All Right by R. S. Thomas

I look. You look

Away. No colour,

No ruffling of the brow’s

Surface betrays

Your feeling. As though I

Were not here; as

Though you were your own

Mirror, you arrange yourself

For the play. My eyes’

Adjectives; the way that

I scan you; the

Conjunction the flesh

Needs – all these

Are as nothing

To you. Serene, cool,

Motionless, no statue

Could show less

The impression of

My regard. Madam, I

Grant the artistry

Of your part. Let us

Consider it, then,

A finished performance.


by R. S. Thomas

from H’m (1972)

One Mirror Must Mirror Another by Georgy Ivanov

One mirror must mirror another;

each mirror mismirrors the other.


Not that evil cannot be defeated,

only that we cannot escape defeat;


I believe in the ash left behind by the fire;

not in the music that burned my life.


by Георгий Владимирович Иванов (Georgii Vladimirovich Ivanov)

a.k.a. Georgy Ivanov


translated by Robert Chandler

The Haunting by Raymond Wilson

At the foot of the bed in the dead of the night
It stood there, or rather it hovered
Two luminous eyes and a face ghastly white
From which I have never recovered.

When I asked, ‘Who are you?’ It looked taken aback,
Indeed, you could say It looked frightened;
But then, I was too, and my hair, raven-black,
From that moment has curiously whitened.

So I asked It once more, ‘Who are you?’ – Again
Its pale lips moved mockingly, mutely,
While the night-wind howled loud in the sobbing rain
And It stared back, trembling acutely.

Which seeing, I screwed up my courage and switched
On the lamp, hands fumbling in terror –
Then my eyes met a jibbering idiot who twitched
Like my twin in the newly hung mirror.

by Raymond Wilson