Jean's hands

entry picture


Eight fingers interlocking

rest untrembling on Jean's cold knees,

blackened in Whitechapel grime

steadied only by each other.

Torn and bloodied claw,

once pink and curled in beautiful birth

once reaching and clutching,

no hope to cling to now.

She folds them to her face 

tears trace lines that pool in scars,

hand's which once picked Mother flowers

now crave the dampened soil.


Photograph: Don McCullin 1980 "Jean's hands"

◄ Knife crime with a flourish

Sad holiday ►


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Wolfgar Miere

Tue 12th Mar 2019 19:28

Thanks Hazel,

Yes Kate's comment was poetic in itself, I meant to mention that and say thanks to her, so thanks for reminding me and for your comments.


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Hazel ettridge

Tue 12th Mar 2019 15:12

i love what kate said about plucking a note and leaving it vibrating - music can capture tenderness and torture in a way we all recognise and it leaves us all vibrating in a shared experience. And that it what you have achieved in this piece.

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Wolfgar Miere

Mon 11th Mar 2019 20:03

Thanks all,

This was not a McCullin photograph I had ever paid much attention to until seeing it at his current exhibition.

Among so many grotesque and harrowing photographs something about this really stood out for me.


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Mon 11th Mar 2019 16:13

This speaks of the quandary faced by such a morally inspired recorder of misery as if by revealing it something good would come from it
. We once had picture post an example of photo journalism which gave real insight. Now we seem to be falling into a void again. Bayswater and tower Hamlets syndrome. An inspiring and deeply felt poem David.. ray

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Mon 11th Mar 2019 15:54

Says much about the things the distracted eye might miss were it not for the power of photography to extract such fine detail from ever-moving time for our contemplation--we can be so blind.


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Taylor Crowshaw

Mon 11th Mar 2019 12:35

Utterly Beautiful..❤

<Deleted User> (21487)

Mon 11th Mar 2019 08:04

" hand's which once picked Mother flowers
now crave the dampened soil"

understated deep emotion leaving the reader in sombre thoughtful mode.

<Deleted User> (19913)

Mon 11th Mar 2019 06:49

A novel's worth of symbology in those torn hands Wolfgar. It's like you plucked a note in minor key and left it vibrating. Quite beautiful.

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