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Things My Mum Taught Us


My mum told us to
Chihuahua food properly
Before we swallow

For Valentine’s Day

“Innocence is the clarity with which the self shows forth the self. Love is the respect we feel for innocence.”
– John Hawkes.
“I breathe in others’ pain
And breathe out peace and joy again.”
– The Book Of Guff.

Or Not

Dead Pine Tree


Evergreen, that tree
The innocent child believed
Yet all things pass

A Child’s View Of The World II


As a child I believed that germs
Must arrive from Germany
(An idea only reinforced
When I contracted German measles)

Though no order forms, invoices
Cash or receipts changed hands
Similarly I thought ’twas Mark Twain
Who most likely invented string

First Love


Meaning, contentment
Passion and deep devotion
Then it all goes wrong



Mary enjoyed going to the little Sunday school every Sunday while her mummy and daddy stayed on in the big church for the sermon. She thought “Jesus first, yourself last, and others in between” was very clever, because it hid a secret important idea inside a small word and used its letters to help you remember it. She knew what “joy” meant. It was sort of tingly and friendly and made her smile and want to jump about. Singing often made her feel joy. One of her favourites was “Jesus wants me for a sunbeam”. It had a lovely tune. She knew about sunbeams. She had sat in them on sunny days, or stretched out her hand so that a sunbeam would fall on it. Sunbeams were warm and friendly. She sometimes thought about what she should do to be a sunbeam, if that was something Jesus wanted her to do. She wanted to do something for him. He sounded so nice, always helping people or explaining things to them, giving them food and making them better when they were ill. She wanted to be like him when she grew up. She would be warm and friendly like a sunbeam, help people and look after them. She smiled at that thought and, yes, it did make her feel joy. She understood! She decided she would listen carefully every Sunday to what the teacher was saying and see what other important ideas she could learn.

One Sunday morning, after singing and a prayer, the teacher started to talk about God. Mary found the things she was saying very interesting and tried to understand what she was hearing, but she wasn’t quite clear about all of it. When the teacher finished her talk she asked the class if anyone had any questions. Mary put her hand up.

“Yes Mary.”

“Is that right, that God is everywhere in the whole world?”

“Yes, that’s right.

“So is He even here, in this room?”

“That’s right.”

Mary picked up the empty jam jar that was sitting on the table in front of her. They were going to do some painting later.

“And is He even in this jam jar?”

“Yes, Mary. That’s right.”

Mary clapped her hand over the top of the jar, sealing it tight.

“Got Him!” she exclaimed with a big smile.

…..– From The Book Of Guff.

Holly Cole – I Don’t Wanna Grow Up


A follow-on to “Tiny Details” (

Tiny Details


Tiny details make all the difference
When slicing a sandwich in two
Always cut from corner to corner
Leaving two sweetly inviting triangles

Don’t go straight down the middle
Reducing it to crude boring boxes
Not just that either – for the taste
Is appreciably more elegant

What nonsense, I hear you saying
How childish, how ridiculous
Will he never grow up, mature?
Abandon fantasy, accept the real world?

In the meantime he is quite happy
Carefully biting off each corner
So now he has two little cottages
While they are stuck with office blocks

A Small Boy’s Favourite Word


“Look at me,” he says.
“I can butter my own bread.”
Pause … “It’s AMAZING!!!”

For Martin


Deep in your room,
out beyond birth and death,

and all around you
a reassuring chaos.

Oh you always remind me
I am easy to forget.

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