The Other Bank

On the other bank
out of reach
Pride’s grimace
forbids it

Not a finger
can span
nor lift
that spell

No salve
nor ointment
for the bitter
Juniper berries

The ambitious debris
slate black scree
weeping cold
on the mountainside

The fitting seizure
of a moment passed
a crushed portcullis

Not an ounce
of blood
most vital
to the eyes

And that egret
eats sticklebacks
once again
and forever


as the tide of years

rubs the sand

against the bastion

of your pride


your certainty

your inviolate truths

as you succumb

again and again


as you choose

face over courage

arrogance over humility

as the very sap drains from you


secure in your safety

as the cotton wool familiars

bed downy nights with you

and those certain dawns


when the calendar

of your days

grows ever shorter

and even the sand, runs out


that bastion can join you

in your box

your succubus, your incubus

and mate for all eternity


and when you pass

and see them both

nestled there;

will your Soul cry?

That Scabbard of Pride

How oft thy contents hast me bled

Disembowelled my hopes

And tender yearnings


I rue that bazaar

Where I found thee winking


And all those encrustations

Rub me barnacle raw


And no salty ocean of tears

Can offer yet a salve


For thou art deeply etched

my brutal loathsome inking


But I had to haggle for thee

The fuller price lay hidden


My jewelled treasure

My bitter sanguine curse


My faithful companion

My sarcophagus and hearse


I rue that bazaar

Where I found thee winking

Pride quotes

Anger is the enemy of non-violence and pride is a monster that swallows it up.

Mohandas Gandhi


Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need.

Khalil Gibran


In general, pride is at the bottom of all great mistakes.

John Ruskin


It was pride that changed angels into devils; it is humility that makes men as angels.

Saint Augustine


It is not the broken heart that kills, but broken pride, monseigneur.

Gilbert Parker


My birth neither shook the German Empire nor caused much of an upheaval in the home. It pleased mother, caused father a certain amount of pride and my elder brother the usual fraternal jealousy of a hitherto only son.

Conrad Veidt


One may be humble out of pride.

Michel de Montaigne


Poor nations are hungry, and rich nations are proud; and pride and hunger will ever be at variance.

Jonathan Swift


Pride is an admission of weakness; it secretly fears all competition and dreads all rivals.

Fulton J. Sheen


The pride of dying rich raises the loudest laugh in hell.

John W. Foster


Through pride we are ever deceiving ourselves. But deep down below the surface of the average conscience a still, small voice says to us, something is out of tune.

Carl Jung

Beyond the River

The other bank

Where words

no longer hurt


Out of reach

And harm’s way



All the regret

In China




In those seconds

So unremarkable

As to cut chasms


No Geneva man

Can repair

A Time

most singular


When the earth


with a shovel

That hole to dig


Buried in the scree

Of fame


Ambitious debris


No salve

For the wounded


The wounder


Not a finger

Can span

Those aeons



Pride’s grimace

Forbids it




And wrong

A word

Never uttered

Or owned.

My Black Eyed Pride

Some people want to win and be “right” so very badly….

they may “cut off their nose to spite their face”.


With even my terminal,

Final grimace,

I will not yield


Even as the bloody river flows

My arrogance will not wane

I sever out my beating conscience


My Soul blinded

Beaten, subdued

My Will is my only legacy


Though my troubled pillow awaits,

That duvet of justification

Keeps warm in place the heart


My aching cavern

Contains each every echo

Of all my deeds


Not even a single picometre

Does it budge

My black-eyed pride.

A Grain of Salt

fading into time

a grain of salt

in the pillar of

looking back


the over the shoulder robes

slip on a clavicle,

a harpsichord

with no Bach’s flower remedy


a tincture of infinity

bound tight in sand,

a seed of truth

to worry into pearls


the salt of the earth

comes out of tears

shed as many scales

in the lack of balance


a couturier sublime

etched in the cloth

of human folly

making proud stalagmites


centuries and bastions

standing Easter Island guard

unless something sneaks past

on a whimsical wind


all the herring and rollmops

which curl up the tongue

to a shot of Aquavit

can’t curl enough


sweeping the ice

scoring it deep

and no rubbing of brass

will bring back the past


an echo of maybe and might

whispers goodnight

onto the pillow of dreams

wet now from eyes


and a love now destroyed

simpers and dies

for want of humility

as scarce as a scarecrow’s heart


the last train home

leaves the platform of will

forever now

and what price the bill?


and that which we do

unto those whom we love

is the most terrible cost

of a bitter revenge


passing now forever

a brief echo of a life

jaundiced by pride

as sad as a tourniquet


to share and to bind

one to another

its midnight now

and no turning space


fading into time

a grain of salt

in the pillar of

looking back