Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Church of England

(I have never actually been lectured in this particular way, although all vicars seem to include irrelevant, left wing garbage in their sermons, but this year our pamphlet of carols featured photographs of a young man named Mohammed in a workshop in Gaza, so I imagined the thinking that had allowed such a thing to be rammed down our throats and the nagging that had gone on elsewhere, previously, in order to raise the cash for the "good cause.")

Hear the bell, behold the steeple!
Send to Hell the Jewish people!

Ancient building, musty smell,
Beeswax polish, Nicene creed,
Dreadful organs, weedy reeds,
Very grumpy organist
Lefty vicars 
With their knickers 
Permanently in a twist,
Preaching from The Guardian,
Forget the Gospels, Jesus' teaching,
Make your mind tabula rasa,
God's a sideline, they insist
The C of E must help Mohammed,
Sow in him some 'Christian' seeds,
Signal virtue by ignoring 
All his violent misdeeds.
Nag, nag, nag the congregation,
Ancient Tories, deadly boring,
Limited, white haired and racist
All the same from Rock to Leeds,
Highlight all their rotten vices
Then explain the good of pouring
Money into church led schemes
Which set about to train Mohammed,
In his workshop out in Gaza,
Fit him with the skills he needs,
To improvise and make devices
Learn his trade yet not resist
The great temptation of his dreams:
To cause explosions and surprises,
End the need to coexist.

It seems as if the Church of Rome in Italy have this disease even worse than the C of E:


Saturday, 17 December 2016

Observations While Sitting In The Farmyard, During a Late December Riding Lesson

Clip clopping,
Cobs walk across concrete,
Sounding like an imitation
Of cobs walking across concrete-
Clashing coconut shells,
A nags long face protrudes above a stable door,
Looking like every horse
Who looked out before,
Like Mr Ed,
Whinnying, tossing his head.
Also: brown cows in stalls,
Country smells,
Empty pens,
Piles of old straw,
A rusty bike,
Ground thick with mud and manure,
Puddles of pale sky on the ground,
Snow white hens
Scratching round -
Clean, pristine, finding grain on the stable floor,
A silver tabby trots dressage like,
Lifting high each precious paw.
Two people stand,
Chatting, as water from the hose falls,
Beside a fittingly filthy fork lift truck,
Their Yorkshire voices swear at each verse end
Without a care,
Turning the air
A different shade of blue,
For no particular reason,
Just because they do,
Just because they don't give a fuck,
The habitual use of the obscene
Adds spice to banter, otherwise bland,
Between an old farm hand
And a young friend
With an orange face, smeared in foundation,
As thick as the muck in the yard,
And eyebrows, after the style of Cara Delevigne,
As out of place
On the local face
As the bags on the bales,
Shiny, thick, black polythene.
There's a slight sense of the season,
But it's not cold,
The ground's not hard,
There are no mangers to be seen,
Though much hay,
Something in the last light of the day,
Describes endless ends of term
And walking home, happy,
After the nativity play.
And here's the file of horses coming back,
Grey, bay, dun, piebald, black,
Plodding now, 'the weary way',
After the hack.

Thursday, 15 December 2016

The Wrong Sort Of Pity

The Wrong Sort Of Pity

This is the price we have paid
For our wicked, non-intervention.
We argued and then we delayed,
And these deaths, 
Though they weren't our intention,
Nevertheless have resulted
Because of our dreadful inaction.

We should have bombed sooner and better,
Our 'morality' was a distraction,
Which acted to bind and to fetter,
Now look at the mess that's been made.

We should have backed decent rebels,
Picked a small and unknown faction,
Then bowled the proles googlies and spinners
As we set about to persuade
All the world that we could pick winners,
For our side loved votes and free trade.

We could have made out they loved culture,
Cared nothing for wealth or for power.
If only we'd had a fraction,
Of the time given over to thinking, for action,
Oh the roles and the parts we'd have played!
Never so much owed to so few
In collective imagination,
The fictional rebels whom we should have backed
Had all the courage and goodness we lacked.

