Alexander Averin

Monday, 24 February 2014

Poet's Needs

This week's offfering  for Magpie Tales.

Poet's Needs

I live to write
I write till I sleep
I sleep to wake
I wake to work
I work to live
I live to write

Cait O'Connor

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Apartment to Let

 Another poem for Magpie Tales.  Better late than never. 



South facing, bricks glowing, rather like me its
aspect was open but with emptiness inside;
a blank canvas whose origins are unknown.
Shabby but not chic, high in the air but
in no way haughty, it overlooked the park.
The apartment was small, (the agent’s word was
bijou, mine was womblike  which suited my intention).
I moved in with cat, books and an optimistic frame.
I aired the place for days and days, gathered salt
and water, swept and scrubbed, hung up bunting, filled
each room with violets, pinks and roses, flooding
them with light. I lit candles and sweet incense,
scented sandalwood and sage
I scattered salt in corners,beat drums in rhythm, 
laughed, clapped, danced and played
rock music way up to the roof. I threw out
blinds and curtains for I really love to see
the skies and count the stars and look out nightly
at the moon.  The escape route, though an eyesore,
was a comfort just in case my candles ever
tipped and quickly spread their flames and
secretly I  felt a little stranded up so high.
After rent is paid, the choice is often  heat
or eat but when the days are bright, I open
windows wide, survey the view, admire the park
and watch the sunlit shadows as they dance
upon those warming, ancient redbrick walls.

Cait O’Connor

Friday, 21 February 2014

I Won!

Terry Pratchett

Scientists have calculated that the chances of something so patently absurd actually existing are millions to one.

But magicians have calculated that million-to-one chances crop up nine times out of ten.

Terry PratchettMort

I never win anything; well I am lying a bit as on thinking back I  remembered that I have won things and twice in my life, (well three if you count winning £10 once on the National Lottery). I won a bottle of whisky in a raffle once at a Dobermann Club dog show many moons ago and I did win £1000 in our local Air Ambulance lottery a few years back - that was a big one (!) and I wanted to donate the prize back to the Air Ambulance as they have ferried me on two occasions and I owe them a very great deal. But they absolutely refused to allow me to do that so I accepted it - my bank balance was dwindling at that time so it was quickly swallowed up and I never did treat myself.  And now I have won two sets of notecards in an online draw by a Devon artist and blogger .  Do go and visit a fine photographer and wildlife artist living on Dartmoor whose blog is always on my list as one not to miss.

She has an Etsy shop too.

I hope you have good luck too in the near future.

Bye for now,

Go mbeannai dia duit,


Tuesday, 18 February 2014

The Copenhagen Giraffe

I do hope the poet Richard Bonfield will forgive me for reposting his poem.

The Copenhagen Giraffe

Marius the 18-month-old Copenhagen giraffe was recently shot with a bolt gun
and his dismembered remains fed to Copenhagen lions.
The director of the zoo deemed him an exotic waste product surplus to the zoos requirements and untenable as his genes were too similar to those of other European giraffes
Despite offers of accommodation from many other facilities and a worldwide petition the cull went ahead as planned.

“Yes - in answer to your question
We shot Marius for his own good
He was an exotic waste product
Surplus to Copenhagen requirements
In any case he wouldn’t have liked
Longleat – Whipsnade  or any other facility for that matter
He loved Copenhagen -  the little mermaid girl
And was familiar with all of Hans Christen Anderson’s back catalogue
Could we have sent him to Africa?
Well no
He was a Copenhagen giraffe
And was actually
Too culturally advanced for the Masai Mara
In any case he would have had awful problems
Incorporating his porcelain sensibilities
Into a post colonial framework
He was familiar with the works of Franz Fanon
And was aware of the economic and ecological distortions
Imposed by the former colonial oppressors
But how could we keep him in Copenhagen?
We have too many culturally advanced giraffes already
Our city is awash with sophisticated long necked quadrupeds
And they are so well integrated into the urban ecology
That - to the people of Copenhagen
They are almost a civic emblem!
We love seeing them at the opera
And poking their heads through the skylights
Of our downtown loft conversions
But we do have a surfeit or - as the Dutch would say
An embarrassment of riches
And we must cull to ensure the livelihood of all Copenhagen giraffes moving forward
So far better that Marius be fed as ersatz pork to our bacon loving Copenhagen lions
Than wander across the savannah pondering Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle
With no other giraffes to share the tale of The Little Match Girl
The Tinder Box- -The Emperor’s new Clothes or even The Ugly Duckling
No -  in answer to your question we could never have turned Marius into a Namibian swan
You can take the giraffe out of Copenhagen
But you cannot take Copenhagen out of the giraffe
Also his public dismemberment was charmingly instructive
For all the Copenhagen schoolchildren
All in all I am pleased with our work
And so pleased that the death of Marius
Was so enriching for all concerned
It is a modern fairy tale that Hans himself would have been proud of
Especially in these times of environmental recycling
Actually we are thinking of having a sculpture of him made
To place beside the little mermaid.
It would be a fitting tribute!
Now you must excuse me whilst I prepare for other urban culls
I am a very busy man.”

