Our Lives Are Brief (East Wind Drawings)


In collaboration with London based poet Tamar Yoseloff. All text © Tamar Yoseloff 2017 all images and soundtrack © Bill Jackson 2017

Our Lives Are Brief

(from East Wind Drawings Land)

written by Tamar Yoseloff


I stand inside a pool of streetlight, holding the dark 

at bay – this must be what it’s like to have a god. 

Sodium casts a sickly yellow on my skin. 


In the ancient map there are monsters 

hugging the places where the maker 

had no clue, where you might fall off the edge 


into nowhere. I had a night light as a child, 

a plug-in candle in the corner of my room. 

But a monster lived behind my eyes, 


and even though it died each morning, 

it rose up again at bedtime. Back then 

my parents would sing me to sleep; 


now they’re ash and bone. Our lives are brief

like the banks of candles in cathedrals, 

each a flame for someone loved;


or the light I see framed in curtained windows: 

for each one who’s lit a lamp, made a strike 

against the dark.  

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