SUMMER (if one could call it that) BLOGGING BREAK


France beckons once again. We are off there in a just a few days leaving this old house in the capable hands of one prone to losing front door keys.

As ever when abroad I shall have the irksome tablet thing with me yet other than dip into WP occasionally there is no prospect of me posting from said tablet as its full workings remain something of a mystery sadly.

I shall return (the French fuel blockade allowing) around the 20th June. In the meantime, best of good fortune to you all, and herewith a poem that lost its way! 


Contraband were the cigarettes, the wine and the champagne

So said the girl in the hippie hat who was quite drunk all the same

I asked her, “What can you tell me?” she said “What you want to know?”

My question, “What place has love in a universe so melancholy and shallow?”

She thought for just a moment, rolled her eyes then proclaimed

“If you don’t know the right answer then you should be ashamed

For love can be a scarecrow charmed by the carrion crows

Or an old lady taking in stray dogs the veterinary might dispose

Or a pretty girl plucking daisy petals, thinking she’s out of his earshot

Whispering to her eager self, ‘He loves me; he loves me not’

Love can even be spiteful words spoken in cruellest jest

Giving rise to a broken heart sorrow that’s so hard to divest

Yet when my glass was half empty, my own heart broken in two

I’m glad that you rescued me, shame the sight of you now makes me spew

For you on a good day on behalf of an England team could bore

Besides, what with all your bloody whinging I can’t take it anymore!”




never one prone to throw away a smile

when an important task was at hand

this day, she resolved, would be one

for taming memories of the recent dead

perhaps caging them out of harm’s way

somewhere dark, no cobwebs though

no spider’s webs either

a desk drawer?

lock and key?


flashback to the riverside

fast flowing, overkill banks

rattling call of the kingfisher

irksome ping from phone

ghastly the message conveyed

confirmed a long held suspicion

an atheist’s ether plea as worthless

as a devotional prayer to any Lord

yet all that she had wished for fell

within the gambit of feasible desire

‘How dysfunctional imagination can sometimes be

chasing rainbow’s end pot of fool’s gold’

a passing thought, a sombre sigh


“Take away his feet, his ears, lungs, liver and legs but let him keep his mind”

not an unreasonable lover’s appeal

yet fates chicanery

its penchant for death’s door wanderlust

as ever pictorial perfection


no fanfares for the outward bound

no champagne upon arrival





The patron saint of gravediggers

is known as Anthony by name

yet he doubles up with the swineherders

does this Anthony of papal acclaim


then there is an unlikely patron

of truss makers can you believe?

well I’ll wager a bet he was having a laugh

was Saint Follan whilst helping relieve


the suffering of cooks griddled alive

for they have a patron as well

his name is Lawrence and quite odder still

are the jokes Saint Lawrence could tell


for his extra gig are the comedians

although this one I find hard to accept

for how come he patrons the tortured

then has a joke, when he should really have wept?


then we have Saint Dismus who patrons

the undertakers and thieves alike

personally I can’t quite see the fit

when a miscreant’s stolen the bike


of the poor, wretched undertaker

now so very late for a funeral

best call in good old Saint Michael

he’s the patron of the police after all


Saint Blaise is the patron of town criers

so I’m guessing he shouts quite a lot

yet Saint Hunna of the washer women

has a box mangle as her mascot


though the one whose job description

is that of patron of the Lottery

is good old Saint Martin de Porres

and he is also patron of black people you see


now given the history of white money

and the evil that was slavery

for Martin to end up with both gigs

seems like double standards to me!




flat earth

From what I observed using science

Was that this world of ours could hardly be flat

Nor have an edge you can fall off

Yet The Inquisition would have none of that


Oh no, for my plausible utterings

They burnt me alive with great glee

Though not before spending a week on the rack

And so a martyr I would be


Yet scroll forward in time just a little

When cosmic study led me to point out

That to the universe the Earth wasn’t centre

‘Twas the Sun, I had little doubt


For that crime I was first garrotted

Then hung, drawn and quartered some say

In truth I have no recollection

Such was my pain on that day


Yet I bare the Pope no malice

Even though I was killed in the name

Of the religion that he is the head of

The one that should take all of the blame


For relying just on dubious scriptures

And saying that I did transgress

For when he found out that I was right,

To my concepts he did address


A twist in those very same scriptures

The ones he had used once before

To justify a change in direction

The Vatican’s image he did restore


So pity us poor scientist martyrs

In truth there was no heresy

Let the church jumble facts and twist legends

And no posthumous pardon for me!












