Skritch Skritch

grey rat


Skritch Skritch

If depression is a black dog,
Then I reckon that
Paranoia is a grey rat:
Small and sulking,
Squeaking, skulking –
Always watching,
Always gnawing,
Never passioned,
Never thawing.

Yes, that’s about the sum:
A greyed-out rat who always looks askance –
A rat who feasts on ev’ry crumb,
And looks for plots in ev’ry chance.
A rat who thinks the world must think
About his each and ev’ry thought –
A rat who sniffs at ev’ry chink,
And always find the intrigues sought.

He pads in silently, and whispers how
The world conspires to bring his doom,
The righteous woes that plague him now,
His whiskers twitching in the gloom.
Then scuttles off to disavow,
And seep his piss across the room.



The Ball-&-Socket Ball

dance of death
Dance of Death by Michael Wolgemut


The Ball-&-Sock Ball

It was late o’clock in late October, I recall,
As I buttoned up my coat and set off home –
My hours in the library had still left no trace,
The depths of my mind were whipped to foam.
So, keen to sooner reach out to my waiting bed,
I took a shortcut past the ancient church –
And in my barely-woken walk I stumbled through the graves,
As I fancied how their folks might up-and-lurch.

But I never thought they would…
But I never thought they’d push the slabs aside…
And yet, here were their skeletons
Just walking round as if they’d never died !
Good thing I was overtired,
Or else I’d surely have to scream and hide…

Paralysed by shivering and weariness,
For the sight of all those bones had rattled me –
But most because I’d spent all week to memorise
On the finer points of man’s anatomy.
And as I looked in horrified astonishment,
A prayer had made its way onto my lips:
“The head bone is connected to the vertebrae,
And the metacarpals to the fingertips.”

But I never thought they could…
Yet I never had the chance before to watch the dead.
And yes, the hour was very late,
But then, well, so were they !  Yet there they tread –
And right there in the flesh…
Or, excuse me,
out the flesh, I should have said.

I saw upon those skeletons the marks of busy lives,
Like bones that once had broken and re-set –
I saw some more with fractures, some with cancers, some with spurs,
In a lesson I could never now forget !
Their joints had lost their cartilage, yet showed no trace of arthritis,
Where bones were grinding naked onto bones,
And osteoporosis having tapered some so thin,
Yet so carelessly they danced around the stones.

And I’ve never understood…
But I suddenly remembered ev’ry word I’d read –
These visions were impossible,
Because of ev’ry fact that popped-up in my head
And I was overcome,
And I dropped down in exhaustion on my grassy bed.

And when I woke up, slowly woke up, propped against a gravestone,
Quite alone in my new neighbourhood –
Well, I dusted off the dew and I made my way to class,
To a test I had to pass – and knew I would.
Now I cannot expect you to believe a single word of it,
Yet deep down in my marrow, there’s a shred…
Though I looked around the churchyard on that morning as I left
And saw ev’rything was still and very dead.

But I never said you should…
Don’t believe my ev’ry no-word-of-a-lie –
And as a trainee-medic,
I will always trust in science till I die.
But whatever did occurred that night,
I’ll always know one thing – dem bones ain’t dry !



I am a little bit embarrassed to admit that ‘arthritis’ above needs to be streesed on the first syllable instead of the second to fit the rhythm, but I can’t be that embarrassed since I haven’t removed it.



Genesis – Chapter 1, Version 2

The Pillers of Creation by NASA


Genesis – Chapter 1, Version 2

In the Beginning there came forth the bursting,
With ev’rything rushing from ev’rything else
And which is still pushing on all things today,
Though no-one can feel this occur.

Then came the clouds that would slowly grow bigger
By drawing in other clouds, adding their bulk,
And the bigger they got, so the stronger they drew –
For all things attract and concur.

Then the clouds shrank, but not in their weight,
Till they’re thicker than stone and they’re thicker than gold –
Their centres grew hotter and started to burn,
And that is how stars were begun.

And in with the stars came there light and came heat,
And those parts of clouds still left over became
The planets that circle them, round and around.
And thus, although later, our Sun.

A ball of great fire, a sibling to stars,
But much, so much closer – with planets with moons
All smaller by far than the Sun at their centre.
And each, not a disc, but a ball.

And the third planet out – why, here lies the Earth !
In its earliest days, so another young planet
Collided, and flung out much debris and rock,
And the Moon was thus formed from it all.

The Earth was still hot, with no water upon –
But one day it started to rain, and to rain,
And to rain, until leaving its surface entire
Now covered by one endless tide.

And the seafloor was cracking up, carving out plates –
Floating around on the runny, deep rock,
Barging around, bringing quakes and volcanoes –
So slow, yet relentless their slide.

This caused for the granite to well from beneath –
Far tougher than seabed, this new kind of rock
Would form up the heart of the massive landmasses
That rose on up out of the sea.

