|Animal Magic||John Clachan|
|The Wyvern||Claire Crowther|
|The Warrener||Claire Crowther|
|City of Turns||Claire Crowther|
|Because It's There||Carolyn Dunnett|
|The Squeeze||Carolyn Dunnett|
|The Recalcitrant Cuckoo||Carolyn Dunnett|
|Grand'ma Earnshaw||Tony Earnshaw|
|Not In My Name||Tony Earnshaw|
|I Encountered Death Early||Tony Earnshaw|
|A Glimpse of Wimbledon||Sylvia Herbert|
|First Love||Sylvia Herbert|
|Lunchtime Idyll||Sylvia Herbert|
|Study in String||Alison Jesson|
|Summer Isles Solstice||Alison Jesson|
|Torre Del Mangia (The Watchman's Tower)||Alison Jesson|
|Danny Boy||Maureen Jivani|
|At a Performance of Benjamin Britten's Opera
"A Midsummer Night's Dream"
|The Kitchen Fire||Michael Lane|
|The Tree of Songs||AA Marcoff|
|The Lover||AA Marcoff|
|Haiku Thoughts||Hugh Timothy|
|The Last Fling of the Lime Trees||Rosemary Wagner|
|After the War||Rosemary Wagner|
|The Dancer||Diana Webb|
|Two Tanka||Diana Webb|
|Five Haiku||Diana Webb|
|Conceived on the Northern Line||John Whiting|
|There Are No Weapons||John Whiting|
|My Cat Believes That I am God||John Whiting|
A bleak word, but peaceful.
A place of reflection, composure,
selection of worthwhile and worthless,
a sad word, but hopeful.
A place full of longing, supposing,
remembering the nuance, the glances
a cold world, and frightening.
A place of deception, corrosion,
rejection of balance and logic
that waits for
What's sauce for the goose,
Oh cumbersome moose,
Is definitely sauce for the gander.
And you wouldn't rue,
My dear kangaroo,
If you heard the sad news from a panda.
Your cousin's gone limp,
He's under attack from within.
There's a virus out there,
Oh cuddly bear,
That's making him pay for his sin.
He'll rave and he'll rant,
And blame everyone but himself.
But evolution's a road
We all travel on toad
And he'll soon take his turn on the shelf.
Cadenzas rise and fall,
angry squeaks and squeals that probe
and penetrate the thin dividing wall.
A black dot 'serenade'
that hesitates, then lurches forward,
crucifying every note that's played.
But then, you've asked for this.
You make me stick to scales with no awareness
of their utter uselessness.
I murder every sound.
As one who dares to play by ear,
my music screams I'm stifled, gagged and bound.
They're millinery, roofs, pinned with cranes.
Or dirty sweatbands, the sweeps of concrete
topping blocks. We bang the slats, kneeling
above the Carphone Warehouse, unroll felt
like a black towel.
The boys say
once I'd have been forced to stay down there,
on the pavement, selling eggs and heart-cakes.
Wrong. There would have been women, hammering,
smelling this smoke from a bitumen bin chimney.
The female dragons.
Me, I carry a hose of fire.
I can stand to walk the metal sky
and land on scaffolding like pigeon shit.
I steer by the blue reins of the Wharf.
Two of us roll up the material
to the beginning again, lay it out more slowly.
I flame each turn. In the days of smocks,
I'd have been drunk from scurvy grass ale
like the boys around Wandsworth Plain
sobering up on saloop, made of cuckoo flowers.
Along the row of huts, Lazy Jays,
Icarus, Gull's Way, The Shoe,
and past the shabby row of smaller sheds
without verandas, hearing you spell
a wish-list of Christian names, Elizabeth,
Victoria, Queenie, each halo of letters
glowing over a red or white door
like the orange damp around doorknobs
and hinges, hearing the sea exhale
onto my feet, drag shingle back in again
like oxygen, Shalysim, Slepe.
Late autumn. Only one hut open.
A woman, covered in fleece, eyes closed,
in a deckchair listening to a sound,
lo sciabordio, sea biting the shore.
I choose its wet and gentle muzzle. Choose
to conceive. What is free will for?
Let's leave the boardwalk to catch
the tiny crabs immured too long
in casket manors of sand. Hearing
lo sciabordio, they come out of the ebb,
low, in a froth of low water.
The sea rolled itself into a sweat
down our faces as if the tide
had suddenly thought of us as inlets
while radiant-crested, gorgeously-winged
dark-red and orange container crates
trembled from cranes on the dock
and a dead foal's eyes stared toward them
along a horizon striped with steel.
