I am here

Mike Flemming copyright 2022

The dentist wants to charge in advance in case I die in the chair

Surely it’s not electric.

Not the first time apparently.

Is it not murder?

I don’t know I’ve never been murdered before.

Have you ever commited suicide?

Why, have you?

I have not.

I am thrilled

I didn’t know you cared.

I am shy

That’s one way of describing it

What do you mean?

Some of us thought you were conceited.

About what?

I can’t recall.

Are you demented?

Just argumentative.

I hope you are soon at peace.

Is it far away?

No it’s here if we are.

I feel you’re right.

You can feel me all over.

Are you a rash?

No an allergy.

I don’t like Greece.

I saw you frying bread.

But not licking the pan.

I lick the pen

When the voices demand

Stop listening.


What ?

All the cats with short sight were eaten by crocodiles, said Mary

what's new pussycat.jpg

Mary went into town to collect her new giasses from Specdivers.Choosing frames was hard but this time she had done it quickly by taking the first pair she saw to the optometrist
They were almost tortoiseshell suitable for a mathematician who was a former expert on Dirac and many dimensional space
However there were one or two red dots on and Mary liked things whih were slightly unusual as indeed was Dirac.Have you ever met anyone called Dirac?
Me,neither but I like it.Short and sweet as mother used to say
When Mary got home she found Annie waiting in the yellow walled ,red floored kitchen
Here you are, a nice cup of tea, she cried, holding an Art Deco mug out
You sound like a character from Barbara Pym.The latter was their favoutite novelist
Let me see your new glasses
Mary put them on.
Oh,dear Lord, what possessed you?
Why,what’s wrong?
They have red splotches on the front and the sides are pink and white.I’ve never seen anything like this.I might wear them but you need gold frames or old tortoiseshell.
I don’t see the logic in that,Mary cried,although pink and red do clash
And you havea lot of heather coloured clothes.They don’t go with red.What do you think Emile?
Emile sat by the fire glaring at the two women.
We don’t need spectacles, he mewed
No, because all the cats with short sight were eaten by crocodiles,said Mary
What a pity that didn’t happen to humans,Annie mused
Is that a Freudian slip?
No,it’s from Marks and Spencers, Annie whispered
But short sight must be cultural.. it’s since children were taught to read.
Eyes were made for looking for prey and seeing where the stars were in the sky.Not to mention looking for people to mate with.Short sight is useful in bed but not when driving a car., Annie finished
Maybe too much sex in the marriage bed makes your eyes focus too near you.said Mary
Well,you can’t have sex when you are on the other side of the room and the bed would have to be 25 feet wide,Annie retorted.
Well,I suppose the Queen could have a big bed but as she is 93 it may be too late
But she could tell William and Harry…..Mary pondered on this
Well,I like them and they will make me look younger although older ladies with too much makeup on can look sad.
Never mind,said Annie.You can wear them at the weekend
But not at work?
I don’t think so.You might give students the wrong impression.
I would be happy if I had any effect on them!
I’ll come and watch, said Emile.I’ve always loved algebraic topology with the rubber doughnuts and infinitely expandable spaces in ten dimensions
But you can’t read Emile,Annie murmured.How can you know all this?
I listen to Mary when she is practising her lectures ustairs. the cat said joyfully
And to think I thought you were staring at me out of sheer love
Well, that too,murmured Emile
And so will all of us

The little black  tents,  the  wombs of the night

Opportunity knocked and I opened the door
But that’s not the room I was looking for.
The light didn’t work and I slipped on a book
Then I saw you and your smile and your look

We don’t know what we want until it comes by
I’m too ancient now;who knows when they die?
But while I am here, I’m enjoying the peace
Of being alone, smiling, and writing re geese.

Isee aaaaal them fly by when the sun starts to sink.
How like a wild god; they ‘re gone when I blink.
Then they descend ;they all move as one.
No training in music could teach us that song.

Evoking the beauty of stars far away,
I like to watch geese at the end of the day.
Patterns and poems disclose other worlds.
The hand of a baby; the fingers uncurled

The trust and the smile ; mother is home
She creates entire worlds for the one she has borne.
For chaos and panic are not far away;
Even in adults who don’t care to say.

The little hands touch me so deeply, so well;
How come the world holy is rolling to hell?
How can we kill little wains by the score?
Was it for this that I opened your door?

Was it for this love electrified us?
We were lost in each other, as moved the white dove.
Was it for war that we lent love our wombs
Making more soldiers and building more tombs?

The bombs, they are loading; they’re having parades.
It’s not North Korea, it’s Washington, dude.
Let the tanks roll on Corrie and the Bedouin tribes.
Let the allies laugh blindly as weak Jesus dies.

O take me, dear mother.Please take me away
I can’t see no point in saying my prayers.
The leaders’ religions are making God frown.
The desert is empty, the tents all dragged down.

The centuries of living , so free, so mobile
The Holy Land blessing; they pause for while.
The little black tents, the wombs of the night,
Are all gone to shredders; they’re out of our sight.

The value of small talk

Photo by George Milton on Pexels.com


Speech says things, but it also does things

We need not get too far in the weeds. At a general level, it’s simply important to remember that every speech act operates on two levels. On one level, it communicates information or ideas. This is the semantic content of the speech, i.e., what the words mean.

On another level, talking is a social behavior. Every speech act is an act, meant not only to communicate something but to do something: reassure, acknowledge, nurture, enjoin, reject, dominate, encourage, or just fill awkward silence. We can think of this as the social function of a speech act. Unlike semantic content, social function cannot be understood in isolation, just by examining the words. Social function depends entirely on context, on tone and body language, on the interpersonal roles being played, on historical and environmental cues. It only makes sense relative to context.

All speech acts operate on both levels, but the ratio of social function to semantic content differs along a continuum. In some circumstances, speech acts take on an almost entirely communicative role: a surgeon narrating her surgery; a surveillance pilot describing troop movements; a university lecturer describing an episode of history.

But cases of purely communicative speech are more the exception than the rule, found in specialized professional or academic settings. As sociolinguists have come to appreciate, in day-to-day human interaction speech is a social, relational behavior. That’s why everyday patterns and rituals of speech are worthy of study; they reveal the social fabric.

Photo by murat esibatir on Pexels.com