The courage to write

lilac and whiteWriting a novel is like driving a car at night. You can see only as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way. —E.L. Doctorow

You have to be brave to write poetry or fiction,[and I don’t mean fear of criticism,] because all you have ever felt,experienced or studied can be drawn up into your consciousness whilst you write.

A friend of mine who is a writer put it like this.”It has taken me to places I’d rather not have gone to.” However she said she manage to live through it.At the time I had only written mathematical works so I didn’t understand what she meant.But I have now had some experiences which give me a hint of what she was trying to say.If you’ve had many fearsome experiences then these feelings may come up when you loosen the grip of consciousness.However I have also found a spirit of laughter in me which is new.Step into the darkness without knowing.It’s only by going there that help may come.But the fear is that it won’t.You can’t get an insurance policy beforehand.
Are you stepping into a void or will there be something there?
Also in drawing or painting it can take courage to draw what you perceive.I found that especially when drawing buildings and studying perspective.I’ll see if I can find a drawing to illustrate it.I have the feeling,”No,No.It can’t be this steep a gradient.It’s too much”
And in being inside a building like Westminster Abbey or Durham Cathedral trying to assimilate the vision,the huge spaces and the power and size of the shapes can create awe or even terror.One can lose one’s sense of self entirely.But it can also be revivifying when one has returned.The fear is that one will not return.
Maybe it’s the same with relating to people as well..intimacy can make one feel and be vulnerable.

My hand is lonely


Sometimes my hands curl up,
and other times,they open.
Then I feel the air;
My fingers relax.
I touch your hand;
uncurl it and press it to mine.
Palm on palm,it’s no secret
that palms connect to hearts.
In your face I see a hint of melancholy,
I feel it in my soul..
as if there was a secret connection..
thought how,I don’t know.
Somehow,touching, we create another soul,
Neither you nor I, but we……
Touching,need to be physical..
We know how a story can affect us that way.
What a gift to know we have touched someone…
In the heart.’s. most tender space.The place of love.
Both true and false,my palm is lonely.
Then I feel the caress of summer air..
To touch is to be touched
as one soul opens to another..
Painful and illusory,like those dreams of childhood.
Now I go,first gripping, then loosening our hands.
Goodbye,we say,Goodbye

Poem written using an automated love poem service

Images made  by me using Microsoft Paint program old version
cats and newspapersYour skin glows like an old lemon which someone left in the fridge for two years or more.
It blossoms as rudely as the nastiest weeds in springtime.
My yearning heart rises to your thunderous voice and leaps like a pig at the whisper of your name,Hardknut.
The evening ascends like a lion riding  on a great Kentucky Fried Chicken Wing.
I am calmed by your old vests that I carry to clean  the car headlights with in fog
And I hold them  in my hand when I have run out of Kleenex tissues.
I am filled with dismay that I may need to dry your tears of shame with old worn out knickers

Yet you ignore mine as ever.You appear to forget I am a woman.

As my right eye falls  down onro my blue shawl,alas it reminds me of our unmade blue bed once more.
I shall not forget it for my self esteem is low and falling
and it’s a year since I changed the sheets.
In the hushed yet noisy night,I listen for the last tweets of the autumn and look forward to an icy winter of miscontent
sleeping with the cats on the internet highway
My overheated heart leaps into my  hot  green mouth.
My lipstick is fading away with shock.
I wait in the faint moonlight for your secret bank check
So that we may strive as one mad being
in search of a  golden ring
Symbolic of ambivalent married love that has passed its sell by date
But still has some intrigue remaining.
I never met anyone as dreadful,sweet and ugly as you.
I love you,Nameless.You are mine forever

Or so I believed foolishly..but I prefer a cat now.

cat2 alone

Shame.. is it the most painful emotion?

