February 8, 2020

The obstacle has scooped

out its soul

the coast is clear

the horizon grey flat


the in-between

devoid of life

the chatty 

clatter of empty shells

vacant mussels

on another Normandy

singing pathetic

singing the departed

voices that sound

the same note

against nature

Now is the time

the field is clear

or rather

filled with ghosts


feeling the air

or trying

with senseless


clustered together

fiercely finally


totally deaf


February 6, 2020

“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.” George Orwell

Truth, I cannot forget you. You were so real, so solid and dependable. Also, you were beautiful. So uncompromising as we wrapped and draped our experience around you, moving while you were still.

You defined us. You gave us a center to return to. Even when we turned on our heels and extended our division to the very limits of bin...

January 27, 2020

After the rush 

of death

there is a long silver silence

to place on the tip of your tongue

and swallow

until you become

the impenetrable

silk sheen surface

of a long still lake

and live there

where you are

at this beginning

in the middle

and at the end

January 27, 2020

will you go now

will you choose


as your time

to leave


and all of this


You are our 

one and only,

dad — 

you know — 

you were the king

the ruler

that informed

and confounded

all our feminist leanings

into and away

We know what the headlights

look like

the arc of them

across the tan curtains

sundowner hour

The hand maidens


the tinkle of ice

in cut glass

the brown slippers

at the lazy boy

He lives, he is here

he is in our midst


January 27, 2020

Shall I make you kind

Shall I wave my wand

Shall I remind you

Shall I remind you

Because you forget

And I see it

And before you turn

And lift your hand

Before I run

Or stay 

And fight

Shall I remind you


How shall I remind you

Nothing works

Except magic

My secret

I won’t tell you

You cannot know

It only works

When it is mistaken

For nothing

And this nothing

This nothing


Changes everything

It is like a spell

And I feel

the Ancients

The thru...

January 27, 2020

Some days I wish
Something would happen


But it won’t

Not as long
As I sit here


Like it is going to arrive
And galvanize me
Into action
Light a fire
beneath this most ponderous
behind and

Force me to move

Sometimes I think
Sitting still
Makes me

And some days
I like that

I still wish
Something would happen


January 27, 2020

There is no war

that I am waging

no opponent

nothing advancing

no drums 

no trumpeter

I am alone here


across the dark

towards the moon

around it

and away

I am suspended

afloat flying

spinning planets

drift between

the tendril

ends of me

I am alone here


to the sigh

of my own 


play me

spherical and


I am alone

and I am everywhere

there is no war

that I am waging

January 27, 2020

I am 62. I've been married since I was 20, same man, same marriage, same me. I got married five years after Michel and I fell in love, despite my parents' outspoken objections and their desire for me to travel, study, grow up and get a career. In South Africa you could not get married under 21 without your parents' consent. We needed that.

My boyfriend then, husband now, was 20 years old when he asked my dad for my hand in...

December 5, 2019

Even this

tap tap tap

is too much

the decision too great

the implications

the participation

If I stand here

and don’t move

am I present at all?

As I stop

will everything


will the raucous circus slink back 

through the veil

will we be alone again 

quiet enough to think

to speak

to not die

Can we float

or perhaps fly

not through the air

but as air?

Can we escape

this seething


The battlefields of certainty

stomp their hobnailed boots


November 26, 2019

Yes, let it not

be said

that I have 



that I have


Let it not be said.

Let it not be said

that I left it

left it there

to die

that I did not

touch it with my toe

dislodge it

watch it fall

Let it not be said

that I overdid it

didn’t do enough

let it go 

without even 


let it not be said

let it not be said

that we will not

do anything 

in response

to this

because we failed to 


Let it not be said

that there was not...

November 13, 2019

We are waiting.
For death.

Comfortable, draped, drooping.
Dancing invisible.
A static swirl
Of silent questions.

Why will death
Not come?
Why hover
A resentful cloud
Refusing to rain?

How long will it take?

Are we not there yet?

Mr Degas!
Where are you going?
Home. I am going home.
This is your home, Mr Degas.

How dare you?
How dare you
Call this my home.

The lady opposite
Gathers spilt pepper
On a torn-out page.
A medit...

October 31, 2019

It is dreary to write about self-loathing but it is what presently consumes me. If I write about anything else, I am once removed, to put it kindly, and lying, to tell you the truth.

Saying or bringing up the subject of self-loathing is a bit like soiling yourself in public. There is so much shame. As I write I am thinking, 'please, can we not?'. 

I am convinced there must be a less unattractive spin. There must be a way for...

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You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet."
Franz Kafka


If we had a keen vision and feeling of all ordinary human life, it would be like hearing the grass grow and the squirrel's heart beat, and we should die of that roar which lies on the other side of silence. 

George Eliot

February 8, 2020

February 6, 2020

January 27, 2020

January 27, 2020

January 27, 2020

December 5, 2019

November 26, 2019

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I live in hazard and infinity. The cosmos stretches around me, meadow on meadow of galaxies, reach on reach of dark space, steppes of stars, oceanic darkness and light. There is no amenable god in it, no particular concern or particular mercy. Yet everywhere I see a living balance, a rippling of tension, an enormous yet mysterious simplicity, an endless breathing of light. And I comprehend that being is understanding that I must exist in hazard but that the whole is not in hazard. Seeing and knowing this is being conscious; accepting it is being human.

John Fowles, Aristos


“To love. To be loved. To never forget your own insignificance. To never get used to the unspeakable violence and the vulgar disparity of life around you. To seek joy in the saddest places. To pursue beauty to its lair. To never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple. To respect strength, never power. Above all, to watch. To try and understand. To never look away. And never, never to forget.”

Arundhati Roy

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Copyright © 2019 · here for wonder by Gail Walter -- All Rights Reserved