Cobalt Blue on palette, Siena, Terre Vert,
linseed and spirit impetuously poured
the brush seized and loaded ready with paint
and angels waited for what would come:
a daub to destroy or one worth a frame?
But hesitation held back the hand
as time took a long, deep breath
- and Zeno was heard to laugh in his tomb.
from Zeno's Curse
David Perman was a journalist with the BBC and that comes out in some of these poems - about Tokyo, Singapore, Greece and interviewing the Ayatollah Khomeini. But in his poetry there also family reminiscences and aches and a wariness, which would be respect if he could only bring himself to admit it, of the person he sees every day in the mirror.