Virtue rendered void

Envy poison, friend of vicious hate
We know Cain for he still lives within
Society is built on hellish states

If not so, how can we lay love waste
When time is short, why cut it down with sin?
Envy poison, friend of vicious hate

Do not  hid it, saying  this is “fate”
Though brilliant Sylvia,Ted  asked spirits in
Marriage too is built on hellish states

Only with her death, did he relate
One had to go to let the other win
Envy poison, friend of vicious hate

We suffer when we  think  that we need fame
All paper one day ends up in a bin
Society is built on loveless states

Comparison and judgment are  no game
Virtue rendered void, our hearts are lame
Envy poison, friend of vicious hate
Can society is built on other states?


Welcomed by God’s eye

Dwell  inside your heart and breathe  just so
From there your spirit body  can outflow
Spread this round your loved one like a shawl
No need to  make a sound for  love will call

Two are one  like lovers in their bed
But now one has to leave , love cuts the thread
In  full silence ,  welcomed by God’s eye
They concentrate on  this  before they die

In  your  gracious  warmth they’re  feeling safe
As a child is in a mother’s gaze
Time  no longer matters. we’re elsewhere
Walking humbly ,softly i  to God’s stare

At last the work is done and   they are  free
Who can understand such mystery?

Trust the Unknown,trust the inner flow

The sky at dusk, my camisole , love’s grace
Blending blue and mauve in  skilled embrace
God the painter ,God the X unknown
Send  us light to see where our  our love goes

Drop by drop the spirit ebbs away
Now the sky is dark in stark blue-grey
In the mind the dreams  rehearse and scheme
Take away the terror and the screams

Hold us in your Hand as we let go
Trust the Unknown,trust the inner flow
Who but you can show us  what we need
As we crawl to bed  in   fraught unease?

Now the air is black I see a star
I feel the void  yet love dwells even there

I’ve got migraine in my heart

I’ve got migraine in my heart
Spasms of grief  constrain the flow
The poor go down and the rich depart

I just looked at my shopping cart
The tower blocks lean, the street lights glow
I’ve got migraine in my heart

I’ve got eggs and milk and tarts
The poor can’t sleep  and their children snore
The poor go down and the rich depart

The teachers wish their work  could start
The benefits  system  overflows
I  felt pandemonium in my heart

In the sky  are  UFO’s
Where they go to I  may know
I’ve got migraine in my heart
The poor downtrodden, oh, damn  you Marx



Oh,Cumbria I wish I were with you
Near Ambleside, the stepping stones, fine slate
The Langdale Pikes , the valley and the view

The sinking sands, the spawling sea so blue
The tempting  path across the bay is bait
Oh,Cumbria I wish I were with you

The  thunderstorms, the heavy clouds, the dew
Water is your element, your fate
The Langdale Pikes , the valley and the view

By Buttermere the waterfalls renew
My shoes were pools,my socks a Freudian plaint 
Oh,Cumbria I wish I were with you

I may be human,,I may be astute
My feelings punctured   let me lose my mind
By Langdale Pikes , huge shadows   stripe the view

The sky is black, the candles  flicker,night
Fear and awe, I kneel  here ,faith ignites
Oh,Cumbria I wish I could  see you
The Langdale Pikes , the cliffs,  the distant view

The earth beyond

If we  never moved we would sink down
Slowly, all unnoticed. without  noise
Into the earth  our ready  burial ground

The birds are nesting, hear  untutored songs
No pandemic there to halt their voice
Those who    dislike movement  have no tongue

Life is given to all ,though  we do wrong
Is it  our inheritance or  choice?
All  end in holy earth, sweet underground

No need  in the grave for wedding gowns
Linen cloths  suffice when we are raised
Those who   never move, at worms   will frown

See the   trawlers sink and many drown
God’s own finger has each life erased
Gone to watery  wastes,  their  fishing ground

Here are buried foetuses and clowns
Men  hanged  dead as  traitors,  Kings , the drowned
If we  never move that is a flaw
But we are moved by love  and its own law




I walked,I stumbled where I’d never been
No friend nor ally  guided me  nor could
In the  mesmerising  sharp pain of my grief

Wandering like an outcast ,  never queen
Reason was  no aid in that dead wood
I wandered  through the shadows of my  dreams

I felt the ground beneath me swirl and seethe
As if to kill me too or spill my blood
In the desolate place  of  darkness deep 

Rosemary,remembrance, flowering wreaths
Inside the heart  will mercy  come to flood?
I wandered  where to love would be obscene

But in the arctic wastes , surprised by  god
In late winter trees will start bud
I wandered  on until my heart revived
From that place of peril came new life


God, at last

Human sacrifice had disappeared
Would God bring it back to  strike with fear
The hearts of children washed in Jesus’ blood
His heart so sacred died, does that sound good?

