Sunday, 28 December 2014

A Farewell Do (rondeau redoublé)

Because this is the end, a celebration
Not rejoicing in finality, just a line,
To show the clear demarcation
Between the person you were once and the fine
One you are now, with hindsight; to combine
Reality with memory and fiction. The restoration
Of you as the person whom we define,
Because this is the end, a celebration,
By all things positive. Appreciation
Of real good and good intention.  We pine
For you now you've left. This declaration,
Not rejoicing in finality, just a line
Or two to point out your achievements must align
The truth with the ideal version.  By implication
This illustrates our need always to refine,
To show the clear demarcation
Between messy reality and idealisation.
It's not a funeral, none of us is grave, the wine
Flows freely. We rejoice in positive simplification.
Between the person you were once and the fine
One we say you are now, is a sign.
It reads "Accept and remember without question,
Do not towards the gritty truth incline,
Because this is the end."

Funeral Coat rondeau redoublé

The long black coat hangs from the bedroom door.
It speaks of death in black exaggeration.
I wish you didn't fit it any more.
Grim-reaper-like in my imagination
It seems to bide its time, makes silent proclamation
Of intent. Were it my death I wouldn't bore
You with this worrying, such things we face: regard as preparation.
The long black coat hangs from the bedroom door;
And threatens, not me, but all those whom I love.  And yet, before
I am myself snuffed out, oblivious, through medication,
I must find strength to suffer and endure.
It speaks of death in black exaggeration.
It offers nothing hopeful, consolation
Could not be further from me now.  I can't restore
My mind to peaceful happiness.  In desperation,
I wish you didn't fit it any more.
Though you'd buy another.  The chore
That living would become, the devastation
Of being alone, becomes a mess of thoughts I can't explore.
Grim- reaper-like in my imagination,
The long black coat is all I hide from. There's no limitation,
Despair appears to have no boundary, no floor.
All I can offer is a prayer of supplication.
A symbol of death hangs from the bedroom door:
The long black coat.

Advice When Renewing a Passport Photo

Look straight ahead
And let your jowls sag.
Open wide your strangely wonky eyes.
Don't smile, you're a miserable old bag.
Make sure your hair is flat
Don't try and tread
The fine line
Between seriousness and merriment
By making your eyes shine,
This is a document, not an experiment
In how to appear secretly happy.
You're meant to look crappy,
As you would at 4am,
Straight off the plane or the ferry.
Look as if you worry
That you aren't quite right;
You don't want to confuse
Anyone who views
Your picture by being confident.
Don't look pretty or even pretty-ish
Look a bit of a fright.
Then everyone will know you're British.


I am become a dappled thing,
A spotted, freckled melanin
Of speckle, spattered aging skin,
Which wrinkled too and growing thin
And slightly wispy round the chin,
Is really quite revolting.
Glory be to Man for makeup in
A slappy, slathered lathering
Of sloppy cream, concealing
Such blotchy, patchy withering.

Thoughts occurring while sitting on a cold hard pew, in a cold church... Sitting on the Aga

To warm one's arse upon the Aga's domes
Makes winter bearable by heating well
One's fat. Cheeks as cold as death in homes
Devoid of stoves with perching space, tell
The story of this absence in the face
Of ladies who must bear their stately piles
As best they might. Though warmth redeems a place
From all its failings; direct heat brings smiles
Of comfort and of ease which radiate
And warms the hearts in turn of those who in receipt
Do not recoil, do not repudiate
As in ignorance of the true source of this
Benev'lent glance believe themselves the cause.
For so much joy and comfort, so much bliss
Derives from warmth come from behind; the laws
Of nature which evolved through many a year
Adapt.  Fundamentally pleasing things bring cheer!

Evidence of Old Age

Is there any evidence more depressing,
Of the nature of old age, so fast progressing,
Than the discovery, when standing cold and bare,
Of a singular albino pubic hair?
Is it right to try and pluck it out?
And what if the children hear your shout,
Because it hurts,
And come running? What should you do?
And what if, as is rumoured to be true,
Removing hair results in exponential growth,
In little spurts,
How would you cope then, when you are loathe
As it is to admit you're over the hill?
Should you resort to dye,
Or apply
To start with until you are a
Total greybush?
Or is it better still,
To put it out of your mind,
And not to look,
Because, after all, nobody will know,
Unless you write about it on Facebook?

