{published in 2013, when there was H1N1…}


There are fewer introductions
In plague years,
Hands held back, jocularity
No longer bellicose,
Even among men.
Breathing’s generally wary,
Labored, as they say, when
The end is at hand.
But this is the everyday intake
Of   the imperceptible life force,
Willed now, slow —
Well, just cautious
In inhabited air.
As for ongoing dialogue,
No longer an exuberant plosive
To make a point,
But a new squirreling of air space,
A new sense of  boundary.
Genghis Khan said the hand
Is the first thing one man gives
To another. Not in this war.
A gesture of  limited distance
Now suffices, a nod,
A minor smile or a hand
Slightly raised,
Not in search of   its counterpart,
Just a warning within
The acknowledgment to stand back.
Each beautiful stranger a barbarian
Breathing on the other side of the gate.

– By Daniel Halpern

{npm: solus 9}

As a tween I was intensely fascinated by the bit of English history which tells of the mutiny on the trading ship The Bounty. Fletcher Christian, chief mutineer, took over the ship, set the captain and his faithful adrift in a small boat, found an island where he could hide, and burned the ship. He looked at his choices and the choices of the men he led and decided that his were the ONLY choices for everyone, and so cut off any avenue of a changed mind. Historically, there are a lot of ways in which people have tried to make sure that a decision sticks – that no one can change their minds (or mutiny). Ironic, really, when they saved the lifeboats…

Dundee 196 HDR

second chances

the known lies ashore –
but who dares the open seas
dares to discover