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The Argument

You could not.

Yes, I could.


You would not.

But, yes, I would.


You should not.



You will not!



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Cynthia at Manchester Central Library, Dec. 7

So many persons asked to be informed if I ever did Grandpa Died Suddenly again. This is late notification. Sorry!  Time: 6:00 to 8:00. No charge.

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Worthless Women

In our sophisticated societies

even today

there are men

who 'breed' sons as a re-issue of themselves

for inheritance of power;

and daughters as bargaining chips

for the extension of power

by amalgamation of resources.

Children whose worth is solely dependent

upon their value in 'the Tribal Game'.

Through ignorance or denial

the value of a woman

lies in the male'...

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The Moon is a Thing

The beauty of the moon's lovely light

Pours equally

Upon king or slave, castle or cave.

Birth or death.

It suffers not the moral skeins

Of lies and truth -

That purview of Power.

The moon is a thing.


And this amazing thing

Has fired human imagination

To evolve esoteric meaning

From Forever ... whenever that was.


Surely a sense of humour

In the Unive...

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May I say, today ...

May I say, today, how much I value WOL.

Tomorrow I might be dead.

I have enjoyed fine friends

Heart to heart, touch to touch,

And I still do.

But thought committed to hard copy

Is another dimension entirely.


Faceless, WOL 'friends' may be

But formless they are not.

I find the essence of 'life'

Pulsing through these electronic pages.

Thank you for such courage ...

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Playing With Baby

'eyes and nose … fingers and toes'

She sing-songs softly

touching lightly

the baby folded in her arms:

a feather of feeling

like moths upon a flower;

caress of sound -

the sough of gentle wind.


Cooing and smiling

they play with each other.

Nothing in the world

more beautiful

than that tiny mouth

those bright eyes -

the pressure of response

with its...

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Fireflies on a summer's night

Are a wondrous sight

Flitting from weed to flower

Casting long across the lawn

To a far bed of blossoms and herbs

        flashing … flashing ...

        their little lanterns.


Reflected in our eyes grown wide

Our mouths little tunnels of 'OOOH!'

We watch, silent as grass

As twilight deepens

And the tiny bugs pass


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WAR KIDS (Prime Parental Reproofs)


'Use your head for something besides keeping your ears apart!'

Probably my favourite; it had such punch, with flair.


'A stitch in time saves nine. It also saves lives. Keep your gear in shape.

It could be the difference between life and death.'

A bit harder to follow, but very applicable to almost anything with a little imagination.


'The bugs will get you fas...

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Reflections on Humanity (and Other Things Too)

The potential of the plant is in the seed.

The potential of the animal is in the egg.

How could I perceive myself

As greater than the seed or the egg?

Just because I'm human?

The 'thinking' animal, you say.

Reason and dexterity – and all that jazz!

Minute manipulation of mind and limb

Spinning the wheel of species' progress.


But, you know, if you put a mark on a whe...

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'Puttin' on the Ritz'

One of my mother's favourite stories

told to four young daughters

while driving to Grandma's house 

passing the miles away with riveting entertainment 

she, sitting in the front, angled round to the back seat

where we, all feet and elbows, are absolutely agog.


'It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon in midsummer.

My girlfriends and I dressed up

to stroll the promenade by...

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The Farmer's Wife

'Easy, Boss....So-oo-oo, Boss.'

The small barn is dim, stuffy with rotting wood

the smell of summer hay, urine and fresh excrement

of rich hot cows their breaths meadow-sweet.

The building rustles with little movements

in the rafters, the old plank walls

restive animals cropping in their troughs.

Three sloe-eyed cats sleek with mice and milk

sit and mewl, and they wait


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The Lighthouse (a romance)

The flashing beam of the holy eye

Commanding the coast

Sweeps the sea and cries with Light:

'Be cautious, O Traveller!

The snarling waves about your prow

Are not so great a threat

As the devil’s teeth

Gnashing against my feet!


Steer wide. Steer strongly.

Keep your charted course

Far from the briny jaws

Howling for meat upon my fierce rocks.

Wipe the spray f...

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One Standard Poodle

When I was a young teen

I visited a good friend in another city.

She took me to spend a night

with acquaintances of her parents.

Dog breeders these people were - poodles especially.


In the house I met only two small dogs

both of them hyper with excitement

prancing about like puppets on strings.

I was to see the kennels in the morning.

We had a huge supper and lots ...

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Three Kids Having Snacks

They sit at the kitchen table

a little puffed from their brisk walk

munching biscuits, sipping drinks

the dog already snoozing on her pillow

Mummy in the lounge with her feet up.

Nobody talking.


Two sisters and their young brother -

a twelve-year-old who 'knows everything', unasked;

a nine-year-old who contradicts this presumption every time;

and the boy, six, some...

