The kettle too sat on the fire, I played and then I dreamed

I remember mother’s beauty and her coal stained and cracked hands
Each  little line was etched in black,   like a map to other lands
She always wore an apron that  she made from an old dress
How I loved my mother,I did I must confess.

I remember mother’s beauty and the row of nappy pins
She always wore them like a brooch,  while we kids made a din
The baby had her rusks and milk, she had a little pot
She slept inside a cradle then she moved into a cot

I remember  most Mum’s  cooking, the apple dumplings steamed
The kettle too sat on the fire , I played and   then I dreamed
She had a tin of buttons, she  was ace at making clothes
She knitted like an acrobat  to forget her many woes

Her daddy was a miner till he had a heart attack
He came home   black and dusty, then he filled his old tin bath
When he retired he got a dog,  he loved her very well
He called  her Lassie for her name, she was  beautiful , my belle

Her daddy came to see us after our own daddy died
He help my mother with odd jobs, then we  all ate cake and cried

Perfect love will cast out perfect fear

There is humour in the Bible we revere
Soles are heeled,partitions sent to God
Perfect love will complicate your fear

Five thousand people shared a single deer
The meat was cooked by one fierce lightning rod
There is humour in the Bible, we can hear

There is nothing much to salvage the impure
But plentiful the ways to cut off heads
Perfect love can escalate one’s fear

God made Jonah subtly disappear
And caught Elijah when in caves he hid
There is humour in the Bible if you peer

With a wail from Jonah,God appeared
His still small voice got louder by the Flood
Perfect love will castrate perfect fear

After many liars are burned as wood
I hope Gomorrha we will all be good
There is guidance in the Bible, but laugh here.
Perfect love will tame that perfect fear

I remember reading of Gommorah

I remember reading of Gommorah
Sodom too where no good men were found
I’ll get the Bible out  to read tomorrow

We don’t act but wait  and wait forever
While homeless people lie upon  cold ground
I remember reading of Gommorah

Jesus spoke, it’s we who must deliver
We act as if we’re mentally unsound
We’ll get the Bible out  to read tomorrow

The politicians may be very clever
Yet I  don’t like the way they act or sound
I remember reading of Gommorah

We have a dusty Bible made of leather
It may not be in Jesus ‘ native tongue
We’ll get that Bible out  to read tomorrow

Our home is on this earth where all belong
Yet after all these years we still do wrong
I remember reading of Gommorah
I’ll get the Bible out  to dust tomorrow









Who are the key workers?

adult art black and white group
Photo by Mike on

  • Selected comment


    Salary should be dependent upon how soon people notice that you haven’t turned up for your work.
    It would be a long time before anyone went looking for Jacob Rees Mogg compared to a refuse collector, n


Beauty,lust and brilliance do not last

How can you love someone who is cruel
Beauty,lust and brilliance do not last
Then every word you say is used as fuel 

Masochism and loneliness for fools
Soon your love is in the misty past
How can you love someone who is cruel?

Conversation  must not be a duel
We  should not cling when we are now harassed
When every word we say is used as fuel 

In our breast the heart  may sing and howl
How can we control  our own disgust?
How can any love  the one  so cruel?

Why not take defeat and use  this tool
Change our life  whatever way we trust?
When every word we say is used as fuel 

The wisdom of the heart is  killed by lust
The work of men and women  is unjust
How can you love someone who is cruel
Where every word you say is used as fuel ?

What happens next.. article by Christopher Stone

sky space dark galaxy
Photo by Pixabay on




. After an initial period of doubt, I’ve come to accept that we must stay indoors, even if we’re well, in order to avoid spreading the virus to those who are more vulnerable, and to free up capacity in our chronically underfunded health service.

I’m not, however, in lockdown. I’m meditating. I’m on retreat. I’ve become a hermit in my own home. The strongest feeling I’ve had since going into isolation is that we’re all being thrown in on ourselves. We’re being made to look inwards. And the really interesting thing about this is that, when you look inside yourself, you find everyone else there too.

I find I have two distinct kind of thoughts: those that are about myself, how I can look after myself and ensure that I come through this crisis intact, my self-preservation thoughts; and thoughts that are about other people, wondering how they’re feeling, and what I may be able to do to help.

The thoughts about other people have more power than the thoughts about myself. If I have a selfish thought I find that it’s almost immediately countered by something more generous. We’re all in the same boat really, all going through the same thing. It’s hard to pretend you’re a special case when everyone’s suffering; hard to make out you’re unique when the whole world is in exactly the same position.

