Don’t love as if your map is reality


      A map's a guide to find a world

    Knitted by angels,plain or pearled,

    And though you need a map as guide,

    Keep your own eyes open wide.

    I spent a year caught in a map

    Until I found a big enough gap

    I crawled out through this exit slit,

    So here I am,like some half wit.

    Words can act like heroin,

    You live so high,where I have been.

    But onto earth I gladly fall.

    The air, the sun, the rain is all.

    My senses are my lovers long-

    My ears,my eyes,my skin my tongue.

    The winds caress my naked flesh,

    To dwell on earth is all I wish.

    I'll live with mice and birds and plants,

    I'll share my food with miscreants

    I'll keep my words inside a tin;

    And only, now and then,go in.

    I'll live with cats and spiders three.

    And like a wild flower grow quite free.

    I' ll give my words to those who hear,

    And eventually I'll disappear

    Earth to earth then ash to ash

    When soaked with rain I shall disperse.

    My atoms wing like butterflies,

    And to the Flower I'll fly,disguised.

Someone other takes charge of our boat

The kindness of  our neighbours helps us cope
With life, with death,with many shades between
When we despair and  can’t imagine hope

When the sailor takes us in his boat
When he rows us on a  night-blank sea
The kindness of  our neighbours helps us cope

The world  seems  made to hurt, and then frustrate
The mind confuses   dreams , reality
When we despair and  dare not even hope

 Love is built  as we restrain our hate
Sailing well   a new country we see
The kindness of  our friends helps us  to  cope

Persistence in the virtues   gives us scope
Start again, the angel said to me
When I despaired and  lost my  threads of hope

In our mind love’s buried and unseen
Yet we can raise the dead with energy
The kindness of  our  frriends helps us cope
When we are lost and  mapless is our hope.

Virtue rendered void

Envy poison, friend of vicious hate
We know Cain for he still lives within
Society is built on hellish states

If not so, how can we lay love waste
When time is short, why cut it down with sin?
Envy poison, friend of vicious hate

Do not  hid it, saying  this is “fate”
Though brilliant Sylvia,Ted  asked spirits in
Marriage too is built on hellish states

Only with her death, did he relate
One had to go to let the other win
Envy poison, friend of vicious hate

We suffer when we  think  that we need fame
All paper one day ends up in a bin
Society is built on loveless states

Comparison and judgment are  no game
Virtue rendered void, our hearts are lame
Envy poison, friend of vicious hate
Can society is built on other states?


Crown of Thorns

I’m now too old to go on dates
I’ve got a  partner anyway
He is  funy and  yet strong
Like that coffee, can’t go wrong

He don’t mind my hair is white
So is his, so that’s alright
My body aches like Leoard Cohen’s
I have got such Viking bones

My joints are stiff when I awake
My partner, John,  makes me balm cakes
He brings me tea,I wash his vest
I’ve forgotten what comes next

He likes puddings, he likes cakes
I don’t buy them for his sake
Diabetes is so  cruel
Sugar in the blood’s not  cool

Instead we eat  bananas fried
We eat tangerines  besides
We eat apples, we eat  pears
Lentil cakes  of sugar  bare

We have cocoa before bed
Never stand on a man’s head
Let him drink his milky  way
Then kneel down and say a prayer

Thank God that we have a bed
Thank God,  for we are  not dead
Tell him  life on earth is sad
We keep fighting, that’s no good

Pray for Syria,  pray for peace
Pray for folks  with anguished hearts
Mental illness,  cruelty, death
Children  who are  motherless

Those who  torture, those who kill
This is  clearly not God’s will
Pray that those whose bombs do ill
Notice  Jesus on his Hill

Tortured by the human race
He sought the humble not the base
Crown of Thorns  that final pain
God may die; can Love remain?

Was it Beaumont Street.St Giles or Tennessee?

Soon I came back to the world of men
Give me a banana,I’m your hon.

I came back into England from the sky
God don’t want my body, just my eye

I    fell upside down and hit the road
I feel  sorry for that flattened toad

I saw a fast car  coming straight at me
Was it Beaumont Street.St Giles or Tennessee?

My bike was old but  nothing one would note
Until the tourist’s car came by and smote

The driver fled before the police could act
In one way, that showed a certain tact

St Giles is far too wide for any town
Can I have my head back when it’s down?

We’re in a film we are not real at all
Is that a consequence of Adam’s Fall?

