Tuesday, 12 January 2016


Time present and time past
Are both perhaps present in time future,
And time future contained in time past.
If all time is eternally present
All time is unredeemable.
What might have been is an abstraction
Remaining a perpetual possibility
Only in a world of speculation.
What might have been and what has been
Point to one end, which is always present.
Footfalls echo in the memory
Down the passage which we did not take
Towards the door we never opened
Into the rose-garden. My words echo
Thus, in your mind.
                              But to what purpose
Disturbing the dust on a bowl of rose-leaves
I do not know.
                        Other echoes
Inhabit the garden. Shall we follow?
Quick, said the bird, find them, find them,
Round the corner. Through the first gate,
Into our first world, shall we follow
The deception of the thrush? Into our first world.
There they were, dignified, invisible,
Moving without pressure, over the dead leaves,
In the autumn heat, through the vibrant air,
And the bird called, in response to
The unheard music hidden in the shrubbery,
And the unseen eyebeam crossed, for the roses
Had the look of flowers that are looked at.
There they were as our guests, accepted and accepting.
So we moved, and they, in a formal pattern,
Along the empty alley, into the box circle,
To look down into the drained pool.
Dry the pool, dry concrete, brown edged,
And the pool was filled with water out of sunlight,
And the lotos rose, quietly, quietly,
The surface glittered out of heart of light,
And they were behind us, reflected in the pool.
Then a cloud passed, and the pool was empty.
Go, said the bird, for the leaves were full of children,
Hidden excitedly, containing laughter.
Go, go, go, said the bird: human kind
Cannot bear very much reality.
Time past and time future
What might have been and what has been

Point to one end, which is always present.

~ T.S. Eliot  (No. 1 of "Four Quartets")

Thursday, 29 October 2015


A lake encircled by swaying reeds,
And flowers shaded by crimson blush.
Koi dance on in the crystal depths,
While butterflies lap the pollen's touch.

Warm rays sneak through the boughs' embrace,
And brush away the summer mist.
They land upon the lizard's flesh
That by the gentle breeze is kissed.

Two brothers frolic in the joy
And lounge upon the warming sand.
Troubles that once did disturb them
Just echo from a fading land.

~ C. Spies

Friday, 18 September 2015


A group sets forth on a new journey. They walk softly and gently, mesmerised by their new surroundings, tentatively feeling every blade of grass between their toes. As their feet become steady and their curiosity grows, they make their way towards the towering mound that sits on the horizon. What could lie beyond that fast approaching hill?

They are greeted by the fresh wonder of a new experience, and spurred on by the thought of another glimpse of beauty. The group hurries on from this place of tranquility, hoping upon hope that an even more enchanting view lies beyond their next horizon.

In the distance a vast bulk rests beneath the summer sky. The group gains speed, tense with anticipation, hungry for sights as yet unseen. Some in the group fall behind, while others jostle and shove, desperate to see beyond the towering mass. The group walks on. 

As they makes their way higher, time begins to slow. The pace is calmer; the group kinder.  As their sight improves, the group begins to take more time to appreciate the views that lie beside them. They take the time to reflect on every sight and every scent. Each flower is seen in full, every insect appreciated. 

Some of the group begin to grow tired and choose to rest in the calm of the passing meadow, but there are others who are still pulled by the imagined beauty of the summit.  Leaving those who wish to rest, the group continues on their journey. 

With the passing of time, the foot-falls become quieter and the conversations become a quiet hum. They continue to climb the towering mound, but slowly. 

As they make their way along their journey, more and more begin to lag behind, and, eventually, the group dwindles to two. A woman, once strong and fit, walks on. Her steps are cautious and her breath laboured, but her companion lends a helping hand. As they walk on, their conversation is quiet but comforting. 

Finally, there is only one who walks the winding road; only one who admires the flowers and the birds on this solitary hike. The woman's companion has walked for many miles, gently guiding the group along their way and gathering up those who fell behind. There is a calmness in the air and a sense of serenity. Having left the pathway emptier and emptier, eventually Death walks alone. 

~ C. Spies

Thursday, 3 September 2015


Dream a little dream of me;
Of times long past and days now gone.
Dream of times of shining splendour,
With glowing lights and distant songs.

The age has past where we could see
Our future with lucidity.
We have no time for long-lost plans,
Or space for regularity.

Leave all your forlorn thoughts behind,
A trickle from the dried up stream,
Then run from your consuming lives,
And melt into your fragile dreams.

~ C. Spies


Death is before me today:
like the recovery of a sick man,
like going forth into a garden after sickness.

Death is before me today:
like the odour of myrrh,
like sitting under a sail in a good wind.

Death is before me today:
like the course of a stream;
like the return of a man from the war-galley to his house.

Death is before me today:
like the home that a man longs to see,
after years spent as a captive.

~ From "Dialogue of a Misanthrope with His Soul" (ca 2000 BC), now called "Dispute Between a Man and His Ba," from a papyrus of the middle kingdom of Egypt.

Wednesday, 22 July 2015


I close my eyes
To clear my mind.
The pain inside 
That keeps us tied,
It's in the fear
That's drifting here.
Time depends on me,
I understand.

Why do you cry
Upon the night?
A ring of fire 
That burns to bright.
We drift away
To reach the day. 
Don't come to me,
I'll disappear.

Under the stars 
I feel no space.
We're coming now 
To clear the crowd.
Don't leave me here
To feel their fear.
I see my mind;
Open your eyes.

~ C. Spies


I sit inside a darkened room
Surrounded by familiar gloom.
Under the door I see a crack,
But gusts of wind do blow it black.

Your face is not a mask removed,
But sketch all drawn with lines anew.
I see you form before my eyes;
A creature born of compromise.

Dichotomy of good and bad
Lies twisted in this selfish land
Where people live life to consume.
I sit here in my darkened room.

~ C. Spies