My husband has a rubber face











My husband has a rubber face,
He’s from a subset of the human race.
Some men have faces fixed and set;
My husband’s face is not like that.

He imitates our politicians,
Just like Rory Bremner can.
Though he has no wig or hair piece,
He can look like anyone.

Some nights I waken for I am laughing
While I am quite sound asleep.
I am dreaming of his mobile features,
Contorted to a different shape.

He is skilled at telling jokes.
And he loves a good cartoon.
If I am feeling flu style blueness
I he can get me up again.

He has a rather noble visage.
He gets attention he abbhors.
In the bar on King’s Cross Station—
I was asked was he a Lord!

He’s a Lord of Fun and Humour.
He’s a Lord at Listening Well.
He’s unique, but so are you,
And all creatures that on earth do dwell

The words evoked what no-one could conceive

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


The personality of trees

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 footstep on the stairs

I remember you so well for those eight years
The nights you sang love’s lullabies to me
I was fearful of the footstep on the stairs

You held me as we paddled in the sea
Maybe Blackpool,maybe Morecambe too
You told me stories as I sat upon your kne
e

I have some good memories, too few
Where are all those days we played outdoors?
Who knows if these memories are true?


In East Lancs and in West Lancs rain will pour
Once you wrapped me in your coat, but then
Mam was angry when we reached the door

She told you, you were foolish for a man
Why should men be wise, should anyone?
That was when your illnesses began

You let me lie beside you in your bed
I’d had my tonsils out and felt unwell
I talked but don’t remember what you said


I didn’t know the meaning of pure hell
I guess I learned that when death you befell
Come back,Daddy,missing you too well

I’m still your little girl, your smiling belle

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

Our bodies and their songs

Your breath became my spirit,made me live
You touch me as I breathe air in and out
I feel your presence in my heart’s inside

You have made our bodies, there’s no doubt
Growing from two cells, the urge is strong
The body’s wishes are not sinful now

In the schizoid era, flesh seems wrong
The intellectuals are the most admired
Yet we need our bodies and their songs

Ideas, more than loving, are desired
Sex and our poor bodies make us sin
Yet th damned chaste sing in Hell’s own choirs

Breath of God, the clay made into flesh
We continue in the holy work
No creation can be kept suppressed

May our lively bodies be well blessed
Loving into being all the world
Breathing in and breathing out God’s dust

Bill,Bill,my mother’s dad

Bill.Bill.my mother’s dad
Down the coal mine he did dig
When he was but a young lad

He was never very big
He spoke in the old dialect
He had a dog, a pipe, no cig

Silent,smiling, starving wrecked
He sent kids to a soup kitchen
Learned to read, but knew few facts

Went to London,saw Big Ben
Still angry from the General Strike
Aye,he were a silent man

He walked at night, he had no bike
To the coal mine with his cat
The cat sat waiting till first light

Then they walked, he did head maths
His wife had died, the son was born
When he got home, he had a bath

His father worked in fields of corn
Peasants on the Chesire farms
The pay was poor, were up at dawn

He himself were on good terms
With his neighbours, Irish, torn
He went to Mass,so Latin learned

My mum was th’eldest of those born
She had me,my own dad died
She went mad, she was forlorn

Lost her mother, then she tried
To help her Dad with all her heart
Never wept and never cried

Then she made a different start
Met my dad and married late
So I am here with my own charts

Is it destiny or fate
Why am I down here, d’you ken?
I see you grandad, is it late?



Deep down in the earth

Cold dull winters bring us close to death
The blood grows thick and scarcely does it move
The worms may shudder deep down in the earth

This damp coldness presses out our breath
The frost and ice, the memory delude
Cold dull winters bring us close to death

Do we need the sun to give us worth?
Low in oxygen, the mind’s confused
The worms have nightmares deep down in the earth

Should we pause, these issues to address?
In this Lockdown, where should we confess?
Cold dull winters bring us close to death

Wonder now what makes our voices terse
With no priests, who shall this poor world bless?
The worms may sleep deep down inside the earth


On each other,let us not intrude
Let all loving kindness be our food
Cold dull winters bring us close to death
Like worms that slumber deep down in the earth

I fried the honey moon

The cat would listen as I sang a tune
Maybe Leonard Cohen, maybe Bach
I washed the pots and dried the silver spoon
s

He lay down on the carpet as I crooned
Now I have a doormat and no heart
The cat would listen as I sang a tune

In early married life. I saw no doom
Oh,mother, don’t you know we have to part?
I washed the pots. gave back the silver spoon

Instead I saw the silver of the moon
Where do we draw diagrams or charts?
The cat would wriggle gently, dance my tune
s

He said the cat was ill,oh, can’t be cured
The cat had tumours ,soon we had to part
I threw the pots outside and bent the spoons

Our hearts are full of holes, pierced by such darts
My lover left me and my friends were sharks
The cat should listen as I sing a tune
I am mad, I fried the honey moon