                Richard Bonfield February 2014 

Friday, 14 February 2014

Faces of Love, a Valentine for You.

Three men to sing for you and three women, I hope you will enjoy these (differing) aspects of love.

Here for you all on the feast of  Saint Valentine is possibly the greatest love song.

Or try this one:

Or this:

Or this:

Or this:

Or this:

Thursday, 13 February 2014

The Weather Forecast

The Weather Forecast

I cling to a tree to stay upright, the wind
is cruel, loud and wild, the air so very
much in motion.   I am used to its inclemency,
all the weather’s recent vagaries, be
they hailstorms, snowstorms or blizzards,
tempests, gales or hurricanes.
There really is no need for isobars,
decibars, millibars or screened  sermons
from weather-prophets, safe in warm studios
in their finery; we surely now believe
that climate is a-changing, like the times.
Mother Nature’s  inclinations have always
given indications:  I follow skies,
cloud movements and their colours,  the flow of  
waters, the aching in my bones.  Even the
strains of birdsong sound nervous and their feeding
frantic, just before a storm. The avians and
the beasts are my weather-gauge, my weather- eye.
Undeterred, my snowdrops thrive,
always stoical,  sweet,  ice-white and full of promise,
a sign of brighter days to come.
I cling  to that.

Cait O’Connor

Tuesday, 11 February 2014




Even the brief attire, the hat, was ill-chosen.
He had the frog’s-eye view and loved to photograph
women as a rule but in his other medium
of words he later wrote:  once you have met Bardot,
the true symbol of sex and liberation then
nothing else will do’, Bardot had allure, such a
sweet, demure beauty with her choucroute hairstyle,
her bikinis, her so-low necks and her gingham.
Taking pictures of this would-be Brigitte,
a cheapskate’s shallow imitation, he wondered
was this to be an unappealing Valentine
for  some young stud or was she forced, coerced
skin and bone, into such an unflattering
pose, this sad young thing who left nothing with
him but an oddly sour taste in his mouth.

Cait O’Connor

Tuesday, 4 February 2014


This is another poem, inspired by a picture,  written for Magpie Tales.



Haunted by a slant of light across the lintel,
I am left hanging now, half-heard in the stillness.
Once you were my cradle, my nightly lullaby;
but now, stealthily as a piano, you 
have become far-distant, faint, barely audible.
I had tried to ignore your dark blue undertones,
played pianissimo, which drew out my tears.
I turned every trick in my last-ditch attempts.
I soft-pedalled, I turned somersaults, I tapped
and I kicked, I changed every tune but your own.
Your notes, once sacred to me, are now muted, laced
with a whispered nuance, so I look down and 
await the final, inevitable
and most deadly silence. 

Cait O’Connor

Sunday, 2 February 2014

There Are Men Too Gentle to Live Among Wolves

I stumbled upon a poet today by the name of James Kavanaugh. I was searching for a quotation to post with some woodland photos and was sidetracked.  My path through the forests took me to this man.  I was captured by his words.  Sadly he died in 2009, aged 81.

After the pics, I have shared a piece of his prose and a poem.

I am one of the searchers. There are, I believe, millions of us. We are not unhappy, but neither are we really content. We continue to explore life, hoping to uncover its ultimate secret. We continue to explore ourselves, hoping to understand. We like to walk along the beach, we are drawn by the ocean, taken by its power, its unceasing motion, its mystery and unspeakable beauty. We like forests and mountains, deserts and hidden rivers, and the lonely cities as well. Our sadness is as much a part of our lives as is our laughter. To share our sadness with one we love is perhaps as great a joy as we can know - unless it be to share our laughter.

We searchers are ambitious only for life itself, for everything beautiful it can provide. Most of all we love and want to be loved. We want to live in a relationship that will not impede our wandering, nor prevent our search, nor lock us in prison walls; that will take us for what little we have to give. We do not want to prove ourselves to another or compete for love.

For wanderers, dreamers, and lovers, for lonely men and women who dare to ask of life everything good and beautiful. It is for those who are too gentle to live among wolves.

 James Kavanaugh

And here the poem:

There are Men Too Gentle To Live Among Wolves

There are men too gentle to live among wolves
Who prey upon them with IBM eyes
And sell their hearts and guts for martinis at noon.
There are men too gentle for a savage world
Who dream instead of snow and children and Halloween
And wonder if the leaves will change their color soon.
There are men too gentle to live among wolves
Who anoint them for burial with greedy claws
And murder them for a merchant's profit and gain.
There are men too gentle for a corporate world
Who dream instead of candied apples and ferris wheels
And pause to hear the distant whistle of a train.
There are men too gentle to live among wolves
Who devour them with eager appetite and search
For other men to prey upon and suck their childhood dry.
There are men too gentle for an accountant's world
Who dream instead of Easter eggs and fragrant grass
And search for beauty in the mystery of the sky.
There are men too gentle to live among wolves
Who toss them like a lost and wounded dove.
Such gentle men are lonely in a merchant's world,
Unless they have a gentle one to love.

James Kavanaugh