Prose and Posies, and Poet Moses

(I was challenged to write a nonsense poem)

Posies of roses
betwixt Moses’ toeses …
Posies of daisies
in Maisie’s left ear …

At the thought of the thorns
lodged betwixt Moses’ toeses
Maisie’s left eye
shed a solitary tear

which ran down her cheek
and clung to a petal
on one of the daisies
as if it were dew,

while to Maisie’s amazement
Moses appended
another commandment
to those that she knew:

Thou shalt not place posies
of roses twixt toeses
nor yet attach daisies
to Maisie’s left ear, for –

but just then the tear dropped
to Maisie’s left nipple
and Moses diverted said
Listen, my dear:

That tear on the tip
of your tit titillates me
as do the thorns
sticking into my toeses,

I haven’t felt like it
since fashion dictated
a ring in the end of
young ladies’ noses.

Ms Maisie removed all
the flowers from her earhole,
flicked the tear from her tit
with a nonchalent air and

said: Moses proposes;
the lady disposes.
I’m late for a date with
a prose millionaire.

To an Old Lady Seen Sitting Gazing at the Sea

Would you go for a swim?
It’s too cold.
If it were hot, would you go for a swim?
I’m too old.
You are not.

If it were hot, really hot, would you
strip off your clothes and plunge in?
I would, I would but
I’m old
and it’s cold.
But you would?
Oh, I would.
I would …

And once you were in,
how long would you stay?
Would you stay in all day?
All day?
I’m too old.
If it were hot, really hot, 
you could stay in all day, and all night.
All night, yes.
I would stay in and play
by the light of the moon
all day and all night.

Mermaid Out Of Water 4

Throw the poor thing back in!
She;s real! Look!
Look at that tail!

Fuck, yes!
Just think what we can get for her,
what she must be worth

But she’s dying! Look at her eyes.
And already the gleam
is fading from her scales!

Those eyes are not the eyes of a human!
They are the eyes – and the scales! –
of a fucking fish!

Throw her back in.
If she dies
you’ll get nothing.

Fish die. I’ll sell her frozen.
Find the right scientists

and auction her like the fucking fish she is.

Who do I identify with? Not the one who wants to keep her, sell her, that’s for sure. The other one, who wants to throw her back in, quick, before she dies? Yes, of course. But I identify more closely with the mermaid herself, helpless in the hands of a bully and his spineless sidekick.



Glamour is an old Scots form of the word “grammar”
and meant magic, the magic of words.
You see this page? It’s empty.

A road …

A narrow road across an open moor.
The road from Ullapool to Balintore.
A rider on a horse, dark hair flying:
horse’s mane, woman’s mane.

Behind them, open ocean, rain-swept isles.
Ahead, low wooded hills, a sandy beach.
A woman on a black horse, black cloak
flying, black hair streaming. Will she reach

the sea in time, the grey North Sea,
the houses of the fishermen and women,
each with its peat fire, its chimney smoke,
its bare back turned to the wind-scoured beach?

A woman on a black horse, black cloak
flying, black hair streaming out,
crying: Make way! Make way! I cannot stop!
Today I must be by dusk in Balintore!

Could you put all that in a painting?

North Sea

Grey green in the gathering dusk
and rising,
push and pull
push and suck,
push and suck.

We turn for home.

In the night
the CRASH, the SMASH and ROAR of distant waves
wakes us.

At dawn
I walk the sunlit sand:
the push,
push and pull,
push and suck
of breaking waves and churning stones
gentle now.

WENDY COPE: Kindness to Animals

This poem was apparently commissioned by the editor of The Orange Dove of Fiji, an anthology for the benefit of the World Wildlife Fund for Nature. It was rejected as unsuitable.

If I went vegetarian
And didn’t eat lambs for dinner,
I think I’d be a better person
And also thinner.

But the lamb is not endangered
And at least I can truthfully say
I’ve never, ever eaten a barn owl,
So perhaps I’m OK.

Me, I’m on Wendy Cope’s side. From the moment of its birth, a lamb is far more “endangered” than any barn owl. (But see also my poem Deep Down.)