”.
I too see the stars
on a desert night
and feel them.

But do I see less or more?

What is the pattern,
or the meaning,
or why?

It does not do harm
to the mystery
to know a little more about it.

Far more marvellous
is the truth
than any artists
of the past
imagined it.

From The Feynman Lectures on Physics (1964). Submitted by Lisa Oliver.

26 January 2013

Wasted art

I was drinking a coffee the other day
Watching several adolescent girls at another table.
Suddenly, they launched
Into snapping one another
And thereafter progressed
To taking self portraits.

This style of vain,
Self-absorbed activity
Is the lowest level
Taking photos can probably
Descend to.

Considering that,
If you are the only
Truly worthwhile point
Of interest,
In all of life’s
Rich tapestry,
Then you might have failed
To detect a few essential
In the path of learning
What life is
Ultimately about.

From The Advantages Of Photography As A Hobby at All Best Articles. Submitted by Cami Hernandez.

24 January 2013

Paired birds of Franciscan brown

If Brother Julian was gardening in front of the friary,
Brother Adrian weeded in the back.
If Adrian was driving the van, Julian sat by his side.
Preparing the altar for chapel,
chopping wood for kindling,
exulting in ice cream at the Twist & Shake:
the twins were together, always.

Workers, not teachers, so ever-present as to be unseen.
Taken for granted, like the rushing hush
of the Allegheny River at the university’s edge,
or the back-and-forth of birdsong.

Brother Julian became the sacristan,
Brother Adrian the chauffeur,
but they also built the bookshelves,
maintained the garden, cleared the shrines in the woods
and rarely spoke unless invited.

How they adorned the friary trees with birdhouses.
How they toured the campus on identical bicycles.
How they often sat in prayer in the chapel,
so still that you might not know they were there.

Taken from a New York Times article about twin Franciscan brothers. Submitted by Angi Holden.

22 January 2013

Grass-Eating Boys’ Commitment

phobia is not the only thing that’s worrying
Japanese women. Unlike earlier generations

of Japanese men, they prefer
not to make the first move, they like

to split the bill, and they’re not
particularly motivated by sex.

I spent the night at one guy’s house, and nothing
happened. We just went to sleep, moaned one

incredulous woman on a TV program
devoted to herbivores.

It’s like something’s missing with them, said
Yoko Yatsu, a 34-year-old housewife.

If they were more normal, they’d be more interested
in women. They’d at least want to talk to women.

A quote from Alexandra Harney in Slate, quoted in Why Isn't Japan Having Sex? at The Good Men Project. Submitted by Andrew Milewski.

17 January 2013

And Then Everyone Laughs

Our mothers hate justice.
All their kids complain about justice
and they hate it.

They want to put them in little
Seersucker suits.

Overheard on a train out of Philadelphia, 5th January 2012. Submitted by Wesley Brown.

16 January 2013


I mean I actually have to
send him a link
to the thing I want.

I mean I would almost
rather him not buy anything for me...
because he just goes
and buys me something

really SHIT. And he's started being
really funny about it, like now
he buys me something
and says I probably won't like it

even before I unwrap it. And I
just said to him that it's better for me
to SAY I don't like it and take it back,
than to pretend. And

I must have mentioned like
twice a day that I want
some stacking rings. But he
sees that as like an engagement ring,

like I'd MARRY him
for Christ's sake. I mean if I want
to find out what HE wants
I would ask his friends.

Why doesn't he do that? Oh, and then
he goes online to Sophie
to ask what I want
and she tells him that I want

some black jeans and this poster
I linked to on Facebook, and he
just didn't pay ANY ATTENTION to her...
Yes but I shouldn't have to say

what I want.

A phone conversation overheard on the train from London to Pewsey, 4.36pm on Wednesday 19th December. Submitted by Jo Bell.

09 January 2013

Care and feeding of your reindeer

They are inquisitive
It was a lot of trial and error
I started with two, had eight…
it snowballed from there
It is tough at times
There are days you just don't love your job
There is good and bad, but a lot more good
She'd walk onto the stage all by herself
then walk back to me
or hang out with the cellists
She loved the violinists
They died on the same day
Just old. Can't stop that
They went and laid back-to-back
and passed away on the same day
But they lived a good life, that's for sure

Direct speech in the WNY.FM article Reindeer in Hamburg. Submitted by Grace Andreacchi.

03 January 2013

The Geometry of Happy Children

One of the lines began standing out
demanding attention
It was the line that ran along the side of the nose
approximately where the bone ends
and the cartilage begins
I actually grew annoyed with this line’s insistence
and erased it
hoping to quiet its demands
but it only added significance
and so I drew it back in

Paper never forgets though
and that line kept its heat and at times
I could see little else
Looking back and forth from mirror to paper
the line started taking
its place on the surface of my skin
When my eyes weren’t on that line
but focused elsewhere
it would begin a trampy little dance for attention
in bright magentas and blues until my eyes
would dart over to see
and back to flesh it would go. . .

Taken from an interview with the artist Ian Ingram on the blog Venetian Red, 23 May 2011. Several punctuation marks have been removed, along with one 'and' at the end of line 1. Submitted by Grace Andreacchi.

01 January 2013

Monica Grove 1B, 1530

Five rooms
All postgrads
But the one guy who was there
wasn't wearing a shirt
was listening to awful dance music
and didn't turn it down.
Not a home.
More like a student flat
per Mackenzie Road, with more
obviously objectionable occupants.

From notes a friend took when he went flat hunting. I found them in an A-Z he gave me. Submitted by Nija Dalal.