Won’t power

orange tabby cat on gray blanket
Photo by Tatiana u0410zatskaya on

You must get married if and only if you are mature
That’s rude.I am not  made of cheese.Who are you,anyway?

You must write if and only if you are  always polite
That’s me ruled out then as I am rude on Fridays

You must write a novel if and only if you are related Stephen King
How will you know?

You must write in free verse if and only if you want to be famous
I only want the money.

If your IQ is too high  have your brain reduced in size by reading bad books
How about watching TV?

You must love your father or go to hell or both.
If you are God,I don’t love you anymore
You made me

You must not envy others
Is it  possible by will power alone?

Comsumer Society is based on Envy
And it is base.


I spurned my mother’s cheek.



I spurned the other cheek.
Adjourned  but never leaked
I  spurned  the other’s sheep

I turned the others weak
I learned  maths last week
I burned  like fire to meet
I earned his ire while bleak
I turned the gyre ,oh beak
The falcon cannot speak
My thinking is oblique
I’m spanking fit and neat
My husband’s  hands were sweeet
I churned, my   backside creaked.
Yeats wrote twice a week
Keats’ letters weep.
Was Mozart ‘s mother Greek?
Hebrew is our meat
Did angels  look so chic?
God must be unique.

Lean on others,let them lean on you

Now we can’t go out, we stay within
Let’s not start a war  we cannot win:
Wagner played so loudly  that it hurts
Responses to our friends that are too curt

Even groups set up to help and guide
Cause altercations, splits,and even lies.
People we  idealise  do wrong
Then we feel so hurt we won’t belong

Energy  and fear  make minds derail
Rejection makes us feel we always fail
The great Unknown is there for us to  trust
The inner guide will  often be the best

Lean on others,let them lean on you
Lurching but upright we walk as two

How wars start

This lovely photograph was taken by Mike Flemming 2020 copyright

My street has got a WhatsApp group so that older people and sick people can ask someone to buy them food etc
Last night a man put some photographs of 3 coats belonging to his [ex] partner and asked if anyone would like to buy them.
Another person  got angry and said this group is not for such purposes
Now they have both left the group after a few more exchanges… so even something trivial can blow up into a big problem
I think it waas inappropriate  because if others began selling things it would fill up the messaging and detract from the aid being offered to the vulnerable.
But for both to leave seems sad


You must love your mother or go to hell
Can’t I go to the Cinema and see Oedipus Wrecked?

Why do you  tell lies?
Who else can I tell?

I may be odd but I will  get even one day
A mathematical miracle.

I like to read my books
What else could you do with them

I feel for my husband now
Put the light on and  use your eyes

I   am thinking of leaving Britain
To whom?

I can’t write any more poems this year
That is unprovable.

I am not being  rational
No, you just act rational

Why be alive and be 6 feet away from my lover?
Use your imagination.

Why read in bed when you have a wife?
She can’t read out loud

Well, why sleep in bed if you have a wife?
Can she sleep for me?

Why eat a meal and quarrel?
It must be genetic,generic or genuine

Oh,beady dent


You must love your mother or go to hell
Can’t I go to the Cinema and see Oedipus Wrecked?

You must always be obedient
No I am O,Beady.Bent

Does your father love you?
How can he, he is dead

Do you love your  father?
Who is he?

Why do you  tell lies?
Who else can I tell?

I may be odd but I will  get even one day
A mathematical miracle.

Don’t believe what I say
I believe what you say is a  lie
So I must believe it
I believe in a lie
That can’t be right
I don’t believe what you say

The gratitude of rivers

When we’re empty what will fill our hearts?
What can be created in this space
Where Eros lived creating  love’s sweet darts?

War has outdone Love on every chart
What race is   run without the nuclear waste?
When we’re empty what will fill our hearts?

No  way to  grow  our love  has yet been thought
Even though we know of every taste
Since Eros lived creating  love’s sweet darts

Love is free, we find it where we ought
We do not need to grasp to  obtain grace
When we’re humble love will fill our hearts

Love cannot be measured on a chart
We see in  human  beings  god’s new face
 Eros works creating  love’s long darts

Whose  the finger that my feature’s traced?
Whose the womb that bore me  and embraced?
When we’re empty   trust will help our hearts
The gratitude of rivers ,mountains,Arks


Where does logic go to in the night?

