.. ..


.. ..

The Glass of Pain

.. ..

The clear glass pane all muddied with her tears

at one time she nearly crossed the line of right 

and wrong, the grey lovebirds’ song, but failed

.. ..

Beguiled and rebuffed she worried she would not

amount to much until she felt his touch and softened,

the gatekeeper’s daughter who loved what he brought her

.. ..

Anything seemed better than this, even the scent of bliss

which wrapped itself around his hand, the dream of another

land with summer air and no burden, no work, no care

.. ..

She combed her long brown hair and wondered what it might

be like to dare and be different, to be the person you were

and not the desire of someone else’s purpose and imagination

.. ..


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birds and bees

§  §  §

It was a thunderclap that woke them

woven as they were golden

They had slept that way for hours

carried home honey from the bees


They first met in ’54 when what they did

was way below the law

Marian always the clever one

& Maud who wore the shawl


They both drank bourbon from

a tall tin cup; an amphora

A crystal chalice or a beaker

but when they held hands it was cleaner


Not many people had said

they were made for each other

then Marianne bought pansies

Maud wept & then became her lover


Souls twine like rope, useful and strong

The head of a horse stands up

as proud as the day is long

these two wore vivid silk sarongs


And hiding in the fisher hut

her Polish father’s sweet garret

they spoke for hours of love and pain

till Maud guessed the amber stain


Their ’78 became a by-word flame

the cultured opulence of their modern day

glitter gave way to the raw colours of earth

so they made a kind of docu fillum’


This day, today – people stop & listen

when their love was its strongest

opinion divided by hatreds engine driven

love’s purple flower was too well hidden


People’s views change, glow & glisten

In the dockyard, schoolyard or the mission

Mauds temper finally broke the bowl & strew

diamonds, soft lilies & golden fishes


So lovely, the hands of Marian

Who could ‘of sat in forest wolds, in felt hat

Strumming words, loving birds, telling Maud

No other matter matters, but Love.


a ballad written over many months byedenbraycompleted24.09.2017



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.  .  .

When you first see Venice shimmering

in the sun, it is a city walking on water.

Your first inclination demands you weep 

and if heaven is a more endless sight

then only those with broken hearts may enter.

.. .

 The complexion of angels,

rose-strewn and blood-dried, the walls.

Arched bridges wanton, drape themselves

like artists models over the water streets

and as sirens, they draw your worn soul

.. .

I have waited on your tempered, wet streets

searched your bazaars cold, shaded grey.

I have climbed your steep, paved bridges

stood repentant in study of saintly churches.

Absolved, atoned, purged – in love’s blush.


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just words

Today is yet another of those days in life when any words are empty, banal, unimportant but somehow today seem equally necessary. Since I have not yet suffered first hand the atrocity of war or seen a loved one ripped from my side by violence or lost a child to either accident or illness I am probably one of many millions least qualified to comment and yet by nature of shared humanity, imagination, overwhelming compassion and sadness I found myself silent again this morning on hearing of another terrible end to innocent human life.

I could not speak!

A silence akin to so many I can recall on hearing bad news from that time at 12 years old I heard of JFK’s assassination to 9/11 and on to now when withdrawal into one’s self has always seemed to me the only proper response out of single, sincere respect for those whose loss is an unbearable torture that can surely never be healed.

Today’s savage news filters through, that a group of families, young persons and children at a pop concert have been targeted by a nameless assassin with delusional pretensions who left messages to pretend that this act of selfish suicide and murder was a final act of religious worth and worship.

I protest at a society so seemingly unprepared, dysfunctional and uncaring that has allowed this ultimately sick individual to escape detection and apprehension to receive either care or incarceration. A society so self-absorbed it has stood impassively by while he has apparently learned the skills from some dubious source or other of how to build a crude and shockingly cruel explosive device. A ‘civilised’ society that has ultimately watched as this cruel, misguided horror of a person has wandered undetected into the foyer of a major entertainment centre in one of our largest cities and wrought a hellish conclusion to so many young lives and brought unimaginable pain and suffering to their parents, families, friends, a whole nation and all caring people.

I protest because that is all I can think to do – for today I cannot stay silent !!!

.. .

On this day at this time I cannot stay silent while today I vow never to speak the name of that supposed Islamist group  ‘_ _ _ _’  with which a growing band of sad, evil-minded, loner, social misfits and outcasts wish to align themselves.

Today I cannot stay silent except of them and out of respect for those who have died, been maimed or suffered loss, I will endeavour to never even think of their evil name again.

If you wish to join me in this ‘silence’ vow please indicate below. Nothing more is required.

.. .

Sincerest wishes and prayers go out to all the injured and bereaved and to the great City of Manchester! Please believe we stand with you at this time!