I don’t know if it is possible to answer this question.Shame is definitely distressing.Guilt is painful but I believe it usually relates to an act or something we said to hurt someone whereas shame is related to our whole self,our existence as a person… and if we feel bad about that then we do suffer.
I am just rambling on but what comes to my mind are occasions when we have been out with some friends eating a meal in a pub or restaurant when one of a couple starts to tell of all the bad things the husband or wife has done.Is this because they can’t summon up the courage to talk when at home?
And some of the things were criticised about were ridiculous.. like a wife who had had a Freudian analysis in about two years berated her husband who had begun before her and still not finished.As they were well off it wasn’t the financial aspect.But is that not sadistic to reveal your husband’s lengthy therapy to others who are not that close…
The very fact that this woman did that made me wonder how deeply her own therapy had gone.. which seems to imply I expect people to be improved morally by having psychoanalysis.I am unsure why I think that except that if you have dealt with your own neuroses ,your shadow etc.,one might imagine you’d have more sympathy for others’ struggles… and thus be a better person…. in general..
I can’t put down many examples because I would not want anyone to recognise themselves but I do wonder about the ethics of blurting out criticism of a friend or partner in front of acquaintances.
If you genuinely wanted help, and both agreed ,it might be better.. just to share a problem to put into words a shaming doubt
This leads me to something like the following idea…Why do we treat so called loved ones worse than other people?I believe it might be because we expect more from them,perhaps irrationally get angry or anxious when we don’t get our expectations met. I have a friend who tried to hold her husband by her fantastically good cooking.Unfortunately he had grown up with a mother who had servants and he was completely unaware of her efforts.I knew as I was also just married and doing a lot of extra work… but my husband had to travel a long way to work so that was my contribution.I had enough energy then to cook and entertain people… not cook the people,cook for them,I mean…..
Ahaa,that makes me laugh…
Once I opened the oven door and a flame shot out and set my hair on fire…I never knew about cleaning the oven properly as my mum was a single parent of 5 children and never had time for cleaning.Cooking,sewing,knitting.. yes… sheets changed .. yes..
Maybe I should have used my brain!
I went back into the living room and carried on serving the meal.
Maybe that’s why my hair has gone wispy…
What makes us feel shame?Is it rejection? That a friend no longer likes us? But they may be rejecting us because they fear closeness and intimacy with anyone,not just us.So they move on from flower to flower like the butterflies…As they say, what people do and say might tell us more about them than about us… possibly.
I suppose some people feel shame if their dad is sent to jail but others regard it as normal..Some feel shame if they wear second hand clothing but that is fashionable now.. to go to jumble sales in wealthy areas where people change their wardrobe every . year..
Well.I’ll leave it there for now and embroider it later.i meant brood on it later.

Mary gets worried

Mary was feeling a bit off colour.Then she found a scary looking thing on her neck…
Stan,she moaned,come here!
What is it my duck.Stan cried.Are you alright..
No,Mary replied,I just looked in the mirror.
Well,dear,you still look young to me,the dear old man replied… still I suppose it must be hard for someone who was o nce very beautiful.
No,it’s not that,she responded faintly.
What is it then?Did you see Satan?
Not directly,she told him gently… but I saw this funny looking thing on my neck…
Have your lovers been biting you,he enquired caringly.
Stan,I have no lovers.
I find that hard to believe,he replied.
I am your wife,she told him.
Are you really?I forgot…Well,if you’d like a lover I am ok with that.I am getting past it.
Well considering your behaviour you have not got a leg to stand on….
Mmmm, he murmured,I am a man,you see.
I know you are a man… I married you for that reason.
How kind.If I went in for a sex change op,how would you feel?
How would YOU feel she said.They won’t be wasting money on that any more.Why you have to wait 6 months for cancer ops.
Only if it is a “non-worrying cancer” which nevertheless
” must be removed before it invades the nearby structures” they reminded each other.
I am wondering if this thing which you claim is a love bite is in fact a cancerous lesion…
I know.I was wondering.And they’ve not done the first yet.
I think we should see the doctor.
I want to do more than see him.I’d like to speak to him.
What will you say?
Hello,you are my doctor,are you not?
That’s a bit pedantic..
Take a decco at this thing on my neck,which by the way is not a result of having sex with a vampire.
Do you always decide what to say before you go?
No,I usually write my concerns on a sheet of paper and hand it to him, being as I am a disordered  avoidant personality.
That’s a good idea as he hates people rabbiting on.
Does he?
Yes,he told me off for asking how he was!
How he was what?
That’s just what he said.I say, are YOU the doctor?
Just because two  people say the same thing it does not follow that  they are the same person.
But it is a strange coincidence… is it not?
Well,I suppose I’d better ring the surgery.
Hello, we are closed right now,Please go to Hell.The doctor has gone mad…
Did they really say that?
No, he can see you at 11 pm tomorrow in the woods…
I can’t wait…
Well,said Emile,you will have to wait.That’s what you always tell me…
Emile,you are a very intelligent cat.
Thank you miaowed the furry beast in a jolly voice.
May I come to the doctor’s with you.
Wait and see,said Mary rudely.I have a lot on my mind . I am getting too irritable . I might upset somebody.
A lot of people get irritable when stressed,said Stan
Yes, cats do as well, concurred Emile.. then they scratch holes in the carpet and gnaw the furniture….
That explains a lot,Mary said.I think you need a tranquilliser,Emile…. even cats can have nervous troubles…You may need therapy if we can afford it.Then you can study mentalising and read Peter Fonagy.What fun that will be,not.

