With the Mass in Latin,I believed. The words evoked what no-one could conceive The women in their hats looked like proud queens What was, what is, and what once might have been The men came late,hung over, full of dreams They took no Wafer, drunk from living streams I did not mind confessing made up sins. Nor did I mind beans found in small tins.
Religion gives fresh themes to those obsessed Guilt and sin,but scruples are the best I went to church and told God I was through He said, hang on,I’ll send my Light to you.
Thus it was that I was saved from death I had worshipped Satan in duress. After that I took a job for health I am rich in love, though not in wealth
To me there is a White House of the Soul We shall meet again there when we’re whole A place of beauty, space and coloured light God won’t boast, and neither will the mice
Bring your own God with you, you can’t help it anyway I have heard you singing, don’t tell me you can’t pray We’re strung like beads along a chain, we’re linked with none left out Every time that someone dies, there opens a new mouth Mouth brings voice, the people’s choice, there is no faking Truth Eat and live, speak and grieve, give and so receive Eyes to see and ears to hear,grace may be about Still the Sirens wail and moan, leave them, they can’t count
Aldeburgh,Sizewell,Dunwich Heath The nuclear bomb shall bring eternal peace Housed between the town and the Reserve Its blackness is ignored by little birds If force deters, then we shall all be saved Or this our world will vanish without trace Innocently playing on the shore Children find old marble unrestored
Birds may sense the blackness of our hearts For, even though unused, the bombs take part They are here where Britten once composed And so the sanctuary ends unsaved,destroyed In between the lover and his rose A screen electric in the silence glows
Everyone is bleeding but we won’t stop fighting wars We even sell our weapons and the torture tools make gold Europe a disaster for more than several hundred years
We will not watch the News as this sort of stuff’s a bore My heart is beating faster and I’m feeling freezing cold Everyone is bleeding but we won’t stop fighting wars
We’re defenceless little creatures with wicked central core With our many nuclear weapons, maybe we are over-bold Europe courts disaster for more than several hundred years
Jesus hangs defenceless outside the liquor store I wonder how much longer those Roman nails will hold Everyone is bleeding but we won’t stop fighting wars
The pain of living here is that our swollen hearts will tear God picks up a paperclip, his lips are cold and closed Europe a disaster for more than several hundred years
Now the Day of Judgement comes, we stand arrayed in rows The Jews are singing Kaddish while the tortured children freeze Everyone is bleeding but we won’t stop fighting wars Civilised disaster for the last two thousand years
Before the referendum Before I rang 999 When I didn’t know how near the end you were
Before Nigel Farage Jo Cox The lies of Michael Gove Before Boris Johnson’s genes left Turkey
Before Leonard Cohen sang,save the last waltz for me Before I heard Suzanne Before you haemmoraged the bathroom into wine Before you consecrated the bread Before you were dead
Before by a journalist we were led Before children said,fuck everything Before Cohen died Dylan got the Nobel Prize
Before aspirations were merely for another shag and a new denim hat Before marriage was for licking each others’ groins What poems fell dead And the snow fled Before the hatred of slow reading came and glued itself to our minds Then we had the hottest September In December And the ice cap floated down the globe Observed by toads
When you were still alive And the lawn was unmowed
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times in a very real sense. Mary dreamed Stan was in heaven enjoying the company of Wittgenstein,Jesus and Pascal , not to mention Lady Jane Grey Ann of Cleves,Juliet,Cleopatra and an angel. At least at this point in time he can’t sleep with them ,she thought as she woke up.Though did that matter? Can men be faithful and monogamous? Look at Leonard Cohen.Was he better off flitting from flower to flower? Was he so stunning that women threw themselves at him and he could not resist?Sometimes people are actually afraid of intimacy or feel life is short and want some new experiences.Was he a wolf? It t akes one to know one It was indeed almost the worst of times when Mary remembered she had no food in the house except cat food for Emile.He was all she had now as her daughter Lyra lived in Australia and Stan was in heaven, she hoped. Here I am, she thought, pondering unanswerable questions and not looking after myself .It is probably best to err on the side of buying food and going out rather than lying in the bed wondering if life has any inherent meaning. or if we must create our own. Even discussing that with someone else would be better.But men folk don’t want to discuss serious topics with their lovers. It was an even worse time when she recalled a man who once loved her leaving her because she asked him if he knew what post-modernism was one night after going to the cinema to see a comedy.She realised then that she would have to play a part,To act like a woman.So far it was but moderately successful owing to her myopic view of life If only I had kept quiet, she told herself,I could be lying beside him now enjoying a few kisses and hugs and asking him how to light the electric fire.Still ,there’s many a slip twixt cup and lip Now then, said a loud