What he meant was quantity is not what we desire, one man is sufficient, unless he is a liar.

8282959_f520I used to love my mother
but then I got too old.
She didn’t want to feed me
Because I felt the cold.
My feet and hands were purple
which she told me was wrong.
I couldn’t change the colour
so had to change my tongue.
I used to love my father
Until he went away.
They said he’s with the angels
and small girls ought to pray.
And then I loved the cat we had
And all four kittens too…
Until my mother got fed up
and sent them to the zoo.
I said I am disheartened
Life is far too hard…
or else I’m hypersensitive
and must become a bard.
I loved a Spanish waiter.
A young man from Peru.
I loved a lot of others–
No more than ninety two.
That is just an estimate
An average, a norm.
It’s what I told the doctor

When he filled out a form

He said to me,You err,my dear
And I mistook his speech
I thought he meant he loved me.
But he just meant to teach.
What he meant was quantity
is not what we desire..
One man is sufficient
Unless he is a liar.
And in the darkness of the bed
What matters is their smell.
Some men smell like honey..
much more I cannot tell
for though these men pursued me
I had such poor eyesight
I didn’t  see them properly
especially at night..
I was more keen on Wittgenstein.
and whether I am real..
Maybe I’ve gone crackers

And don’t know  I’m surreal

I don’t want any lovers now
for love brought so much pain
I’d rather be a jellied eel
than fall in love again.
But friendliness and welcome
Are what we humans need…
And cats and dogs and willow trees
Which don’t make our hearts bleed.
One man is sufficient
And necessary too..
Without my own sweet husband
whatever would I do?
He listens with his heart and soul
And he is never harsh…
He likes to hear me singing
Across of Southwold Marsh.
He likes to take the ferry boat
Across the River Blythe.
But now I hope the ferryman
will not yet arrive..
We have to cross that river
We have to let life go…
We have to be untied and freed.
We think,but do we know?
In the silvery moonlight,
Time gets her own  way
In the darkness of the night
Time will have her say.
Time has come and gone again
And so the hand descends
So I bid you fond farewell,
We have reached the end.
Oh,wrap me up dear mother
in my winding cloth
Take me in your ancient arms
for I have had enough.
I’ve loved and loved and loved again.
I’ve puzzled and I’ve pained
but all I want’s a writing tool
To write down words again

The Hummingbird Nest

I bring you a hummingbird’s nest, woven
from seed-down, thistle head,
bound with lichen and spidersilk,
shaped by a mother who presses her breast
against the cup, uses her rump, chin,
the curve of her wing, who stomps
her claws on the base to check it’s
windproof under this leaf porch.
The male gone, she works alone,
hurrying back and forth thirty times
an hour, before the eggs come.
She lays them in a home small as a nutshell,
the rim turned in, the sides pliant
so they’ll stretch as the chicks grow.
Little mother, I’ve read your file
filled with letters to the mairie, begging
for a place where we could live together.
I know now how hard you fought the powers,
like a jeweled dart stabbing at their door,
before you fell prey to the jungle mantis.
Instead of flowers, I leave you this nest
on your grave, in case you make it
from your migration — only a wisp
of feathers, no flesh left on your bones.

I see a light fuzz of hair


  • I see a light fuzz of hair on your head

    like the softness of just opening leaf buds in spring.
    The chemo is over,and you wait relieved and letting that
    take you for a while before you start to face the next stage.
    Will your Spring turn to a warm enchanting Summer
    or has the cancer,as they say “spread.”
    Just for now,you’re in that lull
    so in three weeks time you will not be
    arriving for another session of drugs
    and days of sickness.

    I see the light fuzz which reminds me
    of how the cat’s fur grew back after her surgery
    and she,being unable to reflect or question,
    leaped from the fence top onto next door’s kitchen roof;
    no thought in her mind of stitches breaking.
    How beautifully the patterned fur returned
    and the vulnerable skin was covered again.
    Oh,to look into those eyes and see you dream
    about mice that live behind the shed
    and how you sat watching for hours
    and how you were alive till the very last moment.
    Then , all of a sudden,you were gone.

    Pray it will not be so forthe fragile,loving human
    now waiting and living,hoping for what you took for granted…
    a “normal” life span Or maybe just three quarters of one
    would be satisfactory;would be a beneficence
    such as trees feel when the sap turns and begins to flow back.
    bringing life out of the darkness of earth and soil.
    And another Summer comes at the right time
    and we find it,shall we say,satisfactory?

Fear of poetry





It strikes me now as singularly and politically prescient that Harrison chose to express his determination to write poetry as a form of occupation: he declares he will “occupy” the “lousy leasehold” of an elite literary tradition.Harrison’s statement anticipates the contemporary Occupy movement, with its targeting of political and social inequality, exclusion and hierarchy. The occupation of spaces of power is an attempt to level the playing field, enacting change from the bottom up.

Harrison refuses to ‘squat’ in the space of poetry, a phrase that would acknowledge his unbelonging. He occupies; he makes the space his own. And what is more, having read the poetry of Tony Harrison, my 18-year-old self was no longer frightened of this supposedly difficult form with its metrical lines, suffused with metaphor and locked in rhyme. Instead, I was also determined to wrest back and occupy poetry.

