Between the lines, the eyes

The sexual smile the birth and death of kings,

The Plathian axe, the tree, and how it rings

The horse unsaddled throws  its mistress off

The ending of a life, the voice that scoffs.

Even the saddest man can tell good lies

How a woman’s beauty hurt men’s eyes.

The hint of promise paralysed his smile

The sexual smile the enemy,the child

1939:Last train out of Warsaw

Photo by Josh Hild on

Elena,a baby wrapped in woollen clothes.
On the last train,Warsaw to Moscow,
[ change Niegoreloje.]
You passed through the Arctic Wastes of life.
Still as if travelling on a train
To an impossibly far destination.
As you left the German Army crashed into Warsaw
Lost,your aunts
Your cousins.
Your culture.
How does God select the damned?
You had your own baby,here in England,
Not lost like all those others.
Your father died by his own hand,
The hand of history;
The fingers twitching,
Not sure where to point.
Then settling into frozen grief
A sculpture only your mother saw.
You saw too,Elena.
You always saw,though you can’t remember;
The long journey, your mother’s breast,
Your father’s silence.
Only the dead know that silence.
Only the dead weep
With the rocks and stones .
And the ice in each eye
Fell like snow down your cheeks
As you held your own infant.
Warsaw to Moscow,
Moscow to Jerusalem.
Always journeying
Looking for what they can never find:
The home they left behind
The presence of the dead
Lying in gaunt heaps
Like rubbish
Your aunts, Elena.
Your cousins.
You never knew them.
But there’s a hole in your mind
Through which the Polish wind forever blow

I lost all my illusions, and then I lost some more


Photo by Katherine 2016


When I saw you  in that cafe I  knew you would be mine.
You were handsome, smiling, were specially designed.
You looked like men I’d only dreamed about in all those years before.
I’m so broke up,so broke up;we’re not lovers  anymore.

I saw you on the station as I came from out the train.
You wore an old green parka to protect you from the rain.
I wanted to be one with you,to make a Love entire;
What you did was give me pain I  should not have endured

You walked away so quickly,I could not see you long.
I wish I had a big guitar to draw you back with song.
I looked at where you disappeared;what love has loss revealed?
I wish I could just lay down on this floor and keep my face concealed.

Railway stations sadden me, for I know we’ll never meet .
I won’t cry more ,the tears are running to my feet.
I walk fast looking straight ahead past that entrance gate,
I pretend that you have missed your train,that work was running late.

I count from one and  two to a thousand and many more–
But I know for sure it’s far too late; you have closed that heavy door.
You are hiding in a dungeon
You are covered with white steel
But I know you had a heart and you must surely feel.

I lost all my illusions, and then I lost some more.
I wish I could lay down and die, right here on this floor

Stan looks at the ants

Stan was feeling puzzled. He stood in his front room staring at the rowan tree outside.
Do ants fall in love, he asked himself.
Are swans the most beautiful birds?
Shall I send Annie a card tomorrow?
Should I send Mary one as well?
He went outside and watched the ants running up and down the tree trunk. They seem to work so hard but they never get bored.
But is that true? We have no way of knowing. At last Stan has found a question with no answer.
Is boredom a unique quality of humans?
If that were so we ought to have a Patron Saint of Boredom though not of Bores.
Why are some people so boring?
Luckily Annie had seen Stan and rushed out in a teal coloured all wool dress made more striking by having butterfly motifs scattered on it at random.
“Why have you got those butterflies on your clothes ?” he asked her scientifically
“It’s to cover up the moth holes.”She pertly replied.
“You must have a lot of moths. Do moths fall in love? Do they get bored?”
“You seem in a funny mood today,” Annie murmured.
“Why don’t we go out for coffee?”
“I’ve just made a pot full. Please join me.”
“Thank you,” she cried mildly.
They sat down in the kitchen where Emile was sitting by the window.
“Good morning,Emile,”Annie shouted.
“No need to shout,” Emile miaowed politely.”I’m not deaf”.
“I am sorry, Emile.” she responded furtively,” I am over-excited.”
“Why is that? Stan demanded like an untrained philosopher in a maths class
“Well, I’ve already had ten Valentines.
“Already. You must have done it fast!” he teased her gently.
“No, you horrible idiot. I mean cards.
“You must be popular”
“Some look like women’s writing.”
“Let me see,” he asked swiftly.
To his surprise, one was in the handwriting of his wife Mary.
“Are you bisexual?” he asked her wonderingly.
“No, I’m just annissexual,” she replied saucily.
“What does that mean?”
“Well, it’s just one letter away from “Anti-sexual.”
“That’s a relief. You are not anti yet, then.”
“Not yet”, she whispered coyly.
“Would you make love to a woman?”
“Only if she made love to me.”
.Apparently seeing lesbian movies turns men you watch them?”
“Not bloody likely,I want to get turned off.”
“That could be boring,” she said sweetly as she combed his eyebrows with an old toothbrush.
“Well,I could do the polishing better and get the house sorted out. Fill the freezer with casseroles and defrost the oven.
Yes, though would that be so rewarding as loving another human?
“I guess not” he answered slavishly.
“Shall we go to your place and have a cuddle.
Emile was very put out as he liked to see people kissing but he had grown very philosophical over the years and at least he could get on with his book,
“Wittgenstein’s cat.”
He switched on the netbook and began to type:
“Not everyone knows how important cats were in philosophy. But now we can reveal all.
The saying,
“Of that which we cannot speak, we must miaow” was inspired by Daisy who lived in Cambridge
And,” Of that which we cannot purr we must yowl.” was inspired by Ludo, a fine male cat that lived with Wittgenstein in Ireland.
So as Emile types, we must tiptoe away for he has not much time

Let’s make the most of it