Tuesday, 10 December 2019

Are You a Claviphobe?

How dare you imply
That just because only a very small minority
Collect clavichords that it is right to deny
Them public funding for their hobby?
And what about the virginals lobby
How can you justify
Your continued ignorance on this subject?
Why should we elect
A man who can’t detect the difference between the two
And who thinks young women can learn the piano instead?
I’m telling you,
Boris, if you don’t wake up, your political career is dead.
The woke don’t joke.
If you don’t find the money for the restoration
Of my coffin virginals’s pen work decoration
We will vote for the other bloke,
Jeremy knows how to fund a minority
And how to legislate
To let them dominate the debate.
If you do not up your ideas buck
And start to understand the gradation
Of tone, available to the small harpsichord spectrum,
If you don’t stop blethering about the superior sonority
Of the Steinway grand
If you don’t have the pluck
Or the will
Of even a late 16th century plectrum,
Or quill,
And try and claim the state
Cannot fund every little interest group,
You’ll be in the soup:
We’ll accuse you of hate.
Promise the dosh and don’t back slide,
Or you won’t be welcome at our conference this year,
Which is taking place in Malta,
We’ll send you away with such a flea in your ear,
And such a kick up the backside,
Or rear, 
You’ll be dancing La Volta! 

Monday, 9 December 2019

Carrie Symonds’s Misgivings.

I’m going to a temple, so I’ll have to wear a sari,
I have no wish to be mistaken for an old fashioned Tory,
One has to look chic, when canvassing the Sikh vote,
And yet one doesn’t wish to strike a distracting wrong note,
Accusations of Cultural appropriation,
Would fill me with dread, make me wish I were dead.
One shouldn’t court the woke crowd’s disapprobation.
Yet one must blend in, in every situation,
Still I won’t let Bozzer wrap a turban round his head. 

Thursday, 21 November 2019

On One of The Blessings of Occasional Double Vision

An autumn morning,
Brilliant after rain,
The long grey skies
Restored to blue again,
A flock of geese appearing from the left
Flies in Prussian style formation.
But in retreat,
Across the fields of mud and mire
And blurred fields of vision as I tire,
And in the pastel air and rising higher,
Become a stunning, crowd, a congregation:
Diplopia, migraine made
Turns little flock,
To mystical, synchronized murmuration.

On Reading Reports of the Recent Floods

I did not know that you were my true love,
Until I glimpsed you, unexpectedly,
And felt my heart beat speeding, as my breath
Was put on pause and I compared
The printed image of your pastel sky,
With that beyond, around, above. 
I saw your light, which changes imperceptibly,
Held captive on the page and as I stared
Recalled the decades of its loveliness gone by
Which bound me to you, likely unto death.
And yet you only featured here, in your beauty
Because you’d acted badly by my fellows,
Had acted in accordance with your nature,
In wild abandon of your regulated duty
And filled yourself with calm and glassy water,
To make a mirror for your pale washed heaven,
To place it on your surfaces in patches,
Reflecting autumn’s buffs and golden yellows.

Wednesday, 6 November 2019

Heavenly Blue

I long for paraffin, coloured blue

I hold it up in imagination
Comparing Mary’s gown,
The sky, the cut up velvet curtain,
Finding them all wanting
In my obsessive concentration
On the shade, of which I’m certain.

I don’t need the heat from the stove,
Or the rival shades of the flame,
Too much like Calor gas,
Though pale,
The row of triangular teeth 
Dancing, not guttering, 
On the wick underneath.
Do I need the fumes too,
Some strong scent to inhale?
Or is it just the look I should remember, 
Of loveliness in a five gallon can
Off white, translucent plastic?
Just something about the liquid hue
Against yellow chestnut leaves and larch
And piles of orange-copper beech
That feels like Heaven,
Childhood essence of November.

Monday, 4 November 2019

Alas, Poor Claude!

I have been mis-sold a faulty cat
And one other, 
A/f or ‘as seen’.
It is much older than was claimed
By the charity, who said it was nine,
When in fact it’s fourteen.
It has rather worn out teeth,
And its heart has a gallop,
So needless to say, 
It is not a cat that ‘gallops about doing good’,
Though it hails from Hull, via ‘Hull Animal Welfare’,
It has nothing of Stevie Smith’s famous character about it,
It may once have scratched an angel, though I doubt it,
It just lies beneath a chair,
In desperate need of repair,
And never does anything funny,
Sans energy even enough to be mean
To its brother, 
And it doesn’t move when called, 
It’s had a stroke,
And I don't mean an angel reached down and made it go bald,
I mean it couldn't walk and its brain was all foggy,
It is the most anaemic cat the vet has ever met
And cannot produce a red blood cell
For love or money.
And when I rang the charity and asked for pity,
They just said, ‘tough titty,
You knew it was no spring kitty,
Just a shitty old moggy
Caveat emptor, and all that!’

