Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Midsummer 2010


Today, at Waitrose, I thought that I'd passed on.

The broad aisles gleamed, the punters in a daze

drifted, eyes glazed, about their retail maze.

The chillers chanted mantras OM & OM & OM


At dusk I sip my 'Best Shiraz', eat cheese

and fruit,  savour my new Amazon books…

Oh? Gaia's heading for disaster…bees

bumble in the catmint. On Cat's Hill rooks

murmur like bored football fans…

                                                     …a sudden gust

shakes trees, a dog yelps, sheep bleat, somewhere

a child shrieks. The rooks caw like a goal's been missed.

The World Cup's on: I hear somebody swear.


I drowse, then wake. Moths flitter, the moon's bright:

I raise my glass and toast the Earth, Good Night.

I am using the Free version of SPAMfighter.
SPAMfighter has removed 4858 of my spam emails to date.

Do you have a slow PC? Try free scan!

Friday, 12 November 2010

Remembrance Sunday

Reminiscences of a Desert Rat on Remembrance Sunday

Last November on the way to Church, the War came back,

Anointed with Old Spice, Brylcreemed, in trilby and Mac

I paused. An amber haze from the lamp set in the wall

Did something to my eyes. It seemed to me a pall

Of mist drifted amongst the quiet lichened graves

And coalesced into a shape, an animal, a dog, Dave's

Dog, a yellow scrawny tyke, that arrived

From out the desert somewhere near Tobruk. How it survived,

God only knows. It had a taste for rotten meat

A bit like Dave, we joked. She licked his feet,

Size twelve, he didn't seem to mind.

They were, we all concurred, two of a bloody kind.


Rita, he called her, she sat in the truck

On the retreat to Alamein. Said she brought him luck.

At Hellfire Pass strafed by a one-o-nine

They emerged without a scratch. Later, a mine

Went off by the truck. Bert Allsop got the blast

Dave and Rita were unscathed, Bert didn't last.

Rita sniffed Bert's ruined guts. Dave grinned,

Nerves, I suppose, tugged Rita back. The wind

Blew tyre smoke in our faces as we buried Bert,

Digging by the roadside, deep in the 'gyptian dirt,

Beyond the reach of dogs, of foxes, flies.

Poor Bert, a fine spin bowler, rests under foreign skies.


We got to Alamein where the War turned round,

Followed the tanks, recovered our lost ground.

We left Dave in the cab, heard him talk to her,

He seemed to forget she was a scabby, desert cur.

At Mersa Matruh, we got shelled by eighty eights

One hit the Mess tent, smashed five of my mates.

That night we couldn't find Dave. He'd gone,

Over the scrub, towards the German lines alone.

I had a shufti, found Dave, well what was left of him

He'd trod on a debollicker, been ripped limb from limb.

Found Rita too, well she'd got a tasty treat…

I stabbed her with my bayonet, made sure she was dead meat.


The bell had ceased to toll as I approached the gate,

I heard the murmur of the organ, I was bloody late,

Not like me, I thought, and thought of Dave and Bert,

The mist had dispersed, but not the bloody hurt.

The church door opened and I took my musty pew

I knelt on my dusty hassock and prayed to start anew.

This poem is dedicated to my Dad who never told me what he saw in North Africa in the war.

I am using the Free version of SPAMfighter.
SPAMfighter has removed 4838 of my spam emails to date.

Do you have a slow PC? Try free scan!

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Hitler's Brain

Last night I dreamed of Hitler's brain. It had been sliced up roughly and put in a casserole dish. I looked down at it and felt privileged to view the tissue that had ordered the invasion of Russia.

As I came to and hovered in that pleasant realm between dreams and morning cups of tea, I thought there must be a set of neurones that when fired, make one invade Russia and do all sorts of other crazy things, such as watching Celebrity Come Dancing or Eastenders. Between those that induce watching the latter and those that make one invade Russia there must be an overlap, as surely, the neurones for 'East', 'End', and 'Murder' are involved both activities.

Which makes me think- or sets off lots neurones abuzzing-  that a Mad Neuroscientist might infiltrate the Eastenders script writing team and devise a means of inducing some kind of electronic glitch in the viewers' brains so that they collectively rush out and invade Russia.

Or perhaps I've got it all wrong. Perhaps we just bully our brains into doing bad things. What would Hitler's brain say? I said to him, Adolf, you dumb schmekel, use your brain [i.e. ME] ! DO NOT invade Russia. It'll all end in tears. Don't say I didn't warn you! But that schmuck went and did it any way and now I get the blame. You don't know what it's like being inside the head of a madman!

Then if his brain wrote his [or her] Confessions the other organs might want to cash in. We might, for example, have The Dropped Bollock: I was Adolf' Hitler's lost testicle.

Just had a nasty thought [well another one]: if brains are to blame and there is a brain cell for everything, would it be possible for our Mad Neuroscientist to fire off the set of neurones that would make me think I am Sarah Palin, don a Grayson Perry frock, climb up a telegraph pole and sit up there singing 'I'm forever blowing bubbles, pretty bubbles in the air'? And would I be sectioned or would I win the Turner Prize?

Anything is possible.

Monday, 8 November 2010

The Predictors of Beaconicity

Lovely day on Cambridge Market yesterday: air crisp and chill, ringing of church bells, low sun creating shadow patterns in the intricate details of the buildings, the scent of bacon and fresh coffee wafting across the market place, people strolling about looking relaxed, blue skies above with the occasional cauliflower of white cloud evoking a mystic thrill.

The only spoiler was the information from Phil on the cheese stall that the church bells are Ersatz: produced by a recording not by real live sweaty campanologists toiling away in their church towers. Fortunately there is still plenty of the real in Cambridge to counterbalance this disturbing deviation into Disneyesque territory. However the local Tourist people need to be on their guard in case they start presenting Cambridge as 'The Cambridge Experience'. That, is as an expensive non-experience. We have enough of that sort of thing in Melton with Ye Olde Porke Pie Shoppe. Perhaps our local council will devise an 'old pork pie experience' for visitors. Might bring a smile to touring Cockneys...?

In the afternoon I was delighted to receive a visit from my old and dear friend, Dick, who initiated me into the deeper mysteries of Local Government Bollixspiel. Dick works for a Housing Department. We are now a Predictor of Beaconicity, he tells me and grins as a look of total perplexity contorts my face. I think he's made it up but he's not. There is Beaconicity and organisations can become Predictors of it. Dick explained what it meant but I could not grasp the concept; it was too nebulous. I think it was something to do with people in offices showing people in other offices how to go about things properly. Houses didn't seem to come into it.

I think I might write I sci fi story: The Predictors of Beacon City in which the Predictors, a malevolent priesthood, dressed in steampunk robes, swan about in an Egyptian cityscape which features a dramatic Tower at the top of which burns a Mysterious Fire. The Predictors job is to go around being nasty to homeless people. These latter, wretched but nice, are eventually redeemed by a maverick Predictor, who having endured an arduous climb to the top of the Tower, has a Divine encounter with Horus and realises his Divine Mission is to set things right. He then descends, eyes glazed with Righteousness, and kills the bad guys in a orgy of divinely sanctioned fury. The climatic scene would involve lots of blood and entrails being flung about. Afterwards all the homeless people get a nice Council flat to live in. People would be able to understand that.