Although I had stopped adding to my blog and have produced a book based on it, I thought I would add this poem I wrote yesterday. It is rather a case of other men’s flowers but perhaps has some merit. It was prompted by walking the coastal path in Cornwall near the Lizard, and also by reading the poem Coast Path by Matthew Barton in his superb recent collection, DUSK.


In his poem Coast Path,  Matthew writes of a kestrel 
wings outstretched, motionless on the wind,
which he sees as he looks down
from the cliff path where he walks.
When I reached ‘it was still as belief’ I too stopped.

Later I thought, such a simple phrase
any writer might have happened on it -
but perhaps more likely would have found 
‘strong’ or ‘steady as belief’ which are
not the same because not for ever.

It’s our death-in-life craving for the absolute,
Yeats’s ‘images that… fresh images beget’,
Rilke’s ‘In the end there is only one poet,
that infinite one who makes himself felt…
in a mind which can surrender to him’,

and Beethoven writing on the score
of what is his last complete work 
’Must it be? - It must be!’
His difficult life, a backward glance -
YES to all of it.  

Published by davidcookpoet

I am a husband, father and grandfather. I retired from a busy working life as an adult psychiatrist in 2014. My interests are in literature, philosophy, modern jazz and horse racing. I might represent those four fields by Shakespeare, Kant, Charlie Parker and Lester Piggott. Like nearly all of us, I can identify a number of formative experiences, one of which was a psychotic episode in my first year as a psychiatrist. This reinforced an already established interest in mystical experience, and a sense of how little human beings know. My intellectual bugbear is reductive materialism, and I am surprised at the lack of moral imagination of those who promulgate such views. It seems to me they need to consider ,perhaps by exposure, just why totalitarianism is so horrific.

One thought on “Waiting

  1. Dear David. No this isn’t from Devon, I’m still here in Bristol. Rowan has developed full blown confirmed Covid and is sequestered away in the top floor here. Susan and I are now hoping against hope that we will not get it. I regret this puts paid to any idea of meeting up soon.

    Lovely poem, The Edge. I sense in your writings an increasing feeling for some purposeful un-understandable force, behind and yet beyond everything we know and see. You clearly state it, (though you do not directly own it yourself ), through the words the words of Rilke: expressing ‘our life- in- death craving for the absolute’

    Rilke-‘In the end there is only one poet ’that infinite who makes himself felt… In a mind that can surrender to him’.

    One is left wondering what your view on Rilke’s statement is.

    Perhaps it not the purpose of your poem to come down heavily stating a firm personal view, yet you do give Rilke’s a major prominence. So one wonders.





Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: