Theatre forms the soul

When the fruit has rotted on the stalk
Bruised and broken like the poor in need
When  leaders meet  but rarely truly talk
When children caught in cross fire lie and bleed

Don’t we see God’s Kingdom is a joke
One hundred million deaths in two world wars
Not quick death but tortured bodies broke
They lost once and  love dies in their gore

Utopia, evolution, grandiose plans
Sacrifice yourself for those to come
We saw  the  little children hand in hand
Ground mines blow them up, they could not run

One thing’s clear, God’s here or not at all
The  future’s fiction, theatre   forms  the soul

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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 and 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 unneccessary,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

No religion but  a sense of awe

If we had no language,we’d be good
No communication but by sense
What devil conjured up the  demon word 
Made our dealings complex and intense?

No Tower of Babel, nothing but mud huts
Caressing,kissing,kicking,  real contac
Boxing,wrestling,killing the unjust
No law except the fist. no guilt.no wrack

No religion but  a sense of awe
The rising sun, the moon, the distant stars
Oh,bow before the Cedar and the Oak
Anything that is taller than we are

No  books, no news no media,no war
It makes me wonder what live words are for

Yet I pray

I feel and fear the emptiness of life
Now that I have grieved as a good wife
No-one wants a holiday with me
Stop the car,I see an ancient tree

The future looms and ends with my own end
What will fill the space, perhaps my friends?
Each day is constructed ,falls to dust
I lie in bed untouched by  husband’s lust

My senses heightened by anxiety
I memorize the details  that I see.
The old man smiling , kissing my  cold  hand
We remembered Norfolk cliffs in coloured bands

When  he flew, he pulled my heart away
Now my breast is empty  yet I pray

Maps are no more certainties than hints.

My heart is like a rowing boat adrift
Whose occupant has fallen overboard
The empty vessel drifts through deep sea mist.
And in those pearl filled ears the deep sea roars.

Just as the boat drifts mapless, so do I.
My maps were drawn for quite another sea
My captain’s taken leave and now I cry
As if that drowned soul might just be me.
Yet on the sea bed mysteries abound;
Such wonders and such magic there displayed.
I wonder if it is my lot drown
And to a memory then quickly fade.

Maps are no more certainties than hints.
Between the lines hides gold from other mints.

When we speak but do not look

When we speak but do not look upon
The person we address, we are undone
We miss the tiny signs, the looks, the lines
We treat them as mere object we define

We treat them like a post of wood or stone
As if we cannot hurt nor cause them shame
We hit them with sharp words or thoughtless rot
And on and on until hate is begot

All want to be acknowleged,seen and heard
But must approach each other with great care
For most of us are thin skinned, nervous beasts
Who fear they are not asked to the great Feast

And in a thousand gestures we declare
We are not speaking merely to thin air

In the frying pan

I wondered how the two of me would be
If the sperm had got inside a different egg
And my egg was penetrated by a bee
Then by sperm whose entry was by bag

I often hum and buzz as I walk out
All unknowing of the neighbours thoughts
Full of concentration and of guilt
Wondering what my other half has bought

One half of me would know no way to change
It’s not like making sponges filled with jam
Unless the universe were rearranged
Then we’d all be in the frying pan

I cannot let this thinking carry on
I can be myself and all is one

Total love

When the Jews came back to their old homes
They buried them alive in pits they dug
The ground was heaving as the Jews died, choked
Murdered by the neighbours like mad dogs

Hard it is to know what creates this
The sadism happens when we least expect
When old neighbours might greet with a kiss
Now they load the living into stacks

Were they so poor they feared that they would starve
What does Total War mean when it’s said?
The Jews’ land into small pieces was carved
Some Jews came back when locals thought them dead

If only they had not created G-d
They would be given perfect ,total love

Humming in the mind

Emotions flow like music in the mind
A humming deep within the very self
Even in our sleep the patterns wind
Transformed to opera,images and health

The hum of children’s voices is benign
Two and two are four, oh Alice knows
Who has made thes minds so well designed?
Who has suffered well the pain, the blow?

Cut out the music, worship reason pure
Kant the human suffered it in shock
And in his way he wandered as a cure
Konigsburg with bridges was well stocked

Freed up in our humming, glad to hear
The music of the heart, the dark, the spheres

Blinded by the past

The old man and the seea were calm as glass
The Cafe was surrounded by mixed blooms
He was listening to a lady who described
The flowers, their colour,name all afternoon

He could not see at all yet was relaxed
Indeed he was delighted in the sun
I thought blind men were piteous,full of fear
That tells you more of me, than of the men

Below the steep cliff path, in ran the sea
I can’t imagine how our Airforce fought
Barely trained young men went out to war
Is Brexit Britain worthy of their Cause?

Now the blind man gazes out to sea
Was he one of those who kept us free?