• Given that teaching at Cambridge University is to be online until summer 2021 (Pass notes, 20 May), is there any chance of some of the empty college rooms being used by rough sleepers after they’ve been turfed out of their hotel rooms?
From the Guardian newspaper
A few years ago I was still feeling very sad.The doorbell rang.It was a neighbour whose husband had died
She came in and stood by the fire and I sat down
She didn’t speak, just cried
I didn’t know what to do.I started to cry
We both cried for about 20 minutes
She then said, thank you and left
I never spoke
A husband died at half past two
What has that to do with you?
The past is like a candle blown
The heart a grave beneath a stone
Grief is very close to fear
Shaking legs and frozen tears
It’s closing time
The poppy fields , the linseed blue
The cottage where I loved with you
Noone else will know it all
The Suffolk Rose, the paint all worn
The rented car, the yellow corn
The cottage windows seemed to yawn
But I dream and I see you
Smiling widely as you do
Ask me where the car keys are
Ask me if I’ll take you where?
Whitby,Staithes. all understood
All gone now,god sweated blood
What to you may be a worthless weed
Bears its little flowers to create seeds
Thus it spreads itself as Love requires
Humble speedwell,hear of our desires.
In the pavements cracks were home to grass
The sidestep slabs were broken like thick glass
When heavt frost came, rain made frozen pools
I trod in them as I tore up to school
The crackling ice, the mist dropped on the park
Our ginger cat, the trees, the dog that barked
A woman in the kitchen making tea
The oven by the fire, the big door key
Little signs spark tender memories
The future fiction, past a lost abyss
I’m waiting for delivery
I didn’t even know you were expecting
I only heard this morning
Will it survive?
Being 9 months premature!
Are you crazy?
I’m going to move after this crisis
Yes,I agree, it was Pontius Pilate.
He denied it
I don’t like the Telegraph
No,to Hell and back
Is it God’s wrath?
My order is delayed
Disorder was unpaid
At least it was spared
Where is God?
Nowhere in our language space.
I’d like a date
Find a plate
Uunstable winds and clouds that veer and swerve
The sun appears and vanishes again
Trees adapt to nature, life’s a verb
The birds have sung but no-one here has heard
Their mates and nestlings in their home have lain
Evading winds and clouds that veer and swerve
From this chaos, what can humans learn?
Life can swiftly change and cause us pain
Yet trees swing round, clouds swim life is verb
Virtue,honour,love have no rewards
Evil men have faces quite unstained
Despite the winds and clouds that veer and swerve
Gazing at the storm clouds,long I stared
In the end, our roots are what remain
We must adapt to nature, life’s verb
All desires,all wishes will be slain
We lose ourselves in evil then are shamed
Uunstable winds and clouds that veer and swerve
Life flows like the stormy Thames unnerved
On the e referal form it said, witch particular doctor do you want to see?
I thought, they must be using voice typing except we had to write the answer
Is it a Freudian slip?
Or maybe with the pandemic we are going to get witch dctors where there aren’t enough
Which witch doctor would you like?
Would you like a witch doctor?
I feel bewitched already
Be off Witch
Attracted by the first line of your verse
I set myself in aspic and feel worse
Drawn over to your garden by a rose
I broke my glasses then I broke my nose
When I left I felt like being soothed
Oriental massage made me bruised
When the books I read were full of dust
I felt I had to get them off my chest
I wonder why the doctor was so kind
I was dead but now I’m going blind
My doctor is a brilliant young man
He’s got a Ph.D, she’s çalled Diane
He wondered why I eat just Weetabix
Why ask a pin to explain why it pricks?
Mother gave us Ovaltine and cake
Surely one day she must learn to bake
Why do we have roast beef on Sundays?
So mother can clean the oven while we go for a walk in the park?
I say, what thick lips you have!
Is that a compliment or an insult?
For Xmas he gave me lavender wax polish and a new duster
I gave him an insult
For my birthday he gave me silk scarf.He’s never noticed I don’t wear scarves, bracelets and dangly earrings.
I wonder why he married you?
So does he.
I got so angry,I said I suggest you marry a man next time.Someone as obnoxious as you.
He said, it’s a sin
Well, think how I feel.
He loved dripping.He bought a new car just to drive around Essex seeing if the butchers sold beef or bacon dripping
He died of blocked arteries.They were worse than the North Circular before the M25
What about the car?
Is that all you can think of when I have lost my husband?
Well, you should have eaten all the dripping yourself
What!Murderess.You wish I’d died first?
It might have stopped a lot of arguments
Shooting every one in Britain would have stopped brexit
Except for the gunmen
The EU would not want them.
