Yes, I’m Sure It Is Vermillion …



I had spent at least an hour in this hot mustard, salad-sun

While two small flies made circles around my sweaty head

The August corn waving tall and tidy, a yellow sea, swollen

When I found the end of a pencil and started to scribble


I lifted my arm to give blood to my shoulder throbbing

Staring at the sticky mess both khaki, crimson and the sun

Woken from a tortured dream, there flying a lost bird sightless

Braver than a pitman’s pony, it sang one note of surprising joy


Sound, a silent witness dressed in uniform still buttoned to the neck

The dazed expression of my dead friend who lay beside me quietly

I dreamed of thee dear Jenny as we lay, your left breast in my hand

That had been a better day when I lay inside you, I did not wear a glove


This paper in my closed hand is blotted now with a trail of palest red

Cold the breeze that made me shiver, whispers this soldier is not dead

In the foggy, bloody haze, a picture forming of colour, of fire and light

Beyond the battle-scarred high-ground, smeared in shit-brown sienna


Beyond these moments where I have lain with only dead people

For these past two hours, I open a box of paints, I select a palette

The stench of mud drying, nauseating & honest, the night air falling

Upon this brow, it says I cannot hope to see the morning or the tide turn


And Jenny in my thoughts, soft and warm, her flesh like life, not death

Here hidden in this cancer of man’s regret I daub the crimson patina

Upon this tunic, it lays heavy now a sodden wretch, thus portrait cold

Yes, I’m sure it is vermillion – that colour no nearer orange than to red





edenbray’s #note: It is the Anniversary this year of the end of the 14-18 War. The most hellish War known to modern man. I wanted to write something you could step inside & experience. This is how I chose to visit that awful war in 1918.   

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 THE artist


  the artist


I am the artist

  I am the window

I am the camera

  I am the cymbal

I am the mother

  I am the child

I am the cradle

  I am the birth

I am the moment

  I am the verse

I am the end of days

  I am the hearse

I am the tiger

  I am the germ

the idea ..

  I am the sun …



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   The Poet

   polished wood

Yes, the poet knows solitude

The hard side of the wood

The rough side and callow,

the bare and the rawhide

splintered, sore and fallow


He knows silent winters

Honest earth, bitten raw

Hooded trees cut down

Woolen mittens laid, frayed 

Fingers, french polished brown


Such a poisoned, stagnant tale

as cancerous solitude gnaws grim

at both the mast of the schooner

the mouth of the grey whale and

the gateway polished smoother


Can you ever know a thing truly?

Or choose a prize that’s fitting?

dancing with a maidens murmur

lost in revelry draped in splendour

At the dawn of that mizzen’s murder


Ahoy then, famed drunken traitor

carried on the silk backs of angels

authors of all that’s bright & holy

sullen yet, So tired of protecting

a nations worthy secrets of shame.



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Letters of faith #2

On: Losing my possessions


Is faith believing for what I don’t have

or letting go of what I have already?

Sometimes we fret and are anxious

Sometimes dark clouds invade our minds

and we worry

What will happen if?

What shall we do if?

Should I not take this action or that?

In case of …

We struggle to hold on to what we have

We decorate it …

We embellish it …

We improve it …

We develop it …

We pander to it’s every whim

And then we think one day

Well, is it us, do we like it ?

Reality is cheaper …

You cannot truly appreciate what you have

Until you let go of it

Sometimes circumstances snatch from us what we love (or possess)

Then it is we recognise how important it is – they are! …

~ We are separated from a loved one

We lose a treasured possession

We break some valuable ornament

~ The washing machine goes wrong ! …

Then we miss it, need it, we mourn our own loss

Rarely others

Can I see what I have?

Do I understand that worth?

Possessions always blind us

We ought to never possess anything

Just loan  ~ Just borrow

This is freedom!                This is faith!!!

Stand upon it!

Feed yourself upon it’s air ~ it’s space

And fight for what is right

Be anxious over what is wrong

This is faith

Got any mountains that need moving

Chuck them in the sea

Let go of your possessions

and happy you will be …



#author’s note ~ In keeping with my decision to publish all my written essays and poems as an archive for my children, I now include On: Losing my possessions on this site.

I’m not sure I could, with hand-on-heart match the doe-eyed simplicity and honest faith contained in this piece that I wrote twenty-eight years ago but that I now applaud unreservedly just twenty-eight years later.

It is clearly the counter to the previous essay, carrying a spiritual submission and a soulful ladle of compassion as a temper, a guide rope that battens down, attached to an almost Buddhist temple of surrender, common sense and most uncommon wisdom.







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Letters of faith #1

Non non regrette rien …


How is it that all our apparent mistakes

Have made us what we are?

And if we are what we are, because of mistakes

Why should our children, who might wish to follow in our footsteps

Not want to make the same mistakes?                                         choices …

Mistakes in life are usually irreversible actions we take

Whilst we are too nieve to recognise ‘the error of our ways’

I often lament the passage of time and the ‘mistakes’ I have made

Convinced that had I been just a ‘tiny bit’ more aware

I might have done it better

Might find myself now in better circumstances

Might have less problems, less worries

But who is to say that had I taken any of the other paths

I now feel certain that I should have taken

My circumstances would be better, my worries less,

No, as a Christian I must assume

For richer or poorer

The path I chose was the right one for me

I must assume my circumstances

Could not be better, my worries not less

Accepting my past will enable me 

To face my present and choose my future                                     choices …

All the facts are not always at our disposal

We may have forgotten the reasons for our choices

The decisions we made

Of course, it is a ready-made exit from reality

Especially I suppose for those

Whose life has turned somewhat sour 

And can we of a truth say

We never made a mistake

Never took the wrong turning

Never said no when we should have said yes

or visa versa?                                                                                         choices …

Yes, we are free to choose

Choice is all around us

And only experience seems to teach us

Which choice is right?

