And on blue Cleveland Hills



Coats on the hall stand
Smelling of you;
Coats on the hall stand
Some are mine too.

Hats on the top hooks
Caps that you wore.
Now where you’ve gone
You will need them no more.

My hats will be puzzled,
Hanging there all alone
Now when I see yours
My heart feels like stone.

I found some of your shoes
All covered with green
Now they’re in the bin bag
No more to be seen.

I found half  your pyjamas
The rest are all gone.
I wonder where these hid,
Where’ve they come from?

Last night in my dreams
You were right by my side
We were cleaning the oven
With brillo and Tide.

But when I awakened
No glimpse did I see.
Except looking slantwise
Towards the red  maple tree,

Why did you leave me?
Why did you go?
I held your left hand
And fondled it so.

Come back to your loved one
Don’t leave me alone.
I don’t want to live
Just to hear myself groan.

Touch me with your fingers
Melt my poor, sad, lone heart
I let go of your hand~
Then the agony starts.

Up north in old Richmond
And on blue Cleveland Hills
I’ll remember your dear face
As my eyes with tears fill.

I will lift up mine eyes
To the hills where my strength
Comes down from the Heavens
Endless in length.

Stronger than granite,
Stronger than steel,
Stronger than silver
Is the love that I feel.

Stronger than iron;
Stronger than gold;
Stronger is my love,
For the one I once held.

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No ,he was not a Christian

Why did Jesus have no shoes?
He had sent his soles to be heeled.

Why was Jesus kind to sinners?
Because they were not hypocrites

Did Jesus go to church on Sundays?
No ,he was not a Christian

Did Jesus have a nuclear family?
God the Father and  the Holy Spirit.
Was he an only child?

Why did Jesus not wear trousers?
Jewish tailoring had not got that far 2,000 years ago.

Did Jesus drive a car?
Drive a car what?

Did Jesus write letters?
They had no Royal Mail then and soon we shan’t either.

Why did Jesus go to a comprehensive school?
He wanted to widen his appeal.

Did Jesus iron his clothes?
It was before the Iron Age.


How about this atom bomb here in my pocket?
Please, let it drop,I beg you

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The News

dsc00069-1-1The entire population of the UK is moving to Uganda.
Great Britain is being turned into a Nature Trail.
Westminster Bridge is being moved to  the Niagara Falls
Or is it Nicaragua?
St Paul’s Cathedral is going to Damascus
St Paul was a romantic poet who burned with no flame
The Queen is having a baby.Next week
The Vatican is being moved to Nairobi
Mystics are wanted .We will arrest you soon
London Buses are still read.
King’s Cross is Henry V111th
Enfield Wash in the River Lea.
Epping Forest is being moved to the Sahara.
Elsynge Palace will be rebuilt in the Gaza Strip where they tear gas!
Theresa May has entered a nunnery.
A new public convenience is being built in Scotland Yard.Can we hang on?
If you want Marks and Spencer it is in Transylvania
I am building  a border with barbed wire in my garden so I will know how to cross it


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In the pink.

Not dead yet” was a phrase that was part of a comic act here on TV… it’s that odd humour here in England.

If we meet we say:Who are you?

And this is what we answer

Fine thanks.In the pink.

  • Feeling groovy.
    Could be worse I suppose.
    Think I’ve got that bug that’s going round the Food Bank
    Still here…give is a wink
    Still alive,apparently
    I flunked.
    I am in the theatre.Pass the needle,nurse.
    I would have fallen over in front of a bus except the dog would miss me.Besides I am the driver
    Not dead yet.Must try harder
    Could be better at maths if she learned to read first
    Why do you frisk?
    Have we been i traduced?
    You look vaguely familiar.Are we married?
    I think I met you once on the Underground.
    How unkind of you to ask.
    Is that cat glued to your head or is it  a transplant?
    Do you come here  frequently
    How did you say you care?
    Have we met or are  you  on TV? Did you see me?
    I’ve booked a hotel in that place that’s been flooded.Bow wow wow are you?
    I say,old boy.How nice you asked.I’m fine I just got married again..I I have a lot more news…..ah,well.I never liked him much really,the bastard.
    Where have you been all my strife?
    Do you know everyone leers?
    Are you hiding anything? I can only see yout eyes.You seem to have three.
    I can see gold lights all over the place.Is it Xmas?
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Art and poetry



