The ladder

I fear  to stand up  tall on this new earth
One hand is on the ground,  my back is bent
Shivering fear, excitement, what’s  this birth?

I climbed , like Wittgenstein, a ladder’s worth
Then threw the ladder down   as my assent
I fear  to stand up  tall on this new earth

Far away, so far, the time of mirth
For sometime a lover I was lent
Shivering fear, excitement, what’s  this birth?

I wonder can I walk ,this step the first
 Love may die and who shall then repent?
I fear  to stand up  tall on this new earth

I see myself in black, the window’s bust
A man climbs out  uncut by accident
Shivering wonder, what allures  such birth?

I see in my mind’s eye  the incident
I  learn to balance  gravity with  sense
I desire  to stand on this new earth
Shivering, wonder, is it birth or curse?

When after death I lie deep in the earth

O happy worm that of  my flesh might eat
When after death I lie in deep in the earth
My bosom,hands and eyes  become your meat

You have no sun as you enjoy your feast
And none is  chosen as we were at birth
O happy worm that of  my flesh might eat

All of us are equal in defeat
None are high or low , what are we worth?
My brain,my hands,my eyes  become worms’ meat

In the soil, we rest  in comfort sweet
Let us all be blessed,God  make no curse
You made the happy worms who   will  us  eat

O  remember the deep  ash from Auschwitz’ heat
The little children killed without Kaddish
Those  hearts ,those hands, those eyes   no worm   could eat

,
Why should we  be satisfied by wish

When  people burn or starve  beside our dish
O Godly worm that of  my flesh might eat
Let my very self  become your meat

Mary meets her neighbours

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Sitting on the high backed,v Ercol sofa in the large sitting room of her new neighbours Tom an n jn n n nnnd Edina, Mary sipped at the PG Tips tea she had been given in a pseudo-art deco mug.The tea tasted pseudo as well!

Would you like some delicious cake,Mary? Edina asked her rather loudly
Mary jumped.
Oh excuse me, my nerves are all on edge, she cried.I’d love some home made cake
Edina took out a penknife and cut a slice of the large cake.Alas it was coffee flavoured and Mary was not fond of that.This was agony to her especially coffee flavoured butter cream filling as she liked all the other flavours..Suffering from this is a new psychiatric disorder called uncakeophilia disorder
Why are you using a penknife in here ,Tom asked his wife angrily.We have lots of kitchen knives and other silver ones
I found it on the floor,Edina said pensively
I don’t suppose you washed it, Tom answered wildly
Mary leaned back and shut her eyes for a moment.I hate noise, she thought.
No, dirt is good for the immune system, Edina murmured
What rubbish, you are so lazy I can’t believe it! her husband told her.
After 39 years you should be used to it,Edina told him sensibly.Who made all these new curtains and vacuumed the roof? she went on languidly
Did you vacuum the roof in your last house,Mary asked her?
We lived in a flat before so I never had to do it.
Well, it’s unnecessary,Mary said , why not learn Esperanto?
Where do people speak that?
I have no idea but it’s a language,Mary cried decisively
But can it really be a language if it’s not the native tongue of any country?,
Well Yiddish is a language yet few people speak it,Tom told them
It would be difficult for the dead to speak,Mary said in a sad voice
It used to be spoken by millions of people in Central and Eastern Europe.
Why didn’t Hitler teach them English,asked Edina?
You think he only hated their language,said Tom in surprise.I’ve never heard that before.
It is bloody ridiculous,Mary said in her soft yet vibrant voice…he didn’t kill them because of their language and they spoke German as well,Maybe even French,Polish and other tongues
Just then they heard a strange choking sound .It was Emile the talking tomcat trying to get out of Mary’s large plastic handbag
Good grief ,Tom shouted.Did we invite this cat? Does he drink tea from cups? Is he real?
Well, yes , I love tea, Emile mewed.And don’t shout at Mary like that!
I am not letting a cat order me about,Tom screamed like a lunatic
But it’s not nice for Mary.She is a highly sensitive person and I love her
Now, they tell us,Edina whispered.She is married to her cat
I didn’t hear you,Tom said,Is she harried ,did you say?
No I said married
But her husband is dead
Well, now she has taken the cat, for better or for worse.Edina said in a humorous yet angry manner.

