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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

My unborn

It should have wept at my funeral
It could have been anything it liked
It may have made me a grandmother
It may have been pale or rosy or dark,
comfortable and perhaps sang like a bird.
Or maybe serious and childless
with a passion for cats,

I wonder what grace it might have developed?
Scars, broken bones, broken hearts.
Would it had swum, rode a bike, took exams
Been beautiful or manly?
How can I speak of a life never born
expectant, important and sad?
My one small child, never delivered, never made.
I've so many questions for you.

I don't understand why I think of it all the time.
Probably for I have no family.
It came and grew to an inch before lost,
I was never to know its fancies.
I see it each day, on a street, in a face.
made real by a baby which grew,
and didn't suffer the fate it had
of being washed down a loo.

The mystery is you tried to be here.
Your absence made me feel like death.
Snatched away in an accident,
through a feeling I will never understand.
You had no name at the time and still have none now,
or sex or hair or eyes,
yet you were as human to me
as your mother was.

By now, you should have been many years old,
Scoffing and maybe ashamed of your parent.
But I would have kept a warm bedroom for you,
Washed your clothes and fed your cat.
I'd carry your photo in my purse.
And these words would not be written,
The day you fell away from me,
The day I died a little.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Wicca? Huh!

Well I must say that I don’t think much of the East End branch of the Wicca society because they’re not the most friendly of folk. Thank goodness the full moon is over because that’s the last time I invite them over to celebrate the new Luna month.
I thought they might welcome a new member which is what I was hoping to become but not any more. They moaned about the height of my front door for a start saying that it was in the wrong feng shue position. They told me my front door should be at the side. Silly buggers!
Then they said I had provided the wrong sort of cakes and that I should have used solar salt instead of sea salt when making them. As if it really mattered. One tall lady with a huge wart, insisted that I let her, equally warty, cat roam around freely and you know what I’m like on pets.
But in the interest of friendship, I said it was okay and the blasted black thing spent most of the evening rubbing itself up and down my legs. Now today, I’ve got these warty blemishes that show through my tights. When I went out last night, it looked like I had several small thin hamsters attached to my legs under my tights. I looked stupid.
There was Mr. Glass, their leader and a wizard in his own right who was alright but he insisted that he bring his own incense along and because he worked for the company that made it, he also got free samples so he wasn’t sparse about shedding it around if you get my meaning. Well, they had only been here half an hour and my poor old front room looked like Whitechaple on a Saturday night in 1888. I couldn’t see anything and the amount of times I banged my shins on my blessed computer table, well, I lost count. But so much so that when I checked my E Mail later on, after they had gone and I had had the windows open for an hour (which caused all that wind and rain to pour in the room by the way) I saw there was still incense smoke in my Mac!! And there still is. I’m looking at it now. And oh God! The smell.
He said it was made from Egyptian cat poo and I believe him!. And now it's everywhere. Can’t get rid of the stuff. They said the place is now purified and I believe that as well for what poor fool would breath this, let alone live among it! You wouldn’t get a bacteria living here now.
They brought a sack full of toads of course but didn’t bother taking all of them home. And as I when to sleep I kept hearing them croaking and barking and jumping in and out of the toilet. I had dreams of South America all night long.
They insisted that they did a little circle which I thought was going to be alright at first but when they took my round table out of the room and replaced it with a pile of sticks and lit it, I began to have serious second doubts. Then they all went ‘sky-clad’ (being naked) and started to chant and run around in a circle. Seeing 13 old people’s bits flying about didn’t do me any favours I can tell you. I’m going to have nightmares to come in the coming months.
What she must have thought upstairs I don’t know as we all shouted “UMPY-UMPY” louder and louder, faster and faster until we all collapsed naked in a heap, not being able to see anything because of the smoke. I thought I had taken hold of the master’s wooden rod with the ruby tip until I realised I hadn’t. Thank goodness he never minded.
So, never again. Take it from me. You stick with the old Christianity. Its safer for the hearth and home.
A very exhausted, smoky, flea-ridden, wet Molly

