Silent Retreat


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It’s not that I’m giving up.
But when you change the goalposts
And have nothing left to say anymore,
The thought that I have most
Is resignation.
I’ve predicted that this day would come,
Like I’m a self-inflicting almanac
That foresaw one day, you’d be done.
I guess I kind of hoped
This meant more than silent retreat,
But it’s okay. I accept it wasn’t. That I’m not.
I won’t force what isn’t there to defeat.
I have grown cold with acceptance that
There’s no longer any interest here for you.
So this is where I give in and stop reaching out,
For that’s all I’ve left in me to do.

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Favourite Poets: Don Paterson, The Lie

As was my custom, I’d risen a full hour
before the house had woken to make sure
that everything was in order with The Lie,
his drip changed and his shackles all secure.
I was by then so practiced in this chore
I’d counted maybe thirteen years or more
since last I’d felt the urge to meet his eye.
Such, I liked to think, was our rapport.
I was at full stretch to test some ligature
when I must have caught a ragged thread, and tore
his gag away; though as he made no cry,
I kept on with my checking as before.
Why do you call me The Lie? he said. I swore:
it was a child’s voice. I looked up from the floor.
The dark had turned his eyes to milk and sky
and his arms and legs were all one scarlet sore.
He was a boy of maybe three or four.
His straps and chains were all the things he wore.
Knowing I could make him no reply
I took the gag before he could say more
and put it back as tight as it would tie
and locked the door and locked the door and locked the door
My final, favourite poem by Don Paterson; I hope you’ve been inspired to look some more up by this incredible poet!



You’d ask me for help
But the words are your furballs
And are stuck in your throat.
And the fears are the burs sticking to your coat.

You’d ask me for help.
But your claws are torn ragged
And your tongue tastes of wounds,
Chewing wasps that will sting, yet leave no marks when groomed.

Sometimes cats don’t know when they need petting.


Poem of the Week: José Dominguez, the First Latino in Outer Space, Dan Vera

In that very first episode
the transmission is received on the starship Enterprise
that Space Commander Dominguez urgently needs his supplies.
Kirk tells Uhura to assure him
that the peppers are “prime Mexican reds
but he won’t die if he goes a few more days without ’em.”
Calm down Mexican.
You can wait a few more days to get your chile peppers.
In the corner of my eye I see Uhura’s back hand twitch
and though I never see him on the screen
I image José giving Kirk a soplamoco to the face.
But this is the year 2266 and there are Latinos in Outer Space!
We never see them, but they’ve survived with their surnames
and their desire, deep in the farthest interplanetary reaches,
for a little heat to warm the bland food on the starbase at Corinth 4.
As it is on earth so it shall be in heaven.
Ricardo Montalbán will show up 21 episodes later
to play a crazy mutant Indio,
superhuman and supersmart
who survived two centuries
to slap Kirk around and take over his ship.

José Dominguez, the First Latino in Outer Space