Your Political Ideas are Like your Lady Di Hairdo

You wear your points of view,
As you used to wear
Your Lady Di hairdo.
They aren't much to do with you,
Just a sort of camouflage.
I suspect you'd give them up
In friendly badinage
With handsome men,
But wearing vaguely left ideas
On your sleeve,
Allows you to believe
You are the right sort,
Empowers you to snort
And toss your mane,
Whinnie your disdain,
At anyone who
Thinks you
Should think them through.


To pilfer a pouting picture
Of someone else,
Which they have taken of themselves,
A 'selfie'
And using it to earn dishonest dough,
Through blackmail,
The fee thus earned:
A 'pelfie.'
The O.E.D next year will define it so,
But you saw it first in here,
So now you know,
I invented it,
And will achieve celebrity,
And as a poet,
Might be asked to take a 'shelfie.'

Pelf = money gained in a dishonest way.

Thoughts Occurring While Listening to Scheherazade on Radio 3

I didn't know there was a Scheherazade place in my head,
I imagine it fitting itself in the cracks between grey matter,
The nooks and crannies of the music, attached to hooks instead
Of more important things.  The chatter
Of neurones leaping the gaps which are filled with sound
Making up famous tunes, so they aren't gaps any more
Will probably cause senility. I will go around
Knowing lots of pieces but unable to name them, I'll bore
Everyone to death with my constant humming, sickened
By the familiarity I will be Classic FM without a DJ,
Endlessly trying to reproduce order.  The arteries, thickened
By age and cholesterol, will try and play jazz and I will blame PJ,
Assuming the exertion of pumping blood is him listening
To the sort of rubbish I always switch off, and the battle
Between classic FM and jazz record requests will be seen glistening
In my mad old eyes, as I sink and hear death's final rattle.

I Don't Want to Plug in Your Charger

I don't want to plug in your charger,
I only plugged it in yesterday.
Why do you live so precariously,
Always about to die?
The fact that you want plugging in again
Seems like a metaphor.  I have eaten a custard cream.
Make do with that, vicariously
I am at least as tired as you.
I am not going to expend more energy
Going up stairs, anyway,
I don't like the way you imply
I use up all yours, wasting the day,
Getting fat,
Sitting about Googling
Don't shut down or I will scream;
You have 4% remaining,
But you never ask what % have I.

No One On Facebook.

I looked and there was nobody about,
No little dot of green and human light
Beside the list of friends, no one to shout
'Hello' to over cyberspace.  I tried to fight
The urge to post a poem describing you
In terms that could offend, but my black mood
Won out; I wrote, the rudest things I knew,
Was mean about the way you eat your food,
The clothes you wear, your mad ideas,
I insulted all of you and did my best
To try and be unfair, expressed my fears
About your madness, told things you had confessed
In secret. You'd do the same, would not avoid
The one great chance, to make me paranoid.


A massive bar of fruit and nut to eat,
In purple foil wrapped and close at hand,
Is just the thing to make a pleasant treat,
When dieting and trying to command
Your instincts. Don't try and understand
And don't ignore your inner man. For sweet
Temptation is too much.  Try to resist and
A massive bar of fruit and nut to eat
Will keep its nagging up.  Admit defeat
At first, before it melts.  You might demand
Better of yourself another day. It's neat;
In purple foil wrapped and close at hand,
Don't leave it perfect. Though it contracts as you expand,
At least you gain some heat
In the process of consumption. Anything, however bland
Is just the thing to make a pleasant treat
When dieting.  Cheese, potatoes, cold meat,
But chocolate most of all, and any brand.
So just give in, retreat!
When dieting and trying to command
Your instincts, you haven't  a hope in Hell. Don't stand
On ceremony, just dig in. Dieting is just deceit,
Dressed up as goodness.  Whatever you have planned
Is doomed to failure. Go ahead and cheat,

My Love, if only you had Lethologica (Sestina)