Art and Poetry


“When William Dyce visited Rome, he was astonished: ‘In truth, to me Rome was a kind of living poem, which the soul read unceasingly, with the soothed sense which poetry inspires’.1 In comparison with the bracing climate and rather more austere architecture of Aberdeen where Dyce had grown up, the warmth, colour and sheer magnificence of the Eternal City was overwhelming. To describe it as ‘a kind of living poem’, however, suggests not just the visual artist’s acute perception of the city’s distinctive appearance, but also a deep sensitivity to the overall tone, history and special atmosphere. Dyce first travelled there in 1825, a year after the poet Lord Byron’s death. Born in 1806, Dyce was only a few years younger than the poets John Keats and Percy Bysshe Shelley, so recently buried at the Protestant Cemetery when Dyce made his initial visit to Rome. He was thus part of an era in which the very idea of ‘poetry’ was broad enough to encompass any imaginative response to the world, enabling Shelley to include Raphael beside Homer, Tasso and Bacon in stirring references to the ‘greatest poets’ of all time.2Artists of the Romantic period could rise as readily as writers to the ideals articulated by Samuel Taylor Coleridge in 1817, in praise of Wordsworth’s poetry:

It was the union of deep feeling with profound thought; the fine balance of truth in observing with the imaginative faculty in modifying the objects observed; and above all the original gift of spreading the tone, the atmosphere, and with it the depth and height of the ideal world, around forms, incidents, and situations, of which, for the common view, custom had bedimmed all the lustre, had dried up the sparkle and the dewdrops.3

For Dyce to describe Rome as a ‘living poem’ would not have seemed odd to those nurtured on the grand ideals of the Romantic period, and although subsequent decades saw a diminishing faith in poetry, and indeed much else, the influence of Coleridge, Wordsworth and other stars of Dyce’s formative firmament continued to be felt. John Ruskin, for example, presenting a Victorian readership with Modern Painters (1843–60), still drew inspiration from Wordsworth, including more quotations from the elderly poet laureate than any other source. The third volume, published in 1856, was prefaced by lines from Wordsworth’s The Excursion (1814), lamenting the modern tendency to neglect the soul, which Ruskin considered as relevant to readers of the mid-century as to those four decades before. Modern painters, he suggested, should look to Wordsworth for inspiration in the fullest, most spiritual sense. Dyce’s own analogy between the experience of visiting Rome and the ‘soothed sense which poetry inspires’ could only have been made by a poetry lover, and throughout his artistic career he frequently chose subjects with literary dimensions. From his early sketch of Puck 1825 (Aberdeen Art Gallery and Museums, Aberdeen) to his late portrait of George Herbert at Bemerton c.1860 (Guildhall Art Gallery, London), Dyce demonstrated his interest in poetry; but even works less obviously indebted to specific sources often suggest a deeply literary sensibility. As the Art-Union observed approvingly in 1844, he was one of the few modern British painters who considered it ‘as much their duty to read and think as to draw and paint’.”

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Flowered fields

The face that was familiar is no more
Yet in my dreams ,we  amble through bright  fields
Where cornflowers and blue linseed  softly grow
The face that was familiar is no more
The emptiness  and loss,  confused, real
The face that was familiar is no more
Yet in my dreams ,we wander through   flowered fields

The hand that once held mine I still  do feel
Warm with tapered fingers and hard nails
That death was near you did not then reveal
The hand that once held mine I still can feel
The memory impressed like iron or steel
You were growing colder,oh,so pale.
The hand that once held mine I  think I feel
Warm with tapered fingers and hard nails

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Grief and the consolation of poetry

candlelight candles

Photo by Irina Anastasiu on

All my work is finished, Kate, and I am free and finally known.’ ”

The latest novel from the prize-winning David Park contrasts three marriages, one made in the heaven of mutual harmony of mind and heart, one in the hell of Stalinist Russia, and one in the land of contemporary dysfunctional families.

