I am getting used to this time
passed by
in the solemn company of
an imaginary streak of perceiveble light between wood beams.
Perhaps weeks, perhaps years
in which I have been witness to the world’s determination to name the unborn,
to posession and
to abandonment,
to preparations coming from planning uncertainty,
and to my own weakness.
I have not become better
although I lit candles and prayed
and I mattered.
I scribbled more question marks on waiting room tables than I gave answers
I felt the humility of
a man proven wrong when
I hoped I had done enough.
Somehow,  each time I rebelled
I ended up cleaning up the wreckage,
packing, unpacking,
forgiving everything
but not myself.


Today I walk empty handed
on the same road I once
used to
hurry up in blue latex shoes to
catch the history of art lesson
at seven a.m.

I took the words along.
In a green bag, French books.
In the melting snow my feet rushed.
The ink, frozen inside of a glove where I kept the pen.

I knew my place in the world
all those difficult conversations happened as I passed
the long row of houses.

The indifference of spilt blood
did not follow me.

I knew not how
“the lives of the well-fed worth more than the lives of the starving”
as I know now
mostly to search but not actually
take any time to watch.


Over the years, I will remember less and less

how steamed your glasses were

that Saturday afternoon

carrying bottles of water through the back streets

of a dormant city.

And still we had no thirst.

Forgotten the taste of all the choices we made

for the sake of having a place

at the same table

at the same time.


Ink on paper: Maria Stadnicka (‘The Seed’)



The Bridge


The Severn Bridge

Following Black

If with one hand you
made me a king, god,
with the other you
brother have taken everything else
in return.

My wide eyes travel alone
towards colour.
They all stare at my crown.
But words do not weep
and nor do you.

We both have wet muddy hands,
under your skin, new silver,
under mine, a whole new town.

The familiar surrounding of yet
another road to Jerusalem
which I follow
as I follow black.


The Reality of Lines

I am the best like this
with nothing left
dried purple tulips
at each door handle.
With no audience
I face the blackness of each line
to learn what remains of reality.
The hope that all could be new
when everything is
already gone.


@Maria Stadnicka

About Skin









(photo: John Stadnicki)




Here I watch the day.

The storm over. A memory on glasses, on broken shoes.

My shadow reflected

on the opposite wall

sits still.


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