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What Do the Children Think?

I seriously wonder if

the mores by which we conduct our adult lives

are assessed and implemented

by Ages Nine/Ten.

Kids have innate character.

They are observant and honest, decisive and brutal.

They judge by the keenest survival principle:

'cause and effect according to ME!'


I think the impact of prime birthdays

19/20; 39/40; 59/60 etc.

are about quantity not q...

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The Art of Japanese Flower Arranging

Through a flower breathes the Law:

Harmony in motion to ideal.

A blossom’s beauty mirrors intuition

Our need to press the secret mind of plants

That spirit far beyond mere shape and colour.


Once picked, the power of plant

Is dispossessed of earth.

Lost is the energy of seed

Sun, wind and water

Of growth precise in given space.


A plant does not begrudge our p...

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2017the BBC introduces Japan in depth in June


I do not know the official definition of 'BEAUTY'.

I could look it up, but - No.

I shall think a bit, and consider my own criteria.

I don't see why discussing 'Beauty' should be snooty.

Therefore: 'What is Beauty?'

(And I'm off – maybe with more guts than good sense.

Join me if you wish, or say 'To hell with it' right here.)


BEAUTY is a famous Universal

probably jostli...

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The Question

One moment fast asleep

final depth before daybreak

when suddenly

quietly spoken but precise

this question:

'If I lived in an old stone cottage

on the Yorkshire moors

what colour would I paint my door?'


Instantly the vision

eyed from hovering hawk:

a stalwart little house

set deep among green hills

in clean blue isolation.

And the question so clear


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Ah … the primitive id

buried drive of sex and aggression

so thinly civilized

our basic Beast growling

claw flexing, eye fixing

ready to pounce

in dreams

slips of the tongue

flashing anger

free association


In Art -

shadows in a painting

tone of a story

plumb stone of a poem

architect's angles

bass pacing heart beat -

subplots in metaphor


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Garden Party

It was an afternoon gathering - a family shindig

BBQ – beer – strawberries and cream

People drifting about drinks in hand

All teeth and ears mooching for entertainment 

Muted chorus of shrill soprano, booming bass

Staccato yaps of children, and the dog.


To an auntie at my elbow, I said quietly

'My daughter has a fine little tree over there -

that one with the furry tru...

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Girl in a Lake

over somnolent eyes the full moon cast luminous shadows

of shifting cloud swan path shafting seductive to the shore

where she dropped her clothes by the stony shallows and

entered liquid light on jewelled feet icy lustrous pale arms

uplifted wide eyes of unwavering clarity gleaming she sank

to her knees in the bitter midnight water open palms thrust

upward reaching offering ask...

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The twins were out of the car before Dad switched off the engine.

Four years old, faster than foxes, slippery as fish.

There were rules about the park, no quarter given:

'Don't go under the fence; the wood is full of splinters.

Don't go over the top; the wire is full of barbs.

Daddy will open the gate. Wait for him.

Got that? Understood?'

They nodded and bolted.

They stoppe...

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Healing Waters

the secret, gentle, drippling brook

dropping down from stony height

sliding under flower and fern -

a cool arcanum of delight to soothe the troubled heart


the swollen ever-mounting swells

breaking in from northern seas

born in Arctic's windy caves -

a cold arcanum to appease the restless, heated mind


from long slow swells of tropic climes

a final lisp o...

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I spread the curtains wide to winter sunshine

and paused – as always - to absorb the sheer beauty

of my tall tree across the street

its black trunk writhing high with long groping branches

their twigs arching to myriad filigree.


A large crow arrowed into the neighbourhood

scoping the street - big, black and bold.

It dropped confidently into  my tree

very high up


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Laugh Control Button

We all have control buttons in our brains:

'Laugh! Don't laugh.'  'Cry! Don't cry!'  'Say something! Shut up!'  etc.

Reactions appropriately monitored - usually.

I'm pretty good with these buttons, except for ''Don't laugh.'

I don't laugh at other people's expense - usually -

but if I myself am the butt of the ridiculous

laughter leaps out brazenly - 

oh - what a word! - neve...

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The Shoe Seller

Under hot Bermuda sun one summer afternoon

my ten-year-old niece and I were strolling down a boutique-y street

window-shopping a long block of small, interesting stores.


We paused at a display of footware to admire the colourful shoes

when I spotted a man inside watching us, surely the owner-operator,

and so I smiled.


In two bounds he was on the entrance steps


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The Spanish Girl

One Saturday morning in early May she was brought to me

a seven-year-old girl fresh from Spanish Dominica

for 'help with English' in her new life in Bermuda:

a child of grace standing tall before me

chocolate skin lightly flushed as flower petals

lips like rubies and black bayonet eyes.

On her thick plaits bounced yellow ribbons

pleated as crisply as her daffodil frock and w...

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