An imitation home

You can buy a yellow jumper in Marks and Sparks
A padded jacket but no cover for a heart
You get imitation leather,you get imitation wool
You can go out shopping till your head is full

There’s a polyester nightdress,there ‘re plastic boots
Don’t wear a holster , the police might shoot
Getting into bed with your cute nylon sheets
Your lover is electric but very discreet

Imitation cashmere, imitation food
A roast beef dinner for one sounds lewd
Imitation chocolate,imitation fur
Imitation politics and uncombed hair

An imitation Royal,a funeral to share
Imitation music,imitation care
Don’t fall down if you’re out alone
An imitation human rings an imitation home

As the red sun dies

The glare of yellow street lamps on the snow
The thick green hedge where cats curled up to die
The ice and frost above, the worms below.

The tarmaced road,the sidewalks, seem to glow
No pleasure comes from neon lights so high
Oh, stare of yellow street lamps on the snow

As the red sun dies, our blood won’t flow
Take an aspirin, calm’s a good ally
The ice and frost above, the soul below

Bare my feet and numb are all my toes
My socks are holed.I’m darned if I know why
Oh, glare of yellow street lamps on the snow

My nails are thick like monsters’ fearsome claws
Podiatry is hard to get,I’ve tried
The ice and frost above, the souls sleep slow

The world is puzzled, minds are all awry
There’s nothing in a shop but rot to buy
The glare of yellow street lights on the snow
The ice and frost above, the dead below.

Damned brain!

We suffer the ill fortune of   a brain
A mind that gives attention to ourself
We think and think and then we think again

It makes us into islands,not the main
And does it coldly, cruelly by its stealth
We think and think and then we think again

How this hyperactive mind gives pain
Causes sadness and decline in health.
We curse misfortune, thinking and our brain

Surely we must tell ourselves quite plain
Monologues internal tend to bolt
We think and think and then we think again

How we love to suffer and find fault
How treacherously we hurl  ourselves to guilt
We suffer the misfortune of  a brain
We think and think unless our mind is tamed


In my soul, the nerves are very long
I feel your pain,my own and everyone’s
Why must artists suffer as they sing?

On the wall their watercolours hang
From disordered blotches patterns spring
In my mind, the thoughts are very long

Of our hearts, we need them to expand
To see and make our visions can’t be wrong
Why must artists suffer as they sing?

We use our minds, we use our eyes and hands
Critics’ cruelty gives us mighty stings
In my mind, the threads are very long

On the sea shore,treasure lies in sand
Gulls soar squawking over seaborn fronds
Why do artists stutter as they sing?

To this earth we shall not freeze or cling
By the sea edge, shells laugh in the wind
In our flesh, the nerves are fine yet strong
Artists suffer but they make their songs

Love made lace

Look,I am on earth, with love endeared
My birth was registered in copper plate
Mother,father,love made lace by fear

Mother smiles yet as I suck she tears
Who shall I become, what is my fate
Look,I am on earth, oh love so dear

Father should be strong, for he must steer
Yet soon he will be gone, for heaven late
Mother,father,love made lace by fear

After that our tiny boat would veer
Mother weeps and mourns,nowhere is safe
Look,I am on earth, was love too dear?

In the paper on the wall, elves sneer
Mother cries because I break a plate
Mother,father,love made lace by fear

Here is Jesus on his cross,side pierced
Where will he lie now, has he no grave?
Look,we are on earth,was love too dear?

By the bed, ghosts wander through his place
Mother sleeps a little,then she wakes
Look,I am on earth, their love endured
Mother,father, sad love weeps your tear

Trying to glimpse another through their veil.

I lingered in ambiguity like a bride
Who fears  disclosing that her face is fake
And while we’re on the subject, I take pride
In mixing water colours  from the lake

Ambiguous  in intentions we don’t know
We send out signals full of world slass news
If this rebounds  an artist might then show
Our vision centres  on our point of view

Seventeen types of clarity are mine
Fifteen from my  mind and two from pride
From this glass I make a view divine
Though Sunday someone said they thought I lied.

Ambiguously enchanted, given bail
We try to glimpse another through their veil




open to or having several possible meanings or interpretations; equivocal:an ambiguous answer.Linguistics. (of an expression) exhibiting constructional homonymity; having two or more structural descriptions, as the sequence Flying planes can be dangerous.of doubtful or uncertain nature; difficult to comprehend, distinguish, or classify:a rock of ambiguous character.lacking clearness or definiteness; obscure; indistinct:an ambiguous shape; an 

What is abstract?

een ontic and epistemic uses of the word. 

