State-change 俳句

The sublime mind boils

with ideas which, not written,

soon evaporate 

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Mourne Mountain panoramas

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Sliabh Bearnagh looking back over Hare’s Gap


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From the summit of Sliabh Bearnagh looking back East across the high Eastern Mournes

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Fine filaments of life

IMG_6603.JPGI became acutely aware of the heavy rhythm of my breathing syncopated with the pulsing in my neck as my face gently broke through filament after filament of the fine filigree of first webs. I spun my pedals at a high cadence right on my limit, working my weight back and forth on the saddle to balance rear wheel traction against front wheel steering. I thought of the fine delicate strands of life under my hands and the laboured breathing of a man I’d worked to resuscitate late last night. A more desperate rhythm, balancing on the threshold of life and death. He would have felt his pulse throbbing in his neck too. Getting weaker all the time. His breathing getting faster and faster as his energy left him. As his life left him. I spoke with his family. I touched him and said goodbye. I completed the paperwork. I walked to my car and I drove home.

I drank a beer. I microwaved the dinner left out for me by my wife. I slipped under the bedclothes quietly so as not to wake her. I lay listening to the soft breath sounds of her vibrant life and felt her warmth. I took a while to drift off to restless sleep. I woke today, kissed her and my two boys and said “see you later.” I made a coffee and now I am riding my bike back to the Emergency Department the long way, through fine filaments of webs tickling my face on technical singletracks across beautiful Mount Wellington’s flanks in a dawn commute and feeling glad to be alive.

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The Quay

Barnacle encrusted stumps remain.
Thrusting, vertebral fossils
From tidal glar pools and rising silt.

The bar is no longer dredged:
Time gently smudges over noisy, dark,
Dangerous memories:
Coal-black,
Bent-backed,
Hard men stooping –
Their iron shovels grate on coal,
Organic metronomes in coal boat bellies.

I remember dimly the last coal boat
That hove to at the quay, then slipped away,
Leaving coal dust to settle, like age.

I’d leap and dive from great stone steps
Measuring days in the high tide times.
I fished here for pollock with dead-man’s-fingers
Torn cruelly from tortured crabs.

But now, luxury seafront apartments crowd
Like schoolyard bullies on the harbour walls
And the silt rises as the stories die.

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Mt. Wellington from Mortimer Bay

A long overdue date with my camera and some filters this evening gave me a few images worth sharing. This is a long exposure taken with a ten-stop ND filter and a Galen Rowell three-stop hard grad. The rest will appear on www.dreapadoir.comwhen I get around to it.

Long exposure from Mortimer Bay looking towards Mt. Wellington

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The Mountain

I just had to put this image of Mt Wellington in early winter splendour on both blogs, here and on the underneaths of EM:

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the underneaths of EM

My new medically focused (and particularly Emergency Medicine) blog is up and running at the underneaths of EM and will be the repository both for new medical content, but also for the re-posting of most of the existing medical content from this blog. please visit it if you are a medical reader finding your way here by a search or an old link! This may be a risk, given that I have just had my most hits ever last month, but I felt it was time, as the personal/medical content was getting a bit confused! This blog shall remain for non-work-related stuff, including photography and family things, plus random writings. Occasionally a post may be published on both blogs…so, please continue to follow me here or on the new blog. Thanks! D

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