Now weep for civilians, dead children
And show them your new kind of pity,
Reveal it with pride, it's your ace,
A great way of signalling virtue.
Cry over every crushed flower,
And the ruins of each ancient city,
While circling above like a vulture
Make out you'd have won, left no trace
Of mess nor yet any disruption,
For our bombs don't cause death and destruction.
If only we British had acted the way
That you had thought right in the first place,
Then the dead would be living today.

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Annoying Wood Pigeon

When I'm grown up, or after I'm dead
I'm going to be an annoying wood pigeon.
I shall coo down chimney pots at top volume
And eat all the thrown out bread,
Before anyone else can get near it.
I shall have noisy, flappy quickies at the tops of trees
On insubstantial branches, which can't support my weight,
Or my bird's, who will be a bird.
I will repeat the same few words endlessly,
I shall just state things
Over and over again,
And have rainbows on my wings,
And I'll glide on currents of air
And not care
About owt
I shall be even more free than a man in a scaffolding gang,
Swearing and singing and throwing poles at people's heads,
Life will be one long hoot.

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Toothache Sunrise

From a small point, indefinable, it grows,
Intensity increasing red, then glows
Bright orange through to pale peach light,
Until its centre point is screaming white
That fills the place with nothing but itself
There is no other thing within the space
That is the oblong window which now shows
In contrast to the darkness of the room,
Wherein I lie, in aching agony 
Waiting to resume normality 
As aspirin forms a cloud of dull neutrality.

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

November Cycling

Today has the colour and light and sun slant rays
Of all those past last of November days,
Of Advent carols in the head
Of yellow leaves and all that jazz,
And frosty, crisp, white-powdered grass,
The border's flowers brown and dead,
Demonstrating all decays
And yet stays just the same, always.

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Stop Legitimising Hate! A rondeau on left wing hypocrisy on the day after the death of Fidel Castro

It's not legitimate to hate
old left wing leaders who dictate.
Instead you must try worshipping
such brutes, because their murdering
is of the higher sort. The fate
of men who might oppose the great
and good, is to become the late
whoe'er they were. And here's the thing:
It's not legitimate to hate,
so those who question, contemplate
reform, improvement in the state,
needs must be shot. They're vile, right wing,
and all such men need torturing,
They're vermin to exterminate:
It's not legitimate to hate. 

Friday, 25 November 2016

Fake News, Post Truth Rondeau

"Let's listen to the fake news,Dear,
Put Radio Four on, so we'll hear
Post truth, disguised as real fact
These so called experts can't half act.
One falls for each bizarre idea
These scoundrels sound so damned sincere,
That for my sanity I fear,
Until, with rude words and no tact,
The fake news
Gets You shouting back." Don't revere
The News, just question, get things clear.
And when it sounds like balls, react:
Write in, complain, hope they'll be sacked,
These frauds who would bring to your ear
The fake news.

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Quantum Particles Of Soul

All those quantum bits of soul
That float about within the room,
Seem attracted to my brain,
And I am filled with others' thoughts,
Specks of trouble, doubt and gloom.
When darkness falls I feel old pain.

Perhaps they're really scraps of prayer
Fragments rent from their one whole
Because they were transmitted, sent 
When distress left minds in torment
Flashing signals in despair,
Aware they could not alter doom.

Perhaps I am a good receiver
As I'm not a true believer
Perhaps they settle in my mind
As particles of debris meant
To teach me I must have a care.

And yet I always wish to find
Some means to comfort, though I'm blind
And needs must grope towards the light,
Scraping at each built up layer
To find some truth in dark, black night.

Perhaps absorbing is sufficient
Perhaps once anchored, made secure,
I should not feel I must do more,
Should cease to strive to be efficient
Should be content merely to store
And let these atoms, reminiscent
Of man's sadness through all ages
Rest in peace, my head their tomb.

