Tell me again how it fell

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FEBRUARY 1947 by Mairéad Donnellan

Tell me again how it fell,
came at you sideways,
melted like a thousand hosts on your tongue,
entered the chinks of your top coat,
mother’s fingers tight around yours,
footprints filling on the way to the haystack.

How halfway there you turned home,
and the wind moved his tune out of the ditches,
up into the eaves you nested beneath,
listening to prayers on their way to the Saviour,
two cows outside making do with straw
plucked from your mattress.

Each thing settling in your memory
while you drifted off,
dreamt of ascending the haystack,
a great sugarloaf at the end of the lane,
the distance between earth
and heaven, closing in.

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‘When the world turns white, everyone has a memory’, Turtle Bunbury

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The accompanying painting is ‘A Backstreet in the Snow’ (1895) by Walter Frederick Osborne.

A Time to Talk

This poem never grows old . . .

A Time to Talk

When a friend calls to me from the road
And slows his horse to a meaning walk,
I don’t stand still and look around
On all the hills I haven’t hoed,
And shout from where I am, ‘What is it?’
No, not as there is a time to talk.
I thrust my hoe in the mellow ground,
Blade-end up and five feet tall,
And plod: I go up to the stone wall
For a friendly visit.

(Robert Frost)

Cut by hand

Hand-Cut Mandalas and Other Intricate Paper Works by Mr. Riu

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Japanese artist Mr. Riu takes paper cutting to an intricate extreme, crafting mandalas and elaborate figures with a precision work tool called the swivel knife. This tool allows him to cut curves more fluidly, as the head of the knife can turn 360 degrees. With this movement, Riu produces asymmetrical imagery that is often filled with hidden details—winged horses that sprout from points in a star and snakes that wrap themselves around the eyes of his figural works.

Riu’s captions for his Instagram images are often inspirational and speak to the dedication and patience he has developed during his paper cutting practice. “It’s not that I can do it because I originally have a great patience,” says Riu in one of his captions, “I think that my patience grows stronger gradually because I want to do it.”

You can see more of Mr. Riu’s work on his Instagram and blog.

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One Who Waits For Us

Absolutely lovely.

Barnstorming

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When I was a child
I once sat sobbing on the floor
Beside my mother’s piano
As she played and sang
For there was in her singing
A shy yet solemn glory
My smallness could not hold

And when I was asked
Why I was crying
I had no words for it
I only shook my head
And went on crying

Why is it that music
At its most beautiful
Opens a wound in us
An ache a desolation
Deep as a homesickness
For some far-off
And half-forgotten country

I’ve never understood
Why this is so

But there’s an ancient legend
From the other side of the world
That gives away the secret
Of this mysterious sorrow

For centuries on centuries
We have been wandering
But we were made for Paradise
As deer for the forest

And when music comes to us
With its heavenly beauty
It brings us desolation

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