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The Hounds Of Spring

March 21, 2011

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When the hounds of spring are on winter’s traces,
The mother of months in meadow or plain
Fills the shadows and windy places
With lisp of leaves and ripple of rain —Swinburne

Today, according to English (and Persian) tradition, is the first day of spring. According to the ancient Greeks, it marks the annual return of Persephone from the underworld (where she is fated to spend much of the year, having tasted of the food of Haides–a handful of pomegranate seeds).

A time of re-birth and renewal, of growth and a promise of fecundity: you know–good stuff like that.

The sap is rising, the juices are flowing and verse should fall from your fingertips virtually unbidden…that’s the theory: if you don’t like it, I have others.

So like the reckless crocus, stick your head up out of the mulch and blossom: let’s have spring poems.

173 Comments
  1. Reine permalink
    March 21, 2011 3:13 PM

    Rakesong

    Zounds! The hounds have sprung for spring
    And you have sprung on me
    The news that your own hound
    Is barking up another tree

    Come again? You’ve sown a seed
    Turned over a new leaf
    Your bulb burst forth, I’ll bet it did
    A kind of bas-relief

    And now grows a reminder
    Of your bulbous extrusion
    Wherever did you find her,
    Was it down at Sonic Fusion?

    My dear, I grant you pardon
    She’s welcome to your skill
    Down in her ladygarden
    It’ll be a shortlived thrill

    • MeltonMowbray permalink
      March 21, 2011 3:50 PM

      Excellent, and ripe enough for Autumn.

    • Reine permalink
      March 21, 2011 4:05 PM

      I most gratefully catch your bouquet and fire back one of purple crocuses for your royal wedding poem.

    • hic8ubique permalink
      March 22, 2011 12:44 AM

      Egad, the merry lads are straying already. Thoroughly entertaining, Re ;)

  2. mishari permalink*
    March 21, 2011 9:08 PM

    Harshness vanished. A sudden softness
    has replaced the meadows’ wintry grey.
    Rilke, Early Spring


    Blues For Spring

    And what of those who hate the soft?
    Whose natural home is wintry grey?
    You hymn the singing lark aloft
    but all I see is easy prey.

    Spring brings growth, renewal, life:
    that’s the song you’d have me sing;
    but false hope cuts me like a knife:
    a children’s toy, a tawdry thing.

    Spring means onset of decay:
    here’s where death will sink his roots;
    all of nature’s bright display
    is nothing more than graveyard shoots.

    Embrace the harshness, hail the grey:
    a fool is dazzled by the sun;
    eat your pain and greet the day
    when this mad race is finally done.

  3. MeltonMowbray permalink
    March 21, 2011 10:51 PM

    Outstanding, if rather pessimistic. A really tough subject.

  4. mishari permalink*
    March 21, 2011 11:03 PM

    Thanks, chief. Not really my own sentiments, more an exercise in ventriloquism.


    You make me feel so young
    You make me feel like spring
    has sprung
    Every time I see you grin
    I’m such a happy in–
    dividual…

    You Make Me Feel So Young, Mack Gordon & Joe Medrow

    You Make Me Feel So Sprung

    You make me feel so lame
    you make me feel like Franco’s Spain
    and every time I hear you speak
    I’d like to punch you
    in the mouth, you freak.

    I wish you’d shut your trap
    and just stop spouting endless crap
    I’d like to hit you in the head
    until you fall down dead

    You and I are just incompatible, dear
    I could cheerfully throttle you and
    stuff you in a hole I’ve dug near here.

    You make me feel so sprung
    I feel I’ve reached the bottom rung
    and stepped into a pile of dung
    I swear, you’re going to get me hung.

  5. MeltonMowbray permalink
    March 21, 2011 11:19 PM

    I hope you’re ventriloquising there, or thinking of David Cameron.

    You and I
    are just like a couple of tots
    singing across the meadow (?)
    picking up lots of forget-me-nots

    Loathsome.

  6. MeltonMowbray permalink
    March 21, 2011 11:20 PM

    swinging across the meadow, I mean.

  7. hic8ubique permalink
    March 21, 2011 11:25 PM

    intermezzo…

    • mishari permalink*
      March 21, 2011 11:50 PM

      “…cigarettes and whisky and wild, wild women they’ll drive you crazy, they’ll drive you insane…”

      Wonderful. I hadn’t seen that in over 30 years. Thanks, hic.

  8. mishari permalink*
    March 21, 2011 11:27 PM

    In fact, I love spring. I was out and about today, learning to hobble (still have one leg and one arm in plaster), supported by my wife, whose patience is infinite (mind you, I suppose it would have to be–she is married to me, after all).

    It was all very cheering, seeing the world come back to life. But as you say, MM, it’s a difficult subject simply because it’s hard to say anything that hasn’t been said a thousand times before.

    I thought that one way around the problem would be to approach the subject from a contrarian viewpoint, hence my seeming outpouring of anti-spring verse (I think Reine took a similar approach, with great success). I wouldn’t want anyone to think I was a curmudgeon, though…

    East End Mammoth

    In winter I sleep like a log;
    the dark and the chill
    and my beaten down will
    curl up close
    like a family dog.

    Spring makes me fret and itch
    and the sight of some son-of-a-bitch
    vacantly smiling
    as though God had personally
    gift-wrapped today for him
    makes my heart die inside me.

    You know where you are in the dark;
    you know what you feel in the cold;
    a walk in the bleak, frozen park
    as the early sun gilds it with gold.

  9. MeltonMowbray permalink
    March 21, 2011 11:50 PM

    I’m glad to hear you’re up and about, and knocking the poems out at high speed. I was fiddling with a rondeau earlier, but I don’t think it’s going to work. I’ll have to sleep on it.

