Monthly Archives: September 2010

The Poets have been strangely silent about cheese!

‘The Poets have been Mysteriously Silent about Cheese’ GK Chesterton

well, as its Brisish Cheese Week (really!) here’s a little response to GKC:

Poets have been silent about cheese

Because whilst every  subject is the message.

Cheese is the very medium of their work.

We drink in language with our mothers milk

But poets curdle words until they bite,

With substance and a flavour of their own:

So Donne is sharp and Geoffrey Hill is sour

Larkin ascerbic, Tennyson has power

(But only late at night, taken with port)

I like them all and sample every sort

from Creamy keats with his mossed cottage trees

tasting the words themselves like cottage cheese

To Eliot, difficult, in cold collations

Crumbling and stuffed with other folk’s quotations..


Filed under literature, Poems, Uncategorized

Shimerings of pearl; a poem finds its painting

A while ago I wrote a poem about a beautiful empty shell. It was a meditation on memory, on fullness and emptiness, but I was also trying to catch the light in the shell itself, or catch a gleam of it in the mirror of my words. Then just the other day I came upon this brilliant painting by Anna Todd, she catches just thel ‘opalescent shimmering of pearl’ I was trying to descrbe.  She has given me permission to post her painting here alongside my poem. check out her amazing site through the link on her name.

shell with marbles Anna Todd


I am alone, my fingers touch this shell
Of memory. I trace a graceful swirl
Of green and blue, like ripples on the swell,
Catching the light before they lapse and spill
And spend themselves on sand in soft caresses.
And I remember slowly savoured kisses,
Like moving in slow motion through deep water
That clarifies and washes us with light,
A light that burnishes this empty shell
With opalescent shimmerings of pearl.


Filed under imagination, literature, Poems

De Magistra

Here’s a little reverie on Love, Latin, and Learning

De Magistra

You were indeed my teacher, more than that,
Sole Magistra amidst the magisters,
I conjured you that I might conjugate.
Summon me now, and the whole register
Of love and loving answers to your call.
I lift my lines like water from a well,
Spilling in sound, amo, amas, amat,
A puer’s poor libation, at your feet.

My thankless muse, I meditate you now,
Your quick dark eyes still piercing my defence,
Your untouched hand touching the golden bough.
My mistress in the school of eloquence,
Strict arbitress of sentences and fines,

I asked for life, you gave me fourteen lines.


Filed under imagination, literature, Poems

A Renewal of Marriage Vows

A Renewal of Vows

So, open up the treasure-casket, love,

the treasure is still there, the hidden things

that love contains; old words, like wedding rings,

surroud their mysteries. They live and move

as breath renews them, burnished as the gold

around our fingers, glowing as we make

the vows that make us new again: I take,

protect, and comfort, cherish, have and hold,

the same old words, that cannot stay the same

for they have grown, as we have, more than old,

they change and deepen like all things that live,

they compass more and still have more to give:

All that I have is yours, all that I am

I give again, with all I will become.


Filed under christianity, literature, Poems