Mary wants a corset


I am going shopping today,Mary informed Stan.I have decided to buy a corset.I am too fat.
I hope it’s not a whalebone corset,Stan teased her. gently
Are they still allowed to use the bones of whales? she asked.One whale  must have massive bones.Why not use dog’s bones?
Well,Stan said,you may be plump but don’t torture yourself for beauty.I love you as you are,sweetheart.
Mary got onto her bicycle and rode into town  passing some lovely magnolias and forsythia.She locked her bike to the church gate as sinners cannot be trusted especially just after Confession.

Hello,I’m looking for a whalebone corset,she informed the  lady in the lingerie department.
What!We don’t have them any more.They ran out of baleen which is horny material in a whale’s mouth.
Was it their teeth ,asked Mary tremulously.
Eeh,I don’t know said the  assistant.Anyway,now we have shapewear.It looks like underwear but it’s elasticated.So it keeps your curves in like those minimiser bras
Mary burst out laughing as she imagined wearing an elasticated vest which would push all her fat up round her neck or down onto her bum .Or an elasticated pair of knickers which push the fat upwards. onto her abdomen.And furthermore,how easy would it be to get them down in the bathroom? Worse still,if Stan took her to a restaurant and she could not pull them down for a wee…should she take some scissors?
Mary stopped laughing when she saw all the staff staring at her,
Are you alright,madam? one asked rather ferociously.
Yes, it’s my  dwindling hormones.They make me laugh hysterically from time to time.It’s better than getting those hot flushes,in my view.
Why not have HRT? the lady replied.
Excuse me,said Mary,but I do not wish to discuss my health matters in public but thank you for your concern.She was rather pleased with that having just read
“A woman’s guide to compassionate self assertion.”

Although she did wonder why it was addressed only to women.Emile agreed when she discussed over milk and cat niblets which Mary had to eat when she ran out of food.
As Mary stood in the Shapewear department she remembered the time she tried on some  denim jeggings as they seemed  to be in fashion.They looked very nice but she had such a hard time getting them off she thought she would have to buy them and cut them off at home.
So all of a sudden she picked up her Mondrian pvc shopping bag and her  green handbag and ran out of the door into the button  and wool department.
My,you look hot, her friend Gail said.I am buying some  merino wool for neckwarmers.Do you ever knit nowadays,Mary?
Only with whales bones,she murmured.And it’s  so hard to find them now.
Well, whales must still have bones,dear,otherwise they would collapse.
Surely you don’t expect me to catch my own whale.Mary cried in fear having seena  film on this topic.
And how about Jonah?Suppose I find a prophet inside the whale?
That could be just who we need,Gail said.Someone who can tell us what God wants us to do.
Would people listen,Mary asked Gail tremulously
Only if he went on Twitter I suppose.
Could Donald Crump be a prophet? Mary muttered
No,he’s too big for a whale to swallow even if the common people swallow his  nonsense.He sounds as if he’d like to treat women the way they do in some countries like Saudi Arabia.40 lashes for taking the morning after pill.
It could be hard to have,”the night before” in a place like that.
The two  women gazed blankly in front of them trying to remember their youth and their mad love affairs.
Let’s go into the Cricketer’s  Arms and have a drink Gail said.
I’d  rather have coffee,Mary replied.So off they went arm in arm humming
“I believe in angels “very loudly to frighten off any evil spirits from the lingerie department.We know the Devil loves  bras and suspender belts with lace trimmings as he is ,in fact ,the god Pan who was a goatherd with a horn on which he played his music to tempt the weak;some  even say he was half goat half human but we never did that in the maths department.
We only studied shapes and forms and symmetry.Well,I know it sounds suggestive but we only dealt with it in an abstracted manner.That’s why you see mathematicians with  all sorts of undies hanging off them as it’s the geometry they need to learn and how better than on a field trip to a department store. Anthropologists go to Samoa and mathematicians go to Sex and Undie shops.They have no choice.They need to see those conical bras.Conic sections!My eye!

We feel both joy and woe.



Oh,John Joe was a farmer’s son
They lived up in the hills.
When he went to tend his sheep
He  gazed  on cotton mills.

The rivers ran with water pure
And so provided power
Yet over these dark  and ruined towns
The heathered hills did tower.

Mary was a local girl
She walked out on the moors
She wore a dress of silky cloth
Printed with tiny flowers.

John Joe saw Mary dear
When he was dipping sheep
She peered over a dry stone wall
And saw the new lambs leap.

Her hair was long.Her hair was gold
Her eyes singularly blue.
In John Joe’s eyes she was so fair,
What was a man to do?

He watched her walking all alone
Was she sad or sick?
He showed her how his dog behaved
He showed her shepherds’ tricks.

Then one day,he held her hand
As they walked to the Pike.
They stood up there and gazed all round
So John thought he would strike.

He bent down on his right knee
And spoke to Mary then.
I’ve loved you ,Mary, since we met
I hoped we’d meet again

Mary smiled with her blue eyes;
Her lips were pink and bright.
I love you too and love the hills
And. love the summer light.