    Mrs M’s coming up for the march on Saturday. Better stay off the streets, Long John.

  10. hic8ubique permalink
    March 22, 2011 12:43 AM

    Yes, up and about with support having attained the one month milestone.
    I called the Muppets in to moderate the tone, so that is welcome news. I was feeling we were due for a wee update.

    It’s been snowing here today; inspiration may dawdle.

    • MeltonMowbray permalink
      March 22, 2011 11:01 AM

      A wee update? Has the Prince suffered an injury we have not been informed about?

  11. MeltonMowbray permalink
    March 22, 2011 10:58 AM

    Spring Rondeau

    It’s spring again, you’ll like this green,
    the colours are so bright and clean,
    everything is fresh and bright
    in this wonderful vernal light:
    you know what all those new shoots mean.

    But actually I’m not that keen,
    this burst of growth just seems obscene,
    and all that symbolism trite.
    It’s spring again,

    as usual I’m full of spleen,
    I think I have the autumn gene,
    so take that gaudy green and white
    and place it somewhere out of sight,
    I wish I was in quarantine:
    it’s spring again.

  12. mishari permalink*
    March 22, 2011 11:03 AM

    Excellent rondeau, MM. I think taking the ‘anti-spring’ approach makes it less likely to sound hackneyed.

  13. MeltonMowbray permalink
    March 22, 2011 11:06 AM

    Yes, it’s just about impossible to say anything positive on the subject, though I would be pleased to be proved wrong.

  14. mishari permalink*
    March 22, 2011 11:22 AM

    Villanelle For Rising Saps

    I do despise many a thing
    but most of all I hate:
    aught that makes damn poets sing

    How sadly does the poet cling
    to tired tropes and prate;
    I do despise many a thing.

    What can a dull-wit poet bring
    or say that does not grate?
    aught that makes damn poets sing

    The verse is bland, there is no sting:
    it’s all been said–too late;
    I do despise many a thing.

    But still the tired words they sling
    their fancies don’t abate;
    aught that makes damn poets sing.

    Oh, give the fools a wakening,
    there’s nothing special about spring;
    I do despise many a thing:
    aught that makes damn poets sing.

  15. mishari permalink*
    March 22, 2011 11:35 AM

    Sour Spring Sonnet

    The bird is on the bloody wing,
    the snail is on the thorn,
    the sun smiles down on everything:
    I wish I’d not been born.

    The worm is turning in the earth
    the cuckoo plays its trick,
    and I, I curse my very birth:
    this weather makes me sick.

    To love, the young men’s fancies turn,
    the maiden’s fancies too;
    that ‘love’ crap makes my stomach churn:
    it makes me want to spew.

    I long for this damn spring to pass:
    you can stick spring up your arse.

    • MeltonMowbray permalink
      March 22, 2011 3:19 PM

      Great stuff. Spring is definitely working for you, unless you were storing it up during your period of unconsciousness.

  16. Reine permalink
    March 22, 2011 1:18 PM

    Prolific and terrific output gentlemen…

    Spring Rushes In

    Full of welcome for itself
    Like an overbearing aunt
    Upsets the status quo
    With its daffodil-drawn cant

    Our bodies, that were glad to clasp
    In winter’s icy gloom,
    Are less keen to clamp together
    Under balmy springtide moon

    Also, there’s the irksome problem
    Of storing extra quilts
    And needs must turn attention
    To overgrowing winter guilts

    Ah, spring my arse,
    I’m no hurrier
    Into your delights
    My legs may be less furrier
    But at what price?

  17. Reine permalink
    March 22, 2011 1:21 PM

    *less furrier (poetic licence).

    • Reine permalink
      March 22, 2011 3:31 PM

      And continuing on the downer theme…

      Season of Contrast

      The lambs gambol
      You gamble
      The trees bud
      While you rot
      My life’s one long preamble
      You drunken old sot

      You promised me riches
      You promised me love
      Now you slump in your breeches
      No treasure in your trove

      I long for renewal
      Of life not of vows
      Spring is fresh pain to me
      The world rubs my nose
      In its larder of plenty

      Its cup runneth over
      Mine’s lime stained and broken
      No quatrefoil clover
      No talisman token
      Will mend me now

  18. MeltonMowbray permalink
    March 22, 2011 3:29 PM

    Nice. Bloody aunts. Like Spring in their changeability, one day handing out the fivers, the next freezing you with a look.

    • MeltonMowbray permalink
      March 22, 2011 10:45 PM

      I’d forgotten that you are an aunt. Sorry about that. I’m sure you’re strictly a fivers one.

  19. hic8ubique permalink
    March 22, 2011 4:28 PM

    I had one of those Aunties (actually father’s cousin’s wife)
    used to blow in from the West Indies
    and try to make me do outrageous things like make my bed and brush my hair.
    Now she looks like Plastic Surgery Barbie. We still aren’t friends.

    I’m off to my digital mammogram
    (doesn’t that sound a bit rude?)
    I’m feeling quite bouncy and frankly am
    out of synch with the prevalent mood :p

  20. Reine permalink
    March 22, 2011 5:07 PM

    I tried to rise to the challenge in describing my woodland walk yesterday but…

    FOR MM, CLOSE BUT NO CIGAR

    Open your eyes and your ears
    Listen to spring’s trumpet blast
    Feast your eyes on the yellow,
    the white and the blue
    Remembrance of all childhoods past

    Flare your nostrils and deeply inhale
    The scent of the bluebell and crocus
    Snowdrop and daffodil
    Drooping and erect
    Bring the rebirthing world into focus

    Wend your way through the woods for a walk
    Jaunty, a pep in your step
    Wild garlic assaults you
    River rapids may taunt you
    Run and jump and then over you lep

    Avoid at all costs the dog shit
    That peppers the idyll foregoing
    Bear no grudge towards the dog
    Of the steaming brown log
    It’s its master a kicking is owing

    • hic8ubique permalink
      March 23, 2011 12:57 AM

      (pleading ‘Not Guilty’)

    • MeltonMowbray permalink
      March 23, 2011 2:03 PM

      Decent effort, I meant to say last night (WordPress seemed to be having some problems), but I see you succumbed in the final stanza. Still struggling with my entirely positive response to Spring.