The art of doing nothing

The art of doing nothing’s hard to learn
To sit and daydream till we get new thoughts
It’s immoral, say the Puritans
reformed

Harder to accept the need to mourn
So many ancient losses strip our hearts.
The art of doing nothing’s hard to learn

The feelings that felt too hard to be borne
We could have looked for maps or sought out charts
It’s immoral to seek help so we’ve been told

Here we weep when our skinned hearts are torn
We fear we may have forfeited love’s balm
The art of doing nothing’s hard to learn

We only know our self when love is born
In another’s eyes we find our calm
Reject the harshness of old Luther’s forms

Fear not death, for there are strong wide arms
God is not a monster who wills harm
The art of doing nothing will prepare
For when we meet one day his welcome stare

High the cost

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

I regret nothing

Don’t send me an apron for Xmas
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

As waves die

The music is the waves as they run high
Across the pebbly sands onto the road
Then groaning of the shingle as waves die

The fish that dwell deep in the dark, dark brine
The flow within as outer waters flow
The music of the waves as they run high

The moon reflects sun’s light to other eyes
Above the seas which rise up to its goad.
Then groans the shingle as the steep waves die

The sea holds hidden goods where we can’t pry
In the deep the heavy water moulds
The music of the waves as they run high

All the day and all of the black night
The seas and oceans change from high to low
Ah, groans the earth as each wave has to die

Re-hear these sounds, are they a sacred code?
As angels wrestled, Jacob feared the Lord
His music is the waves as they run high
His groaning is the shingle as waves die

In the desert grey

I was walking in a desert grey and bleak
All alone, with none to speak or  eat
I shuddered when I realised the truth
I was unmarried, pregnant, mere refuse.

Cast out for other failings all unknown
My baby came too soon and I alone
A doctor with no face appeared and said
Your baby died ,I see he’s never fed

He flung my baby  on his heap of dead
I lay there  in the dirt, red with  my blood
I  had to leave or I  would  die of grief
The will to live  just stronger than a  leaf

I went to see my baby, and  he smiled
He was still alive, my love,my child
I took him in my arms,  where should we go?
I walked into that darkness
full and slow

Owls surprise

Photo by Francesco De tommaso on Pexels.com

Look without and see the claret sky
The sun is falling like Greek wine tonight
As sparrows hide in holly,safe from eyes

We need protection till our minds sublime
Into dusty corners shine their lights
Look without and see the curious sky

Tell your heart, your truth, though others lie
Seem rewarded with both cash and spite
Oh, sparrows hide in holly, leaves awry

A man is called an emperor , yet he dies
Look without and see the fatal signs
The sky is turning panic to delight

At last, philosopher, the silence sighs
Throw away the your thoughts, cold or benign
As sparrow safe in holly, shut their eyes

The hawk may soar across the sacred lines
Where patterns of complexity arise
Look without and see the open sky
When sparrows rest in holly, owls surprise

Round the bend

The Wash, Lincolnshire, England | Images of england, Lincolnshire, England




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 atmospher
e

I sing of colour and of love

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.

Willing





Do not cultivate a bitter heart
Nor spread the seeds of malice where you go
Accept the worst, be willing, though it smarts

Do not plot your hatred on a chart
Stand and feel , accept what we can’t know
Do not cultivate a bitter heart

When we suffer deeply, when death parts
The agony is torment passing slow
Accept the worst, be willing, wounds do smart

Though we have no dagger,words are sharp
The little snails have nothing but teach slow
Do not cultivate a bitter heart

Do not be the tiger as it snarls
Fate and death and anguish hurt us most
Accept, be first, be willing, though it smarts

As we sink down further into low
We see the glow worms, wondrous like lit snow
Open arms and time relieve our hearts
Accept, be patient, willing, that is smart

Meeting you

I used to see you waiting up the hill
Your shape a cipher,features not yet seen
My heart would smile and I feel tender still

I’d start  to run, while your eyes had their fill
Getting close with kisses like thick cream
I used to see you waiting up the hill

We would get the paper,pay the bill
As love flowed out like water from a stream
My heart would smile and I feel tender still

We walked  the City churches, they were  chill
But beautiful  and complex like a dream
I used to see you waiting up the hill

Now never will you be here,yet I shall
I mistake another person as sun gleams
My heart may smile for I feel tender still

In the night, I woke up with a scream
I felt I too must die, that’s how it seemed
I long to see you waiting up the hill
My heart will smile, I feel  so tender still

 

 

 

Lay down ,lay down,I saw you smile,lay down

I dreamed of you last night, you wore a smile
Fifty years ago you took your life
And left me for the agony, the trial

Since then I’ve had no vision but denial
Your face was absent,cut out by a knife
I dreamed of you last night, your little smile

There was no motive, we had never quarreled
I was blinded, nervous and too shy
You left to me the agony, the trial

Who consoles the woman left in horror?
Sickly on my lonely bed I lay
I dreamed of you last night, you wore a smile

In my view, I could not see tomorrow
Through my suffering I did try to pay
You left to me the agony, the trial