Where  do dreams  go while we are awake?
Where does logic go to in the night?
Why does laughter make our body shake?

Why do  men like eating home made cake?
Why  do little children want to bite?
Where  do dreams go while we are awake?

Why is Windermere not Winderlake?
Why do we have wars and want to fight?
Why does laughter make our body shake?

Why do people not read William Blake?
Why is it so rare to have insight
Where  do dreams go while we are awake?

Why do we so often feel like fakes?
Why do people like to see the Light
Why does laughter make our body shake?

Oh, to see an eagle high in flight
Oh, to see  a friend   and love the sight
Where  do dreams  go while we are awake?
Why does laughter make our body shake?


How do you feel?

Cyclamen-2020-2How did he feel?
He’s dying to go to Heaven
I feel your  pain
Leave it alone.

How is the doctor
Very patient.

How is the phone?
It’s not alive!
Oh,my.Where shall we bury it?

Where is  my dinner?
On page 67.

Why are  we eating on our knees?
So we can pray while we dine

Where is the cat?
She ate the goldfish and   has gone  to Confession
But can animals sin?
She can’t even talk
There are silent ways of sinning
If we get divorced we could  give that a whirl
But we’re Catholics!
That makes it even more sinful
I can’t wait
But it’s not a sin
You bet?

Contorted faces wincing as they pass

Excited by the epidemic ruse
The front page item of the evening news
People rush together to convey
What they   do not know  or cannot say

Contorted faces wincing as they pass
No funeral. no wedding and no Mass
Lost inside the nightmare of the head
Imagination captured  and well fed

Will Cremation kill the bug widespread?
Can we know the judgement of the dead?
People die in accidents and cars
Flying through the air and seeing stars

Are we bored by ordinary life?
No wars, no murders, just the death of wives


Windy day

The honeysuckle ,heavy as a crown,
Wanders,waving ,in the windy air
Yet its roots are anchored in the ground

The branches wave like arms without a sound
Searching for another wild and bare.
The honeysuckle ,heavy as a crown,

Soon will come the flowers, a  pink nightgown
Who can hold the treasure hidden there?
Its roots are anchored in the  underground

We don’t always know what we have found
Illusion cloaks  perception till it tears
The honeysuckle ,heavy as a crown,

Shall we  describe our virtue with a noun?
New perception tortures what is rare
But roots are anchored in the  underground

Knowledge hides inside a  new nightmare
In the darkness ghosts come out to stare
The honeysuckle ,heavy as a crown,
A  stunning ship now anchored in the ground

In or out

How did you find  my street?
Very pleasant
I’m moving
You’re very moving

Who told you my name?
The teacher in infant school
That was eighty years ago
That was when she told me
Were you in my class?
I am now
What is it?
Old and vulnerable

How did you know where I was?
I followed you on FB

Shall we go out?
I thought we were.
Shall we go in?
What’s wrong?
I feel of of place
Why not go to bed?
We’ve not got up yet
So how are we outside?
We’re in a tent
I thought I was  going mad
You’re mad already
What a relief.I can manage this just about
Shall we go out?

Shall we get married?
Yes, but  not to each other

In the  sighing woodland ,birds go by


In the wanton woodland ,birds flash by
Busy with their mates and with their nests
Caught a glimpse  there in my cornered eye

I walk held up by silence  undefied
Life is plain when  we don’t send the texts
In the gentle woodland ,birds flash by

I call out softly with a plaintive cry
No bird will understand  my strange request
Caught in movement  from my cornered eye

The sun showed through the highest branches  sly
Lit the birds up as it wandered West
In the mossy woodland ,birds arise

Nature’s  not in lockdown as we are
They find their food, the insects and the rest.
The many coloured berries  gleam like stars

We do not see the murders and the feasts
The magpies eating  nestlings we detest
In the  shadowed woodland ,birds flash by
I see this from the corner of my eye

God  is murdered daily, we perceive

How precious is the life that we will lose
The joy of senses open  like new leaves
The  holy sun, the air,  our attitudes

Our boundary, our skin  protects, is bruised
By those who  claim to love but soon deceive
How precious is the life that we will lose

The mind  and body open  for new views
Are vulnerable, yet glad, as they receive
The  holy sun, the air,  our attitudes

And Jesus came to Earth, a holy Jew
God  is murdered daily, we perceive
How precious is the life that we will lose

We are   torn apart, love, hate ,confused
Yet every  moment, God   is re-conceived
In  holy sun, in air,  in gratitude

First we love  our neighbour , then believe
The web of  holy actions, who can weave?
How precious is the life that we will lose
The  holy sun, the air, its magnitude

The hand upon my tiller


Come back to me, my sweetheart
Don’t leave me all alone.
Come back to me, my darling
I can’t believe you’ ve gone.
I’m crying ‘cos I’m feeling blue again.
I’m crying’cos I’m falling like a stone.