The stories are told by the widows of great poets: Catherine Blake, wife of William Blake, the 18th-century visionary; Nadezhda Mandelstam, wife of the Russian Osip Mandelstam, who died in a Soviet prison camp in 1938; and Lydia, fictional widow of a fictional modern Irish poet who writes in a cottage somewhere near Portrush.

The novel deals with complex emotions: love, the grief of the bereaved, the role of religious belief, and the immortality of poetry.

Nadezhda Mandelstam, based closely on the historical woman, is presented as she who is most intently aware of the importance of poetry and of her husband’s work in particular. In Russia, it is obvious that poetry matters, as they are always killing poets, Nadezhda wrote in her own memoir, Hope Against Hope .

Her husband’s crime was to write a scurrilous poem about Stalin. Married to Osip for 18 years, she lived without him for more than 40. After his death she learned all his poems by heart, ensuring that while she lived they would survive. Julian Barnes, in his wonderful essay on the grief of the bereaved husband, Levels of Life , writes that his strongest motivation for living is that he is his wife’s best rememberer.

Nadezhda Mandelstam fulfilled this role for Osip literally: it is largely thanks to her unstinting devotion to preserving his poetry that he is now recognised as one of Russia’s greatest 20th-century writers. Park’s version of her story is shorter, gentler in style and more accessible than her own autobiographical work, which, although brilliant, is densely packed with facts, names and political references – more history than novel.

Testament to Park’s power as a storyteller is that he manages to convey better than she does herself the character of this tough and formidably intelligent woman, and to express her profound love, grief and devotion to her husband and his work.

His completely fictional creation in the novel is Lydia. Unlike Nadezhda, Lydia did not love her husband, although she was married to him for 41 years (somewhat unaccountably).

Moments of infidelity
All three poets in this novel are alleged to have had moments of infidelity. In the cases of Blake and of Mandelstam, these episodes were subsumed into the sturdy texture of their good marriages. But Don, the Irish poet, was persistently unfaithful, and not even his daughters have a good word to say for him. Lydia feels, as she prepares to scatter the ashes of her husband, that she is “lighter, freer, and at the same time a little frightened”.

Curiously, Lydia’s relative lack of pain at her bereavement feels sadder than the searing grief of the loving wives. Like them, however, Lydia recognises the greatness of her husband’s work. In spite of her resentment she determines to preserve his manuscripts: “What she had to do was owed not to him but to something greater.”

Nadezhda Mandelstam and Lydia have in common that they appear to have no strong belief in an afterlife. Catherine Blake, who was married to William for 45 years, and survived him for only four, has the comfort of trusting that on her death she and William will be reunited in heaven. And even in her widowhood he visits her on this earth, chats and gives advice, both spiritual and practical: “Take what’s left of my collection of prints to Colnaghi and Co and try to get the best price you can.”

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Had he left her for a woman who dressed in thick beige blouses and stockings with grey skirts?

