Arched like a fallen moon


Old man,bending over,
arched like a fallen moon
in a dark lilac November sky.
joy and pain wrestle my heart across the emptiness
and toss it up like a damp rocket
to fall in a hidden corner where mice live.
Would that not be a good ending,to be dust
to these little creatures nesting
in my chewed green twine and my tartan basket?
They have eyes and shiver in my hand when I rescue them
from the cat…
as any heart might.
Now night falls on the newspaper basket
where the damp Times and the Guardian mix into glue
and tomorrow the sun will rise
and it will just be the garbage
with no poetic undertones nor deathly hushes..
Heather and a silver light
you stand on a hill top like a god
looking over his domain.
Strong and now weak
it’s the human condition
Everlasting life is too dangerous for us.
Silent,motionless,home of beetles
bit by bit we fall away
into the mother soil
with cracked jugs and dropped coins
for a future academic to dig into.
Transparent  the hand  that touches me.
Whose might it be?

How are we affected by the loss of many people killed in WW2,and by Stalin and by Hitler ,including the Holocaust? And how did the Church respond?


It is estimated Hitler killed 12 million people,half were  European Jews.Stalin is estimated at 7 million.Such numbers are hard to imagine.Especially to feel each one was a unique person like ourself is to us and our loved ones are to us.These were unique ,beloved people.
Surely Christianity itself  has died along with the innocent ?
What I have been thinking recently is: how different is the world and especially Europe is .since we lost so many people and hence lost their descendants? Jewish people  were almost wiped out and I believe Yiddish is not spoken now.Yet Jews are usually  said  to be very intelligent [ like Nobel Prize Awards are much higher in proportion ]
Is it possible to grieve such enormous losses? Nobody knows.We lost then but we lost our own selves as well/Who are we now after such murder?
I wonder , if we include the soldiers killed. in battle , whether Europe has lost   out genetically.That is my thinking on wondering why we have so few admirable politicians and other leaders.It doesn’t explain Donald Trump except he is half German.His family must have left before WW1.I am unsure why so many Germans went to the USA.Possibly to escape rigid European  work/class problems and hope for more freedom.Nobody  quite like that exists here, thank God.
I have read that some people think Judaism was wrecked as a religion by the Holocaust but I hope that is not true.But belief in God is tested by  immense tragedies.And modern life, in general ,has little time for any religion.
I wonder if to the folk who run the world it is a like a big game and we are their toy soldiers.Dispensible.
Vengeance is mine,says the Lord.Where is he?Why is he waiting?

Like a fox hides in a hole or den

I have been acquainted  well with  grief
I have wept  at home and wept abroad.
I have lost my loved ones to this thief.

I have  known grief  spread like rivers wide
I ‘ve been  hurt  by   painful ,wracked  tears
I have felt the absence of  my God.

I’ve known grief for  more than sixty years
My father and his brother were the first
I have met no  being who’s been spared.

Yet we have no permission  here to weep
I long for ritual like  a   writer needs a pen
I long  to dream of them  while I’m asleep.

Like a fox hides in a hole or den
I would like to hide  when days begin
Uncontained  by  his love  again
As a tree mourns for each little leaf
As God mourns for Adam’s   holy sin
I have been acquainted   with  harsh grief
I have  seen each ghost  and I believe.


How is the world,now emptied of your being?

In fields of lushest  buttercups we ‘d lie
We’d watch the clouds as gently they blew by.
Love was born we thought would never die.
But now you’re gone, and  so I sadly sigh

That love itself remains without your form
Yet tears of loss enfold me like a storm.
I knew you’d never hurt or  do me harm.
I  felt your smile’s embrace, so wide, so warm.

How is the world,now emptied of your being?
No sound,no touch,no smell,no sight,no seeing.
How is the world when you have gone ahead
Yet I must linger in  this empty  bed?
Yet those who love are  grateful for this gift
Our sorrow is that life  itself’s   too swift

Come live with me


Come live with me and be my helpmeet now

I’ll share my only bed with you and how!

If you let me love you

I’ll darn your old wool  gloves 4 you..

If you come and meet me brow to brow.

Come live with me ‘n teach me all you know

About poetic licence and Defoe.

I’ll mend your vacuum cleaner,

learn expressions meaner..

How cheerfully the hours to come will go,

Come live with me and be my lover true

Without one,however  shall we  do?