.. .

edenbray – Tuesday 23rd May 2017 .. .

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The Willow Awl

To take this moment and spread a shawl

Around and over our many hedged thoughts

Of where and when we ever set a compass

Or drew lines to our reasoned, grey target


The object of every night’s star or dream

It is in this fondness for the subject

that fits so smoothly in the palm of your hand

A useful, treasured friend, a kind of hand to hold




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> <<

The uncomfortable truth

like a swollen river flooding

carries purpose with waste

and a tune you may only whistle

<<< >>>

No one can hold a soft, black moth

or a paper fly in a calloused hand

without damage or bruising conscience

it’s a deceit you are forced to learn


That face I love has grown older now

innocence creased, wan and leathered

it still holds the memory that burns

worth more now the envelopes open


Things go with you to the grave

not just secrets, lies or murder

words unspoken, silent confessions,

quiet prayers queuing for an answer

<> ><>

In that velvet, purple journal

love’s treasured moments rest

they glisten in their infancy

colours of a pheasants chest

<>< <><

Lives lived with faces to the wall

harsh choices made in haste

loyalty a dark knight, 

filiality a burnished, beaten sword

<<> <>>

Hold it tight together

your arms wrapped round it’s chest

what’s good, what’s brave, what’s honest

dressed in gold, a silken vest

> <


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Is taking the time

whose taken the train

or followed the line

to where the end is before the beginning ?


Whole nights wasted and forlorn

pasted in albums 

with yellow ends torn

not even buried, not ever drawn


Fake moments dressed 

cold cake, cold flesh

peppered bold, worn yet stressed

a layman’s cove 




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‘30,000 HITS under the sea’

30,000 HITS

The writer stepped out of the boat on 12.12.2010 and like Jesus or was it King Canute who stood and commanded the waters ‘Stop, come no further’. I walked, I swam, I sank in the flooding waters of social networking while I hastily googled ‘How to make an ark’ as those very technological waters lapped around my ankles. I soon learned with 6,489 other viewers, on a You-tube instructional video, from a guy called Norris who lives way out-of-town, near Baltimore in Maryland USA, just how easy, not, that is to do.

I think it is one of the crimes of the aged who recognise supposed ‘medical loss of memory’ makes a great let-out for saying the most ill-founded and controversial nonsense. Generally, rational society forgives infants, the infirm and the elderly for errors of opinion and fact. Seniors can be razor-quick to take advantage and allow relevant gaps in their sentences to add weight to the notion that what they are saying, however apparently half-baked, should be given more credence due to the march of time, lets not say ‘senility’.

Of course it was actually Jesus who walked on water, Canute who spoke to the water – unsuccessfully, Moses who spoke to the water – successfully and Noah who built a big, wooden boat and called it an ‘ark’. It was however Captain Nemo who in many ways topped the lot by building a sea-craft, the Nautilus, that descended under the water to unknown depths to explore the mysteries of the deep. … relevant gap … While I assume at this point you may well indeed be unclear whether I recognise what is fact or fiction, you are at least ‘hanging in’ there with me … That assumed I may continue, fairly confident that I have managed to at least half deliver a major hoodwink to you my dear readers.

Jules Verne imagined a genius inventor with a troubled conscience who embraced the future while repressing the past, never an easy skill and one that eventually did him no favours as he comes off in our thinking as somewhere between psychopath and megalomaniac. Without doubt he can be considered dangerously crazy even with hindsight and that view could not be construed overstated or a harsh social character analysis. 

On the positive side, Captain Nemo embraced future technologies and sought to conquer an alien environment, something usually admired by humankind, who hold explorers and pioneers in very good esteem. Christopher Columbus, the Wright brothers, Scott and Amundsen, David Livingstone, Uri Gagarin, Armstrong and Aldrin, Ferdinand Magellan.

When this writer stepped from his wee yoal, named the ‘Dubious Notoriety’ and into that great sea of technology’s effluence and began to float, sink, swim, flounder, he held no great pretensions other than the sincere desire to set his sail as best he could and stay afloat for at least a short while, whilst tending to his vessel, whatever form that took, within the mainstream or possibly the wake, of society’s newfound cyberspace. Nothing as grandiose as Mr Noah’s unique craft you understand or as technologically wonderful as Captain Nemo’s Nautilus but for all that the writer felt a certain draught of pioneer spirit attended his flow and so he ventured on and on and continues to do so by golly, bit by bit, hit by hit, blog by blog, site by site and ocean by symbolic ocean.

