Category Archives: Elsewhere

Keats-Shelley prize

The Small Boy and the Mouse by D H Maitreyabandhu

When he closed his eyes and asked the question,

he saw an egg, a boiled egg, lodged

above his heart. The shell had been broken off,

with a teaspoon he supposed, it was pure curd white

and still warm. Inside – he could see inside –

there was a garden with rows of potatoes,

sweet peas in a tangle, and a few tomatoes, red

and green ones, along with that funny sulphur smell

coming from split sacks. There was an enamel bathtub

in the garden, with chipped edges, a brown puddle

staining around itself, and a few wet leaves.

He could see down the plughole, so the sun must have shone,

and he heard his father digging potatoes,

knocking off the soil, and his mother fetching the washing in

because the sky promised a shower. There was a hole

or rather a pipe under the tub, where the water went,

and down at the bottom was a mouse – its ribs were poking out,

its damp fur clung together. The mouse was holding

a black-and-white photograph of a boy

who might have been three or four years old;

the boy was playing with boxes, or were they saucepans

from the kitchen? – he was leaning forward and slightly blurred.

And what was strange about the picture,

apart from being held by a mouse who sat on his haunches

and gripped it in his forepaws, was that the space

around the boy, the paleness around him, expanded,

got very bright and engulfed the mouse, the bathtub, the garden,

and the egg with its shell cracked off.

After that there was nothing, apart from the dark

inside the boy’s head and a kind of quiet

he’d never had before. He opened his eyes. All the furniture

looked strange, as if someone had rearranged it.

From here. More about the poet and the prize on that page. Go read.

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I want a popotamus. Now.

Once upon a time…

Somehow Vimeo won’t embed. Click on the link and watch. Immédiatement!

Sheep Art!

Quite amazing! And funny.

Sita sings the blues

Is a brilliant feature-length animated movie by Nina Paley who ties her own experiences in marriage with the story of Sita.

Watch it here.

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The poetry of the everyday

Of mundane ritual, of breakfasts and crumbs, of houses and buses, of power outages and beloved pets. To slice away a moment from the known and the familiar, to serve it slightly warmed, on a delicate porcelain quarter plate with the slightest chip on the side, with a spoon of the most perfect curvature. That. That is poetry at its most delicious.

Tell the Bees

– Sarah Lindsay

Tell the bees. They require news of the house;
they must know, lest they sicken
from the gap between their ignorance and our grief.
Speak in a whisper. Tie a black swatch
to a stick and attach the stick to their hive.
From the fortress of casseroles and desserts
built in the kitchen these past few weeks
as though hunger were the enemy, remove
a slice of cake and lay it where they can
slowly draw it in, making a mournful sound.

And tell the fly that has knocked on the window all day.
Tell the redbird that rammed the glass from outside
and stands too dazed to go. Tell the grass,
though it’s already guessed, and the ground clenched in furrows;
tell the water you spill on the ground,
then all the water will know.
And the last shrunken pearl of snow in its hiding place.

Tell the blighted elms, and the young oaks we plant instead.
The water bug, while it scribbles
a hundred lines that dissolve behind it.
The lichen, while it etches deeper
its single rune. The boulders, letting their fissures widen,
the pebbles, which have no more to lose,
the hills—they will be slightly smaller, as always,

when the bees fly out tomorrow to look for sweetness
and find their way
because nothing else has changed.

~

Via Flastaff. Source

Read, please

I don’t often post links. In fact I can’t recall the last time I posted a random link and asked people to read. But this one demands it. No, that isn’t right. It does no demanding at all. It simply lies in a corner of a busy news site, unread, ignored and very, very still.

Bihar: http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/ndtv/showcolumns.aspx?id=COLEN20080066718