Ripples of sand spread to her mane,
relaxed as if from running. The dunes
hid other burials. I covered
the head with my shirt. My breasts,
salt quartz. Seagulls curfewed an eagle.
A shovel of wings packed him off
across this city of turns, the sea.
Driven by compulsion
and restless passion,
a mountaineer tops the world
to feel like God.
To the rest of us, 'Because it's there'
is not sufficient to inspire.
Risking snow-blindness and frostbite,
chancing his fate
does he fear for his safety as he climbs
or is his mind too full of next day's plans?
Racing up peaks makes his reputation.
The family hug him safe,
hold fast their belief
that this will satisfy forever.
They cannot contemplate next year's endeavour.
His belly on the ground in grit and slime
and clawing at the rockfall in his way.
Impossible to see the light of day!
This caver will not age beyond his prime,
nor will his jet-black whiskers turn to grey.
He's belly on the ground. In grit and slime
he loses all awareness of the time,
or even that a victory might repay
more effort; but his limbs will not obey.
He's belly on the ground in grit and slime
Our neighbours have a cuckoo clock.
They live across the way.
And with our windows open,
I hear it every day.
The problem is, it's always wrong,
It cuckoos much too soon,
For when the time is ten o'clock
It thinks it's almost noon.
They've tried to get it mended.
It should be better now.
But still they say there's something wrong.
It whirrs along somehow.
There'll be no problem, August,
That's what the neighbours say.
For that's the month, or so we've heard,
When cuckoos fly away!
I even skived off school
to get to Grand'ma's on a Tuesday.
Meat and potato pie day.
Cooking you wouldn't want to miss.
She had this settled life;
widowed, peaceful, calm;
visiting in terrace and on farm,
in hat and coat and gloves
And yet she told me once
she still could see her Albert's face,
seated in his old familiar place,
talking through the day
He found her lying across the bed,
the woman who had borne and raised him,
and radiated peace and love,
dressed for an outing
and, in one hand, a glove
Not in my name, we say, not in my name.
Because in some way this just isn't the same
as all of that other stuff governments do
in running the country for me and for you.
It's clear for a start that the answer's not war
We could win it of course, but what the hell for?
To unseat one dictator from quite a wide choice
because we don't like him?
The west didn't foist him on his suffering people
like so many more.
We armed him of course, but that was before.
Before we decided he wasn't house trained.
We'd neglected to notice he killed and he maimed
when we wanted a client, his oil and a friend
Well, now it's all different, now that our eyes
are free from all scales, we now realise
we shouldn't have helped him. We need to get rid.
And we really don't like all the things that he did.
So roll out the smart bombs and lie to the voters.
We need friendly oil to power our motors.
We don't give a stuff that thousands will die.
Let's just give old Saddam one in the eye,
creating a world where hatred can thrive
and starting a massive recruitment drive
for every small group with murder in mind.
Let's help them to hate us, as evil defined.
If you ask why war's needed, why give up on peace,
why weapons inspectors' efforts should cease,
they can come up with reasons, most of them lame,
and they can't justify doing this in my name
I encountered death early but wasn't sure what it meant,
remember my Auntie Edith's death when I was three.
An impression of loss, my father's, stays with me.
Remember my Auntie Cissie, my 10th birthday,
getting the news before the birthday cricket match,
swallowing hard and going out to bat.
Remember Uncle Harold and his grieving wife,
a tragic end to Uncle Eddies life.
but nothing hit me, made me stop and think,
Until the death that took me to the brink
of dark and bleak despair.
I was sixteen when my mother died and found I couldn't bear
to think of how my life might now be changed,
to think of all I'd lost.
I know I grew in those few painful early months,
but at a cost,
and though time heals, it does not erase
and even now I have my days
when I shed a quiet tear
that I should have this life
and she should not be here
Crow's nest view; the hoist
Receives the famous courts
Within its compass angle;
Oblong centre -oval juxtaposed-
Each clasping tight the tensions
Geometry of straight white lines
Criss-crossing grass extends outside
Between green canvas walls.
Crowds circulate throughout the arteries
Like life-blood gathering at the heart,
Some pumping out on Henman Hill
In lines across the screen.
Excitement mounts in jagged peaks
Of hands and hats and flags held high,
Youngsters' faces bear the painted names
Of idols yet to win.
But the camera's impartial eye can catch
The coming clouds
Before the players feel a single spot of rain.
