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Under The Bed

It is possible

To lie beneath

The bed

Of your beloved

Amid the mites

And dust and dark

Straining to watch

The stillness

Of the bedsprings

Chewing thoughtfully

On biltong*

Dried and Salted

Drenched in coriander

As settlers did in wagon

Circles curved

Against the

African night

It is possible to wait


For sounds

Beyond cicadas

Of bare feet

On bare wood

For this face you love

With such a

Desperate first love

To appear as planned

And yet suddenly

Looking, seeing

This so dusty

So pretty you


In mom’s negligee

White froth against the brown

Of younger thighs

And then

At last to hear

The scuffle

The muffled approach

The bedsprings drop

Towards your nose

Deposit dust

You wait, you wait

Movement, swaying

Sudden stillness

And waiting

Passes waiting

Into impenetrable


No-one awake

In this house

But me

It is entirely possible

To lie unseen

And quite forgotten

Beneath the bed

Of your beloved

On this first tryst

This secret night


While his family

And he himself

Lies gently sleeping

And it is possible

To remember this

Much later

Switching off lights

Turning on the dark

Stumbling careful

Towards the bed

And you

No secrets now

So many bare

And naked truths

So many years


No longer underneath

but side by side


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



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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