Oh, let me tempt you with my beauty
And my voice forever young.
Let me tempt you with my spirit
My laughter and my songs.
I’m crying ‘cos I never did you wrong.
I’m crying ‘cos with you I  still belong.

I thought maybe I’d follow,
To see where you have gone
But there’s a hand upon this tiller
That is not mine alone.
I’m crying ‘cos I wrote this old blue song.
I’m crying ‘cos I’ve been lonely for too long.

The hand upon my tiller
The mystery of the dark
The unknown one who lives in me
And sings like a skylark.
I’m singing ‘cos I wrote you a new song.






Straightening Up

Many people with ADHD like to keep their stuff in full view because they find that seeing a thing helps them remember to repair it, return it, remove it, or replace it. Unfortunately, clutter is unattractive and distracting. I wish there were a painless way to get rid of clutter. Alas, it takes a bit of work. But it will go more smoothly if you do things systematically.

To keep stuff out of sight but not out of mind, use labeled, see-through containers, bins, and baskets. Once you fill a container, that’s your cue to go through it and toss what’s not needed.



Words or sin

The paradox  of praise is that we’re judged
Yet how can judgement place us on a dot
The eye is wet, the dropped tear is a smudge
A line in-finite,  dense with its own spots

Whether beauty of the body-mind
Or depth of thought,  now hanged by awe
Where many alien eyes look out unkind
And noone knows what we each saw

How can we be ranked on things long passed
Yet  not forget the lessons  we took in?
We sat  matric in school while Jews were gassed
With children  backward, queers and gypsy kin

We learned to  read the maps we  now live in,
Forget the world is more than words and sin

Love buried and unseen

The kindness of  our neighbours helps us cope
With life, with death,with many shades between
When we despair and  can’t imagine hope

When the sailor takes us in his boat
When he rows us on a  night-blank sea
The kindness of  our neighbours helps us cope

The world  seems  made to hurt, and then frustrate
The mind confuses   dreams , reality
When we despair and  dare not even hope

 Love is built  as we contain our hate
Sailing well  we  find a new country
The kindness of  our friends helps us  to  cope

Persistence in the virtues   gives us scope
Start again, the angel said to me
When I despaired and  lost my  bits of hope

In our mind love’s buried and unseen
Yet we can raise the dead with energy
The kindness of  our  frriends helps us cope
When we are lost and  can’t discover hope


Get your head examined

As I was standing  in a special machine for a scan of my head, the words
” you want to  have your head examined”
came floating back to me from childhood.I seem to recall it was an insult….
And it shows people believed insanity was a brain defect whereas a  lot of the things we do when we are agitated might make sense if someone asked us  a bit about our life.

After I had the scans two men were looking at  them wondering if they had got the right place because what I have is  not easy to see
In the end I told them to put gloves on and put a finger into my mouth to feel it
Well, I didn’t  know  it’s  up to me to tell them what to do
Next,I’ll be having surgery and they’ll ask me to hold the knife while they decide what to cut out.Or maybe I’ll have to do it all   while they learn…….
I absolutely will not behead myself in a hospital free
I will ask for £1,999,999  first.

My daft ideas as a child:

Instead of boiling the old kettle on the fire to make tea,I had a brilliant idea when I was eight  years old
Why not put the teapot on the fire directly…..?
Why not,indeed.

I was having to do things from the age of 7 or 8 which would be banned now
I decided as tea is not “dirty” then after stirring the tea I could put the teaspoon back into the drawer
That could have led to an interesting discussion… that milk is organic etc
Except I was only 7.

As someone said:dirt is only matter out of place.Cow’s milk should not be here in my fridge.So it is dirt.It should be feeding a calf.
I wonder why we  use so much milk in our diet.Is it the comfort that reminds us of the benign breast? Though some were more benign than others.

What does “paradox” mean?

