The rippling waves stretch out  like children’s hands

You are smiling on the pier above the sands
The rippling waves stretch out  like children’s hands
You look so strong I cannot comprehend
Your fatal illness and its grievous end
You were not a patient on dry land
You were living well  and ” feeling grand”
We crossed the road ; I  held   your cold thin hand
I suffered so much torment,would  I mend?
I saw a  fluid shape as dark it pranced
Through the open door  it swiftly danced
Slipped in with the wiles  of  Tudor kings
Hoping   they can  make it on the wing
I learned with grief , it came to take you  back
Across the river wide ,my love, my lack

Washing Day in Knittingham

blue body of water with orange thunder
Photo by Johannes Plenio on

After the unusual November sunshine, Mary was happy  to discover her  underwear was dry. She took it into the sitting  room to  fold  up, ready to go into the drawer.
Although, by nature, she was very untidy, she did try to keep a bit of order in her drawers.
As she sat musing, with the pile of knickers  and bras nearby, the door bell rang
.Quickly she pushed the heap  of lingerie under a large cushion and opened the door optimistically with a brave laugh and a rude cough
There stood the Vicar with a beaming  yet sultry smile, like a sun ray on Helvellyn in midwinter
Do come in. I’ll make some fresh Ceylon tea, she murmured politely
She carried in a tray of tea and cake and sat on the sofa, after placing the tray on a small table nearby.
Why are you here, Father? she said  anxiously as she sucked her thumb and bit her nails
That was what God said to Elijah on the mountain, he anwered shyly.Or mayhe it was Jeremiah
Well,I am not God but we all wonder now and then why we are here and think we should be somewhere else , like in bed with Leonard Cohen.
That never worries me, said the Vicar.I can’t marry a Jew, Leonard Cohen or whoever.
So if Jesus was here you would not let him marry your daughter? Even though  he was  the Son of the Most High?
Definitely not.He wasn’t a Christian.
And imagine what it would be like when he was never at home  helping with the chores, but was fishing in the Sea of Galilee all day.And feeding hungry people.Not to mention getting killed…..
But he must have been very loving, Mary muttered nervously
God loves those who love themselves, cried the Vicar evangelically.
Er, that’s a bit narcissistic,Mary told him .I’ve never heard anyone say it before.
Well we   ought to love ourselves  or why should anyone else love us?
For our love of them, our beauty, our minds, our  kindness, our humour, our cooking or our money.
Yet some a people are sadists and some are masochists.
Well, that is  unfortunate but, if they are willing, it seems acceptable  to me.I won’t criticise them if they enjoy it
Suddenly Annie, Mary’s neighbour,ran into the room  in her dark purple velvet trenchcoat and  shiny green vinyl  boots;they matched her eye shadow and contrasted well with her terracotta lipstick and matching earrings, like small saucers from which Emile might drink milk
Hi, she shouted.I’m here.
Where is that  lipstick from, Mary quizzed her pensively
It’s by Lambscombe of Wigan and  Ilkley. Annie revealed furtively
I didn’t know they made  lipstick,Mary answered.It’s an unusual colour Is it made from old bricks?
I don’t know, Annie cried petulantly.She   started to snivel and  felt under the cushion in case Mary had left a hanky or tissue there.
Her  hand reappeared clutching a pair of  bright blue  lace knickers
It was hard to decide who looked more embarrassed ,Mary or  the Vicar
What’s going on in here, Annie demanded though why should she have the right to know?
I’ve   never seen them before, the Vicar  told her manfully
Surely your wife must wear them, Annie said knowingly
My wife wears underpants.
Well, it takes all sorts,Mary mused.Is  your wife a man ?
I don’t know.We live a  life of  utter chastity.We have therefore had no children.We could have adopted I guess.
What a waste, Annie whispered.
You are a very charming and delightful person.~
I can’t believe  you are innocent.You persuaded Mary to take off her knickers so you could play Mummies and  Daddies but I came in at the wrong moment.
Mary fainted silently onto the rug
Emile mewed loudly and rang 999 on his Nokia1
In ran Dave, the fluid gendered,  transsexual and well dressed paramedic.
What’s wrong ?
Why  has Mary 
fainted and why are there knickers on the floor? Is this an orgy? Why have you called me?
The Vicar went bright red with embarrassment and shock.
No, it seems Mary keeps a pair of knickers near her in case she runs  out of tissuesDave made some  Ceylon tea in the bijou violet and emerald green kitchen .He used Mary’s art deco  mugs to serve it along with some chocolate  biscuits he found under the sink.
Mary  rose  up  from the carpet and asked where she was.
Still here,in the EU….until Scotland goes independent and Ireland gets more Troubles and how about Wales getting big idea?
Oh, for goodness sake, shut up.I am sick of Brexit cried Emile.
Where is my tea? Where are my sardines in olive oil?Where is my pudding?

If you’re grieving

If you’re grieving keep away from cliffs
Do not  believe Satan, do not leap
Keep away from gamblers and the swift

Don’t get  claustrophobia stuck  in lifts
If you’re feeling hungry, eat  roast meat
If you’re grieving keep away from cliffs

Keep away from whisky, don’t get pissed
Go to bed and dream, enjoy soft  sleep
Keep away from gamblers and the swift

When did you give anyone a kiss?
Why sit there alone, can no-one meet?
If you’re grieving keep away from cliffs

If you try to shoot yourself, you’ll miss
You will cause distress, your friends will weep
Keep away from gamblers and the swift

There’s always God, I know he is discreet
He hides in places no-one ever sweeps
If you’re grieving keep away from cliffs
Keep away from gamblers, never sniff




I’m not frightened of you anymore

I’ m not frightened of you anymore
I’ll tell you that I hope I did  my best
God, you made the world that we destroy

You want us to  make meaning, learn the laws
Life  for many is  a fearsome task
Yet I’ m not frightened of you anymore

Why  has Beirut  suffered, what’s death for?
The people wander, by  great wounds   undressed
God, you made the world,who can restore?

Thousands injured ,millions more distraught
Will we give them aid and make it fast?
I’ m not frightened of God anymore

As we age, our hearts and souls must mourn
Living as the present hurries past
God, you made the world,will  tears restore?

In the  startling Universe so  vast
The Play  is here and we must be the Cast
I’ m not frightened of you anymore
God, you made a world so full of tears





I’ll follow where love leads

I heard the thud our cat made on the stair
But when I looked there was no creature there
Can our longing make us hear strange sounds;
Delusions,wish-fulfilment, breaking bounds?

I heard the wrens sing by the kitchen door
At least there is no cat to  make them fewer
I want to make some tea but I feel stuck
I’ll fill the pan, while love my heart strings plucks

For aeons I feel I’m paralysed by grief
The caterpillars gnaw upon  green leaves
I judge myself incompetent,too  slow.
Yet would I judge another, wound with blows?

I  feel half-way between the real, the dream
In reverie I’ll follow where love leads

Love and blindness

Love and structure made  our life secure
Although outside our tent, the gales still blew
Now alone,I fear I can’t endure
Your loving presence made my life secure
Now I stand on air ,supportless,poor

Love and structure made  our life secure
Now I am afraid and pale my hue
Love and  blindness made us feel secure
I forgot ,outside the tent,  wild gales still  blew