Mary and her woollen underwear

 

white sheep on plant field
Photo by julie aagaard on Pexels.com

Annie the nubile ex-mistress of Stan   and colour fancying neighbour  of Mary has persuaded Mary that as Stan has run away she should find someone else.Mary is doubtful
First of all,Annie cried,you need some brand  new  delicate shoes.No man will be charmed by those chunky ,comfy flatties.Nor do your socks show sophistication.

Though a farmer might be happy with them
She herself wore a pink tweed suit and some high heeled boots in purple patent leather over a blue silk  pair of socks.
Well,Mary,answered,I thought I should be myself because they might be annoyed being tricked.I would be.
That’s their  problem said Annie,  somewhat rudely.
Well.where do I get the sort of socks a man would like,if indeed all men are the same in that way?
I’d stick with silky black ones,said Annie kindly.Then some smart black pumps.That simplifies  life.
But if I look at Soul-mates online the men will not know what shoes I have got on nor socks
That’s true,said Annie.At least until you meet one if you ever do.
Anyway if it is called Soul-mates,why does my body matter?
Don’t be so literal,dear.You know it’s just a way of indicating they want a lover.
Well.in that case it’s my lingerie that matters more than my shoes.
See here,said Annie bossily.With those shoes and socks nobody will want to see your lingerie
Just as well ,said Mary calmly.I don’t have any.
Are you telling me  you have no  underwear on,Annie cried with shock in her tone.Your trousers will need washing more often!!
I am wearing some woollen vests and underpants I got for Stan,Mary said shyly.I like wool.
What do you think a man will assume if you wear that?

That I can’t afford to have the fire on,Mary  queried timidly.
He might think you are transgender.
I have heard of transcendence but not transgender,Mary admitted ruefully.I did used to have  a purple bra, she continued distractedly.
Anyway, what about my learning and job  as a maths professor?
Don’t put  anything about maths on the form.They hate clever women.
Surely they are not all the same,Mary answered.Mary Archer is very clever and she’s been married 50 years
You can’t generalise from one example ,Annie informed her statistically
How about my love of Wittgenstein?Shall I mention that?
If you wear men’s woollen underwear and love a  dead, gay philosopher it will cut down the pool of men available.
I don’t think I’ll bother,Mary whispered.I don’t like fishing.I’d rather have a cup of tea.
Really.said Annie.I don’t know why you decided to try this.
I never did it was you.I am quite happy as I am given the dangers of this world.
And so say most of us.Amen.

Their names changed frequently

photo1796_001-21 (1)

Art by Katherine [ from photo of my leg with a bleeding insect bite]

Jim Brown was in his new conservatory admiring the windows he had just

polished.His 82nd birthday was coming up in a few days

Marie,his stunningly attractive yet irritable,nasty and over educated

wife,a leading authority on Wittgenstein and most likely suffering from

Asperger’s syndrome into the bargain,….oh a cliche prone author too—!

had made a huge whole orange cake and planned a large gathering of friends to

celebrate his survival for so long whilst married to her,not easy sheknows.

He heard a sharp tapping on the door.

There lay Lucy   their next door neighbour   spying through the keyhole.

“Are you on your own?” she queried tersely yet rudely.

“No, yet I’m suffering from chronic existential anxiety” Bill lied politely.

“Well,I just saw Martina on her second hand Raleigh bike going to the

market or the Charity Shop or possibly leaving home for ever….”

“Well,I still have the cat here”,he whispered loudly as if he were free

associating in a dream

“Let me in and make me some coffee” she asked courteously,

“She’s an odd one” the cat Emile thought naughtily.

“Where’s my Carnation cat milk?”

“Real or instant?” Simon answered suavely yet naturally.

“Won’t it wash off your brand new coral lipstick from Chanel of Paris?…

not to mention your factor 60 sunblock.”

“God’s whiskers” she murmured quaintly to herself.

“How does he know it’s Chanel?

Is he a spy or what?

Is he in M.I.5?”

John got some instant coffee and debated whether to put in a little LSD to

add some visions to their morning!

No,a short breathing exercise would do he concluded after 9 minutes of obsessive

anxiety.

He sat down in his favorite old wooden Habitat chair having poured the

coffee into some old plastic mugs.

“Did you know Habitat is going b..b bankrupt?” she brightly stuttered

turning pink with happiness and the menopause which so far had lasted over 30 years.

