Friends Beyond the Grave

  
I visited Keats’ and Shelley’s graves today in Rome’s Protestant Cemetery. It’s a beautiful site, plush with flowers, trees and amazing gravestones inscribed with heart wrenching final sentiments from those left behind. I bought this book of poems from the minuscule bookshop on site. It’s written in Italian and the ‘original English’ and includes poems from both poets, a fitting publication for friends whose bond extends beyond the grave. Rome is a mess of sound. I’ll wait to read it in the peace and quiet of London. 

A new poem

Ruminations

The north wind blows through February trees

starlings take flight in the faded London sky

black shadows ebb and flow

murmurations mirroring my thoughts

Stop worrying it’ll drive you crazy

he likes to tell the future

it makes him feel divine

his words dig deep—roots that take hold

How will I know when it happens         

he doesn’t hear me above the wind

it whips against my cheeks

When it happens how will I know

he shakes his head

Panic! I want to grab his throat with clawed hands

a crooked branch twists round my legs

he catches me with a ruthless grip

jaundiced leaves lie unsettled

like a thousand broken hearts scattered at my feet

Does the silver birch mourn

I need to know

the answer hangs between us

he snaps the offending branch in two

I’m free

a fleeting thought

he pulls up my collar stiff against the wind

I can do it myself

rough wool scratches my neck

a banshee’s wail races the wind

invisible fingers that tangle my hair

How long is forever

starlings swarm in the winter sky

inkblot algorithms that endlessly transform

the swirling ciphers hold encrypted answers

Is it happening now

I chew the words over and over again like cud

Everything is happening now

his voice

a gentle push towards an idling van

(M. Bracht, 2015)

Liberty Tales update

I visited the Magna Carta exhibition in the British Library, and if you haven’t seen it, it’s worth a few hours of your day to see a document from 800 years ago. It’s an amazing piece of history. If I were in town, I would certainly attend Liberty Tales in Greenwich. Sounds like a fun night!

Arachne Press

We have our final line up for next Thursday, 18th June, 7pm

at West Greenwich Library SE10 8NN.

We are celebrating the 800th anniversary of the signing of Magna Carta with songs, stories, and a poem; all of which are free.

Books will be on sale in the interval, and wine, tea and coffee are available for a donation. There may be snacks as well, depending on whether we have time to source them on the day along with everything else.

Stories

The King’s Computer by Liam Hogan read by the author
Promotional Samples by Carolyn Eden read by the author
Lag by Jim Cogan read by the author
Into the Blue by Nick Rawlinson read by Stuart Crossman
Poppies by Helen Morris read by Louisa Gummer
Stopped by a Busker by Owen Townend read by Stuart Crossman
Bothered by Sarah Evans read by Carrie Cohen

Songs from Summer…

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