Deep down in the earth

Cold dull winters bring us close to death
The blood grows thick and scarcely does it move
The worms may shudder deep down in the earth

This damp coldness presses out our breath
The frost and ice, the memory delude
Cold dull winters bring us close to death

Do we need the sun to give us worth?
Low in oxygen, the mind’s confused
The worms have nightmares deep down in the earth

Should we pause, these issues to address?
In this Lockdown, where should we confess?
Cold dull winters bring us close to death

Wonder now what makes our voices terse
With no priests, who shall this poor world bless?
The worms may sleep deep down inside the earth

On each other,let us not intrude
Let all loving kindness be our food
Cold dull winters bring us close to death
Like worms that slumber deep down in the earth

Getting to Orford

After Edna had gone home,her neighbours Mary and Annie had to vacuum the carpet where Edna had knocked over a box of biscuits of a crumbly nature and then trodden on them
Edna is hard to relate to,said Annie warmly
I wonder if she will get easier as time goes on?
You mean you are going to ask her again?
I’ve not decided,Mary told her.It is a lot of effort in winter.
Suppose she asks us over to her place,Annie wondered
We’ll have to see how we feel.I suppose it would be interesting to look at her furniture and see if she has lots of books,Mary said
If we go and borrow a book, don’t pencil in your comments down the side of the page
As if I would! Mary said indignantly.I only do that to my own
Just sayin’ ,Annie replied
Did you like her purple coat?
I think it doesn’t go with red hair but who cares? I’d wear yellow even if I looked sick
That seem stupid,Mary cried anxiously
In the dark of winter it means drivers can see you.
I suppose so.. yes, quite a wise idea.But one rarely sees a yellow coat in a shop.
I think you can get them in shops that sell sailing gear,Annie mumbled
Since we are right in the middle of England, there are none here.We’ll have to go to
Orford,Mary warned her
Where’s that,Annie asked?
Not far from Aldeburgh,Mary said knowingly
It’s too far to go in a day in winter,Annie decided
How many miles is it?
About 159.468 each way
That is 319.435 miles altogether
So if we go at 60 mph it takes 5.3333 hours
And at 50 mph it takes 6.4 hours
40 mph would be 8 hours
10 mph would take 32 hours plus a break
2 mph would be 160 hours

Stop, stop!

at 0.5 mph I tbink its 640 hours

Well that is that.We can’t go it would be nearly 24 days nonstop

Just get a black coat and wear a yellow hat

After all that counting, they fell asleep until Emile came home with some mice

Preserve a cow

Mary and Annie had invited a new neighbour for tea.They got out the big teapot and some blue cups and saucers made of china
Is there enough milk,Annie enquired?
Yes,I’ve got six pints, my finger must have trembled when I was ticking the box for the order
Milk keeps much longer now than it used to Annie cried plaintively
Maybe the cows are given preservatives .Mary mused
You mean the cows eat them,Annie asked?
Well, it’s just one possibility,Mary thought out loud
Now, where shall Edna sit?
You sit on the sofa with her and I’ll sit in this swivelling chair
OK,Annie muttered as she shook the door mat and brushed Emile the cat
The doorbell rang.There stood Edna in a purple wool coat and red hat
Come in,Mary whispered.Let me take your coat
Edna went and sat down by Annie while Mary carried in the tea tray
Have you had your vaccination yet, she asked Edna gently
Oh, don’t talk about it,I can’t bear injections Edna said in an argumentative manner
So don’t you have blood tests,is that wise?
For God’s sake, don’t mention blood ever or I’ll scream
Are you afraid of it?
I don’t want to discuss it, nor urine, Edna said as she swigged the tea and filled her cup again
I’ll be glad when Donalld Trump leaves,Annie said in an effort to change the subject
Why don’t people like him,Edna asked furtively.
He is a rich man with a beautiful wife
I don’t like people merely because they are rich.Mary informed the ladies
I don’t mind them, said Annie, unless they are vulgar, greedy, liars, and sons of the devil
That is a very prejudiced view,Edna told her.Everyone is entitled to behave exactly how they want
Well,Annie said,I’d like to lie down on the grass over there by the river and have sex with that psychotherapist who lives across the road But it would cause scandal unless lots of people did the same
Has your imagined lover got no bed,Mary teased her?
I think that’s disgusting , in a an older woman said Edna.I suppose that’s why you have that teal eyeshadow and mascara on not to mention your rose lipstick.I’ve seen it in Harrods
I got them in Channel supplies in Birkenhead.They are near the Mersey Tunnel
It’s a long way to go,said Edna.How do you get there and why is it nor called Tunnel Supplies
I follow a man on Facebook and he often drives up there so I get my car out and keep behind him all the way on the M1 etc
Does he know about this?
No, he’s not following me on FB any more
I wonder why that is, Edna mused with a strange sneer
He is paranoid,I suspect
No wonder,Mary said.He thinks he is imagining you.
I hope his imagination is as pure as the driven snow,Annie answered
Well, we’ll never know.Look at Princess Diana….she had many lovers..
I hate her, said Edna viciously
Oh,dear. said Mary.Did she hurt you?
No, she was cruel to Prince Charles.Her mind was innocent then and she had no repertoire of the sexual arts
Many women were virgins when they were single.How would they know such mysteries?
They could look at porn,Edna said rudely..
Do you look at porn, Annie asked her kindly?
Well,I would if I had a lover,Edna murmured shyly
Maybe they should teach it instead of algebra,Mary suggested, though once it was an instinct
The parents might be angry,Edna said sadly if their children knew more than them
But intimacy is not merely sex,Annie told them politely
It’s being able to to reveal yourself to the other person without fear
and I don’t mean wearing see through nighties
Emile mewed loudly
Mother, don’t you wear one.The milkman might see your body
I find them too cold anyway,Mary giggled sensibly
If I get another man he will have to like wincyette or fleece
Well,good luck, said Edna.No English man would want either of you
Edna you are very rude,What is wrong with you?
I’ve got pre-traumatic stress disorder and there is no cure
Well,use your common sense or just keep quiet and sulk silently
And so say all of us.

