New Hope


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I enjoy Frank Wilson’s blog, Books, Inq., not least for the daily quote from someone whose birthday it is. I have made a poem out of today’s quote. I miscounted. I thought the quote had fourteen words, and I didn’t realise my mistake till I’d written the octet. But, as Mick Jagger says, “there ought to be more mistakes”.

New Hope

Unless you are a genius, it is best to aim at being intelligible.
– Anthony Hope

Unless I’m very much mistaken,
you tend to quit whenever things
are getting tough. But chaos brings
a chance for every god-forsaken
genius to find a killer move;
it offers space to rescue what
is most divine, to see what’s not
best suited for the present groove,
to blossom, and to grow. This time
aim high! Don’t worry if you fail
at what you’ve aimed for. Simply through
being aware, you’ll make your tale
intelligible. Here’s to you.
And to new Hope that leads to rhyme.

Robert Burns celebration in Denmark


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I’ve never been a huge fan of the way Robert Burns’ birthday is traditionally celebrated. So here’s an alternative tribute:

The Quirks of Sæby

i)  Langebroen (Long Bridge)

It’s long by name
but not by nature;
sixty metres is all.

The point is though
the river below
is only very small.

ii)  Gedebjerget (Goat Mountain)

Legend has it that Gedebjerget is named after the Viking chieftain, Gjede, a pirate who used the “mountain” as a lookout post for likely ships to attack.

Where I come from
eighty-five metres
does not a mountain make.

I doubt that sheep
would find it too steep.
There must be some mistake.

iii)  Syvsten (Seven Stones)

No one knows why
these stones were set here,
thirty-five miles from Skagen.

The story’s lost,
but not what it cost.
The seven stones remain.

After the Flood, cont.


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At the end of last year I posted a piece called “After the Flood” that was inspired by one of the seven mosaics Carl-Henning Pedersen constructed in Ribe Cathedral. I’ve reworked it since, and it has now appeared in the 200th issue of Snakeskin.

Here’s the front page of the issue. Don’t miss George Simmers’ editorial.


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