The Precious Touch

The texture, more important than appearance

The feeling, more appealing than the look

The facets of quality, as measured

Like the content of a treasured, well-read book

The touch, far more impressive than the visual

Though first drawn by sight alone, ’tis not enough

The smoothest, gliding surface when encountered

Convinces more than coarsened, crude and rough

The elements, attractive in display case

Cannot be chosen till character is felt

In life, as in the study of the gem stones

Intrinsic value known once precious held

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The Work Ethic

We hunted, gathered, tilled and sowed, survival

Dependent on our effort and the climes

We bartered, took a share of coin and market

Reaping our reward, we hoped, in time

We salvaged time from torment of the workplace

Pretended a career was proof of life

Perhaps we could not work, or did not want to

Found solace in a different sort of tithe

Tied, by sufferance, to someone’s profit

Ethical, they say, and we’ve believed

Count your blessings, minus tax and years lost

Was there another way, a just reprieve

From semblance of salvation through endeavour

As if the scales were fairly balanced by our weight

Calibrate and calculate our worth here

Else work until we’re dropped at pearly gates

Retrograde the progress, no solution

Conclusions for the workforce, colonies’

Ants, upon a mound of blue-green orbit

Breed and work and die, unethically

Fighting Shadows

Do veins take on new colours, shades and shadows

Absorbing spectrum’s range as multi-hued

Muted, harsh, spectacular or mellow

Bleeding into consciousness till true

When courses plasmic liquid in exchanges

Breaths of capillation, calm, serene

Does dreary darkness vie with light in stages

Concur as cancer, out of sight, unseen

Inseparable companion, undercover

Ominous and partial to disguise

Unaware the host, a mother, brother

Living, breathing silence with each sigh

When veins resist the rainbow, embrace shadow

Pray light into the gloaming till it flows

 

If you pray, please pray for my eldest brother who, for the second time, has had a diagnosis of cancer. He will be undergoing surgery within the next week.  He has the strongest of spirits and has fought his way to life through major health trials over the years. My heart aches for him that he has to fight once again. Thank you.x

Daring Destiny

we travel now

across much

clearer waters

the depths

once dangerous

when still concealed 

what was hidden

lurking

far beneath us

is seen 

more treacherous

reviled reveal

we navigate

not unknown

with eyes open

what is spotted

noticed in the past

surface tensions

terrible and tremulous

stretching

to accommodate

hold fast

the journey

of a lifetime

still the stormy

epic little ways

with tiny oars

but many hands

to steer

to clear

all deckhands

demanded

at their stations

while they roar 

the way is way much

tougher

than the rations

apportioned

to inhibit

mutiny

till guiding star

gave credence

cleared the waters

ahoy! me hearties!