Saturday, 29 October 2016

Hurtling Towards A Chaotic Breakfast

I make my way downstairs at speed,
At almost break-neck pace, indeed,
I stumble twice, but fleet 
Of foot, spurred on by greed,
Half sliding, in my stockinged feet,
My mind on 'eat all you can eat',
And how I've paid, have the receipt, 
And how I feel the need
To sample all, but not exceed
The bounds of decency, 
To feel more than just replete,
To feel the joy it is to feed,
Towards my breakfast I proceed.
I'll Take muesli to start with or maybe shredded wheat,
Eggs, and then black pudding 
(Thank you God for things that bleed)
I'll taste the rolls with poppy seed,
Spread with cheap jam, sickly sweet,
In contrast to the bacon and other salted meat,
Then take yoghurt, fruit, toast, kedgeree,
Drink orange juice as well as tea,
And when I'm done I'll go on deck,
Try not to slip and break my neck
And probably,
I'll barf chaotic breakfast,
Straight back out into the sea.

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Suffer The Little Children

Suffer the little children to come unto me,
For such is the Republic of Marx,
And whoso shall receive one of these little ones
In my name, shall receive me.
By his beard and broad shoulders you shall know him as a child of mine,
And whoso shall treat him not as a horse in the market place,
By inspecting his teeth,
But accept him at his own word,
Believing him when he says he is four,
Expressing no doubt in the truth of his speech,
Expressing no fears,
Forgiving his belief in a divine
Vengeful God who calls him to war,
Admitting crow's-feet as evidence of long suffering
Rather than years, is P.C.
And has my grace.
But whoso shall offend one of these little ones,
It were better for him that a millstone were hanged around his neck,
And he were drowned in the depths of the sea.
Woe to the world because of offences!
For it needs be that offences come; 
But woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

The beard is crude, but not the jaw,
Which now is squarer than before,
The brow is thicker, yet realistic,
The gaze defiant, antagonistic.

I am myself and yet am other,
My cocky, handsome, younger brother,
And yet the arrogance is mine,
And something else I can't define.

It's something that belongs to me,
But something that one shouldn't see
In a middle aged mother.

God works in mysterious ways
His wonders to perform,
These days he likes to use an app,
It has become His norm.

And so with algorithms,
And other tricks which free us
From our self deceit, we
"see ourselves as others see us".

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Maternal Thoughts

I saw the train as I looked down the track,
A distant glimpse of yellow-metal back,
About to disappear around the bend.
I knew then you had the courage that I lack,
And hoped it somehow grew out of my fear,
That my smothering, mothering need to keep you near,
This push-me-pull-you wanting childhood to end,
This clinging need for one hand-crafted friend,
Had been the catalyst required
To send you out into the world to make your mark.

And yet I cannot quite let go,
This maternal way of thinking seems to grow,
I wish to live vicariously and have the knack.
So now you shape your future on your own, yet in the dark
Of the unknown, each seed of an idea
That I have sown, I hope will germinate,
And infiltrate,
Then growing to the light somehow illuminate,
So you see only brightness, never black.

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

A Kind Of Mantra For An Old Friend To Recite When She Feels The Urge To Join In With Her 'Close Knit' Community

All men are islands, other folk are hell!
Leave me be, I do not like mankind.
I only wish in solitude to dwell
Alone with my own intelligent mind.
Don't try and involve me, or you might find
I'm better than you at doing things which you do well
And you wouldn't want to feel you were getting left behind.
All men are islands, other folk are hell!
And you are just a shit, I've not lost my sense of smell!
This clod has washed away, it is not inclined
To be part of the main; it was when you put the boot in that it fell.
Leave me alone, I do not like mankind.
I have no desire to be mingled, intertwined.
I am Sufficient of myself and my reasoned thoughts can quell
Any efforts of yours to leave me feeling undermined.
I only wish in solitude to dwell.
And nothing you can say or do will ever impel
Me to join your crowd of carping fools, all blind
To faults of their own. I intend to spend a spell
Alone with my own intelligent mind.
You don' belong to me, there are no ties that bind.
I owe you absolutely nothing, I shall stay inside my shell.
I am a bitter lemon, so do not remove my rind,
And do not venture near me lest I yell
"All men are islands!"