Love touched me on the nerve-edge of my youth,
A sudden, savage pain beyond control
Which seared into my being, as a truth
Of universal moment strikes the soul.
Dry mouth and reddened cheeks when he was near
Ensured I did not speak or look my best,
Amusement of my friends caused many a tear
In private, when I prayed he had not guessed
Why I could barely pass the time of day,
Meeting by chance in some drab High Street store ;
His cheery "Hello, there!" had seemed to say
"I think you're nice enough", but nothing more.
Oh, silly child, it's obvious that you
Had still a deal of growing-up to do.
Sunny midday heat enfolds them both,
Mother and child, between the scented lilies
And the door ajar.
The girl twitches face-painted whiskers
And looking into her mother's eyes
"Are we quiet enough to go in there?"
"Yes, my love, as quiet as black cats
creeping in the night."
Slipping inside, the darkness gathers them
Into itself, and breathes out a cool draught
I sit cross-legged on the sofa
hunched over illustrations by Heath-Robinson,
everything held together by knotted string.
Light catches my father's oak desk,
neat rows of envelopes pigeonholed,
sharpened pencils ready to write lists;
drawers conceal paper clips, elastic bands,
his blotter holds the imprint of my pen,
pressed hard from Christmas thank-yous to my aunts.
Books without pictures lean together
in the glass fronted bookcase; Tennyson,
Dickens, a set of Proust, leather-bound.
An arm chair bears the squashed impression
of my mother, where she has sat and knitted
a series of sad grey jerseys.
Dust hovers in a box of morning sun,
the room smells of stale Chrysanthemums.
I can hear my breathing.
A thin road ribbons from Ullapool to Achiltibuie,
a shoreline of straddled houses
that gaze towards Tanera Mor.
Three in the morning, first glimmer of dawn,
I stir beside you, watch darkness dissolve
and the day uncurl between us like a sleepy cat.
Shadows have faded
when the ferry-boat chugs across to the Isles
and fish is hung to smoke in peat-fired ovens.
Hardy walkers from the Youth Hostel
stride south across the heather,
strands of gossip gather in the single shop.
Only the sun lazes
in a wide sky until well past supper,
leaving a trail of crimson behind.
At midnight, as a nearby thrush still stretches
his song, I reach for you across the hours
drawing out each thread of summer light.
Pausing halfway up the five hundred steps
I peer from the dark and take a slice
of the baked city; a geometry of roofs
stretches out to Tuscany, ruckled rows
of terracotta, furrowed by angled streets,
enclosing Il Campo which trickles with tourists
drifting towards awnings of burnt sienna shade.
The guidebook records each dome and pinnacle
rising from the sprawl of these shimmering tiles;
but only a sentence describes the Black Death.
The city is time locked. No rectangles of concrete
or sheets of mirrored glass, no aerials or antennae,
no yellow taxis, or wailing sirens,
no hum of traffic. There is no sound.
If I were to lift the lid of one of these toy houses
I would find a man mending a chair leg,
a woman setting bread dough to rise,
while she makes soup for her sick child.
That flat-capped, full-mouthed, squat-nosed man
looking sidelong at the camera, below a placard
of which only one word is visible: WRATH
could be granddad, stood there on the dockland
on a bitter November day.
And that lady with tin pail and rag
swabbing the step of her terraced house
is that you nana? With your arthritic knees
and steady hands; the often ringless wedding finger
aching to the bone; stubborn and house proud
in your catharsis of soap.
And those grimy children, fleeting mites,
who skip through a debris of cobble stones,
kicking dirt up past corner shops,
beyond the rubble of demolished houses
to lend the air their laughter- how resolute they seem.
The Earth tilts; a woman lifts her skirts
squats in the fifty-acre field
between farmhouse and church.
In the smouldering June sky
the Sun radiates his smile
like a God Father in waiting.
All week long this woman has gathered herbs
mugwort, geranium, chamomile, thyme
a basketful to ward off evil spirit's harm.
So look on now, as the charmed Sun pants
at the unexpected crowning of his head.
And as this mother grunts and pushes
see the spinning Earth pull this crying infant
safely into its hallowed land.
Sound and smell of crackling fire
and I'm back. Back to that amber glow:
mother fifty years since. Mirrored skin.
A tub of hot scented water, near the hearthside.
And the song that she sang as she soaped her bare breasts.
The summer's gone and all the flowers are dying...
And me myself, peeking, from behind the door.