Saturday, 28 September 2019

A Plea

Please don’t nail my testicles to the table,
It’s’s a valuable table and I prize it.
It’s rosewood, 1820 , deep red brown with grain of sable,
And it’s English too, so please do not despise it.
Of course the Regent did admire the Napoleonic style,
So it has a graceful French look about it,
And of course you know, I too, am a mad keen Francophile,
It’s not my balls I care about, don’t doubt it. 

Inspired by this section of an article in The Spectator by Rory Sutherland:

Remainers have almost exclusively made their case on economic grounds, yet in a manner far more fanatical than the businesses they claim to defend. One of the strangest aspects of the Brexit debate is how readily people on the left adopt neo-liberal beliefs about free trade when it supports their emotional predisposition. This may explain why such people have won so few converts; after all, it doesn’t sound convincing to hear leftists suddenly profess passionate concern for global supply-chains. Theirs is an emotional fear disguised as an economic argument; a bit like saying: ‘Please don’t nail my testicles to the table, it’s a very valuable table.’
You can’t help but think: ‘That isn’t your real reason, is it? 

Thursday, 26 September 2019

I’m a Goody

My vitriol and vile abuse is alright,
I’m a goody, I can’t stand deceit.
Who wouldn’t abuse H*tl*r, who’d be polite?
Don’t call me a hypocrite, let me bleat
About how hurt I am, that that fat cheat,
Johnson, had the temerity to utter the name, last night,
Of an old fashioned sweet.
My vitriol and vile abuse is alright
When faced with the sight
Of Tories why not repeat
All the insults one knows? This is a fight.
I’m a goody, I can’t stand deceit
And Johnson lies and won’t admit defeat,
He says he’ll carry out Brexit, he’s so far right,
And he means it, he’s so full of conceit. 
Who wouldn’t abuse H*tl*r, who’d be polite
When faced with these Tory, leaver swine and their sh*te?
It’s our democratic duty to turn up the heat
And break the rules and violence incite.
Don’t call me a hypocrite, let me bleat,
It’s my bounden duty, right and  meet
And taking offence is a ritual or rite,
A religious practice, like an outrage tweet
And am I outraged!  and full of spite
And vile abuse.

Wednesday, 25 September 2019

A Supreme Being

Hello, I’ m Lady Hale,
I have  just replaced The Queen,
I may be grey and frail,
Though I’m not some old ‘has been’.
I’m the face of progress, a new broom sweeping clean.
Don’t give me your tradition, for it’s stale.
I make up law upon the hoof, and seek out pastures green.
Hello, I’m Lady Hale,
My role is to derail.
I find the Constitution quite obscene.
I wish to see it ruined and so it’s up for sale.
I have just replaced The Queen,
Who needs the old Monarchic scene?
We will be a Republic, but first let us hail
Me, as Protecter, I’m in charge and quite serene.
I may be grey and frail
But I never ever fail
To trash all that’s held good and I’ve been seen
So to do: the old order’s coffin got its final nail.
Though I’m not some old ‘has-been’
There are some rules on which I’m keen:
My judgement can’t be questioned, or I’ll wail
And scweam. I’m impartial, don’t deny it as I intervene,
I weigh only justice in my scale.
I’m Lady Hale. 

Tuesday, 17 September 2019

“The Haste of the Fool is the Slowest Thing in the World. “

The slowest thing in the world is the haste of the fool,
Who seeks to undermine that which over years
Has been held fast, because it is a good.
He rushes through his Bills and seeks to rule
A people whom he holds in deep contempt,
And cannot bear the fact he shares their race,
Dispensing with their wishes in distaste
He makes them criminal by passing acts.

Because he is a fool he moves in haste
And sees the nation through his weak, myopic lenses
A poor, distorted, wishy washy place
Where principle and moral have no force,
Revealing he has nothing understood
And ultimately cannot stay the course.

And other fools, whipped up into like frenzies,
Craving power in their ignorant greed,
Champion his folly as they school
Their minds in shallow, thin and meaningless ideas,
Believing they are radical, in contradiction
To the definition of the word, for who needs facts?

That which Orwell had predicted but thought fiction
Has come about through this crazèd, foolish speed
This ‘rational’, ‘liberal’ shallow intervention
Has sought to lay a once great nation waste. 

But a fool’s haste is the slowest thing there is
And a country knows its stories and its fate
And writes its history in terms of people,
And fools, by definition, learn too late
Their folly, viz:
Movements borne of popular dissent
Are never crushed by those who legislate. 