    • Reine permalink
      March 23, 2011 2:39 PM

      I always succumb, MM. Poor willpower.

  21. hic8ubique permalink
    March 23, 2011 1:55 PM

    Nobody’s Auntie

    The father went
    home to Senegal.
    We never met.

    Placards were unattended
    on pavement, dumbly vigilant
    outside the faceless
    Brookline clinic, their
    crusaders on coffee break.
    (A year or two afterward
    the reception girl was shot.)

    Couples holding hands
    inside, a counsellor in specs,
    then you went in alone.

    I took you home, numb
    and white
    in the dark blue Honda.

    How old would she be now?
    or he? I don’t ask you.
    You asked me
    I took you
    and kept your secret.

    • Reine permalink
      March 23, 2011 2:37 PM

      Oh that’s good.

  22. MeltonMowbray permalink
    March 23, 2011 2:10 PM

    Grim, but most effective.

    • hic8ubique permalink
      March 23, 2011 3:10 PM

      Thanks MM, and Re, I appreciate that, it may develop a bit more…
      such a stark experience. I still feel it, and neither of my sisters has had a child, though they both wanted to at one time. We refer to them as ‘the Aunties’.

  23. Reine permalink
    March 23, 2011 2:59 PM

    Spring Succumbent

    We broke the springs on the bed
    That March morning
    I could see the cherry blossom branches
    Bouncing to your rhythm
    Tickling the window
    As if to say “we see you”

    The Bridget’s cross on the far wall
    Seemed to echo their cry
    I was momentarily distracted remembering the story
    Of her red-eared cow, always hungry
    Animal instincts

    You said it reminded you of a position from the Kama Sutra
    And I marvelled at your exoticism
    (and wondered where the heads went)
    Of course, I played the worldly card
    But hoped you wouldn’t demand No. 53
    (not knowing then what it was)

    I admired the daffodils on the landing
    And you said your sister brought them
    I didn’t find out until much later
    That you were married to her
    But by then I, like the season,
    Had moved on.

  24. hic8ubique permalink
    March 23, 2011 3:15 PM

    ‘We seeee you’
    Oh the days of beds moving across the floor.
    curious about no. 53 now… still laughing…

  25. Reine permalink
    March 23, 2011 3:20 PM

    Spring rolls, don’t look Hic. Preserve your purity.

    • hic8ubique permalink
      March 23, 2011 3:28 PM

      too late.
      Holding her up by the thighs? Like a wheelbarrow? What is the advantage of that?

  26. Reine permalink
    March 23, 2011 3:37 PM

    She doesn’t get her knees dirty?

  27. mishari permalink*
    March 23, 2011 4:57 PM

    One of the “big three” Wordsworth houses in the Lake District has been seriously damaged by fire after a suspected electrical fault.–The Groan, today

    That’s what happens when you let a fucking poet wire the house. Daffodils, they can do; but they don’t know shit about circuit-breakers and 60 amp fuses.

    I love this re-interpretation of a childhood favourite, Roger Miller’s ‘Dang Me‘:

  28. mishari permalink*
    March 23, 2011 5:57 PM

    By the way, thanks to the leeches at Sony Records, if you’re in Germany or the US, you won’t be able to hear ‘Dang Me’. The solution is simplicity itself: copy the url from the address bar at the top of the page; go HERE and enter the PolHom url in the box. You’ll be brought back here but YouTube will think you’re in the UK. Problem solved.

    • hic8ubique permalink
      March 23, 2011 9:42 PM

      ‘An error occurred, please try again later.’
      but do I appreciate the extra help… will try again.

  29. March 23, 2011 8:06 PM

    I’d like to write about the joys of Spring:
    the bleating lambs, and all that sort of thing
    but here in Doha, 35 degrees:
    enough to wet Persephone’s chemise

    • hic8ubique permalink
      March 23, 2011 9:37 PM

      If the topic isn’t working
      write something else
      don’t stand there shirking.
      You’ve escaped the Russian sleet
      and now you’re bleating
      about the heat?
      Chemises are for taking off
      for long siestas in the buff.
      English roses, Deshi sirens,
      We know you like those hot environs ;)

  30. mishari permalink*
    March 23, 2011 9:57 PM

    I just tried it and it worked fine, hic. Give it another go…

    Poor Simon…I’m guessing you burn easily. Have you become nocturnal (many Gulf residents, including the natives, do in summer…it’s going to get hotter, by the way).

    • reine permalink
      March 23, 2011 10:02 PM

      Just the ticket for a wind down. Good choice Mish.

    • hic8ubique permalink
      March 23, 2011 10:26 PM

      Third time and still no luck, M. Don’t trouble over it, but just fyi, it takes me to a reduced scale version of the page, but with the error message in the youtube box.

    • March 25, 2011 8:20 AM

      It’s true I burn but never, ever bleat
      There are advantages to sweaty heat
      I sleep all afternoon, until it’s late
      Then up, asana, coffee, conjugate
      a verb like رسم: this mental drill
      and good routine prevents my feeling ill

    • March 25, 2011 8:28 AM

      By the way, Hic, I hope you don’t mind if I put that little exchange as my blog post today? You have an hour to object…

  31. mishari permalink*
    March 23, 2011 10:40 PM

    hic, try copying and pasting the following url into the box (substitute ‘www’ for the astericks):

    http://***.youtube.com/watch?v=qieLPwfkrF0

    • hic8ubique permalink
      March 23, 2011 10:52 PM

      I get the Sony sorry message.

