Monthly Archives: October 2015

Pull and Repulse

We start off paddling in shallows,
uncertain of what is under our feet,
bemoaning the lack of depth.

Then the sand ends in sadness, a void,
head under water, cursing
never learning to swim.

Somehow saved, we sit on the beach
drawn to death, mesmerised by the
pull and repulse of the waves.

Slowly we learn, study, copy
back-stroke, breast-stroke, dog-paddle or
just using our hands to stay afloat.

People pair off, swim strongly away,
never return except as strange happy
yelps from over the horizon.

The laughter out there sometimes
bursts like fireworks, and sometimes it
fades faster than a tropical sun.

Some come back singly, shake their
wet hair, seek another swimmer
unbothered by the slow fat drops.

Others stalk up the beach to
hide in the trees, their run-off
making metaphors out of mud.

Emerging, chastened or just bored, the
lone one sees other singletons
silhouetted against a purpling sky.

Some have dry hair, some wet, all
wondering if its worth so much swimming,
pulled and repulsed by the waves.

Lotte Eisner–In Memoriam

You always felt like a chrysalis

in that airless Neuilly apartment, just

bursting to escape from

stricken old age back into the

glamour of Golden Age movies, the

gut-gripping fear of being a

Jewess in Occupied France, the

barely-believed freedom to write,

re-strike friendships with

those who survived, make

new friends amongst the young, like

Werner walking from Munich, like

me, gawping like a goldfish, being

vouchsafed so many confidences,

so much history.

Summoned Sunset

I had anticipated it all day, but the

clouds had their own agenda, as the

air pressure rose and fell and

folded into isobars, drilling them from

drifts into dull regiments

drawn up on the western horizon, so my

summoned sunset never came.

Mi Casa etc.

It’s that season when insects

prefer our house to theirs,

like the crane fly with his

disco-boy dance across the ceiling, the

moths drawn and repelled by

lights too hot to touch, too

sterile to mate with, and

especially the spiders seeking

refuge from web-wrecking winds

with their burden of babies,

exchanging one war-zone for

another full of sudden soles and

rolled-up newspapers.

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