Tuesday, December 28, 2010



Death stands above me, whispering low
I know not what into my ear:

Of his strange language all I know
Is, there is not a word of fear.

~ Walter Savage Landor


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Glass Microbiology


HIV sculpture

Editions of this work are on display in The Wellcome Collection, London,  Bristol City Museum and the Corning Museum, New York. One edition was auctioned for the HIV/Aids Charity AVERT, raising money for victims in South Africa.

A letter from a stranger received Sept '09.......

Dear Luke,
I just saw a photo of your glass sculpture of HIV.
I can't stop looking at it. Knowing that millions of those guys are in me, and will be a part of me for the rest of my life. Your sculpture, even as a photo, has made HIV much more real for me than any photo or illustration I've ever seen. It's a very odd feeling seeing my enemy, and the eventual likely cause of my death, and finding it so beautiful.
read full article at:


Wednesday, November 24, 2010



Life is a great sunrise.

I do not see why death should not be
an even greater one.

–Vladimir Nabokov


Saturday, November 6, 2010

Friday, November 5, 2010




Live with the beetle, and the wind



When loneliness comes stalking, go into the fields, consider
the orderliness of the world.
Notice something you have never noticed before,

like the tambourine sound of the snow-cricket
whose pale green body is no longer than your thumb.

Stare hard at the hummingbird, in the summer rain,
shaking the water-sparks from its wings.

Let grief be your sister, she will whether or not.
Rise up from the stump of sorrow, and be green also,
like the diligent leaves.

A lifetime isn't long enough for the beauty of this world
and the responsibilities of your life.

Scatter your flowers over the graves, and walk away.
Be good-natured and untidy in your exuberance.

In the glare of your mind, be modest.
And beholden to what is tactile, and thrilling.

Live with the beetle, and the wind.

–Mary Oliver
(excerpt from The Leaf and the Cloud: A Poem)


Photographer’s Note

It must first be said that this shot was taken at the Sydney biennale, an art festival held yearly. One of the works of art was this one from the Artist Antony Gormley (antonygormley.com) It is called Asien fields and was made by 500 Assitants in the Xianxian village, Guangzhou in January 2003. 
It consists of 125tonnes of gritty black clay.It was one of the most astounding sights I have ever seen. The top floor was filled with these small hand made figures, all of which only spanned 20cm in height. I know it seems strange but I felt as if the figures saw some major fault in all of us that stood there... and they sympathized.
It was a great work and I wanted to share it with you.
Hope you enjoy:)




Wednesday, October 27, 2010

death as a form of creation



Saturday, October 23, 2010

Visiting the Graveyard

When I think of death
it is a bright enough city,
and every year more faces there
are familiar

but not a single one
notices me,
though I long for it,
and when they talk together,

which they do
very quietly,
it's in an unknowable language -
I can catch the tone

but understand not a single word -
and when I open my eyes
there's the mysterious field, the beautiful trees.
There are the stones.

- Mary Oliver
Red Bird 

via  whisky river


Saturday, September 25, 2010

Heron Rises


So heavy
is the long-necked, long-bodied heron,
always it is a surprise
when her smoke-colored wings

and she turns
from the thick water,
from the black sticks

of the summer pond,
and slowly
rises into the air
and is gone.

Then, not for the first or the last time,
I take the deep breath
of happiness, and I think
how unlikely it is

that death is a hole in the ground,
how improbable
that ascension is not possible,
though everything seems so inert, so nailed

back into itself--
the muskrat and his lumpy lodge,
the turtle,
the fallen gate.

And especially it is wonderful
that the summers are long
and the ponds so dark and so many,
and therefore it isn't a miracle

but the common thing,
this decision,
this trailing of the long legs in the water,
this opening up of the heavy body

into a new life: see how the sudden
gray-blue sheets of her wings
strive toward the wind; see how the clasp of nothing
takes her in.