Teeny. Five years old. Wide-eyed.
Full to the brim.
Elsewhere they coppiced hazel. Here in Surrey
The tree is hornbeam. Could be mistaken
For beech, but leaf-veins closer,
Here hornbeam's planted under standard oak -
Wood-management that goes back centuries.
They used to cut it every dozen years,
Make hurdles, fences, charcoal, skittles even,
Move round the wood, letting in a flood of light,
And when it had grown tall, come round again.
The oaks meanwhile would wait: three
Generations at least before their time would come.
The coppice isn't cut now;
Grows tall, its canopy
Up with the oaks, darkening the wood
In summer, hardly letting live
A bramble bush, a stalk of holly.
But spring brings us the first epiphany:
The wood fills up with misty tide
Of bluebells, lapping edge to edge.
We come to marvel.
Ina mild November after wind and rain
Hornbeams let fall their splendour,
Carpet the wood in green-gold glowing leaf,
Hide path and ride in iridescent snow,
Soon to be trodden rotting brown in mud,
But at their first fall, innocent and proud,
Not caring that there's none to see
With almost erotic pleasure
Cast cloth of gold.
A plot whose daftness you might well complain of _
Crossed lovers, rude mechanicals, a duke,
No simple songs to whistle the refrain of -
And fairies! It's enough to make one puke!
The sort of art the tabloids would rebuke -
So why should I become completely smitten,
Attending this posh opera by Britten?
Bluff Englishmen would once have shouted "Pansy!"
As Oberon the counter-tenor flutes
And prances in a get-up more than fancy -
Just look at those black thigh-length leather boots!
The down through stagey trees Puck parachutes;
He tucks the king's instructions in his pannier,
Flies off to put one over Queen Titania,
I'm really quite reluctant to go into
Their quarrel - who should own a changeling lad,
For nowadays opinion can't begin to
Empathise; they must be sad or bad.
The tabloids (as I've hinted) would go mad
And name and shame Titania, Oberon
(And Glyndebourne too, for putting this thing on.)
Now here comes Bottom - something out of panto -
A northern comic hamming up his part.
Bewitched Titania thinks he's just the man to
(Or ass, at least) take to her fairy heart.
It may be clever, sir, but is it Art?
Another round by Puck will put things right.
You must admit it's been a busy night.
I know I haven't answered my own question -
Why does it stir the psyche quite so deep?
Dreams aren't from fairies, they're from indigestion;
Yet - some strange land lies at the edge of sleep
With power to make us wonder, laugh or weep.
We shuffle from the theatre to our cars
And notice that the sky is bright with stars.
Aromatic notes of soot and smoke
Mingled with the smell of age-old damp.
Candle on the wash-stand, water in the pail,
Looking for the lavatory? Take the lamp -
Out in the dark by the backyard hens.
(Nineteen-forties; village in the fens.)
Underneath the pantiled catslide roof
The kitchen fire burned all year through.
Hot water baled from its left-hand boiler
Down-draught smoky when the eat wind blew.
Toast on a toasting-fork held to the embers -
Sights and smells that a child remembers.
Out of the square blackleaded oven
(No thermostat to be adjusted)
Sacrament of summer Sunday dinner -
Chicken, plum-pie and baked egg custard.
Cooked to an effortless perfection
Tasted today in recollection.
what in the world made me sing of Christ on the morning before he was brought to me, still alive, and whipped by the iron wind?
I saw in his eyes a volcano, an acorn of bone for the oak of life he was carrying within, and an egg containing the total consciousness of Man.
my song was the earthquake and the eclipse. my song was arctic and tropical and granite all at the same time. and my song was tonal and modal and a lament proleptic as a dream that prophesied a grief and a deeper joy.
I knew they would cut me down for wood and a song and cast lots for his miraculous eyes.
I knew my song would embrace all of time and grow to be the shell of Eternity.
the birds flew through the music and themselves sang of total love. all nature quivered in the melody of my boughs.
and still I ask, what made me sing of Christ on the morning before he was brought to me, still alive, and whipped by the iron wind?
