The force that through the green fuse drives the flower

The Force That Through the Green Fuse Drives the Flower” is a poem by Welsh poet Dylan Thomas—the poem that “made Thomas famous.”[1] Written in 1933 (when Thomas was nineteen), it was first published in his 1934collection 18 Poems.

Like the other poems in 18 Poems, which belong to what has been called Thomas’s “womb-tomb period”, it deals with “creation, both physical and poetic, and the temporal process of birth, death, and rebirth”.[1]


The poem was the inspiration for a series of paintings by Ceri Richards made between 1943 and 1945.[2] Some phrases (“starry dynamo” and “machinery of night”) in Allen Ginsberg‘s 1955 poem “Howl” were derived from Thomas’s poem.[3] As well, its title served as the basis for the 1976 Roger Zelazny story “The Force That Through the Circuit Drives the Current”.

At you

Iris Murdoch would like this

I was unready for anything,
with no charms like a bee.
Each fresh day is torture..
As you  will hate me.

I was as tame as a dingo,
I was right in my mind.
Each night  had its daydreams,
In that you were   real kind.

I was charmed by your molars.
They were sharper than whales.
Each dawn brought the moon out.
As you cut your nails.

Rolling stones gathered
Your heart was not mine.
I’ll give you what you wish for.
It is by my  design .
As long as the clock speaks
As long as the rose.
As long as the bike pumps..
I’ll remember your nose.

As long as my patterns;
As brief as they are;
As long as my brain’s dead
I shall parsnip a star.

I love a good proverb.
I love no cliches.
When you find some Wisdom
Do not sever my pay.

Justice long as a ruler,
Sharpened to a screw.
When you are more kind,then
I may leak what I brew
As long as the flat Earth
As wise as it’s broad.
The moon in the water
Heard the crow caw.

Please hear my tall story
Sing  beside my cello.
I may fail at  the Strife Class
But I can  say , I know

I went to the Church belle,
And asked for a clue.
The finger on the dial
Kept pointing at you

W G Sebald’s Small Silences

Photo by Mike Flemming.Copyright

The Power of W. G. Sebald’s Small Silences


The Rings of Saturn follows a Sebald-like narrator as he walks along England’s eastern coast, letting his mind wander along with his feet. The prose follows the narrator’s digressions from each place and idea to the next, moving freely in time and space. The last chapter is concerned almost entirely with the subject of silkworms. Sebald’s narrator, inspired by the writings of the 17th-century polymath Thomas Browne, traces the history of sericulture—the rearing of silkworms for the production of silk—from its origins in ancient China to its arrival in Europe to its use in 20th-century Germany.

Like much of the novel, this fairly erudite discussion, while arresting in its way, does not immediately make its significance known. Then, a few pages from the novel’s end, the narrator considers a film he happened upon the preceding summer on the subject of silk cultivation under the Third Reich. As the booklet that accompanies the film informs both narrator and reader, in the 1930s, silk production became an important part of Hitler’s demand for an economically self-sufficient Germany. As a result, sericulture became a common feature of children’s education. It turned out to serve many pedagogical functions. In one of the novel’s most memorable passages, Sebald writes:

Any number [of silkworms] could be had for virtually nothing, they were perfectly docile and needed neither cages nor compounds, and they were suitable for a variety of experiments (weighing, measuring and so forth) at every stage of their evolution. They could be used to illustrate the structure and distinctive features of insect anatomy, insect domestication, retrogressive mutations, and the essential measures which are taken by breeders to monitor productivity and selection, including extermination to preempt racial degeneration. – In the film, we see a silk-worker receiving eggs despatched by the Central Reich Institute of Sericulture in Celle, and depositing them in sterile trays. We see the hatching, the feeding of the ravenous caterpillars, the cleaning out of the frames, the spinning of the silken thread, and finally the killing, accomplished in this case not by putting the cocoons out in the sun or in a hot oven, as was often the practice in the past, but by suspending them over a boiling cauldron. The cocoons, spread out on shallow baskets, have to be kept in the rising steam for upwards of three hours, and when a batch is done, it is the next one’s turn, and so on until the entire killing business is completed.

With the phrase “extermination to preempt racial degeneration,” Sebald slips seamlessly from the discussion of sericulture to an oblique discussion of the Final Solution. The description of the film takes on a haunting doubleness. It is both an explanation of the killing of silkworms and an evocation of the Nazi genocide.

When I returned to this passage, what struck me most was the dash Sebald places between the description of the use of silkworms in the classroom and the account of the film—a single dash that hovers between two complete sentences. What could be its significance?

“The dash, situated between the talk of schoolroom sericulture and the talk of silkworm execution, creates a moment of silence for the victims of the death camps.”



verb: resuscitate; 3rd person present: resuscitates; past tense: resuscitated; past participle: resuscitated; gerund or present participle: resuscitating
  1. revive (someone) from unconsciousness or apparent death.
    “an ambulance crew tried to resuscitate him”
    synonyms: bring round, revive, bring back, bring (back) to life, bring someone (back) to their senses, bring back to consciousness, rescuesave, bring back from the edge of death; More

    • make (something) active or vigorous again.
      “measures to resuscitate the ailing economy”
      synonyms: reviveresurrectrestoreregeneraterevitalize, breathe new life into, give the kiss of life to, give a new lease of life to, reinvigoraterenewawaken, wake up, rejuvenatestimulatere-establishreinstituterelaunch;

      “measures to resuscitate the economy”
early 16th century: from Latin resuscitat- ‘raised again’, from the verb resuscitare, from re- ‘back’ + suscitare ‘raise’.

Sweeping the floor and more thrills

Not my kitchen!

I have been busy all morning emptying my fridge/freezer and moving things about.I found 2 oven timers and the usual set of teaspoons and clothes pegs!
Now the new one is here after I swept and vacuumed the floor.It seem bigger inside
Tomorrow I will be watching some of the Royal Wedding on TV,if I am in a suitable frame of mind.We are not having  as street party.We had one in 2011.I enjoyed  seeing all my neighbours.

The conscientious objector by Karl Shapiro


The Conscientious Objector

The gates clanged and they walked you into jail
More tense than felons but relieved to find
The hostile world shut out, the flags that dripped
From every mother’s windowpane, obscene
The bloodlust sweating from the public heart,
The dog authority slavering at your throat.
A sense of quiet, of pulling down the blind
Possessed you. Punishment you felt was clean.
The decks, the catwalks, and the narrow light
Composed a ship. This was a mutinous crew
Troubling the captains for plain decencies,
A Mayflower brim with pilgrims headed out
To establish new theocracies to west,
A Noah’s ark coasting the topmost seas
Ten miles above the sodomites and fish.
These inmates loved the only living doves.
Like all men hunted from the world you made
A good community, voyaging the storm
To no safe Plymouth or green Ararat;
Trouble or calm, the men with Bibles prayed,
The gaunt politicals construed our hate.
The opposite of all armies, you were best
Opposing uniformity and yourselves;
Prison and personality were your fate.
You suffered not so physically but knew
Maltreatment, hunger, ennui of the mind.
Well might the soldier kissing the hot beach
Erupting in his face damn all your kind.
Yet you who saved neither yourselves nor us
Are equally with those who shed the blood
The heroes of our cause. Your conscience is
What we come back to in the armistice.