Photo by Pixabay on
Photo by Pixabay on

Before the Referendum

Dear PM David Cameron
I am a very intelligent and creative woman. Hence I  wonder daily  why your face has no expression on it;I must confess since the vote on Syria last year you have looked a bit bothered now and then and no doubt Gaza and Israel  have entered your gaze as well  as all the other Middle Eastern States

.But blankness seems your favourite look.Watch out or an artist may paint a sign on youi

Danger:Please stalk on the grass

Danger:Trespassers will be parsed and printed.

I am writing to complain.There are many magpies,wood pigeons and other such creatures all living for free in the garden here.And think of the ones in the woods.None of them are taxed,yet they get free board and lodging,.
And moreover we have hundreds of worms here which could surely be made to work.I know it’s hard to tell them apart but all those civil servants who read Modern Greats at Toxicford must have a few ideas.
I think if worms don’t work we should mince them and make meat pies out of them… and wood pigeons… that makes me salivate.
Those who won’t work shall be turned into food.The Chinese eat dogs… you catch my drift.
Hard solutions for hard times, to warm an old cliche.
I do feel that all living creatures should pay rent.Birds who live in a garden with more than one tree must be made to see how unfair this is.I am unsure what language they speak… maybe Hebrew as they were in Eden once.
Oh,those lazy days,eating fruit and sunbathing.And sinning without guilt.
Did you know Adam and Eve were unmarried,by the way!
Well,it’s bad for us to be happy so I’m counting on you to pulverize nature in all manifestations.
Why,,worms are a total waste of time.Get rid of them.Send them back where they came from.
Even as I write worms may be tunnelling under the British Channel from France.We can’t let them dwell in our soil.
And in the Spring you must stop birds migrating here.Why some come from the Congo.Surely that’s not morally justifiable
Hoping my ideas will be balm to your ears.And try to get more of an expression on your face.You are like an empty canvas without Jackson Pollock and his tins of Dulux
Yours truly
Demabella Dodd [ M.A.Oxen]

P.S.What about cats? They sleep 20 hours a day.They could rid us of more vermin.. need I say more?

Wales is trying to keep us out

Alert level four

Shall we go to the Crematorium
We’ll nice and warm
Do they have a restaurant
Will it do us harm?
We can’t go shopping in Swansea
We’ll save lots of cash
Even Cardiff is locked down
It’s no place for the rash
The Brecon Beacons are over-run
Despite the cold and snow
I asked my husband to marry me
But he said,I don’t know
Are we still married when he is gone
Where the Light will glow?
He can come in my dreams again
Kneading the new batch of dough
Last night I dreamed of a murder
I prefer a kiss. don’t you know?
My anger seems to increase these days
So I’m teaching my cat how to sew

For the

Rehab is not kind when nearly dead

To get you fit for death they took you in
The Rehabilitation of the dead ?
They got you up and sent you to a gym

You had a bed, the light was very dim
So those new books I brought were never read
To get you fit for death they forced you in

You fell onto my lap, it was no sin
Your face as black as Satan’s in his bed
They pulled you up for torture in a gym

They taunted you like Nazi’s, what’s to win?
Tell me what the liars wrote down or said
To get you fit for death they forced you in

When Christ was killed, they hung him on a hill
If God is tortured, where should man be led?
Who imagined dead men in a gym?

