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.


Who is the serious man

Wrapped up inside a newspaper?

Outside, the sky is unbelievably blue

Moonface girl collects this memory

But who are you? 


To Glasgow moonface girl would fly

Through twilight in her parents’ car

The horizon low, grey and far

A tangle of orange lights can’t compare

With the magnificent moon’s solemn glare


Moonface girl collects memories

On a red sofa we siblings slept

When it arrived with Granny and Grandad

And all of their things as they wept

We were delirious with excitement

Granny hovered over as we snuggled and wriggled

If I should die before I wake, we giggled

Poor Granny sighed


Moonface girl collects memories

Usually hidden unheard at family gatherings

Her moonface in the curtains with the birds

Listening to Chopin or Danny Boy

Sing they cry

Half-serious, half-moon she sighs

They laugh and hug

The bonnie Dundee weaver appears

And the ruckus begins and then the tears


Moonface girl collects memories

Swinging on the branches with the birds in the curtains

Embarrassed English moon beams all over the place

She doesn’t know where to look


Moonface girl collects memories

Long goodbyes I-love-you-I-LOVE-YOU-sobs and sighs

Wet faces, wet kisses and hugs in the rain

Again and again


Mother clears away the tears

Dad dries up



The wide-eyed moon and the girl exchange glances

And quietly they steal away and take their chances

The piano, the tears, the songs

The giggles, the sighs, the long goodbyes

The red sofa, the newspaper, the rain

The birds in the curtains, and the blame

And all of this grief for you

Father’s brother, Granny’s son

All this grief for you

And long-gone skies, unbelievably blue

(artwork: Man Reading Newspaper Artwork  from )

Thanks to dVerse: Poetics and the Beautiful Sadness for the interesting post, prompt, and links to other poets.  I thought this poem written a few weeks ago might fit!