why get the ‘good wife of the house’ go telling

the bumble bees of births, deaths and marriages?

rather, on days like this, let them rejoice, mourn

or stuff wedding cake, make honey their own sweet way

far, faraway allowing the dullard layabout to nurture

The Inferno’s worst demons, wearing just headphones

that blow his skull apart to Ride of the Valkyries clichéd roar


‘often’ she despairs of him

wants to pull the plug

sometimes, not that ‘often’

mostly she tries to salvage

the echoes sleep left behind


first he is up on his high pedestal

then he is down upon his knees

same-o, same-o, heartily fed up with it

a good talking to might do the trick?

pills, potions, darkest shades and Joni also

would it aid if he got laid? likely it would


she knows that when the southerly

blows Saharan red sand that cloaks

the sheets drying on the washing line

and gnarly waves nibble at the heels

of the late Cretaceous (why does he always

have to repeat ‘late Cretaceous’ when

he knows it pisses her off) white chalk cliffs

that these unlikely things will bestow his state of mind

the kiss of life, nature’s kick in the bollocks resuscitation

then all will be well in his world once more

fuck me, I hope so


a gypsy caravan’s confessional affords no anonymity

long gone now the ‘happy go not so lucky’ noughties

the overburdened, inebriated, money making nineties

in their dubious wake, a neo-sanity of a certain sort

more importantly though, a love that outlives happenstance


skirmishes and laughter, much better

than coffins and spitting feathers


venetian blinds

housebound, no cat flaps, no keys left in locked doors

a fat matron ‘come carer’, daily ‘just in case’ visitation

spoon fed liquidized winter veg soup and ‘get well soon’ false courage pills

the world outside on curved screen full HD

that was the way it was before

then it wasn’t anymore


she, the new girl from The Net, calls weekly yet never enters

squeezes his food shop through a reluctant letterbox

packets of this and that to be rehydrated as and when

toilet rolls problematic unless half unrolled first

handcuffs seemed a good idea, a thank you present

for granting her the procuring fodder gig

never expected he would don them; throw away the keys

handcuffs for the agoraphobic, a blessing without disguise


often she wondered what he might look like

fat, thin, young, old, weird or wonderful

hirsute and muscular hopefully

laughter lines unlikely



seven days had passed

rang the doorbell

no answer

‘Must be out and about’

silly thought


after they kicked the door in

‘Still breathing, just’

a paramedic throwaway overheard

took him away


temptation a synthetic thing

tentative step inside an empty house

nothing artificial within a realm so dark

light switches, no light bulbs

she opens up dusty, rusty Venetian blinds

Circa 1950? triple aspect lounge squints; sees long absent light of day

pictures of her in a state of undress adorn the walls

thousands seemingly, downloaded certainly

virgin love letters just for her, composed in a house without envelopes

sicko or sweetie? not sure, awesome calligraphy though


in the kitchen a waste bin, empty save for just some keys

she slips them in her back pocket, with her comb and IPhone

best that way



On August 24th AD 79

My mistress and I popped out to dine

Some red wine with our veal, then after our meal

Thought our naked bodies we might intertwine


Back at home at each other’s clothes we tore

Even invented a new way to make love like never before

Yet that sooty night in Pompeii, as we got carried away

The earth moved for her and so did the floor


Illicit lovers were we

In a flash conjoined statues would be

Vesuvius’ eruption saw to that, no time for chit-chat

Now at the Museum see us interwoven for free


Still, I still thank The Gods, those miserable sods

In more ways than one as you will see,

For if our discretion of sort, had been put before Matrimonial Court

Pliny the Elder would have hung me from the nearest tree


For it was his dearest wife

Who was my elixir of life

A gal who would afford me her favours whenever

Whereas Pliny himself, not in best of good health, his leg geteth-over, he never!