When the trouble came the nurses fled
You died in A and E , there was no bed
To prepare you for you death they asked me in
You cried,I want to die, but they just grinned

“Why do you want to shut out of your life any uneasiness, any misery, any depression”

Photo by Anirudh Vidyabhushan on

Here is a passage I like from Rilke

Rainer Maria Rilke
“Why do you want to shut out of your life any uneasiness, any misery, any depression, since after all you don’t know what work these conditions are doing inside you? Why do you want to persecute yourself with the question of where all this is coming from and where it is going? Since you know, after all, that you are in the midst of transitions and you wished for nothing so much as to change. If there is anything unhealthy in your reactions, just bear in mind that sickness is the means by which an organism frees itself from what is alien; so one must simply help it to be sick, to have its whole sickness and to break out with it, since that is the way it gets better.”
― Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet

Your crown

United Kingdom you will soon break down
We have our long memories intact
Hidden by their grit, the people frown

Some “know” integration turns men brown
Where is our famed courtesy, our tact?
United Kingdom ,we will all break down

Are our thoughts and tactics like sums sound?
Are our minds at one or are we cracked?
Hidden under smiles, the people frown

Afraid of living through the storms that drown
Hearts will shudder till dread turns them black
United Kingdom; motorways locked down

I have twenty friends with dressing gowns
We like men but where to learn the knack
Hidden under makeup, women frown

Sheep may graze, oh,lord, where is your Flock
The end is nigh,I cannot knit a sock
United Kingdom you will soon bog down
Humpty Dumpty you have wrecked your crown

Trust the dark

Trust the dark and unseen aspects
Of the life we humans live.
Trust that there is wisdom elsewhere,
To your emptiness to give.

Wait in patience for the time
When inspiration comes at last
Trust in darkness,silence,lowness.
Opposition forms the cross.

Pain is bearable in lowness,
Like the worm in earth I dwell.
When I look I see the sunrise
And I trust all shall be well.

Cats delight me,hiding in my bed


Cats delight me,hiding in my bed
Running down the stairs, with backturned head
Jumping up to catch a butterfly
Tickling me as on my couch I lie.
In my dream I saw them, fifty five
One was in the bath ,I nearly cried
Everywhere I went cats followed me
Pied Piper of the felines I shall be
Remember Blythburgh church floodlit and fine
The owners of the cottage drew few lines
.They had seven cats, all Siamese
How could even God compete with these?
The Church, a small Cathedral of the Marsh
Kept cats in their own place which I thought harsh
For cannot cats join in to sing the hymns
Christmas Carols, Requiems, a sin?
The cats were leaping on me in my dream
Wanting a large ball and lots of cream
Full of life and humour they live well
Scratching my new sofa, ringing bells
If I dream of happy cats I wake
The sky is blue and I make no mistakes

Photo by Zaksheuskaya on
Art by Katherine

Xmas ramblings

Halleluliya,Christmas Eve
Tons of hatemail,I received
Then a child from down the street
Made a card for me,so sweet

Leonard Cohen makes me weep
I love him but the price is steep

The more you hear the more you learn
Christmas feasts are now well earned

Nurses run around the wards
They at least are never bored

Now I have to have a jab
In my shoulder,is that bad?

We think every pain must go
In my case,it’s rather slow

I have got a Xmas cake!
About 2 inches wide and broad

I have puddings and mince pies
Do they know I’m MI5?

I’m no good at being a spy
Since I only use one eye

I don’t believe I could tell lies
Yes,I do not have a pie.

What’s religion if we hurt
The poor who think they have no worth?

Going to church in your new coat
See a mugger, clutch your throat

Why not move to where I live
The neighbours here just give and give

I’ve got 20 more mince pies
Chocolates, cake and more beside

A china mug, a desk diary
Oh police, what, an enquiry!

I do not want to go to jail
I only “borrowed” that red pail!
I stole a loaf but it was stale
I will have to take the veil

Like beach balls

White clouds bounced like beach balls on the sands
Above the ridge of Rivington we saw
Here in this green place, noone is damned
White clouds bounced like beach balls on the sands
Tossed up in the air by unseen hands
Free at last away from mills and pans
The old stone barn,I felt compelled to draw
Through the stile I saw a waterfall
White clouds bounced like beach balls on the sands
Above the ridge of Rivington and all.

