Weird fish

I´ḿ swimming underwater and I can see strange fish
Many coloured, eyes that pierce, they may be dangerous
Yet I must concentrate on swimming to get to where I wish

Sharks have hidden behind whales.keeping still and stiff
I´ḿ afraid to ask for help, or even make a fuss
I´ḿ swimming underwater and I can see strange fish

Many are alluring except for teeth that gnash
They wriggle like a dancing girl,enough to make men blush
Yet I must concentrate on swimming to get to where I wish

Why have I no little phone. waterproof and tough?
The fish are getting closer, as yet there is no crush
I´ḿ swimming underwater and I can see weird fish

From the corner of my eye,I see but I don´t rush
Dont begin to talk to them, they can´t speak our English
I must concentrate on swimming yet life down here is lush

I am tempted to go with them, is it hell or bliss?
I have no desire for them,they swallow, they don´t kiss
I´ḿ swimming under water surrounded by weird fish
Yet I must concentrate on swimming to get to where I wish

Annie wants Mary to marry an intellectual

Katherine June 20, 2018 

From my old blog:May 2012

Mary was sweeping the floor with her new Shark cordless electric carpet sweeper just replaced by Lakeland Plastics, that store beloved of British women.Emile was watching her from the lid of the old gramophone where he sat surveying the sitting room.
Leave that spider alone,he called to Mary
Why? she asked kindly,are you planning a date with it?
No,it’s a good thing to keep them as they may catch flies and other nasty things.
Mary turned and gazed at Emile.She was wearing some blue Tencel jeans and a bright pink top with embroidery round the neck.Her thoughtful face w as covered in Radiant Glow foundation as her friend Annie was trying to make her look more attractive to men.Which men was a puzzle as Mary liked to spend time alone or going out with her female colleagues to search for books on Dirac’s owl,Schrodinger’s cat or Godel’s ants.
Her male colleagues were mainly very conceited or shy like the rabbits brought up in the cliffs at Lyme Regis.
However Annie wanted Mary to marry again, as she saw her own vocation in life as being a mistress to a bright and intelligent retired man whose wife worked full time or was in the Library studying the Babylonian number system or other esoteric topics
.So she could help Mary and herself at the same time.
Shall we have a party,she chuckled to Mary as she came in through the ever unlocked back door.
What sort of party,Mary asked nervously.
I want you to meet some men,Annie reminded her.
I believe that like bombs falling on London in WW2,that if a man has your number on him he will find you,Mary teased.
Maybe your phone number,Annie retorted.Why don’t you get a spare mobile and I can put some posters with that number on the trees down the side roads saying you are looking for a new partner.
I thought I had made it clear that as some Orthodox Jews believe that Zion will only come when God wants it to do,so a man will turn up when it is God’s will.
That’s a bit much.Do you think you are God’s chosen person? Is God interested in finding you a new husband? Annie shouted.
Well,it may seem strange to you ,but even seeming trivia like me being married to some new man can have deep consequences for the whole world… a bit like the butterfly’s wings If I am happy it spreads around me and makes others happier too.Or if God wishes me to write a book and I need a man to cook for me then one will turn up,Mary responded in her low and musical Tyneside accent.
On the other hand, God may wish me to lead a contemplative life,she carried on.
Annie was puzzled.Why do you think God has all these plans for you,she enquired.
It’s not just me,said Mary.It’s everybody but that does lead into difficulties as we look at the world around us.Does God want all. these refugees to drown or for Britain to stay in the EU or leave and please Florencio Tonson? It reminded the women of their convent school classes where they had studied a simplified version of the writings of Aquinas and his proofs of the existence of God.
It was this book which had given Mary her first doubts about religion and, being somewhat dim in the tact department. she had shared her misgivings with the headmistress, who was not happy to be questioned even in front of mere school girls.
Emile,she cried,I wish I were a cat.My schooldays were so terrible
It’s your own fault, said Annie.I just pretended to believe it and kept quiet by fantasising about my new lingerie and how my boyfriend would like it
How remarkable it is that girls and boys can be so different in their personalities and ways of coping with puberty.
It was like a prison,Mary said.Still it made later life seem happier.

