The only ritual

The ritual is to put the garbage out
My day begins the night before it’s due
When I recall the day, I have to count
Instead of Mass, we put the garbage out
No Confession so no sin,no horrid doubt
No neighbours and no prayer,no ancient pew
The only ritual left, toss garbage out
My mind begins to think about the clue

Liquid unmodernity

My brain has turned to liquid and it’s dripping from my ears
I need some kind of tampon to absorb this sudden rush
Why did noone tell me this is frightful to endure?
My brain has turned to liquid and it’s dripping from my ears
I think it’s far too late to expect a total cure
I’ll never hear the little voice nor see the burning bush
My brain has turned to liquid and it’s dripping from my ears
Where’s an alcoholic then, to drink the mighty rush



Tread right on the holy human face

The way to be successful is now clear
Deny your shame,humiliate the poor
Have no friends or mate whom you hold dear
The way to be successful is right here
Control your cronies with a hint of fear
Tread on the lowly, who can but endure
The way to be successful, shed no tears
Repress your shame,humiliate the poor

Accidentally tread on someone’s face
As you run for president again
Make sure their features are unclear,erased
Knowingly tread on the human face
It’s not evil, it is just bad taste
The devil is a clown, we feel no strain
Incidentally tread on someone’s face
As you run for president again

The Words Mine

Every poem begins with a first line
After that we choose the space and time
The words float in my head till they combine
Must a poem begin with its first line?
Some are bold and some are more refined
Some are free and some have lissom rhymes
A poem begins by finding a first line
After that we search the Deep Words Mine


The pillars of the Western Mind have cracked

The end of values, kindness, earned respect
The loss of wisdom,history and truth
The pillars of democracy are cracked.

The centre of the heart,who can protect?
Conspiracy and madness unseat proof
An end of values, kindness, earned respect

Violence is admired though lives are wrecked
The lasting triumph of the folk uncouth
The pillars of the Western Mind have cracked

Their minds unfurnished seem bereft of tact
They tread on others words like horses’ hooves
The end of values, kindness, earned respect

How can such opponents make a pact?
The calculating crucify our youth
The pillars of the Western Mind have cracked


Yet Western Empire builders had no ruth
They tortured those they conquered group by group
On such ground just madmen earn respect
The altars of the Western Mind have cracked

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


Enigmatic like a midday dream

The fallen sun makes black the trees that lean
Its liquid centre thrown up wild and bright
Enigmatic  like a midday dream

The  pinky edges shift in  sun’s bent beams
Do they convey the aura of the light?
The fallen sun makes black the trees that lean

I wonder where my haunted eyes have been
In the forests deeper than the night
Enigmatic  like a midday dream

Schizoid, lacking affect,  a  slit scream
Destroying what is left of love and sight
The fallen sun makes black the trees that lean

Here we saw wild primrose by the stream
The castle of the Tudors soft in  blight
Enigmatic  like a midday dream

Bewildered people  kill their own insight
Toss their fears , into the weak to bite
The failing sun as pure as  boiling screams
Enigmatic  are our midnight dreams

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

Now the melancholy’s gone

Now I’m feeling kind of numb on this January day
The darkness came down sudden and I feel it’s here to stay
Shall I make some tea and pretend that you are here
I’m naked like the wood underneath that swish venee
r.

I’m feeling kinda nothin’ now the melancholy’s gone
Should I be doing something that will give me, like, some fun?
The silence is not threatening, but neither is it good
Did you ever wish that you weren’t made of flesh and blood?


I’m feeling so damned stupid for falling on my back
My shoulder was in agony and there’s whiplash in my neck
The doctor, he injected me, but he said it’s down to luck
He may have missed the mark, he says,I wish I’d said,oh fec
k

Apparently the elderly are not in much demand
I heard a sorta whisper as my head went in the sand
We must keep the silence or we’ll frighten off the young
They don’t seem to notice
but the cat will lick my hand

I didn’t know how old I was till the clock flew off the wall
Isn’t it uncanny what you see before the Fall?