  32. hic8ubique permalink
    March 23, 2011 10:40 PM

    Here’s another bad behaviour song…

    • hic8ubique permalink
      March 23, 2011 10:41 PM

      ? no my mistake, that wasn’t it, try again…

  33. pinkroom permalink
    March 24, 2011 12:01 AM

    In 2011
    (even the ladybirds
    are verminous
    fuckers that bite)

    A pound-shop survived winter.
    .
    A pub closed-down in Tring.

    A lazy misdiagnosis.

    A heartfelt song by Sting.

    A first school-choice rejected.

    A mobile’s fatuous ring.

    These are
    the sights and the sounds of

    now

    “What to Look for in Spring”.

  34. MeltonMowbray permalink
    March 24, 2011 3:55 PM

    The Spring Collection

    This truly fabulous new collection
    was previewed today in a selection
    by Heilo! editor Freda Rosenberg
    at the new arena in Nuremburg.

    For evening wear the predominant theme
    is basically black, a little extreme,
    but the formal cut is somewhat relieved
    by silver symbols and crests of oak leaves.

    Knee-length black boots are tremendously hip,
    accessorised with Luger and dog whip,
    the contrasting red bands around the arm
    do give the outfits a commanding charm.

    For casual wear there’s an informal suit,
    made from a rather harsh untreated jute,
    in a fetching stripe of black and white bars
    with a striking motif of yellow stars

    appliquéd to the facing of the coat
    which adds a stunningly exclusive note.
    It’s a wearable addition to the show,
    but you’ll need to be a double zero!

    These garments display true couture passion,
    and a real love of fascism, sorry, fashion,
    every item carries a peculiar stamp,
    it’s absolutely concentration camp!

    • hic8ubique permalink
      March 24, 2011 5:17 PM

      Scary good, MM… flawless amalgamation of two extremes. Your penultimate stanza nails it mercilessly. (and I just got the play on camp)

    • March 24, 2011 8:08 PM

      (unplugs PC, gets papers in order and waits patiently for knock on door)

    • mishari permalink*
      March 24, 2011 9:07 PM

      Fine poem, you old goose-stepper, you…

  35. reine permalink
    March 24, 2011 6:33 PM

    MM, sometimes you are just “totes fab”.

  36. MeltonMowbray permalink
    March 24, 2011 7:44 PM

    Thanks, gals.

    No resemblance to anyone living or dead intended, of course.

  37. MeltonMowbray permalink
    March 24, 2011 10:42 PM

    UK government declares war on its citizens, civil war in Libya, standard war in Afghanistan, natural and potential nuclear disaster in Japan and…

    Fire Breaks Out In Bin
    By David Newble – Thursday, March 24, 2011

    FIREFIGHTERS were called to Seaclose Park, Newport, last night (Wednesday) to tackle a blaze in a wheelie bin.

    Emergency crews took ten minutes to put out the blaze which began at 8.33pm.
    The fire is believed to have started accidentally.

  38. mishari permalink*
    March 24, 2011 11:13 PM

    I can’t believe The New York Times missed that story…

  39. reine permalink
    March 24, 2011 11:27 PM

    Watching a documentary (made in 2000) on BBC4 about people finding love again in their twilight years after marriage breakup or death of a spouse; uplifting, notwithstanding that some of the grown up kids are a bit put out (fearing the inheritance slipping away I suspect). One single lady called Edna was a real goer; she didn’t bother tying the knot again. They returned to see how they were all getting on ten years later and the caption under her photo read “Edna has had seven boyfriends, six died and the seventh is very nervous”. God bless her.

    Onsra … was that the word referred to on POTW about falling in love for the last time… how would one really know?

  40. HenryLloydMoon permalink
    March 25, 2011 9:26 AM

    That spring

    My eyebrows arched approval at your choice
    Of Twiglets in a quiet Bayswater Spar;
    That first frisson: the trilling of your voice
    As I proposed a candlelit wine bar.

    We cut a dash, like Bogart and Bacall.
    Quarter-lights open, parked by Lovers’ Rock,
    A barking dog, a distant caterwaul
    Were not enough to put me off my stroke.

    That spring we motored far and nation-wide
    For torrid afternoons; with Sue Lawley
    And pizza in the evening, bona fide
    Al fresco dining, molto pastorale.

    Rustic Allegro barrelling along,
    Then stopping; as a prelude to birdsong.

    • Reine permalink
      March 25, 2011 10:47 AM

      Wonderful Henry. I particularly like the last six lines.

    • MeltonMowbray permalink
      March 25, 2011 5:23 PM

      Triffic, HLM. Ah, the old Allegro, known as the Adagio to pretentious youths such as myself.

  41. Reine permalink
    March 25, 2011 1:53 PM

    Springtime

    For a fellow who found “r’s” difficult to roll
    The Producers was not the wisest choice
    Still, you thought it very droll
    And who I was I to be the nagging voice?

    Producer, director and lead tenor
    You wore several hats that season
    None of them a winner
    But you couldn’t see the reason

    The audience rolled in the aisles
    You thought it was intentional
    They laughed at, not with you, in their smiles
    Their sneering most conventional

    When you sang Springtime
    They joined in the chorus
    “Spwingtime” sounded odd to you
    But you stayed decorous

    Still, it rang in your ears
    And the tears stung your eyes
    Opened and closed within hours
    In wetwospect, wise

    • MeltonMowbray permalink
      March 25, 2011 5:00 PM

      Cwuel, but funny.

  42. MeltonMowbray permalink
    March 25, 2011 5:01 PM

    Cold Spring

    It’s springtime, and now the early vanguard
    of the coming summer puts on its green
    and a warm front touches the carnal scene,
    but my lady’s garden is still frozen hard.

