I have recently learnt that I only have a short time left to live. But a few months, or weeks, or days – what does it really matter? Yet knowing makes it real. 

Preparing my philosophy lecture, I wonder which quotation to open with – the one from the text I’ll be discussing, or one which is from a different text but which expresses my point more lyrically. A colleague insists I use the text I am discussing. That would be fair and logical. ‘Of course,’ I say, wondering at my own stupidity, yet also hankering after the other text, to see its shining white letters on the swirling dark-blue background of a PowerPoint slide, with all lights in the lecture hall switched off. 

 © Ian Seed, 2022


I was cycling along the hard shoulder of a motorway in Italy, carrying poetry in a rucksack on my back, when I was stopped by two carabinieri – a nervous-looking man and a woman with her hair in a ponytail. It was the woman who frisked me to make sure I wasn’t carrying any drugs or weapons. She realised my intentions were good, she told me, and even wished me good fortune, warning me not to break the law again. The man blinked in what I hoped was approval.



 © Ian Seed, 2022

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