Life in that ocean was also beginning –
So tiny and simple, and so it remained.
But ev’ry new offspring was just slightly diff’rent
And ev’ry slight diff’rence was key.

The better did better, the lesser did less,
The better spawned greater, and so did their young.
So slowly life changed into myriad forms.
Then life got much bigger and complex.

For came there a time when these tiny lone beings
Did better by working together, by losing
Their selfhood – to building a single large creature.
And some gave up budding, for sex.

Some became plants, who could not move themselves –
And some became animals – these ones, they could.
So many animals, so many strategies –
Hard shells and soft shells and backbones and more.

Shellfish were rampant, they’re moment had come.
Many would die out, they did not survive,
While others still thrive – and small is the diff’rence.
They filled all the sea from the waves to the floor

The first on the land were the plants on the beaches,
Spreading thence over the virgin terrain,
And bugs were soon following, creeping and flying,
As coal was creating from dead tree and fern.

The fish had grown out of a wormlike beginning.
Some pulled themselves out of the water with fins,
At first only briefly, then longer and longer,
Until came the time when they didn’t return.

Unlike the insects, these creatures grew larger,
And larger, and larger, and ever more so.
But when the Earth changed, they could not survive it –
Except for the birds, who flew on.

Now came to prominence more fish-descendants,
Who bore their young live and who nursed them with milk –
They filled up the landscape the giants had quitted,
But stones still remain of those gone.

Some were the monkeys, who lived in the trees,
And some had grown larger, and some had come down,
And walked on their hind-legs, and upright, and tall –
These were the humans.  So now you all know.

And all this had taken so many years, many.
More than a thousandfold thousand of lifetimes.
And still it continues today, and tomorrow –
And so days will come, then, and so days will go.

But all that I tell you is not the whole tale.
Parts have been left out that need to be told
Parts to be sought out, to draw back the veil
And parts yet to happen, that wait to unfold.



Nosedrip Headtrip

funky virus


Nosedrip Headtrip

This virus has me in her grip,
But hey ho, I’ll survive.
I tell myself she’s just a blip,
A cocky pirate boarding ship –
I’m wrapped-up tight against her nip,
But very much alive.
She’s in control and letting rip,
And I must join her on her trip.

And whoa, here comes the whooziness –
Don’t panic, take it steady.
This floozy ain’t so doozy
And her poison ain’t so heady.
My thoughts might be a little hoarse,
My sleep a little sore,
But best to let her run her course –
She’s nothing I ain’t seen before.

She comes at me in jumbled dreams
And thoughts that slip and glitch.
Her technicoloured jump-cut scenes
Are selling-out my mental screens,
With fevered swirls and acid sheens
That quickly skip and switch.
She won’t sustain a metaphor,
But throws them off and coins some more.

Her visit’s sure to last all week,
And while she’s home, she leaves her streak
With red of nose and pale of cheek,
And watery of eye –
But I can shrug and I can wait,
And slowly, slowly, decimate,
And slam the door and bar the gate,
And bid the bitch bye-bye.

The neons and fluorescents
Are more swimming than they’re dancing,
The hubbub throb is muzzier,
The tinnitus is buzzier –
But sweats are less incessant now,
And dreams are less entrancing.
The fever breaks on which I surf,
My bones are bumping back to earth.



The Modern Way



The Modern Way

Hey, I hear you’re godless –
And your universe is empty,
And this life that you are living
Is your only shot at plenty,
And your death will be your ending,
And your birth was just a chance,
And your soul is just your neurons,
And your story is a minor space romance.
But are you happy ?
Or is your logic just a bluff ?
When you’re only made from dust,
Is this lonely world enough ?

Hey, I hear you’re godless –
But you say the Heavens wallow
In a myriad of wonders,
With a thousand more tomorrow –
And although our death is scary,
So much more-so is the chance
Of our ever even being,
To be living in this epic space romance.
I guess you’re happy,
It seems you’ve really found your style –
Hey, I hear you’re godless,
But it’s great to see you smile.





The Change

yellow and black butterflies cocoon
Photo by Pixabay on


The Change

Caterpillars metamorph, from juvenile to butterfly,
And maggots turn to ants and wasps and beetles, by and by,
And tadpoles can be newts and salamanders, toads and frogs
But when it comes to mammals, well,
There’s little change of which to tell,
For puppies only ever get to grow up into dogs.
But you know, that’s not quite true – we’re changing too,
Though the other way round:
See, larvae are more evolved than their parents –
Their bodies the new kids in town.
But we, you and me, start out as a fish
With proto-gills and a tail to swish
In a primordial sea of warm –
Then it’s time to move, to shed our skin,
And let our reptile-selves begin:
Engage, evolve, transform !
It’s time to metamorphosise,
We mongrel robots in disguise,
From instar into more-bizarre,
Our restless genes must shift and swarm
And take this blood-cold world by storm
By becoming the mammals, the furry mammals we are !
But don’t stop now, the urge ain’t gone –
I don’t know what’s next, but I feel it coming on…