Why stress the Cross, the  crown of thorns, the fear
As if God is a sadist,  cold yet nuclear
Who  might wish to   propagate this myth?
In Eden  dwell to hear the snakes that hiss

Jesus, kind and brave,  had no cruel wish
To feed a crowd he conjured loaves and fish
He  walked on water,  perhaps he loved to tease
No Caesar he,  his stories were decrees. 

And in the night, he wept  but never cursed
God, at last, knew humans at their worst

The pleasure of Confession



Pray Father,I jave no sins to confess.What is the most common sin you hear about?

Hurting the feelings of loved ones or strangers by projecting our ill will into them and

then attacking them.

How about adultery?

Is that a proposal?

You naughty  little animal!You know what I mean.Don’t tease me.I am sensitive but I’m ok.I sleep all night and sin all day.Is adultery common?

It is very common and shows poor taste ,so if you want to be less vulgar leave it out.

I am long past adultery now.I am too stiff for sexual athletics.Though with more

acupuncture,one never knows.Besides I am not married any more.

Surely there is something else wrong you  must have done recently? You are only human

To be honest,Father,I believe we are often blind to our faults and we would need to bring

some other people along here to say how we have treated them.And then we’d find out

our sins more easily from them.

Well,there is some truth in that but we only need a random sample of your sins.

One will be a metonym for the rest.

Is that the right word?

Well,if it’s not it’s near enough,my child.

I am older than you;you must know.

I am sorry to say that is not a sin,my dear lady.Try harder.

I suffer from scruples…………… is that bad.?

Very bad.What are they about?


Give them up.Believe  you did your best.

How can I be sure?

Well, we are never sure of anything in this life but we it will kill us to  brood all day

Well, it does sound selfish when you put it like that

Now, drop  that heavy bag of  worries and run about the garden 

I can’t run but I will  have more fun

Now you’ve got it, my child.

Thank you and good night

The orchestra that plays as we go in

The chattering cacophony of cars
Underneath  the silence  of the stars
The echo of lost voices,faces, smiles
To which our little  heart is always loyal

The horns that shriek, the trains  that wreck the track
The vision of the lost who can’t come back
The loaded wagons  and the violin
The orchestra that plays as we go in

The crackling of the ice the skaters skim
The refugees whose clothing is too thin
The  scream of Munch, the horror he foresaw.
The end of Europe in the first World War

The  decorated War Memorials  grim
Reminding us that no-one ever wins

After him

The gravity of loss brought me to earth
Beneath the rotting leaves, I lay with worms.
I wondered if I were of any worth

No more to be enchanted by love’s mirth,
I  with unnamed particles was turned.
The weight of loss bears down the heart to earth.

The weight of  love has readied us for birth
The fragments moulded with the love that burns.
I learned we need  not wonder  over  worth

My sorrow brought no guilt nor fear of wrath
I am both  sharp eyed eagle ,twisted worm.
In my little grave, I  loved the earth.

Like the adder, shocked into rebirth.
I from silent underworld had learned
Not to judge my soul nor think of worth.

I shall not  fear the flames of hell that burn.
When blackness is accepted, may one learn?
The weight of loss breaks down the soul to earth
With dusty shredded leaves, we then convers

Shall I my life of evil start?



Photo by Mike Flemming 2020.Copyright


When true love’s gone and doom hangs over head

When life runs like a river to the sea

Then shall I take new lovers to my bed?

And with their carnal touch consoled be?

When my love lies,so breaks my tender heart.

When life seems grey and rocks bestrew my path.

Then, shall I my life of evil start?

And on the world shall I bestow my wrath?

When true love lies and wrecks all loyalty.

When puzzlement makes all my world seem mad.

Then I shall upend causality

And let myself do deeds which make me glad.

For I have love’s sweet child inside my soul

And I shall tend her till at last she’s whole


And died in peace

My husband was a very selfish man
He gave me polish in a brand new tin
That was for the furniture not  for me
Well some may lose yet others might well win

He thought that I was programmed by my genes
To bake him cakes and polish  wood and brass
To cook lamb chops and boil  potatoes new
I said we did not learn that in  the maths class

Then he grew enraged that I was bright
He told me off for playing Chess  with men
He told me off for  reading Wittgenstein
What could I do  but drink   all of his gin?

He complained  I knew the villains in a film
My brain was far to fine to make me dear
Perhaps I was a witch   in angel’s clothes
Drinking tea like  others might drink  beer

After he’d unloaded all his  grief
He thanked me for my  love   and  he died  in peace

The fashion page

What to wear in winter,
What to wear in Fall
What to pay your bills with
Money talk appals

If you read the Guardian
They keep you up to date
One page is genocide
Next how to find a mate

Seems a  denim jacket
Lined in wool of sheep
Will be ideal clothing
For those we love to meet

Standing at the bus stop
I feel very cold
Seems they do not think about
The poor folk and the old

Of course it’s for the adverts
Not for real life
Not for  poor  dear husbands
Nor even poorer wives

Why if we are human
Cannot we decide
What to wear in Winter
Not be taken for a ride

With the people who fall through the cracks.