The next year they were married
Mary wore white lace.
She looked so happy then
To know she’d her own place.

The church bells rang,the people sang
John and Mary wed!
And naturally, when the  evening came,
At last, they went to bed.

When Mary lay in John Joe’s arms
She knew this was her home.
And so for many. many years
On those loved  hills they roamed.

They cared for sheep and hens and goats
They cared for children three.
They never had a falling out
But talked beneath a tree.

From youth to age the years went by
But John still loved his bride.
And Mary too was happy
With her  John  by her side.

Their faces,lined, were full of cheer
Their hair as white as snow
And everywhere that JJ went
Mary too did go.

Until the day came for his death,
He lay down in the grass.
Mary ran and held him close
And thus dear John did pass.

The muffled bells rang from the tower
John Joe was carried in.
The parson prayed and hymns were sung.
The sheepdog made a din.

In the dark earth, John was laid
While Mary wept and cried.
What will I do ,my  own sweet John ,
without you by my side?

So Mary grieved and wept and sighed
And thus she spent two   years…
The loss was great and bent her back
with the weight of care.

For when we open up our hearts
We feel both joy and woe.
This is the pattern of our love,
Which like  a river flows.

On Richmond Hill,he made a pass.


On Richmond Hill,he made a pass
On Richmond Hill there is no path as fresh as a ram’s horn.
In Richard’s till he felt an ass.
On witches hill she baited breath
With quiches will she him impress?
She met him in the garden where the waiters glow.
He sat her by   a hoarding where disclaimers show
Ye Hanks and Braids, your hairs in bloom
The Yanks and Knaves of sunny doom
Sundered by the churches, I sit and scream for Lou.
Charlotte’s  wisdom tried her heirs.
Careless bliss, come  by me soon
Harlot’s wisdom  left him bare.
Speed bonny oath,like a swear on the wind.
She jumped off the hedge and came too in the corn.
She jumped up a ledge and roamed free  with his horn
The fishing hens of England go out to pee  and nip.
The clock    rang.It says,please wind me up.Can’t it amuse itself tonight?
The clock rang twelve.It only does it to annoy me.After it finishes it’s nearly one.Bong.

Almost good

The last time that he fell he broke  our lamp;
The lamp which we had bought on honeymoon
I often sketched it, to my brain it clamped
Enduring sleepless nights in cardiac room.

The canula had torn  my  vein unseen.
I never  knew my  sheets filled up with blood;
Saturated by  the god,morphine;
Had I died,  such end  felt  almost good

Though why  go to such lengths to get a high?
A paralysing pain ran down my neck.
I can  rise just   staring at the sky.
Without enduring such a savage wreck

The lamp is broken,shade propped up by wall
A painful memory of his fatal fall.

The lamp reminds me of his humorous love
Now my bony hands   wear his   dear gloves



Winter time

I was very ill in 2010-2011 and that is  what made me write as I could not lie down


In winter time we’re forced to give
Homes to naughty viruses
Because these little creatures
Have nowhere else to live.

They take up their abode
In our noses, in our ears.
I need some sunny weather
To make them disappear.

But we have had the coldest winter
For a hundred years.
I’ll have to hypnotise myself
Then visualise sunny days.

I bought myself a little book
From Amazon UK
You can learn self hypnosis
Just inside one day.

I dream I am reclining
On  a beach in Italy
With a beautiful  young gigolo
Lying next to me.

I dream of soft blue water
Reflecting sunny sky.
While lying on a mattress
Watching folk go by.

But when my trance is over
I come to in my bed
With a  giant box of Kleenex
Right next to my head.

I am strengthening my diaphragm
Coughing night and day
And cursing all these viruses
You should hear what I say.

But is that very wicked
As God made viruses too?
Do they have some special role,
In  enlightening me and you.?

So should we learn  to love them
As our near  neighbours.
Whilst our immune systems
Carry out their labours?

I hear the  garbage lorries
Collecting  stuff outside
I wish they’d collect my viruses,
And take them a long ride.

Because winter is so beautiful
The snow,the sun,the frost
If only I was feeling well
And was not fever tossed.

Viruses are not whole beings
They are just bits of DNA.
Nevertheless run quickly
If you see them come your way.

They carry  information
They want to  reproduce.
And if they get just near enough
They’ll put you to their use.

They are like selfish people
Who do not think of you.
Only think what  need you serve,
What they can make you do.

They are  egocentric
They want the central place
We are here to service them.
We’re just the human race!

She won’t grow on the Sabbath,though.


