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As the sun slips below the horizon, a swan closes its eyes
After a fight at school, acorns are found on the toilet floor
A man holds a bicycle wheel and walks into a cathedral
When its master blows down a cardboard tube, the dog cocks its head to one side
A jogger runs past with "Stop Acid Rain" printed on his tee-shirt
At the airport, baggage tickets hang from the circular light above the check-in desk
Cleaning under his bed, a writer finds his lost pen covered in dust
A pile of cigarette butts lies at the end of a long pier
Outside a tropical hotel, a hotel worker is struck by a large leaf
An ice-cream van breaks down right beside a waterfall
Early spring: unaware that the old house has been sold to a developer, the starlings continue to make their nest under the eaves of the roof.
Pure happiness is fleeting, as when you make a pun or a joke in a dream and think it's extremely funny, only to realize, on waking up and recalling the dream, that your witticism is in fact rather childish, or completely incomprehensible.
They talk about "The Great Way," or "The Royal Way", but long ago it was just a simple path, overgrown with weeds, and night had fallen, and you were lost.
Auden says, "Beams from your car may cross a bedroom wall," the light, segmented by Venetian blinds, forming a fluid zebra crossing, while the sleep-walker, that unconscious pedestrian of the early hours, remains safe in bed, his feet moving beneath the sheets as is he were passing through the air.
On the other side of the world, on the door of a fridge, there is also a photograph of a small dog who sits on the kitchen floor and looks up into the eye of the camera.
What do we record if not those moments that keep slipping away: the play of light on a body of water; the one who makes light of herself, with a shawl, with a scarf; the crack in a pane of glass, glowing like a vein of blood as the sun sets in mid-winter.
While pouring sand out of the eye-sockets of a skull, the lonely giant hears the percussive sound of a large goose running across a bamboo bridge.
Sometimes I think that dogs have an awareness, however vague, that they will die, and therefore let out a sigh every now and then; whereas cats, who are so self-contained, have already returned from the dead, and just sit there, suffused with a strange understanding.
Someone you have always loved is in love again, but with another person, and you are free to stand out of their circle and watch them spin in the midst of a fine rain, a rain that drifts towards you, mingled with the sweetness of their breath.
His left shoulder-blade twitched as if a wing were growing from inside the bone, and he realized, perhaps for the first time, that the horns he had secretly worn were in fact a half-formed halo.
A little bird, chirping outside my window, covers this bare tree in red flowers, and I sigh, and the sigh remains like a faint star in the twilight of my room.
He wanted to paint the crucifixion from behind, but when he imagined the scene, the back of the cross began to recede as the surrounding landscape spread out, the hill of Golgotha leading him down to a stony plain, and then to a river beside which there stood a small thatched cottage.
At the end of the world, on a deserted beach, a young god has been transformed into three circles of cut glass, the size of headlights, which lie embedded in a long plank of driftwood.
He wrote, "I wish to be able to live my life without metaphors," and then he added, "like a fish swimming through clear water."
Another winter spent in a northern land: looking at the icicles that lengthen beneath the eaves of the houses, I can't help but think, "I'm getting long in the tooth."
When we've gone, the wind will lean against a lamp-post; and the solitary heron, who usually walks beside the water's edge, will take up a piece of seaweed and fly into the branches of a pine tree.
©Richard von Sturmer