Saturday, 27 August 2011

I. L. Y.

A gift for you these three small words I offer,
not looking for an answer
nor for you to proffer
not comment, good or bad, 
nor look, nor touch,
or even to acknowledge 
that you heard.

Freely said with no conditions, strings attached or 
expectation of 
for I am allowed to give
of anything I wish 
and do not look 
for a return.

No childishness or hidden meaning holds,
for I am grown up now, and 
someone old as I
knows well 
they cannot keep these words for use,
no benefit accrues to me 
in owning them.

No disappointment, sulks or tears will follow, for
I do not speak to hear,
only just 
to let them go,
like little birds, whose fate 
is out of my control
when they fly free,
to let you know,




Friday, 26 August 2011

What's Happening?

Why I love Twitter- A snapshot of my timeline

martyn_clayton Martyn Clayton
Weird dream last night. I was in Poundland with two naturists a bishop and a nun.

Sindy can't come over here demanding to have an arts centre named after her, but Barbican.

 Red_Beard4 Chris Turley
I need coffee!

Ooopsydaisy Ooops...

feud feud
It's a wet and horrible morning in Reading, bring on the bands......

guymartinracing Guy Martin Racing
By 'eck. There's a fair amount of cotton on that lad!

Bolan71 Mr Jolly
........while looters continue to get 18 months for stealing such items as bottles of water..... #brokenbritain

jenniwaugh Jenni Waugh
Rachel is a Good Egg & reliable Fury in a crisis. @HistoryNeedsYou @RachelCockett I like the fact that Rachel answered the call for Furies

Bolan71 Mr Jolly
So Baby P's killer is out of jail and shopping after 24 months for the torture and murder of a toddler---our justice system is fucked.

Because my love for you, would break my heart in two. If you should fall, into my arms.... Tremble like a FLOWER.

vivmondo That's Mr Viv to you
Good morning. I'm on a train at Preston station. A woman just ran on, went to the toilet and ran off again before it departed.

And I'm floating in the most peculiar way...



AssedBaig AssedBaig
Off to Libya inshallah. Keep me in your duas.

ubuweb Ubu Web
by clawfish
Jean Baudrillard lecturing in English on 'The Violence of the Image' in 2004 (85 min.):

waynecoyne Wayne Coyne
How do you get rid of hiccups??????

swimmerpoet Cynthia Gallaher
Water, unperishable food, lots of matches or firestarters, sleeping bags, tent. There you go.

jawar JAWAR™
"Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something." Lisa Edwards

dwmaiden Don Maiden

AlecBaldwin Alec Baldwin
How many friggin' times I gotta say it? 27. She's 27. Jeez.

The_Hedgehogs The Hedgehogs
Well, I had to block another follower. My husband. Slightly awkward mood in the house at the moment.

Thursday, 25 August 2011


As carelessly I stretched and reached
to grasp a metaphor,
the ladder I’d invested with my faith
betrayed it’s nature-
not a simple noun,
as I’d assumed, but
masquerading adjective,
lad, ladder, laddest
so in laddishness deposited
my poor sore self
and as I fell the metaphor,
dislodged, came flapping,
falling with me,
in descent
and disarray.

I lay
a supine, spavined, broken poet,
the metaphor, elusive still,
flitting just beyond 
my reach, like a
falling, flapping,

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Another rant (but a measured one)

Let me begin with an apology. I am going to inflict upon you a passage from a Daily Mail article about rioting teenagers, and their gleeful reportage of the opinions of one ‘heartbroken and ashamed’ father:

In another shocking example of middle-class children being involved in the riots, the father of a teenage looter said parents were powerless to punish their children because of the nanny state.

The ‘heartbroken and ashamed’ cameraman, who has helped make BBC and  Channel Four documentaries on policing and justice, said that parents cannot discipline their offspring properly for fear of being reported to police or social services.

His 16-year-old daughter appeared at City of Westminster magistrates’ court on Saturday charged with stealing a £500 iPad during rampant violence last Monday.
The father of five said: ‘I am heartbroken and totally ashamed that she got caught up in all this.
‘Basically I feel this is the end product of a society that tells you that you can’t discipline your children.
‘They say, “If you hit me, it’s physical assault and if you shout at me, it’s verbal abuse”.

No comments were allowed, but, up in the middle of the night with a nasty cough-and-cold, I really wanted to say something, so here it is.......

Dear Daily Mail (and heartbroken cameraman) I would like to tell you about my children. I am proud of the way they have grown into courteous, understanding, ethical human beings. I am proud that my daughter, seeing a pregnant woman being badly beaten in the street, intervened at great risk to her own safety, eventually running to a police station for help. I’m proud that she set up a website to help victims of domestic abuse, and works long and unsocial hours looking after people with Learning Disabilities (and has a 1st class honours degree). I’m equally proud of my son, who came across an old man who had fallen in the street and helped him and stayed with him even though it meant that his day was wholly disrupted, for this is what good people do. I’m proud of him for still being here in the face of crippling mental illness and physical problems stemming from a car accident many years ago. I’m proud that he is funny and intelligent and compassionate, and will use his physical strength to help neighbours with lifting and carrying even though it causes him pain. I remember my son crying at the age of about ten, on hearing a news report about a child beaten to death by its parents. I talked with him about his reaction, and hugged him, and loved him for his empathy and concern.

