Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Advertisement for Viagra

The Grand Old Duke of York
He had ten thousand men
Then he had another pill
And had them all again

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Lessons of the past

Santayana said
Those who fail their history
Course must repeat it

Views of matrimony

To some men marriage
Is just a word, and to some
It is a sentence

Cut and paste

Imitation is
Sometimes the sincerest form
Of sheer laziness

The thesaurus of love



The Painted Desert

My magpie mind hunts for dreams to steal
Takes them, confounding what is real
With tales of miracles in distant lands
Until they merge, like mingled coloured sands

A stag-headed oak

Once it towered above the land
Its thick leaves shadowing the grass
The sap no longer feeds the branches
They slowly rot while the tree
Relinquishes imperial dreams
Falling into sleep

My son the farmer

I (1996)

As I carry him up to bed
We pause at the window
To look out at the night

"Why is the moon little?" he asks
I try to give a sense of distance
"Can I fly there in a rocket?"
"Yes," I say, "One day."

Returning, after he's nodded off,
A shiver of dread runs through me:
I resolve to interest him in soil and trees.

II (2005)

Stomping off to bed in a sulk
He pauses to look at the moon

I mention it, he shrugs
"So what?"

I try to interest him in soil and trees
Yeah, like that's going to happen.

Cri de Couer

"Est-ce que toi voix dont m'appelle?'
Alfred de Musset, La Nuit de Mai

Is it yours, the voice that calls me?
My gentle siren, is it you?
Or is it the susurrus of the sea
Whispering what may be true?
Is it you whose heart is grieving
Crying out across the waves?
Or is it the sun, now leaving,
Dragging the hours to their graves?

It is you, my instinct tells me
Not some other quiet shade
For today I heard it clearly
Above the sounds that nature made
In the quiet, though far apart:
The beating of another's heart


The erotic lilt
Of the railway carriage leads
To uneasy dreams


Beggar's sign today
Made me smile to see - it said
"Will work for world peace"

The nerd's farewell

Got my anorak
And got my ticket for the
Last train to Geeksville

Friday, May 13, 2005


I used to suffer
From indecisiveness, but
Now I'm not so sure

The last word

Jean-Paul Sartre said
That God was dead. Then God said,
"Jean-Paul Sartre's dead".

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Cuts both ways (song)

You asked for a promise, I gave you my word
But now it seems there's something I heard
They say you are playing a game with your days:
Don't you know loving cuts both ways?

You said you were mine, I said I was yours
You closed all my windows, then you walked out the door
They say you are searching for the way from the maze
Don't you know freedom cuts both ways?

When I was with you, I was on top
I feel like nothing, now I've been dropped
They say you are walking around in a daze
Don't you know hurting cuts both ways?

I try not to be angry, I rarely succeed
You are so brazen, all gone to seed
My mind has got broken, it's all out of phase
Don't you know a dagger cuts both ways?

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Spock on childcare

To all new parents
My advice is: be afraid
Be very afraid.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Collateral damage

"Hark, lamentation is heard in Ramah, and bitter weeping,
Rachel weeping for her sons.
She refuses to be comforted : they are no more."
Jeremiah 31.xv, quoted in Matthew 2.xviii

"Were we led all that way for
Birth or Death? There was a Birth, certainly"
T S Eliot, Journey of the Magi


Raising a child in a world of dirt
There are times of necessary hurt:
A thorn extracted, a decayed tooth removed;
Parents must demonstrate their love
By acting thus, but also by
Soothing pain and explaining why.


The birth of God's son needed witnesses
He called the Magi from afar
From obscure Eastern fastnesses-
And sent them a guiding star

It was unfortunate that the Wise Men
Had been directed through Jerusalem
And by enquiring for God's son on earth
Alerted Herod to his rival's birth.


Through the smoke of Chanukah's candles
The soldiers came to Bethlehem:
Their orders were clear.

They searched the village, house to house,
Rounding up babies and toddlers
Who stared dumbly, not understanding
The import of this baleful power.

Too late they heard blade slip from scabbard
Saw the edge gleam in the dusk:
Their cries were brief.


Weeping, I lifted the featherweight body
Carried it to a table and laid it out
The rabbi came to comfort me

"God's hand might have saved him-
We know that One escaped,
But He did not -could not, or would not - rescue more"

"Perhaps His purpose entails
Some suffering of innocents
To achieve His great designs-
We are as children to Him,
And cannot hope to comprehend His plan."


No ceremony was made at the burial
I had no confidence in the care
To which I must entrust my child's fate
Turning away, I covered my head.

And laid curses on the soldiers
And I cursed the king
Then I cursed the Magi
And then I cursed the Author of my loss.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Variation on Hooper

"I slept, and dreamed that life was Beauty;
I woke, and found that life was Duty."

I slept, and dreamed that life was beauty
, Ellen Sturgis Hooper

I slept and dreamed that life was Beauty;
I woke and found it wasn't.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005


Why devolution?
Because all indexes say:
"For Wales see England"

Quincain: Triad (after Crapsey)

Three things
That can turn your
Hair to white overnight:
Hair dye . . . painting the ceiling . . . and

The original Triad is posted at http://locock.blogspot.com/2005/04/forgotten-poet.html