somewhere twixt groovy Camelot and a formative Montparnasse

sits a broken down fortress, parched moat, crippled drawbridge

where lives a floozy Queen with a penchant for abandoned infidelity

a troubled King with a taste for calvados and sweetest fallen angels also

outside the castles oft breached fortifications, a hopeless milkmaid

covered in desiccated mud, malodorous cowplop and aspirations

dreaming of her leaky passé bathtub set before a cackling log fire

of revolution and the place where the fallible cavaliers are caged

her short attention span her pestilent curse, her mind floats off

now sat cross-legged on a mound of something green and debatable

she studies keenly a prowling tabby stalk an off guard jenny wren

is bedazzled by subliminal fear of silhouettes, rainbows and visions

“The world is at a standstill pending a serf insurrection” her offering

to fuddy-duddy grandma, handing her a scrapple and tepid ale lunch

“Never forget when governed by dint of iron rod anything is possible

makes a reality of your doctrinaire, has you relishing in oppressing the oppressors

yet make wealth and notoriety your quest and you will be as bad as they are”

“How do I get to make better then, secure liberty for one an all, when since

the Black Death, all our serfs do is dribble, fart and complain?”

a hard thing, sympathising with the spellbound when the truth is obvious

harder still to be a torched martyr to a deserving ideal when cavaliers are fallible

when a treacherous crowned head lays claim to the Divine




There is a magnetic corner of the globe, somewhere south of here and north of there, that is visible only from within.  There are those who are unconsciously attracted to this land, others may guilelessly chance upon it.  Some however, are abductees from abroad held captive as mere chattels, skivvy’s and such like, marooned in the service of the better off citizens.  It is thus that any and all would do well to take heed of my warning that in this place not everything is as it first seems.  There is no movable feast in an unvarnished Hell cleverly disguised as vestal dreamland.

To the inept eye all is possible in this impossible corner boasting, as it does, a society built on unlikely ‘either/or’ bedfellow foundations born of frailty and virtue, namely, malice and benevolence.  As to which of those twins holds sway at any given time is dependent upon the capricious pendulum of fate.  Once when eavesdropping, I heard tell that after ‘The Book of Impossible Things’ – a tome all citizens once held dear – was unwittingly ‘misplaced’ nothing was ever the same.  Needless to say ‘malice’ reigns supreme pro tem.

During my ill-fated stay here I have concluded any native tongue is understood by one and all in their own mother language and vice versa.  Those peopling this most cosmopolitan of places are much varied.  Black, white and a painter’s pallet mix of pigmentations in between, effectively chronicling the allsorts assortment that is mankind.

Being of tropical clime, the season never changes.  An unremitting summer persists, trapped as she is under the prevailing rainforest canopy. Additionally, daytime is forever overbearingly hot and sticky, humid, intolerable, yet beyond the witching hour the swelter remains much the same only scarcely less so.

I was delivered up by unenviable circumstance and am now a much altered version of former self. The revenant me longs to be homeward bound, to the place from whence I began.  However, since she, the one I covertly call Lucrezia, for I am not privy to her real name, robbed me of my station in time and claimed me as her glorified bondservant I have been lost to the virtuous world.

I am now known by just a number, 107345.  That is all there is, ‘que sera, sera’ as the fatalist might say.



You wished for the whitest of weddings, unspoiled maid of honour, fine lingerie

said you needed the chicest of soirees, yet he gifted you just a death’s door bouquet

you lost a twin yet unveiled translucent coincidence, on the merry-go-round at a fair

spoke in riddles only blind men could fathom, for the sightless there is naught to compare

you ignited the flames of indifference, sat down in the library reading tales of ‘past sell-buy date’ lust

came home to a bed full of heartache, managed to turn love’s sweetest passion to a powdery dust

you bought the grandiose bed, he the stained mattress, you paid for red roses, he the chipped vase

the wasted preachers shamefaced variations, obscured since he counted up all his lucky stars

in collection bowls the clergy have faith in, nursing mothers and lovers bow their heads, look away

if time could refold all of its wrappings, then for you it would repackage yesterday

you dressed as his article of ostentation, paraphernalia fitting Casanova’s bereft etiquette

a dare you forever regretted accepting, the very instant you hand shook on the bet

time came when the path reached a crossroad, you no longer pleaded for more honesty

blocking your way, a decrepit old witch’s fat black cat, that would define your new destiny

are the victorious the naked or the blessed ones, or the Legions who rampaged Carthage?

thieving artefacts, coinage and conscripts, enslaved girls for the auctioneer’s stage

glorifying the past is to humiliate the present, a thing you knew well yet ignored

put trust in the fact you were certain, a life locked away was better than a new one explored

when they told her she would be sectioned, to where the psychotic’s squander all once held dear

that was the worst bad day in the life of, the cloistered girl who had thrived on vacant fear

(regarding someone I once knew)