Dear Daily Mail (and heartbroken cameraman), my children didn’t grow up to be the rounded, moral, law-abiding citizens (you’ll love that one, DM) that they are today through discipline. Hitting them and shouting at them didn’t make them the inspirational adults they are today. I’m not trying to pretend that they never did anything wrong, nor am I claiming that I was never cross with them, I’m saying that the defining moments in their upbringing were the conversations we had about ethics, morality, politics and the difference between right and wrong. For many people religious belief underpins these debates but we were not a religious household; we were, however, a moral one. We could empathise with others, human or animal, and my children grew up constantly surrounded by other people’s discarded pets- usually dogs but often rabbits, gerbils or guinea pigs, with the occasional duck or goose. They learned that every creature deserves our respect and compassion, and became vegetarians at a young age.

Crucially, my children were also never acquisitive. They had modest material aspirations, and their grandparents reported that they were a joy to take out as they weren’t constantly asking for treats. In fact, said my mother-in-law, we have to ask them if they would like an ice cream as they never ask us for one.
Yes, today’s children are bombarded with advertisements telling them they need the latest this-and-that or their lives won’t be complete. So are adults. It’s when we choose to believe the marketing hype that we run into trouble. Teach your children why the advertisers tell us these things. Explain it to them- draw back the veil and expose the wizard of oz as he really is, an insignificant figure pulling levers. Teach your children to think for themselves. It’s unfortunate that many parents don’t even know how to do this so schools should teach critical thinking at the core of the curriculum. Parents need to be educated, too, and taught that they shouldn’t give in to the demands of their children, and how to do this calmly and in a positive way. Unfortunately this is exactly the sort of project that the current government see as surplus to requirements, a waste of ‘taxpayers’ money, and a symptom of the nanny state.

I would have expected, however, that an educated person, as this cameraman seems to be, might have understood that parenting is not about hitting and shouting. I suspect that many of the looters and rioters have plenty of that in their lives already. What they don’t seem to have is someone teaching them the difference between right and wrong. The only value judgment involved seems to be “can I get away with it?” and many people, last week, perceived a window of opportunity to do the wrong thing and get away with it. I am not the first to point to the rich and powerful and their looting of the economy but the morality, or lack of it, has the same selfish roots. 

In the same article David Cameron is quoted as saying he will tackle 'irresponsibility, selfishness, behaving as if your choices have no consequences, schools without discipline, reward without effort and crime without punishment'.
I’m hoping he’ll start at the top with his own government, MPs, bankers and tax dodgers but I may be wrong. He could even try hitting them and shouting at them, and in this particular instance I don’t think I would object.

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Dudley Road

Someone’s son.
I tried to bring him back to life
Because he was someone’s son.
My son, I pumped his chest
His blood flowed over me.
My blood, my family's blood,
Flowing out of him and on to me.
This is not how it should be.

I want to see his children on his knee
I want to hear him passing on
The good advice he got from me.
This is not how it should be.

Your sons, protect them well.
Tell them how you value them.
Your legacy and future
Your blood runs in their veins
Don’t see their blood
Become a stain
Their life draining away.
That is not how it should be.

Inspired by the words of Tariq Jahan

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

D B...

Clue: each letter is a word

A  B.

I  C  A  B.

U  C  A  B?

R,  I  C  A  B.

O  L,  I  8  D  B!


D  B,  U  C,

E  B 

stingin' me!

Monday, 8 August 2011


I remember seeing a cartoon many years ago, about a shortsighted mole. Every day he went out to play, and rushed to see his wonderful fairy castle. It towered skywards, glistening, shimmering, bejewelled. He was enraptured. One day a salesman came around selling spectacles and tested the little mole's eyes. He fitted him with some glasses and the next morning the little chap was eager to see his fairy castle, expecting that it would look better than ever through his new specs. When he got there, full of anticipation, it turned out to be... a pile of junk. Old tin cans and rubbish, piled high, occasionally glinting in the sunlight. Our little mole was heartbroken. His disappointment was etched in my mind, and I never forgot that cartoon, which, by the way, ended happily as he lost his glasses and his fairy castle came back. 
Why am I thinking about this now? On Friday evening I was getting ready to go out, and looked in the mirror; I was not looking too bad, though I'm usually self-critical. Not bad at all. One last thing- put glasses on. Eugh! These glasses really don't suit me, they make my face look different. I looked ok without them! I take them off. There you are- look fine. Put them on, look awful. These glasses really have a strange effect on me, they make my face look all old and.......oh. You know what was happening, don't you? That's why I thought of the little mole, his fairy castle, and the pile of junk.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Don’t You Dare....

Nothing grows except the pile of children’s toys and chairs and tables, barbecues and parasols, umbrellas that can fend off all the elements, so you ignore the weather and forget about its benefits.

Any green that dares to peep between the paving cracks or stain the decking slashed and burned or poisoned, purged so nothing can be seen that isn’t factory-made and 

Call This 
A Garden.