What’s logic got to do with it?
I wish that I could be inside a tree
To put my entire body in its form
To feel the sun and wind and hear the bees
I’d like my hands to dance as flexibly
As birds move through the air, as rises dawn
I wish that I could feel myself a tree
I’d love my garden sweetly, ardently.
I’d love each single daisy on the lawn
I’d feel the sun and wind and hear the bees
But would a holly want to be just me?
Oh, poor tree that walks about forlorn
I wish that I could turn into a tree.
Perhaps a cat that sat upon my knee
Would mioaw inside my home by dust deformed
She would love the sun and wind and hear the bees
When I change,I’ll keep you all informed
You may hear me singing in the Storms
I wish that I could dwell within a tree
Feel the loving sun and kiss the bees
I said there’s no access,not,you’ve got sepsis
I said.we’re having chicken today not where the dickens is May
I said, why not go to bed, not, try not to wed
I said turn off the taps, not take a nap
I said,good night darling ,not god, that’s appalling
I said, give me a kiss not, what a near miss
I asked if you were here, not can you steer
Well, that was an error,I was full of terror
Ice cream,burgers,pancakes pizza,swell
Deliveroo brings succour, if you ask
What to eat in Lockdown, Jezabel?
What did Adam look like when he fell
No nurse,no Urgent Care, no breathing mask?
Just ice cream,burgers,pancakes bloody hell
Elijah climbed a mountain,man impelled
Who cared for him, who fed him at great risk?
What to eat in Lockdown, Jezabel?
The angry Queen pursued him,wished to kill
In high Caves he loitered, that’s the gist
No ice cream,burgers,pancakes, who fried hell?
He heard a little whisper on this Hill
What do you here,Elijah, God had hissed
What to say in breakdown, who can tell?
Snaking round the hilltop feeling pissed
From the peak we see what we have missed
Ice cream,burgers,pancakes, snails with shells
Where to sleep ,whose arms will be my cell?
Corned beef and banana balls with tamed rice
Roast egg yolks in batter with pure peas
Burnt bacon and boiled beans on mashed potatoes
Lamb’s tongues on the Oxford English Dictionary [page 45]
Pike and tinned carrots in gravy
Half a dictionary roasted on olives and macaroni
The other half made into a collage with my thesis and brandy butter
Father Xmas on Ice with Creamed Minced Pi and Temple
Soft corns,blisters,hard corns and toe nails
Ankle socks and stockings, tights and boots
Cover up the wounds with dressings white
Put your feet up, rest by doing nought
Skin so thin it frightens me to think
All I am finds boundary just here
Yet our heart and soul can contain more
Spreading like a shawl on loved ones dear
We cast our love like fishers cast their rods
Not too sure of what will take the bait
A simile so poor I blush bright pink
For love seeks not to prey but rather waits
Across the entire world the hate runs wild
Bleach your brain , don’t poison with your smile
On Saturday I read the book reviews
The day feels calm and still, we get up late
I sometimes catch my breath and hear the News
War past War, past War, but not past Hate
I read how civilised is modern man
See the architects’ designs illuminate
See Cathedrals.Synagogues, new plans
Mosques and little Chapels consecrate
Yet offending other Peoples is innate
Like children stealing toys and throwing stones
Through what maze do adults reach that state
Where order,frames and boundaries are known?
Free verse, sonnets,nonsense villanelles
Choose the form and then begin to tell
Startled by the lilac of the sky
More blue dilutes the pink I saw before
Dark branches stand like fingers pointing high
The little bay tree potted is too dry
I gave it drops of tea but it needs more
Entranced by softest lilac ,oh, the sky
I see two trees have grown like Russian spies
They got stuck in and blossomed then I saw
Dark branches,unboned fingers pointing high
Elderberry,cherry, seeds have strayed
Don’t tell us that green Nature may have flaws
Enhanced by lilac , darkening, goodbye
Soon will come the ending and the prayer
The drama is all done, if any care.
Dark branches ,boneless fingers, pointing high
We may live, but God it is that stares
Like the Langdale Pikes watch Windermere
Down beneath the silence of the sky
Dark branches stand like judges from on high
He hit me with a flying pan
No, he bit me with a jar of jam
Do you have a sinner every night?
Not on Sundays
Where is the olive oil?
No, never boil
We liked apple pie hot
Sorry, it leaves me cold
I say, stop!
My sister is like a triplet
We miss the other one
Who reads books these days?
Ted Hughes was gay?
So his sister says
Trying to illicitly advertise for the dead now!