“One Art” by Elizabeth Bishop.

This is a poem I expect to refer to from time to time. John Ashton who died earlier this year had this poem read at his funeral. I can see why it was one of his favourites.

“One Art” by Elizabeth Bishop


‘One Art’ by Elizabeth Bishop

The art of losing isn’t hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster.

Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
places, and names, and where it was you meant
to travel. None of these will bring disaster.

I lost my mother’s watch. And look! my last, or
next-to-last, of three loved houses went.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,
some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.
I miss them, but it wasn’t a disaster.

– Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture
I love) I shan’t have lied. It’s evident
the art of losing’s not too hard to master
though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.


Elizabeth Bishop, “One Art” from The Complete Poems 1926-1979. Copyright © 1979, 1983 by Alice Helen Methfessel. Permission applied for from Farrar, Straus & Giroux, LLC.




Una luz envuelve el cuerpo humilde
cuando andas con la ropa justa
para los días de lluvia y frío que acechan.
Se abren nuevos horizontes a tu paso
y los rayos de un sol naciente
te ciegan la mirada cuando te vuelves
para contemplar el camino andado.
El mundo es un camino de barro y piedras,
también de tallos verdes que crecen
hasta convertirse en oro viejo.
La luz del sol te abre a la vida
que tú quieres vivir cuando te vas
y te alejas de tanta estupidez
que a veces ahoga. Sólo necesitas
un trozo de cielo azul y los pasos ligeros
por el frío de enero que avanza.

Núria Viñas Pujolràs
Camino de Santiago, enero de 2016

with kind permission of the author.

The Engagement.

The Engagement.



In November 1942 a 20 year old boy from Glasgow was spending his third year in the north of India, separated from the girl he had fallen in love with while at University. The Second World War was to keep them apart for 4 years.  He kept a detailed diary of his this life full of war’s uncertainties; a diary in which he reveals just who he is.  His writing and his dearest “A” nourished his spirit throughout those years.  “A” was for “Annie”, my mum. They became engaged that month and then, just before Christmas several of his friends were killed in a road accident.

He wrote this poem at midnight on Christmas Eve.

December 24th  1942  Allahabad.


If I should die what will you think of me?

Will you remember then our carefree days Continue reading The Engagement.



Just short of Random, a milli-sliver less than Chaos

We float on a pea green pond and maybe

A swooping swallow will choke upon an ear of corn

He syphons in his swift and daring dive to drink.


It must have happened once: before they learned

That little flotsam can asphyxiate.

I hear that just last year Nebraska swallows flew on shorter wings

So´s not to die from blows from fast-flying cars on Highway 80.


A little less is life not death.