Nicholas Mackey

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I write. I take photos. Go figure.

Life and Death and Life Restored on Westminster Bridge

Westminster Bridge

hailed by Wordsworth

‘a sight so touching’

but death

is still death.


Smiling, carefree


crossing the Thames

but death

is still death.


A big car


on a footpath.


mown down

with bitterness

but death

is still death.




they said.

Blood and pain

casting out

everydayness and joy.

Human beings

just living

are become bodies

as death

is still death.


A Spanish woman

won’t rejoin

her family.

An American man

can’t embrace

his wife

as death

is still death.


A British policeman


our essential goodness.

An Englishman

struck down

‘cos he was there.

A Romanian woman

unable to accept

her partner’s proposal

as death

is still death.


Brave souls


this heinous crime

Giving aid

to the fallen

the injured and the dying

as death

is still death.



may set us back


but evil

like this:

‘Thou shalt DIE!’

As death

is still death.


And lo,

out of this tragedy,

our oneness

outshines this suffering

as we rage

against the darkness.

The majesty

of London is restored,

and our desire to

go on living

in harmony

will triumph

over division,


is still LIFE.






A poem, in memoriam,


Nicholas Mackey

Thursday 13th April 2017


Recent Comments
Rosy Cole
Hi Nicholas! If nothing else, one thing the tragic attack on Westminster Bridge clearly shows is that Britain is a multicultural... Read More
Sunday, 09 April 2017 17:16
Nicholas Mackey
Thank you for commenting Rosy. Last week, I visited the area around Westminster affected by this tragedy and was deeply moved by ... Read More
Wednesday, 12 April 2017 13:06
Rosy Cole
There's nothing to compare with actually visiting a site for bringing the reality home. I find this again and again as an historia... Read More
Friday, 14 April 2017 19:00
1127 Hits

Urban Sea

Does a city have an ebb and flow like that of the sea?

Do the movements of people and traffic in an urban space mimic that of the tidal advance and retreat?

How does it feel when you have to navigate a strange town without your bearings as if trying to find your way in uncharted waters?

Or, possibly the sea can join together a city split between east and west.

Maybe the sea can act as a balm to troubled souls.

Or, perhaps the sea can wash away the sins of the world.

Does the sea have an ebb and flow like that of the city?


Recent Comments
Monika Schott
Thursday, 08 September 2016 20:56
Nicholas Mackey
Thank you for the compliment, Monika.
Tuesday, 13 September 2016 21:57
Katherine Gregor
What an interesting simile.
Sunday, 11 September 2016 17:09
1270 Hits

By The River

Early morning sunny
By the river
Shapes meander into
A horizon unleashing
flows of memory
Like a balm
Parched souls
The waters 
Wash over us
Separate sides
This thin vein
Flows onwards 
Fluid imprint 
On the landscape 
Of our lives 
Flitting by
Recent Comments
Katherine Gregor
Wednesday, 07 September 2016 10:08
Nicholas Mackey
Wednesday, 07 September 2016 12:54
1181 Hits

Flight To Enchantment


London, Spring 2013

I was walking along Riding House Street in the West End towards All Souls Church Langham Place very close to the BBC and the revamped Broadcasting House. It was a little before 2.30 on this sunny afternoon and I had my old 35mm film camera with me. 

People often ask what prompts the moment to take a picture? How long do you have? But in this case, the brief answer: as I was meandering along this thoroughfare that links the bustling grandeur of Regent Street with some fascinating back roads leading to Goodge Street and Tottenham Court Road where an exciting assortment of restaurants, cafés and shops await discovery, I found myself enmeshed between three sets of high verticals and yet all these buildings were very different to each other: an archetype 1960s office block on my left with glass predominant, on the right-hand-side there are hints of the baroque with this grand edifice of an early 20th-century pedigree and then straight ahead there is the tell-tale steeple of All Souls Church designed by Nash in the early 19th century and a survivor from the Blitz of the Second World War. Instinctively I felt that this might make an interesting picture - such is the eternal optimism of us photographers. So I stopped walking and carefully aimed my camera trying to capture this trio of verticals. I pressed the shutter and it clicked comfortingly. More about the finished image in a moment.

This area of London has a special resonance for me as just around the corner from All Souls is that evergreen media institution: the BBC and back in the early summer of 1985 I had the privilege of attending a production/presentation course there. It was an excellent training ground in radio and it helped to enhance my understanding of the spoken word on the airwaves. I learnt, for example, that the best pictures exist on radio and how one was to speak when broadcasting. It was an exciting eye-opener and I relished every moment of it.

Shortly after this course, there was a very happy event in our family when my wife gave birth to our first son that same summer. So, I suppose you could say that I came of age as a fledgling father and a novice broadcaster at around the same time 31 years ago. Later, I went on to use these newly-acquired media skills as a freelancer for the BBC World Service while working overseas in the Middle East. Sadly, no basic training in fatherhood was available at the time but I learnt about this new role as I went along, supported by a marvellous life partner, and hope my efforts as a parent have been half-decent, as they say in Dublin.

And returning to the image in question, the bird flying majestically through the top of the attached picture is a complete fluke I promise you - no photoshop, honest guv. Every so often as a photographer, you get these lucky breaks. For me, this image has come to convey a sense of timelessness within what is normally a busy metropolitan setting and yet it is also something extra - a memory or glimpse of happiness with a hint of movement, of life. A flight to a better place, to enchantment perhaps?

The image, Flight To Enchantment, can be seen at:

Image ©Nicholas Mackey 2013 



© Nicholas Mackey

Recent Comments
Rosy Cole
The longer we live, the more we understand how the senses overlap, merge, and can adopt one another's functions. I so agree about ... Read More
Monday, 29 August 2016 11:23
Nicholas Mackey
Thanks so much for commenting Rosy and I'm always appreciative of the interest shown in my scribblings. I still feel that I have y... Read More
Saturday, 03 September 2016 23:15
Rosy Cole
It's striking how your images are very much 'mood' pictures. There's the story of how they came into being, and there's another st... Read More
Wednesday, 07 September 2016 16:06
963 Hits

Latest Comments

Katherine Gregor A Few Thoughts About Lent
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Now I didn't know that! Thank you!
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Katherine Gregor The Hour of the Book
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You're very kind, Rosy. Thank you.
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