voice.Stop ruminating and get up. One stitch in time saves nine. Who are you to say that to me, she called nervously ? She wondered of stress had driven her round the bend.She had begun reading a book which said mental illness in not an illness like flu. It is a reaction to bad events and other life strains. It doesn’t matter who I am,just do as I say, came the answer Mary recognised the voice.It was her dad who had died when she was 9. Dad, she called, why are you here now? Because Jesus told us to love our family, he revealed pleasantly. Why now after all these years? she persisted. I have missed you. I always did have a bad sense of direction,he told her.But do as I say.You won’t recover easily if you never get up.Stan is here but he is busy cleaning the gold cutlery for an angel. Alright, but I never knew there was cutlery up there, she murmured as she put on her new clothes.She had bought some purple trousers and two new jumpers.One was pink and one was teal.The trousers were exceptionally comfortable being in a last years’ sale by a famous label..She then found some Weetabix in the cupboard and some long life milk.As she drank her tea she admired the acer’s brilliant red leaves. Almost too bright, she thought.It’s due to the hot September.Plants are affected by their environment and so are we.Especially by bad or hot tempered men and women Poor people may have more than in the past but they tend to live in the ugliest areas of the town with no gardens nor parks. And seeing the better off walk by wearing expensive clothes it is surprising there are not even more muggings. She recalled seeing a man with a Rolex watch and gold earrings on talking on his new iPhone as he wandered through the Mall.I suppose we think everybody else is like us; we don’t mix with very poor or very rich people on the whole.Unless we are one of those two types. Mary went outside and found a neighbour wheeling in her bins. Thanks ,Tom, she cried.I wondered who it was.I am very grateful.What is post modernism,by the way?Nobody will tell me. Emile was watching from the window sill. I knew it was Tom, he mewed. But you didn’t tell me,Mary replied. You didn’t ask. Tom wandered off ,while Mary admired the autumn trees lining the road.Tom turned back and looked at her but she didn’t notice. Time for coffee, she muttered and went inside again.She was embroidering a table mat which said “Rumination is for the birds”.Where it had come from was a puzzle.But it may be a good thought
May I confess my sins online,Father? If you must. Well, I don’t like Boris Johnson Is that it? Sorry to be so boring. Everyone today is confessing the same thing I just saw him! Yes, he hates himself too Is he a Catholic? Well. Hitler was. But was Johnson brought up as one? Well, he knows how to confess sins That’s no use unless he stops committing them Right, he has no firm purpose of amendment. He compliments Trump for his racist outbursts He may even complement Trump. Stitch them together and there is still something missing What? Humanity, humaneness,caritas, agape,care,kindness I see you went to a good Seminary,Father.I used to like the Latin Mass But not Latins en masse I prefer them to the English That is a sin.We must love equally Can’t we hate equally instead? I am ambivalent about that You’re a Paradox Where do they originate? Somewhere Unorthodox. This is getting rude No it’s not! Don’t contradict me That’s Latin! It’s an order Or a disorder? Stop playing games Who’re you? Wittgenstein? He’s dead What a shame Actually would he enjoy living in England now No, because he was Jewish. So are lots of people. Somehow they get hurt or even killed at times What times? Nazi.times Stalin-times Tsar-times GoodFriday-times Greedy-times Allthe-time In the Times Of the times Oh, time! Well it’s about time we stopped it. About time On time In time After time Time and Motion Soon we’ll have the Flood Why has Boris not built an Ark? Because he doesn’t Noah how to Because God didn’t see him Because there was a full stop at the end of the sentence. Is that not normal? Not on WhatsApp! What is up? What is down? I don’t know, where’s the Eskimos snow
He thought I was an enemy , he said The eyes see what we fear or what we need I gave him love,but hate grew there instead
If you need to hate, try someone dead Do not say cruel words that make us bleed He thought I was an enemy , he said
Do not dwell where people hate the good If they curse, it’s best to pay no heed I gave him love,but hate welled up instead
Emotions mingle, wanton like fresh blood Let them be till form can be perceived He thought I was his enemy , he said Do not confront the paranoid nor mad The agony of their minds has them deceived We give them love,but hate wells up instead
Never take such people into bed Let them run away, they’ll be relieved. He mistook me for an enemy , he said I gave him love and care now I feel bad
Can we change our point of view alone? What can give perspective to a poem? Shall I outline what we ought to do? Shall I sketch the patterns,are you blue? Move your eyes and you will move your soul Looking at the men queue for the dole Do you want to mix the colours first Oh,I drank the water, what a thirst I shall use my tea and this gouache Let the colours wander as they splash Women nursing babies need good food If you have no children, do not brood When Hitler went to Munich in a rage We got a new perspective of the age I didn’t go myself for I was framed I was just encrypted ,it’s no shame Never use a rubber when you’re wrong Never kill a blackbird while it sings Never go to bed with any one Make it two or three, we need some fun Never use art pastels on your cheeks Never use a water jar that leaks You must be spontaneous as a rule To produce cartoons, you must be cruel You must learn techniques and then forget Never tell the Universe we met. Remember every line I draw for you Never store your water in a shoe