How did you afford new underwear so often,she asked Annie
I wore my mother’s! this dear friend informed her.
My mother didn’t have that sort of underwear,Mary told her.And see how something seemingly so trivial can affect one’s personal development so much.Still I was fed and allowed to study and play the piano and do my homework to the sound of Horace Wagner and Richard Straussbumt.
Did it help you to concentrate,Annie asked in a puzzled way.
No, it allowed my brother to dominate me and otherwise he might have hit me or knocked over the folding table where I kept my exercise books ,and pen ready to write essays on Twelfth Night and the periodic table.
Annie burst out laughing.Sorry,Mary,I am not laughing because you were bullied but it just sounded as if tables had periods,the way you said it.
Imagine how hard it was dealing with all that in a tiny house with the loo in the back yard.It was taboo so had to be concealed.When we went to Dublin for 2 weeks my three sisters and I all had our periods and we brought back all the blood stained cloths in our suitcases.Luckily the customs man did not look inside.
Was there nobody who could have burned them for you?
The landlady never mentioned it so neither did we.
No wonder I am so peculiar.
Well,I like you,said Annie.You are so kind and sympathetic and good to talk to.And you are always coming up with new ideas and interesting books.
I suppose we complement each other.Mary said shyly.Maybe we should get married and forget about men.
Annie’s eyes opened wide.
I think I’d better ring 999.she screamed.
And so say all of us.Don’t wait

Mary and Annie meet

Katherine December 10, 2018 

person pouring coffee on white ceramic cup
Photo by Helena Lopes on

Mary  had had  coffee with Annie ;now she was eying a snake print pencil skirt in her local department store.Am I a temptress wearing snake skin as it  reminds men of Eden and  Adam’s sin? Curious how sex was a sin being as that’s how God had made them like that.He must  be very naughty himself,she thought
We could have had some other form of reproduction,she told herself.But as we are lazy  it would have to be fun.
Come here,Annie, she called.What do you think of this skirt?
No.Mary,it won’t look right on you.You still have an  unnatural  innocence and simplicity.I think seersucker or gingham dresses in pure cotton are your type of thing.You must be yourself so that a man will not mistake you for a woman of a certain  type.
I don’t think they have any gingham,Mary replied calmly.If only I had not been so afraid of  that sewing machine,I could make my own.And if a man did that it would be intriguing.
Oh,you would not have  hsd the time with your job and the house and Stan, Annie advised her.How about some  nice linen shorts?
Shorts! Are you crackers?My knees and thighs are private.
Well.Annie said,I am afraid you skirt is transparent  like Princess
Thank God I have 2 pairs of knickers on,Mary chuckled.
I’ve always been bad at checking my clothes.Last week I went to see Vi and my shoes were on the wrong feet.Another  time my soles began to disintegrate… a  bit  like the EU.Stan liked me to wear lovely clothes like blue tights.
Just blue tights?Annie said suspiciously.
Don’t be so pedantic,Mary  grinned.I wore a blue dress too and a red cardigan .It’s  not for you to ask what I wore in bed.Maybe I wore Laura Ashley mabe I wore  a woollen vest
Don’t read Ted Hughes letters.And Sylvia Plath’s journals are even worse.You need some humour and fun.Well do read them but not all day
You can say that again,said Mary.I don’t want Ted Hughes and he’s dead anyway
When does that stop a determined woman?
We shall never know

Cleethorpes or the Bookshop

Mary was  wearing her piink and red glasses while reading a blog  on Simone Weil,the French mystic.Mary knew her brother Andre was a mathematician.Is that a form of mysticism? And is mysticism   of any value? There’s more value in  helping a neighbour than in mystic bliss.
Annie ran in carrying a green  bucket and  blue spade  in a plastic bag
I’m going to Cleethorpes for a day trip . she cried cheerfully
I don’t think so,Mary said while mentally assessing Annie’s outfit of  imitation leopardskin  leggings covered  in part by a guava coloured tunic which matched her trainers very well.The whole topped by a down coat in pink and purple stripes which she got in a sale online in the  summer

Do you think leopardskin  is suitable for a beach?You might want a donkey ride
The  donkey won’t know the pattern, Annie said.sincerely yet uncaringly.Indeed some may say she was rude to the point of  a dagger

Her full lips pouted ,showing off her coral lipstick and matching eyeshadow from Gillete  of Rochdale and Hebden Bridge not far from  Sylvia Plath’s grave.Oh,my.
Her foundation cream was not unlike that of Donald Trump which Mary had not mentioned, unwilling to shatter Annie’s dreams of wondrous love in waiting.
Although in would have made more sense to tell her  to dress  with more dignity and charm if she wanted a man

.With modern fashion it’s hard to know what will attract people.
Who’d have thought leggings and bikini tops would be worn to go shopping?
Pyjamas seem popular too.
Why don’t we go to Hebden Bridge?
With all these storms its been under water for weeks
Oh,blagger, there’s always some problem
Well, we are getting older and I don’t want to die in Hebden Bridge by drowning
So where would you like?
Dundee.They make nice cake
You won’t need cake where you will be going
Actually I am going to the Diabetic Clinic
You never said you were diabetic
Annd you never said you had 33 teeth.
Well,I am a  Viking
That’s no excuse
I can’t alter my genes
What are they ,little patterns?
To be honest ,I don’t really know
Let’s go to Waterstone’s  and buy Hilary Mantel’s new book.
It is very heavy
But if we are put in quarantine we will be able to read it
I’ll plant some tomato seeds in a carton of  compost
Why not? I might grow some herbs

And so will all of us.

