Thursday, 16 June 2016

Exciting Sights

War brings out the best in us. This is almost a truism. We think of the old folks reminiscing; always they return to a few exciting years when life was wild with fun. 1939 to 1945: what a great time that was! lost to them forever, except in anecdotes wrinkled with smiles. When youngsters we did not understand our relatives: why does death excite them so, why does it make them happy; surely they should be sad and scared? Confused, we went to the history books. They did not help us much. The mental atmosphere long since faded away, only the novelists can recapture these years; a period when emotion tuned to the highest pitch, and then sustained for impossibly long periods of time, people became perennially excited, euphoric, intoxicated… It was like riding the longest, most frightening rollercoaster in the world. Amazing! Exhilarating! Let me off! Don’t you dare! Oh, what a lark it is.

Saturday, 11 June 2016

Clouds Look Different From Above

…all these modes of thought which assess the value of things 
according to pleasure and pain, that is to say according to attendant 
and secondary phenomena, are foreground modes of thought
and naiveties which anyone conscious of creative powers 
and an artist’s conscience will look down on in derision, 
though not without pity.
                             (Friedrich Nietzsche)

Alone on a mountain
He is laughing,
At this carnival of clouds,
A circus treat,
Dogs and dwarfs
Travelling to another town.

The sky’s majesty dethroned
Before two penetrating eyes.

He smiles
At his own conceit.

But pity overcomes him 
For those below
Struggling in the foothills.

What! Pitying fools?
He laughs at these sights
They will never reach.


Sunday, 5 June 2016

Look Underneath

It has all the rudiments of farce. Yet there are few laughs here. For when these rudiments are reordered by magic - when reshaped by Estelle’s Square of Power - they produce a finely tuned domestic drama; the comedic mishaps becoming the ironies of man’s complex moral fate; where intentions, pushed out of shape by omnipresent circumstance, turn into their opposites; good producing bad, evil giving birth to saintly self-sacrifice.