Monthly Archives: September 2014

Thyme Past

How thyme has changed

from the dry, woody,

intense branches I used

so sparingly, cropped on some

Mediterranean shore, the

smell of it slinking

far out to sea, scrying

lost land for lost men,

perhaps heaped on the

pyres of those lost but

found too late, masking

burnt flesh with

sharp sweetness.


But now I have greenery,

something fresh but faint, a

shadow on the palate, an

echo of thyme past.


Great Red Spot

Great Red Spot

Great Red Spot

Jupiter came down to Earth,

atmospheres meshing, the

Great Red Spot spreading like a

cataract cutting Sun’s light,

last-gasping Heaven through a

prism of dust.



I tunnelled toward your

hot love but you were

already leaving by the

back door.


Spring in Autumn

It could be a Spring day, with the

flowers on their third or

fourth burst, blossom on the

hawthorn that thinks its

missed Winter, the tic-tic of

robins protecting their

second brood: but the days

shorten not lengthen, and I

hope the chicks grow fast and aren’t,

as we so often are,

caught out by Winter.


It’s too fast, too slow, too

sloppy, too polite, too unlike that first

naked exposure, getting Granny’s Tartan

on a frigid day, sport calling: but then

maybe many years later another version

slaps your face, makes you

wonder why, all those years, you

hadn’t understood it at all.


He left the No-Lighters

hunched over their laptops

where they would squat for the next

three or four days, blinked in the

bright sun reflected off

City skyscrapers, bought

strong coffee and

chatted with the cute baristas,

any one of which he could have

were he heartless, but his heart was

well wrapped up, a dismembered

corpse consigned to a

suitcase in a station as


He walked riverwards, through

Smithfields, tidied now but still

reeking of butchered meat and

ancient executions, through places

dripping with great events, past

news-stalls draped with

head-lines about being

caught again between

Iraq and a hard place, and he

sought the river hoping its water would

wash him clean of being a

No-Lighter himself.



Today’s detritus slowly settles on

yesterday’s sediment to make

tomorrow’s mountains.


Why do we talk of the

elephant in the room

when there are no

violent stomps, no

stentorian trumpets, no

deep gouges made by

sharp tusks, no bibelots swept off by a

prehensile trunk, no

humming heaps of ordure, no

eye-stinging scent of piss, indeed only an

unnatural silence which to some is

strangely elephant-shaped.

Re-reading Homer

Heroes pre-date the Named Gods.

fought them tooth and nail, would

not be ordered, outranked,

bend neck or knee to power

terrestrial or celestial, so

wars where started in which

they would die, gloriously,

celebrated by the Kings and

Gods who killed them.

Milly Schmidt

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