Trans Day of Remembrance 2022

So many brief candles,
So many deaths to mourn,
So many names upon our lips,
Each year a litany of names.

Their unique and perfect beauty
Crafted once by time and circumstance
Snuffed out too soon
Calling out for justice.

Write their names among the stars
Write their names on the wind
Etch the loss into the stones
Until the world changes.

Occult Clerihews Challenge

The Occult Clerihews Challenge! Write a Clerihew about a famous occultist (and post it in the comments or link back to this post so I get a ping-back).

The only rule of clerihews is that they have four lines with an AABB rhyme scheme, and the first line ends with the subject’s last name. I’ve bent the rule slightly because it’s hard to find words to rhyme with Gardner and Valiente. Clerihews don’t have to scan, nor be a complete biography of the person they’re about, and they’re comic rather than serious.

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“how come we were never taught this in our schools?”

The oppressors never teach their children
About the oppressed, or their suffering.
Instead they claim that they brought technology,
Civilization, religion, as gifts
To the colonized, the marginalized,
The brutalized and the enslaved people.
You have to learn to look between the lines
At the imperfect feet of the statues,
And the nakedness of half-truths and lies.
Stolen land, stolen lives, streams of language
Dammed, diverted, stopped. Whole cultures broken
Into scattered fragments, gathering dust
In museums. Hiding between the cracks,
Waiting to emerge into the sunlight.

Yvonne Aburrow
9:22 am, 23 May 2022.


Inspired by the line “how come we were never taught this in our schools?” in WHEREAS by Layli Long Soldier

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The singing will never be done

Once, you could hear
Sheep munching grass
Half a mile away.

Now the soundscape
Is full of mechanical sounds:
Auditory assault.

We have lost the music of the world:
Birdsong, animal sounds
The wind in the trees.

Birds have to sing louder
To be heard over the sound of cars.
Whale song is interrupted by ships.

The singing will never be done,
But no one can hear it when
we have lost the music of the world.

Yvonne Aburrow
8:19 am, 2 May 2022

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“into the twilight woods”

Twilight. Betwixt. Liminal.
The setting sun
Making an archway
Through the trees
A window to infinity.

Things half-seen
In the mazy places.
Not sure where this path goes.
Maybe through, or within.
Some hollow place.

The half-light transforms
Known into unknown.
The woods drift between.
Trees asleep,
Nocturnal animals stirring.

Shadows gather.
Time stretches out,
Ready to pounce.
One star. Night’s eye.
Colours drain away.

Everything waits
For moonrise,
To flood the woods
With silver.

Yvonne Aburrow
8:15 am, 29 April 2022


Inspired by the phrase “into the twilight woods” in Iowa City: Early April by ROBERT HASS


If you enjoyed this post, you might like my books.

“three large rabbit-breaths of air”

See the world as a rabbit sees it.
Wide angle view,
Not straight ahead
As a predator sees,
But sidelong, as prey animals see.

Long shadows,
Tall grass.
Noting every hiding place.
Ready to bolt
At the first sign
Of predators.
Each breath taken
Short and shallow.
Darting from shelter
To shelter.
Grass here,
Lettuce there.
Sun is warm,
Earth is kind.

Yvonne Aburrow
7:50 am, 28 April 2022

Inspired by the phrase “three large rabbit-breaths of air” in the poem My Weather by Jane Hirshfield


If you enjoyed this post, you might like my books.

The uncomplaining stars

The low cosmic hum
Of all the stars
singing the worlds into being.
Who can know the thoughts of a star,
Or how they compose
The music of the spheres?
What faults might stars commit
That they fall to earth
A bolt from the infinite,
Becoming finite, massy?
If they look upon the pale blue dot
And hear the tumult,
Do they not complain
Of the marring of their music?
Or is the discordant theme
Woven into the greater music?

Yvonne Aburrow, 8:00 am, 26 April 2022

Inspired by the line “The uncomplaining stars composed their lucid song” in Voltaire at Ferney by W H Auden (1939). With a nod to the retired stars Ramandu and Coriakin in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C S Lewis, and the music of the Ainur in JRR Tolkien’s The Silmarillion. And of course, a nod to Carl Sagan’s awesome meditation, The Pale Blue Dot, which was inspired by this photograph.

Ramandu, by Pauline Baynes

If you enjoyed this post, you might like my books.