Wednesday, 24 June 2020

Monads And Gonads

A Monad is a God in Gnosticism,
An Ineffable Parent, primal Father.
Whereas there is not really such a thing
As a Mod in monasticism,
Though perhaps there used to be,
In Ireland, in the ‘60’s.
Most people’s ineffable father is their dad,
And these days he’s not so ineffable as he used to be,
Which is rather sad.
Gonads a plenty must occur
In monasticism, but not necessarily in Gnosticism.
And Monads, as far as we know,
Don’t have Gonads.
Neither do Monads arise from gonads
There is no Monadatropin,
No hormone involved in the whole process,
For a Monad, more is definitely less.
According to Leibniz though,
Thinking as a philosopher, not a mathematician, 
A monad was an indivisible unit
But not really like a man,
Though of course he couldn’t prove it,
And nobody really can,
He developed his theory and did his best to fine tune it.

Thinking as a mathematician
A monad is a three term complex,
Which sounds like God, in the Christian tradition.
Whereas, at the risk of repetition,
In Gnosticism, 
A monad is literally ‘the many in the one’,
Which sounds fun.
Whereas a gonad is not usually singular
It does contains gametes, 
Whose whole raison d’etre is socialisation,
So that they multiply,
Becoming out of the one, many
A Monad does not contain mametes,
No, not any, 
And for that reason tolerates eternal isolation. 

(P.S. The Demiurge, is not related to Fanny Burney,
Author of Evelina)

The Best Article I Read During Lockdown.

By far the best article I read,
Over the last few months, was the one
Which confirmed all that I already thought.
It neatly put to bed
All counter arguments, so when it had done
Explaining all these things with which I agreed,
I felt it had taught
Me really how to appreciate myself and value
My own ability to think things through,
And come to the same conclusion many others had come to. 
This is the great thing about being on one’s own,
One is alone sufficiently
To stew in one’s point of view
And to seek out, only those who think like you.
One can look through the Hubble,
To another bubble
But the people there may as well be in a different universe
From the one I’m in.
In some ways it makes things worse,
Knowing there’s nothing to be done 
To make such people conform
To my ideas about the way the world is and should be,
But such people will be dead soon,
You see, 
And my ideas will be the norm;
Won’t it be lovely! 

Toe Nails

One doesn’t notice that it’s happening, or occurring,
As one has to say, if one wishes to find a rhyme.
It is like the growth of toes nails, 
To which one must keep referring,
Because it is a good metaphor. 
One simply finds, that in time
One has become it. No, not brittle and horny,
Like some horrid old man, randy and porny,
Just mad, 
In the way one’s toe nails just become too long.
At first, it seems there is nothing wrong
Then they start to feel slightly odd,
In your everyday shoes,
Then almost like levers, so that were they released
One’s toes would rise, slightly,
With a ping.
And one starts to get
Whatever is the opposite of the blues,
When one believes one is capable. 
And however tightly
One’s toes are jammed in, 
They know they would be raising their heads
Above the parapet and gazing heavenwards 
And starting to sing,
Or play the violin, if only they were not confined.
Then they start to go blue and purple, brown and yellow
And each nail digs into the side of his fellow
And one becomes aware, 
So it is in one’s mind.

Monday, 22 June 2020


People used to say,
That just because there is no equivalent word in English for Schadenfreude,
It didn’t mean that nobody in England understood
The concept of laughing at the misfortune of another,
So of course, the same must be true of sophrosyne.
The word is not in common parlance,
But that does not mean we have no modern desire, for prudence,
Self-control, decorum, purity, moderation.
Or at least that was what I thought, until I got really annoyed
And started swearing at people on the internet, venting my frustration,
And downed three vodka tonics in quick succession,
Because the rule of three, always helps with oratory,
And I wanted to get my point across.
Tweeting profundity
Sometimes has to be combined with tweeting profanity,
If one wishes to be clear,
When confronted by others’ inanity.

On The Nature Of Our Flesh

I love the notion of our fleshly resurrection,
And do not wish to hurt it, by rejection,
And yet, my soul has left my body, on occasion,
And so I am quite open to persuasion,
As to the need to pay too much attention,
To the nature of my flesh, or that of others.
The nature of my flesh or of my brother's,
Is weak and paltry, limited and frail,
And this is true of all men living in this nation,
Or in this world, all men, both dark and pale.
I see that I am like my near relation
And different in specific ways, so am unique,
And yet as part of God's creation
An individual and member of some clique.
And yet such membership does not denote acceptance
Of specific acts that others might describe
As being ones committed by my fellows,
As members, now long dead, but of my tribe.
Because my soul has left my body on occasion,
I know my soul is free to some extent,
I do not seek to find excuse in this evasion,
But try to look instead to what Christ taught, and meant,
And as far as I'm aware he did not mention,
An extra, deep original sin,
Pertaining to the circumstance I'm in
Of being born of earthly parents,
Who happened to have pale pink skin.

Monday, 8 June 2020

Mummy, Can You Give Me A Lift?

