(yesterday, tea time)
At the end of the drive the cat had positioned himself at the side of the road looking east, then west then east again, as if expecting the arrival of a favourite cousin or an ice-cream van.
(saw me watching, walked away)
( an observation of my contemporaries, now I hate catching myself whistling)
Once the essence of romance,
now reduced to shadowing his wife
around charity shops and supermarkets,
his drawn cheeks constantly puckered with
that revolting suck, blow, tuneless
whistling that declares a man has entered his dotage,
devoid of the hope of passion
and surrendered to banality.
‘How does he love me?
With adoration, with fertile tears,
With groans that thunder love,
with sighs of fire.’
On witnessing an assault
Though not generally a cruel person, the ease
with which she flicked the cat from the chair
had a certain barbaric, triumphant quality.
The family, ailurophiles to the core, experienced shock
as if a gardener had beheaded a favourite rose
or a priest displayed Tourette’s.
The feline was certainly not amused.
As I write, a bee, seeking sanctuary from the cold March weather,
lands an inch from my pencil.
He looks bit bedraggled; perhaps that’s what he thinks of me
though I’m probably too big to be seen.
I presume ‘He’ because it doesn’t look like a queen.
Up and down, he does a few press-ups, warming himself.
And off he goes,
looking no doubt for early dandelions or forsythia,
a rescue from this too early awakening.
Clearly not impressed by my writings.
On finding a neglected memorial to a forgotten war …
The bugle’s long faded call took with it all promise of eternal memory.
Names carved in stone often lasted not much longer than the generation
that composed them, causes became historical and worse, academic,
families adopted new priorities and the dead faded into unrecognised
faces staring from indistinct sepia cards.
Perhaps it was for the best: the solutions to conflicts were invariably the
result of pragmatism and essentially found in the present with an eye to
The fallen remained beyond all wanting; such is the nature of lives and