(rondeau redouble)

On Hypochromic Anaemia

What is this ghastly, greenish skin
I see my Celia is in?
Always fair, now pale and wan,
She's put an ancient costume on.
She battles through each day with valour,
Weary, in her dreary pallor,
Immune to every soothing unction,
This once hot tempered, snarling lion, 
Is now a poor, Victorian maiden
Bearing well, though heavy laden,
With this weight, this dreadful burden,
Which is the chore of trying to function
When depleted of her iron.

Friday, 2 September 2016

Paranoia: Something Went Wrong With This Page

Something went wrong with this page
So we decided to reload it.
You were reading something right wing, 
Some populist thing in a tabloid.
Something went wrong, you felt rage,
You thought criminal thoughts and imploded.
So we snatched away the cause,
Gave you a chance to avoid it,
Gave you a moment to pause,
Just to take a breath, count up to ten,
Collect your thoughts and remember 
There's no place for hate this September
Of 2016, on the web.
We gave you time to consider 
And to stop thinking like a pleb.
Something went wrong with this page,
Well not with this page per se,
But with your choice, your wanting to read it.
We think you were lead astray.
But you won't let it happen again.

Sunday, 14 August 2016

A Response To A Report Into Electoral Fraud in Ethnic Communities.

Don't judge!  It was the atmosphere that did it.
The Electoral Commission's not a racist institution.
I am not a racist, and that's to my credit.
We are only really guilty of a kind of abdication.
Ethnic communities don't need re-education, 
Respecting democracy's not a thing you can inherit,
So we decided there'd be no investigation.
Don't judge! It was the atmosphere that did it.
Cultural Marxism has much theoretical merit.
We only wanted reality to fit the dream, we used imagination.
Never the stick, only ever the carrot,
The Electoral Commission's not a racist institution.
It can't be helped that cheating's a temptation.
"All shall seem well", as someone once put it.
We only turned a blind eye, that's our mitigation.
I'm not a racist and that's to my credit.
There was no paper evidence, and I didn't shred it.
If we'd come down hard we'd have caused riot, revolution.
We weren't corrupt ourselves, where corruption occurred, we simply hid it.
We are only guilty of a kind of abdication,
All in the interests of harmonisation.
We always meant well, people often said it,
Everything we did was with the best intention.
There are cultural differences in the places crooks inhabit.
Don't judge.

Thursday, 28 July 2016

A Prayer In Memory of Father Jacques Hamel, murdered by IS While Saying Mass.

May the peace of the Lord be with you;
May the calm warmth of a July morning in church remain 
Always this sense of love, the love of an old priest for his fellow men. Let it renew,
A thousand fold, the stock of love, so we regain
Our sense of trust in each other, and the pain
And suffering and loss shall not obscure our view
Of hope.  Let us mark each hour in our minds with the refrain:
May the peace of the Lord be with you!
And give thanks for it in all the quiet moments of our lives. Let true
Wisdom and mercy govern our reactions, let us remember each grain
Of love produces a miraculous yield. The bad are but the few.
May the calm warmth of a July morning in church remain
In your heart and mind as the scent of a sweet flower when strain
And fear seem to overwhelm, may you find the clear, blue
Light of a summer day beyond the clouds and may it contain
Always this sense of love, the love of an old priest for his fellow men. Let it renew
Your spirit so that you go forth into the world with that tranquility he knew,
Born of faith and trust.  Let not contempt, disdain,
For those who dwell in blackness guide. For we must increase, in all that we do
A thousand fold, the stock of love, so we regain
Our sense of trust in each other: let him not have died in vain.
Let the pastoral peace of psalms and hymns be the warmth that lifts the settled dew
Of sorrow from your saddened soul, may the path of life be a summer lane
Ending in a quiet church wherein that balm of stillness is, which violence shall subdue:
The peace of the Lord.

