Before we were dead

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


Cliches for all

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https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-squeaky-wheel/201306/the-seven-hidden-dangers-brooding-and-ruminating

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

And so say all of us

Confess again

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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


The eyes see what we fear or what we need

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

Is evil de rigeur?

Why should we do evil if we care
Care about the world and humankind?
What is evil, what is good, what’s fair?

To feel we’re God, implacable our stare
Igniting terror in a human mind
Why should we do that if we do care?

Some do evil deeds to show they dare,
Making their own heart a place malign
What is evil, what is good, what’s fair?

The truly strong are anxious and aware
Letting their love flow in reason’s time
Why should we do that if we don’t care?

The good are like the tortoise not the hare
Slowly with perception ,impulse reined,
Acquainted with the evil ,good prefer

The true mind is the one refined by pain
Seeking no revenge,but to so learn
Why should we do evil if we care?
There is evil, is it de rigeur?

Never store your water in a shoe

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 c
olours 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 r
age
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



Do not ask



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


No new disgrace

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




Human sacrifice

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



Mary Adair 2

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!

Love will need no trick

In my despair I felt that I was stuck
Paralysed by  grief and guilt I failed
By the end I had tried every trick

From prayer unthought to deeps of logic black
My  life, my engine ,juddered off the  rails
I hated God and of “his” Church was  sick

Starving  and alone I was in shock
The death of one I loved   had made me frail
By the end I had tried every trick


I felt  love’s arms around me,  death to block
I knew   this goodness,  why else would I wail?
I   thought I hated God  but Love had struck

Warm and golden light  that  did me hold
Where are you now when refugees  die cold?
Kind despair  that  made me long time sit

By the end I knew  Love needs no trick

The Iron Fist

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
?

Holy heart’s affection,beating pulse

One single tear   expresses  love and loss
Dramatic storms  excess may make folk pause
Who  will notice  one tear and its  cost?

A little stone near water may grow moss
But only mountains bring a sense of awe
One single tear   expresses  love and loss

Grief  must not wallowed in, like  baths
Philosophers not hurt  their minds   uncaused
Who  then will  observe   the tear,  the  cost?

To an ant, a pebble is quite gross
To a widow, death has hungry jaws
One single tear  may   show how she is lost

The entire self is  tear-filled  like  a marsh
We weep  till love itself becomes remorse
Let  one tear out and hide its  anguished cost

The heart’s affections use  poetic laws
Holy  circulation,  blood that draws
One single tear  falls down like bladed grass
Who  will care for  this tear, bear  its  cost?

 

 

 

 

In honour of Paul Tillich

Paul Tillich gave our spirit proper place.

He showed us courage as a  space to dwell.

He wrote for us and left us with   his  grace

With hope he might  well speak and he might tell.

So many people ignored Fascist speech

And lived with mind cut off from  their own soul

With pen in hand he wrote his soul to reach

And touch us as we strive towards the whole.

Expelled from his own country, he wrote on

Continuing during  tortuous war long years

He lived, he loved ,he wrote, he died and then

His books continue to dispatch our fears.

For many men have lived and have destroyed.
 Tillich showed  us how to face the  void

 

The loss of dignity, the face unread

His face was black, he fell against my breast
Dying in an armchair by his bed
While nurses gossiped,he was  alone left

The  doctor said it would be for the best
The rehab is not meant for those  near death
His face was black, he fell against my breast

I asked him,dearest, do you feel depressed?
He nodded  with a gravity like lead
While nurses gossiped,he was lonely left

Then I realised   my  wifely task
I was even asked to lift him to his bed
No longer  as my bridegroom at the feast

The loss of dignity, the face unread
The  blindness of the staff,  the broken head
His face was black, he fell against my breast
While nurses gossiped,he was fading fast

 

 

Entertainment,sadism, power

On a hilltop not so far from Rhyl
Mother took us to the Zoo as Mothers will
The wind was strong and cold, the air was harsh
Although it was in August, not in March

Vultures  in enclosures   chained by leg
Like convicts in a prison   full of dread
When they vainly  tried to  get away
I felt their faith and hope dismayed

Who had chosen birds like these to show?
Even God himself would never know
Entertainment,sadism, power
Making people pay  and  children cower

When we got back  to the station I was sick
What cruel minds  played such a trick?

Stitch the world together

Heal your own neurosis ,let go shame
Why should you  be less because you ache?
Stitch yourself together without blame

Have you got the problem with no name?
Have you made a billion weird mistakes?
Love your own neurosis without shame

Be  with other people when you can
Listen to them talking,  you may shake
Stitch yourself together without blame

We all get wet when wandering in the rain
Dry another person for love’s sake
Live your with neurosis without shame

Do not worry that your soul is stained
Keep the pieces when your own heart breaks
Bring yourselves together without blame

It is not Xmas yet but make a cake
Share good news,accept what is now fate
Own your own neurosis, let go shame
Stitch  the world together, that’s our aim

Love must win

Of love and hatred which is  stronger now?
We destroy the enemy we choose
Love must win, but we ask when and how

Before the force of evil do not bow
But search your heart to find if you have clues
Oh love and hatred which is  stronger now?

In my own  heart, evil   leaves me bruised
What to do when we are so confused
Love must win, but we ask when and how

Others are not there to be misused
The harm we do adheres like strongest glues
Of love and hatred which is stronger now?

There is no heavenly court where we can sue
In the past we know how hatred grew
Love must win, but we ask when and who

Round  the world pandemics of hate flew
With the media  we see more and new
Of love and hatred which is is   growing now?
Love must win, but we ask when and how

Test your own eyes

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?