Westminster Abbey

img_1183Westminster abbey.

Morning sun scalds

tourists, flaying the

air with their selfie sticks and

accents, tones, hues unknown–

road heats, trembling with purpose,

progress, rumble rumble…

Click goes the stick.

Coffee done, the day begins.

22nd September 2016



You reflect on my body,  

My body is my soul.

Waves repeat, blurred edges,

Where’s the start, the end?

Ripples shine, fog truth, blur.

What is becomes what may

have been. Reflections. This

is all a mirage, isn’t it?

I saw clarity, you know.

Saw strength where there

was only wavering.


Soggy foggy reflections.

Now I lie in water, still movement

with patience, stoic skill.


Now I reflect.

You have wounded me.

Those jagged edges softly distort

caressing my skin, lapping gently

against my flesh, my soul.

This was all harmless, right?

Idle moments, idly expressed.

Harmless. Soft. Blurred.

Who would have thought?

I reflect.

I see only reflections.

                             Sandie Zand, 20th September 2016

Cracks in my memory…

We drank and talked, as friends do, about stuff… stuff that cannot be altered or fixed, from long ago in fact – pre-dating said friendship by decades (and continents) – yet stuff that somehow curiously needed to surface right now, be discussed, be shared, be exorcised.

A strange thing: the talking over of stuff long past – school, upbringing, Larkin’s theory of parental error – and how this arises from a slight comment, a passing memory, taking over all conversation as each recalls significant moments, a growing crescendo of them… until two hours later the world has shrunk completely into those memories, their clarity, the sensory resurrection of emotional impact.

And we are little girls again.

For some curious reason, as I walked home – and I guess analysis will come in a dream, on waking, whatever – it put me in mind of this song by Amelia Curran, Tiny Glass Houses:

There’s a crack in my memory,

As if something has gone

And split the foundation

Of shadow, of song

And rattled the windows,

And the tiny regrets

And the tiny glasses houses

That I tried to forget

Ossa on Pelion…

Lullaby – by Jenny Joseph

Only when we are in each other’s arms

Babies or lovers or the very ill

Are we content not to reach over the side;

To lie still.

To stay in the time we’ve settled in, that we’ve


Like a gourd of its meat,

And not, like a sampling fly, as soon as landed

Start to our feet,

Pulling one box on another, Ossa on Pelion;

Getting the moment, only to strain away

And look each day for what each next day brings us:

Yet another day;

Pleased with the infant’s health and the strength of

      its frame

For the child it will grow to,

The house perfected, ready and swept, for the new

Abode we go to,

The town in order and settled down for the night

The sooner for the next day to be over,

The affair pushed straight away to its limit, to leave

      and notch up

Another lover.

Lie still, then, babies or lovers or the frail old who

In dreams we carry

Seeking a place of rest beyond the crowds

That claim and harry.

We are trying to reach that island for the festive


Where our love will stay –

Waylaid, prevented, we wake as that vivid country

Mists into day.

Stay on this side of the hill.

Sleep in my arms a bit longer.

This driving on will take you over the top

Beyond recall the sooner.


157743832 – Version 2
And this is love, high noon, calamity, hard liquor…


I wear the two, the mobile and the landline phones,

like guns, slung from the pockets on my hips. I’m all

alone. You ring, quickdraw, your voice a pellet

in my ear, and hear me groan.


You’ve wounded me.

Next time, you speak after the tone. I twirl the phone,

then squeeze the trigger of my tongue, wide of the mark.

You choose your spot, then blast me


through the heart.

And this is love, high noon, calamity, hard liquor

in the old Last Chance saloon. I show the mobile

to the Sheriff; in my boot, another one’s


concealed. You text them both at once. I reel.

Down on my knees, I fumble for the phone,

read the silver bullets of your kiss. Take this…

and this… and this… and this… and this…


~ Carol Ann Duffy, Quickdraw

Against Certainty…

fcb78296ed1737862906181500b5437bd57b63f0-1024x683Against Certainty (by Stanley Kunitz)

There is something out in the dark that wants to correct us. 
Each time I think “this,” it answers “that.” 
Answers hard, in the heart-grammar’s strictness. 

If I then say “that,” it too is taken away. 

Between certainty and the real, an ancient enmity. 
When the cat waits in the path-hedge, 
no cell of her body is not waiting. 
This is how she is able so completely to disappear. 

I would like to enter the silence portion as she does. 

To live amid the great vanishing as a cat must live, 
one shadow fully at ease inside another.


You were taller than i thought,

wearing a mustard jumper

which was odd – i’d

imagined this, why would

i choose that shade?

We sat in an over-themed pub

perched high on bar stools,

sharing the table with strangers

who pressed up close

and butted in.

You were animated,

your words expanding

blowsy like the decor, despite

my continuing to read

the newspaper.

Yet it was you who ultimately

detached, without goodbye,

and i glanced up from the

small ads to see an

empty space.

Sandie Zand – 11th November 2015