Comment: It all happened a long time ago now, but one never forgets. The desire to reach out and help and comfort any and all sufferers is still with me. This is the link for my book, A Cancer Chronicle.
“I work in a match factory.” “Do you put the heads on?” “No. I put the gloves on. They’re boxing matches.”
A golden oldie, still vibrant, from the Goon Show, BBC, 1950’s.
Your gloves are off now and they lie on the table where you work. How long have you had them? Fifteen, twenty years? Like good wine, carefully stored, old friends are better with age.
A second chestnut from the Goon Show: “Have you put the cat out?” “No, dear. It wasn’t on fire.”
And that’s another good reason why the water tower, and its full renovation, is so very, very important.
Bible and Water Tower, hand in glove: “And Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like any of these.”
Comment: A gorgeous photo, colors and textures, light and dark, from my friend, Geoff Slater, the line painter and muralist. He is working on restoring the mural on the water tower in St. Andrews-by-the-Sea, New Brunswick, Canada.
Mitla is a sacred burial place in the Oaxaca Valley. The caves in the hills above the town are said to lead directly to an underworld from which demons and devils emerge at night and by means of which humans can communicate with the souls of the dead. Mitla, in fact, is often called the city of the dead. Legend has it that if you embrace a certain magic column in the Palace at Mitla, the time left for you to live can be measured by the distance between your fingers as they reach round the pillar and almost touch. The pillar, they say, grows and shrinks according to the length of the seeker’s life. Petrus, a rock, in Latin, evolves into piedra, a rock or stone in Spanish: upon this rock will I build my church.
1 We walk on tiptoe round the garden peeling free the sunlight cloud by cloud
sometimes the heart is a sacrifice of feathers bound with blood to an ornate altar
petrus this rock cold against my chest piedra centuries of glyphs alive in your face
if our arms meet round these all too human columns what will become of us?
2 beneath your skin the woad lies as blue as this evening sky yellow light bends low in the fields below us each darkened pool a warrior fallen beneath the scythe
the moon paints a delicate circle its great round open eye stands out above the rooftops tonight it bears an eye lid carved from cloud
our teeth are diadems of whiteness we tie shadows to our heels and dance in triumph through street and square
3 daylight bends itself round rock and turns into shadow we flourish in blocks of fire
dreaming new selves from roots and branches we clasp each resurrection with greedy fingers will the moon rise again tonight and will we watch?
dark angel bodies with butterfly wings our shadows have eloped together
we can see them sitting side by side bumping knees at a table in the zócalo
4 church bells gild the barrio‘s rooftops our fingers reach to the skies and hold back light we draw shadow blinds to shut out the day night fills us with stars and silhouettes
we dream ourselves together in a silent movie closed flesh woven from cobwebs lies open to a tongue-slash of madness
the neighbor’s dog wakes up on the azotea he barks bright colors as dawn declares day and windows and balconies welcome the sun
can anyone see the dew-fresh flowers growing from our tangled limbs?
your fingers sew a padlock on my lips “Listen to the crackle of the rising sun!”
So soft, so subtle, this moment, when land and sea reach out and touch each other, sea hand offered for the land to raise up and kiss.
The Equinox draws near. This is the moment when sun and moon, day and night are equal. It is the moment when the world seems to stop, then moves again in another direction, from winter’s darkness into daylight and the spring’s delight.
And still I live in hopes to see the land of my birth once more, the land of my fathers where my father and mother met, the land where I first saw daylight, felt the land reach out to the sea, felt the joy of the sun-licked sea kiss, saw daffodils dance on the shore, and swans swimming on the sea.
“And still I live in hopes to see… Swansea Town once more.”
Sometimes we twist ourselves into knots. We double-think our thoughts, put our feet in the wrong hole in our jeans, slide our socks on backwards, put our shirts on inside -out.
Poor twisted mortals, we have made up our minds that all is well, that everything is for the best in the best of all worlds, but we are not candid with each other and sometimes we are so twisted we cannot see the truth even when it is staring at us from the mirror.
Alas, my front tooth is chipped. My hairline is receding. My whiskers are turning as grey as my thinning hair that has already lost its curl and now falls straight forward in the Julius Caesar cut that belies the closeness of the Ides of March.