Suddenly Lucy sat down on Bert’s lap and began to kiss his right eyelid

“Careful, my darling!” he muttered insensibly.

He was savouring the annoyingly uncommon pleasure when the chair fell to pieces as it

frequently did at such times, throwing the elderly but

versatile and experienced couple down onto the new Mary Quant patterned pure New

Zealand lambswool carpet.Suddenly they heard the peal of Mary’sbicycle bell.Shortly she

walked into the room carrying 78 bags of groceries for the birthday party.

“What’s going on here ?” she murmured seductively in a piercing shriek.

“I’m so sorry, Jenny, please accept my apologies, he has this thing about

chairs.It’s a fetish ,I  believe,   according to Sinald Floyd.””

“Have you got your mobile?” shrieked Tom agonisedly in a  loud whisper.

”I can’t get up.” he screamed softly.”Am I dead?”

“What cannot stand up must forever remain lying down”

As my old philosophy tutor at Cambridge used to say, muttered Marty.

“Why, that’s  bit extreme,” said Jane uneasily yet gallantly.

.”MY tutor said “Who cannot speak must forever remain silent.”

“Oh,who was your tutor?”

“Elizabeth Ansconbe!” Amy admitted furtively.”She knew Wittgetensin well.”

“Mine was Iris Murdoch!” called out Alf.

Later they heard a silent siren.It was the emergency ambulance.

Dick, the paramedic bounded into the room.

“It’s this chair”  said Marie urbanely.

“Can you mend it for me? My husband can’t manage without it!”

“Anything else, madam?” Rick queried anxiously.

“Any coal to fetch in,tins to open, blocked toilets?”

“Later maybe.”

Danny looked at Joan.

“Your eyes look like two deep pools in the Caspian sea.” he whispered into her left ear.

“Are you on another creative writing course?”she quipped .urbanely

“Yes, we’re on eyes at the moment; what colour is that eyeshadow you have on.”

“This is called winter teal” She admitted uneasily yet seductively.

“Did you know I’m a transvestite?” he admitted happily.

“Yes”,she replied dishonestly

.Kitty liked  to give an impression of omniscience owing to her ontological insecurity and

her ignorance of theology and also her narrowly trained mathematical mind.

Unfortunately, that frequently gave men the wrong impression.

Mamie cried out to Al,

“Get on with it,my sweetie!” So he took out a big tube of glue from his

jeans’ pocket and set to work reconstructing the chair.

“Oh,dear, Stewart looks a bit odd”

“No,he looks quite prime to me.”

“Is he an integer?!”

“No, he’s a transcendental real number”

“He’s a number all right.”

“Never mind, we’ve just got new wheelie bins so I’ll put him out with the

rubbish,”

Marty joked on hearing Amy’s remarks to Zach.

But Simon was not yet dead.He merely had fallen asleep.

He dreamed of his days at Oxgridge University studying illogic and unreason with

Rudolphina Catnap, the famous female philosopher.Oh, happy, happy days!

Danny made the ladies some Ceylon tea in the fabulous oak kitchen with its pure linen

curtains in raspberry beige. and its black enamel sink with

matching double oven and microwave.”Why no halogen?”Iris Murdoch might have

asked.

“What is a human life,”he pondered.He was studying logic as well as writing.

He began to tremble like a leaf in the wind to use a freshly recycled old

cliche.

“Help” he called,”I’m having a panic attack.Hurry I’m dying,I believe.I

need a priest“

“You can’t have a panic attack,” shouted Marianne

“Paramedics heal themselves.”

“Does God heal those who heal themselves,  he  wondered as he lay under a pile of

broken china?”

“Where’s the tea?” called the ladies.

Ah ,if only Wittgenstein were here,he would know,thought Emile.

But I disagree.Only God would know that and He won’t say usually as he

speaks another language known only to the few.Though sometimes one may hear it on

the wind deep in a thick forest.

That’s what I believe.