I went  into the Radcliffe for a check
My whole body seemed as blue as black

I did not feel afraid up in the sky
If I die, oh if I die, please cry


Lying on a trolley, feeling Zen

Cycling in the dark  one Friday night 
Down St Giles, deserted without lights
On my way to  rehearse with my church  choir
I never got through  Oxford, struck by liars

A car was coming at enormous speed
Is this to be my end, that tourist’s dream?
Time slowed down,I  went up very slow
This world  a film,a construct, down below

I fell as slowly as I’d risen  up
Till I landed on my head,my jacket ripped
Yes, you really do see stars,I told myself
Not a metaphor, the shocking truth

Then I was inside the film again
Lying on a trolley, feeling Zen

The Catherine wheel, the longing, the desire

Oh, my brother, I have said goodbye
Once my little playmate, you must die
Your voice is very weak as there you rest
I wish that life were not a  cruel test

I told you  of the see saw and the swings
I will not argue, this is what life brings
Remembered  fireworks and the  blazing fire
The Catherine wheel, the longing, the desire

How can a boy so strong soon turn to dust?
Where has gone the liveliness the lust?
Weak but uncomplaining you lie there
On my face I feel the damp of tears

You’ll never die, you’ll live in  other minds
I forgive your acts,  for you were  blind

The wrens

My front hedge is so thick, wrens made a nest
I saw a small bird flying low and swift
With my garden I feel human, blessed

The bonsai beech has grown till almost dense
It has no trunk, the leaves are tiny  gifts
My front hedge is so full, wrens made a nest

My clematis has flowered beyond  all sense
When I looked  I felt my soft heart lift
In my garden, know that I am blessed

In a deep green  wood the eye can rest
Open eyed, a look  must not be fast
My front hedge welcomes wrens ,oh,love,a nest!

Deep happiness connects us  to what’s best
The dark blue sky, the sunset flaming,  brief.
With my garden I feel love, I ‘m blessed

 Be alive, don’t dwell on thoughts too sweet
The natural world   brings virtue  and deceit
My front hedge is so thick, wrens made a nest
These tiny  creatures filled with  love and zest





Did you ever have a lover?

Did you ever have a lover
with long red hair?
For long red hair
I long to care.

Did you ever have a lover,
and then another lover?
For there’s added gain
if you feel no pain.

Did you ever have a lover
who loved your eyes
and never ever lied,
and let you cry?
Whatever was the trouble.

You’ll never have a lover.
if you have no time for others
for love needs care,
As well as hair!

Here and there are people
who live with their lives with scruples;
if you’re scruple free,
then let it be.

Oh,let it be is fine,
Except for the divine.
I want to be involved
For I can’t please all the folk,
Who touch me with their talk.
My heart has melted down…
and now I’ve grown a world
completely on my own.

Were you ever quite alone
Like a toad under a stone?
Did you ever hear a groan
as you wrote your own poem?

For you’ll never write a poem
that makes me laugh..
Because my feet are in the shower
but my body’s in the bath.
My head is on the shelf…
and I’ve lost all of my stealth…
Yet you will love me

Evermore and evermore
You’ll be standing on the shore;
Watching the horizon,
wondering how the world’s gone.

Oh,you’ll never be a poet,
Unless you make notes..
They take you to the limit…..
Love,whatever is it?

The words seem like a roar…
I love your heart’s deep core..

Let me write you more..
And more
And more

The hand upon my tiller

Come back to me, my sweetheart
Don’t leave me all alone.
Come back to me, my darling
I can’t believe you’ ve gone.
I’m crying ‘cos I’m feeling blue again.
I’m crying’cos I’m falling like a stone.

Oh, let me tempt you with my beauty
And my voice forever young.
Let me tempt you with my spirit
My laughter and my songs.
I’m crying ‘cos I never did you wrong.
I’m crying ‘cos with you I  still belong.

I thought maybe I’d follow,
To see where you have gone
But there’s a hand upon this tiller
That is not mine alone.
I’m crying ‘cos I wrote this old blue song.
I’m crying ‘cos I’ve been lonely for too long.

The hand upon my tiller
The mystery of the dark
The unknown one who lives in me
And sings like a skylark.
I’m singing ‘cos I wrote you a new song.
I’m singing ‘cos the cat ain’t got my tongue.

In those lost lands I saw your face

In the land  that dreams dwell in

where love and joy and life begin;

how swiftly the deep rivers flow

from those lost lands of long ago.

I wander through wild poppy fields

Underfoot the dark earth yields….