Friday, January 13, 2012


Despite the pretty decor, the flowers, the family photos, some still, some ever changing and rotated by an eframe, and all of them witness to past happy major family events, where the subjects perpetually beamed at the observer, the room where my grandmother was to spend the last months of her long and productive life had to be likened to a prison cell. One could not escape the similarity, not matter how hard one tried. There were no bars on the window but the length and width and height of it gave it away. As did the lock on the door.
A faint odour of urine, like a strong brown colour, assailed me as I entered but it was so negligible that it was forgotten straight away. Nan did not know I was visiting and it would not have made the slightest difference to the situation if she had. She did not hear me knock on the standard thick fire door and did not notice my entrance either.
She was slouched on the corner of her single bed, her eyes closed, thin creased neck bent forward, her clothes clean if not pressed, her thin grey hair awry slightly, her treasured battered brown and cream handbag, clutched unconsciously in a fist. I called her title louder, noticing her hearing aid and both sets of false teeth on the bed side cabinet despite it being mid afternoon. I frowned at this. Nothing. Only when I was three feet away, did she visibly jump to become immediately annoyed. Which itself was soon replaced by confusion as she wiped the sleep from her eyes before focusing on her intruder.
She referred to me as nurse and, as I sat on a single hard-backed chair, I explained that I was her granddaughter, 'Little Bobby' I empathised until, there it was, at last, some semblance of the beautiful and no nonsense woman I had known in my young life. The woman who had been so particular about the condition of the backs of her chair legs and how they were not to be scuffed, the angel who fed me bacon and mashed potato every Saturday afternoon as my mother had offloaded me to give her some respite for one afternoon a week, the laughing and gorgeous woman whose presence in her old kitchen she undoubtedly dominated.
However, there was no domination now. Not in her last place of residence. At that moment, feeble in mind, tired, weary, battered and withdrawn, she looked at me disinterestedly through pale blue eyes as that momentary flash of who she once was, disappeared back into the choppy sea of confused consciousness that was now her only world. I spoke again of the past, touched her hand as if to press home the memories I was trying to evoke but this ploy only worked for a limited number of seconds before she, every time, sank back into her confused mutterings about how little money she had and shockingly, mentioning what bastards and fuckers they were to do that to her. Even holding up her empty purse for me to see how wicked everyone was that they had stolen her money. If it had not been so tragic, it would have been amusing. No other emotion or reaction would have sufficed.
She referred to me as a nurse again and reached across to her bedside cabinet and retrieved a twin-headed razor from a white china mug adorned with a colourful print of flowers before gently proceeding to stroke it dryly across her chin. And I could hear the rasp of the stubble.This was a bizarre experience and in that long second, I became confused as to how the young and delicate flower of her species, as I had remembered her in the few monochromatic photographs which existed, taken long before I was thought of, could have changed into the shameless woman who now sat before me.
What sequence of events could have taken place which would culminate in this once proud individual, a woman who had once occupied a high position in the Ministry Of Defence, to unblushingly scrap a razor across her chin in front of, to her confused perception, a complete stranger? What power in all the world could have so altered her perception, her sense of dignity, her perspicacity, her...nobleness to this extent? What could have brought her to this?
The urine odour returned quite suddenly and I heard an unwelcome noise. A slight hiss. It was time for me to leave, to fetch a carer and then to examine my own life with the assistance of a cigarette and a few tears in the car park with the horror that, at that moment, I could well be looking at my own future, perhaps some forty years hence. Yes, at that moment, I would never undertake any cosmetic hair removing work in front of anyone and that includes my husband. Had granny once felt the same? In her young and smooth days? I touched her marbled hands again briefly and offered my good-byes. I did not kiss her and she only offered me a look devoid of feeling, as if my beloved grandmother had already departed, leaving just this animated shell. "Good-bye nurse", she mumbled. Two months later, my mother blasted me with the news that she had died.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

East and West

I see no collection of pot-bellied erections
down migraine way
Salt hits the wounds and the money birds zoom
to free those entombed in decay.
They wonder in fear as the bank notes appear
from pockets by squirting lead
While water-filled tubes fill up on the move
hang down from some Whitechapel bed.

The mothering poor who head for the door
hit the pauper's grave.
With sustained pain and a limp in the brain
they make for the streets half crazed.
With X-Rays which fade with the light of the day
the Mormon men move on
While back down in the dark, while surgery starts
some folks treat themselves to a song.

Jack the Ripper holds memories close
In both parts of the town.
Shop soiled uniforms march in front
with guests from a hidden asylum
But heated needles hit the skin, in the North
its what people say
Won't find a cotton cloth round there
and angels keep away.

With Frankenstein on the end of a knife
working his way with love
Compared with what their getting, maybe a message from above?
And you know the bill which comes in pink
is crushed into your palm
While the hasty Harley Street merchants
are wrestling with your arm.

The rich man shoots the crazy red juice
straight into your arm
And one man bites into the jaws of the night
But they make sure he comes to no harm
Red roses grow in window boxes
The surgeon hides his guns
Free from the care of expenditure worries
The criminal who never runs.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

I met a teenage girl recently...

I met a teenage girl recently. She had rather a deep voice. Yet upon an initial meeting, she seemed happy enough. At least within the outdoor circumstances under which we were introduced. However, here was desperation for all the world to see. Here was expressed grief, and one could witness it particularly around her young eyes and fallen mouth. For she knew that not only was she was not what she wanted to be, but knew that she could never be that which she desired above all else. Despite all the advances of science.
Her movements were occasionally undisguisedly male, which caused me the most atrocious amount of pity. For she was the girl who ought to have been. She imitated and aped the female well enough. But not enough to convince all. She was the equivalent of the transgendered Uncanny Valley. Neither one gender or the other, yet desperately trying for the latter. Only dogs and blind old ladies did not question her appearance. Despite her apparent happiness, she was one of the saddest people I had met for a long time.
She reminded me of a time when there was an urgency to do something. A clock ticked away her life. A disfigured bird sang a merry tune as dusk approached, and the alcohol she drank glazed her eyes. Then she sat alone - despite being with me.
I'm sure each day rolls unthankfully into another for her. Her ankles and wrists look cold and thin. Her neck, warm and thick. There is a decreased radiance from her personality. She speaks to me, but I can immediately recognise that her thought's are mostly of the past, and perhaps regret for what she knows she will not achieve in the future. Almost like exclusive and foretold knowledge. She has little confidence which occurs naturally in the genetic female. I think perhaps she finds a measure of comfort by talking, and I do little else but listen. The chair that supports her is agreeable, safe...and forgiving. Which is more than most passer's-by offer her. The corner of the little pavement café where we take wine in the evening is where she conceals herself, her talents and her accomplishments from the thrust of the world. Here she avoids criticism and punishment. Yes, I met a teenage girl recently. In spite of her gloom, suspicion, trouble, worrying eyes and mouth, she had rather a sweet voice.