The love of blue should not eclipse
the love of green – of mossy tiles
of algae bloom and ancient trees –
but then – culture does not feel pain

The sky should remain blue, and far,
so we needn’t worry to breathe,
its empire dissolved, its currents
tamed – culture does not feel pain

Whelks and shells of oysters bubble
on the beach and drown, and white flocks
of turrets spoil the darkling coast
and yet – culture does not feel pain

Cinema screens in a bleak world
play empty films to empty rooms,
sound whispered arguments about
light swords – culture does not feel pain

The stadiums of the still world
are filled with the crowds of the past
and sportsmen fight against hunger
because – culture does not feel pain

The boats upon the sea that leave
bodies scattered, should now be raised
cenotaphii to float above
white cliffs – culture does not feel pain


The atheist, too, remains able to honour the dead.
Visit hallowed places, facing the casket and questing,
the concrete presence of the particular place, to remember
The chances of life and its radiance challenging all.
We honour an arrangement, continuing its physical trajectory
by placing our bodies to mediate humanity’s lore –
Barely under the surface, dark movements, the chemicals
guide potentials to work and material echoes which sigh –
Surrounded by white-stone, skin stretched and face left as an imprint;
twin dark shadows and the mouth which supported the thing.
The ripples fell out, and curling their tendrils about us,
brought us back to return them close to the bright path that sent them –
now dim in the grave where its dull glow makes us into rays.
We worship ourselves, in a reverence, humility, and pray.
Wordlessly, we wait, and bask in celestial company –
silence, the mark of the stars which remain all too distant,
is our heartbeat, our faith in the real, and our thoughts – we reclaim.
Our tears thus held back, our earth, our hope, and our revery,
stood holding our soft inspiration close, and developing
the state of our souls – our love – its plans and its treasury;
the quiet potentials of the human mind, sparking
in the tomb of our old friend, or those who we never knew.
We are open to past lives, accept their gifts, and renew.