Astounded by love’s impact, my tears fell As if a door was opened up by you The reservoir of grief, the flooded bell, The marble on the shore, the hidden view. I stayed still and by you I was held In your golden cloud, I felt embraced You covered me with warmth,I was your child A candle in the gale,a shining face
I was silent,I was even dumb They who see a face can not unknow Love is not a method nor a sum Nor can logic point the way to go Do not ask for knowledge or belief Do not ask reprieve from human grief
Trapped in home made offices , we work Reading from our screens, no space for thought As we type ,our tender fingers hurt Not the copperplate that I was taught No commuting, no more fraught deceit Harder are affairs, no private door No more kisses unless they are quite fleet Just daydreams, which will come to be no more No walking to the station at sunrise No hour alone to read or look without All is known, where is the grand surprise? Where the room for thoughtlessness or doubt? Work from home but keep some private space Do not harm your friends, keep from disgrace
The sacrifice of humans, slain by will The death instinct, no accident, the kill Now it’s done more subtly than with fire We need the help of cunning and of liars Propaganda,adverts, image, word Overwhelm our minds till life’s absurd Inhabited by ghosts of adverts seen Saturated minds, for soul no room Who is in and who is out today? Mainly white and Western on display I was born without a screen to hand The radio was old and had a stand Little drawers where Mother kept her songs Sonatas,Mozart,Schumann, was it wrong? We read each other’s faces and our books Heard Mother playing as we fell asleep Time and space and peace, a slowed down age Now we’re full of data and of rage Father lost so long ago,we weep Civil discourse takes a lengthy sleep
of overwhelming people with adverts ad cheap credit in Western Socie
Instead of going to the pub to meet men,Mary went on FB and changed her name Unfortunatly her name was also changed on the Page where she was insulted and every where she had been. I have learned something useful, she said to Dave who had come because Emile had rung 999 Better if you had not visited their page,he told her sensibly, then Emile would be happy Yes, she said,each side is as bad as the other,You must either totally agree or be called a vicious Monster.There is no space for debate so why even try? Just then the phone rang Hello, it’s Noreen ,she heard Mary, I am so happy you have changed your name Are you,Mary asked in suprise Yes,my grandparents were Scottish and none of the relatives are left, so as you are partly Scottish too it’s lovely you chose to emphasis that Well, stone the crows,Mary thought.How unpredictable life is.And how one unexpected event led to a good talk with Noreen Well, since Stan is not here,I’d better do some housework. she told Dave On the hand if Annie and you,Dave, accept my untidiness, why should i worry? After all it’s wonderful finding books I had forgotten I had.Not to mention 30 pairs of tights and my reading glasses Emile looked at her turquoise glasses Can I have some reading glasses Mother? Why? demanded Mary angrily Then they will read stories to me as they can already read Mary wondered how to explain to a cat that the lenses of humans’ eyes become less flexible with age like their minds, perhaps Then she thought of Donald Trump who needs King Canute to explain that no human is omnipotent and that viruses are unable to distinguish between him and another old person even Joe Biden Why the family of the first virus might have relatives near Joe. But how do viruses communicate?They have no voices,eyes or hands Might it be they live in another reality? Do they have minds withour havig brains? Or brains without minds Dave ran out of the house wondering how to help Mary And so would all of us!
I missed the flowering of the maple tree Where red leaves swell like baby’s growing fists i fear to struggle there, what shall I see, Just the doves and sparrows flying free? Missed the flowering of the maple tree But watched less subtle human comedy Saw politicians flounder, saw ships list Missed the burning of some red leaved tree I wonder when they’ll break the baby’s wrists?
The heart that touched my heart I feel no more Alone in this great space. I feel afraid Like a conductor who has lost the Score The soul that touched my soul I feel no more As other orders that soul did obey The heart that touched my heart I feel no more Alone in the abyss. I feel afraid
I nearly died of laughter when he went out for a drive Simply,purely, only to test his bleary eyes He put his toddler in the back, just to be quite sure He would not be orphaned if his father crashed the car
To make it even safer he took his good wife too Even though she felt quite weak after having flu They went to Barnard Castle, not just round the block The river Tees is very fine, the Castle on a rock
It was all or nothing;was it murder,suicide Taking all your loved ones on a really dodgey ride? The Unconscious has impulses of which we do not know Like sending cripples out to buy their own food in the snow
What can we deduce from this, is he Head of State Ascending up to heaven, does he want to emigrate?