This week his site, this site, was clocked for it’s 30 thousandth time (see Blog Stats : Top Right Corner). That, in a way, represents 30,000 hits under the sea, of social networking that is. Certainly the equivalent of 30,000 Leagues for me, as I continue my own personal circumnavigation of the social networking world, trying my damn-dest to make a name for myself ~ edenbray the writer. A bit like Sir Francis Chichester? Ellen MacArthur? and good old Ferdinand Magellan? He, by the way, was the first one to do that particular feat – now you didn’t like to admit that you didn’t know who he was ~ now did you?


P.S. Yes I do know the film was titled ‘20,000 Leagues’ – but did not know there was also a sequel with the predictable title ~ 30,000 Leagues – Under The Sea!?

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Oak tree b&w

.. .

The old oak tree

makes an ancient eery sound

Its roots spread out

deep within the ground

.. .

The great old oak tree

standing sound and true

I wish something like that

could be said of . .. me

.. .


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The Eye People


‘The wonderful world of the eye people’

These past few days have been quite ‘trippy’ for me exposed as I have been to some pretty emotive sights, feelings and circumstances. Setting aside the predictable emotional angst and personal paranoia regarding the possible loss of sight to my left eye due to retinal detachment, there have been some fairly psychedelic experiences on both a visual and experiential  level as my eye has undergone varying stages of sight loss and effects and I have been introduced to the wonderful world of the ‘eye people’.


After my high-street opticians referred me to my local hospital’s eye clinic for an emergency examination and consultation I duly turned up at the Pilgrim Hospital and took my place in the general waiting area that is set aside for all outpatients. I have passed the shadowy entrance to the Royle Eye Clinic on my way to various departments at this hospital over the years, either for personal appointments or with friends and family but a little like the wardrobe in CS Lewis’s famous children’s novel it has stood unnoticed to me and never caused me much thought.


When eventually my name was called by the eye nurse in the Hospital’s large general waiting area it was not as a solo patient but tagged onto a list of 5 other names and after stepping out from differing parts of the room the nurse assembled us together and proceeded to lead us in a crocodile down the corridor and unceremoniously through the entrance marked … ‘ROYLE EYE CLINIC – PLEASE WAIT IN THE  GENERAL WAITING AREA BEHIND YOU’.

My name had been called last and so I felt duty-bound to make up the silent rear despite an overwhelming desire to shout, ‘My problem is really an emergency you know, I’m not here just to discuss my cataracts!!’. The journey seemed strangely long and final as though possibly we might not return and why, why after all were we called for in sixes?!  Six, six, six!

Seated now in the ‘eye clinic waiting area’, the answer became as murky-clear as the corridors and decoration in the ROYLE EYE CLINIC. Reason: There was not a lot of room in there. Also I began to understand the clever little device regarding the subtle spelling change in the name, for there was actually no way this particular eye clinic could fairly own the title ~ ROYAL.

After successfully hurdling legs and walking sticks I sat in one of the few remaining chairs and began to observe the room, adorned as it was with eye diagrams and posters reflecting a very different kind of society to the one I was born to and have lived within these past 60+ years.  Must remember to make a note of the Macula Society Coffee Morning, sounds fun!

.  .  .


‘.  .. the room was adorned with eye posters and diagrams’

Added to the extraordinary number of people crammed into this tiny waiting area was the equally large number of nurses in a diverse range of uniforms of white ; grey ; pale blue and white ; white and black ; red and white and one even wearing a royal blue tunic plus several other people wearing what you might loosely describe as ‘civvies’. The shorter of these ‘doctors?’ was wearing a huge, knee-length short-sleeved pullover with a diamond pattern that I’m sure a distant uncle must have dropped in an Oxfam sack after losing a lot of weight and that more than a couple of years ago.

Each nurse carried a large bundle of notes and papers, some bound in cream folders and all contained by large corded, elastic bands. They travelled in different directions like space vessels, calling names and escorting patients to a wide range of small rooms. Soon I was caught up in this jolly melee. First an eye test in a room dressed plainly with a chair, a table and an eye chart. Then back to wait some more in a new chair as someone had stepped into mine. Another call, another nurse, same notes I guess. This time for two lots of eye drops, one that really stings, in a room with a chair, a dresser and no eye chart and then back to find yet another seat for that ones been taken also.

‘O Budha, it is busy in here!’ Finally a doctor has the notes, my notes and calls my name. Has this after all been about disorienting us. Are we being softened up and gotten ready for – the questions?!


This doctor is tall, slim, smartly dressed and reminds me a little of an Asian Adrian Brodie. His room is small but the way the light is falling across the room from a single sash window it already reminds me of the interrogation room from the film Bladerunner.  Must remember the answer to the tortoise question. The doctor sits behind his desk and invites me to sit in the seat next to his ‘eye-contraption thingy’ standing in the middle of the room.