You are on occasion inaniloquent, but mostly
I wish you were more silent, preferring
To D. what you have Q.E.'d, I'd like you
Better.  Having to peruse the dictionary
To comprehend that you are passing
A compliment is stupid.
The back of my jeans bulge, I look stupid
Pulling out the pocket version. Mostly
It just backfires. To say I am callipygian, passing
A compliment on that part of my anatomy, preferring
To do so, than inadvertantly fondle the dictionary:
I don't understand you.
Why speak of apodyopsis, when you
Could actually take off my clothes, stupid!
Sometimes you are just an aeolist. The dictionary
Inspires you but you lack feeling. Mostly
I think you are full of autolatry, preferring
Yourself to all others, passing
On words instead of love, passing
On a series of sounds and letters, like you
Did the other day, declaring you had basorexia, preferring
To speak of it than act upon it.  Stupid
Men are more snoggable, I like cataglottism, mostly.
The dictionary
Suggests that you are blandiloquent. The dictionary
Does have it's uses. In passing
The other day you mentioned I was bathykolpian. Mostly
I wear a size 10, I'm a 34 C. You
Just wanted to show off, or were wishing I was some stupid
Big titted, other woman, preferring
Fantasy again, preferring
Words. When did you swallow the dictionary?
You have lygerastia, yet all day you're krukolibidinous, stupid
Man, why not act? I have permanent gymnophoria.  Passing
By the other day, you
Did not even respond to my vesthibitionism, mostly
Preferring to look away, though in passing
The dictionary to me you mentioned some stupid word,
Was it tibialoconcupiscent?  Mostly I just ignore you.


Statistically I suppose, the loonies one meets
Online, are not representative of the population.
Yet, one cannot avoid the feeling that the streets
Of cyberspace are rather crowded with 'em.  Frustration
With reality leaves those, lacking in any originality,
To revert to repeating any age old, worn out idea,
Questioning nothing.  A frugality
Of imagination cannot be compensated
For by verbal diarrhoea.
Yet such is the nature of these discussions
That any verbosity, as long as it's fashionable, over stated,
Becomes acceptable.  But cheer up!
The repercussions
Of being rude with brevity aren't too severe.

The Dishcloth Is Too Much With Us Late And Soon

This cloth is too much with us late and soon,
In rubbing and wiping we lay waste our powers,
Little we see on surfaces that's ours,
Yet we have wiped marks away; a sticky spoon
That leaves its mess, a cup made faint, half moon,
Those brown patches by the switches, at all hours
Which are wiped up now but will return like flowers,
For this, for everything, I 'm out of tune,
I'd rather play my violin all day
Than let my fingers stiffen and grow fat,
From spending days wiping these marks away,
And yet somehow I always seem to think that
My mood and musicality, the way I play
Will be improved by clean surroundings.  I'm a prat!

Closet Bastards (rondeau)

The closet bastards are to blame
They hide their thoughts as if a game
Of hide and seek is what we need
When judging people. And indeed
We cannot find them wanting. Shame!
How dare they! They should speak and name
Their dreadful thoughts. They're all the same!
And yet they carry on, succeed:
The closet bastards.
They act quite nicely, seem quite tame,
They're bastards though, although they're lame.
We know they're thinking's wrong and bleed
For those they harm. Are they a breed
Camouflaged in niceness?  Let's frame
The closet bastards!

A Year of Facebook Rows

The holier than thou who like to post
Totalitarian thoughts as Facebook memes
Have kept me busy trying to make toast
Of their ridiculous ideas. For reams
And reams of virtual paper here is shared
In an authoritarian attempt
To silence all debate and make us scared
Of contradiction.  We're held in contempt
By those who feel they occupy high ground.
And yet they fail to question anything,
And liberty is crushed when they're around.
Goodbye blocked 'friends' and may the New Year bring
A shock to jolt you from your fixed position,
For arrogance some fitting retribution.

Friday, 19 December 2014

Approaching the Winter Equinox

The days grow short, the spirits seem to sink.
Sun sets at half past three, leaving a grey
Dark drabness of the mind. To try and think
And act with cheerfulness, portray
Good will and make a seasonal display
Of Christmas jollity, requires one to make a link
Between one's endless chores and play.
The days grow short the spirits seem to sink,
And one's positive emotions veer towards the brink,
And tumble headlong off the cliff and drift away.
The inverse of the shadows, one feels the soul shrink.
Sun sets at half past three, leaving a grey,
Dull moodiness which must betray
One's falsity seeping, as it does, from every chink
In one's facade.  All is disarray,
Dark drabness of the mind.  To try and think
In rational terms is hard.  Yet when the long pink
Fingers of the sun reach out and show the day
Has been a wasted one, we must rethink
And act for all we're worth with cheerfulness. Today
Is not the time for self indulgence anyway.
Life's over in a blink.
Pretend at happiness, lead misery astray:
The days grow short.

