Filling the Silence: How I Learned Chinese from a Stranger on the Train to Penzance (reblog)

We’ve been sat in silence for around an hour. Not actual silence, obviously – we’re on a train – but that specific breed of not talking that loiters aggressively on public transport, enabled by digital cocooning, fear of rejection, and an overzealous adherence to that childhood motto, ‘don’t talk to strangers’.

However, my own cocoon has seen better days. I’ve forgotten my headphones, grown bored of my e-reader and consumed more coffee than food, and frankly I’m struggling. It’s time to break the rules and TALK TO A STRANGER.

Source: Filling the Silence: How I Learned Chinese from a Stranger on the Train to Penzance

Deleted, rewritten

Used to not seeing you for so long,

Why do you suddenly reappear,

Lounging back in your chair, sprawled

Like a Greek god, head thrown back in laughter;

Arm outstretched, fingertips carelessly brushing

the sleeves of those who come like adoring subjects.

Sudden anger. Who are they to you, could they know more about you

than me?

1st Aug ’16

Excerpts from Keats and Donne

Yes, I’m alive, I’m alive! Not much to report here, other than some poetry I’ve been reading recently; realised two are by poets named John, though written more than 200 years apart:
One-thoughted, never-wandering, guileless love,
Unmasked, and being seen—without a blot!
O! let me have thee whole,—all—all—be mine!

“I cry your mercy-pity-love! -aye, love!

(1819)

John Keats

 

Our two souls therefore, which are one,

Continue reading “Excerpts from Keats and Donne”