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 dam burst

Yout letter seems to overflow with rage
The reservoir of hatred has emerged
The loving kindness vanished without trace

I cannot see the mirror of your face
You used me to contain your anger’s surge
Yout letter, wanton, overflows with rage

Why did you enact your Play in haste?
Why treat me so coldly , why me hurt?
Your act of love has vanished without trace

Do not tell me I was not your taste
You fantasised an image I dispute
Yout letter ,sadly, overflows with rage

I hate to see my love was to you waste
Free speech applies to both, you can’t refute
How could good, true love leave not a trace?

After this, I in my world was mute
I could not speak,my heart and soul pursued
Yout letter uses words to channel rage
You wished to see me naked,this the stage

Her voice

The ice in the eye
Invisible glass
Splinters the vision
Light can harass.

Panic makes feints
Like dancing with skates
She passed out in angst
Traumatic the date

The clutch at the heart
Oxygen, gas
Loosen your grip
The glory, the waste

Ariel,Israel,
Where is the horse?
Where are the olives?
Where is her voice?

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?



THE MEMORY LASTS

midsummer days evoke the trancelike past
where children played in joyous, daisied fields
with buttercups so bright the memory lasts
a freedom that our conscious growth will steal.

those stones and leaves and many coloured flowers
were gathered into images that glow
yet later we forget those treasured hours
when for a while we lived in life’s deep flow

we did not look and see,but felt at one
we lived as did the birds high in the trees
now we write , experiencing has gone
we cannot live like flowers filled with bright bees

to lose ourselves in nature is a joy
which to our adult selves we must restore

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

Rehab is not kind when nearly dead

To get you fit for death they took you in
The Rehabilitation of the dead ?
They got you up and sent you to a gym

You had a bed, the light was very dim
So those new books I brought were never read
To get you fit for death they forced you in

You fell onto my lap, it was no sin
Your face as black as Satan’s in his bed
They pulled you up for torture in a gym


They taunted you like Nazi’s, what’s to win?
Tell me what the liars wrote down or said
To get you fit for death they forced you in

When Christ was killed, they hung him on a hill
If God is tortured, where should man be led?
Who imagined dead men in a gym?

When the trouble came the nurses fled
You died in A and E , there was no bed
To prepare you for you death they asked me in
You cried,I want to die, but they just grinned

Trembling with anxiety will circulate your blood

They say we ought to exercise
Walk up and down the stairs
Never use a Lift instead
Despite the tear and wear

I think I’ve found the answer
It’s as simple as can be
Just shake your limbs and head about
While you watch TV

But if you’re very nervous
That will do you good
Trembling with anxiety
Will circulate your blood

Or if you see men following you
Then run until they stop
They might be a fantasy
So do not call a cop

Agitation’s terrible
But even that’s ok
You won’t be able to sit down
Ot even kneel to pray

So have a nervous breakdown
You will live to ninety nine
You may not enjoy it much
But it fits my little rhyme

I suppose the answer is now plain
We have to choose our way
Loose and happy on the sands
Or shivering & trembling all day

When you die the Coffin men
Will thank you if you’r slim
It might be a real nervous breakdown
Is better than many a gym

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 holes and ink are fashion

I’ve got liquid Quink on all my clothes
I thought that everyone would like to know
I’ve got moth holes in my sweaters like small eyes
But my winter coat is still almost alright

I’ve had this coat for fifteen years,it’s brown
It drapes quite well, the maker is renowned
I must put it on to take a walk outside
To see which plants have died and which survived

My husband would be very shocked indeed
My tights have gaping holes upon my knees
The ink has penetrated to my vest
God knows where that Quink will wander next

If your clothes are damaged, do not cry
At least 5,000 moths have learned to fly

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

God with you

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 c
ount

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

Let them see your feet without their shoes

When strangers ask for photos of you nude
Or wearing clothes so scanty they’ll go blind
Let them see your feet without their shoes

Let them see your twisted toes turn blue
Let them see the bunions God designed
When strangers ask for photos rather rude

Can one solve a crossword with no clues?
Can one have no bosom and look fine?
Can they love your feet without cute shoes?

When you’re feeling sad and life is blue
When you long for love but not divine
When gentlemen want photos somewhat crude

Try to sell them on the Evening News
Take the veil or drink the Altar Wine
Let them kiss your feet without their shoes

When you’re looking for the hidden signs
Don’t read numbers settlers left behind
When strangers ask for photos, give them clues
Let them wash your feet but make them queue

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