Stan awoke feeling very thirsty.My, this bed is much too hard,he thought.He put out his hand and felt some wood not far away.It was his desk. Emile was lying on his stomach purring. You fell out of bed,the little cat miaowed.Luckily I clung on with my claws and I am ok sleeping down here….I can see any mice better. Well,it’s not ok with me,Stan informed him gently.How can I get up from here? He picked up the Cambridge Companion to Sylvia’ Plath and banged on his desk softly. Mary was awake and heard a strange sound.She got up and found Stan lying on the floor with his head by his desk. Emile wanted to sleep by the wall,you see.,he told her. Then he rolled over and I fell out. That is logically and scientifically unsensible,Mary told him. Surely Emile is not so big that his weight was enough to knock you out of the bed?It is against the law of gravityAnyway,why don’t you get up? I like it down here,the old man lied to her. OK Mary said,then she picked up the phone and rang 999. Hello,she said.My cat is very upset as he feels guilty for pushing my husband out of bed. How terrible for you,the man answered.I’ll send an ambulance right away. Mary opened the front door and left it unlatched whilst she lit the electric lights with a match. How do you feel Stan,she enquired. I am thirsty,give me so brandy,he ordered her politely as he was very full of kindness. They said not to let you or Emile drink or eat. Blooming ridiculous,he told her in a manly fashion Soon the ambulance arrived and the paramedics were running up the stairs to seee the poor cat. Mary fainted so they laid her on the bed whilst they comforted Emile and cleaned his paws. Then they picked up Stan and laid him right next to Mary,his wife. Why don’t you have a bigger bed,one asked Stan. Bigger than what,he responded academically. Well,if you were any fatter you’d not be able to get laid with your wife. True,he replied but I am 96 you know.I have erectile malefaction already and am unwilling to have more mistresses and lovers or even concubines. I shall make you some tea the female paramedic told them forcefully Well,you don’t seem to be hurt,the other one told Stan, but the cat may need therapy or counselling because of the guilt he will feel. He’s not a Catholic I hope. No, he’s Jewish,Stan shouted nervously. That’s alright then.He can have concubines if he chooses.How do cats get to be Jewish anyhow/ It’s their souls,Mary said…they are all waiting up there for a suitable place to be reborn and some choose to be cats. But how can you tell? he asked wonderingly.They have no prayer shawls They miaow in Hebrew,Mary said loftily.And they like to sing the psalms before bed. But how do you know it’s Hebrew,he replied.Do you speak it? No, it’s just he hates bacon and peperoni and always wears a hat so it seems he must be one of Jesus’s friends,but not Judas of course.I suppose Jesus wore a hat but it’s never been found as yet.Not even being sold as relics. Well,that’s intriguing.Do you think Emile might be the Messiah? Oh,dear.We never thought of that.Will he have to go to Galilee and catch fish and walk on water? No, he can go to Rome and tell the Pope that the Church is not what God planned. I hope they don’t kill him,Mary cried… God will not be very happy. I didn’t know God had moods,Stan said. He has post-creative depressive disorder….no wonder when we look round he world. Still they did try,I’ll say that for him or her. And so say all of us For he’s a very good yeller,he’s a very good yeller A cat’s life is a fuss.Miaow
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
Trees lean over, watchful as we meet The tall ones do not shiver in the breeze Trees can hear the torment in our speech We have flowering cherry in our street But mine died like my lover with great ease Trees lean over listening as we meet
The tree won’t bend too close, it will not reach As panic,worry, horror,nightmares squeeze Trees discern the music in our squeaks
Alas, no tree has mastered human speech But when they can, they coax the honey bees Trees lean over sweetly as we meet
The leaves will rustle,wrestle and may tease Smile for selfies,what’s the word, it’s cheese Trees lean over, wonder, and conceive Yet trees hate noone, nor do they believe
The sun was shining in the night I woke at half past three The moon was cut in half again Send the rest a flea The night was dark, the light was off Please do not blame me The cat was hungry so I made Some chips and Earl Grey tea My husband was asleep again So I climbed the Xmas tree I found no coins or chocolates Just a mouldy pack of Brie I hunted high,I hunted low But found no new decree I spun till I got vertigo And fell into the sea Here I float on a small boat Will God still love my me?