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

The Women

They came from shortlists, well designed,
To fill the House with just their kind,
The lesbians with butch, cropped hair,
The Tory ladies dressed with care,
The deeply spoken, and the squeaky,
They came from Ramsgate and Auld Reekie,
Harridans and cold, hard bores,
With steely eyes, pugnacious jaws.
Their politics were much the same
They thought alike, shared every aim,
They crowded round the centre ground
And dished out dull, bland bites of sound,
Their minds were empty, speeches hollow,
Ambition led, ideas could follow,
And yet they rarely ever did.

And they would never make a bid
In favour of less government
Because they were a regiment
Of bossy sisters who loved rules
And took the demos for dumb fools.
They spat at liberty and swore 
To do away with common law,
Because they did not understand
The history of our ancient land
And thought a web of regulation
Would much enhance this once great nation.
They didn't know that less was more
And mould grows from a single spore.


Saturday, 18 June 2016

Thoughts Occurring While Looking At Portrait Of Milton As A Child.

In dreary dullness and in gloom
He gazes out, does not look down,
His essence lingers like a perfume,
English roses, warm air blown.
His doublet, once striped gold and brown,
Is black with coal dust dark as doom,
His stiff lace ruff, silly costume of a clown,
In dreary dullness and in gloom,
Is cream and grey like storm tossed spume,
But still it serves to frame his face.  No frown
Distorts his youthful brow, his cheek still sports a coral bloom.
He gazes out, does not look down.
He was not then of great renown,
Yet seems a father to the man. What an heirloom
Man inherits, in childlike clarity of thought which lights up the unknown.
His essence lingers like the perfume
Of a better kind of wisdom which survives beyond the tomb.
His face is grave, his intellectual merit, though not here fully grown,
Is obvious as he looks on. Freedom's not some foul fume
English roses, warm air blown,
Are not sweeter, breathe it in. Why doubt what you are clearly shown?
Past light of stars illume
The present darkness of the night.  Choose what is known.
You aren't children, but free men, born
In dreary dullness.

Sunday, 5 June 2016

Bronze Fennel, Hot June Day

The garden's pubes have wilted in the heat,
Flopped over, quite collapsed and flat,
They're flaccid, lying useless in defeat.
I take the turgid, phallic hose and sprinkle them
Hoping they will rise up, once again look neat.
I'm sure they will, yet now I think of them like that
My filthy mind sees stink horns lurking underneath,
The hard, white, leather balls of jellied slime,
Which burst apart and thrust their polystyrene willies in the air,
Each bell end sporting its white hat.
As a child I'd see them all the time,
In innocence thought nothing of their looks,
I never see them now, and do not care,
For they belong to childhood's beech woods and to fungus books.
And this luxuriant, deep bronze, pubic hair,
Belongs to well kept gardens and grown ups.

Friday, 27 May 2016

How To Deal With The Inner Child

Just imagine that your inner child's called Jade,
And she's got a voice like a braying donkey,
And an accent that's so broad that you feel afraid
You must look really fat, whenever she starts speaking.
Just imagine that your inner child is dead common
And not very bright.
And when she starts seeking attention,
You know she's bound to show you up
Because she's absolutely desperate to mention
All the things you do that don't really seem very nice, 
In the light of day,
(Though you could justify them to yourself privately.)
Just imagine that she's not quite right,
She has no sensitivity, 
She tends to waddle and has one sock that will never stay up.
Just imagine she's always a bit snotty,
That she wets the bed
And smells of pee,
But never has a shower.

Just imagine your inner child, is not some creative,
Ethereal, angelic, lovely, golden girl,
Not some Elysian flower
Or sugar and spice,
All kind and clever,
Not some exquisite, rare pearl,
But, instead, 
That she's very much like the small, fat, grotty
Creature you actually used to be.
Then ground her forever.