–Mary Oliver



Monday, September 20, 2010

my love is building a building


my love is building a building
around you,a frail slippery
house,a strong fragile house
(beginning at the singular beginning

of your smile)a skilful uncouth
prison,a precise clumsy
prison(building thatandthis into Thus,
Around the reckless magic of your mouth)

my love is building a magic,a discrete
tower of magic and(as i guess)

when Farmer Death(whom fairies hate)shall

crumble the mouth-flower fleet
He’ll not my tower,
laborious, casual

where the surrounded smile


–E. E. Cummings


image: Peter O'Malley,


Thursday, September 2, 2010

Moonlight: Chickens On The Road

Called out of dream by the pitch and screech,   
I awoke to see my mother’s hair
set free of its pincurls, springing out
into the still and hurtling air
above the front seat and just as suddenly gone.   
The space around us twisted,
and in the instant before the crash
I heard the bubbling of the chickens,
the homely racket they make at all speeds,   
signifying calm, resignation, oblivion.

And I listened. All through the slash
and clatter, the rake of steel, shatter of glass,   
I listened, and what came
was a blizzard moan in the wind, a wail   
of wreckage, severed hoses and lives,
a storm of loose feathers, and in the final   
whirl approximating calm, the cluck   
and fracas of the birds. I crawled
on hands and knees where a window should   
have been and rose uneven

in November dusk. Wind blew
a snow of down, and rows of it quivered along   
the shoulder. One thin stream of blood
oozed, flocked in feathers.
This was in the Ozarks, on a road curving miles   
around Missouri, and as far as I could
see, no light flickered through the timber,   
no mail box leaned the flag
of itself toward pavement, no cars
seemed ever likely to come along.

So I walked, circled the darkening disaster   
my life had come to, and cried.
I cried for my family there,
knotted in the snarl of metal and glass;   
for the farmer, looking dead, half in
and half out of his windshield; and for myself,   
ambling barefoot through the jeweled debris,   
glass slitting little blood-stars in my soles,   
my arm hung loose at the elbow
and whispering its prophecies of pain.

Around and around the tilted car
and the steaming truck, around the heap
of exploded crates, the smears and small hunks   
of chicken and straw. Through
an hour of loneliness and fear
I walked, in the almost black of Ozark night,   
the moon just now burning into Missouri. Behind me,   
the chickens followed my lead,
some fully upright, pecking

the dim pavement for suet or seed,
some half-hobbled by their wounds, worthless wings   
fluttering in the effort. The faintest
light turned their feathers phosphorescent,
and as I watched they came on, as though they believed   
me some savior, some highwayman
or commando come to save them the last night   
of their clucking lives. This, they must have
believed, was the end they’d always heard of,
this the rendering more efficient than the axe,

the execution more anonymous than
a wringing arm. I walked on, no longer crying,
and soon the amiable and distracted chattering came   
again, a sound like chuckling, or the backward suck   
of hard laughter. And we walked   
to the cadence their clucking called,   
a small boy towing a cloud around a scene   
of death, coming round and round   
like a dream, or a mountain road,   
like a pincurl, like pulse, like life.

~ Robert Wrigley



Saturday, August 21, 2010

Hay for the Horses



He had driven half the night
From far down San Joaquin
Through Mariposa, up the
Dangerous Mountain roads,
And pulled in at eight a.m.
With his big truckload of hay
behind the barn.
With winch and ropes and hooks
We stacked the bales up clean
To splintery redwood rafters
High in the dark, flecks of alfalfa
Whirling through shingle-cracks of light,
Itch of haydust in the
sweaty shirt and shoes.
At lunchtime under Black oak
Out in the hot corral,
---The old mare nosing lunchpails,
Grasshoppers crackling in the weeds---
"I'm sixty-eight" he said,
"I first bucked hay when I was seventeen.
I thought, that day I started,
I sure would hate to do this all my life.
And dammit, that's just what
I've gone and done."

–Gary Snyder


Friday, August 13, 2010


Today you would be ninety-seven
if you had lived, and we would all be

miserable, you and your children,

driving from clinic to clinic,

an ancient fearful hypochondriac

and his fretful son and daughter,

asking directions, trying to read

the complicated, fading map of cures.

But with your dignity intact
you have been gone for twenty years,

and I am glad for all of us, although

I miss you every day—the heartbeat

under your necktie, the hand cupped

on the back of my neck, Old Spice

in the air, your voice delighted with stories.

On this day each year you loved to relate
that the moment of your birth

your mother glanced out the window

and saw lilacs in bloom. Well, today

lilacs are blooming in side yards

all over Iowa, still welcoming you.

~ Ted Kooser

image: helderweb.com


Friday, August 6, 2010

one more day


It is almost Spring again.

At the wood's edge the redbird
sings his happiest note: sweet,
sweet, sweet, sweet.

