The Three Swans of 2022

Grateful to Silvia for inspiration and for the picture.

At the primary school, we learnt to write the number 2 visualizing the shape of a swan. I do not know why. To make the tedious repetitive task more appealing? A row of swans in my lined notebook, each one slightly different from another. The year 2022 has three swans in it. Swans are both graceful and menacing creatures; you do not want to swim too close to them. Even our Brittany Spaniard Maggie dog knew that, and she was an excellent swimmer and a water bird hunter by genes and reputation.

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Ma chambre bleue

Plongée dans une douce pénombre
Ma chambre prend une couleur bleue
toute seule, je n’ai pas peur des ombres
même s’il fait sombre quand il pleut



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Turn the Oven Off

Story inspired by Tami Afta’s picture shown here

Outtake from the series “The Dog’s in the Car”, 2019
© British Journal of Photography

Pam had been married to Roger for over 25 years now and they had become what is mostly known as a typical old couple. They knew each other so well that they were usually able to guess what the other one was thinking before he or she even uttered the first word. This resulted in them actually no longer talking, as there was no more surprise or use to communicating really; everything had been said. Continue reading

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Les trois inséparables

Au fond de mon tiroir se cache une photo de trois dames d’un certain âge souriant à un bébé. Je scrute leurs visages, sans les reconnaître d’abord. Finalement, un vieux souvenir remonte à la surface de ma mémoire. Évidemment, ce sont les amies bruxelloises de ma grand-mère ! Les trois inséparables, comme on les appelait. Tellement inséparables qu’elles partagèrent le même homme dans leur vie. Une histoire incroyable. Son nom à lui ne me revient pas mais je vais l’appeler Roger. C’est un nom tout à fait convenable pour un jeune homme appelé à combattre dans les rangs de l’armée belge en 1914.

À l’époque, les trois amies ­ Édith, Germaine et Marguerite ­ avaient 18 ans et étaient fraîchement fiancées. Il faut dire que l’arrivée de la guerre précipita bon nombre de fiançailles, sans doute pour donner aux futurs soldats une lueur d’espoir, la promesse étincelante d’une vie meilleure avant d’être envoyés à la mort. Et une raison pour revenir des champs de bataille. Continue reading

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No More Afraid

“Black Square” by Kazimir Malevitch – courtesy of Wikipedia

In infancy

No more Afraid, of the Void

That mother will switch off the light
And the Darkness will swallow me whole?

No more Afraid, of the Monster

That my fairy tale book will fall open
At the page of the horrible ghoul?

No more Afraid, of Agitation

That shutting my eyes won’t prevent
The devil appearing from the screen?

In youth

No more Afraid, of Intimidation

That bully boys with less brain than brawn
Will beat me and leave me to cower?

No more Afraid, of Failure

That I’ll never be able to master
My nerves with those nasty exams?

No more Afraid, of Rejection

That feelings rebuffed by sweet girls
Will mean I will never know love?

In adulthood

No more Afraid, of Despair

That Coldness will come and consume me
And saviours will not be at hand?

No more Afraid, of Toil

That seeking each day comprehension
Will not be rewarded with Truth?

No more Afraid, of Injustice

That destitute souls will remain
And they’ll never be place for us all?

In maturity

No more Afraid, of Iniquity

That Wisdom cries ‘lone in the street
And fools who hate Knowledge rule the World?

No more Afraid, of Catastrophe

That Plagues caused by human unthinking
Will never be once overcome?

No more Afraid, of Mortality

Of the Wretched who say “Life ends here”
And we never meet again, You and Me?

No more Afraid?

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