For richer for poorer… a cat can’t earn a wage
Edina and Tom were shouting at each other not realising what impression they were making
Mary called out,
Why invite me to tea and shout like this?
Did you never shout at Stan?
No,I didn’t need to.He listened to me.
Well, you are very quiet, said Emile, so Stan had no fear you might shout
I might have shouted when I read Fermat’s Last Theorem.Mary admitted furtively
Was Fermat your teacher,Edina asked?
No he died a long while ago
Fancy dying and all you have to leave is a theorem
Well, it stops the family fighting,Mary said wisely
Suddenly the door opened and in flew Annie, the flame haired mistress of the late Stan
Why was I not invited to this tea party ,she asked rudely?Are we in Boston?
Sorry,dear,said Tom.Not many people like to come here because Edina has a bad temper
No I don’t she shouted.You have a bad temper
I get so tired of all these projective misperceptions,Emile said in his intelligent voice
My therapist was not a cat, but I kept projecting on to him and he looked just like a cat to me until he barked one day.He was in fact a dog.I realised
Was that the end of your therapy?
Yes, I stole all the money from Mary’s purse and there was none left.And I learned about projection, that was enough
Good heavens,Mary murmured.I thought Annie had taken the money
What!You thought I was a thief.Annie bawled What next?
Well, you’re more like a sister and I didn’t mind as I know it’s so demeaning to ask for money.
See, said Tom to Edina,I said you should not ask me for money after we make love
Why not, she enquired? I need some new art materials
Can’t you use the housekeeping money?
Well, if you are happy to starve,Edina said sarcastically
Don’t use sarcasm.Only prostitutes take money.,Tom added.I did say you can buy whatever you like in the way of clothes and so on on our credit card
How do you know it’s only whores? Many women do need the money as they may be single mothers trying to feel their family and not getting Universal Benefit on time,Edina told him But other women might demand jewellery, and expensive houses like Wallis Simpson
That’s a fair point,Tom muttered.It’s more complicated than I realised.
Money is a big problem in many marriages,Mary called
But I earned my own and Stan retired early and got a pension so I had no need to
beg him for money
But did he beg you,Edina asked?
No, we just kept in the bathroom under the soap.So it was clean.
I wonder if viruses can spread on money? Tom said
I feel sure it is possible but how would we test that out. his wife asked
Best to wear gloves but when you take them off the viruses might fly all over the place
I didn’t know they could fly, said Emile.Are they invisible?
Well, we don’t really know but people often get bad colds when they go on aeroplanes
Annie turned pale.
Are you ill, Annie? asked Tom
I am having a nervous breakdown.I’ve caught paranoia from a £5 note.
You can’t catch it,Mary said in her kind voice.It’s not a physical illness and they are plastic nowadays so they can be wiped down
Well where does madness come from? It is horrible feeling so anxious.
This is not much fun, said Edina.I thought it would be lovely meeting the neighbours but we go from tarts to paranoia and back.Is this wise?
They all sat looking glum,Then Annie revealed all
I am a Russian agent sent here by Putin.I befriended Mary on Putin’s orders
He must be stupid.Why spy on Knittingham?
Well, you will be surprised.Mary is an expert on differential operators
On bicycle chains, asked Tom?
How ignorant people are.Annie shouted.Did you never see anything odd about calculus and little things appearing and disappearing?
Well, to be frank, no!
I don’t believe we learned calculus said Edina
We learned quadratic quotations
Do you mean equations,Mary asked?
I don’t know what I mean,Edina said nervously
And neither do we, said the others
Calculus is a bit like the Mass.Important things happen but we can’t see them.Everything looks the same but it’s not
Then they heard a siren.In ran Dave, the heroic paramedic in his new pink dress. and coat
Don’t drop the bomb, he told Tom audaciously
I’m not President Trump,Tom informed him gravely
That’s what they all say,Dave said to Annie
Who can we trust
Just Emile,said Mary.And Annie.
Why don’t you trust me said Tom?
I am waiting to see how you behave,she replied
Like a kind of exam?
Yes, it’s called
Trust your neighbour and yourself? How to know the people who might be dangerous
to your life and mental health
There’s not much mental health in Britain now,said Tom.I’m a doctor!
Well, don’t shout at the patients, said Annie
I only shout at home,
That is horrible, surely those you love need kindness?
Tom burst into tears and Emile lent him his hanky
I don’t think we’ll meet any more of the neighbours Edina said
Enough is enough.Kindly go home
Pleased to meet you, said Dave.Do call me when you need coal bringing in or have a heart attack
No way,thought Tom as he drank a bottle of brandy in the bathroom
I feel we made a mistake… we will have to move as soon as we can

And so say all of us

Oh,sweeter than the love of man

· 

Inside my mind I dream of pearls,
Caterpillars,snails with whorls.
I dream contented, all enwrapped;
With reverie and dream I’m lapped.
The inner seas will comfort me,
While gods refine my eyes to see

Oh,sweeter than confectionery
Is my Oxford diction’ry.
The words whirl round then fall to shape
The sentences which my world make.
This furnishing is rich and strange
And magically self arranged.