dare your destiny

That Came Later

It was not sudden

Or surprising

That came later

It was gradual

As erosion

Waves to shore

It did not happen

In an instant

Though some thought so

It grew

By quiet leaps

Then grew some more

It was not healthy

Or enhancing

In its charter

It was rancid

And despicable

With rot

Some said

As some will do

It did not matter

It would be

A policy that

Time forgot

It did not die

It hid, by turns

And simply festered

It passed

From flesh to flesh

And ate at core

It lived and grew

It thrived within

Corrupt as cancer

And radiated

Discharge

Ulcered sores

It did not happen

In a moment

Though it seemed so

It cherished

Space and time

To breathe again

It shook and took the world

But that came later

Wanton with desires of evil men

Deliverance

Where servile siblings gather, there you’ll find them

Trading lives for plaudits promised soon

Sacrifices welcomed and encouraged

Naked greed stripped bare by fulsome moon

When night it falls beneath a clouded mantle

Where secrets in the pot are mixed with bile

Souls hawked upon the futures’ febrile markets

Linger there and watch them for a while

They dance upon the graves of friends and strangers

Buried and forgotten easily

Names only in a ledger, stones eroded

Watch closely now, believe all that you see

Remark upon the eyes, how dark and hollow

Empty vessels mustered to be filled

Adherents to philosophy of selfish

Disciples drugged and daggered to the hilt

Swaying to a music marched macabre

Ecstatic to the beat of blood and gore

Listen while they chant to inner hatred

Death to all, their rousing ribald score

Stay softly, do not move, you are a target

Keep camouflaged, be hidden till they’re through

Upon the heath, beneath a sky turned blood red

Offering oblations to dark brew

Beware the servile siblings and their legions

Biblical bombast of putrid smell

Feeding evil, justifying actions

Of power stoked in fires of human hell

Deliver with dispersal of the siblings

Upset the crock where poison has been stewed

Serve antidotes of love by rise of morning

Negate the darkness, let light be renewed

No Surprise To Me

I saw her late at night

her neck, a signpost

rising through the surface

to the skies

Loch’s leviathan

her charm, her presence

testament to strength

and what is wise

from hidden depths and caverns

came she upwards

as proof to disbelievers

who despise

the legacy of truth

within the legends

endurance of her spirit

against lies

emergent energy

when threatened, dismissed

force of nature

nurtured in disguise

risen to admonish

free the shackles

to clarify, reveal

to crystallise

the ever-present power

‘neath apparent

the what is possible

when spirits rise

revealing, by endurance

force of fabled

to the detriment of those

with blinded eyes

her eyes, those eyes

a steady, streaming light-force

gleaming, fixed on shores

on me

all ayes

what, said I, of myth

and disbelievers

the proof, she said

is rising when you try

I gazed a while

she froliced for my pleasure

or to prove, perhaps

that she had found the prize

across the lands

a vision from deep waters

to me, a true believer,

no surprise

Ceud Mìle Fàilte – To My Part Of Our World

I think I’m really clever

so coordinated

when I can remove

the remnants

of today’s make-up

with my right hand while

unhooking earrings with my left

after having

stacked

crockery and cutlery

in preparation

for twenty

having cleaned for the days

I didn’t

while working

teaching

clearing

sorting

finishing

one job

before embarking

on the next

 

I think I’m so organised

after

shopping

with my list

for food

drink

accroutements

the je ne sais quoi

of visitors

 

I think I’m on the ball

 

I’m not

 

I’m not on anything

but the same wheel

that we’re all on

you know the one

when we impress ourselves with our

own abilities to cope

under pressure

to be

to do

to act

to keep on

keeping on

 

I think I’m doing so well

and I am

 

I definitely am

 

I know this

by comparison

to when I’m not

and, oh, there have been times

when ‘not’ has been

the ‘it’

 

but now

right now

I’m doing well

as well as anyone can do

with

still

so much to do

 

I think I’m so clever

removing

with my right hand

today’s make-up

while

at the same time

my, oh, my!

such dexterity

disentangling dangling earrings from lobes

time-saving

knowing I have organised

am organised

will be

the hostess with the

enough

more than enough

to make them welcome

and

next week

I’ll abseil

and kayak

just for fun

 

these are the

holiday-days

the manage-and-do

and fill-the-days

with what is not the

everyday-do-days

these are the good

but also

busy days

 

as all days

 

I think I’m so clever

so coordinated

so resourceful

that I can do all this

and be

sane

 

while monitoring

watching

still

always

what is going on

in the realm of those

whose lives

coordinate

and manage

a different agenda

where

welcome

hospitality

ceud mìle fàilte

are not the operative words

I know

I’m doing well

and the earrings and makeup removed

two-handed

in a satisfied acknowledgement

of

the fridge

and dishes

ready

speak my truth

 

I’m clever

in some ways

in more ways

like so many

the everyday ways

we do

we are

the embrace

that love

to welcome

life

and loving

 

how clever

and resourceful

and full of life

are we

in spite of all

 

slainte

friends

 

these are the days

of life

living

and being

the welcome

to our part of the world

Which Pill?

It is with deep regret

And no small measure of embarrassment

That I stand before you, here, today

I’d really rather be all on my own

But the niceties, we know, must be obeyed

And so, with pressure, here, I must atone

 

It is with deep regret

And no small measure of rage

That I come before the people of this land

I’d really rather eat my own two shoes

But, the niceties, and colleagues’ daggers at my back

Have told me that I have to or they lose

 

So, it is with deep regret

And no small measure of humiliated self-defeat

That I work up something of a spit

I’d really rather gob right in your face

But, the niceties, and the plebs I swore to serve

Have hounded me and I have lost the race

 

It is with deep regret

And no small measure of choking pride

That I curse the day you found me out

I’d really rather you’d stayed in the dark

But the niceties, and a press that changed their tune

Have forced me to admit I’m not the brightest spark

 

