underwater photography of ocean

Photo by Jeremy Bishop on

For each separate creation –
Insect, fish, animal, bird, tree, flower and human, 
Flea, flounder, fox, fulmar, fir, fuschia,  and Fijian, 
Hornet, hake, hound, hen, holly, honeysuckle and Hindu, 
Existence is all

Each is I,
All are me
Each existing at the very centre 
Of Creation’s Great Scheme
However minute
However massive
Existing at that centre
All significant
And with relevance
To me and only me

Even meaning exists only for me
I am the great centre
The one and only focal point of existence
Uniquely grounded
Connected to all else only by that uniqueness

Connected yet disconnected
Both selfish and selfless
Both dead and alive


Emily Dickinson: I’m Nobody! Who are you?

[  # 76 of My Favourite Short Poems  ]

Emily Dickinson

This is the third in a Monday sequence of poems, by three very different poets,but all of which have been composed as soul-searching expressions of the sense of self or the search for the same.

This is one of Emily Dickinson’s most quoted poems, short and to the point, in which she takes a more positive, if seemingly down-beat, stance on the subject.

Its memorable opening lines, grab the reader’s interest with their boldness and certainty.

I’m Nobody! Who are you?
Are you – Nobody, too?
Then there’s a pair of us – don’t tell!
They’d advertise – you know!

How dreary – to be – Somebody!
How public – like a Frog –
To tell one’s name – the livelong June –
To an admiring Bog!

I think she is revelling in the fact that she is not well-known as a poet.  She, in fact, is enjoying her anonymity.  Apart from a very few, her poems were not published until after she died, and the freedom which this gave her from the publicity and pressures which fame can bring, she greatly valued.  So very different from the uncertainties and lack of self-esteem from which both John Clare and Sylvia Plath suffered.




‘The Sum of all our Memories’


Photo: :  ‘Two Against The World’ – WHB


If it is true
As it is said
That we are
The sum of all our memories
Then I will collect yours
By colour and by time
Count them
Order them
Sort them into their separate strands
Bind these close together
Plait them into skeins
Then hang them round your neck
As a daisy chain
To adorn and demonstrate
My love for you

Thus I will find
behind that closed facade
That barrier of reticence
The real you
The essence of your being
Your throbbing vibrant heart
Beating its rhythm
In time with my own

I will break down
Your defences
And at last discover
The self which claims
to love me
To want to own me
To be my buttress
Shoring me up
Against my troubles

And when your dam
Finally breaks
The following floods
Will swamp my uncertainties
Shoring up my resolve
So that together
We can face
An unforgiving world



My Inner Self


‘Contemplation’ – Pen and Wash … WHB: August 2017


In the private
life of my mind 
I am blind 
To all else 
But myself 
It is where I live 
And give 
To no one 

Escaping pain
Selfish thoughts reign
I disdain
Those interruptions
Reality’s incursions 
Into my fenced off realm 
Where exist no qualms
Other than those I truly own
To all save me 

For here I am free 
From my overt life 
My true self’s bed
On which I have bled
A thousand wounds
But healed within
This inner cache
Hard ego shell
Learned defence
Against reality
And the imperative thrust
of time and circumstance
Looking always for 
That memory trace
That state of grace
To which I aspire.