Give and take

Too much talking wears the listener out

Keep silent then until you feel no doubt.

Learn how you can take in what they say

But don’t reply until another day

Incontinence in)2 speech can overwhelm

We can drown the other with our tongue.

If you go dumb because you feel deep grief 

Emulate the insect on its leaf

Your words will not destroy your

 anger’s good.

Chew your meat, for you will taste no blood

Vasily Grossman: Loser, Saint | The New Yorker

There are echoes here of the sclerotic cruelties, mass killing and frightened conformity of Putin’s Russia, which makes Life and Fate especially compelling now. But Grossman’s portrait is timelessly relevant. Tolstoy refused to describe War and Peace as either novel or history; it explained an era. Grossman does the same, illuminating why people are moved to savagery or sacrifice.

Nobody should be sacrificed to transcendent ideals


Ikonnikov’s fierce conclusion is that there are no transcendent schemes for which people should be sacrificed. These ideals are delusions. “Those who most wish for the good of humanity are unable to diminish evil by one jot.”

There are echoes here of the sclerotic cruelties, mass killing and frightened conformity of Putin’s Russia, which makes Life and Fate especially compelling now. But Grossman’s portrait is timelessly relevant. Tolstoy refused to describe War and Peace as either novel or history; it explained an era. Grossman does the same, illuminating why people are moved to savagery or sacrifice.

Mental lexicon


His mental lexicon was full of words

Though very few of them were ever heard

He made up sentences inside his head

Before he went to sleep in a strange bed

But no one ever shared his own bedstead m

He might have wished for marriage, never said

He was extremely shy so we observe

H never got the happiness deserved

Psycho analysis is not a science and never can be

“It is very important to be aware that you may never be satistied with your analytic career if you feel that you are restricted to what is narrowly called a ‘scientific’ approach. You will have to be able to have a chance of feeling that the interpretation you give is a beautiful one, or that you get a beautiful response from the patient. This aesthetic element of beauty makes a very difficult situation tolerable.” ~ Wilfred Bion



Rondel (Triolet)
By Jean Froissart (1337-1404)

Love, love, what wilt thou with this heart of mine?
Naught see I fixed or sure in thee!
I do not know thee,–nor what deeds are thine:
Love, love, what will though with this heart of mine?
Shall I be mute, or vows with prayers combine?
Ye who are blessed in loving, tell it me:
Love, love, what wilt thou with this heart of mine?
Naught see I permanent or sure in thee!

Why is there still anti-semitism?

The mythical Jew, who is the eternal conspi.The mythical Jew, who is the eternal conspiratorial enemy of Christian faith, spirituality and redemption, was … shaped to serve as the scapegoat for [the ills of] secular industrial society.

Lincoln Cathedral

From the miles of flatness and the fens

Comes to the hill where this Cathedral stands

Everyone can see this floodlit site

When the moon is out and there is night.

I saw it through the window as I turned 

It’ struck me down with beauty never learnt.

As I lay surprised upon the stair

I absorbed the beauty I saw there 

Should we worship beauty such as this?

It strikes us with a hammer not a kiss

Where to start with: Sylvia Plath

Plath was at her core a poet. Poetry was where she expanded her imagery, her address, her ethos and her dramatic self. Her poems use language to drill into the deepest layers of consciousness, and occasionally makes the reader uncertain: what is the poem really about, what is really happening within its sphere? The Collected Poems offers a unique opportunity to spot the writer’s growth into a risk-taking poet who, step by step, pushed the limits of what is possible 

Child poverty in the Guardian

that more than a third of children in England already receive free school meals. A third! That might sound generous, as if reaching quite far up the earnings scale. But no. To be eligible, a family must be on universal credit, earning less than £7,400 a year. This is an astonishingly low threshold, showing how many children are living in very poor families. Next

The scandal of social care in the UK


It’s not just beds: many sitting in hospitals needlessly await care packages at home, but domiciliary care services are collapsing. Many wait for NHS services in the community, but the number of district nurses halved in the last decade. The IFS this week produced an alarming report on declining productivity in the NHS. One key reason, it said, was the failure to “discharge patients into the community or social care, which further clogs up the system and acts as a drain on staff resources”. Far from integration, there’s a tug of war, or tug of blame, between the NHS and councils.

Eden for 1-hour

I remember everything you said

As we lay together in our bed

The light of joy lit up my heart and soul

I remember everything we did

On the happy night that we were wed

Fulfilment in our very bones is bred

And from our minds the devils have all fled

As we’re taken back into the fold.

For one small hour in Eden we were glad.

The hatred and the pain for now are shed

With love and hope our lives can be more bold.

