Friday, July 17, 2009

Scenes from Friday evening

It's 14º C outside and it's raining with a vengeance.

Friday evening

It's [still] raining a lot . . .

Coffee in Heaven

Paris: Balcony with a view

You'll be greeted
by a nice cup of coffee
when you get to heaven
and strains of angelic harmony.

But wouldn't you be devastated
if they only serve decaffeinated
while from the percolators of hell

your soul was assaulted
by Satan's fresh espresso smell?

-- John Agard --

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Too much rain...


How are you supposed to feel when something you do involuntarily while reading, such as rubbing your eyes or scratching your arm is precisely what the main character in the book does just a little while after you do it? Not once or twice but three times in less than one hour... Oh, and it's a book you've never read before, too. Weird, that's how you feel.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Hazy Summer matrix

Blue skies in Milton Keynes are not that common. This was yesterday. Now it's raining again. It's cold too. Doesn't feel like Summer.

It's the end of the school year. Parties, concerts and all kinds of events are happening every other day. Swine flu is the main topic of conversation. Everyone knows someone who's ill and with all the media hype people have started talking about the flu as if it were the bubonic plague. Crazy times. The origins and timing of this virus inspire innumerous conspiration thories and I'm inclined to go along with some of them.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009



Every year without knowing it I have passed the day
When the last fires will wave to me
And the silence will set out
Tireless traveler
Like the beam of a lightless star

Then I will no longer
Find myself in life as in a strange garment
Surprised at the earth
And the love of one woman
And the shamelessness of men
As today writing after three days of rain
Hearing the wren sing and the falling cease
And bowing not knowing to what

-- W. S. Merwin --

Grandma died a year ago.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Introduction to Poetry

Playing with light

I ask them to take a poem
and hold it up to the light
like a color slide

or press an ear against its hive.

I say drop a mouse into a poem
and watch him probe his way out,

or walk inside the poem's room
and feel the walls for a light switch.

I want them to waterski
across the surface of a poem
waving at the author's name on the shore.

But all they want to do
is tie the poem to a chair with rope
and torture a confession out of it.

They begin beating it with a hose
to find out what it really means.

- Billy Collins -

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Being Boring

Being Boring

If you ask me 'What's new?', I have nothing to say
Except that the garden is growing.
I had a slight cold but it's better today.
I'm content with the way things are going.
Yes, he is the same as he usually is,
Still eating and sleeping and snoring.
I get on with my work. He gets on with his.
I know this is all very boring.

There was drama enough in my turbulent past:
Tears and passion-I've used up a tankful.
No news is good news, and long may it last,
If nothing much happens, I'm thankful.
A happier cabbage you never did see,
My vegetable spirits are soaring.
If you're after excitement, steer well clear of me.
I want to go on being boring.

I don't go to parties. Well, what are they for,
If you don't need to find a new lover?
You drink and you listen and drink a bit more
And you take the next day to recover.
Someone to stay home with was all my desire
And, now that I've found a safe mooring,
I've just one ambition in life: I aspire
To go on and on being boring.

-- Wendy Cope --



My Dad sent me this photo - taken in the Summer of 1948 - of my Mom (in the right), her sister (in the middle) and an Austrian World War II refugee who spent that Summer with them in the Portuguese countryside. My Mom was in convalescence and she looks very frail, especially in comparison with her photo companions. I've noticed that in most of the photos I have of her, the mouth might be smiling but the eyes are usually sad, as if saying: "Fragile. Handle with care."