Charlie Blogge had gone away to visit his aged parents for a few days down in Cornwall so Rosa Benchez was alone except for her three cats and four houseplants which she had just brought indoors.Though she could have writtena  bit more in her book
Linguistics and Peace on Earth.
Can plants feel emotion? she asked her oldest cat, Lucy who was a pretty tortoiseshell
Definitely ,said Lucy.I have known plants to get depressed when in a dark corner.
Oh,dear,said Rosa,it’s the weekend so the surgery is shut.I hope these plants do not go into a downward spiral in their mood now that the days are shorter.I suppose I could ring 999 if they were desperate.
They won’t allow plants in the hospital,Lucy mewed.
Why not,asked Rosa angrily.That is sheer discrimination.We pay our contributions.
But the plants don’t pay ,do they.Lucy retorted cheerfully.Cats don’t get free healthcare either.
Socialism made a big mistake there, cried Rosa.Since the English prefer animals to people they would have won the  Election if they proposed free pet care on the NHS
Imagine, it would have created more jobs as well, she continues academically.And plant care is needed as plants can feel ill at times.
Yes,we can, cried the Peace Lily.I feel ill knowing there is not much peace in the world.
Humans don’t realise they may win a war but the conflict makes their health suffer even if they are too old to fight.And within families it is just as bad.
You are so right,Peace,Rosa said thoughtfully.We always assume it is our inner conflicts that make us neurotic or physically ill,but it may be that at the back of  our minds we are aware of all the wars, the refugees, the suffering.Outer conflict makes us all sick to some degree.And quarreling relatives and people who can’t apologise.
Do you have any rain water,Peace demanded.I feel thirsty.

Is that enough,Rosa cried.I can make you some weak tea if you like.
Oh,go on then, the plant told her.Give me a teacup full of tea with no sugar. nor milk How about you, she carried on turning to her sister Pax.
OK.Pax told her.Whither  thou goest…
She’s Jewish,said Peace to Rosa.Her real name is Ruth.But nobody uses it as Pax is shorter.She won’t grow on the Sabbath,though.
Will you miss talking to the trees in the garden while you are indoors? Rosa asked, before any more Bible references were offered.
Yes,definitely.Can you buy a few tall,male looking plants like bamboo or even grape ivy?
We like a mixture.All living beings like a mixture of friends.
How about human friends or even cats,Rosa said tactlessly
Yes, as long as they talk in soft musical voices.And we don’t like to watch violent films on TV nor to see cats fighting on the sofa.,Peace informed her.Violence hurts our inner core
And so say all of us

Take now your bitter heart


I loved you once,and now you’re gone
Such grief,such sorrow.
I loved you once,but now you’ve run
Not back  tomorrow.

I loved you once until I saw
Your bitter heart
II loved you yet you had a  flaw
Inside you’re  so sharp.
I loved you, now my heart is raw,
pierced by your dart.

Where has all the loving gone?
Such sweet emotion.
Where has all the loving gone?
I had no notion.
Your  face was just a mask
Created for the task
Of winning hearts.

Your heart was steel and wire
Hardened by anger’s fire…
Where should I start?
Begone,false words and songs
You did me such wrong
I can’t forgive.
Be off you hypocrite
Quit this poetic writ
And let me live

Save grief

Allen Frances: Last Plea To DSM-5: Save Grief From the Drug Companies.

Now even a disobedient child may be labelled mentally ill.And a grieving person can be called depressed after two weeks!I’d say two years is  a more realistic estimate if you lose a spouse or a child.Even with a cat it can be at least few weeks of sadness.

I don’t know how we here in the UK will be affected but we tend to follow the USA.A good example is diabetes.They changed the level of blood sugar to a lower level so thousands of people became “diabetic” overnight.Then the newspapers report a “worrying increase” in  people suffering from diabetes!I assume they do this as they think it will help people but no doubt it will mean handing out more drugs too.That’s one of our problems now.As we age we are given more and more medication

Origins of poetry


My heart takes root in her and grips with its nail,
holds on like bark on the rod,
to me she is joy’s tower and palace and chamber,
and I do not love brother as much, or father, or uncle;
and there’ll be double joy in Paradise for my soul,
if a man is blessed for loving well there, and enters.

– Arnaut Daniel, 12th century

Berryman by W. S. MERWIN


I will tell you what he told me
in the years just after the war
as we then called
the second world war
don’t lose your arrogance yet he said
you can do that when you’re older
lose it too soon and you may
merely replace it with vanity
just one time he suggested
changing the usual order
of the same words in a line of verse
why point out a thing twice
he suggested I pray to the Muse
get down on my knees and pray
right there in the corner and he
said he meant it literally
it was in the days before the beard
and the drink but he was deep
in tides of his own through which he sailed
chin sideways and head tilted like a tacking sloop
he was far older than the dates allowed for
much older than I was he was in his thirties
he snapped down his nose with an accent
I think he had affected in England
as for publishing he advised me
to paper my wall with rejection slips
his lips and the bones of his long fingers trembled
with the vehemence of his views about poetry
he said the great presence
that permitted everything and transmuted it
in poetry was passion
passion was genius and he praised movement and invention
I had hardly begun to read
I asked how can you ever be sure
that what you write is really
any good at all and he said you can’t
you can’t you can never be sure
you die without knowing
whether anything you wrote was any good
if you have to be sure don’t write