Trembling with anxiety will circulate your blood

They say we ought to exercise
Walk up and down the stairs
Never use a Lift instead
Despite the tear and wear

I think I’ve found the answer
It’s as simple as can be
Just shake your limbs and head about
While you watch TV

But if you’re very nervous
That will do you good
Trembling with anxiety
Will circulate your blood

Or if you see men following you
Then run until they stop
They might be a fantasy
So do not call a cop

Agitation’s terrible
But even that’s ok
You won’t be able to sit down
Ot even kneel to pray

So have a nervous breakdown
You will live to ninety nine
You may not enjoy it much
But it fits my little rhyme

I suppose the answer is now plain
We have to choose our way
Loose and happy on the sands
Or shivering & trembling all day

When you die the Coffin men
Will thank you if you’r slim
It might be a real nervous breakdown
Is better than many a gym

Dust motes dancing

I saw the dust motes singing in soft air
The yellow grey, the light where nothing’s clear
The silent chorus hurts me as I stare

The heart feels unprotected, as if bare
Only when we’re lonely are we here
I saw the dust motes dancing in soft air

The little things we don’t see till we care
The eyes that signal bring to birth our fear
The silent chorus gabbles as I stare

The Essex fields are huge like mass despair
Yet summer poppies bright make them so dear
I saw the dust motes dancing on fresh air

Life is like a vehicle we steer
Yet unseen hands in wisdom change the gear
I heard the dust motes singing in soft air
The small still chorus tells me what to dare

Our mood affects the colour of the sky

The park sloped to a river behind trees
The other side formed a large burial ground
Where my father’s body lay, deceased

In the flowered park we sat and grieved
We heard the thwack of tennis balls resound
The park sloped to a river past the trees

Children can’t imagine mother’s very pleased
When her strong support lies underground
As my father’s body lay, bereaved

Children torment others , poison bees
Sensing sweet fragility inside
The grass sloped down to hide behind tall trees

Now my mother lies where I ‘ve dripped tears
As if I hope a flowering shrub will shade
And father’s body lies with mother’s, pleased

Memories may well alter .don’t deny
Our mood affects the colour of the sky
The park sloped to a river,grave the trees
I once hoped that my dead could be retrieved

The beginning

And now,Mrs Mary Tan, will you tell the Judge and Jury what you were doing at 6.45 pm?
I was doing the Times Super Fiendish Crossword Puzzle no 76
But why would that stop you answering the door?
Er,I had stomach ache
Do you find Su Doku a cure?
No,I only wish I did.I see how many puzzles I can solve while in the bathroom
What is the average
What is the range?
From 1 to 5.I am afraid I don’t know the standard deviation
What is the most ever
Five.I am hoping they will make some harder ones
So you heard the bell ring.You were upstairs.Could nobody answer the door?
I suppose Emile might but the lock is too high
Who is Emile? Is he your Lover
No, he is my cat.
Can he speak English?
Well,I think so.Why don’t you come round and see him?
I have no time.
So you cleaned the floor and made the bed
Then I set to work on Dirac’s Equation
Does Dirac mind?
Why should he mind? He is dead.
Oh I hoped to see him.
You must go to a Seance then
So you were lost in thought when a magpie tapped on the window
What does it mean?
It wanted a mince pie.
But who had been knocking on the door
Another magpie
Are you sure?
No.It could have been a Crow
Well, that’s all the questions I have for this person.My Lord
Next witness please
Hello,I am Mrs Magpie
You are human!
I believe so

Case adjourned

Like sea and sandy shore


My blue mug’s striped like sea and sandy shore
I love my memories of expansive sands
The mug is round  so it can hold much more

The image of the mug opens a  door
To access spaces where my dreams command
My blue mug’s striped like sea and sandy shore

Stretched blueness  takes me to my deepest core
Where by my inner  heart I understand
The mug is rounded well and gives me more.

On the beach, the salt stuck to my pores
Like Whitby where  my spectacles were gummed
My blue mug’s striped like sea and sandy shore

The Synod  of historic Christian lore
Held at Whitby  where tall cliffs descend
Reminds us how the inter-faith’s  still sore.

And how my deepest thoughts are made disband
To submit to God and  that beloved hand
My blue mug’s striped like sea and sandy shore
The mug is holding memories that allu