Oh,sweeter than the love of man
Is reading works of poets long gone;
Feeling deeply their dark tides
.Upon which our boat may glide.
The infinite sea we float upon
Is the same warm sea the ancients swam


Sweeter still is the spring air
And the blossom spreading fair
We’ll drown our selves in grassy fields
To the gods of poetry yield.


We’ll rise again and spring up tall
To grow more rich until we fall.
Then we’re compost for the worms
God enlighten these my poems

Mary climbs a ladder

Mary was on a step ladder in the bathroom, spying on her husband Stan,through a hole in the wall.He had drilled this for spying on women sunbathing semi-nude in their private back gardens.
Here he was climbing over the fence with Emile ,their cat, on his shoulder.
I think it’s so ridiculous, she muttered .Surely Emile can jump over the fence by himself.
But Emile was very limp,she saw belatedly,
He can’t be dead,she whispered to herself fearfully.She jumped down off the  ladder and hit her head on a tap
Oh,my!That hurt…I’d better be careful. she murmured and she flew down stairs to Stan in the kitchen
Emile has got concussion, Stan said mournfully.

Is he  dead , perhaps,?she wondered anxiously.
No, he only fell off Annie’s roof.I am sure he’ll come to.
Good Lord.What made him go up there and more important,how did he do it?
You’d better ring 999,he informed her gently
If you say so ,my dear

Soon Dave,the bisexual transvestite paramedic ran in wearing a sundress and dark glasses with golden sandals from Hooters.
Poor Emile,what have you done?
He fell off Annie’s roof, but we have no theory as to how he got there,said Stan.
Well, there’s no need to think of that… we deal with reality.That’s my modus operandi!
He gave Emile the kiss of life.Emile came to…but was not pleased
Why did you waken me up? I was having a lovely dream of walking down a silver path where I saw a big cat with shining fur and tender eyes looking at me.He just began to miaow when some f**king idiot woke me up… was he God?
I can’t say,Emile,dear.But please do not swear.
I’ll do whatever I f**king well feel like,Emile said. nastily
Good heavens, what has happened.Has he been reading dirty books?
No, he was watching East Enders on TV… they all use the f word constantly.
Well,Emile.God will have to wait… he’ll be glad if you do some kind work here on earth.
Up yours,said Emile.I am sick of living here. I’ve been hoping for years Stan would mate with Annie but he has only managed a kiss.
Perhaps it was the kiss of life,said Mary hopefully
Well, in a sense,you might have hit the snail on the bed said Stan thoughtfully.I know any further mention of philosophy will drive me utterly and eternally mad!
Now,Dave said,shall I make you all some hot tea?
Thank you Stan responded.I am half crazed already.Tea may save my sanity.But for what?
Annie came in wearing her brick red trouser suit and a white sun hat. her face a dark shade of beige and her lips light mauve, with lipstick from Max Fracture’s new range.

Did you know Emile was in a hot air balloon,she said in tones of wonder.How has he got down so fast?
I f**king well fell out, the cat yawned proudly.Then I had a near death experience until this loon here brought me round.
Emile,I ’ve never heard you swear before! she whispered in a strange manner reminiscent of those silent films starring unnamed and forgotten beauties of long ago.
Do you like it,baby? Emile asked.
No I don’t. I’ve never said F*ck in all my life.
Well you have now,the cat informed her with a naughty smile.
I think he’s possessed by demons.We’ll have to have him exorcised.
But I like demons,Emile bawled .I’ve been good all my life and I am bored and depressed.
So you believe swearing will help more than therapy?
Emile got up and lit a cigarette nonchalantly with a certain ,je ne sais lah

Good grief,he’ll be having sex on the sofa next ,said Stan.
What a good idea,said Emile, but I want my own room and an en suite..I mean to impress the next girl friend I have.
Dave drank some tea and watched these old folk ponder.
I am wondering where we went wrong,said Mary.All these years we’ve educate you privately and even had you baptised.
Well.I am going to be a Jew,said Emile.
I don’t think a cat can be a Jew… and you never ever had any interest in the spiritual before,why this?
Well,when I was unconscious I realised that God exists….
But why be a Jew?
Well,they were the first to see God in a Burning Brush.
And the last too, I hope,thought Annie nervously.
Well,said Stan.You want to smoke,swear ,make love and possibly enjoy wine and song.Is that not enough?
Does God smoke and swear?
There was a long silence and Emile answered’
Well,Yes he does.
I’m off said Dave.I have to ring the Pope.
Why? asked Emile. I am not going be a Catholic….
Well,said Dave, he ought to know that God is a cat.