The corner of the eye

Subtle emotions ; sidelong glances
The  corner of the eye, the view of you
Noone else can see.
The rolling ego,the raising of the brow
The humorous glimpse, the grasp
The  network of our eyes
We’re spies
We’re in touch already
Some poet introduces you.
A sign of being ,say,  a late reactor
But the explosion is  on the way
We don’t know ;  our eyes work
Some  are lit ; candles in a window
I think you know; stop it and start; again

“I have never needed God”

I have never needed God
as a personal savior
in my practical life
syllogisms about His existence
were never music to my ears
but always seemed vague
missing a dimension although I didn’t know how to say this.
Neither a philosophical God nor a biblical God
suddenly appears among His creations
amid revelations of wisdom in Jerusalem, His city.
And certainly not in disclosures of pious inner principles
and also not among poets, unfortunately.
Astronomical bodies at night and mystical landscapes in Sharafat for example
and Beit Jala
bear His between-the-lines existence,
His inklings.
The expression of an ultra-Orthodox man’s eyes in Mea She’arim —
this too —
and even the purifying surrender of a sly and seasoned merchant, irreligious now in Geula,
when you reproach him.
Something like “Reprove a wise man and he will love you.”
And you, when you cleanse yourself of anxious constraints about your environment
after taking hash or grass.
Springs of purity whose origins you’re unaware of
bubble in coursing blood, in glands, in milk
and some paradisiacal primeval revelation,
and your almost subconscious innerness
your being suddenly revealed —
Is this clear enough to you, heredity? Genes?
Or existential uniqueness, a maintained infancy that knocks you out with a sense of a refreshing genesis.
Everything becomes clear in a great light.
You shed revulsion and resistance,
a great love germinates within you —
this gloriousness this wonder
comprised of
absolutes of —
objective truth, complete justice, decency
honor internalized
honesty and complex wisdom enhanced down to the last detail.
Ho, complete, divine purity.
Suddenly you polish a syllogism of your own
for decisive proof of His existence:
God is an idea —
ideas don’t have material existence
but they exist nonetheless
so God exists definitively as the spirit of an idea,
the biblical assertion “He has no body and no bodily form”
is clear to me now as an exegesis
that sits well with philosophy.
Translated from the Hebrew

The History of Ideas, 1973-2012: Authority

Where the correlative of reason was conviction and where the correlative
of power was obedience, the correlative of authority was trust
Your job—she gives another to the child
hip-high—is to heat the money in your hands
to the optimum warmth for purchase. Cagey,
the diversion in the same coin as his want.
It buys her time, enough that once
they round the corner, she might break into a sprint,
as one might with a pet who can keep up. But
the prophet makes eyes in his open fists
of the nickels’ glint, and we see he forbears
our guess her hector gets lost in the flash
when as if by swale we all give way to expel
a customer from the clench of us without her.
For what beneath the moths who have all night
to live do we brace ourselves as we approach?
We lean to find again the boy’s outguess of us.
Demand is double at the walk-up window, where
punishment for paltry want is to tell it again
into plexiglass the color of slobber, so others
in the bleach of halogen light may deal
their disparagement forward. For what if not
dishonor are we braced, rehearsing what to ask?
Repetition is a machine, a machine
for converting request into appeal; and
commerce, then, the window’s byproduct or
balm, depending. Red hot cashews, yellow bag.
Only because we visit by day do we know
at night what to call at the walk-up window
where two aisles of open merchandise end at
the sacral plates of clerks before us who, if
on pulleys they were carts instead or vending claws,
would be by now concussed and dented by
lever malevolence outright.
                                                    The prophet stands eye level
with the vending plunge, a here and now mechanism
he would need to invent to operate, and stands
between it and his mother. Yellow bag.
                              Because there is not enough money in the world, people steal;…                                                           because there is not enough recognition, they make art

Exra Pound’s 23 don’ts




This is excellent



  • Direct treatment of the “thing” whether subjective or objective.
  • To use absolutely no word that does not contribute to the presentation.
  • As regarding rhythm: to compose in the sequence of the musical phrase, not in sequence of a metronome.


Fact or fiction?



“William Poundstone: One of the things I’ve found is that, in a survey, there is no clear distinction between facts and feelings. When you ask a purely factual question, the answers reflect not only what the person knows, but a complex of feelings and culture. This is certainly true when you ask about a factual topic that has been politicized, such as climate change. In these cases people tend to answer the way that the leaders they trust do. And if you trust those leaders more than you trust the scientific experts or the media (as many do), it may not matter to you that some fact-checking article ticks off eight ways your leader’s statements are wrong.

Believing certain things, even if they’re wrong, can be an expression of community.”

WP: We’re dealing with a lot of complicated issues in the world today: immigration, terrorism, changing climate, outsourcing of jobs. Unfortunately the people who know the least about these issues often feel they’re pretty well-informed. They may believe in “simple solutions” whose flaws they are unwilling to examine. I ran a survey in which people were quizzed on general knowledge and then asked about how they felt about the proposal to build a border wall. The less general knowledge people had, the more they supported a border wall.”

Observe the patterns ,hidden and unread

It doesn’t matter what the teachers said
They don’t know as much as we might think
We can learn to deal with x,y,z.

These letters ,used as numbers, are not dead
But in the mind’s eye, glow  like  golden ink
It doesn’t matter what the teacher said

I learned that once when I was ill in bed
I saw a screen with  letters which were linked
We can  learn to deal with x,y,z.

The letters moved  to stand in two lines wed
Then ratios formed and thus caused me to think
It doesn’t matter what the teacher said

I saw the answer  glitter as I read
Pascal  solved it once, and then I did
We can learn to deal with x,y,z.

Observe the patterns ,hidden and unread;
Like music  which  has  scores and does their bid
I doesn’t matter what the teacher said
We can learn to deal with x,y,z.