Even then, we have no crystal ball

We cannot always know the answer

The mistakes I made, were my choices then

My choices now could be

My mistakes of the future

Whatever ~ they have and they will

Decide the pathway I have trod and will tread

The wonder is that choice is there

And that I can choose

That is wonder! 




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          #author’s note ~ In keeping with my decision to publish all my written essays and poems as an archive for my children, I now include Non non regrette rien on this site.

I’m not sure I could, with hand-on-heart, quite match the doe-eyed sincerity, political optimism and full rounded belligerence of honest faith contained in this piece that I wrote twenty-eight years ago but that I now applaud unreservedly just twenty-eight years later.

It is clearly positive, right-wing and determined but carrying a soulful ladle of compassion and humility as a temper, a guide rope that battens down, attached to a temple of common sense and most uncommon wisdom.





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uncomfortable truth



The uncomfortable truth is like watching a fly caught in a moment of constant reiteration.

The fly moves and through flight and forward motion attempts to escape but is unable to, as its defined escape plan involves no variation. It will remain in a prison of movement until a change is affected which might then reveal a bona fide escape route. Flies have a lot to say about the human condition, except no one takes them seriously or asks them to expand upon their point of view.

Flies must assume they are not going to live forever but they do not fold their wings and protest that there is no point in their existence or in ‘going on’. – In the face of popular opinion, they oppose the status quo. They run their course, live out their lives as generally hated figures with no real expectations. Forced to live apparently meaningless lives with no recognition or particular individual life skills and at the end of it all, they are either absorbed into the life force of a more complex life-form or left to rot, abandoned, unburied, forgotten.




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Okapi Thoughts




In the beginning when I first believed

I thought I saw a bandicoot give birth

Understood the truth of Job’s complaint 

Learned how to write the truth in stone

< – >

It was all strange to me, an Arabian dream

Hunting for a Jewish outfitters in London WI 

Measured for a mohair suit with tailor’s chalk

That dressed the bust on the tailor’s dummy

< – >

If we can separate the difference in time

Between a broken watch face & infinities line

Send crazy faces to a lover from a photo booth

Skip repeatedly to the part where we must choose

< – >

All of these fractions, moments lost to the frame

Both irony & madness prove no ones to blame

Half-cocked at the station, train leaves the platform   

The smile is still nervous, her cheeks all aglow

< – >

Increasingly it’s difficult, retracing first steps

The smile though ironic is none-the-less tense

Are you perched between success on an ash chair?

Waiting for moments where there is no care?

< – >

We all stand to pay homage at eternitys statue

Hoping to glimpse a minute of ‘no time at all’

Feeling the hours that glisten in a clear, night sky

As if we could unlock things & finally remember

< – >

As if we remembered where we put that missing key

Ran with the grey-wolf on his soft pads of snow

Listened to our mother’s voice who whispered from below

Grappled with the injured lion who knew which time to go



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she was 2

She was

Caught between two schools, or stools,

Of thought and age, of custom and practice,

Wrested from her sex, hers and the image

Her culture and influence, shocking!

Amy’s tallow flickered in the half light

Of obscurity and fame, never to blame,

Like a candle that was losing oxygen, 

Passion, control, will or shapeless form

She was beef or mutton fat smeared

Her broken notes, her Jewish nose,

Her tumbled hair taught, ripped clothes

Scarred, branded, tossed – she cared

Her pretty breasts worn – she bared

Like her coloured voice, she hung out

In Vermillion with lace, poisoned by grace

Mounted tall those sensational legs,

Just postmen’s pegs by the trippings

And we saw her bare and rare, a rose

Poured out, champagne flute tumbling

Proud, firm, sex-full, hard and glistening

Every dry eye in the place erect, listening

Some, those haters, never tried even whistling

She broke in the wind, fermenting, barley laden

All too late, the pearls, the taxi, the applause

When laid to rest she sang Ava Maria, we cried

She was …



..                                                 writtenbyedenbray01.06.2018



she was
Proud, firm, sex-full, hard and glistening

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Philip Roth

Sometimes it happens. Sometimes I’m a writer and sometimes I’m a liar. You can’t pick up your life and live it for two hours and then put it down again. When Horowitz or Henry, Patrick or Marlow decide to paragraph their upbringing or record detail that would shock your closest friend or possibly spoil your reputation with your mothers closest friend. That same lady you used to call your Auntie but she wasn’t, then you realise you are stepping over the divide. Finally saying something that makes your nipples stand on end and moves you down below.

When women meet together, to lunch, they want to know things. Personal things, but to reach deep inside to those things they have to find a reason to talk anyway as though they were discussing their shopping or possibly today’s weather, not their fathers embarrassing prostate problem that they understand about completely. Then, it becomes just matter of fact. Men can always subvert it because they are not afraid to lie or at least exaggerate things. This way you can hide the detail and bring it back coded. The detail and the fact are kind of rolled together like you are making pasta or kneading dough. 

That’s what a writer is supposed to do, right? To write and unfold things, unpack stuff, important stuff as natural as unrolling a carpet or rolling a spliff. You don’t have to write to shock, only to find your level.

22.05.2018                                                              writtenbyedenbray24.05.2018 

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