    The snow lies thick on every hill and mound,
    and though I shovel like a man possessed
    her Antarctic region is unimpressed,
    I gain no purchase on the unyielding ground.

    My natural heat can’t dissolve this snow,
    whose blocks her psychic Eskimos hew
    into a species of mental igloo
    where the unwelcome visitor cannot go.

    My excavation lacks technique, I fear,
    or another’s shovel has been digging here.

  43. March 25, 2011 5:45 PM

    A garden that’s been frozen hard,
    where icicles, those toothy shards,
    have blocked the entrance we desire
    is better scorched with rampant fire
    Take the old shovel, swing it deep
    and spread the seed round in a heap

    • reine permalink
      March 25, 2011 8:01 PM

      Spring’s a bit shit or bust
      In matters of musth
      Don’t you know

      Think Hero and Leander
      And let your mind wander
      Although

      Ice takes some breaking
      If spring love you are making
      Go slow

      Should you be subjected
      To an ice pick directed
      Down low

      Press your soles together
      To induce clement weather
      Melt snow

      Then gently admit it
      Though teeth may be gritted
      Oh…Oh…

      (Then smoke a cigarette)

  44. MeltonMowbray permalink
    March 26, 2011 12:05 AM

    For me tobacco is a thing of the past, more’s the pity. A bag of Maltesers or a Creme Egg would be an acceptable substitute.

    I hope Dr Rosen won’t be leading the shock troops of the SWP into battle tomorrow. I have instructed my dear wife to scarper at the first sign of trouble but I fear her family’s instinctive urge to protest at injustice may trump my advice. The Code Of The Mowbrays is to run, or failing that assume a cringing posture and touch the forelock. Defeat is at least postponed for a time.

    • Reine permalink
      March 26, 2011 12:16 AM

      For me too, MM. I’m quite sure it was never a good look, coughing and spluttering and burning holes in the bed linen (which of course were just sheets back in the day).

      To borrow a phrase from my late lamented Granny, may the Mother of the highway protect Mrs. M on her crusade. Stash a couple of Creme Eggs in the locker in case she needs to unwind afterwards.

  45. Captain Ned permalink
    March 26, 2011 12:29 AM

    I would be almost proud to die under the command of Herr Doktor Rosen. He has many sensible political things to say – just so long as he doesn’t mention anything about poetry. I remember a book of children’s poetry he edited; it was very good, so long as you skipped over anything by Herr Doktor Rosen himself. What odd child would linger over Rosen when you can move swiftly on to Edwin Morgan?

    Some lovely poems here. Pinkroom’s expert artistry always brings an admiringly sardonic smile to my face, while Reine’s ‘Springtime’ is a classic. Melton Mowbray is quite indefatigably skilful. I will soon be posting my own contribution, but in the meantime, here is this, which I think is quite good:

    • Reine permalink
      March 26, 2011 10:02 AM

      Thank you Ned (unless you meant classic pile of shite!). I am off to wander the provinces…

  46. Captain Ned permalink
    March 26, 2011 12:35 AM

    Oh by Jove. Polly Toynbee is on our side. We are DOOMED!

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/mar/25/london-march-for-alternative

  47. HenryLloydMoon permalink
    March 26, 2011 7:49 AM

    Alarm Clock Britain
    Once shy, twice bitten
    March, or the moment’s gone
    And the snooze rings on.

    How the British love scandals!
    The enslaved masses, an expenses fiddle!
    Cut and slash them with our knives!
    Stanley up their stellar lives!

    How the British love handles!
    The Kettled Klasses? The Squeezed Middle!
    Return to The Stepford Wives!
    Hourglass the 9-to-5s!

    Alarm Clock Britain
    Twice shagged, once smitten
    March, or the month is gone
    And the hour goes on.

  48. MeltonMowbray permalink
    March 26, 2011 12:55 PM

    Thanks Reine, Cap’n. Quality poem there, HLM.

    Looks to be a decent size march. I haven’t spotted Mrs M as yet. I’m sure she’s looking forward to the speech by Ed Milliband. A thrilling prospect.

  49. HenryLloydMoon permalink
    March 26, 2011 2:43 PM

    Ta, MM. The quality on here recently has been so high I’ve felt intimidated.

    Well, I don’t have Sky and can’t tune into the barney on the streets as youngsters are monopolising the box, so I’d better walk the dog. I predict a FAIL across the bored (sic).

  50. mishari permalink*
    March 26, 2011 2:55 PM

    You’re right, Hank…so it’s high time I lowered the general quality a notch or three:

    This Be The Worst

    They fuck you up, the weathermen
    They may not mean to, but they do.
    They tell you that it’s spring again:
    The clouds are white, the skies are blue.

    But they were fucked up in their turn
    By old hacks with their maps and charts
    Who either warned that sun will burn
    Or told you there’d be rain in parts.

    Man hands poppycock on to man.
    It multiplies like damn bacteria.
    Get out as early as you can,
    the weather’s just like damn Siberia.

  51. March 26, 2011 3:38 PM

    I can do worse than that, Mish:

    McCluskey said every time the deputy prime minister, Nick Clegg, stepped out of doors it cost police £2m to protect him. According to PA he said:

    “We cannot afford that any more – if you were to go on a national tour we’d be bankrupt.”