Sunday, 15 May 2016

The Dumbing Down of Death

When I am gone
Think only this of me,
I did not die
Because I longed to lie
In silence where I couldn't hear
You reading poetry.
Crying, stumbling, sobbing, taking care,
It's all as bad,
Though man that is born of woman hath but a short time to live,
And is full of misery,
Don't make it worse, 
I did not love the works of Edward Lear,
More than the language of the Book of Common Prayer,
So don't read verse.

Friday, 13 May 2016

Never Buy A Second Hand Carpet From "Fluffy Chops"

Never buy a second hand, Persian rug,
From a woman with the user name 'Fluffy Chops,'
You might think it better, and feel smug
About buying a carpet
From a fellow English woman,
Because all those oriental shops
Seem rather a rip off.
But honestly, if you turn up at the door
And see a notice saying,
'Before you report my manky looking Persian cat to the RSPCA
Here are a few things to bear in mind...'
Then you should scarper, because you will find,
Kitty's not the only mangy Iranian.
The rather pretty looking old Nain,
You saw on ebay was only attractive
Because you didn't know,
Anyone would stoop so low
As to sell,
Something with that cheesy, doggy, catty smell.
And your house will never be the same again,
Even though it's rather fragrant already
What with the scent of incontinent pets of your own,
And those certain places that remind you of that last time at the vets,
And the corpses where your poor old friends had laid,
All night, dead, uncured, and gently leaking,
Despite the thousands of pounds you had paid.
When buying second hand carpet, you wish your animals to be alone
In their vile habits,
And you don't wish to confront the possibility of other people keeping house rabbits,
Or to have to give a name,in your head,
To that vivid yellow stain,
Pretend it is there by design, instead.
And it's no good seeking
Compensation, caveat emptor and all that,
EBay isn't the shops,
If you don't like odour of cat
Then strictly speaking,
You were mad to buy anything from 'Fluffy Chops.'

Sunday, 8 May 2016

To Rupa Huq, MP (Labour) An Apolgy For Past Wrongs

(last year she wanted Britain to apologise for the creation of the state of Israel)

Just less than three score years ago, and ten,
In arrogance of recent victory,
So flushed with pride and clear in our certainty
We saw a way to help our fellow men,
And 'put right' history.

We thought our role, was helping those
Who wished to live according to their faith,
To worship God according to tradition,
Not merely as a private act, but in the institution
Of a state, a separate nation.

We thought it wise and right to help men live
According to particular belief,
In acknowledgement of ideas 
Such men considered holy
That is God's word and His instruction.

We sought, in pride, to help create a place,
Which separated men from one another,
Like sheep from goats, accepting of the notion
That ideals of how to live 
Were bound up with religion. 

These men themselves had long expressed this need
And in misplaced compassion we agreed.
For after all men suffer persecution
For belief. And persecution was, for some, all they had known.
And who were we, who knew Christ's suffering,
To deny a place of safety unto them
That wished for some small corner of this earth
To be a place to call their own?

Yet who were we?
Was it up to us to grant the wishes of our fellows?
Is it right to intercede in any territorial fight,
Cause retributive genocide, displacement, mass migration?
And carve up countries into separate jurisdictions
Because certain kinds of men seek domination?
Weren't we deluded in our aims? 
How could we, mired as we were in ancient wrongs,
Help put things right?

Was it in our power at all to say
This land belongs to one who worships in this way,
And none must seek to question 
The validity of this high handed action?

And now, do all those who dwell within this sovereign nation,
Live in freedom and as equals?
Has intolerance become an unknown notion?
Is it a patch of earth where there's no persecution?
Do all men live at liberty, in this land,
To express their freely held convictions?
While governed by such men as understand,
That truth and peace flow from consideration
Of the struggle each man has to live life well?
Is there absolute contentment in the total population?
Can we say, with hindsight, we were right to plan
This violent, troubled nation: Pakistan?