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
I am this, the cobble stones Hot tar between the wails and groans Some stones are flat,our stones were round Snap entry to the Underground I am the pools in pavement holes In winter frost you crack my bones On my surface, children prance I am the stage,I am the dance I see you and you see me As your peek with bended knee I am the bricks that built your house I am the mousehole and the mouse Here comes Ginger, the big cat He caught a chicken and a rat Here the coal shed, here the lav That is what our houses had Cold it is if menstrual pain Comes on in the night again Colder still to lose your child To the sewers wizened smile I am the earth on which we grew I am the mystery,I the clue Stand on me,I am your strength I the bowler,I the length Golden children came to dust I the promise,I the cost
Don’t send me an apron forXmas When all that I want is a glove A glove for the oven Its hands must be frozen Let’s drown the old oven in love.
Don’t send me a card on my birthday I cannot remember your name Just bake me a cake I prefer it to steak Don’t limp unless you are lame Don’t change the sheets every week,dear For washing them makes them wear thin Just give me a brush I’ll beat off the fluff Then we can both have some fun
Don’t give me bacon for breakfast God won’t let Jews eat it yet His aversion to swine Is what makes him divine The fig tree is dead I regret
Put your painful feelings into form The sonnet,villanelle, the triolet The shape controls the anguish of the storm Our wounds can shape our vision and our thoughts Remember school, where bullies made you pay? Put your painful feelings into form
Words like daggers pierce the loving heart Oh, memory must not cut us off from play The play controls the violence of the storm
Let all thought of vengeance now depart Or our spirit blackens, then decays Put those painful feelings into form
In its time the sun will bring new dawns Tears will wash our souls from black to grey The words compress,contain the bloody storm
Do not give the monsters time of day Conversation does not always pay Put your painful feelings into form The shape will heal the anguish like a balm
Oh,Mary is in horrid pain It’s her sciatica again. No pills can cure but nettles might She will roll in them tonight Emile is aware of this He gives her a loving kiss Emile, I’ve told you it’s not done To kiss your mother though in fun What would Stan think,were he here Drinking from a can of beer? What would Annie think of this? Go, give her a big wet kiss
Oh,mother I might bite her lip As my teeth are made to nip Take my emery board and smooth Your pointed teeth and any grooves Can I use Stan’s old toothbrush No, I’ve put it in the Wash
Maybe seals will use it there Send them combs and do not swear I did not mean to curse again My back is aching,I’ve no pluck Mother, dearest, don’t say feck
Well, that’s Irish, it’s ok The Catholics wlil offer prayers I pray too for all my friends Those bereaved or round the bend Do you mean those who see ghosts ? Maybe it’s the heavenly Host
As long as you look clean and neat Noone will see your hooves or feet Noone will know you see and hear Emissaries from other spheres. Don’t meet eyes nor stare at men And always write with a good pen
You may be in another realm Dave can see you’r overwhelmed He will pat your head this day For this he gets his kicks and pay When you feel yourself again See it you can spot old Stan Where is Annie,Mary’s friend? Where the Spirit which descends Where are our neighbours whom we love? Singing with the turtle dove All the Saints will chant along As Jesus sings his ancient songs
Spirits rise and Love is here Drinking in the atmosphere
The butterfly is like a flower which moves its station every hour. Oh,happy is he on the wing. The vision makes me quick to sing. The flower is open in the sun, And to its heart, true love shall come. The bees shall feast and fly replete With nectar they are now full sweet. I sing of colour and of love; Blessings that rain down from above. I wish to be a flower too. Ah,that the bee could but be you.