    The Groan, today

    Cleggy on a national tour?
    That’d be a fucking bore
    At a squillion quid a punt?
    Better stay at home, yer cunt

  52. mishari permalink*
    March 26, 2011 7:42 PM

    I’ve been re-reading William Dalrymple’s wonderfully elegiac book on Delhi, City Of Djinns, and came across this passage that’s too good not to share. Dalrymple is speaking of the idiosyncrasies of Indian English (or ‘Hinglish) and relates his fondness for The Times of India, the reading of which is his regular morning ritual:

    “My favourite item is, however,the daily condoling. If The Times is to be believed, Indian politicians like nothing better than a quick condole; and certainly barely a day passes without a picture of, say, the Chief Minister of Haryana condoling Mrs. Parvati Chaudari over the death of Mr. Devi Chaudari, the director-general of All-India Widgets. If a businessman has died but is not considered important enough to be condoled by the Chief Minister, it is becoming fashionable for his business colleagues to take out an illustrated advertisement and condole him themselves. In my diary, I copied down this example from a November 1989 issue:

    SAD DEMISE

    With profound grief we have to condole the untimely passing of our beloved general manager MISTER DEEPAK MEHTA, thirty four years, who left us for heavenly abode in tragic circumstances (beaten to death with bedpost). Condole presented by bereft of Mehta Agencies (Private) Limited.

    A Spring Condole

    Condole me in spring
    when the birds do not sing
    and the buds on the trees will not open.
    Condolences due,
    ’cause I’m feeling quite blue:
    I’m sure that this damn spring is broken.

    • hic8ubique permalink
      March 26, 2011 11:52 PM

      A Sprinkling Dull

      Condole me in March
      when I can’t wear huarach
      -es, there’s sleet, and the mud is a pest.
      Condolence is right
      when the wind is a blight
      and the Spring leaves me feeling compressed.

    • MeltonMowbray permalink
      March 27, 2011 11:39 AM

      Fell asleep last night while writing this. Probably a good thing.

      May I ask you, sir, what is your complaint?
      Your bedpost is spattered with scarlet paint?
      Sir, you are having incorrect data,
      that is the blood of Mr Deepak Mehta.

      I am sad to hear of this oversight,
      and I shall do my best to put things right,
      now, should your bedpost be completely new,
      or will a scrub with disinfectant do?

      Yes, Mr Mehta is currently dead.
      I am sorry, but our only other bed
      witnessed the most unfortunate passing
      of valued client Jumindar Singh.

      Do not leave, sir! I can change, I am sure,
      please enter the bar, enjoy a free liqueur!

      Ahmed, make up a couch in No. 2,
      don’t mention the stabbing of Mr Babu.

  53. MeltonMowbray permalink
    March 26, 2011 11:41 PM

    Most tragic, the case of Jumindar Singh,
    who was gutted by a faulty bedspring,
    but cease condoling, just a stitch or two
    and the mattress was as good as new!

  54. mishari permalink*
    March 27, 2011 12:17 AM

    A Hotel Manager Condoles A Guest

    Welcome to the Taj Motel!
    You will enjoy your stay!
    Your room has got a funny smell?
    I do regret to say,
    The last guest had a sad demise;
    We found him about eight;
    His head was beaten to a pulp;
    The room was in a state;
    All sorted now, so please relax,
    Enjoy your tea and toast!
    Please use the phone or use the fax;
    Enjoy the bed’s new post.

  55. hic8ubique permalink
    March 27, 2011 2:13 AM

    Here’s something in honour of Mrs Melton Mowbray, who had a valiant day today/yesterday…
    (I especially like the asinine laugh mimicry)

    • MeltonMowbray permalink
      March 27, 2011 11:58 AM

      Thanks, Hic. A very impressive demonstration, as these things go. Cameron is extremely publicity-conscious, so it might have some effect.

      Inevitably Mrs M became involved in an altercation with a police officer, who (I’m told) was officiously ordering people who were already moving to ‘move along’. Obviously this had to be pointed out to him.

  56. mishari permalink*
    March 27, 2011 11:22 AM

    Say, fellas…you got a minute? Are you ready for some bad news? Because, by God, I’m the boy that has it: we’re doomed. Yes, it’s official:

    The end of the world is nigh; 21 May, to be precise. That’s the date when Harold Camping, a preacher from Oakland, California, is confidently predicting the Second Coming of the Lord. At about 6pm, he reckons 2 per cent of the world’s population will be immediately “raptured” to Heaven; the rest of us will get sent straight to the Other Place.

    “It’s getting real close. It’s really getting pretty awesome, when you think about it,” Mr Camping told The Independent on Sunday. “We’re not talking about a ball game, or a marriage, or graduating from college. We’re talking about the end of the world, a matter of being eternally dead, or being eternally alive, and it’s all coming to a head right now.”

    After 70 years of studying the Bible, he claims to have developed a system that uses mathematics to interpret prophesies hidden in it. He says the world will end on 21 May, because that will be 722,500 days from 1 April AD33, which he believes was the day of the Crucifixion. The figure of 722,500 is important because you get it by multiplying three holy numbers (five, 10 and 17) together twice. “When I found this out, I tell you, it blew my mind,” he said.

    Recent events, such as earthquakes in Japan, New Zealand and Haiti, are harbingers of impending doom, he says, as are changing social values. “All the stealing, and the lying, and the wickedness and the sexual perversion that is going on in society is telling us something,” he says. “So too is the gay pride movement. It was sent by God as a sign of the end.” —The Indy, today

    So, there you have it. Obviously, I expect to be amongst the Elect, given my life of near-sanctity and stern Christian practices. I’ll put in a good word for you lot but I can’t promise anything, so don’t bother to pack.

    • March 27, 2011 10:42 PM

      “2 per cent of the world’s population will be immediately “raptured” to Heaven; the rest of us will get sent straight to the Other Place.”

      Time to start methodically pleasuring our she-goats with urine-dipped crucifixes while chanting Coptic heresies at midnight in earnest, then. One destination features every sultry starlet, superlative dinner guest and world-changing polymath in human history… while the other is full of obese Americans with 2-dollar haircuts… and Mother Theresa, who I never really liked the look of.