Here endeth the first lesson… no more today

I  wish there were no numbers and no dates

I  wish there were no numbers and no dates
I forget them all , yet memory is like   glue
With counting, with remembrance, with  lost mate

There’s  our sorrow and its seas to navigate
The waves rise up and drop, so old so new
I  wish there were no numbers and no dates

Why are modern  hearts so separate?
The seas of knowledge, all are one in  truth
With counting, with remembrance, with   no trace

Oh,universe, why do you have such space
With patterns in the stars, that might us soothe?
If there were no numbers and no dates

Why are we  self labelled as a race?
Slowly, surely we will  dig up truths
With anguish, with remembrance, oh, lost face

When will grace remake a soul so bruised
  Struggling with  the time scale, still bemused
I  wish there were no numbers and no dates
Nor counting, nor remembrance,  nor lost face

 

Now I’ve lost the kettle,it’s alive

I said I’d make a cup of tea at 5
Now I’ve lost the kettle,it’s alive
It must have little feet which I can’t see
When I come here the kettle seems to flee

I feel like  ginger biscuits , angel cakes
Alas my mother wanted me to bake
We mad shortbread, almond  drops  so sweet
They made the men go mad and that’s a feat

Eat  roast beef on Sunday  with these sprouts
Add potatoes then be hit by doubt
Scruples make me ill and I shall die
Wondering if I really killed that fly

We’ll end the world by global trade and flights
Use the petrol well, it may ignite
Why not stay at home and write a poem
Sitting in the garden while bats roam

 After reading sonnets I have vowed
To read a special poem a day outloud
Sylvia Plath  made her  late poems for this
Writing well,  her agony, her bliss

So we reach the end of life on earth
Those who find the ruins won’t feel  much mirth
We died because expansion can’t go on
The balloon explodes, the clever science,  the don

 

The Dress and Zip

girl holding white birdcage standing behind trees
Photo by Tú Nguyễn on Pexels.com

Mary was sitting in her coral and teal kitchen  wondering if she needed some new clothes.The weather had been unusually warm  and she  had forgotten where she had
put her summer dresses.A “special place” is easily forgotten
A crash in the hall  meant the post had come.Here was Lands End   sale catalogue
Mary began to look through it though there  not many summer clothes and shorts did not suit her
Then she  found a   lovely blue dress with a draped front
Annie, her neighbour, tapped on the door and came in, a very lovely sight in her orange striped shift dress with matching lipstick and shoes
Hey, Annie, what do you think of  this  blue dress?
Annie had lost her contact lenses so she peered at the description

Elegant 3/4 sleeve dress with
Exposed statement back zip

The zip sounds weird,hard for a woman to so up,Annie said
Is it to attract men, she coninued?
Well, if a man undid it while I was at a dinner party I would be embarrassed,Mary cried
So would the man,said Annie, when he saw you were not wearing a camisole nor a bra
I suppose it’s a kind of flirting or teasing. Mary murmured softly.
She was ignorant of such things since studying Schrodinger’s equation and his dog.

But it’s not an invitation to bare  me to the four winds
Well,  this is the problem,Annie enthused.To some men it would be preciely that.Not to mention gay women
The most odd thing is that Lands End sell more sporty casual clothes
If it were made of towelling you could swim in the river and then put it on, Annie rambled like an old lady who drank too much brandy
I could put it on anyway but would you like a zip on your naked flesh, asked Mary
in her jocose yet feminine way?
No,I like soft fluffy things on my naked  flesh
Well, please don’t mate with a rabbit,Mary ordered
I only want a merino wool or cashmere cardigan and I can’t mate with that.
Don’t you know I am 103?
No, you are 73, Mary said correctly.I think we should call 999 and see what Dave the 
 skilfull  paramedic thinks about the dress
What a waste,mewed Emile who was hiding inside a  large copper pan.With so many people ill it would be wrong.
Since when have you studied  Ethics,Annie asked him
You don’t need to go to Magdalen College to know wasting NHS money is wrong
Well, he keeps us sane and that saves money, she retorted.
You can’t  grumble, the vet is expensive and he doesn’t call to make us tea,
Nor  does he drive to Barnard Castle to test his hearing aids.
So true
Soon Dave ran in wearing a new sundress made of gingham
That looks stunning,Annie told him
I made it myself, he said, smiling
Well,we would like some.Mary haa mislaid all her dresses.
I’ll bring some patterns round.Dave answered shyly
Maybe  when Boris Johnson resigns
We can’t wait.Look at this dress Lands End are selling
It looks uncomfortable Dave repied.Why not wear a sheet with a leather belt to keep it secure?
Why not indeed?
You may get complaints from the neighbours
And so say all of us

The dazzling, dreaming darkness falls.

Eight o’clock– and the sun’s still glowing
Eight o’clock – of a  colour bright day,
Up above, pink-tinged clouds are sliding
Down still sky, sweeping sun away.