Mary needs a lock on the door

The doorbell rang yet again.Mary crept into the hall and saw through the  little window  a young man with a van marked Maypole Locksmiths.She opened the door and explained she could not lock her door with a key but only with a  twig from the maple tree.In winter it was not sensible
The man who had looked rather glum brightened up
So where did you buy this lock? he asked humorously
I have no idea
Up ran Annie her late husband’s mistress who  still  lived next door.She was wearing  a lime green faux fur coat over a  purple track suit.The locksmith’s eyes rotated in fear
My husband made that lock from a teak bread  board,just before he eloped, she told them
Well ladies,I have news for you
Mary plucked at  the darning on her wool skirt,looking agitated
Doors are  wood but locks are metal and have metal keys,he informed them
Goodness me,  we are still in the Dark Ages, she cried nervelessly
Yes, the days are short in winter he whispered.My name is Jack by the way
I don’t want any more men,she murmured mutinously
Why, how many have you got? he inquired tenderly with a hint of laughter.
I am not sure but it is not a rational number,Mary declaimed
But what IS a rational number,Annie asked? Three,four,ten, a thousand?
It is zero but I am happy with a ball of wool and Emile, my sweet cat
Miaow,cried Emile
Up the path ran Dave, the transphobic ,asexual paramedic
Emile, are you ok? he muttered in Welsh
Well,I could just  eat tin of salmon, Emile muttered, but we have none
That is a tragedy.I’ll get you some for Xmas
We usually have meat,Mary  told him, but I don’t mind.I hate roasting turkeys.What  have turkeys done to deserve that fate? I’d prefer t adopt some
No, cried Emile.I don’t want any here.
So selfish, said Annie.They are  alive just like we are.
I don’t  give a fig,  the cat boasted
I know a lot of turkeys have died in  refrigerated lorries crossing the channel
But it’s horrible here.I don’t see why a turkey would want to live here,Annie replied
They want  to see Buckingham Palace,I expect and get given free cars  like all our immigrants are given, said Emile.Not to mention free flats in tower blocks covered in asbestos and lead
I’ll  have to change your name to Oswald,Mary said
That is insulting,I am only saying what all the people are saying.Mosley was a an aristocrat,I believe
I am very sad we taught Emile to read and speak.He is getting his news from Facebook, the Mail on Mondays and gossip.
Yes,Stan was a fool.He should have left him like a wild animal.Do you know he watched Stan and me in bed through a mirror
Well,I hope  he didn’t watch me,said Mary.I have to put Nerisone oily
cream on my private parts if I have a flare up but to a cat it might look suspiciously like
self pleasure
Well, why not enjoy it since you have to use it?
Very wise,Mary replied.I’ll have to think abut  that
The locksmith coughed
Madam shall I put this brass lock on the door and a handle so you can pull the door shut more easily
You are very clever,Mary said thoughtlessly.But don’t do a degree.Many minds  have been ruined by studying Rousseau one week , Bertrand Russell the next and Wittgenstein in 10 days.It only makes people seem educated because they now words other people don’t but  wisdom and thought have not  entered their being
I’ll make us all a nice cup of tea, Annie shouted.That will enter all our beings
I thought you’d never ask, cried Dave
And so did all of us