So, it is with deep regret

And no small measure of unwillingness

I leave behind the steps of Downing Street

I’d really rather keep the role I played

But the niceties, and loyalty, are not what they once were

They’re calling me a pill, the hapless, hard-to-swallow Theresa May

 

It is with deep regret

And no small measure of wanton disregard

I’ve divided, more, the countries of this land

I’d really rather, that, you all forgot

But the niceties, for it is not self-awareness

Are insisting that I say that I’ve been caught

 

It is without regret

And no small measure of utter stupidity

That I’m holding on to power

I’d really rather you all just agreed

For the niceties, and careerists, can go hang

I retract, with no regrets, every word that I’ve just said

 

It is with deep regret

And no small measure of frustration

That we, the people, all must live the pill

We’d really like to dose it out to them

For the niceties and those who splurt the lies

Are culpable, and worse, they know no shame

(source)

(S)praying For The Country

Dear God,

Well, that was exciting, wasn’t it?
I haven’t had so much excitement since I was a but a child and that big, burly farmer bellowed at me to, ‘Get the fuck out of my wheat field, ya wee bastard!’
Peed my pants that day, I can tell you. Gave a whole new meaning to crop spraying.

And that fellow was so out of order. It was, after all, a devil-may-care moment, shared, I’m sure, by all normal children from time to time.
Honestly, who hasn’t, in the flush of exuberant youth, cast off the yoke of obedience, thrown caution to the wind and trespassed on someone else’s property? I like to think of it as my ‘Buckfast in the park’ moment. Pissed, at least, in one sense of the word. Har, de, har, har!
Such japes.

I should, of course, have left those days behind for good and followed daddy’s advice. ‘Be a good girl.’
Such wise words.
He was quite the sage, you know. Well, you would know.
I learned so much from him.
Although he did have the unfortunate habit of speaking in cliches.
Ah, but he was so strong and stable.
And I did take his advice.
I was as good as good can be.
But, Jesus wept, (my bad), it was so boring.

People used to look at me like I was some sort of robot. Always doing as I was supposed to do. ‘Tess the Tame’, I once overheard someone whisper. Well that, and ‘Little Miss Pee-Your-Pants’.
Can’t trust anyone to keep a secret, I’ve found to my cost.

I suppose I just had to rebel at some point.
I’ve practised quietly for years.
Doing little things here and there, you know.
Never accept a court judgement.
Make stubbornness an art form.
Under no circumstances, give in. Except sometimes. Stamp a metaphorical foot in the recesses of your mind.
Curse them all. ‘Ya cunts, I’ll have you, one day!’
So liberating. In a mental, internalised, repressed sort of way.

And another wheat field day arrived.

How I longed to relive that glorious, carefree day. Without the final flood.

I felt sure, this time, that I would get away with it. I was sure I had the farmers and everyone else on side. I had practised speaking naturally till I had it almost off pat.

I had traipsed all over the country, talking to a few people in barns and the like. What is it with me with farms and isolation? Might need to work on that too.
I had even, as one does, practised, to the mirror, keeping my face composed at all times, so that no one, no, not even daddy, would know what I was thinking. All those, ‘fuck off ya trumpet’ thoughts were so well contained, apart from the odd twitch of my lips when I almost came right out and said it.
‘It’s my party now! I’m in charge! I’m head girl! Getyersel’ tae yer ain wheatfield!’
I had it all carefully organised.

And then I peed my pants again.

Thank god for Tena Lady.
I have shares in them, you know.
Always be prepared.

And now that corn-coloured, flop-haired saboteur is on his bike again, working up what passes for a sweat in the crack of his arse.
Waiting in the wings. Ready to steal my thunder. Undermining me at every turn. I don’t need his help for that. I can do things by myself. I have words. And stuff.

I’ve always been a loner, though.

Didn’t do naughty till that day, back then.
The shame of it haunts me still.

I’m not saying I’m going to flip. That would be so middle-class. And daddy wouldn’t have approved.

But, I swear to god, if I hear one mention of ‘pishing it’, I’ll sell my shares in Tena Lady and spray this country from Land’s End to John O’ Groats.

And, with the wind in the right direction, so, help me, Ireland will taste my piss.

I will be remembered as the biggest piss artist of all time.

Got to be remembered for something, after all.

Amen.

(source)