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Imagine returning from the Crusades
With enough money to build
A grand stone house, so far
In the mountains that conflict
Could never find you again.

Sitting in this courtyard,
On the uneven flagstones laid
Long ago, I like to think
They succeeded, at least
For a generation or two.

But history tells us
You can run, but you
Cannot hide. So we who hide
Must return to confront
What is happening
In the world.
Robert Louis Stevenson toured the Cevennes with. Donkey. We took a Peugeot 208.
George Raitt Jun 16
In a still night under southern stars,
Sleeping in a rough farm shed,
From neighbouring farms
Across the valley, the dogs bark.

In our home city, the sound
Of trams rattling down the road
Blends into the background noise.
But next door, the dogs bark.

In this city, both ancient and new,
With moonlight streaming
In our window across the tiled
Rooftops, the dogs bark.
George Raitt Jun 9
A string of meaningless words,
Repeated endlessly,
Can be visual art, it seems.

In 1942 Gorgio Mirandi painted
A still life of a cup and a vase
Because they were there,
And reflected light.

A string of meaningless words
Can be art criticism, it seems.
And may even be poetry?

But string is real:
Tied around my finger,
I feel it and remember.

Stone, glass and steel is real,
If you can touch it,
Otherwise it could just be
An illusion.

The finger prints and DNA
Of all of us who touched
The rusted steel installation,
Despite the signs, are real,
Though you cannot see them
Or feel our presence.

Like the shiny parts
Of bronze statues touched
By each passing viewer,
Do these not form part
Of the work of art?
While respecting the work of artists, sometimes you just have to agree to disagree.
George Raitt Jun 7
In vivo; in  vitro;
in silico; in lapis;
In pulverem.
Latin via science and google. Apologies to scholars.
George Raitt Jun 7
Stone-cutters fighting time with marble, you foredefeated
Challengers of oblivion.
Eat cynical earnings, knowing rock splits, records fall down,
The square-limbed Roman letters
Scale in the thaws, wear in the rain.
The poet as well
Builds his monument mockingly;
For man will be blotted out, the blithe earth die, the brave sun
Die blind and blacken to the heart:
Yet stones have stood for a thousand years, and pained thoughts found
The honey of peace in old poems.
Maybe he too had toured Roman buildings in Spain as I am doing now.
George Raitt Jun 6
The ancients did not
Hesitate to build atop
Their predecessors.

But city walls came
Down to make way for narrow
Roads to new places.
George Raitt Jun 4
Je sais que tout est
Fini derriere moi et que
Retour est exclu.
My high school French nearly gets it: I know that all is finished behind me and that there is no return.
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