I’ll set up  England’s railways

And learn the Chinese weekdays

Come live with me and I will sweep your flue.

Come live with me in Norway on a fjord

I’ll use  my Canon powershot  even more.

I’ll watch the flowers growing

And see the waters flowing

How happy Wittgenstein’d be if he’d knowed.



I know why  shyness make one blush bright  red .It’s to make people steer clear but why does envy make one green?Is it a metaphor as it’s sickness that usually makes one go green.Envy may be  sickness.Is that it?
I went white all over  when he rejected me.I looked as if I was dyed
She has the blues but it’s not obvious unless you know her really well.Like if she cuts her finger.I blame Edward the 7th.He’s dead, you see.

Our language problems


Keep your sentences  pithy with  a full  stop.Do not fall into it.

He has to have a semi-colon investigation soon.Is it the period or the comma, we may ask.

She has been in a comma for years.It’s a miracle she’s not read as yet.
He came to a full stop by the British Museum.He wants to end it there.I am distraught as I was mistaught.It was not a  real sentence.No verb.

I said he was in the para-military,not he’s got a paragraph on the Mirror.They don’t know what a paragraph is and neither do I. In fact I could write enough about it to fill  a third of this page.But don’t worry,I shan’t.So there!

Comma here,my darling.I have room for two ,,

Don’t reply to me,imaginary data.Exclaim please!!!!

When  do you  use a colon, the teacher asked?
The boy responded:after our food is digested,  until we can evacuate  the remains of the prey.

Why has the whole industry come to a full stop? It’s a cliche.Let’s start it up again.There’s more in this than meets the spy.

At the end os his sentences he always  drew a full stop.Well, he was an artist  ionce.,so he thought but he was autistic,  though on a  bend in the spectrum.Or was it  blend?

As I entered the room I saw a question mark hanging over Mr Smith’s bed.He likes to play puzzles in the night.His wife wants a divorce on the grounds of punctuation games interfering with her sex life.When she looks up. her whole life passes before her.How would you like that?
It depends on the life!


When to use a semi-colon




Even Oxford educated people can forget the rules of grammar,just like nearly everyone else in the UK.In fact, if you are too  good at grammar it might make you bad at it in a very real sense, at this moment in time.I hope you can grasp what I write and use it  for something or other,like, er,what d’you call it?


It’s no accident that a semicolon is a period atop a comma. Like commas, semicolons indicate an audible pause—slightly longer than a comma’s, but short of a period’s full stop.

Semicolons have other functions, too. But first, a caveat: avoid the common mistake of using a semicolon to replace a colon (see the “Colons” section).

Incorrect: I have one goal; to find her.
Correct: I have one goal: to find her.

Rule 1a. A semicolon can replace a period if the writer wishes to narrow the gap between two closely linked sentences.

Call me tomorrow; you can give me an answer then.
We have paid our dues; we expect all the privileges listed in the contract.

Rule 1b. Avoid a semicolon when a dependent clause comes before an independent clause.

Incorrect: Although they tried; they failed.
Correct: Although they tried, they failed.



Jane Smiley, the novelist


“Do you know the writer Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi? He’s a Hungarian psychologist who writes about the state of flow. If you’re in a creative state, then essentially things sort of coagulate and you enter a state of hyper­consciousness—you can write for an hour or so, but it only seems like a few minutes because you’re so concentrated on it. I’ve experienced that a lot, which doesn’t mean there’s no frustration, but I don’t really remember the frustration very well. I remember more when the writing comes together. And I’m willing to seek out that coming together. If I get frustrated, I’ll go eat something, I’ll go open another Diet Coke, I’ll go the barn, I’ll distract myself, and then the parts in my brain that were working click and I get an idea. I read an article about how to learn to play a musical instrument. You practice, practice, practice on Friday, then you walk away. And then when you sit down on Saturday, you’re better. Not only because of all the practice, but also because of the walking away. I’m a firm believer in walking away. ”


Acquainted with the Night

I have been one acquainted with the night.
I have walked out in rain—and back in rain.
I have outwalked the furthest city light.
I have looked down the saddest city lane.
I have passed by the watchman on his beat
And dropped my eyes, unwilling to explain.
I have stood still and stopped the sound of feet
When far away an interrupted cry
Came over houses from another street,
But not to call me back or say good-bye;
And further still at an unearthly height,
One luminary clock against the sky
Proclaimed the time was neither wrong nor right.
I have been one acquainted with the night.