I have learned these past few days, that all of the ‘eye people’ have one of these apparent ‘instruments of torture’. The opticians in the high-street had three for goodness sake! This doctor has one and later in the tale the people at the Queens Medical Centre will have one too. Anyone who has had an eye test will be familiar with these absolute hunnies – with a chin rest, a head band, a scope and a bright light to shine in your eye while you are told to ‘look at my ear’, ‘look left’, ‘look right’ and so forth.. .

At the opticians they had wiped the rests with a medical wipe between users but the deeper you go in the ‘eye people matrix’ these machines have more of a utility function and are pushed around, left randomly in the centre of rooms and are cared for about as much as a builder might care for his folding rule or maybe a doctor his stethoscope? They are after all, ‘eye peoples’ tools.


Sitting with ‘Adrian Brodie’ in the centre of his small, gloomy, sparsely furnished office and watching the green light during yet another intense eye examination, I was now feeling more akin to 1984’s, Winston Smith and the handsome Doctor Islaam an unlikely casting as O’Brien the interrogator from George Orwell’s haunting Dystopian novel but the effect of various eye drops and a retinal detachment does do wonders for your imagination.

Later that night, attempting to get to sleep before an early morning drive to Nottingham for my retinal ‘attachment’ op, I was aware of ‘light flashes’ for the first time. These are a sort of prelude to a private and internal aurora borealis and I had been warned they were a real symptom of an impending detachment. As I lay in the dark ‘counting sheep’, I was seeing some incredible shapes and patterns including a sort of comic-strip template with vivid, pale green frames for assorted figures and shapes.


‘William Morris nature patterns’

Nodding off at one point I had a vividly realistic dream about photographing off-duty American Footballers wearing distinct pastel coloured training uniforms. To see colour in a dream is rare enough but these colours were so HD technicolour they were breathtaking.


‘.. . One clearly resembled an Escher print’

Over the past few days I have seen a vast array of amazing, electric colours, beautiful pastel shades and a collection of repeat patterns and complex designs. One clearly resembled an Escher print, others, William Morris nature patterns, some geometric shaped wallpaper designs in subtle colours, including metallics and a couple of esoteric relief patterns that reminded me distinctly of a particularly ‘trippy’ Jimi Hendrix psychedelic poster that belonged to my friend’s sister that would ‘come alive’ under the influence of certain substances and that my friends, was a very long time ago.


No, this wasn’t actually the one

The ‘eye people’ at Queens Medical Centre, Nottingham introduced me to another world of interesting experiences. On arriving at Floor ‘C’ and stepping through the doors I was taken to a ward with no beds but 6 curtained chairs!? … Six again.. .. Six, six, six!

The chairs were apparently activated by a remote control attached to each chair. Unlike my retina which was becoming more un-attached by the hour according to another one of the ‘eye people’. He took me to another room with very little in it. A table, two chairs and another ‘contraption’.  He shoved this contraption, which had wheels, so that it stood awkwardly in the middle of the room and he told me to sit at it while he carried out another eye interrogation and then wrote copious notes whilst half listening to my tale of woe. He then drew large chain-gang style arrows on my forehead and my cheek with a black felt pen. Both arrows pointed deliberately at the left eye in question. If I had still been considering a ‘run for it’, there was now no hope of escaping I thought, the ‘eye people’s’ net was closing in.


The staff nurse who visited my chair, the one of the six I had been given, could well be an alien in disguise I mused if this abduction was for real. She seemed a little disconnected to her work. Perhaps she had been doing it a little too long or perhaps she had another agenda? She might have played the nurse, or the sister in ‘Whatever Happened To Baby Jane?’ the old black and white horror with Betty Davis and Joan Crawford but perhaps my imagination and the eye drops were now really beginning to play tricks on me. After all, she was attentive, kind, informative and helpful but then she was definitely one of them! One of those ‘eye people’ and that chair let me tell you was definitely no Lazy Boy and could well be described as a contraption. The ‘eye people’ seem to like working with ‘contraptions’.


The last ‘eye person’ I met was the surgeon who lasered my retina back on to my eye. She was young, around thirty something, she was slim and lovely, although she did have slightly protruding eyes a tiny bit like Stephen Merchant? She used a contraption too! All ‘eye people’ seem to use those but then she also used the laser and the gas bubbler too.

Hopefully she did a good job and saved my retina and the sight in my left eye and maybe I too am now one of those ‘eye people’.



This little ‘spoof tale’ is a bit of harmless nonsense really I wrote while lying on my tum and ‘posturing’ as the lovely staff nurse by the chair taught me – just blogging my way out of a pretty scary couple of weeks since I hit trouble with my eye.

My sincere thanks goes out to all the ‘eye people’ I have met. You do amazing things with not much. Sorry i didn’t learn all your names Your all great and I love you.


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