In Egypt, I loved the perfume of the lotus. A flower would bloom in the pool at dawn, filling the entire garden with a blue musk so powerful it seemed that even the fish and ducks would swoon. By night, the flower might wither but the perfume lasted. Fainter and fainter, but never quite gone. Even many days later, the lotus remained in the garden. Months would pass and a bee would alight near the spot where the lotus had blossomed, and its essence was released again, momentary but undeniable.
You cannot pretend to read a book. Your eyes will give you away. So will your breathing. A person entranced by a book simply forgets to breathe. The house can catch alight and a reader deep in a book will not look up until the wallpaper is in flames.
Let it be our endeavour, let it be our task, to keep alight the torch of imperial patriotism, to hold fast the affection and the confidence of our kinsmen across the seas; so that in every vicissitude of fortune the British Empire may present an unbroken front to all her foes, and may carry on even to distant ages the glorious traditions of the British flag.
I once had a sparrow alight upon my shoulder for a moment, while I was hoeing in a village garden, and I felt that I was more distinguished by that circumstance that I should have been by any epaulet I could have worn.
As dew leaves the cobweb lightly Threaded with stars, Scattering jewels on the fence And the pasture bars; As dawn leaves the dry grass bright And the tangled weeds Bearing a rainbow gem On each of their seeds; So has your love, my lover, Fresh as the dawn, Made me a shining road To travel on, Set every common sight Of tree or stone Delicately alight For me alone.
Most days I feel like the sole survivor of a shipwreck, rowing my paddleboat across a sea of people on waves made of an infinite array of hands and crests that reveal anonymous faces. On a good day, the clouds part to alight on-lo and behold-an island! I step ashore, only find that it too is made of people, mangled bodies somehow still alive. They grab at my feet, pulling me under like quicksand. The last thing I see before suffocating is the sky, a billion eyes staring down, blinking in undulating electric ripples. The cold rain I feel on... Read more »