Japanese garden bridge in the rain

A person on social media asked which the reader thought worse, emotional pain or physical pain?

Of course, they’re one in the same.

Emotions are not aether, miasma, or entities separate from the body.

Therefore, the question reworded: what type of physical pain do you least like to endure?

Sleep-derived tiredness is my least liked pain.

I don’t know what emotions are but I do know that personal relationship disconnectedness reduces my ability to fall asleeep quickly, same with misaligned body parts.

Sleepiness prevents fully living in the ever-changing moment, causes poor decision-making, affecting moments not yet lived.

What, then, my friend, is Love?

Love, like everything else, is physical, measurable, describable, with experimental results providing a method to create corrective actions.

Guest poem



We live on a river in the country,
we talk gently and listen easy,
we lost our smoky bark and city hiss.
You’ll play me the guitar, whilst I knead dough.
I make enough bread to feed the ten sons
we never made time to have.
You get under my feet when I ask you to
whisk the milk. Stir the gravy. Mind the oven.
We never agree about the temperature, maps and train time tables.
You hold the pegs whilst I hang the washing,
on the line hung between low-hanging crab-apple trees.
Our ramshackle garden is overgrown
and there are spiders in the lavender.
The radio plays the shipping forecast.
It’s getting cold. Cold enough to snow.
No. Not yet.
A skein of geese flocked overhead,
but you and me, we never migrated apart.
Together we become weathered
and soft as old cotton and as yellow as warm butter.
We keep chickens and ducks that rarely lay eggs,
an obnoxious mallard nests like royalty
in an armchair in the parlour.
Of course we brew our own beer
and we grow grass and tomatoes in the conservatory.
Laughter. Yes, we still laugh,
the lines are etched around our failing eyes.
Foam and lathered we bathe together too,
and play cards and drink rum and dare each other to
skinny-dip in the lake by the weeping willow when the moon is high.
Books are precariously balanced on slanting shelves
and guitars are in varying states of loving repair.
Boxes of dusty poetry and newspaper cuttings clutter the stairs.
And the piano has a few keys missing,
like teeth and the scissors and your spectacles –
they are on your head, you nincompoop!
We’ve collected empty Marmite jars for no reason,
no reason at all.
We get tired, we go to bed, have sex in the afternoon.
Snow flutters like feathers past the frosty winter windows.
Face to face, we lie on the cool side of the pillow,
wrapped in each other’s arms like two monkeys.
My fingers play with the silver hair at your temples,
you stroke my face and I breathe slowly.
Jigsaw pieces.
We always did fit nicely.
You call me in my dreams at night.
I’ve felt your plush wings
spread wide, enveloping me.
You and me, we will have all this and more,
we will have all this in time.
I have known you all my life.
We will find each other
one day,
my swan.

by Salena Godden
from  Fishing in the Aftermath: Poems 1994 – 2014
Burning Eye Books, Portishead, 2014

Guest post

The Poet with His Face in His Hands
You want to cry aloud for your

mistakes. But to tell the truth the world

doesn’t need anymore of that sound.
So if you’re going to do it and can’t

stop yourself, if your pretty mouth can’t

hold it in, at least go by yourself across
the forty fields and the forty dark inclines

of rocks and water to the place where

the falls are flinging out their white sheets
like crazy, and there is a cave behind all that

jubilation and water fun and you can

stand there, under it, and roar all you
want and nothing will be disturbed; you can

drip with despair all afternoon and still,

on a green branch, its wings just lightly touched
by the passing foil of the water, the thrush,

puffing out its spotted breast, will sing

of the perfect, stone-hard beauty of everything.
by Mary Oliver

from The New Yorker

Too repetitious?

“Certain subjects begin to repeat themselves: dogs chase the Google Street View car in Peru and Russia, while a dog in Chile just stares as the car goes by; workers by the side of the road wear bright orange uniforms in one country, bright orange ones in another.” [ from the New Yorker, An Agoraphobic Photographer’s Virtual Travels, on Google Street View, by Andrea Denhoed]

What is peace?

Once again, I have made peace with the world.

What is peace?

Peace, of course, is a concept, a label, a symbol, all of that.

I do not exist, therefore a nonexistent entity making something called “peace” is all imaginary.

The world is easy enough to grasp as both an entity and a concept.

At a multicellular level, I am not at peace, my body always fighting entropy, battling bacteria and viruses floating around in my system, breathed in and pooped out on a regular basis.

So what, then, is peace?

It means I have let go of the parts of me that in my youth wanted to explore the universe off of this planet.

I am no longer 5, 15, 25, 35 or even 50.

To be sure, age is just a number and more than one person my age or older has traveled to the International Space Station orbiting Earth but I am not them.

I am me.

It is in my personal best interest, healthwise, to fold up the circus tent under which I was entertaining people around me and return to the meditation platform in the woods where I can rest during the day whilst quietly spending half of the night shift working alone preparing blood product inventory for delivery to hospitals.

I am contented, not necessarily happy, but able to enjoy myself and no longer fill my thoughts with the lives of others who, although they gave me a level of exuberant happiness, also left me feeling old, unable to keep up with their busy lives, as busy as I was when I was their age 25-30 years ago.

I unattach myself from the surface of others whose lives I mimicked as a chameleon.

I am happiest here, writing, wherever my butt is seated and my hands have a keyboard or pen and paper on which I compose these ditties.

Peace is simplicity and frugality.

Peace is my thought set devoid of a running commentary justifying its existence, shouting for attention, and seeking quick thrills.