I’ll not skimp

The Lord’s my shepherd I’ll not grunt.
Was a Jew’s lamb lingering here,in England’s green unpleasant land?
O praise ye the sword,its works to proclaim.
While leopards rung their blogs all night
Oh,run all ye faithful
Pale St Joseph poor and mental,God has made thee a cuckold.
We worship our bling,its worth we proclaim
All people that on earth do smell
Silent night,wholly light

…. call into Boots later.

[You may sometimes see ads here to make money for me.]
And an angel appeared to Mary and spake thus
Oy vey,Miriam.
And she replied.Oy vey.
You will be bare and wild
Sorry,the wrong script… you will bear a child.
So what’s so odd about that.All women do it…
Well,that’s what is in the telegram.
But they’ve not been invented yet!
Oy vey! Amen.
Drecked again.
What an angel,what a wife!Poor Yussif

I’ll love you when I be

‘Twas but a reptile passing by.
It flew across the deep blue sky
Why do reptiles fly so high?
I’ll love you till I die
“Twas but a cat under the moon.
Did you have a silver spoon?
Why can’t cats all waul in tune?
I’ll love you very soon
‘Twas but a wooden legged man,
Carrying a large brass saucepan.
Why can’t men do what women can?
I’ll love you better than.
Why are adverbs?
What are nouns?
why do circuses have clowns?
I’ll love you lying down.
Where do dreams go in the day?
What game can we adults play?
Can you or can you not say?
I’ll love you,in my way.
‘Twas but a verse that seemed so free.
It floated over my oak tree.
I have eyes but cannot see.
I’ll love you when I be

Precise and moving geometry


Looking past the trees

What a marvellous day yesterday was for us here in London.
The sunlight was powerful,the sky blue and on the trees and shrubs I imagined I could almost see leaves turning red and gold.By the lake a huge flock of pigeons rose from the trees and circled in precise and moving geometry whilst simultaneously many sea gulls which had been floating on the windblown water arose and formed concentric whirling music in the sky.
We stood still on the grass in the deep silence, absorbing the colours,shapes and murmurings.Just a normal day in the country park but I am sure of one thing:

Birds can see God

The Promised Land

I have loved you and I’ve held you.
Many years,you have been mine;
If the time has come for parting
Let us embrace for one last time.

You know you have to leave me,
Though you desire a longer stay.
Let me hold you in my arms now
For just tonight and perhaps one day

Then I’ll watch you travel on,love,
We take this last step all alone.
I’ll be here beside you watching.
I shall feel when you are gone.

May you accept,may you surrender.
May you reach the promised land.
Into  earth my tears will fall, sweet,
As I recall your tender hands.

With my compliments


The process of writing is clear
As mud that is mixed with black beer.
Just recollect some words
And write down what you learned….
With nonchalance,then, persevere.

My old man was feeling so drear
>He dived into a barrel of beer.
He swam to the edge
And perched on a ledge..
He complained that there wasn’t a pier.

Behind glass… a defense

Have you ever felt you were behind a pane of glass? I did once many years ago after a friend committed  suicide.It must be a protective  condition but it is painful and odd.Everyone else seems ok ,you imagine,but you are not a part..In reality many people may be feeling like you do and putting on a performance while out at work or socialising.We are probably wiser as we grow older as we know more people better and see we are not  unique in our suffering and pain; we know that feelings pass,even the worst ones and we may have become better at judging others and knowing if friends die  by suicide it’s probably not our fault

When one feels that way it has to be accepted for the time being, like all feelings,I found reading poetry helped me and also being with others in a group where I could sit and listen without pressure to speak.I like this poem from then.It was a favorite  of Simone Weil,the mystic.

LOVE BADE ME WELCOME  by George Herbert


 Love Bade Me Welcome – from Love (III)

Love bade me welcome: yet my soul drew back.
Guiltie of dust and sinne.
But quick-ey’d Love, observing me grow slack
From my first entrance in,
Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning
If I lack’d anything.

A guest, I answer’d, worthy to be here:
Love said, You shall be he.
I the unkinde, ungrateful? Ah, my deare,
I cannot look on thee.
Love took my hand, and smiling did reply,
Who made the eyes but I?

Truth Lord, but I have marr’d them: let my shame
Go where it doth deserve.
And know you not, sayes Love, who bore the blame?
My deare, then I will serve.
You must sit down, sayes Love, and taste my meat:
So I did sit and eat.

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