I ... entered the poem of life, whose purpose is ... simply to witness the beauties of the world, to discover the many forms that love can take. (Barabara Blackman in 'Glass After Glass')

These poems are works in progress and may be updated without notice. Nevertheless copyright applies to all writings here and all photos (which are either my own or used with permission). Thank you for your comments. I read and appreciate them all, and reply here to specific points that seem to need it — or as I have the leisure. Otherwise I reciprocate by reading and commenting on your blog posts as much as possible.

7 June 2016

The Gift of Sight

A girl who was going blind,
who loved unicorns, poetry
and 'the Violet Saint' (Germaine)
and was a poet herself,

gave me a tiny kaleidoscope
of bright brass, like gold,
about the length of my forefinger,
in a black drawstring bag.

I lost her long ago
and rue my carelessness.
Her gift lies on my desk
for the times I take it up and play.

Through its minuscule aperture,
pointed at the nearest source of light,
I gaze at glittering shards
of turquoise, ruby, palest pink

and clear, shiny glass
moving and shifting as I twirl,
settling briefly as diamond shapes,
rhomboids, or intricate circles.

She gave it because I was going away.
She knew I would want magic
and a toy that was all my own.
(And indeed, I never share it.)

She gave me a gift to delight my sight
when she was more and more losing hers.
I see her face as I swirl the colours…. Herself,
she could always see what wasn't there.


  1. What a poignant and beautiful story. She was lovely. I am most struck by "she could always see what wasn't there." And you made me remember kaleidoscopes, which I had forgotten. Love the description of the beauty.

  2. To be so well known is a blessing. Gosh, like the fairy godmothers who came bearing gifts to Beauty (not the last one who was angry, but the earlier ones.) Seems she's still with you in her way.

  3. magical lines Rosemary, so full of colors...a beautiful tribute to the insightful lady....

  4. Such a thoughtful gift, Rosemary. She seemed much wiser than her years. It is so poignant to think of her giving you something to delight your sight when she was finding it harder and harder to see. What a giving young girl...and a reminder to us all to treasure what we see.

  5. What am amazing gift...I agree with Sumana..insight has much power!

  6. This is a wonderful and very sad story.. To give the sights when she was loosing her, it takes insight for that.

  7. Yes, this is poignant and often I think of people long gone that have had an impact on my life...but no kaleidoscope though!

  8. A treasured gift from a special person.

  9. Beautifully poignant..! You have described her with such vivid references.

    Lots of love,

  10. What a wonderful gift to pass on - learning to see what is not there - physically at least...and the kaleidoscope is beautiful too..

  11. This is beautiful and layered with such depths. A kaleidoscope of wonder to see and feel as the scene changes before your eyes. I would love a gift like this that holds a bit of magic. Wonderfully sad and beautiful.

  12. Such a symbolic and perfect gift, Rosemary. To be given the magic of colors by someone who won't be able to see them... wow. This says so much about what lives in the heart of the giver, and about the magic that dances in the soul of the receiver.

  13. what foresight she had, indeed your words ring true
    " Herself,
    she could always see what wasn't there."

    Have a blessed Sunday Rosemary

    much love...

  14. This is such a wonderful poem. I love that idea of sight, and seeing, and, at the same time, of memory. How we see the past through familiar things...

  15. What powerful words you share with us Rosemary. We don't need sight to really see do we!

  16. How sweet of her to give you such a gift as well as the memory of a generous someone who confronted life with different sight. Lovely story.

  17. Ah, Rosemary, your poem is so meaningful, yet in simple expression, and special words are chosen. simple and magic feel simultaneously....

  18. Such a lovely, touching piece. "She gave me a gift to delight my sight
    when she was more and more losing hers" - a beautiful gesture that embodies - and, indeed, symbolizes the true meaning of generosity.

  19. This is such a rich piece of writing. The story, the colorful details, the giving, and the gift. I love kaleidoscopes, to me they are always a bit of magic, as is your poem. Thank you,


  20. such a wonderfully selfless act of kindness.very moving.

  21. Sight is such a precious thing and having had 2 eye surgeries to save the sight in my right eye I know what it's like to think about losing even some of it. Your friend was certainly special and people like that usually teach us things about life we would of normally missed out on. Her gift allows you to revisit these things and to remember her by. So lovely Rosemary!

  22. She gave me a gift to delight my sight
    when she was more and more losing hers

    Good observation Rosemary! Those unfortunates are the ones most sincere in their dealings. They would want to give than to take!