I see the flowering fruit trees start

Their blossoms gather round my heart…

I hear the sparrows sing with joy

And bees their busy wings employ.

In those lost lands I saw your face

And now I long for your embrace.

Are you real,am I deceived?

From this earth we all must leave.

Earth to earth and ash to ash

Glory,pride and boasting pass.

Leave me now,my dearest one

Soon I too will be called on.

Nothing lasts but truth is real

Keep the truth and your ideals..

Earth to earth, we rest in clay

We must give all self away

Softly on this earth I roam

Seeking still my love and home,

for until the very end

Love and kindnss may descend.

Soft as wings of butterflies

Tears well up and wet my eyes.

My heart has melted into yours

Thus we grow and die like flowers

Cure bad eyes

boulder environment flow landscape
Photo by Francesco Ungaro on
time lapse photography of flowing waterfall
Photo by Chris Czermak on

Are you troubled by poor eyesight?Why not drive to Teesdale to see High Force
Or why not imitate our new unelected  ruler and visit Barnard Castle ?
Don’t fall in the Tees [ if your eyes are worse]
Only about 30 miles from  Durham and its Cathedral
Seeing such things in scientifically proven to strengthen your vision
If  in the rare case your vision worsens en route you may kill a few people
but not as many as the Corona virus.So  don’t feel bad
Do remember you might  get killed, but when your time is up……..






by Mike Flemming copyright

My old blue fountain pen allows
The ink across this page to flow
Like wet paint from an artist’s brush,
And words come in a rush.
Enchanted  by the hand that writes .
Bewitched by art,beauty alights
The script is like a music score
Through which we step as through a door,
Imagination’s home.
As,mysteriously, to you, to me,
The spirits of our hearts are tamed ,
By rhythms of pen,of brush, of mind,
They enter vision quite unplanned,
Like moths to flutter softly round
Fire joined heart and hand
The pen slows down,the hand grows still,
And ,just as dreams at daybreak will,
They shrink,they disappear,they’re gone
Like dew dies in hot sun



I was planning to put on a quotation from William James but can’t   find the exact words he used,so this is a paraphrase:
The art of wisdom is knowing what to overlook”
Another thought:
Over the last twenty years we’ve been
recommended to be more assertive [women,especially]
Silence is a neglected response nowadays but it sometimes
produces better results  
And finally I have been reading “Anger” by Carol Tavris.I likeit very much.
She shows that the fashionable notion of getting your anger out
#by shouting,hitting cushions or indeed hitting someone else does not get rid of your anger ,it increases it.
Accepting your anger and counting to a hundred can often reduce the amount of anger you feel long term.
And divorced people who kept on talking about how nasty their ex-spouses were for years after the divorce did much less well
than people who once the first shocks were over refused to let  themselves keep repeating the stories about their evil partners to their friends and acquaintances.
So it seems self control,tongue control and self discipline maybe making a comeback.
However,moderation in all things even moderation is probably a good idea

On stinging nettles

On stinging nettles butterflies lay eggs
Not on blankets or upholstered beds
The over careful gardener lays waste
To Nature’s order  and to Nature’s grace

Holly leaves are sharper than a fist
But in those fierce conditions birds  make nests
The sharp edged leaves the stinging pains have use
To make some creature safe from our abuse

We grumble at the rain and wild west wind
As if we’re being punished for  some sin
Better be a wild flower or a weed
Trodden underfoot  by human needs

The little weeds have their resilience
They do not ruminate, they are not tense
To be a humble plant is perhaps the best
They at least will have eternal rest

The  beautiful, the plain have got their place
All   life in the end will be effaced

Cobblestones and weeds



Image by Mike Flemming.Copyright,

Cracks in pavements,cobbles,gutters,weeds
In the little street  we  children played
While nature fought back, spreading out  wild seeds

Old women reached for grace with rosary beads
When I call.I don’t know what to say
Cracks in pavements,cobbles,gutters,weeds

Neighbours borrowed eggs and helped in need
What was my entire world has shrunk, decayed
Still nature fights back,  flinging out wild seeds

The cobbles have been tarmacked till aggrieved
Here we once enjoyed school holidays
Cracks  for insects,cobbles,gutters,weeds

Girls played  with doll’s prams,boys disagreed
All the world was here, where’s left today?
While nature  blackened, blasting out her seeds

Where are mother,father,oh dismay
I am old and they lie in the clay
Cracks in pavements,cobbles,gutters,weeds
Nature acts still, spreads out flying seeds