Blind Ripples

The time will come, as sure it must,

When flesh and bones return to dust.

Ere this happens to mine state

I challenge life, what may await

Round corners I have yet to veer,

On roads and paths that I must steer

As true to self as I can be

While hurting none as best I see.

The trouble with my self-direction,

Modus operandus, introspection,

Is, I can’t see what acts I do

May taint the world for me and you.

I struggle on as blind man feels,

Alerting senses to what’s real,

Believing that my ripples cast

May count for something that could last

Into eternal consciousness

And, somehow, one day I’ll be blessed

By loving light that comforts soul,

Suffuses dark when all is told

In story of my life on earth,

That task completed had some worth.


Posterior Afflictions

You know the way kids can be a pain in the arse sometimes?

Ach, don’t act it, you do so!

Aye, I know we all love them and think that a lot of what they do is pretty cute.

And that we use euphemisms to excuse their behaviour, saying things like,

‘He’s going through a very challenging phase’


‘She’s testing boundaries at the moment.’

But that doesn’t take away from the fact that they can still get on your wick.

I’m not thinking so much about that age when they’re brand new and all kind of fluffy-haired, with soft skin smelling of baby lotion.

So, okay, sometimes they don’t smell of baby lotion and the sight ofanother loaded nappy makes you wonder what the hell they had for dinner.

But they’re not really a pain in the arse at that stage. Well, maybe a wee bit, at times, when they wake you up through the night and won’t go back to sleep despite the fact that you’ve offered them the crown jewels, if only they’d let you get a bit of shut-eye for the love of god.

No, not then. I can cope with that.

I’m not even thinking of the terrible twos that really start in their second year rather than when they actually hit two.

Totally misled us on that one, eh?

As whiny and crabbit as they can be at that particular juncture that’s not really their worst stage.

Granted, sometimes you have to drag them through a store, smiling fiercely at anyone passing, till you get them outside and give them a piece of your mind. The bit they’ve not driven insane yet.

That’s still within the realms of manageable because you learn methods to deal with it and they don’t do it again. Well, not too often anyway.

And there are always other shops you can go to.

I was thinking more about that stage they reach when they want a pet.

You know that stage? It goes on for years. Doesn’t matter what you say, how many different ways you say it, ‘no’ comes out sounding like ‘maybe.’

And then they’ve won.

They know they can get round you. And they’re not daft, you know.

They wait till you’re all relaxed of an evening, feet curled up on the couch, glass of wine in hand, bit of telly on.

Then they strike. And you’re caught unawares.

You’re really watching Coronation Street and you thought they said,

‘Would you like me to fill your glass?’ and you say something that sounds like yes.

And it did sound like it because you did say that because you thought they were the waiter.

Only they weren’t. And it’s out there now. And you start laughing at the funny mistake that was made.

Then you look at their wee disappointed faces and you say, ‘Maybe’.

That word, that one word out of all words, should be cut from a parent’s vocabulary at the same time as the cord is severed.

That word gets you hung by your own whatsits.

To cut a long story short, we got a dug. A dug, as in a dog.

A dug’s just our way of saying it.

And he’s quite cute. And everybody loves him. And they’re all fighting to see who can take him out for a walk. Kids are voluntarily getting out of bed before the school bell rings and going for walkies with poo bags in hand. walk. And everybody’s smiling and making goo-goo noises to a dug! Fights are breaking out at whose turn it is to have him in their room for the night. 

I didn’t. I’m not stupid. I had weans. Why the hell would I want something else to wake me up in the night? If it’s not the Jackman or some vague resemblance to him known as, ‘ma man’, I don’t want to know.

We’re a complete family now, the kids would have you believe. We have our very own Lassie. Only she’s a he and he’s a Border Collie. But you get my drift.

There are smiles broader than a Hughman fan when confronted with him, on their doorstep, in their dreams. I’ve heard.

Except that all of the italicised paragraph should have been written in the past tense because that was two years ago.  And now no one wants to be bothered any more when it comes to the going outside in the rain bit. Or the last thing at night bit.

Or the please feed that animal bit.

Then the pain in the arse raises its ugly head again.

Do arses have heads? Well, my arses do.

And not one of them wants to walk Mutley anymore. Not that we called him Mutley, officially. That’s just what I call him when he’s being the pain.

And he gets called that a fair few times in any given day. So I suppose it’s kind of his nickname with ‘Peeta’ being his dress-up Sunday name.

So, between the barking of Peeta in the early hours of the a.m., and the reluctance of any of my brood to drag their behinds from bed, I’m aware of a lot of aggravation in my nether regions.

So, yeah, the pet years are a big feature in the posterior affliction.

But it doesn’t end there.

You know the way there comes a time when your kids start to leave home (if you can get rid of them and persuade them that independence is a good thing) and you get an office to yourself because there’s now a free room?

Then, you know how sometimes they want to come home for a while and they look at you like, ‘Well, you’re my mum, you’ve got to’?

And then you let them move into your office because there’s a singlebed in there and nobody sleeps in that room. Like it’s a spare room! And not my little refuge for wordsmithing.

Or whatever you call it.

That’s quite a big pain in the arse, right there.

But do you know what adds insult to injury in the arse hurting stakes?

It’s when said daughter returns with a kitten in tow that she nurses like a baby.

Except when she’s at work or going out.

And then many hands are offering to nurse said kitten and feedhim.

Till they go out.

And then do you know who gets to look after and feed the wee bugger?

Aye, me.

And I’m not a cat person.

I’m not even a dug person.

I’m only barely a people person.

That is a pain in the arse. Especially trying to stop the dug from eating the kitten.

And stop the kitten climbing the curtains. Dogs don’t do that. Why do cats do that?

And climb on your bed and try to walk across your shoulders when you’re writing in bed because you’ve lost your office?

Yeah, so, pets are an afflicton but not nearly as much as weans sometimes.

Anyone want a dug? Kitten? Wean? Just askin’.