English: View from Cairo Tower

 View from Cairo Tower (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Church and mosque aside
Friend and foe abreast
People come and people go
Like rats in a teeming nest
Of grime and dust
Hiding the splendid vastness
Of a Cairo that lusts
Kingdoms come and kingdoms go
Bust, seven thousand years later
I too come and go

From a balcony hung over
The longest and the dearest
Of your ancient rivers
I listen to your motorcars
Tooting on the bridges
Blinded by a desert sun
I brave a gaze across a sky
Azure as the insides
Of your domed edifices
Where multitudes worship and sigh

Your river green and murky
But not sluggish
Its boats grand yet grotty
In daylight fetish
Discord grown between
Its stillness and the manic
Music of your streets
Your river inert while all around it
Only bustle and beeps
Consume its revered silence

Your river is the nature
Which man has violated
But life goes on unabated
As you tear apart and put together
I leave my footprints at your exalted altar
To age like your Nile while
You preserve us forever
In your Kingdom of long ago
Your river and I will flow
While people come and people go

© Millicent Danker

17 April 2013



The King. 1667 quaint. At first Eagle with Child, then simply, The Eagle. She is lying in a courtyard in sunlight when I find her. Inside she’s darker. People visit from afar, to partake or to stare. Mostly, it’s her beer they are after. She smells like all her kind – like ashtrays. There is a greasiness about her and a carnivorous ardour. When I eat I smother her with ketchup and mustard and brown sauce. People are satiated when they leave, with empty plates behind them. Because I am not as hungry she throws me a look. I do like the wood around her chimney breast; they hide a host of sins. I do love her velvety carpet, wine red, with small white flowers on them. I would stroke it if not for cigarette burns. It tells me much about her past: her old lives and fond lovers. What fantasies unfold before my eyes as I linger on her premises, alongside older members of her establishment! They could not see past their eyes.

©Millicent Danker
9 April 2000 / 17 May 2013

English: 'Old Orleans' pub Mill Lane, Cambridge.

‘Old Orleans’ pub Mill Lane, Cambridge. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Monastery of Saint Anthony, Egypt Français : L...

Monastery of Saint Anthony, Egypt Français : Le monastère Saint-Antoine, en Égypte. Nederlands: Het klooster van Sint-Antonius, in Egypte. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There was a pew into which I sat with a red missal in my lap

It lay open in my hands to the readings

The holy Anthony at my side, I found myself in a subtle place

At first there were the usual entreaties to God in my chattering mind

Then there were only words from the source

These:  Love, faith, hope, peace

My hands were a vessel into which they poured

And after a while I couldn’t feel them any more

I had only an awareness of self

I would have visited for a longer time

Had a tear not emerged from the inner recesses of my right eye

To explode down my cheek

It willed me to open that eye, to look for something to wipe it with

And only then did I realise how far I had gone into silence

Into that space which is short of me and the other –

And I noticed my book, still weightless

in the palms of my hands still open for more –

But the mass had ended.

© Millicent Danker
30 September 2012


English: The Garden of Eden by Jacob Savery

English: The Garden of Eden by Jacob Savery (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Forgive me the sins of my youth grown to adulthood as my imperfections seem to have been cast in stone;

Forgive me the insults heaped on my fellowmen through this malodorous mouth with a mind of its own;

Forgive me for withholding a treasury of love from the storehouse of my heart big enough for the world;

Forgive me for ignoring the teachings of the master with which I could have better saved my soul;

Forgive me for stepping on handmaidens who made my life all the sweeter and richer;

Forgive me for the times I neglected to aim further, reach higher, be wiser;

Forgive me for this life I wrongfully carved out of the garden of Eden;

Forgive me

but enter me still into thine heaven.

© Millicent Danker
30 March 2013


Hindus believe the self or soul (atman) repeat...

Hindus believe the self or soul (atman) repeatedly takes on a physical body. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Risen above the noise, the grind
of café machines and murmurs
the scraping of chairs and whine
of fussing toddlers
the awful wallop of beebop
the hums, the ums
the chattering mums

Reading, staring, being
in touch with my Atman;*
Supreme and sanctified
by sacred scripture and chant
I am not part of the plan
Alone yet not, blessed
with detachment

my latté cold and lifeless

while my spirit rises

* the breath; the self

© Millicent Danker
15 August 2000


He who painted rainbows and sunsets, provoked earthquakes and volcanoes

He who designed red roses and blue violets, butterflies and mosquitoes

Qantab - The Symphony of Rocks . . .

 The Symphony of Rocks . . . (Photo credit: Beauty Eye)

He who composed the Ode to the Forest, Dance of the Sky and Symphony of the Sea

He who made the seasons flow one into another, effortlessly

He who stills the fires and storms, washes the earth and waters its crops

He who brings forth fruit, feeds the reptiles, lets waterfalls drop

He who nurtures baby sparrows and teaches fish how to swim

He who never ceases to toil, keep creatures in check and the world trim

He who made this universe   all things great and small

the heaven and the hell      the sound in every bell

made me.

© Millicent Danker
25 May 2008

London Weather Calling

Glass stem

Glass stem (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

“There’s a blizzard out there!”
gets attention
starts conversation

Weather talk
cuts class, glass
is unpromiscuous

Frosty faces lighten up
stiff mouths open up
eager to share

Weather stories
1940s memories
spin from atop bar stools

In moody climes
I succumb, bulldog-glum
to a glass of wine

On sunshine days
I skip to the yoga place
full of pizzazz

People chatter, natter
“It’s absolutely boiling darling!”

I sing


they may think I’m bonkers

© Millicent Danker
11 March 2013


English: Rail Trail Board walk over a boggy ar...

English: Rail Trail Board walk over a boggy area on the Rail Trail. At the top of the steps the path turns to the left and continues northward on the eastern bank of the Murk Esk. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A gate.

for tens of toxic years

in mind,

country, spirit …
I walk through
and out.

and redeemed
I walk clear up the hill
reach the top with paces to spare.
The road levels off
turns widely right.

I breathe sharply
struck with blue sky
overhead, billowing trees
below, a benign wind
at my ears.
The road loops and turns
running now downhill.

I am home free

© Millicent Danker


English: Dead Sea seen from Jordan Français : ...

Dead Sea seen from Jordan Français : La Mer Morte vue de la Jordanie (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A wooden deck,
a pond of fortune fish.
Water from the Jordan spring,
a life-giving stream –
Big water sounds
then short ones,
gushing, trickling, tinkling.
Music and motion
my canvas.

As I shut out
the sunlight
angels burst in,
wings rustling, fluttering.
Refreshing little spurts,
bearing something
we share in communion
with creation –

one timeless moment
in time.

© Millicent Danker

6 December 2009

A Meditation Experience

Beach shoes

Beach shoes (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

A mound of pure sand
beneath me
An empty beach
before me
Eyes shut in sweet
with a rocking sea

Sounds elemental,
Played over since
time immemorial
Like that of rain
and bird cries

over the clatter,
of shooting fountains
and motoring
from nearby marbled

I tune into
the rhythm
The eternal ebb
and flow
Then people step
into my haven
The spell is o’er

© Millicent Danker
24 July 1999