Life is an art

Anxiety is the price of life.
But don’t pay over the top.
Calmness is good at most times.
Dread is a bad friend.
Exploring nature soothes the soul
For what are we but part of it?

Gentle music helps the mind
However we do it,
Listening is a kindness to ourself.
Ink is the friend of the writer.
Judgment is another one.

Kindness is essential to the good life.
Lessons are available daily.

Money is necessary but not sufficient for happiness.
Needs are simpler than we imagine.

Oxygen is good for the brain.
Prayer is good for the mind.

Quality is hard to judge quickly.
Rest is often a good idea.

Tension inhibits ideas.
Work should involve play.

X- rated films are optional
Yes…You are a valuable person.

Z is the final letter
And life is an Art.

Where is your Nobel Prose?



The sun shone on Rosa Benchez ,as it had no alternative.She ran down the street in  her  yellow raincoat and a pair of gym shoes.Usually ,she wore a dress as well but times they are a changin’.She saw Mr Leonard Cohen walking across the road shouting,where is my blue raincoat?
Am I going mad,she wondered.Shall I call 999? Can you call 999  when you are  running down Upper Street? What a pity she had no friends around to advise her.
Mr. Cohen, she said,I love your music especially,  How many toads?
You are confusing me with Dylan,he murmured in a deep  voice.
Well,I  prefer you.Where is your Nobel Prose?
I write poetry mainly, he said shyly smiling his sheepish yet delightful smile.He certainly had good jaws.His top and bottom teeth met unlike Rosa’s.What did that signify?
Yes, she said.I know.I bought one of your books.
He suddenly began running   into a pancake house and Rosa stood there wondering why he did not make a pass at her as his reputation was enormous..Perhaps he hates  yellow on a woman, she  muttered.Maybe he is depressed by the prospect a the next few years and yet he says his depression has gone and he has both his children nearby and grandchildren too.
But why is he here in Knittingham? she asked herself.Nobody has mentioned it.Why would he come here in late October?Why would anyone?
It is fruitless to think like this, she thought.Will anyone believe me?Suddenly she felt very sad and muddled .She took out her iPhone and rang 999.
Can you send Dave round to lower Upper St.I feel like I am going crazy.I am going into Mary’s house as seeing her and Emile might help.If not,Dave can advise me and have some tea too.
Certainly,madam, the clerk replied.Nothing is too much for your NHS.
You  are very perceptive said  Rosa.My name is Rosa Benchez by the way
I recognised  your  lovely voice.Thanks again for calling.
Rosa went up Mary’s path and rang the doorbell.When Mary appeared she said.
I am feeling very  strange, so Dave is coming round.Will you make me some tea?
Of course,said Mary.Come in and talk to Emile.He fell into a pool of water so he is sitting by the fire.
It was the best of times; it was the worst of times.Her period had begun.Do you have any  female protection,Mary? she called.
From what?
It’s the usual.
Where is your handbag?I used to carry my protection in that.A gun
In my case a few tissues  might help.
Oh I see,Mary murmured.Did you know you have no clothes on?
Oh, dear,said Rosa.Can you lend me an old dress?
Just stay there and I shall look after you
And so pray all of us,except Len as he does not know as yet.

Another kind of mystic

You’re an egghead ,a nerd and a freak
I’m a brainbox,unfeminine ,a geek.
So we cannot get wed
Then ramble to bed
Our offspring  face an outlook too bleak

They may go to the other extreme
Smoke pot and have marvellous dreams
Let’s say we’re autistic
Or another kind of mystic
Avoid cocktails and not shout nor scream.

I suppose feeling and taste  we may lack
As we prefer numbers to  be painted in black
And  fearful  infinity,
The uncountable  divinity.
Is an 8 lying down on its back

Russell said maths had no sense
Though its priests may be over-intense
Cold as the Arctic
I read it,I  marked it
Then I sceamed, Oh, Satan get thee hence



What is poetry?

Lucille Clifton
“I think that were beginning to remember that the first poets didn’t come out of a classroom, that poetry began when somebody walked off of a savanna or out of a cave and looked up at the sky with wonder and said, “Ahhh.” That was the first poem.”
The book that followed Clifton’s dual Pulitzer nomination, Quilting: Poems 1987-1990(1991), also won widespread critical acclaim Using a quilt as a poetic metaphor for life, each poem is a story, bound together through history and figuratively sewn with the thread of experience. Each section of the book is divided by a conventional quilt design name—”Eight-pointed Star” and “Tree of Life”—which provides a framework for Clifton’s poetic quilt. Clifton’s main focus is on women’s history; however, according to Robert Mitchell in American Book Review, her poetry has a far broader range: “Her heroes include nameless slaves buried on old plantations, Hector Peterson (the first child killed in the Soweto riot), Fannie Lou Hamer (founder of the Mississippi Peace and Freedom Party), Nelson and Winnie Mandela, W. E. B. DuBois, Huey P. Newton, and many other people who gave their lives to [free] black people from slavery and prejudice.”

Enthusiasts of Quilting included critic Bruce Bennett in the New York Times Book Review, who praised Clifton as a “passionate, mercurial writer, by turns angry, prophetic, compassionate, shrewd, sensuous, vulnerable and funny….The movement and effect of the whole book communicate the sense of a journey through which the poet achieves an understanding of something new.”

Our defences keep out any muse

He  wore a  suit  dark with discernment
He smiled as if laughter were tears
His eyes   showed a hint of  that moment
When one triumphs despite the  fierce fears.

He sang with  his lyrics   lamenting
The blindness of unblinkered men
The grief made him almost demented
There was no one there to  cry out,Amen.

They imagined he  hypnotised women!
Oh, he had the  magnetic  eye.
But ,in a dark sea ,he was swimming
There was no father to say to him,why?

He saw through the layers of language
The word of  god was  conserved in new forms
Hearing it gave him great anguish
But deafness   allows  devilish harm.

It’s an illness to  be sad when we lose;
We must stay calm and  keep smiling along
Our defences keep out any muse
And   ignore   wilful acts and  dark wrongs.

He drove   alongside  the  river one night
And  threw  all his medications  down there
“I weep  as it’s   getting  so late.
If I go down ,I  shall  scream my own prayer”

He ‘s wry, melancholic and blue
He’s   slight and he’s thin  with fine hands
All of his lyrics are true
We can  see   his face carved by   demands.