Graven Images



Graven Images

This walk of the cemet’ry was opened just a decade back,
With headstones still as sharp as on the day they left the chisel,
Looking like they need to soften with a century of drizzle –
Alabaster white and granite red and marble black,
With hearts, and stars, and open books, and roses marking losses –
Many doves and cherubs, fewer angels, hardly any crosses.
A dozen diff’rent fonts are used, a hundred quoted lines –
And honestly, the sculptor’s task is difficult enough –
To craft them sombre, yes, yet touching, dignified, yet full of love.
So even here, there’s fashion – we’re so human in our shrines,
To leave behind a memory and not forgotten bones.
It’s strange to think that this may be a golden age of grieving stones.







Damascene tiles, centuries old,
Victorian acquired –
Beautif’ly painted in blue and gold
As fresh as the day they were fired
Geometric, dense and hectic,
Begging to be admired.

But most of all, of all I love,
It is the birds that shine –
Each lark and parrot, peacock, dove,
Are delicately fine –
With vibrant tints and eyes that glint,
Each heavenly divine.

And yet I missed, for all they shone,
(Had not the tour-guide said)
That ev’ry gorgeous bird thereon
Was elegantly dead –
A single stroke had simply broke
Each neck beneath each head

Apparently, this trick was rife
Throughout the Eastern land –
In Islam, images of life
Were well-and-truly banned.
But corpses were quite de rigueur
And here, the stiffs were grand !

But oh !, those crass colonials,
Those patriarchs on tour,
Who bought up ceremonials
From natives by the score –
They couldn’t see the subtlety,
Or else chose to ignore…

Without the least misgiving
They’d appropriate the style,
But paint their birds as living
On each modern-ancient tile.
Their arrogance had quite by chance
Now caused them to defile.

Or maybe they knew, and rejected –
Just took what they wanted to keep.
And who are we, self-selected,
To label them shallow or deep ?
Well, I for one, see much more fun
In birds who can still go ‘cheep’ !

Damascene tiles, centuries old,
Victorian acquired –
Marvelled, then improved, all told,
As their inspiration fired.
And we in turn must gaze and learn,
Then change to what’s required.




egyptian symbols
Photo by Lady Escabia on



There’s some who look on history
As pages waiting to be filled,
They seize the day and shake it hard
Until all wild oats are tilled.

And some of us view history
As what was going on besides,
While we were busy being born,
Or catching up with last year’s tides.

There’s those who sit in judgement,
And there’s those who have to dust the throne –
There’s some whose names are chiselled down,
And some who have to work the stone.

And so it goes, and so it went,
And history will keep the score –
There’s those who fill the greatest tomes,
And those who sell them door-to-door.



Regulation Jollity

man person red white
Photo by Gratisography on


Regulation Jollity

What can this madness be ?
April Fools ?
Ah yes, the day of anarchy
(Strictly by the rules).
Oh, what an almost-clever parody –
Let me laugh at such hilarity:
Hee.  Hee.  Hee.
Well don’t I feel a tit,
And there was I expecting wit –
I guess the joke’s on me.



The Deep State of Fear

person wearing black dress while holding skull mask with horns
Photo by Oleg Magni on


The Deep State of Fear

First it was the Devil and his minions beseiging us,
And then it was the Cath’lics and the Pope –
After them the Masons with their fingers in the pies,
And then the Jews would steal away all hope –
And don’t forget the Communists, the baby-eating Communists,
To polish up the ever-slipp’ry slope –
Today’s we blame the media, tomorrow blame the nanobots,
But do we ever blame ourselves ?  Hell, nope !