    • mishari permalink*
      March 27, 2011 10:57 PM

      If you get a chance, Steven, read Christopher Hitchen’s demolition job on every dictators favourite nun and her creepy death cult, The Missionary Position: Mother Teresa in Theory and Practice. It’s a delightful deconstruction of the prune-faced old fraud.

      Amazon reviewer @dvimus puts it rather well:

      During her lifetime, Mother Teresa was as close to canonization as it was possible to get without actually being dead. The front cover of Time magazine called her a “Living Saint”. A cult of holiness surrounded her and in the eyes of the media and many politicians she could do no wrong. She was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and awarded numerous honors in the countries she visited.

      The facts however didn’t match the illusion and public perception and Christopher Hitchens had the courage to say so. He exposes her revolting attitude towards the dying, namely that they were there to die and to suffer; in that way they became closer to Christ. Care, compassion and alievement of pain were practically non-existent in her `clinics’.

      Standard clinical procedures and medical diagnosis was also spurned because they were materialistic. Provenance was to be preferred at all times. Hitchens also shows deceit was practiced as a matter of course towards those of other religions who were secretly baptized without their knowledge by sisters who were supposed to be caring for them.

      Then there is her fawning over politicians, including some of the worst despots of the latter twentieth century. The Duvalier’s of Haiti and Hoxha of her native Albania were amongst the most notoriously repressive regimes, yet as Hitchens documents, this living saint was there giving them her blessing.

      If she could preach her message against abortion and her present advocacy of unlimited population growth at the same time, so much the better. Not so much reducing the suffering in the world as adding to it would appear to be Mother Teresa’s legacy.

      There is also the little matter of money and as Hitchens points out, there is rather a lot of it, that was handed over in the name of charity or humanitarian support. Very little of this ever went to benefit the poor for whom it was intended. Rather it disappeared into unaudited bank accounts. One account in the Bronx had over $50 million dollars, yet Mother Teresa was on record as saying she wouldn’t accept altruism.

      She was quite happy to accept money from fraudsters such as Charles Keating, but ignored a letter from the man investigating Keating’s massive thefts requesting its return. It might also be asked where the money came from which allowed Teresa to fly around the world often at short notice. As far as I know, the world’s commercial airlines have never operated a policy of free seats to the religious.

      Hitchens’ book does not set out to be a hatchet job but he has not surprisingly received a fair amount of criticism for writing it. However there has never been any convincing explanations put forward by Teresa’s apologists to any of Hitchen’s criticisms, yet there has been much silence since he former living saint was hoisted to a higher plane following beatification in 2003.

      For those who are determined to see Mother Teresa as the embodiment of religious holiness nothing will convince them of anything untoward. However, if you do have doubts about the abuse of religious power and the ways in which all manner of lies are justified on the back of adherence to religious dogma, this book will provide a most illuminating window into a highly corrupt world.

    • March 28, 2011 8:15 AM

      M! I was thinking of “The Hitch” when I made the joke about Mama T, actually… wasn’t that take-down featured in Vanity Fair? I don’t own a single book by Hitchens but I seem to think I’m familiar with that particular piece. I was surprised, for example, to read that she was Romanian (or something similar) …

    • mishari permalink*
      March 28, 2011 10:32 AM

      Hitch wrote quite a few pieces on the ghoulish MT for VF. The book may well have had its genesis in a VF piece. The book was published in 1995 and I know Hitch wrote VF pieces on her after that date, so…basically, I’m pretty sure you’ve already read Hitch’s case against. The book is is more of a handy, comprehensive anti-MT polemic.

    • March 28, 2011 1:09 PM

      If only we could chop off Hitch’s neocon-befriending half… ! (Maybe it’ll just putrefy entirely and fall off with the chemo…)

  57. mishari permalink*
    March 27, 2011 11:47 AM

    The Last Bad Terza Rima

    I’ve seen my last crocus,
    the last lilac’s bloomed:
    I’ve narrowed my focus.

    Goddamn it, we’re doomed;
    we’re royally fucked
    by things we assumed.

    Like chickens, we clucked
    “The world’s such a mess”;
    we swore that it sucked.

    But I must confess:
    it’s not all that bad;
    the end, I detest.

    It drove us quite mad,
    it drove us to drink;
    but it does make me sad,
    now we stand on the brink.

    • MeltonMowbray permalink
      March 27, 2011 12:11 PM

      Nice poem.

      So Jesus snuffed it on April Fool’s? Is Mr Camping or God having a laugh?

  58. mishari permalink*
    March 27, 2011 11:55 AM

    It’s sadly tempting to crack wise over the tragic demise of Mr. Mehta (‘beaten to death with bedpost’ raises so many questions, doesn’t it?). Poor devil.

    I take it Madam MM returned to the family bosom unmolested? Or is she still occupying Fortnum & Mason? I don’t blame her…they do fabulous picnic hampers.

    • MeltonMowbray permalink
      March 27, 2011 12:05 PM

      Yes, she got back OK (see above). They dropped out in Trafalgar Sq: it took over three hours to get that far. Missing Milliband’s speech was an unavoidable tragedy.

      Luckily I got my Fortnum & Mason order in last week.

  59. mishari permalink*
    March 27, 2011 12:28 PM

    BTW, MM, I’m passing along the rest of season 3 of Southlands and the first 7 episodes of the new season of Justified (plus a few films you might enjoy). They’ll go in the post tomorrow….and I meant to ask, have you ever read Stalin’s Nose by Rory Maclean? If not, I’ll pass that along too: it’s a terrific book.

