img.latex_eq { padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; }

Monday, 22 September 2008

rainbow -- poem

When everything we see is bland and white
with platitudinous false prophecy
then look for method, study even light,
and by a prism
unweave the rainbow,

and do not fear to write in red on lime,
but if the colour scatters carelessly
then look for method, metre, even rhyme,
and by a prison
unlock a poem.

I should leave this for a day or two to see if I want to change it, but I can't resist showing it off. I've been trying to write the above as a blog post for ages, but there were too many interlinked ideas to be able to fit them all into a linear prose structure. Additionally, I've been thinking for ages that I should write a poem about atheism, but I kept finding that I didn't have any really good ideas. I suppose I ought to thank Maria for this post at Chromium Oxide Green, which made me realise that not having any good ideas for a poem about reality is kind of silly.

Wednesday, 17 September 2008


1. I've arrived in California and am too busy to post at the moment. Sorry.

2. If you want to read other people's posts, the latest Humanist Symposium is up at Freethought Fort Wayne.

Sunday, 7 September 2008

The Sea-Child

I'm too distracted for a proper post, sorry. Here's a poem -- not one of mine!

Into the world you sent her, mother,
Fashioned her body of coral and foam,
Combed a wave in her hair's warm smother,
And drove her away from home

In the dark of the night she crept to the town
And under a doorway she laid her down,
The little blue child in the foam-fringed gown.

And never a sister and never a brother
To hear her call, to answer her cry.
Her face shone out from her hair's warm smother
Like a moonkin up in the sky.

She sold her corals; she sold her foam;
Her rainbow heart like a singing shell
Broke in her body: she crept back home.

Peace, go back to the world, my daughter,
Daughter, go back to the darkling land;
There is nothing here but sad sea water,
And a handful of sifting sand.

We sang a rather lovely arrangement of that when I was in high school. It's by Katherine Mansfield, better known for her short stories. She was, and I will be, in a week, an expat Kiwi.

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Plain Language

I fear that the embrace we shared back then
has lost its meaning in your mind today.
It's waiting for some other moment when
we're once again together. When I play
with memories in verse, do I disturb
the balance of our delicate regard?
Relationships are precious, and to curb
my muse is only wise. It's not so hard.
But, ah, the things you've given me! They sing,
seductive as the call of distant lands.
My fingers, clumsy with such substance, bring
no talent, but I shuffle with the strands
of silken colour, soft and light as air,
and beg forgiveness for my lingering care.