I sing to the world
the robin carries
on his red breast
the memory of God -
alters the wind
passing a broken wall
the snow of thinking
covers the earth
with a white thought
with rock : the wild reality
of the rose
morning - somehow,
and the quiet
children playing in the rain,
still in their eyes
silent old couple
no more words
An angel of the Lord gave me a lover. And it was an adventure in light - chemical, spiritual. She wore the diamond of truth in her hair and she led me by the hand across rivers, seas, supreme distances I could touch like dust. I gazed just once on the forest between her thighs and she spoke of wings, diamonds, supreme mists and some ultimate storm. She gathered me to her and sang of love, a song of the heart. And the song was reality and reality was the song. Even the sun and the moon were musical. I will never forget for a moment the unsmotherable lilt of her voice as she brought sunfire into language and the chemistry of eagles into light. I am renewed. In life. In love.
unexpected sunlight on wild water
the impulse of snowdrops in the silent light
she plays her violin with ... a rainbow
a diamond ... divided ...into dreams
That sketch I did from my bolt-hole attic room
that looked out over half the roofs of Redland -
all chimney pots, tiled ridges, slated slopes.
Those firm strokes of graphite on fine grained paper
showing dormer windows, steep pitched gable ends
of tall town houses, the distant steeple.
The way the roofscape underpins the sky's bulk,
shields the solid citizens who go about
unseen beneath the eaves, their terraced lives.
He stood in the tangled shade of the apple trees,
his painted face a mournful mask, his eyebrows raised.
He wore a rumpled suit, his head was bare, he held
his battered city hat with eggshell care, pulled out
a multicoloured string of knotted handkerchiefs
that fluttered in the breeze, twirled free, turned into birds
that flew into the branches overhead, perched there,
each feather bright with ruby fire or sapphire flame
or glint of burnished emerald - we watched entranced.
He raised a finger to his lips, beckoned the birds
until, one by one, they settled on his shoulders,
tugged at the worn cloth with tight curled claws, beat their wings,
carried him off over the tree tops out of sight.
We waited for a while but that seemed to be that,
we clapped politely though we felt he'd not be back.
asthma - the word brings you to mind,
gaberdine coats, satchels,
clangs from the hand
you were in a much younger class,
your clothes had outgrown you,
cuffs were turned back,
you'd be sat on a wooden chair
in the empty playground,
your squeeze-tight chest
you'd be hunched in a gasp of air
that trickled like treacle,
your scrap-thin face
you'd be tear-stained, your skimpy hair
tangled into fluffed knots,
your sky-blue eyes
you'd ease up, breathe wafts of chanted
tables, well chorused rhymes,
your black-dapped feet
And there was I thinking I was a poet
As the lettering crash of the morning mail
The splash of the shower set the rhythm of the day
Finding a rhyme in disjointed time
As my biorhythms clash with the world's.
My child's bricks tumble and he screams "Buggy"
Could it be that the word was misheard?
Infants break the rules as they learn
Is that why poets are naughty too
Are tantrums their mantra?
Twisting the latch I open the door to my day
And there he is again
This time wrenching up the daffodils
A present for his mother.
I've no pals up there, I said as I looked
At the clouds and wandered off to work,
Thinking I was a poet.
wafting my past
to my future
where joyous little feet and
angry voices meet
little water lenses
on autumn leaves
finding vigour softly
on my doorstep
backlit by dawn
on the front doorstep
Stiff white morning soldiers wait
Rescue from air raid
riding on grey thoughts
highlight my mood
glassy globes of life
grow, float, reflect and fragile
drop to die.
strung on an instant
a universe of jewels find
colour from the dawn
It must have gone somewhere;
in the room next door perhaps?
That was yesterday - yet another dawn.
It couldn't have been yesterday.
How long has it been
since I last held on to it?
But then again did I ever
Really hold it, own it, make it mine?
It was always too damned slippery,
Not to mention the savage teeth.
Easier to let it do its own thing,
Just try to nudge it out of other people's way;
A lot less painful.
I envy the others riding theirs, clinging on
with fierce determination, electric with achievement.
And what of mine - never even broken in.
Could it have been transportation to fulfilment?
I keep returning to the eternal bus stop
Where the last one always
Crack away the brownish shell -
this will usually peel off easily
in the older woman who has suffered much;
you may feel self-congratulatory
at this point, but beware of the next batch:
these thick outer layers are hell.
The first thing they do is make you cry
with all the saved-up anger at life
you didn't know you had: so cut
through them carefully: the knife
needs to slice through the viscous coat
of bitterness without slipping: try
holding the sticky globe tight
and do not give in to the wall of pain
in your stomach: this is the core
of the matter you are coming to: now begin
to ease away the rings some more
until you find the little shoot
at its heart: the green slip of promise
your ego has built all these layers around,
wanting it all to itself: but no,
you pincer it out like a surgeon; and the wound
of your Self disintegrates like snow
on the lip: you observe only tenderness.
