Tuesday, 29 March 2016

The Crumbling Prison of Old Ideas

we strive to acquire one emotional
stance, one viewpoint for all life situations
and events: we usually call that being
of a philosophical frame of mind.  
(Friedrich Nietzsche)

Balanced finely on his heel tip
He swirls around
A lion on his back
His sword in the belly of its mate.

Two thousand years and more
He has killed this animal.
Today the carapace cracks,
Splintering, falling…

Armour and beast
 Flow as water 
  Down his back
   To rest as dust
     At his feet.

A smile drops out,
The last stone breaks;
And kicking aside the rubble
He walks into the sun.

I wait until he returns…

As a young woman, 
Her flamboyant skirts
A wild carousel
Swirling around her heels.

The lovers clap and sing.

Saturday, 19 March 2016


The man’s back: a cliff insouciant before a sea battering helplessly against it; we think of the White Cliffs of Dover grinning at the French. 

The man’s face is invisible. We imagine it relaxed, composed; a sailor sure of himself in charge at the ship’s wheel.

A ship making its steady way through turbulent waters.

We struggle to describe this sea; its wild mania refusing to be straight-jacketed by our sentences. The words flounder. Similes go overboard, and are lost.

The sailor is looking at the horizon. He has no need of our words; flotsam from another world, wrecked before he set sail, they are destined for some deserted shore.

Images are emerging. The waves are like… They are like…they are like a large herd loose on an undulating plain. Such monstrous beasts! mad heads shrieking at an angry sky; hooves stampeding the rolling water into a raging foam.

The sailor has tamed many a wild horse. He is happy here.

Thursday, 10 March 2016

Midlife Crisis

It is the fantasies that condemn us. Like a dream continuing into our waking life, they pull us forever back into sleep; away from the world; its liveliness, its fun. So lovely these dreams; too lovely; their dazzling images an enervating drug, that weaken's the mind’s resistance, slowing it down, making it sluggish, that makes it dull. And so quickly: a sunlit street becomes a waterlogged marsh that grabs, that pulls, that sucks us down. 

At first so exciting soon these dreams bore us. The same old pictures repeating themselves day after day, it doesn't take long and we’ve had enough; are screaming: throw that damned zoetrope out! It is too late. Like horses in a carousel these dreams cannot run away. And we... We shout. We cry: let us off! let us off!  The attendant has disappeared; and the merry-go-round goes around and around, round and round, around and around and round.