Loss,the winter of the heart

I found it interesting to find a link between being able to be aware of other people as real people like ourselves and being secure in our inner being.That security or trust enables us to have an attitude  called,”Submission to the will of God” in Christian teaching.I am sure it is common to many other religions especially Judaism.
Without trust in others life is much harder as we are always concerned with keeping ourselves safe.I am not sure how much we can change our attitude from Fear to Trust.
I recall  a friend of mine dying when I was 15.We were  taken to the Requiem Mass.I just recall the priest saying in the sermon something from the Bible
The Lord has given and the Lord has taken away
Blessed be the name of the Lord.
In other words,we can’t understand.Life and death are a mystery but we accept this is the will of God
At the time I’m not sure if I believed it.But i think acceptance of pain and grief helps us to cope with it even with the terrible suffering with losing a child.I was the last classmate to see her.It was late October.We left school and walked about 1/2 mile.I lived there but she had to then catch a bus fo ra 4 mile journey
I still see her smiling face.Eight days later she died.
When you suffer a lot it’s hard to trust God,the Universe and all else.And depending on the circumstances it’s easy to be bitter or vengeful.But that will not help.
What I am wondering is:
How much can we change our attitudes by will power.Pr is there another way of changing?
Changing the way we see something may give us a different attitude.Talking to a good person may help.Sometimes we can only endure patiently.Sometimes God comes to us in the wilderness of tragedy,grief and pain.Because  he can get in when we are still and silent.
I suppose going to the desert or on a Retreat may give us the same opportunity.Sometimes we can’t verbalise our suffering but that is not a problem.I found after seeking many ways out that as many people have said:
The way out is through.
But we struggle like hell to avoid it!

As Alchemists foretold

God’s son was born  on earth.

A  young girl gave him birth.

His words remind us of our worth,

Gave hope of heavenly mirth.

He brought the gifts of love-

To cure our bad eyesight.

But we don’t want to see,

Bear painfulness of light.

We love our flaws unknowing,

Even as we’re sorrow sowing

We rage when someone points  them out,

We’d rather stay in dark and doubt

Than have our weakness showing

But when  we  seek advice

From someone  wise and true,

They tell us that our hearts will be

Healed when we can bear to see

The mirror’s total view,

The looking glass is truth

It’s painfully acquired.

But, oddly ,when we face the glass,

A transformation comes to pass,

And our souls change from black to gold,

As Alchemists foretold

Choose not death

The crushing  grief when  someone chooses death
When life had shown much promise and much hope
Turns the  ones who loved to  find new paths

Some may sin, encouraged by cruel wrath
Against the  one who chose the wicked rope
The shock of grief  at such too early death

Others freeze  and cannot take a breath
Scarcely moving as their mind elopes
Making  then impossible   their path

The mountains  of  deep grief I could not pass
Until  a  warm gold light caressed  my heart
The  wounds  of grief , the sacrifice, the Mass

Do not dwell in darkness  and distress
Follow me he murmured  while we start
I will help you find a different path

The golden light  had brought for me a chart
The sea of life had ripples ,brilliant sparks
The suffering and the  grief from such a  death
Turned the  one who loved  onto this path.

 

 

 

 

 

An artist’s canvas stretched , a matricide

Saturday was shopping then a walk
Epping,Ongar,Finchingfield by car
Reading book reviews and chewing stalks
Buttercups and meadows,Henry Moore

Driving back from Chelmsford, cornfields flamed
Smoke and fire and earth, the sun dismayed
Farmers working hard,  a harvest, grain
The sky  through mist a cobalt  blue displayed

Standon with its fords and wandering cows
Little rivers,Essex, flowing down
The Stort joins with the Lea,a gurglimg sound
Water for the Thames  and mossy ground

The earth feels like my body sacrificed
An artist’s canvas stretched , a matricide

 

What did Hannah Arendt really mean by the banality of evil? | Aeon Ideas

https://aeon.co/ideas/what-did-hannah-arendt-really-mean-by-the-banality-of-evil

he banality-of-evil thesis was a flashpoint for controversy. To Arendt’s critics, it seemed absolutely inexplicable that Eichmann could have played a key role in the Nazi genocide yet have no evil intentions. Gershom Scholem, a fellow philosopher (and theologian), wrote to Arendt in 1963 that her banality-of-evil thesis was merely a slogan that ‘does not impress me, certainly, as the product of profound analysis’. Mary McCarthy, a novelist and good friend of Arendt, voiced sheer incomprehension: ‘[I]t seems to me that what you are saying is that Eichmann lacks an inherent human quality: the capacity for thought, consciousness – conscience. But then isn’t he a monster simply?’

Wandering   with no haste we see far more

In the pools, reflections , colours, gleam
Like watercolour paintings in a stream
Another world, a mirror to our lives
A way to extricate us from the cave

People have distinctive motions,shapes
When vision’s poor  the curve, the back, display
I recognise you not by face alone
But by the  pictures you make in the rain

Wandering down the avenues and lanes
The eyes are open wider, vision’s gain
The little muscles  slacken round our eyes
We see the broader images come by

Wandering   with no haste we see far more
Our inner eyes have opened like a door