Spirit lost in wars,what is our aim?

I feel this needs improvement but so far I have not managed it
 In the past,  we thought the world  our own

Created for  us by a loving Lord
So on its lands , we made our little homes

Existentialists  claim we have no home
Dislocated,life can’t be enjoyed
In the past,  folk felt  the world  their own

Hell is other people, Sartre claimed,
Dividing us to monads ,deeply flawed
Yet in  the  past ,community was sane

Why do  we feel lost with  lone hearts maimed?
Are we  shocked by  new  techniques and awe?
In the past, communion  was our  own

Spirit  lost in wars,what is our aim?
If  God  is dead, who shall declaim the Law?
We’re  ” civilised “, how mute Ethics  forlorn

The tablet  Moses  found  has been disdained
We  submit  to nothing but our toys.
Machines and war  destroy communal aims.
Who can raise us ;how  can debts   be paid?






Oh, brilliant leaves

Oh, brilliant leaves are now turned duller red.
The first day of  our Brexit winter time.
From the sun  bright  colour had been  bled.

What seemed innate was stolen then instead
As life  is taken when we pass our prime
The  shimmering leaves are now turned brownish red

Oh,sadly  know the leaves  face  sudden  death
Torn from branches where  boys used to climb
All  the   foliage flies  in  one last breath

Mystics hear the still small voice   of God
When all is lost and meaning ‘s but a  line
Those   high leaves  for tramps shall make a bed

When we had it,what was it we had?
We hear the Word when we have paid the fine
Once  lovely leaves are now turned dull and dead
For  only sun   expressed  what had been  fed.

Continue reading “Oh, brilliant leaves”


In my great grandmother’s time,
All one needed was a broom
To get to see places
And give the geese a chase in the sky.
The stars know everything,
So we try to read their minds.
As distant as they are,
We choose to whisper in their presence.
Oh Cynthia,
Take a clock that has lost its hands
For a ride.
Get me a room at Hotel Eternity
Where Time likes to stop now and then.
Come, lovers of dark corners,
The sky says,
And sit in one of my dark corners.
There are tasty little zeroes
In the peanut dish tonight.

Dwell on things or let them go?

Do we have a choice?


oxford2016-3Sometimes we have to reflect.But it can turn into rumination which is linked to much mental suffering and even illness.


“We found that people who didn’t ruminate or blame themselves for their difficulties had much lower levels of depression and anxiety, even if they’d experienced many negative events in their lives,” says Peter Kinderman, who led the study and is a professor of clinical psychology at the University of Liverpool.”Dwelling on negative thoughts and self blame have previously been recognised as important when it comes to mental health, but not to the extent this study has shown.

“The findings suggest both are crucial psychological pathways to depression and anxiety”

Charles Simic and his writing


Some of Simic’s best-known works challenge the dividing line between the ordinary and extraordinary. He animates and gives substance to inanimate objects, discerning the strangeness in household items as ordinary as a knife or a spoon. Robert Shaw wrote in the New Republic that the most striking perception of the author’s early poems was that “inanimate objects pursue a life of their own and present, at times, a dark parody of human existence.” Childhood experiences of war, poverty, and hunger also lie behind a number of poems. In the Georgia Review, Peter Stitt claimed that Simic’s most persistent concern “is with the effect of cruel political structures upon ordinary human life….The world of Simic’s poems is frightening, mysterious, hostile, dangerous.” However, Stitt noted, Simic tempers this perception of horror with gallows humor and an ironic self-awareness: “Even the most somber poems … exhibit a liveliness of style and imagination that seems to re-create, before our eyes, the possibility of light upon the earth. Perhaps a better way of expressing this would be to say that Simic counters the darkness of political structures with the sanctifying light of art.”