We saw you coming roaring and shaking your mane
over the hills
and we tittered
and shivered like young girls
we let our tired green cover-ups
slide from our osteoporotic shoulders
and strained eager
hen-necks towards you
I grabbed my brushes and dabbed
impasto skirts of butter-yellow, gold
thickly over our shrunken hips
streaking the gorgeous bands of oil paint
up and down
our hollow chests
in russet bodices
we lined up in the avenue
and everyone gasped and pointed
and took photos
we made such a good show
nobody seemed to notice our scrawny hands
clawing the black sky
as we lit up our long tunnel
for the last time
you were masterful with us
embracing us roughly
as you passed
leaving our petticoats in ochre rags
over the street
and us unashamed skeletons
hung out to dry
There they still are, gleaming
in glass bottle rows, neat as the jars
in my toy shop: drab bulls' eyes,
stripy humbugs, sand dunes of sherbet,
and, like cellophaned jewels,
boiled sweets and lollipops,
diamond-lit in emerald, ruby and amber,
next to the liquorice allsorts;
and I, clutching my ration book,
well below the counter's edge,
craning my neck to glimpse
the rare gold of barley sugar
glittering behind the balding head
of the sweetshop man, who will go on
gossiping with my unhurried mother
scream silently in my mind,
crushing the brown paper coupons
almost to dust in my pink hand,
while my tongue dreams
lovingly round the cloying
of the pretty pastel cubes
in my once-a-week dolly mixture.
butterfly lands on finger
stilling the pen
that would catch
the linger of its wings
across sound of the stream
flitting in and out
of the trees' silence
life class -
brushing the model's neck
summer party -
lands in the olives
in the scent
of himalayan balsam
on the stair
stuck to the window,
last year's thistle-seed
bristles with frost
The compartment heaves at Leicester Square,
a man in chinos and Timberland boots hustles
in with girl friend to snatch vacated places.
He sprawls, she looks around. The sprawl
becomes dominant, almost tumescent,
legs wide, prick-centred he slumps eyes closed,
commandeering the aisle. Part protective,
part embarrassed she noses into him with kisses and
noises, then pulls away.
Youths nearby jostle, grin and point chins
and eyes. One keen to grab crotchwise and twist
and shout obscenities
but self-restraint and uncertain consequences prevail.
Two ladies opposite tighten crossed legs and squirm.
Near to, but barely noticed, the unassuming man
lets slip a hardly perceptible grin,
perhaps just the conception of a twitch
at the corner of the mouth.
Beneath the Thames the girl nuzzles closer
whispering his likeness to the poem
she'd read to him last night,
perhaps she just told him the next stop was theirs.
It worked. He stretched and withdrew his loins
from the public arena. Everyone dashed
towards Way Out and Trains with passes
and Oyster Cards and the incident
went unreported, until now.
On the platform the self-assured man watched
as they hurried away, allowing his grin to germinate,
picturing the sensational news
on the Evening Standard placards.
You were told not to fire without instruction.
But the leaders did not make it clear,
there are no weapons of mass destruction.
Did they teach you nothing at your induction?
They only said we should show no fear.
You were told not to fire without instruction.
We did believe there was no obstruction,
the disbelievers would laugh and sneer,
there are no weapons of mass destruction.
The call to war, that was pure seduction,
the mullahs shouting, the children jeer.
You were told not to fire without instruction.
Forty-five minutes was a misconstruction,
you listened to what you wanted to hear,
there are no weapons of mass destruction.
Ahead lay the years of reconstruction,
we should not have been so cavalier.
We were told not to fire without instruction,
for there are no weapons of mass destruction.
My cat believes that I am god
I've done nothing to dissuade her,
she does not think that it is odd
that we have gone and spayed her.
When she sits down in front of me
and purrs with eyes tight closed,
I believe that she is praying
and adopt a gracious pose.
Recently I have lectured her
on environmental matters,
on global warming, the Kyoto
Summit and how the ozone scatters.
I've heard her on the compost bin
preaching to neighbour's cats and crows,
they argue through the finer points
of where their rubbish goes.
Some days she comes and whines at me
on subjects I only guess at,
I try my best to understand
my loyal thinking cat.
I know we cannot now converse
on some deep, religious topics
and find it hard to keep from her
all matters misanthropic.
One day I know she will return
with mischief in her eyes,
then point a sharp, accusing claw
and her great god despise.