Come back sweet sun, do not leave us.
Come back bright beams,I need sunlight
Down on earth, it’s witch moon darkness,
When your face is out of sight.

I see the  coloured clouds extending
I feel the  sense of sky lit bright.
But gently now, the mist surrounds you
And sweeps away that happy sight.

Into velvet blackness sinking,
The dazzling, dreaming darkness falls.
Goodbye to haste,and glare, and sunshine,
Time for reverie,night time calls.

On the night-train’s gentle journeys,
On this  trackless train we ride
Strange visions and haunting pictures
We will see in dreams’ designs.

In my night train,I’ll be happy
In such rich deep reverie.
We visit darkness in our sleeping,
There we learn its ecstasy.

Now we may have no God to hold us,
In His Hands of Living Love,
What will help us trust deep blackness
If there’s no Saviour from above?

Must we enter that great darkness,
Go back to dark from which we came,
Into dark all living creatures,
In that darkness find our home?

Trust the dark unknown, to hold us,
Trust the dark,both night and day.
Must we walk into that darkness
Trust it is our safest way?

Sweden has the highest death-rate: herd immunity,my eye

Guardian today:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/commentisfree/2020/may/23/sweden-covid-19-policy-model-for-right-also-a-deadly-folly

A short extract:

Richard Orange, our correspondent in Stockholm, offered me the wonderful word åsiktskorridoren, “opinion corridor”: the narrow range of views that respectable people hold. They are not constant

Don’t love as if your map is reality

11982183_f520-1

      A map's a guide to find a world

    Knitted by angels,plain or pearled,

    And though you need a map as guide,

    Keep your own eyes open wide.
   

    I spent a year caught in a map

    Until I found a big enough gap

    I crawled out through this exit slit,

    So here I am,like some half wit.
    

    Words can act like heroin,

    You live so high,where I have been.

    But onto earth I gladly fall.

    The air, the sun, the rain is all.

    
    My senses are my lovers long-

    My ears,my eyes,my skin my tongue.

    The winds caress my naked flesh,

    To dwell on earth is all I wish.
    

    I'll live with mice and birds and plants,

    I'll share my food with miscreants

    I'll keep my words inside a tin;

    And only, now and then,go in.

    
    I'll live with cats and spiders three.

    And like a wild flower grow quite free.

    I' ll give my words to those who hear,

    And eventually I'll disappear

    
    Earth to earth then ash to ash

    When soaked with rain I shall disperse.

    My atoms wing like butterflies,

    And to the Flower I'll fly,disguised.

Someone other takes charge of our boat

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 restrain our hate
Sailing well   a new country we see
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  threads 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  mapless is our hope.

Virtue rendered void

Envy poison, friend of vicious hate
We know Cain for he still lives within
Society is built on hellish states

If not so, how can we lay love waste
When time is short, why cut it down with sin?
Envy, poison, friend of vicious hate

Do not  hide it, saying  this is “fate”
Through brilliant Sylvia,Ted  asked spirits in
Marriage too is built on awful states

Only with her death, did he relate
One had to go to let the other win
Envy, poison, friend of vicious hate

We suffer when we  think  that we need fame
All paper one day ends up in a bin
Society  too is built on loveless states

Comparison and judgment are  no game
Virtue rendered void, our hearts are lame
Envy, poison, friend of vicious hate
Can society be built on other states?

 

Crown of Thorns

I’m now too old to go on dates
I’ve got a  partner anyway
He is  funny ,he is strong
Like that coffee, can’t go wrong

He don’t mind my hair is white
So is his, so that’s alright
My body aches like Leoard Cohen’s
I have got such Viking bones

My joints are stiff when I awake
My partner, John,  makes me barm flakes
He brings me tea,I wash his vest
I’ve forgotten what comes next

He likes puddings, he likes cakes
I don’t buy them for his sake
Diabetes is so  cruel
Sugar in the blood’s not  cool

Instead we eat  bananas dyed
We eat tangerines  besides
We eat apples, we eat  pears
Lentil cakes  of sugar  bare

We have cocoa before bed
Never stand on a man’s head
Let him drink his milky  way
Then kneel down and say a prayer

Thank  Lord God that we have a bed
Thank our God,  we are  not dead
Tell him  life on earth is sad
We keep fighting, that’s no good

Pray for Syria,  pray for peace
Pray for folks  with anguished hearts
Mental illness,  cruelty, death
Children  who are  motherless

Those who  torture, those who kill
This is  clearly not God’s will
Pray that those whose bombs do ill
Notice  Jesus on his Hill

Tortured by the human race
He sought the humble not the base
Crown of Thorns  that final pain
God may die; can Love remain?

