(Boris Johnson, Secy of State for Foreign and
Commonwealth Affairs, 2016. http://www.gov.uk)
recovering your mojo?
You called Corbyn ‘a mutton-headed old mugwump,‘
but it’s uncool to preside over a parliament that’s only a ‘Rump.’
If you’re Irish come into the parlor,
There’s a welcome there for you;
If your name is Timothy or Pat,
So long as you come from Ireland,
There’s a welcome on the mat,
If You come from the Mountains of Mourne,
Or Killarney’s lakes so blue,
We’ll sing you a song and we’ll make a fuss,
Whoever you are you are one of us,
If you’re Irish, this is the place for you!
(Won a prize with this poem about my elderly neighbour
some years ago. Thought I’d give it another whirl….)
Four years old and privy to the ritual,
I waited at a respectful distance.
mesmerised by ablutions’ habitual
sacrament, which unctioned his existence.
First he stripped to dazzling vest, braces down,
dangling by his sides. Next came bristle brush
from Old Spice tooth mug and transparent brown
oval of Pears soap. Hot water did not rush
from dull brass tap, but moderately flowed
at his methodical pace. Lathered foam
creamed the razor’s rasp to a face that glowed
peony red. Scant white hair by ivory comb
furrowed like forked mashed potato. Thick steam
obscured the mirror and he strained to see
a tiny nick and with determined gleam,
snipped my focus of curiosity:
his waxed, pointed military moustache.
Satisfied, he rolled both ends with a twirl,
beaming, confident he still cut a dash
at eighty five, with a style-conscious girl.
Who knows what previous close shaves he’d had-
young blade, soldier; now surrogate grandad.
An old one from my childhood poems….
The World, The Solar System, the Universe
Miss had mentioned the Antipodes, so
we planned to dig to Australia, or
New Zealand. But surrounding earth would flow
back into our trench. Buchaille Etive Mhor
rose at our backs as we hit stones and bones.
Knees were black and soon a delegation
of children commentated in undertones
on the progress of our occupation,
careful lest a kangaroo should leap out.
We hoped to find a duck-billed platypus,
but it was getting difficult: no doubt
because we had no JCB. The loose
hafts of our rusted seaside spades rattled;
we hadn’t even reached the equator,
International Dateline. We battled
on, searching for a Tropic. Potato
roots were what we found. Raleigh had too,
but the Queen had shown her ingratitude,
just like my mother, who dispersed the crew:
she wasn’t one to care for latitude.
She made us fill in our enormous hole.
(Would Weddell’s mum have banned him from the Pole?)
If water flowed down plugholes the wrong way,
we’d never know. Our Christmas would be cold,
and all because research had to obey
my mother. Now we would never find the gold.
Someone’s aunt gave them a koala ‘bear’;
a boomerang was posted to a friend-
although it returned itself to sender-
but we were the ones who nearly got there:
the didgeridoos were just round the bend.
Back at school, our exercise books would bear
our names, addresses and galactical
affiliation, because those Out There
might find this information practical.
But the message in locked diaries just read:
Keep Your Nose Out of Here – or lose your head!
(Image: 15th century Book of Hours; Gluck m/s collection, Uny of Buffalo)
Rare Book Collection not in copyright, acc to site)
The start of
Nuns in pop culture: Anna Silman writes on the current “Nunnassaince” in movies and television, the biggest since the late 1950s and ’60s. She quotes Rebecca Sullivan, author of Visual Habits: Nuns, Feminism, and American Postwar Popular Culture, on the first wave as a reaction against the sexual revolution. For a list of flicks both […]