27 Nov 2010


Along the stretch of a deserted coastline, we happened to glimpse a cafe by the water, suspended in a perfect evening, cool and blue, its wicker tables flickering with candles. 'Let's go have a glass of wine,' my father said. But we were tired-my parents had just flown from Russia, I from America. It was only our first evening here, my mother and I said. Let's no rush things; we'll come back. 'We'll never come back,' my father replied. 'Things that aren't done right away are never done.' We laughed, but he was right: we stayed there for two weeks, and every evening something happened to prevent us from returning.

Olga Grushin in "Granta 104".


A blade of grass.

You ask for a poem.
I offer you a blade of grass.
You say it is not good enough.
You ask for a poem.

I say this blade of grass will do.
It has dressed itself in frost,
It is more immediate
Than any image of my making.

You say it is not a poem,
It is a blade of grass and grass
Is not quite good enough.
I offer you a blade of grass.

You are indignant.
You say it is too easy to offer grass.
It is absurd.
Anyone can offer a blade of grass.

You ask for a poem.
And so I write you a tragedy about
How a blade of grass
Becomes more and more difficult to offer,

And about how as you grow older
A blade of grass
Becomes more difficult to accept.

Brian Patten.

20 Nov 2010

The Remains of the Day.


A Christmas Poem.

At Christmas little children sing and merry bells
The cold winter air makes our hands and faces
And happy families go to the church and cheerily they
And the whole business is unbelievably dreadful, if
you're single.

Wendy Cope.