"Mummy, can you give me a lift to London, I’m going to riot?
I’m sick of all this lockdown peace and quiet.
I’ll be ready to go in an hour,
I’m just going to shower
Then straighten my hair,
I simply have to be there
With my friends from Uni and the Ladies College,
Well, Tabitha, Constance and Eleanor are going, to my knowledge.
We’ll probably pretend we don’t know each other,
Since we’re going to support our black American brother,
George Floyd, that innocent, gentle giant with his heart of gold,
Who will not grow old, as we grow old,
Will never see his investments push him in to the top one percent,
Financially, as we will.
Still, I have to go and say I dissent,
I am not part of this privileged group of people with white skin,
I’m one of the good guys, always in
On the in thing, the latest fashionable craze or idea,
I’m going to have bare legs to show my tattoos,
Though they’re a bit last year.
I’ll go without knickers as there won’t be any loos,
I don’t know what I’ll do, I haven’t planned,
But I may well just have to pee where I stand.
I can be there to support other courageous men,
As they throw bricks and bikes at the police, it said on News at Ten
The riots were largely peaceful, so I won’t be in danger,
And I’m actually no stranger
To some of the guys from Antifa, there’s this one guy,
Guy, I met him in his gap year, he’s an old Wykehamist
Now he’s reading Economics at Peterhouse,
But he’s no mouse,
He likes to get out there, beat the shit out of some fascist,
With white privilege, he’s taking a baseball bat
In case he sees this girl from Scunthorpe, defending the cenotaph,
Who started to laugh,
When she heard his accent and called him a posh twat."

Wednesday, 3 June 2020

Sex in the ‘Era’ of Covid 19 (or a word in the ear from Nanny) Villanelle

All abstinence is low risk for infection
From nasty bugs like this Covid 19,
But Nanny knows it’s hard with an erection

And says that wanking’s safe (called masturbation.)
But don’t take pictures, that would be obscene.
All abstinence is low risk for infection

And abstinence therefore gives great protection
And Nanny wants her children to keep clean,
But Nanny knows it’s hard with an erection.

So Nanny says be wise, avoid detection
Just do your shagging where you can’t be seen.
All abstinence is low risk for infection

But Nanny’s really gagging, and rejection
Would be really rather hurtful and mean
But Nanny knows it’s hard with an erection

And Nanny knows you lover her and affection
Is prerequisite to sex in quarantine.
All abstinence is low risk for infection
But Nanny knows it’s hard with an erection. 

Monday, 1 June 2020

A Substantial Breakfast of River Bank Cherries

I walked upon the river bank at nine,
And stood beneath your branches spreading low,
Where beside a gravel path you grow,
The last of many in a wavy line.
And I picked and ate and spat and ate and picked,
And didn’t care how greedy I appeared,
And I ate and picked and picked and ate and flicked
And gorged and stuffed you in, because I feared
Others seeing how I stopped to scoff you
Might follow suit and being just as keen
To sample bliss, might strip you, then I’d miss you
So I kept devouring just because I’m mean
And wouldn’t pay the price in any shop,
And anyway I really couldn’t stop. 

Hay Bale Time

There are vaster fields, in Fenland spaces,
In cabbagey and cauliflowery places,
Where, as the drying August days unfold
Appear cylinders of hay in pale gold,
Seeming low against the broad, flat ground,
With nothing but azure blue all around.
But in the vale of York, the fields are less wide,
And thus the hay bales seem packed in more densley,
Each like the other resting at his side,
Pi r squared h created more intensely,
Which makes a rather pleasing summer scene.
As the evening shadows start to creep,
It lends something to the landscape more serene,
Presaging autumn and long winter’s sleep. 

Monday, 25 May 2020

When Loyalty’s Betrayed

When man has pledged his loyalty then found
His faith has been almost at once betrayed, 
He does not always act as if the ground
Has shifted.  He feels betrayal as a blade
Embedded in his back, yet with temper frayed
He lashes out at those who speak their shared, profound
Sense of regret, mad that it is publicly displayed.
When man has pledged his loyalty then found
It was misplaced, he needs must loudly sound
A call to arms for the false cause, to show that he has made
A better pledge: to loyalty itself. He needs to heal the wound,
His faith has been almost at once betrayed,
But he cannot live without his faith, so he has weighed
His old, false cause pound for pound
Against the true idea of loyalty. Afraid,
He does not always act as if the ground
Has shifted, he acts instead as if hidebound
Incapable of change. He wants to be portrayed
A loyal man. All, in one bound,
Has shifted.  He feels betrayal as a blade
Between the shoulder blades, and yet he hasn’t strayed
He is as rock, not shifting sand, does not explain, expound,
Seeks only to restore his self esteem and to stockade
His loyalty.

Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Life Considered An Absolute Value

Public discourse is highly moralized. Looking for someone to blame, individuals are exposed as “super-spreaders” responsible for the rising number of cases. On social media, “lockdown warriors” accuse citizens of lack of patriotism and failure to “do their duty” in the face of danger. In this highly moralized public discourse, life is considered an absolute value that can justify almost every form of disciplinary intervention in the name of health.  Carlo Caduff

The public discourse, highly moralised,
Must always seek out someone who’s to blame.
And individuals, criminalised,
Humiliated, made to feel great shame,
Must great responsibility then bear.
The “lockdown warriors” all love to twitch
Their virtual net curtains and to snitch
On neighbours, whom they hate. They do not care
For Christ’s commandment showing how
One needs must walk a mile in someone’s shoes
To understand their actions, here and now,
Might come from some old pressing need. Why use
This notion: life as value absolute
In order to engage in this pursuit
Of discipline and blunt state intervention
All in the name of health or death prevention?

The Consolation of Imaginary Fear.

“This pandemic is not just about health, it is about fear, and the objects that are singled out and then made the ground and motivation of systematic thought and action.9 To be afraid has become an obligation, a responsibility, a duty. People are afraid not just because of what they experience but because they are told to be afraid and encouraged to inhabit the world with fear of “foreign bodies” and “invisible enemies.” Carlo Caduff

“Pandemics” of this sort, concern not health
They are concerned much more with public fear
And the objects which are singled out, made clear,
Are then made ground for spending public wealth.
They’re targeted made ground and motivation
For systematic thought and focused action
To be frightened is an obligation,
A duty and a cause of satisfaction.
And patriotic feeling helps eliminate
Feelings of embarrassment and cowardice
And caring about money is just avarice,
So learn to nod along and learn to sublimate.
You’re complex, feel the complicated horror,
Of the consolation of imaginary terror.

A Necropolitics of Inequality

“The lockdown is a political mechanism not simply for the prevention but for the redistribution of negative effects. Lockdowns shift negative effects away from hotspots of public attention to places where they are less visible and presumably less serious. In this way, they are part and parcel of a necropolitics of inequality.“

Carlo Caduff

To lock the population down (or up)
A choice political, I am afraid,
A mechanism, of which use was made,
By someone with a black, half empty cup,
It seems had negative effects, severe.
It did not lead to their prevention, no,
It added to them, yet in doing so
It caused redistribution, it is clear,
Of illness and depression, to such places
Where misery can’t easily be seen
Where death occurs obscurely and no scene
Descriptive of state failings in shared spaces
Can be publicly observed. Polity,
This necropolitics of inequality?

Monday, 18 May 2020

Imaginary Friends

I do it all for you darlings,
My bike rides, my running,
My hiking, I record it on an app.
I’m that sort of chap.
So you can see that I am holding myself 
To a high standard and not giving up
On my routine. 
It would seem mean
To deprive others
Of the ability to compare
Their times against mine,
Over a given route.
It’s amazing how these things can trace
You every step of the way,
Wherever you are in an open space.
I would never dream of not being
In competition with myself,
It would lower my self esteem.
I’m in great shape now,
Adonis like, stunning.
Even when I walk the dog,
I would never turn back
When I was tired, or the dog was lame,
That’s not my game.
I always walk to the same place
And touch the gate post
Before retracing my tracks,
Counting my steps,
Till the journey ends,
I never cut myself any slack. 
I do it all for you, my friends.

Saturday, 16 May 2020

Overture to Tannhäuser

The Overture to Tannhäuser on Radio 3
Makes the day seem less than it should be.
The sun should be bursting through the grey,
There should be things to shout about.
I shouldn’t be here in this crumpled mess,
Of stale sheets and tawdriness.
The Venusburg demands something greater,
But while curled together, the dog and I
And staring blankly at the sky,
I see a whizzing ballet passing by,
A diminishing motif
Which cascades while ascending
Is danced to by swifts, in a whirl, never ending.

Angel Stain

Within the organ loft above the rest,
Beside my daughter bringing harmony
With hands and feet and graceful dexterity,
To farmers and their wives, doing their best
To praise the Lord, whom they all believe 
Is glad, their singing to receive
And lost in thought through formal praise
And Nicene creed,
And watching play of light on white washed walls,
I gradually perceive
An angel stain, a fitting thing indeed.
She kneels in supplication and her wing
Rises behind her brown and ochre halo.
And not through ritual, but at this sight
My mind is calmed sufficiently to bring
About a fitting state for prayer.
Until, that is, I start to turn the experience
Into poetry,
And remember that the only word that rhymes
With the one describing the light around an angel,
Is the Composer, Ola Gjelo

Thursday, 14 May 2020

Nobody Who's Anyone

Nobody, who’s anyone, is funny anymore,
The people one respects aren’t raving perverts,
They don’t drink gin all day, 
And they only write to bore,
Nor are they Roman Catholic converts.
Nobody, who’s anyone, is loony anymore,
Oh wherefore art thou shaggers and fighters?
Nobody, it seems, is very much like Evelyn Waugh,
Nobody, it seems, has anything to say.
Peter Hitchens makes predictions,
But has no fruity predilections,
Oh where are the creators who find living is a chore,
So spice it up with wild addictions?
Why do I feel it is best to ignore
The witterings and twitterings 
Of modern day writers?

(Peter Hitchens’ Predictions)