Even now when you have gone from sight

Rondeau | Poetry Foundation

“Originating in France, a mainly octosyllabic poem consisting of between 10 and 15 lines and three stanzas. It has only two rhymes, with the opening words used twice as an unrhyming refrain at the end of the second and third stanzas.”,the%20second%20and%20third%20stanzas.

I miss

I miss the cat that slept upon my bed.

I miss my husbands presence in the night

I miss the words of Love from him who’s dead.

I miss the cat that slept upon my bed

For God is dead unless I find new light

The lonely darkness fills my soul with dread.

I missed the man that slept with me in bed

I miss his presence in the dead of night

Triolet | Academy of American Poets

Image by Katherine

The requirements of this fixed form are straightforward: the first line is repeated in the fourth and seventh lines; the second line is repeated in the final line; and only the first two end-words are used to complete the tight rhyme scheme. Thus, the poet writes only five original lines, giving the triolet a deceptively simple appearance: ABaAabAB, where capital letters indicate repeated lines.

History of the Triolet Form

French in origin, and likely dating to the thirteenth century, the triolet is a close cousin of the rondeau, another French verse form emphasizing repetition and rhyme. The earliest triolets were devotionals written by Patrick Carey, a seventeenth-century Benedictine monk. Brit

How to look after your mental health

Some people can get lost in movies, reading or baking — a task that gets your mind to another place,” Woolgar says. “When you stop [that activity], your problems may not have gone away, but you’ve given your mind a break — and the opportunity to reset and have a fresher perspective. Be proud of that little bit of change

No escape from the hospital

My nephew’s appendix has burst so he has now got drones in. Thank God for the NHS as we cannot thank man.

My sister can’t speak. She’s got long cancer. Well you heard of long COVID. Use your imagination.

So far they are not using nuclear weapons. Let’s hope chemotherapy might be better. If only we could give it to the Russian army. Or at least to Putin.

The trouble with cancer is you can’t always remove the organ. Especially if it’s in your brain.

My nephew was in pain all the weekend but did not want to disappoint his children. Remember your children will be more disappointed if you die than if they miss you dressing up as Father Christmas

This is a case of being too good and not wanting to upset other people and his wife is a vet so I can’t help wondering why she didn’t know what was happening. Unfortunately she works mainly with horses.

In my family 3 of my siblings had burst appendixes. The 4th one is dead. He had pneumonia. Can I draw any conclusion from this? That we will all die in the end and it’s not always the people you expect to die whi8 go first

To love and to hate from this day forward

Families are a good idea because we all need somebody to hate.

According to some modern theologians there is no hell. It’s either heaven on earth or extinction. If Ian Paisley is in heaven it will be a miracle.

I keep forgetting that we Catholics are meant to worship statues. Most of us seem to worship cars, expensive clothing, le creuset pots and sex

Can you worship sex without another person being involved ?

They say my husband worshipped the ground I walked on. That’s why I bought a bicycle.

Before I rode to work I used to pray to st. Christopher although there where no cars when he was alive.

I wonder why Jesus actually walked on the water. After all they did have boats. Maybe he could not row.

I sure in the newspaper that some doctors were suggesting that we should assess our elderly relatives for dementia over Christmas dinner. The problem is that I am the elderly relative. Anyway they forgot to do it and I didn’t mention it so I should be alright for another 12 months I don’t know what they can actually do for you.

Christmas comes but once a year. Really that is so unfair.

The sun on autumn leaves

The sun makes autumn leaves look like gold flowers
Vibrant, energetic in the wind
Waving to small children with love’s power

As Jesus looked out from his wooden tower
Was he severed from all humankind?
The sun makes autumn leaves look like gold flowers

Forsaken by his Father, thunder lowered
The screen was cracked and shattered, by us blind
A menace to small children and love’s power

From the Christmas tree, gold coins had showered
Are these gifts from Judas or demands?
The sun makes leaves look like real golden flowers

Can God be that old vanished point that lures
To infinity what shall remain
A solitude for worms, a love that cures?

Every figment has its own domain
From imagination, truth to human shame
The sun makes autumn leaves look like love’s flowers
Attention must be paid while demons howl

The singing kettle

I am a kettle made of stainless steel
I am a saint, for tea is brewed to heal
And, unlike kettles on an old coal fire,
I am not dirty nor do I perspire.

My mirrored sides reflect you as you cook.
Look at me and read me like a book
I’m full of love and hotter than a man
Oh, dear lady, love me while you can.

Superior mother, yet inhuman I;
Even electric kettles sometimes lie.
I shall never punish you, my dear
For perfect love like mine shall wield no fear.

All I ask is that you polish me.
For, in between your hands, I yearn to be.