The grief of fifty years came out today
Oh, lay down, baby, lay down, baby, lay
I dreamed that you were here, your face. your smile
You console me now poor lovers reconciled

The silence glows

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,destroy
ed

In between the lover and his rose
A screen electric in the silence glows

Ironized

Your eyes are sharp as razors boiled in wrath
It’s easy to provoke but less to soothe
My hair is protein, do not rip it off

You think you are above us yet we laugh
Your hair curls tightly. men don’t like it smooth
Your eyes are sharp as razors boiled in wrath

Though my hair is tangled I’ve no moths
I have no lice, nor eggs,so do not brood
My hair is protein, do not cut it off

You’ll catch nineteen germs if someone coughs
Stay in Lockdown, banish those who feud
Your eyes are sharp as needles boiled in wrath


,

Take your steely look and make it love
Our eyes can with such kindness be imbued
My hair is protein,I must be a Goth

Life is wasted when we start to feud
Or stick like needles in the rounded gtoove
Your eyes are sharp as hawks sent up in wrath
O tragic world,men hate more than they love

Wait on God,like waiting on a tide.

Wait on God,like waiting on a tide.
The moon exerts her pull with dignity
No human force can change how these seas ride.

We plead with God forever to abide!
Should we fear his great sagacity?
Wait on God as waiting for the tide.

Maybe it is his will which decides
Not ours to go there in audacity
No human force can change how these seas ride.

Do not mock and torment him we flayed
With no control of our temerity
Wait on God be patient towards the tides

When we suffer, we obey our pride
Demand we shall not lose our dignity
No human force can change how great seas ride

For a lover, life has clarity
Within those arms a rich variety
Wait on God,like waiting on a tide.
No human force can change the wild seas ride.

We forget that grief is close to fear


My skin is aching,tender, loss has pierced
My heart needs walls, its boundary has gone.
I miss the touch of love from him so dear |
|
A rack of metal pins brought me tears
Why suffer this till I am quite undone?
My skin is aching,tender, by loss pierced

We forget that grief is close to fear
When alone, we panic, what’s to come?
I ache without the love from him so dear

Psychotic, with no unity, who steers?
My head is so remote,I have no plan
My skin is aching,tender, by loss pierced

Cursed be the One who made our sphere
Since Eden went,by so called sin undone
I ache without the love from someone dear

I should get my cell, St.Julian
Hid inside the church wall, does Love come?
My skin is aching,tender, loss has pierced
Uncaressed by him whom I held dear,

The cat

Cats make homes wherever they find ease
I wish I were a cat and you were too
Cats pay no rent are never mortgagees
Cats make homes wherever they find ease
Self sufficient, they don’t live to please
And if they are disturbed they simply flee
No sulking and no moods, they’re never blue
Cats make homes wherever they find ease
I wish I were a cat and lived with you

The one ram’s horn

Xmas lights induce a feeling sweet
Memories of the love inside our home
Little children safe drift into sleep

I never knew that other mothers wept
The smell of baking,cards and keeping warm
Xmas lights induce a feeling sweet


My errant brothers did their best to tease
Burned my golden hair as if to warn
Joan of Arc rocked restless in her sleep

When the lights are off nobody sees
The moment when the Saviour child is born
Xmas lights induce my feelings deep

Holy are the beggars in the street
Waiting, hear the sheep bells, the ram’s horn
Little children dream this as they sleep

Midwinter low, and slow the sun, the dawn
The veil between the worlds must not be torn
Xmas lights , oh stars that deck the night
Little children smiling draw us tight

Not the words we read

Do not rush about when under stress
You may fall and bang your tender head
With agitation caused by business

Rather than do more, we must do less
Do it slowly till it’s time for bed
Do not rush about when under stress

Do not ruminate nor second guess
Grace is blocked,imagination led
By agitation caused by business

Slowness leads some space, so slowness bless
In tune with nature, not the words we read
Do not rush about when under stress

If you are a hare,keep from excess
If a tortoise,you’ll end up ahead
No agitation caused by business

The lilies of the field by grace are fed
And so our hearts are when our burden’s shed
Do not rush about when under stress
With agitation causing grief to living flas
h

It doesn’t have to hurt

I get up in the morning after twenty cups of tea
I dress in some bright clothing that will make God worship me
I am getting so much older and I never learned to flirt
How did I have time to go to work ?


I spend a long time daydreaming,I love a reverie
Now I have no cat at all, my new plants all love me
I sit and write my poetry, it doesn’t have to hurt
How did I have time to go to work?

I’ve a prayer plant from the tropics,Brazilian so I read
I’m buying it some pebbles, it likes a waterbed
I’ve also got a Peace Lily, surveillance is covert
How did I have time to go to work?


Time they say is precious, as they run with manic verve
Like a tangent to a circle, they miss the holy curve
My ambition is for indolence, my ideas I will nurse
Why did I waste time and go to work?



Cliches for all

bbf78-6395086_ec46b81f11_m

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