Good Morning, America, How are Ya?

Hope you’re enjoying Obama

Here’s a poem I’ve been trying to write for a while:


The site goes back to quiet

The rain slows to a drip

The camp is on a diet

(who in her lonely slip)

the clock is ticking louder

while the tea grows cold as ice

the cake returns to powder

as I offer up a slice:

This tent of our existence

is peeling from its frame

we offer no resistance

returning blind and lame

roll out our beds, lie down

zipping up the body bags

Red sky at night: our clown

laughing at our gags.


Here’s one that came today:


Let’s not

fly into the future –

that grey monolithic tower

that pricks

the horizon.

Let’s not

run at the sky,

wanting to wade

in its air waves:

And let’s not either

fumble in fog with arm outstretched

and not understanding;


let’s raise our mugs

– not even missing

the wine we can’t buy –

lift mugs of steaming tea

toast the moment:


And here’s another that is definitely not finished….


The curtain waisted at the window

A dress that barely remembers a form




I refuse to be goods

I am not meat wrapped in shiny film

I am not a steak to clap

on your eye –

keep your meat and two veg


from my sauce

Hail to the Chief…

Today is, I think, the inauguration – or if not the inauguration, then something very close to it, of President-Elect Barack Obama.  Let me say at once that, like most of my compatriots, I am as much  in favour of this man becoming president as I was disgusted by Bush slithering into the post all those years ago – ie, very.  To elect a black (or even half-black) President is amazing – to elect a black President who is also left-wing, is nothing short of miraculous.

So.  We hope – and we wait.  If he shuts Guantanamo and brings troops home from Iraq I will be happy.  And I’m not even American.

All of which led me to thinking about past US presidents and then to past British Prime Ministers.  I wonder how many Americans could name more than, say, one – OK let’s be generous, two British Prime Ministers (not including Churchill)?  Which led me with an elegant inevitability to asking myself the same question.


Well, way back in the past we have Pitt the Elder, Pitt the Younger and Pitt the Infant (no, wait, I think that was an invention of “Blackadder).  (Incidentally, if you’re wondering why I’m not putting links up any more, it’s because they don’t work.  I have yet to master what are technically known as the “twiddly bits” of blogging.  I still don’t know what a “ping” is.)


This ejaculation inserted because, having written several paragraphs of elegant, musical, elegiac and, though I say it myself, thoroughly entertaining prose on the subject of British Prime Ministers, I have done something imponderable with my little finger and erased the whole lot.  Microsoft may have its faults but I would give said little finger for an “undo” button on this blog.


Good luck Obama

Good luck America

God bless – erm, how does it go again?

I’ll leave you with a quote from “Not the Nine o’clock News”, a scene where they are singing a soppy song about believing in fairies and Father Christmas and all manner of improbable things, and which culminates in the couplet:

I believe that the devil is ready to repent

– but I can’t believe Ron Reagan’s president.

(I still don’t believe it.)



Burning up on re-entry…

Hi there, all you jolly readers in the blogosphere.  Greetings from planet Earth, if that is really where I am.  Sorry I haven’t posted for a while but I have been listening to the music of other spheres and unable to transmit at the same time.  So – how have you been?

Here’s today’s poem:


dressed in flapping yellow top

trousers from the Oxfam shop

I stand before the meeting

turn, give the greeting:

‘Good evening.’




My top

and I, stop:

shuffle papers


of thought


in lines

which entwines

my wrists


their nod.

When I start a poem, I often don’t have a clue what it’s going to be about.  This one began when I was writing some lines in a diary, and remembered a time when I was addressing a CND meeting and going through a somewhat eccentric phase sartorially.  The line I had written as prose, “dressed in a flapping yellow top” sidled up slyly and suggested that it would prefer to be in a poem – and so the rest followed.  The structure is similar to the one about the pope (see blog entry, “Here’s Today’s Popem”) though not, I think, as good.