Ontic Senses of ‘Abstract’

a. Non-spatio-temporal.  The prevalent sense of ‘abstract’ in the Anglosphere is:  not located in space or in time.  Candidates for abstract status in this sense: sets, numbers, propositions, unexemplified universals.  The set of prime numbers less than 10 is nowhere to be found in space for the simple reason that it is not in space.    If you say it is, then tell me where it is. The same holds for all sets as sets are understood in set theory.   (My chess set is not a set in this sense.)  Nor are sets in time, although this is less clear: one could argue that they, or rather some of them, are omnitemporal, that they exist at every time. That {1, 3, 5, 7, 9} should exist at some times but not others smacks of absurdity, but it doesn’t sound absurd to say that this set  exists at all times. 

This wrinkle notwithstanding, sets are among the candidates for abstract status in the (a) sense.

The same goes for numbers.  They are non-spatio-temporal.

If you understand a proposition to be the Fregean sense of a declarative sentence from which all indexical elements, including tenses of verbs, have been extruded, then propositions so understood are candidates for abstract status in sense (a).

Suppose perfect justice is a universal and suppose there is no God. Then perfect justice is an unexemplified universal.  If there are unexemplified universals, then they are abstract in the (a) sense.

This (a) criterion implies that God is an abstract object.  For God, as classically conceived, is not in space or in time, and this despite the divine omnipresence.  But surely there is a huge different between God who acts, even if, as impassible, he cannot be acted upon, and sets, numbers, propositions and the like that are incapable of either acting or being acted upon.  And so we are led to a second understanding of ‘abstract’ as that which is:

b. Causally inert.  Much of what is abstract in the (a) sense will be causally inert and thus abstract in the (b) sense.  And vice versa.  My cat can bite me, but the set having him as its sole member cannot bite me.  Nor can I bite this singleton or toss it across the room, as I can the cat.  Sets are abstract  in that they cannot act or be acted upon.  A less robust way of putting it:  Sets cannot be the terms of causal relations.  This formulation is neutral on the question whether causation involves agency in any sense. 

Statistics for the older person

Stan fell asleep in front of the roaring fire.Emile lay across his lap.Emile was so limp he looked like a wet towel casually over the old man’s knees.It was Stan’s birthday but no party had been arranged.He was struck that Mary had not baked a cake..nor even bought one at the Co-op.
That was no surprise really as he did all the cooking including Bakewell tarts and Xmas cake,He was a versatile man who could also mend old radios and fix clocks that were stuck one time….usually th wrong one!
He also spent quite a lot of time giving statistics lessons to pensioners and kissinf his blonde  mistress,Anne who lived next door.
He decided that being so near her was a big advantage, given his age.
Suddenly he was awakened by chuckles and giggles,
There were Mary and Anne holding a big iced cake and a pot of tea.The doorbell rang and in came all Stan’s friends from his Art class.Mary produced sandwiches and pork pies,sausage rolls and potato cakes.
How did you do this ?,he enquired
We did it all in Anne’s oven.She has two so it was quite easy.
Mary was not jealous of Anne for Mary would rather read Principia Mathematica than go to bed with Stan.
Apparently she was mildly autistic but she was happy doing maths as many of her co-workers had the same syndrome.
She did have one daughter whom she had found hidden in a gooseberry bush in the garden.This was enough for Stan as he was 92.
But luckily he did have a good gold plated pension of £390.09 per month.
Everyone was having a fabulous time until Anne tried to light the candles on the cake.No matches could be found.
Ring 999, Stan called childishly.Mary obeyed and soon the ambulance drew up.
In ran Dave the   trisexual paramedic.
Is it your chair? he enquired wildly?
No,it’s this cake.We can’t light the candles on it.Shall we douse it in petrol? We have a jerry can full of it in the spare room.
That is very dangerous, he shouted.
Well,we are old now and need the car badly.Risk assessment gave us evens on the odds.
Dave produced a silver lighter and lit the candles.Then he conducted them all as they sang,
”Happy Birthday” to Stan.
Stan managed to blow out 90 candles before passing out on the rug.
Well,at least he didn’t break the chair,Mary said philosophically.
I wish he had,said Dave. I’ve got some superglue here.
Well,we do have a wardrobe that’s falling apart.would you like to mend it?
Sure ,he replied gratefully.This is why we have the NHS!
We are here for you 24/7
Or come to A and E if you get a mouth ulcer or a cold sore.No problem is too small!
Stan came to on the rug with Emile beside him.He gazed deeply into the cat’s green eyes.
I think I’ve fallen in love with you,he informed Emile.
Will you sleep with me and let Mary have your basket.?
Are we engaged,said Emile?
Definitely, said Stan.I’ll get you a golden collar with diamonds on it.
When shall we be married?
As soon as it’s legal,Stan answered honestly.
In the meantime,we’ll have to live in sin.
Then he fell asleep again with Emile in his arms.
What a lovely picture, cried the ladies.
Look at this.What a happy sight.
What love,what devotion.
How strange,what a commotion.
They’re in love,what emotion.
Don’t tell the Pope,we need caution.