A gift of peace and appreciation, in noticing what is there – Colouring In by John Foggin


Colouring in       by John Foggin

This is what I have learned
in the streets of my town which is made of stone.

There are thirty seven steps. At the foot,
in a cold iron pot, are flowers,
soft and velvet as the inside of my cat’s ear.

They tell me: these are blue.
They say: the sky is blue, the last house of the street
is blue and so is Mary the mother of God of the miracles.

My cat’s soft velvet ear is blue. The sky is soft,
also the last house, and the Mother of God.

The church is built of brick, which is rough-edged
straight-lined, sharp-angled. And this is yellow.
Yellow is the shape of bricks.

Birds clap from the tower where the bell is hung.
They sound like wet cloths on a line in a gust.
Laundry looks like birds. A line of washing
chatters and fratches. Sparrow laundry.

Pale grey is a roughness on my fingertips.
Green whispers and smells of rain.

On days like this warm day
the sky is a cat’s ear
and is listening me.




photograph Rose Cook

On Angels by Czeslaw Milosz


On Angels   by Czeslaw Milosz

All was taken away from you: white dresses,
wings, even existence.
Yet I believe in you,

There, where the world is turned inside out,
a heavy fabric embroidered with stars and beasts,
you stroll, inspecting the trustworthy seams.

Short is your stay here:
now and then at a matinal hour, if the sky is clear,
in a melody repeated by a bird,
or in the smell of apples at close of day
when the light makes the orchards magic.

They say somebody has invented you
but to me this does not sound convincing
for the humans invented themselves as well.

The voice — no doubt it is a valid proof,
as it can belong only to radiant creatures,
weightless and winged (after all, why not?),
girdled with the lightening.

I have heard that voice many a time when asleep
and, what is strange, I understood more or less
an order or an appeal in an unearthly tongue:

day draw near
another one
do what you can.




photo Rose Cook