Recent Posts

29 October 2015

Woman to woman

I know I am not the only woman in the world
with a sort of hurt feeling about fruit shops.

The windows are always so full of delicious
looking fruit. The rosiest of apples, succulent

black grapes, oranges and grapefruit that make
my mouth water. The greenest of watercress,

and sprightly mustard cress just ask for a plate
of thin bread and butter and a cup of strong tea.

Brussel sprouts are so neat and compact.
And every potato is round, neat and eyeless,

- just right to bake with half a dozen of its brothers.
Why is it then, when I get home with my basket

I find little shapeless many eyed potatoes, sprouts
dirty and loose-leaved, cress yellow and limp?

I know every fruit and vegetable can’t be perfect.
But I think some of the window fruit should get

into the shopping basket more often - in fact I know.

From a letter to Woman magazine sent in by Miss I.A.L Shields of County Durham, around the late 1940s. Submitted by Angela Readman.

26 October 2015

Violets and motorcycles

I started thinking about smell,
the strange olfactory world,

and made a collection
of evocative aromas.

Rubber, naphtha, motorcycle dope,
cuir de russe, gasoline, ammonia.

Juniper wood, styrax, patchouli,
frangipani, amber, myrrh, geraniol.

Opoponx, heliotrope, nardo
spikenard oil, civet, coumarin.

Where does karanal stand
in relation to tuberose?

Or sandalwood to sage?
Don't ask me.

From Scents and Sensibility by Brian Eno, Details magazine, July 1992. Submitted by Dale Wisely.

24 October 2015

A nice place to visit

Mommy, the universe
is such a big scary place,

says the little girl with red hair.
Oh, yes, it is such a big scary place,
says the red-headed mother
of the little girl with red hair.
But don't worry, dear,
we're not going there.

Overhead while exiting the Hayden Planetarium, New York City. Submitted by J.R. Solonche.

21 October 2015

Not given to imagination

Mummy, I’m not afraid to die.
Why do you talk of dying
and you so young
do you want a lollipop?

No, but I shall be with Peter and June.

Mummy, let me tell you about my dream last night.
Darling, I’ve no time now. Tell me again later.

No, Mummy, you must listen.
I dreamt I went to school
and there was no school there.
Something black had come down all over it.
You mustn’t have chips for supper for a bit.

The next day off to school went her daughter
as happy as ever.
In the communal grave she was buried
with Peter on one side
and June on the other.

Dialogue from an account of 10-year-old Eryl Mai's premonition of the 1966 Aberfan avalanche disaster, via Futility Closet. Submitted by Gabriel Smy.