Sunday, 14 December 2014


The rib cage and the muscles which attempt
To hold the body upright, lack the strength.
The stomach bulges almost in contempt
At freedom unrestrained.  The whole length
Of body's weak and slow and each breath short.
The eyes are heavy and ideas strange.
There is no sleep although it's craved and thought
Is funny chains, non sequiturs which range
From ancient memory to present fears.
The chest expands but air serves little use.
The thought of work seems fabulous. Ideas
Concerning future days bizarre. Obtuse,
And muddled, shuffling, stumbling and listless
The need for peace, unending, quite resistless.

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

A Planning Meeting in Beverley.

"Pillars of Society," these suited troughers,
Just as George Grosz painted them,
Pink of chop and sleek and shiny.
Fatuously waxing,
Knowing everything's price but dismissing value
As fanciful, in the scheme of things.
Wallowing in their self importance,
Imagining their judgement better than their fellows',
Who had sought to reason,
Where reason could not hope to triumph:
In the land where only money talks.

"Pillars of Society," these fat arsed boars.
Excited by their own pomposity,
Playing power games because their tiny minds
Require some confirmation of superiority,
And since none is forthcoming naturally
Then they must insist upon it.
And queen among the pigs, a harridan,
"The Chair", as hard as one carved out of coal,
With fixed cold mouth and hooded eyes,
Which made her hawk as well as hog,
Presiding over proceedings,
Sticking to the rules.
As if she thought we did not know
How little THEY had stuck.
And like bloody fools
We sat and listened, let them witter.
Next time we shall stick the pigs,
And fill the cold, clean air of winter with their squeals.

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Prudence Plays Dog Rugby

She holds her ball in tight clenched jaws,
Then drops it neatly by her paws,
And fixes is it with her sad eyes,
And stands and waits for the surprise:
That moment nothing ever cures
Of its excitement, when the laws
Of physics mean the ball flies, soars
Through air, lands. Prudence scores a try.
She holds her ball
In this new goal place, then she draws
A breath, runs, skids, scratches floors,
Returning it.  She wills it, rise!
And sail into the sky! It flies.
She follows and her skill ensures
She holds her ball.

Wednesday, 3 December 2014


Forced through the scarred and screaming space
Stitched up half a lifetime ago
You ripped your way where fibroblasts had worked their miracle.
Emerged, in violence, bloodied and lay limp
Before your first breath became a cry
That joined your mother's agonised sobbing.
A wanted thing, no embarrassment of female parts
To turn the wondrous moment into shame.
No need to think of your turn, of the time
To gouge and cut and tear your sex,
And hear your screeching pain.
Your time will be swift and simple, surgical and clean.
A fraction, a moment before awareness.
For now, there is just the joy of seeing you,
A boy, Mohammed.

Monday, 1 December 2014

Photographs of my Garden on Onedrive

The summer's always beautiful, don't doubt,
For where all's brown and dead now
The garden on the internet is out
In blue, full, bloom, with yellow roses anyhow.
Full and blousy drenched in scent and waiting
For the camera to snap them, quick!
Today is perfect Fruhlingsgolden day.
Tomorrow Zepherine Drouhin, Roserie de L'Hay,
And peonies, delphiniums and the frustrating
Alkanet, which is a vile weed but has a trick
Of painting May cerulean to match
The endless beauty of the summer sky.

And every year I think it isn't true,
But wait, low spirited, and think I've seen the best.
Forgetting that each year such fresh things hatch,
That life's renewed, made young again.  The rest
That winter is, wherein the flowers live in photographs,
In cyberspace, does not take any toll on real life.
Only the hand that holds the lens to try
And fix the garden, this time really at its heavenliest,
Grows older, blotchy, speckled, gnarled.

But I
Look out from the same place within my head.
And hope, that like these miracles, these photographs,
The garden of my mind is ageless yet.