The word is silent.
It has been a bad year:
new house, expensive problems,
workmen cause as many as they solve.

Snow sits thick outside.
It is tough for the birds:
birdfood, fatballs, hard with ice,
magpies wait to eat the ones that die.

I can hardly write.
It has been a bad year:
days numb into weeks and months,
prayers that I cannot pray, unanswered.

In Eastern Ghouta:
Jobar, Zamalka,
it has been a bad year.
Hamouria, Saqba,
it has been a bad year.
Kafr Batna, Douma,
it has been a bad year.

The birds and I weep,
it has been a bad year.
In the Eastern Ghouta,
of Damascus, where Paul regained his sight,
people die in hundreds every week,
war, starvation, disease and choking grief.

No words, the birds and I.
The word is silent.

It’s a Bleeding Blessing!!

I have always liked etymology.
(Etymology: Latin etymon
from ancient Greek, etumon, meaning truth
plus Greek –legein, a suffix meaning speak)
and yet its meaning is not speaking true,
but the study of the history of words.

The history of words is not always
as simple as the etymology
of the word etymology itself.
With time words and their meanings change and shift.
Words may remain while only meanings change;
words may remain while meanings grow and drift.

Blesséd are they that are poor in spirit,
for theirs shall be the kingdom of heaven.

Poor means today what it has always done
but blesséd, blest,
ah, there’s a word to run.

Often it has been said to mean happy
which seems to fit, a comfortable word,
(though comfort means to strengthen and give power;
In French comme forte is furnishing with strength)
but blest is more than simply being happy;
in French again blessure is to wound,
imblessure is a wound that bleeds.
Blé, meaning wheat in French is closely linked,
and came from bládh a growing blade of grass,
from which word blade we get the knife and sword.
Bless also meant to blow as in the line,
I know a bank whereon the wild thyme blows
from which we get blossom and bloom and bleed,
growing, swelling, welling words that promise more.
Farther back, the gallo-roman bladhais
was the growing harvest.

So deep within the happiness of blessing,
we have upwelling, and a blossoming,
the overflowing, fruition
of love.


Having been unable to write anything fresh for a couple of months (the effects of last year’s house move are still ongoing) I have delved back into past writings.

Some years ago I wrote a series of short stories with the collective name A Sideways Look Back. They were based on events in the New Testament gospels, set in the words of people present at the time but who either did not understand or perhaps did not accept what they saw.  I wrote them to make myself think outside the box. L’Chaim! was not the first written, but it was the first chronologically in those unfolding events.


I watched her as she gently cajoled the little girl in a singsong voice..

Stand still child! How can I pin up your dress when you droop all the time? Just like your mother – she could never stand still for three breaths together, not as a child, nor a maid, nor a bride. I dressed her for many weddings including her own and I will dress you for yours if I’m spared, though how such a wriggly fish will stay still long enough to get married, I don’t know. Continue reading

A Wave of the Hand

I have not posted on the blog for a while, mainly because of living frequently without heating in what looks, and is, increasingly like a building site. However I have been steadily updating the Dame Julian pages (see the tab above) and I am nearing the end of her comment chapters which are vital to a full understanding of her final two ‘showings’ to which I am drawing near.

Soon I hope to be blogging again, meanwhile you may find the ‘work in progress’ of Julian’s revelations worth a visit.

Kind regards to you all.

Linear & Local Systems

Two weeks ago I posted a poem Uncertain Determinism. Determinism is the universe according to Isaac Newton, where strict determinist rule governs every action, interaction and reaction. This fixes the future of the universe irrevocably in an inescapable sequence of ‘This causes that, so what happens next is inevitable’, a so-called linear future in which the falling apple meets the ground every time.

Fortunately physicists such as Albert Einstein, Werner Heisenberg, Max Planck and many others have given us the escape route of uncertainty. The world behaves as though it is a series of linear interactions like a game of snooker, but at its heart it is like the fall of the cards in poker. The problem is, how does the random behaviour at the world’s heart create a world in which dependable things can happen? How can the apple fall and hit the ground and still allow chance and freewill?

The ball roll on the table
follows rules of moon and sun
which rise today, tomorrow,
as they have always done,
as past connects to future,
and to present, and are one.

This is called a linear system,
like the turning of a planet,
like a bullet, or a prism,
the passage of a photon,
the turning cosmic rhythm.

Yet this certain path is found
in local interaction
in spun, uncertain motion:
of each particle and atom
in the chalky cue’s rebound.
Local gravity, vibration,
make the universal sound
of uncertain random chaos,
smoke, not mirrors, all around.

With so many random roads
how does it take the chosen one?
why doesn’t it explode
as a blazing, shining sun?

The answer is the tiny
uncertain chance and sway
of every sub-atomic spin and swirl.
The congregated sum
of a trillion minute sums
has a bias that produces
a solid rolling ball,
and here it comes!


Creative Collapse

There is trust and there is hope
in the pushing of a cue,
but its moment and position
and even its direction,
are certainly uncertain;
will it miss or is it true?

So mass will gain momentum
in the rolling snooker ball
from the players practiced prodding,
which will send it like a rocket
into the corner pocket
if uncertain quantum chances
are outweighed as it advances
by a strong determination
and combined co-operation
of the sine-curves in the haze
of its line across the baize,
like the odds that have been spinning,
in a gambler’s mind so able
where at the the corner table,
while the rolling snooker ball
is heading for its fall,
he is smugly, quietly grinning
at a hand that’s stacked for winning.

But the spinning, whirling chances
of the eddies in the stream
are subject to the entropy
that eats the gambler’s dream.
And the ball may well be found
in the pocket, but the sound
of the other players cheers
and the clink of many beers
may not echo here at all
in the disappointing fall
of the other players cards,
and his chance to win the pot
may be well and truly shot.

Uncertain Determinism

A quark within a particle
of the nucleus of an atom
in a molecule of substance
of a rolling snooker ball
is neither here nor there
and not directional.

So are they all.

They dance in random orbits
where the chance that each is where
their fellows in the prodding
of the chalky, pushy cue
are in line with its pointing
is no more than a smattering
twixt the lucky streak continuing
at the table in the corner
and the quite unlikely sound
of another player saying,
‘I’m buying the next round.’