Why Charles Simic still writes poetry


Photo by Deirdre W..Copyright


Why I Still Write Poetry


” My early poems were embarrassingly bad, and the ones that came right after, not much better. I have known in my life a number of young poets with immense talent who gave up poetry even after being told they were geniuses. No one ever made that mistake with me, and yet I kept going. I now regret destroying my early poems, because I no longer remember whom they were modeled after. At the time I wrote them, I was reading mostly fiction and had little knowledge of contemporary poetry and modernist poets. The only extensive exposure I had to poetry was in the year I attended school in Paris before coming to the United States. They not only had us read Lamartine, Hugo, Baudelaire, Rimbaud, and Verlaine, but they made us memorize certain poems of theirs and recite them in front of the class. This was such a nightmare for me as a rudimentary speaker of French—and guaranteed fun for my classmates, who cracked up at the way I mispronounced some of the most beautiful and justly famous lines of poetry in French literature—that for years afterwards I couldn’t bring myself to take stock of what I learned in that class. Today, it’s clear to me that my love of poetry comes from those readings and those recitations, which left a deeper impact on me than I realized when I was young”

Mary stops ruminating for a while

Spot the cliches!



It was the best of times, it was  the  worst of times in a very real sense.Mary  dreamed Stan was in heaven enjoying the company of Wittgenstein,Jesus and Pascal , not to mention Lady Jane Grey Ann of Cleves,Juliet,Cleopatra and an angel.At  least  at this point in time he can’t sleep with them  ,she thought as she woke up.Though did that matter? Can men be faithful and monogamous? Look at Leonard Cohen.Was he better off flitting from flower to flower? Was he so stunning that women threw themselves at him and he could not resist?Sometimes people are actuallyafraid of intimacy or feel life is short and want some new experiences.Was he a wolf? It t akes one to know one
It was indeed  almost the worst of times when Mary remembered she had no food in the house except cat food for Emile.He was all she had now as  her daughter Lyra lived in Australia and Stan was in heaven, she hoped.
Here I am, she thought, pondering unanswerable questions and not looking after myself .It is probably  best to err on the side of buying food and going out rather than lying in the bed wondering  if life has any inherent  meaning. or  if we must create our own.
Even discussing that with someone else would be better.But men folk don’t want to discuss serious topics with their lovers.
It was an even worse time when she recalled a man who once  loved  her leaving her because she asked him if he knew what post-modernism was one night after going to the cinema to see a comedy.She realised then that she would have to play a part,To act like a woman.So far it was but moderately successful owing to her myopic view of life
If only I had kept quiet, she told herself,I could be  lying beside  him now enjoying a few kisses and hugs and asking him how to light  the electric fire.Still ,there’s many a slip twixt cup and lip
Now then, said a  loud voice.Stop   ruminating and get  up. One stitch in time saves nine.
Who are you to say that to me, she called nervously ?She wondered of stress  had driven her round the bend.She had begun reading a book which said mental illness in not an illness like flu.It is a reaction to bad events and  other life strains.
It doesn’t matter who I am,just do as I say, came the answer
Mary recognised the voice.It was her dad who had died when she was 9.
Dad, she called, why are you here now?
Because Jesus told us to  love our family, he revealed pleasantly.
Why now after all these years? she persisted.I have missed you.
I always did have a bad sense of direction,he told her.But do as I say.You won’t recover easily if you never get up.Stan is here but he is busy cleaning the gold cutlery for an angel.
Alright, but I never knew there was cutlery up there, she murmured as she put on her  new clothes.She had bought some purple trousers and two new jumpers.One was pink and one  was teal.The trousers were exceptionally comfortable  being  in a last years sale  by a famous label..She  then found some Weetabix in  the cupboard and some long life milk.As she drank her tea she admired the acer’s brilliant red leaves.
Almost too bright, she thought.It’s  due  to the hot September.Plants are affected by their environment and so are we.Especially by bad or hot tempered men and women
Poor people may have  more than in the  past but they tend to live in the ugliest areas of the town with no gardens nor parks.
And seeing the better off walk by wearing expensive clothes it is surprising there are not even more muggings.
She recalled seeing  a man with a Rolex watch and gold earrings on  talking on his new iPhone as he wandered through the Mall.I suppose we think everybody else is like us; we don’t mix with  very poor or very rich people on the whole.Unless we are one of those two types.
Mary went outside and found a neighbour wheeling in her bins.
Thanks ,Tom, she cried.I wondered who it was.I am very grateful.What is post modernism,by the way?Nobody will tell me.
Emile was watching from the window sill.
I knew it was Tom, he mewed.
But you didn’t tell me,Mary replied.
You didn’t ask.
Tom wandered off ,while Mary admired the autumn trees lining the road.Tom turned  back and looked at her but she didn’t notice.
Time for coffee, she muttered and went inside again.She was embroidering a  table mat which said “Rumination is for the birds”.Where it had come from was a puzzle.