Today I am going to send the story, “One Day in Paradise” to a short story competition.  If I can get some printer paper, that is.

Wish me luck!

(Break a finger!)


Here’s today’s poem

POsted a short story, One Day in Paradise, to a group I belong to called Author’s Attic (I’ve given up posting links as none of them seem to work, I don’t know why – however, it’s on yahoo groups.)

Here’s another limerick.  I can’t seem to stop writing them.  This was a response to an item on Woman’s Hour (BBC Radio 4) about the macho culture at work, which inspired in me a number of mixed feelings, paramount among which was the sense of the damage that overweening capitalism does to people.  Don’t go jumping to the conclusion that I’m a communist though – I’m not!

Advice to all women in work

don’t cry – you’ll be seen as a berk

If you are sage

you’ll storm and you’ll rage

– avoid the misogynist’s smirk

They don’t give the Nobel Prize for Attempted Chemistry

Nonetheless, here’s an attempt at an alliterative limerick

An abacus always abounds

brave battlers beating the bounds

who crave calculations

do drastic equations

finding fantastical grounds


what, you want it to make sense as well?


Et maintenant, en francais!

Voici des traductions eccentriques!

flaneur = time for cheesecake

reculer pour mieux sauter = cool again, pour and fry

OK, not quite as good as the Latin ones but I do try

Pip pip!

Limericks again

Sent a couple off to Pentatette, a limerick magazine, but heard nothing. I shall email them.

Here’s another…



the problem

of greatness

my wiggled lines struggle with straightness

with fear to the fore

I nudge open the door



for my lateness

(the first and last lines are supposed to spread over the page but I can’t get them to do this – it seems to justify everything.

There’s a joke there.  But I can’t be bothered)

Mark says it’s html.  This always makes me think of “hatemail”

Fresh from my triumph…

…at Word, which I’m happy to report has MOVED!!!! Yes, they took note of our comments about the topless waitresses and have moved to the Y theatre, a much nicer venue.

I read three poems, two about plastic surgery and one about the Pope – all on this blog. They were very well-recieved and several people congratulated me afterwards. The guest, Joolz Denby, was also excellent and what with two pints of Newcastle Brown Ale preceded by dinner with Steve, an excellent evening.

We are scavenging and burning wood on our fire because the electricity bill has now reached proportions offically called “horrendous”. It is very satisfying to get a real fire going, although it is pretty much a full-time job feeding it. We found a Xmas tree the other day which burned with Spectacular Intensity.  (I asked Owl, and he said that’s what it burned with).

I am feeling much more confident about my writing and performing.

“Word” takes place on the first Tuesday of every month at the Y theatre, Leicester.

Pip pip!

Happy New Year to both my readers…

Ha ha.  Only joking – I know there’s just one of you.

Here’s today’s poem:

In the Nissan hut

there’s a toy







the lego


In the Nissan hut

there’s a dat




with self-


This was of course inspired by the closeness of the words nissen and  NIssan. Not having lived through the war, I have only the vaguest idea of what a nissen hut is.  I imagine it’s some kind of long, low, functional wooden building.  The last line is a reference to an early poem by C***n.  I can’t bring myself to look it up just now – it’s been bad enough having three versions of “Hallelujah” playing every time I turn on the radio.

Today, like many people, we are really hard up.  Yesterday we scavenged wood to keep our fire going.  This morning I have made bread (prepared the dough last night) and am about to make hummus.  If there is any interest at all from either of you (!) I will post the recipe.  It’s quite simple – you just bung everything in the liquidiser.

Tonight I am going to “Word”, Leicester’s open mic poetry evening.  I am happy to report that they have CHANGED THE VENUE!  Perhaps my protests about topless waitresses had an effect.  It is now at the Y Theatre, 8 pm every first Tuesday.   I am going to read three poems, “16th Birthday”, “2084” and the one about the pope.  All of them can be found on this blog.

Was going to write some more about John Berger but I’ll save it for now.

Pip pip!