The child too shy to join  a little group
Or shamed by her old clothing  and her shoes
The one who feels they don’t fit in or match
The one who suffered early from the blues

The barren wife, no virgin yet unused
The girl so clever yet she was well bruised
The middle age of suffering ends and views
The loneliness  of age  with none amused

The man too nervous to make any move
The man who cannot pass  yet cannot love
The aging figure hopelessly bemused
The sperm still leaping,never to be used.

Some are in and others are outside
How few stayed with Jesus as he cried!
If we were more like him we would now mix
With the people who fall through the cracks.

A hint of suffering in the edge of eye
A hint of sadness by  the mouth denied
A hint of being tired of one’s own life
A hint that maybe someone wants to die

We broke the symbols down and we are mad

Jesus   is not in the Sacred Bread
Nothing  stays the same ,much as we hope
He drowns with refugees,  he crawls in mud

Life and God aren’t static.souls have fled
Do not deny  the loss,  nor  its great scope
Jesus   is not in the Sacred Bread

Europe cracked ,  a billion billion   dead
Unacknowledged evil  is the rope
He burned with  Europe’s Jews ,we lust in bed

The War’s not gone, it lives inside the head
We do not need a thousand microscopes
Jesus   is not in the Sacred Bread

The symbol’s done, the  bread of heaven ‘s bad
We “Christians” were not there when Jesus  spoke
Christ burned with  gypsies, queers , was shot unclad

It’s over, people,what  we  never read.
We  ruined  the world ,  destroyed the ones who fled
Jesus   is not in the Sacred Bread
He drowned  and burned was shot,he’s truly dead







The raspberry canes, the honesty know more

The empty canes of raspberries  hang low
Red maple leaves are mashed up in the mud
 Nature  seems to  hover by death’s door 

Animals and humans drained as whores
No feeling ,no  green sap,no  flowing blood
The crackling canes of raspberries hang low

What can we say un-cliched, metaphored?
At dawn the sun will  burn despite the Flood
Nature  did not force us through death’s door 

Can the death  of God    mean this and more,
Though love and hate are fractured, life is good?
The chuckling canes  the berries sang below

Can  a life  with heart not be restored?
End  retaliation,   understand
Nature  did not wave us through  the door 

At the edge of Europe  are no hordes
Jesus is  more small  than any  bud
The crackling canes stored laughter in their cores

The remnants of the foxgloves in the wood
Wave politely . even seem to nod
The raspberry canes, the honesty know more
Nature ,light and darkness, affect stored


Dying  and we cannot say what for

Doubt and rumination  lose the war
Tangle our emotions like barbed wire
Dying  and we cannot say what for

Too much thinking’ opens the wrong door
Sadism to our self ignites hell fire
Doubt and rumination  lose the war

Do not let your mind become a whore
Nor label   those who’re true as screaming liars
Dying  and we cannot say what for

Tightly wound,  we   frighten and we bore
Stop before the situation’s dire
Doubt and rumination  lose the war

Do not dip your hand into the gore
Hold it only in  eternal fire
Dying  and we cannot say what for

As we struggle  we will find some cheer
Another soul whom we find very dear
Doubt and rumination   make for war
Dying  and we cannot say what for


Whitman and Democracy



Walt Whitman is two hundred years old in 2019—and the bicentennial of democracy’s bard falls in the shadow of a demagogic presidency.

John Marsh, in his book In Walt We Trust: How a Queer Socialist Poet Can Save America from Itself, has this to say about the poet and democracy:

For Whitman, democracy is a way of being; in particular, it is a way of being with others … it has much more to do with how you approach your fellow men and women. Do you respect them? Do you acknowledge their dignity? Do you identify your interests with theirs? In short, do you love them?

Whitman expressed his vision of democracy as “a way of being with others” in #24 of “Song of Myself”:

Walt Whitman, a kosmos, of Manhattan the son,
Turbulent, fleshy, sensual, eating, drinking and breeding,
No sentimentalist, no stander above men and women or apart from
No more modest than immodest.
Unscrew the locks from the doors!
Unscrew the doors themselves from their jambs!
Whoever degrades another degrades me,
And whatever is done or said returns at last to me.
In Spanish:
Walt Whitman, un cosmos, el hijo de Manhattan,
Turbulento, carnal, sensual, comedor, bebedor y procreador,
Ni sentimental, ni erguido por encima de los hombres y mujeres,
Ni alejado de ellos, ni modesto ni inmodesto.
¡Arrancad los cerrojos de las puertas!
¡Arrancad las puertas mismas de sus quicios!
Quien degrada a otro me degrada a mí,
Y todo lo que se dice o se hace vuelve al fin a mí.
A través de mi ser la inspiración divina se agita y se agita,
A través de mi ser el corriente y el índice.
Pronuncio la palabra pristina, hago el signo de la democracia.
¡Por Dios! Yo no aceptaré sino aquello cuyo duplicado acepten todo

     en las mismas condiciones.