Was it Beaumont Street.St Giles or Tennessee?

Soon I came back to the world of men
Give me a banana,I’m your hon.

I came back into England from the sky
God don’t want my body, just my eye

I    fell upside down and hit the road
I feel  sorry for that flattened toad

I saw a fast car  coming straight at me
Was it Beaumont Street.St Giles or Tennessee?

My bike was old but  nothing one would note
Until the tourist’s car came by and smote

The driver fled before the police could act
In one way, that showed a certain tact

St Giles is far too wide for any town
Can I have my head back when it’s down?

We’re in a film we are not real at all
Is that a consequence of Adam’s Fall?

I went  into the Radcliffe for a check
My whole body seemed as blue as black

I did not feel afraid up in the sky
If I die, oh if I die, please cry

 

Lying on a trolley, feeling Zen

Cycling in the dark  one Friday night 
Down St Giles, deserted without lights
On my way to  rehearse with my church  choir
I never got through  Oxford, struck by liars

A car was coming at enormous speed
Is this to be my end, that tourist’s dream?
Time slowed down,I  went up very slow
This world  a film,a construct, down below

I fell as slowly as I’d risen  up
Till I landed on my head,my jacket ripped
Yes, you really do see stars,I told myself
Not a metaphor, the shocking truth

Then I was inside the film again
Lying on a trolley, feeling Zen

The Catherine wheel, the longing, the desire

Oh, my brother, I have said goodbye
Once my little playmate, you must die
Your voice is very weak as there you rest
I wish that life were not a  cruel test

I told you  of the see saw and the swings
I will not argue, this is what life brings
Remembered  fireworks and the  blazing fire
The Catherine wheel, the longing, the desire

How can a boy so strong soon turn to dust?
Where has gone the liveliness, the lust?
Weak but uncomplaining you lie there
On my face I feel a film of tears

You’ll never die, you’ll live on in my mind
I forgive your acts,  for you were  blind

The wrens

My front hedge is so thick, wrens made a nest
I saw a small bird flying low and swift
With my garden I feel human, blessed

The bonsai beech has grown till almost dense
It has no trunk, the leaves are tiny  gifts
My front hedge is so full, wrens made a nest

My clematis has flowered beyond  all sense
When I looked  I felt my soft heart lift
In my garden, know that I am blessed

In a deep green  wood the eye can rest
Open eyed, a look  must not be fast
My front hedge welcomes wrens ,oh,love,a nest!

Deep happiness connects us  to what’s best
The dark blue sky, the sunset flaming,  brief.
With my garden I feel love, I ‘m blessed

 Be alive, don’t dwell on thoughts too sweet
The natural world   brings virtue  and deceit
My front hedge is so thick, wrens made a nest
These tiny  creatures filled with  love and zest

 

 

 

 

Did you ever have a lover?

Did you ever have a lover
with long red hair?
For long red hair
I long to care.

Did you ever have a lover,
and then another lover?
For there’s added gain
if you feel no pain.

Did you ever have a lover
who loved your eyes
and never ever lied,
and let you cry?
Whatever was the trouble.

You’ll never have a lover.
if you have no time for others
for love needs care,
As well as hair!

Here and there are people
who live with their lives with scruples;
if you’re scruple free,
then let it be.

Oh,let it be is fine,
Except for the divine.
I want to be involved
For I can’t please all the folk,
Who touch me with their talk.
My heart has melted down…
and now I’ve grown a world
completely on my own.

Were you ever quite alone
Like a toad under a stone?
Did you ever hear a groan
as you wrote your own poem?

For you’ll never write a poem
that makes me laugh..
Because my feet are in the shower
but my body’s in the bath.
My head is on the shelf…
and I’ve lost all of my stealth…
Yet you will love me
Evermore.

Evermore and evermore
You’ll be standing on the shore;
Watching the horizon,
wondering how the world’s gone.

Oh,you’ll never be a poet,
Unless you make notes..
They take you to the limit…..
Love,whatever is it?

Evermore,evermore…
The words seem like a roar…
I love your heart’s deep core..

Let me write you more..
And more
And more

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.
I’m singing ‘cos the cat ain’t got my tongue.