Friday, 29 January 2016


За Док/For Doc

Life comes and goes. In the depths of it,
there's death stripped back as far as winter
and what we might receive. It’s how
you look at it in the angle of the sun
and memories trying hard to occupy
an absence. Our intention was
to walk that wintry spine of hills:
unlikely explorers, advocates
of the open air. Only caught now
in this pub, we’re sinking pints
and raising whatever we’ve got left,
an almost perfect architecture of myths.

Friday, 22 January 2016

Майка и дете/Mother and child

A moment of quiet contentment, fading
into sleep: a memory in that – recalled
partially at least while the world
and its words shift out, make space
for the barely registered breath
and its sudden insistence,
distant footsteps and, further still,
the screech, the squeak of a tram.

In the light from an uncurtained window,
everything else is no more than a rumour.
The silent hands move. Outside,
avenues spread like an arterial system,
a map of possibilities which
you might want to take or not.

Image: Marina Shiderova; text: Tom Phillips

Friday, 15 January 2016

Чупене на стъкло/Breaking Glass

Bleak start to the year and the loss
of those who went and saw
no flinching at what was no more
than an all-too-familiar inhumanity.

Snow falls and the ghoul Death
flirts at the edge of fairy tales:
nothing in comparison pales
as we play back that history.

Across anonymous border zones
there's reclaimed land –
the geography of what might be found
in these thickets and copses.

Tomorrow what this landscape says
will be interpreted in myriad ways.

Friday, 8 January 2016


Born facing north, frozen vacancies,
with an eye to the footloose and rootless,
who’d have known that in aftermaths
of peace negotiations, he’d have his say?
Though an idea foiled by best intentions
couldn't stop the would-be hard men
striking out to make their mark.

A recurrence of polar frustrations,
forced decisions on diminishing time,
like being locked into arctic currents
and the same pragmatic recourse –
the difficult delayed not by geography
but politics in those later years.

From the brow of the Fram, he’d not
have seen such complexities, heard
little more than their distant clangour
in the grating screech of pack ice.

Known for his polar expeditions, Fridtjof Nansen was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1922 for his work with refugees.

Image: Marina Shiderova; text: Tom Phillips