Wednesday, 4 September 2019

Detected as Spam

This comment has been detected as Pek,
Your previous comment was detected as Fray Bentos corned beef,
Because it attempted to start a bit of an Argie bargie.
Here at the Spectator, every time we see one of your comments,
We think ooh ‘eck, this woman’s ideas are beyond the pale,
But we don’t want anyone giving her grief,
We believe in free speech, yet this woman’s feeble minded, frail,
And highly offensive, like cheap ham.
So we’ll detect her remarks as spam,
All arseholes and eyeballs, and beyond belief.

Saturday, 31 August 2019

Prorogation is the New Backstop

My righteous fury never will abate
Because it is a ‘feeling’ I confect.
I have my human rights, I must debate
And so must those who chaps like me elect,
Though not with those whose views we must reject
As absolutely vile.  We concentrate
On grown up discourse which has great effect.
My righteous fury never will abate,
The opposition, those who masturbate,
Have no right to complain if they detect
Hypocrisy. My anger has no sell by date,
Because it is a ‘feeling’ I confect.
I raged about the backstop, you suspect
I didn’t really care, but got irate
Because it was the latest cause, correct!
I have my human rights, I must debate
I choose the latest views and then exaggerate
The depths of knowledge, I possess, select
Those facts that suit my case.  I feel hate,
And so must those who chaps like me elect,
Towards those idiots who would reject
That we should stay a weak and vassal state -
Those Little Englanders, whom I detest.
With truth and reason I conflate
My righteous fury.

Saturday, 17 August 2019

Lady Chapel, Ely Cathedral.

There’s no purifying fire, though it’s source, the sun
blazes, somewhere, out of sight,
just purifying light.
The blue above The Fens, Prussian, lapis lazuli, azure,
scattered in the atmosphere, 
contrasting with the grey-gold-white
of limestone lamella, hymenophore,
pours through plain panes, making things clear.

The stone crowd, once gathered in niches, is no more.
There’s only Modern Mary, plump in pleated  gown,
as if months have passed since she conceived,
arms raised to Heaven, eyes down.
And only a few living souls stand, stunned,
gazing in awe,
struck, not by stained, chromatic decoration,
but by destruction, desecration, 
which yet seems cure,
a counterintuitive restoration,
not just of faith in God,
but in the superior skills and determination, 
of men who believed,
though so much of what they achieved
is no longer there.
Now there is only clarity
what is left, laid bare,
peace, calm
flooding through each warped, transparent plane,
creating here and there a lens,
Magnificat Dominum
pouring through
this ‘Ship of the Fens’
this miracle of the warpland plain,
this place, whose space was ever pure,
so that we’re bathed by balm 
the grace that spills across each embrasure.

Sunday, 4 August 2019

After Reading an Article in the Middle of the Night About Dr Seuss, and how to Pronounce His Name.

It is too late, it is no use,
I keep on saying Dr Seuss,
I read your words and hear my voice
And find I simply have no choice,
However much I wish to say
His name the proper German way,
My silly brain will not refrain
From mispronouncing it again. 
It is too late
I have no choice
I simply can’t say Dr Seuss. 

Saturday, 3 August 2019

Paving Over the Cow Paths

Meandering at random in pursuit
Of more of what was sought before and loved,
Does not seem a bad way to make a route.
But fixing these in stone is plainly mad
And a pointless contradiction in terms.
And yet I don’t rejoice, I don’t feel glad,
When cogitating the alternative,
Because I know that those who’d 'pave the way'
And lead their followers to  pastures new,
Are prone to lead the gullible astray.
And worse than a tarred cow path is a road
Paved with good intentions, ill thought through.

Friday, 26 July 2019

New Blog

I now have a new blog, nothing to do with poetry.  It is about interesting period property on the market under £1m, how I would decorate and furnish it with antques, and other suggestions and links.


Monday, 1 July 2019

Bells on Sunday

The ringing isle, that Handel named
still rings, despite the lack of faith,
of those who dwell within the bounds
of steeple and sky piercing spires.  
They hear,
above the daily grind, 
despite white headphones in each ear,
and dreary ‘music’ banging.

And when the peals are rightly famed
for purity of dinging sounds
and clarity of singing chimes, 
they feel, quite rightly, that they own
this tintinnabulation tone,
this lovely clinging clanging.

Bonging, tenor rhymes
re echo
from marvellous medieval towers
on and on and on they go,
inside the mind
and give the sense this noise is ours.

And how much greater pride we feel,
when ‘our’ bells’ seem to appeal
to those who choose which shall appear
on Sunday morning radio.