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Monday, 27 April 2009

I Wish -- by Zephirine


Here's one I wrote earlier, for the GU Poster Poems on the topic of Money, which seems more and more relevant as the days go by:

I wish that money liked me more
I wish it hung around me
and wanted to be friends, and swore
that it was glad it found me
I’d like it to cling just a bit
even be quite annoying
I could be rather rude to it
for being quite so cloying
and still it would stay close
and vow that it would never hurt me
and even if I were morose
it never would desert me

Instead, it does just as it pleases
never cares for me at all
stays outside my reach and teases
leaves me looking sad and small
it treats me mean and keeps me keen
it quite ignores my pleas and tears
slips through my fingers, every bean
it’s done it now for years and years
I swear it likes to see my pain
it finds tormenting me a pleasure
and even as it runs away
it promises me future treasure

I wish I could desert the brute
go live in simple new-age camps
and find a life devoid of loot
bartering with my fellow tramps
but that would never work for me
Money has got me firmly hooked
and I pine unrequitedly
still hopeful, ever overlooked


Monday, 20 April 2009

JG Ballard: honouring a literary giant -- by Mimitig

I saw this headline tonight: Cult Author JG Ballard dies at 78.

The details are here:

Now, I have known for several years that Ballard was fighting cancer so perhaps it should not come as a shock to read that he has died and I’m thinking what is it that surprises me and makes me feel like writing something?

It is the headline.

“Cult author”. Surely the headline should have read: “Death of a Genius” or “Best-selling author JG Ballard dies”?

JG Ballard may have started his writing life in an unassuming way – short stories sent to Sci-fi mags – but long before his death he was acknowledged widely as a writer of fiction that could not be side-lined as Sci-fi or 'cult'.

Stephen Spielberg’s Oscar-winning adaption of Empire of the Sun made sure that JG was no longer a writer in the shadows. This was reinforced when David Cronenberg chose Ballard’s Crash as a suitable book to film. Much controversy raged about the film and it did nothing to harm the sales of Ballard’s book.

I was delighted to see Ballard in the public preserve – interviews with the print media and appearances on culture shows was nothing less than the man deserved.

Yet there was a part of me that resented these johnnie-come-latelies. Where were you, I thought, when his only readers were those who picked out the yellow and purple Victor Gollancz titles of his early years?

The first Ballard I read, and I came to it through BBC Radio Four’s Book at Bedtime, was The Drowned World. I listened late at night and went to the library – to the grown-up section – and borrowed my first non-children’s book. This was a rite-of-passage – child to adult through the medium of the book.

After reading that one book I was hooked on Ballard. I searched out all the Penguins (cover price 30p) with their dramatic cover art. I bought the Triad/Panther editions – larger format, cover price now £2.50 – different sort of cover art, different font for cover and text (set in Plantin and printed and bound by Hazell Watson and Viney – just up the road from where I lived).

I was so intrigued by Ballard’s writings that I would search out every bookshop, market stall or boot sale to gather his works on my shelves.

My uncorrected book proof, not for publication bound copy of The Day of Creation remains one of my most treasured literary possessions.

Now he has died and I feel another star that lit up the literary world has gone. When writers who can enthral readers and entice them into believing the world of the book die, we, the readers, are bereft.

I thank JG Ballard for sharing his world and his imagination with us. We will be the poorer without his words.


Thursday, 16 April 2009

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Sisley's "The Small Meadows in Spring" -- by Zephirine


In the long grass of the small meadows
the young girl wearing a light blue dress
and straw hat walks or stands by herself
looking down, holding a folded page

Has she brought a letter to read here
alone where no one will notice her
if she should blush or giggle or sigh
or maybe even cry a little?

How many times has she walked alone
to the small meadows, winter and spring?
How many letters has she brought here?
or just this one letter, many times?

Fat clouds bustle across a bright sky
that colours the full tranquil river
tall new-leafed willows glow in the sun
may bushes are coming into bloom

So much happening all around her
while the young girl in a light blue dress
and straw hat stands or walks by herself
in long grass, looking down, concentrates


Sunday, 12 April 2009

Saturday, 11 April 2009

Spring Haikus Illustrated


(photo by ezrakilty at


Friday, 3 April 2009


Springy haikus...

Time for another haiku challenge. You can post yours as a comment, or send it in with or without graphics.

It must contain the word SPRING.

Here are a couple to start off with (both a trifle gloomy, but I had a cold at the time):