And you who have left this
world forever have been gone
one more day.

–Wendell Berry

Wendy Vaugn

Saturday, June 26, 2010



A dragon was pulling a bear into its terrible mouth.
A courageous man went and rescued the bear.
There are such helpers in the world, who rush to save
anyone who cries out. Like Mercy itself,
they run toward the screaming.

And they can't be bought off.
If you were to ask one of those, "Why did you come
so quickly?" he or she would say, "Because I heard
your helplessness."

Where lowland is,
that's where water goes. All medicine wants
is pain to cure.

And don't just ask for one mercy.
Let them flood in. Let the sky open under your feet.
Take the cotton out of your ears, the cotton
of consolations, so you can hear the sphere-music.

Push the hair out of your eyes.
Blow the phlegm from your nose,
and from your brain.

Let the wind breeze through.
Leave no residue in yourself from that bilious fever.
Take the cure for impotence,
that your manhood may shoot forth,
and a hundred new beings come of your coming.

Tear the binding from around the foot
of your soul, and let it race around the track
in front of the crowd. Loosen the knot of greed
so tight on your neck. Accept your new good luck.

Give your weakness
to one who helps.

Crying out loud and weeping are great resources.
A nursing mother, all she does
is wait to hear her child.

Just a little beginning-whimper,
and she's there.

God created the child, that is your wanting,
so that it might cry out, so that milk might come.

Cry out! Don't be stolid and silent
with your pain. Lament! And let the milk
of loving flow into you.

The hard rain and wind
are ways the cloud has
to take care of us.

Be patient.
Respond to every call
that excites your spirit.

Ignore those that make you fearful
and sad, that degrade you
back toward disease and death. 



Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Sabbaths 1998, VI


By expenditure of hope,
Intelligence, and work,
You think you have it fixed.
It is unfixed by rule.
Within the darkness, all
Is being changed, and you
Also will be changed.

Now I recall to mind
A costly year: Jane Kenyon,
Bill Lippert, Philip Sherrard,
All in the same spring dead,
So much companionship
Gone as the river goes.

And my good workhorse Nick
Dead, who called out to me
In his conclusive pain
To ask my help. I had
No help to give. And flood
Covered the cropland twice.
By summer's end there are
No more perfect leaves.

But won't you be ashamed
To count the passing year
At its mere cost, your debt
Inevitably paid?
For every year is costly,
As you know well. Nothing
Is given that is not
Taken, and nothing taken
That was not first a gift.

The gift is balanced by
Its total loss, and yet,
And yet the light breaks in,
Heaven seizing its moments
That are at once its own
And yours. The day ends
And is unending where
The summer tanager,
Warbler, and vireo
Sing as they move among
Illuminated leaves.

~ Wendell Berry

image tbradford, flickr.com


Tuesday, June 15, 2010



"think of it: not so long ago
    this was a village"
"yes; i know"

"of human beings who prayed and sang,
    or am i wrong?"
"no, you're not wrong"

"and worked like hell six days out of seven"
"to die as they lived: in the hope of heaven"

"didn't two roads meet here?"
    "they did;
and over yonder a schoolhouse stood"

"do i remember a girl with blue-
    sky eyes and sun-yellow hair?"
"do you?"

     "that's very odd,
for i've never forgotten one frecklefaced lad'

"what could have happened to her and him?"
"maybe they walked and called it a dream"

"in this dream were there green and gold
"through which a lazy brook strolled"

"wonder if clover still smells that way;
    up in the mow"
"full of newmown hay"

"and the shadows and sounds and silences"
"Yes, a barn could be a magical place"

"nothing's the same, is it?"
    "something still
remains, my friend, and always will"

    "if any woman knows,
one man in a million ought to guess"

"what of the dreams that never die?"
"turn to your left at the end of the sky"

"where are the girls whose breasts begin?"
"under the boys who fish with a pin"

–E. E. Cummings



Saturday, June 12, 2010



 Your absence has gone through me
Like thread through a needle.
Everything I do is stitched with its color.

–W. S. Merwin


Wednesday, June 9, 2010

What Came to Me


I took the last
dusty piece of china
out of the barrel.

It was your gravy boat,
with a hard, brown
drop of gravy still
on the porcelain lip.

I grieved for you then
as I never had before.

–Jane Kenyon