Monday, 29 August 2011

Sunday Morning by Louis Macneice

Down the road someone is practising scales,
The notes like little fishes vanish with a wink of tails,
Man's heart expands to tinker with his car
For this is Sunday morning, Fate's great bazaar;
Regard these means as ends, concentrate on this Now,

And you may grow to music or drive beyond Hindhead anyhow,
Take corners on two wheels until you go so fast
That you can clutch a fringe or two of the windy past,
That you can abstract this day and make it to the week of time
A small eternity, a sonnet self-contained in rhyme.

But listen, up the road, something gulps, the church spire
Open its eight bells out, skulls' mouths which will not tire
To tell how there is no music or movement which secures
Escape from the weekday time. Which deadens and endures.

Monday, 22 August 2011

One Month Anniversary Gift: Valentine by Carol Ann Duffy

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 a 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.

Take it.
Its platinum loops shrink to a wedding-ring,
if you like.

Its scent will cling to your fingers,
cling to your knife. 

Monday, 8 August 2011

The Dress by Greta Stoddart

Then it will stand alone and listen to the new silence,
feel the empty air breathe in and out and where it will,
filling old creases, blowing away warm impressions.
Itself again, chaste, regal, as if it had been waiting
for this moment to return to its mannequin form;
delicate husk, untouched, unworn, it can hang now
if it wants, swing its lonely folds behind a door.

In time it might forget the body who lived inside it,
that quick and lovely thing whose eager skin filled
to bursting every curve and seam. It might forget
the first stain, the nips and small tears, the cunning
unravelling of thread that followed as a matter of course before
the final tumble, the fumbling, the cursing and the rip
when it was thrown across the floor to lie, flayed

- perhaps ruined, as it had to be taken away,
laid out beneath an interrogation of lights
where a man in a gown, in a whirl of steam and gas, bowed
his head to the task: to remove the occasion from the dress.
And when it was done he wrapped it up and it shone
from so much attention and loss, its intimate tucks and folds
re-pressed, dry, clean and beautifully stitched up.

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Instant Noodles by Kisa Ogino

Checklist for Jurors
You don’t understand,
Mumbling between mouthfuls,
He’s on the other side of the world
Learning to heal others
And I’m here
Learning to fight others.
It’s been one year three months two weeks and eight days
Since I’ve been warmed by his embrace
And I’ve just been trying to get warm nowadays.
With instant noodles?
She looks incredulous.
It’s not like I’m made of blubber at the moment.