This flower is here,now despite all the troubles we are having


Meaning of paradox in English

Please release me,Mary cried

Mary stood at the bus stop in her chocolate wool winter coat which Stan had always loved.It hangs so well,he had told her.
The optional imitation fur collar had been removed as she preferred natural garment  made from wool with no ostentation.As a matter of fact she has one of Stan’s woollen vests on under her gold silk top.Her hair fell in light blonde curls around her pensive face and her eyes looked as if she were seeing a dim vision of the Matterhorn in midwinter after drinking a double brandy

Suddenly she realised the bus was there ;she put her card up to the machine before looking for a seat.The bus was rather full so she sat down next to a youth with an i phone hanging from his hand.
Suddenly it rang.His chosen theme was, Please release me, sung by Tom Jones.
Mary smiled as, if she were near Tom Jones she would need no invitation to free him.
The youth began to speak rather louder than normal.

Mary tried not listen but it was impossible.She was too hot as well..Wearing Stan’s vest was a mistake as the bus was overheated.She turned pink like sunrise over ICI in Billingham as the pollution had a beautifying effect.

I’m sorry I wore your vest,she told Stan.
I should have given them away but I was trying to save money on heating.Still I will be home soon.

Where is your microphone, the youth demanded.It must be one of those new tiny ones.
A microphone? Mary said curiously.
Yeah, he cried.I assume your phone is in your pocket.

Actually it’s in a pocket in my knickers,she informed h m in a manner resembling that of a mildly dotty scientist.We used to wear these knickers in the gym at school.

Did you not wear a top? he enquired,his eyes running over her hourglass figure like water falling off High Force in Teesdale. in summer storms.

Well.I didn’t have a bra until I got my grant to attend university,she told him sensitively.

Well,that’s news to me,he said.So you had to wear a bra at University? That was before feminism,of course.Did you burn it later?

Certainly not,said Mary.I’d been longing for one but my mother didn’t seem to notice my development which was her way of coping with adolescent girls.
Of course my brothers may have noticed but they were too nervous to tell Mother I needed anysupport.We were all so shy and afraid.Anyway be quiet now,I want to speak to my husband.
Have you had your phone on all this time? he asked anxiously.
No,I don’t need it to talk to him,she responded
Why,where is he? the youth enquired sardonically.
He’s on my knee,Mary informed him.In this bag.She pointed to her hessian shopping bag.
I have just been to the Coop for him.I ought to have got a cab as he is quite heavy.
Jesus Christ,cried the youth,hastily pressing the bell before leaping off the bus into a small pond that had been created b Hurricane Desmond.He swam away into the cold night.
Well. that shut him up,Mary said to Stan.
Mary,don’t become less gentle and kind,Stan said in her ear.
I can’t be gentle now,she said.It’s a nasty tough world without you to help me and tell me what you think of Jeremy Corbyn.And do I need to have a roast dinner at Xmas or just some toad in the hole?
I am sorry,sweetheart he murmured.Maybe you need assertiveness training.
I’ll just get more aggressive,she replied.Micro-aggressive perhaps
ou’ll need more than micro in this era,he continued.Mary forgot to get off the bus and found herself in the Leisure Centre by the River Lee
What about the river,Stan, she asked.
Would you like me to throw you in.A policeman standing near by ran over.
Madam, is it suicide or murder, he asked her.
No,it’s a life sentence,she said humorously as she put her hand up her skirt to get her phone.
That’s a silly place to keep your phone he said.Anyway don’t call a cab,I can run you home in my car.Have you got any China tea?I could kill for a hot drink.
I have some lapsang souchong,she told him.Do you fancy that?
I do, called Stan from the bag.
The policeman passed out.
I told you not to get a boyfriend yet,he continued to Mary.
I’ll do whatever I feel like,she said rudely.I could use a comforting arm around me.
Stan sobbed quietly
She said,quickly
Don’t worry.I’ll get Emile to sit on my knee.Goodbye for now.
Goodbye whispered Stan faintly.
Good bye…. goodbye

And so say all of us

Wallflowers,wild as eyes are when sincere

I remember Charmouth and the cliffs
A piece of land had broken  off and tipped
On this island rabbits sang and danced
We stood high above.amused , entranced.

We walked  the Devon side and came to Beer
Saw wallflowers wild as eyes are when sincere
On the cliff mixed in with weeds perfumed
Above  the sky hung  silent like  the moon

The Baker’s shop. the little stream the path
The innocence of love,unknown the wrath
The hope of being healthier and strong
The  hope that my own heart  had not been wrong

O beauty, where are you when I am old
My husband  in his his grave, why am  I cold?