Don’t believe me

I thought my stomach was rumbling but it was a dying wasp on my thigh
I felt my nose was running but the mask kept it on
My mouth was watering so I picked up a dry orchid and spat on the soil
My teeth chattered so much I couldn’t hear the slander at the dinner table
My throat was dryer than the Sinai desert in July
At the same time acid ran up my oesophogus.Not far enough
What is a biting wit?
I had dandruff until I went bald.Was it correlation or causation?
Can one give the hot shoulder to anyone?
I can’t kick you in the teeth till I have a knee replacement. No worries
My dentist committed suicide.It’s the death penalty with no comeback
I had so much wind I caused a storm in Biscay


Behind the school canteen

Photo by Andre David Manjon Escobar on

Emile woke  Mary up at 7am.It was a  Sunday in  late October, grey and damp though the sun was still not  too low
Go away, she told him.The clock has changed.It’s not 8 am yet.I have to wash my hair as well.Get the Observer out of the basket for me.
I can’t read. the dear animal replied.And why don’t you rebel and stick to Summer Time?
I know Stan wanted to send you to Eton but we couldn’t afford it.Yet you understand days and calenders, Mary joked   savagely
She got up and found her fleece dressing gown; it was   conker brown covered in coloured spots.She went downstairs and gave Emile a Whitby kipper.Then she made some tea and took it upstairs so she could drink it while she came round from her dreams
Suddenly Annie ran into   her bedroom wearing a  long black vinyl coat and  red knee-high boots
You never locked the back door, she howled like a lost  leopard which has had no  food for weeks
I don’t suppose anyone wants my old TV as it is only 19 inches.And my Chromebook is not something worth re-selling.I do have a new coat.
How about Ray Monk’s life of Wittgenstein, Annie asked her defiantly, her apricot lips pouting childishly as the Riemann of Paris lipstick glittered uncannily like an imaginary number in a dream of Godel.
The people who might enjoy reading it are by virtue of that , not the sort to steal or buy it on the black market.
That is very racist, Annie told her.You should say:the beige market!
Then nobody would know what I meant, Mary said lovingly
Anyway, do you want to come to Marks with me? They have some beautiful coats in
I’d like a pink wool coat, said Mary thoughtfully
Quite right  ,said Annie.Bring back feminine colours
Actually, gay men might like pink coats, she continued.But if they go on the bus they might get dirty.Come to think of it, so will women’s coats
They will have to buy pink puffa jackets and we can wash them at 30 deg.Mary whispered
Using a special detergent, Annie asked?
I have never seen a detergent for washing gay men.I don’t think they will fit into the washing machine.On the other hand, you are small so you will fit in
Shall I get undressed first, Annie asked furtively.
Yes, I’ll try to put you on a  short wash for 15 minutes but it is your choice.Maybe a bath would be safer?
No problem, said Annie intellectually.Are you having one with me?
You’d better be careful, Mary ad-libbed.It might be sexual harassment.
Well, I am not gay , said Annie.
You never know till you try, Mary giggled ,like a child behind the school canteen
Why, we might become gender fluid and then who knows?
And so say all of us

Where is Adultery?

Mary was sitting at her desk trying to decide whether to throw out a book called Schrodinger ‘s equation for idiots.The title had more than one meaning, she thought to herself.
I think that is for the recycling bin, she told her cat, Emile.What a pity you can’t read.You could have read it.
I don’t want to read stuff like that.I only like Dad’s cartoon books.
Where are they, Mary asked him, her eyes shining like melting Danish butter on a hot croissant?
They are in that plastic box in the kitchen, Emile told her.I read them at night.
How can you read if there is no light?Please don’t start sinning as I don’t want you to have to become a Catholic.
I can’t become a Catholic, said Emile.I am Jewish.
Well, St Paul was Jewish, Mary told him.Until he had an epileptic fit .
So having a fit can make you a Christian.That is very strange, the black cat told her with a twinkle in his eyes
Well, it’s not automatic, Mary replied.You have to pay
.What, pay to become a Christian, I don’t believe Jesus would like that.
Well , he may be quite indulgent, sometimes Mary giggled.However, the Vatican and its wealth might not be quite what he was thinking of when he gave the Sermon on the Mount.
What sort of mount was it , Emile enquired.Was it a horse?
No, it was more likely to have been a donkey as he was poor, you know
But he had things money can’t buy, the cat said philosophically.Like women who poured oil over his feet.What sort was it,?Was it like that stuff Stan put in the car engine sometimes?
Don’t be so ridiculous.It was olive oil, Mary told him
Can we prove that, Emile murmured? His feet were no salad
No, I am using inductive reasoningMary stated logically.Olive trees are grown in that part of the world even now.
What is inductive reasoning, Emile mewed
Why it’s the opposite of deductive reasoning, of course, Mary stated flatly
I am glad I can’t read, Emile said.
It’s bad for you to have to learn all of that.It was ok for the ancient Greeks.They had no televisions.I’d rather watch Andrea Bocelli and Hayley Westenra singing Vivo per lei.Whatever that means.She is from New Zealand by the way.
What difference does that make Mary teased him?
No need to be rude, Emile cried.I was only passing a remark
That was what Stan’s mother used to say when he told her off for saying my maple mousse was like something out of a tin.
Where was it from?The Joy of Cookery. a big American cook book or maybe Jewish Cookery by Florence Greenberg or Marks and Spencers
Did you get that book because I am Jewish, Emile purred?
No, I didn’t even know you were.How did it happen?
My mother was living with a Rabbi in Liverpool and he told her she could not miaow on the Sabbath so she kind of assumed she was Jewish.As for my father.. nobody knows.
Emile, don’t start saying you are the Messiah.I have enough trouble already.I don’t want you to be walking on water and helping women taken in adulteryI
was not me who took them, said Emile.I don’t even know where Adultery is.
I think I’ll ring 999.We need help before we go mad.
Sometimes going mad seems the better option, Mary said sadly.A few voices telling me what to do might be helpfulAs long as they are not Michael Grove and Horace Watson, Emile replied. And so say all of us

