I Dreamed I Was Awake

In the beginning was the Word...

Rainer Maria Rilke | Darris Golinski | Simon Kewer | Philby Ford | TS Eliot | Anna Akhmatova

The trouble with words…

Rilke on Love and Other Difficulties

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“Even between the closest human beings infinite distances continue to exist, [but] a wonderful living side by side can grow up, if they succeed in loving the distance between them which makes it possible for each to see the other whole and against a wide sky”


O you tender ones, step now and then
into the breath that takes no heed of you;
let it part as it touches your cheeks,
it will quiver behind you, united again.

O you who are blessed, o you who are whole,
you who seem the beginning of hearts.
Bows for the arrows and targets of arrows,
tear-stained your smile shines more everlasting.

Fear not suffering; the heaviness,
give it back to the weight of the earth;
the mountains are heavy, heavy the oceans.

Even the trees you planted as children
long since grew too heavy, you could not sustain them.
Ah, but the breezes...ah, but the spaces...

Darris Golinski


What if your guide should stumble?
Or fall?
Or get lost?

What if your guide was loss?

He stumbled
And most grievously fell.

What if your God should stumble
or be grievously lost?
Who would tell?
What would be the loss?
How could you tell?
Who could you tell?

Who next may stumble?
Who most grievously tell?

No creed or dogma for a map...
Not even one scrap of certainty...

Only the night sky.
The heavens,
And the ever-shifting infinite stars to guide you by



Are both perhaps present in time future And time future contained in time past. If all time is eternally present All time is unredeemable. What might have been is an abstraction Remaining a perpetual possibility Only in a world of speculation. What might have been and what has been Point to one end, which is always present. Footfalls echo in the memory Down the passage which we did not take Towards the door we never opened...

You say I am repeating Something I have said before. I shall say it again. Shall I say it again? In order to arrive there, To arrive where you are, to get from where you are not, You must go by a way wherein there is no ecstacy. In order to arrive at what you do not know You must go by a way which is the way of ignorance. In order to possess what you do not possess You must go by the way of dispossession. In order to arrive at what you are not You must go through the way in which you are not. And what you do not know is the only thing you know And what you own is what you do not own And where you are is where you are not....

We shall not cease from exploration And the end of all our exploring Will be to arrive where we started And know the place for the first time. Through the unknown, unremembered gate When the last of earth left to discover Is that which was the beginning; At the source of the longest river The voice of the hidden waterfall And the children in the apple-tree Not known, because not looked for But heard, half-heard, in the stillness Between two waves of the sea. Quick now, here, now, always— A condition of complete simplicity (Costing not less than everything) And all shall be well and All manner of thing shall be well When the tongues of flames are in-folded Into the crowned knot of fire And the fire and the rose are one.
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Graphic: Simon Kewer

Philby Ford


What is England?
mother's pride and suicide
letter boxes urban foxes
double decker buses
"I wonder what the fuss is"?

What is England?
getting into Eton
fagged and getting beaten
Old Spice and all things nice
chicken tikka masala
chips and rice

What is England?
first past the post
the holy ghost
the velvet glove the iron fist
the mother of parliament
with her knickers in a twist

What is England?
Shakespeare's sister
"Ms, Mrs or Mister"?
John Bull and the free press
the mini skirt the little black dress
rugger, soccer, the ultimate goal
sex and drugs and rock and roll

What is England?
real ale
small scale
the corner shop
England, the cornerstone of pop
my England fake and phoney
Prince Charles astride a pony

What is England?
Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan
not too bothered with Sudan
the derring do the who dares wins
the big society
the Milliband twins

What is England?
Sainsbury, Tesco, Marx, the Spencers
2011, another census
let them eat cake or take the biscuit
what we would give for Jim to fix it

What is England?
Park Lane, Pall Mall and once upon a time
the Manchester Ship Canal
take a ferry cross the Mersey
secrete your dosh to a bank in Jersey

What is England?
Prince William and Kate
a land of hope and fear and hate
the silver spoon the old school tie
this is England
hello goodbye

My granddad gave me some sound advice on his deathbed. "It's worth spending money on good speakers" he told me.

Darris Golinski


In the time of the shortening of days,
When the sights and smells of reflection sweet and sad
ring loud in your ears
And the formula for the calculation
of the taste of satisfaction
echoes boldly in the channel
of the tunnel of your mind.

The fruit is growing riper -
fall any day now it must,
and the rotting apple
lies comfort-near the struggling tree.

In the time of apple sugar,
when the sting of the drowsy lazy bee,
knows there is little left to do,
but cause one last casual intense burst of pain
before taking the last and final exit –
stage left.

That soliloquy long past
in that earnest springtime of long ago.
Preparing yourself, with as little pomp as you can muster,
for that lifting final speech -
that grand finale.

Did you give, then, your finest Macbeth to them?
Or to her? Or to them? To those?
To silence? Or to God?

Or have you only ever been your own lonely only faithful admirer?
Highly critical but faithful always, always constant, always true.

Now, more than ever in my life,
am I consumed by the uncertainty
of whether there are thirty years or thirty minutes
left to bat.

A win? A loss? A draw?
Or a game abandoned due to rain.

And the memory of the riot
of that black flag of pubic hair
the mad black crazy chaos
with that zen-like scarlet jewel
defiantly-inviting centre-setting there.

And the loving erotic challenge
laid at one another’s feet -
to each put down in writing
a desire too bold to say out loud.
A request that no-one else may see.
A request so bold that the blush cannot be withheld
when next our eyes do meet.

And yet no shame.

For that is what trust is -
a faith in the other’s honour.
Faith and love that is true.

And now with the shortening of days
Now in the time of apple sugar
When church bells chime
A wedding? Or the funeral of a man in his prime?

and you will be mine
in apple sugar time.

John Keats

…capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason…
The trouble with words

Anna Akhmatova

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Everything’s looted, betrayed and traded, black death’s wing’s overhead.
Everything’s eaten by hunger, unsated,
so why does a light shine ahead?
By day, a mysterious wood, near the town, breathes out cherry, a cherry perfume. By night, on July’s sky, deep, and transparent, new constellations are thrown.
And something miraculous will come
close to the darkness and ruin, something no-one, no-one, has known, though we’ve longed for it since we were children.