On a Pebbly Beach


When our family was young
and the children took off over the stones like little dogs
as we followed in our different conversation
and the game was, to come back with the Best

it struck me that grownups tend to select
those that the sea had spent her centuries of energy
smoothing and buffing
from rock until perfectly formal, the ovoid, the oval

while our youngsters go for the grotesque,
the knobbly ones with fractured faces and funny holes
that can have fingers poked in and out of them
or look like puppies or gulls

and now that I sleep diagonally
and walk alone on this beach
it is truly hard to decide
whose preference was the more mature.


John Birtwhistle

Joe Biden’s love for Seamus Heaney reveals a soul you can trust

(Joe Biden’s love for Seamus Heaney reveals a soul you can trust | Poetry | The Guardian)

‘I didn’t fall for Joe Biden until I learned that he loves the poetry of Seamus Heaney. Anyone who responds to the steady, humane voice of Heaney has the timbre of soul you can trust. It’s not like a politician rattling off a quotation from Shelley or St Francis of Assisi. You can’t pretend to love Heaney, for he’s too subtle for that; a slow-speaking country man giving up his secrets gradually, like a farmer revealing the land’s hidden knowledge – and its graves….’

— Jonathan Jones in  The Guardian

Big Dumb Objects:

Science fiction’s most mysterious MacGuffins

(Big Dumb Objects: science fiction’s most mysterious MacGuffins | Science fiction books | The Guardian)

‘From 2001 to the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, these awesome structures loom large over the genre, loaded with inscrutable significance…’

— Via The Guardian