I am moved by Lady Percy 's expression of love. CLICK HERE - see if you agree.
Otherwise my novels, short stories, verse, family, music, memories, vulgar interests, detestations,
responses, apologies. I hold posts to 300 words* having found less is better than more.
I re-comment on comments and re-re-re-comment on re-re-comments.
* One exception: short stories.

Friday, 14 February 2014

A very rare event


Many years before St Valentine’s Day 2014

Dedicated to all women: the interested, the empowered, the uninterested, the instructive, the one who married me, the dismissive, the one who bore me, the topers, the ones who became my offspring, the singers, the whingers, those met and unmet. E&OE

So young they were that day, alas,
Youth turns me off.
That need for love self-evident,
A sulk so meet for those slack mouths.

Their badged lapels a substitute
For grown-up talk.
Their icons passing for an argument,
The code quite clear. But do I care?

Then: Pow! There’s proof of politics,
Perhaps a plan.
For what seemed rude democracy
Unveils the wedge of leadership

Wearing a stripe of matelot,
A knitted cap,
She darts among us like a beak,
Seeking the worm of innocence.

The eye as claw, the glow, ah yes,
She’s drawn me in.
Others joke, suggest a beer for her -
All male of course - they miss the point.

She sits down near, her hand upraised,
To touch her badge.
Guessing perhaps I know the code,
Noting also my consciousness.

That glow, that ripe expectancy,
Is all I need,
Tell me, I say, all schoolboyish,
Convert me to your great belief. 


  1. All women or just the ones that you have met? I imagine there have been some interesting characters. The big question that you may or may not have already answered and, if not, are almost certainly not going to answer, is who?

  2. soul bump, well remembered

  3. B2: Strapline now modified. Who? She's probably dead and in her grave. Let her lie

    MikeM: Can't remember the cause. CND, anti-EU, anti-Thatcher? Just the eyes. Messianic.

  4. Suggesting a beer is a good thing to do in my humble opinion.

  5. "Youth turns me off" Oh I know what you mean. I am sometimes relieved that it can. But to be young, nevertheless, "twas very bliss".

  6. I always want the story to continue, even if I know the rule is to stop at pre-ordained length. Why can't the rule be broken? What is the purpose of sticking to the rule? Why can't we hear the rest of this story?

  7. Joe: I can truthfully say that youth was wasted on me. That surrounded by half-cocked verse and novels that agents have rejected (all the product of the passage of time) I am more or less at peace with who I am. Looking forward to the next knotty line, like this one I am presently writing.

    Natalie: It's because you want a story, not verse (I always say verse about my own stuff, never poetry). I believe you are uncomfortable with the aphorism: It is better to travel hopefully than to arrive. Verse is usually many things that stories aren't: word-play, attempted elegance, half a perception, bravado, living with a strange self-imposed discipline. Verse is also minority appeal: for forty-nine fiftieths of my life it meant nothing to me. As a result I shall wear L-plates until I die.

  8. RW (zS): Quite the opposite. The woman was attractive, the others could only make traditional approaches (eg, Have a beer). They failed. I recognised her Messianism; simply asked her to talk to me about her mania. A very rare event, as I said.

  9. I very much like

    'She darts among us like a beak,
    Seeking the worm of innocence'

    Interesting you felt they wore badges instead of grown-up talk. I think I always assumed they were having intensely grown-up conversations somewhere elsewhere, which I just wasn't included in.

  10. It's true, I like arrivals. Most journeys (unless they're metaphorical and those are fine) involve some form of transport, generally uncomfortable, tedious, dangerous, too long or all of those. I know it's an aphorism but I'm taking it literally and, as usual, it's distracted me from the subject. I did like your verse and it made me curious about the matelôt-striped Messianic-eyed girl and I'd like to know what her answer to your young self was. But yeah, I know poetry/verse isn't supposed to satisfy curiosity.

  11. Lucy: Like Nabokov and his butterflies, you have this unerring aim when it comes to prodding at tenderloin lines in my public verse. Originally "beak" was "bird" a much weaker finish and I was visited in time by a small apostasy. "Innocence" was something else but I've now forgotten what. Even so I have this eerie feeling that you do know. That this is a coded comment and you're requiring me to stir my stumps.

    Chevy Chase
    And when his legs were stricken off,
    He fought upon the stumps.

    Natalie: How about: Anticipation is superior to fulfillment. Abstractions being harder to get your claws into.

  12. Lucy PS: Good grief, more omnipresence. Sounds as if you were there. A pub in Wandsworth - 1976-ish. Nah, surely not.

  13. The beak/worm line is very striking...popped me on the first read. She apparently settled on you for a while, leading me to ponder the definitions of "innocent". I've been gifted a paper copy of Gorgon Times, Kindle reader software be damned!