Old Norse

I must change my name, it is too long
Even folk from Yorkshire get it wrong
As for those techniciians far away
My long name is very hard to say

I could take the action via law
Or marry someone with a name like Shaw
Smith is overused when we don’t ride
Lord would be ok, can we abide?

I’m tired of being asked to spell it out
It hurts the listener who knows not its roots
Banks and braes are well known to the Scots
Thwaite is an old Norse word . what the heck

We must be invaders who burst in
Killing Celts and Saxons, is that sin?

The structures we lean on

The bones, the shape, the structure all are one
On that  form , we hang our little words.
Destroy the shape  and all  my poem is gone

The structure gives us something to lean on
To aid  creation , to make meaning shared
The bones, the shape, the structure all are one

Inflexibility is death, not fun
We fly upon the breezes as do birds
Negate that fact  and all real life is gone

Vulnerable to pain and hunter’s gun
We must not  live as  if all change is barred
The life, the shape, the structure come to one

Here and there we  drop a hint or pun
Into the patient hand we  drop wild cards
Negate that deed  and all real life is gone

Whose the heart by metal  strips destroyed?
What will be the outcome  what the buoy?
The bones, the shape, the structure all are one
Destroy the shape  and all  my poem is gone

A little tact

Our girls at school are harassed every day
See the boys with photographs at play
The camera on the phone gives aid to crime
Are the girls, so innocent ,to blame?

Hidden in this maze, there are bad deeds
Girls ,persuaded by their fears, concede
Are the ones unphotographed despised?
Are the news reports a bag of lies?

No longer are young girls allowed to play
They scrutinise their bodies every day
Their photographs embellished and diplayed
Who objects to Ninety Shades of Grey?

Protect your privacy by powerful acts
Everyone must show the other tact

Not the government whip

I think I’ll watch the BBC
Safe enough while Stan cooks tea
What is this, a guide to sex
Enough to put one off at best
After Fifty Shades of Grey
I knelt on the floor to pray
God protect the Innocent
From an author with mind bent
Yet she is now a millionaire
Withdraw the Whip, and do not stare
The BBC, is this bizarre?
I think the country’s gone too far
Where’s the mystery, where the joy
As with our donkey’s ears we toyed
What’s erotic nowadays
With orifices almost bare?
With breasts swelled by silicone
They have no fear they’ll be alone
Cut and slice, compare,contrast
Down comes Gabriel to blast
Why waste money, why be bossed
I’ll hurl my body into frost
I do hope there is no Test
Sometimes keeping mum is best
I don’t want girls to be assessed
Oh.Lord God, a bloody mess
Yet, it was cruel in my youth
We’d be in Hell with burning hooves
Pan the God with feet of goat
Dissociate and feel remote
Once admired and then cast out
Even I have had my doubts
Buying,selling,wanting more
Keep sex sacred at our core
For there we pass to heaven’s door
Let me in ,I’ll say no more.
But love is true and love is wise
Keep your dignity and thrive


I was cracking into pieces with my woes
Falling into dust and unfelt prose
Men would walk upon me ,crush me down
Throw me in the river Ouse to drown

Without my skin I felt the fearsome grief
The endings of my nerves gnawed by toothed beasts
Falling in haphazard ways,disowned
Flying on the gale like bird unknown

Yet the Llght wound round my broken parts
Golden in its sympathy,its heart
I became a person once again
Willing to live on despite the pain

When we break up, we can be repaired
Trusting still the darkness and despair