We were riding through frozen fields in a wagon at dawn.

A red wing rose in the darkness.

And suddenly a hare ran across the road.

One of us pointed to it with his hand.

That was long ago. Today neither of them is alive,

Not the hare, nor the man who made the gesture.

O my love, where are they, where are they going

The flash of a hand, streak of movement, rustle of pebbles.

I ask not out of sorrow, but in wonder.

– Czeslaw Milosz

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _


And did you get what

you wanted from this life, even so?

I did.

And what did you want?

To call myself beloved, to feel myself

beloved on the earth.

– Raymond Carver


Voluntary simplicity involves both inner and other conditions. It means singleness of purpose, sincerity and honesty within, as well as avoidance of exterior clutter, of many possessions irrelevant to the chief purpose of life. It means an ordering and guiding of our energy and our desires, a partial restraint in some directions in order to secure greater abundance of life in other directions. It involves a deliberate organization of life for a purpose.

Author Unknown



I loved to shuffle

in your slippers red plaid

broken down at the heels

for when your car turned

into the driveway

I’d balance backwards

down six steps, and leave them

pointed, ready, warmed for you.

The night you fell

beside the hospital bed

unnoticed to the floor

I did not feel your falling

I only heard the phone

later in the dead of night

I stood, a stone

your kitchen cenotaph

Father, you are remembered.

The first Spring you missed

in eighty years

the rain drenched me.

The sidewalks puddled in cherry blossoms

haloes round street lamps

what celebration this pink confetti



Every bus stop

every old man standing

stung my eyes.

You loved the Spring always

walking the gardens

among budding trees.


November’s leaden cold

marble monuments built to glory.

We pile our dead

history weighing the ground.

Story by story stone upon stone

we stand in silence, bowing our heads.

This now is this day

and today I sit, with memories

loose thoughts walking through my brain.

I sit, and leaves brush against windows

in their falling.

I feel the pulse of life in this house

moving in hushed reminders around me.

Today is the day old men and women weep

and remember.

This is designated sorrow time and I long

to see my father’s bony feet, and offer

for the first time, to hold them in my hands

and rub them into warmth for all they’re worth.


But we can never have the same

and try it differently, but never mind.

We’re all forgiven. We’re all forgiven.

Tonight I bring these words to you

my offerings paper monuments

before which I stand.

I say I say Stand up.

These are my monuments

I say stand up. Stand up.

What are yours?

– Diane Toulmin



Red was your colour.

If not red, then white. But red

Was what you wrapped around you.

Blood-red. Was it blood?

Was it red-ochre, for warming the dead?

Haematite to make immortal

The precious heirloom bones, the family bones.

When you had your way finally

Our room was red. A judgement chamber.

Shut casket for gems. The carpet of blood

Patterned with darkenings, congealments.

The curtains – ruby corduroy blood.

Sheer blood-falls from ceiling to floor.

The cushions the same. The same

Raw carmine along the window-seat.

A throbbing cell. Aztec altar – temple.

Only the bookshelves escaped into whiteness.

And outside the window

Poppies thin and wrinkle-frail

As the skin on blood,

Salvias, that your father named you after,

Like blood lobbing from a gash,

And roses, the heart’s last gouts,

Catastrophic, arterial, doomed.

Your velvet long full skirt, a swathe of blood,

A lavish burgundy.

Your lips a dipped, deep crimson.

You revelled in red.

I felt it raw – like the crisp gauze edges

Of a stiffening wound. I could touch

The open vein in it, the crusted gleam.

Everything you painted you painted white

Then splashed it with roses, defeated it,

Leaned over it, dripping roses,

Weeping roses, and more roses,

Then sometimes, among them, a little bluebird.

Blue was better for you. Blue was wings.

Kingfisher blue silks from San Francisco

Folded your pregnancy

In crucible caresses.

Blue was your kindly spirit – not a ghoul

But electrified, a guardian, thoughtful.

In the pit of red

You hid from the bone-clinic whiteness.

But the jewel you lost was blue.

– Ted Hughes



There is an internal landscape, a geography

of the soul; we search for its outlines all

our lives.

Those who are lucky enough to find it

ease like water over a stone, onto its fluid

contours, and are home.

Some find it in a place of their birth;

others may leave a seaside town, parched,

and find themselves refreshed in the

desert. There are those born in rolling

countryside who are really only at ease in

the intense and busy loneliness of the city.

For some, the search is for the imprint of

another; a child or a mother, a grandfather

or a brother, a lover, a husband, a wife,

or a foe.

We may go through our lives happy or

unhappy, successful or unfulfilled, loved

or unloved, without ever standing cold

with the shock of recognition, without

ever feeling the agony as the twisted iron

in our soul unlocks itself and we slip at

last into place.

– Josephine Hart


Which is worth more, a crowd of thousands,

or your own genuine solitude?

Freedom, or power over an entire nation?

A little while alone in your room

will prove more valuable than anything else

that could ever be given you.

– Rumi


Keep walking, though there’s no place to get to.

Don’t try to see through the distances.

That’s not for human beings. Move within,

but don’t move the way fear makes you move.

– Rumi


A thousand half-loves

must be forsaken to take

one whole heart home.

– Rumi



Everyone can see how they have polished the mirror

of the self, which is done with the longings

we’re given.

Not everyone wants to be king!

There are different roles and many choices

within each.

Troubles come. One person packs up

and leaves. Another stays and deepens in a love

for being human.

In battle, one runs fearing

for his life. Another, just as scared, turns

and fights more fiercely.

– Rumi


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