Did you ever see?

Three blind mice, see how they run

They all ran after the farmer’s wife

Who cut off their tails with a carving knife

Did you ever see such a thing in your life

As three blind mice. 

To wipe away children’s tears,

(and hide poverty’s arrears)

and to allay fears

(as the multitude nears),

our overhead conscience clears

as these taxless profiteers,

with their tactless sneers,

these do-goody dears,

pause from the usual bum-steers

and provide a quick weet-bix fix.

A sanitarium for drowning refugees.

Three jeers for the racketeers

and the cunning privateers.

And the countless blind peers,

lining the jetties and piers,

gawping soundless cheers.

They closed the library

She opened the library sixty years ago.
He climbed the highest mountain.
Made possible, many followed
footstepping Tibetan-styled streets
to read about those extraordinary feats
or climb again the Himalayan steeps
until they closed the library,
the books impounded,
and ladders littered the mountain,
the summit grounded.


My onion is whole

My onion is whole
wrapped in brown paper thin skin.

Sharpen your knife and slice into audible rings.
Chopped hear its juices sing.
Sautéed and lingering.
Smell your eyes sting.
Tangible balls pushed in.
Tears brim.

Wrapped in brown paper thin skin
my onion is whole.

It’s your turn to do the so-called dishes!

“They are not true,” said my father
upon reading the introduction to my book of children’s bible stories.
Then, with his Staedtler pen, neatly scored through the word with bright blue. true

Granny was furious. “Michael!” she snapped,
but he made her smile in his usual style
“Saint Michael,” he corrected, hands raised, cock-eyed like the Pope.

Granny sighed and remembered her young boy, church leader,
The prodigal son but bound to become a man of the cloth
(until he met my mum), before he had learned for himself

that there was far more fighting inside the Church than anywhere else,
besides he wouldn’t be limited by the old sea-blown merchants of wrath
or their fisher-wives.

He’d always read the books on my required-reading list
long before me. We scoured the second-hand bookshops (no longer searching
for the Famous Five) before ending up in Dillons or Waterstones.

“Education is wasted on the young,” he’d tease,
drooling over Jefferson and Robey or Eagleton’s Literary Theory
and buying an extra copy of M. H. Abrams’ Glossary.

I was half-inclined to agree and happy to see
he’d already underlined (bright blue) all the exciting bits for me.
Mainly, my brother slept at any hour

and queried having to do the so-called dishes. “It’s her turn!”
he yelled, but I was enjoying my new Staedtler pen
and re-underlining the words again.

“Brother, the books are much harder than the dishes.
My books are not, as it were, washed-up dishes,
as you will learn from experience.”

This is a parody inspired by Heather Phillipson’s poem, Relational Epistemology. Read it here along with Carol Rumens’s commentary.

The Library

Through Monday’s window the runners seek
refuge with the keepers and the spenders

And the rain falls hard on a flat tin roof
sheltering the broken and the menders

And here we watch and weep or browse
among the borrowers and the lenders.