Personal statement

Do not talk
Or even think
Of what you will do
In the years that lie beyond.
That will come
Quietly, at its own choosing
Unlooked-for, like a bright coin
Picked up in the street.
It rests in the gift of
Forces unmeasured, equations unwritten,
The alignment of stars far out of your reach
The collision of worlds unseen.

Tell us instead
Of what you will be:
What light you will blaze
Into these shadowed times
What warmth you will bring
When the days are grown cold
What joy you will spark
When night falls on the soul.
What strength you will give
To those whose own has failed.
And more than all this
What love you will share
With all who find your true heart.
And for now, leave all else
To take care of itself.


My daughter and her friends, now in their final year at school, are starting to receive offers from their chosen universities. Understandably, given the immense financial commitment, they’re already thinking/worrying/obsessing about their futures. As someone who’s never had a conventional career, I’m in no position to advise, really; all I can offer from my own experience is that jobs come and go, and even the most meticulous plans rarely survive their first contact with real life. And in the end, I believe how you’re living matters more than what you do for a living.

Shadorma: Waiting room

Scrubbed, shining,
Their eyes flicking round the room.
Subtle sizing-up.

So much rides
On the next few hours.
Win or lose,
In or out.
It all starts or ends right here.
And don’t they know it.

Once, I sat
Waiting for that call:
Told myself
It mattered,
Answered thoughtfully, played nice,
Told, then learned, the truth.

Now, God knows,
I have no desire
To join them:
Run that race,
Chase that rainbow. Good luck, kids;
Hope it all works out

And accept
What is said, held out
And promised
To you now
Will quickly be forgotten
Once the shooting starts.


Jotted this down while waiting in the lobby at a big corporate HQ yesterday morning. As they rightly say, there’s always someone worse off than you. One day in that environment is always enough to remind me that working for myself is the only way.
That said, I’ve been crazy busy the last few days; but I’m hoping to get some reading and writing done this week. N.