I remember we’d troop off to Grandma’s old church,
(My parents not having a church of their own),
And there, with my brothers and cousins, we sat
Through the joyfulless carols and reverent drone
That tried to cajole in us love for lord Jesus,
And bribed us with candle-and-currant Christingles.
We’d dutif’ly queue up, us kids, at the rail,
For our symbolic fire-risks – and catch the first tingles:
The season had started ! The countdown was counting !
And even before the first door was prized open,
The tension was banking, the pressure was mounting –
The avarice simmering, quaintly called ‘hoping’.
Our candles were dripping, the service was over,
So back home to Grandma’s for crumpets and cakes,
And writing our lists from the big book of Argos,
And tingles that gradu’ly built into shakes.
If you don’t like this then you’re a moron, If you do like that then you’re a lout, If you’d rather t’other, then I guess you’re on your own – For even when the way is shown, You’d rather do without.
If you don’t like this then you’re a cretin, If you do like that then you’re a square – Yet now, for all my years of selfless vetting of the muse, So you masses never have to choose, It’s like you just don’t care…
How can you reject my spotless taste In favour of your own ? Or let my perfect wisdom go to waste Despite my megaphone ? For who will sing the praises of the chosen That they’ve scarcely earned, And who will prick the egos of the posers Once their backs are turned ?
So if you don’t like this then you’re a heathen, And if you do like that, you’re thick as planks – For I alone am high priest to this seething sea of stars, I’m crushing dreams, inflicting scars – Yet still I get no thanks !
Ev’ryone makes typos, Where a silly misspelled rush of prose Is hiccupped in its fluency – Careless hands work careless labours, Jumping cases, catching neighbours, Letters standing in for others, Covering their brothers’ truancy.
For as our fingers run and leap And waltz and peck, Too busy to go back and check, So in the errors creep. Too quick they ran, too soon they leapt, And where our eyes should intercept, They’re mesmerized by finger-dances, Only sparing random glances At the all-important screen. Or else they stare out straight ahead To read instead the words unseen, That float midair, as thick as flies – The copytext behind the eyes. But if we’re lucky, underlines in red Will warn us what we’ve said And give us chance to clean. But otherwise, each error cries unheard, Each mangled word and un-snipped thread Is slurred by digits over-keen.
So ev’ryone makes typos, Where our textual flows get bent and dented, Letters get disoriented, Weakening intent – They may look careless and inept, But these days we’re all quite adept At reading what was really meant.
The trouble with the past Is that the past is pre-determined – So we know just how it goes Because it’s all already been. Now at the time they must have felt so free, Yet they’re confirming That the past is fixed forever, With no wiggle-room between.
Little did those little people know There’s just one way for things to go, And ev’ry time we play it back, The same old things are still on track. There’s no way to keep hold of dinosaurs When dead is dead – There’s no way to replay the wars, Or Anne Boleyn to keep her head.
But wait – if there’s a script to act, We write it out together From a million potential drafts That could go either way. For just like us, they got to choose But once they chose, they chose forever – The past is post-determined, Just as we shall be, some day.
Shhh…let’s lie low here for a while And let our camouflage do its thing – Let’s watch the daily rank-and-file As it passes by on the wing. Birds or people, far or near, They flock till they part their ways. If we keep still, they’ll never know we’re here As they chase their busy days. It’s good to sometimes sit and think With a patient air and a weather eye – Let’s slow our breaths and barely blink, And watch the world go by.
Turning the soil is Autumn work, Ploughing, forking, hoeing the loam, Breaking it up before it freezes, Driving the moles from their home. Airing the worms out, harvesting stones, And mining the black to bury the brown, Dredging the roots up, combing the waves in, Leaving the fields quite upside-down.
I’ve heard there’s folk who sleep but never dream – That must seem a waste of a night, When I think how my mind is a-gleam with delight. But point of fact, they do alright, Just shutting down for hours on end Affording them time to mend, While not distracted by the random streams That dreamers love to wend.
Coral, that was her name – Not Carol or Cora, but Coral del Mar Dressed in yellowy-pink, she came, As if from an attic trunk or bizarre. Prickly brittle, broken free, Yet often shrinking into her shell – She loved to watch the shallow sea As if in want of a diving bell.
The books call this an igneous province, As if a country of lava – They also call these rocks an intrusion, So more of an empire, rather. But due to the terraces up the plateau, They mostly call them traps – As if they’re prisoners to their nature, Till their lands collapse. Rocks push up from underneath By stealth or by explosion, To reinforce the battle With the forces of erosion. The books call these the flood basalts That roll across the shield Unstoppable, a stony horde That sweep the battlefield.