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Friday, September 13, 2013

Cloudless nights

Cloudless night, unblinking stars on a shimmering sea,
Boats on the Bosphorus, ranged in constellations beneath me.

Cloudless night, Orion swaggers above me,
I smile and dream of things that cannot be.

Saturday, August 24, 2013


Poker is not a game for sentimental fools.

"Poker is fun", she said, "Shall I teach you?"
He nodded.

The first hand was a comedy of errors, and she corrected him gently.
"Let's call that a practice hand", she grinned.
"Okay, I'm ready now", he responded.

Something must have lost its way in translation.
When he was dealt his second hand
(which, defying beginner's luck, was quite bad)
he blurted it out and went all in.

She blinked, confused. "You're bluffing. I'll call that".
Out came the flop, turn and river.
A royal flush for the lady!
She clapped her hands in delight "I win!"
"I'm curious. Seriously, what cards do you have?"

He was perplexed.
Why didn't she believe him?
He clenched his cards to his chest.
"No. You took my money, I'm keeping these cards."
She smiled protesting, "That's not how poker works!"
He pocketed the cards and made to leave.

Poker is not a game for sentimental fools.

Sunday, January 20, 2013


Spanning an impossibly deep gorge
hangs a ribbon-bedecked bridge.
On snowy mornings,
It is a mirror beneath my feet.

When I step across without a care,
It swings merrily in the wind.
And when, with a sigh, I shuffle across,
It heaves and shudders and sinks.

A matter of time, if it keeps step with me,
The sinking bridge,
ribbons and all,
will surely fall.

"It's strange that one does not start to value things until one is about to lose them. There is a bridge from my heart to yours, spanning all the vastness of distance. Across that bridge I have been used to writing to you about our daily round and the world we live in out here. I wanted to tell you the truth when I came home, and then we would never have spoken of war again. Now you will learn the truth, the last truth, earlier than I intended. And now I can write no more.
There will always be bridges as long as there are shores; all we need is the courage to tread them. One of them now leads to you, the other into eternity -- which for me is ultimately the same thing.
Tomorrow morning I shall set foot on the last bridge. That's a literary way of describing death, but you know I always liked to write things differently because of the pleasure words and their sounds gave me. Lend me your hand, so that the way is not too hard."