Professor Rosa Benchez was in the staff-room at Middle-Jeans-Rise University collecting her mail and having coffee at 9.30 am on Monday morning after running 10 miles on her rowing machine.It rowed and she ran
How are you? enquired Danny her friend and colleague in the School of Learning.
I’m feeling very insignificant today,she replied. quietly.I am giving a lecture on Semiotics and it’s those French people who use such idiotically complicated language.We all know that an object like a bird has to have a name before we can talk about it.
Well.,said Danny, I thought you’d just say,”In the pink” as usual to my greeting, so you must feel bad.Does each bird have to have its own name,he continued wonderingly?
Well,it depends on the context, she informed him  enigmatically.
First,if we are looking at birds as a class or set, they just need a name like “bird”.It could have been anything but somehow it was” bird” that occurred like x is used in algebra.We may just study one bird then we give it a number to identify it.That is its name
Danny gazed at her beautiful bosom under her semi-transparent pink blouse.Did she dress like that on purpose to provoke men or did she feel so deeply insignificant that she didn’t realise anyone at all could see her purple lace bra and her green silk and wool thermal vest with matching briefs, though fortunately, the latter were invisible from the outside .
Danny,I’m talking to you, she called sympathetically.Why are you quiet?
I dunno, the world famous biologist replied.Maybe I am not quite here today.
You too,she murmured quietly ,like the stream in Little Walsingham by the ruined Abbey.
Are you anxious about your lectures,she enquired softly and caringly?
No, not really ,he said tearing his eyes away from her revealing clothing.
Is there a biological reason why a scholar like Rosa would wear this unusually exciting outfit.
The truth was more mundane.Rosa bought her clothes in Sales and was indifferent or unaware to the way men might feel seeing her like this.After all,did she notice if they wore deep purple underpants that showed above their low rise jeans or gold coins on a chain with matching long earrings?
She only looked at their faces while they naturally were drawn to see what outfit she was wearing that day. and what her new lingerie looked like.
What did her partner feel?Had he left her for a woman who dressed in thick beige blouses and stockings with grey skirts?
To dress well takes time and Rosa did not give it enough although so far she had not lectured in a string bikini nor an evening dress she had found in a jumble sale.
These French people have made a fortune by re-labelling well know things like birds as “signified” and the word “bird” as signifiers!
It reminded her of a sociologist who got a large grant to see if women were more scared walking under a railway bridge at night if there were no streetlight there
The conclusion seems obvious.And that was what they proved “scientifically”
Statistics,numbers, that’s what journals want.
She went to her lecture room and turned on the lights.Eighty students gazed at her happily.She was the best and funniest lecturer in the place.
I put 30 handouts in Dr Bevan-Finnish’s drawer for the seminar but someone has stolen them, she said menacingly.I write these handouts myself and if they do not appear by noon ,nobody will get another one for the entire semester
With that, she turned to the blackboard and defined ” the signifier”
Well,it’s better than taking the insides out of chickens on a conveyor belt she thought silently as she moaned on while the students took copious notes or wrote limericks on kleenex tissues with their own blood
After lunch Rosa was in the staff room talking to some women colleagues when Dr Bevan -Finnish came over,blushing dark red as he approached.He said the handouts were back in his tray
Why is he so shy, Rosa asked herself,not realising it was her outfit that provoked his blushes.And that is a very important thing to remember… whoever we are with affects us so a bold man like Bevan-Finnish seemed shy when with Rosa whereas with another more sensibly dressed woman he was quite at ease.
There may be a few men who are not affected this way but not many otherwise the human race would die out and then where would we be?Nowhere!
What a pity nobody tells a lady like Rosa the facts of life so she goes about causing sinful longings in her colleagues quite oblivious.Even some of the women were getting affected but nobody dared to tell her.At least it drew students to her lectures and who knows, they might have learned some Linguistics as well.And it kept them off the streets.Which streets nobody knows.Yet!

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The art of sadness isn’t hard master

The art of sadness isn’t hard  to master
Anyone can learn this should they choose
Dwell on all your losses  and disasters

Think of all the bad times, slower, faster
Ruminate until you get the blues
The art of sadness isn’t hard to master

Make your face numb like   cold alabaster
Never smile or cheer at  friends’ good news
Dwell on all your losses  and disasters

Compare yourself unkindly with your sister
Let envy ,spite and hate dwell in your house
The love of evil isn’t hard to master

See ambiguity  as inevitatably nasty
Let your soul be poisoned and abused
Dwell on all your losses  and disasters


As we stumble through the sites  of memory loose
We could change perspective and  our views
The art of sadness isn’t hard master
Ruminate on  nothing but disaster.



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Vice typing

photo01525230546Here I am I will seize my hands as they are hurting so I cannot type; if there is any noise in the song here because because of the computer not me.

it doesn’t seem to be working very well today


My joints  are inflamed. if I belong to a certain school of thought I would think that inflamed joints would symbolically mean that connecting to other people is painful  and I should be forgiven for  whatever I may have done


I do prefer gentle people with quiet voices I don’t like people who argue badly in loud voices 


I don’t really believe this I could write poetry using this voice to typing tool but I might try who knows what would come out?


I have no love left in my heart today
and neither do I wish to Talk or pray
for I am feeling Shetland in my mood
So here I search and that’s the way I brewed


Soaking is a very stupid act
Light rumination ,I think  truly daft
Better far to cast the burden down
And go to see a film about a clown


What do you do when you suffer pain
it’s not so bad just ones but comes again
n fact I have it all day and all night
And if I had a partner  they’d take flight


Let us not dwell in the realm of words
But open up our eyes to humming birds

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