  60. MeltonMowbray permalink
    March 27, 2011 2:51 PM

    Thanks, that’s very good of you. I’ve never heard of Stalin’s Nose, I’ll look forward to reading it. We’ve been utilising the internet tv to watch Justified on the discs you sent and it works really well. It took me ages to figure out that you had to use an HDMI cable to connect tv and laptop (I couldn’t understand why it didn’t connect wirelessly). I was planning to ask you how to do it when you suddenly went offline. Most inconsiderate.

  61. March 27, 2011 5:37 PM

    Harold Camping is well known as a heretic:

    Harold Camping proclaimed the Lord’s return would be in 1994!
    Harold Camping now proclaims the Lord’s return will be in October, 20, 2011!
    Harold Camping (Family Radio) has aired Mormon advertisements!
    Harold Camping taught that NO ONE was saved between 1988 through 1994!
    Harold Camping teaches that the church age ended in 1994!
    Harold Camping teaches that the Holy Spirit is NO LONGER working in the church!
    Harold Camping teaches that EVERY church in the world is apostate!

    He’s aired Mormon advertisements! The horror of it…

  62. Captain Ned permalink
    March 27, 2011 10:48 PM

    A good turnout yesterday. The day was marred by the sight and sound of the flesh-crawlingly odious Tony McNulty, stuffing his face while muttering into a phone (giving tips to the police, no doubt). I was sorely tempted to stick my leg out and trip the bastard up, but restraint prevailed. More amusing was the scene presented by Tony Benn sitting in Hyde Park, pipe in mouth, beaming as people approached to shake his hand or crouched around his chair, listening to a few words of grandfatherly wisdom. “You shee, in my day, the Labour party had proper deshent prinshipled shoshialishtsh, not these inshinshere shervants of capitalisht oppreshorsh. Take me, for example… ”

    Spring, meanest of seasons! A time obscene,
    When come the blossom and the swelling bud
    To instil a liveliness in the blood
    And usher mortal minds to thoughts unclean.
    When bursts the sun through chaste and sober clouds,
    Virtue dies in sorrow. Triumphant sin
    Mocks winter’s silence with a hateful din
    Of lech’rous birds and merry singing crowds.
    Concupiscience spreads, a foul contagion
    Of satanic flowers, imbued with lust.
    That all this flourishing were turned to dust!
    Will nought repel its debauched invasion?
    Lord, let fall thy terrors on all the young!
    Restore snow and gloom; let spring be unsprung.

    • MeltonMowbray permalink
      March 28, 2011 4:17 PM

      That is a superb poem, Cap’n.

      I suppose Masters and Johnson were concupiscientists.

    • Reine permalink
      March 28, 2011 4:29 PM

      Second that. Marvellous Ned.

  63. mishari permalink*
    March 27, 2011 11:00 PM

    Cracking poem, Ned. That pious old fraud Benn has achieved National Landmark status simply by remaining above ground. His oleaginous son carries on the, ahem…’good work’, though.

  64. hic8ubique permalink
    March 27, 2011 11:12 PM

    F&M~ a fine old tradition, now available online. My immediate question, Mishari, is whether your nearest and dearest who are farthest and widest, that is to say your 3 dimensional friends and family, have been taking advantage of this convenience and provisioning you abundantly with the most tempting comestibles.

  65. mishari permalink*
    March 27, 2011 11:27 PM

    Yes and no, hic: everyone’s trying to tempt me with savoury edibles but I’m driving poor Inez crazy by not eating. The reasons are A. opiates kill the appetite and B. the healing process is actually impeded by eating–when your body is devoting precious resources to the business of digestion, processing and excretion, it’s diverting energy and resources away from healing.

    Ever notice what a sick or injured animal does? Crawls away and lies low; doesn’t eat, just lets the body do what it’s very, very good at: repairing itself. Of course, it seems wrong, intuitively but intuition is not a reliable guide. But explain as I might, my wife just can’t accept that not eating is good for healing. If I wasn’t such a pitiful wreck already, I think Inez would cheerfully strangle me.

    • MeltonMowbray permalink
      March 27, 2011 11:35 PM

      Tesco Jam Sandwich Cream biscuits: irresistible.

    • hic8ubique permalink
      March 27, 2011 11:40 PM

      Poor Inez indeed; I think I would cheerfully help her!
      ;)

  66. MeltonMowbray permalink
    March 27, 2011 11:28 PM

    Matthew 28

    1 In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.

    2 And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.

    3 His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow:

    4 And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men.

    5 And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.

    6 He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.

    7 And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you.

    8 And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word.

    9 And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, April Fool!

    10 And they were a bit pissed off, to tell you the truth.

  67. Captain Ned permalink
    March 28, 2011 12:05 AM

    I remember reading a lovely story in Private Eye a few years ago. Benn and Michael Foot happened to bump into one another at a restaurant. Foot said hello with as much civility as he could muster, but Benn merely blanked him and walked straight past. Foot turned to his companions and said “What an old cunt, eh?”

    • MeltonMowbray permalink
      March 28, 2011 4:10 PM

      Companions: ‘Yes, you are.’

  68. mishari permalink*
    March 28, 2011 10:44 AM

    Harry Wesley Coover Jr, known as the inventor of Super Glue, has died at his home in Kingsport, Tennessee, aged 94.

    Coover was working for Tennessee Eastman Company when an accident resulted in the creation of cyanoacrylate – better known as Super Glue–The Groan, today

    Harry Coover, working cluck
    Invented something by pure luck:
    Super Glue, sticky as fuck,
    Now poor Harry’s come unstuck.

  69. Reine permalink
    March 28, 2011 12:37 PM

    A friend and I were suspended from school years ago for fashioning the blue and white linen tea towels in the home economics room about our heads and making some of the first years pretend to be lepers. The nuns were not amused.

    The only other very tangential MT connection I have is that my late uncle (a detective) chauffeured her on her visit to Ireland in the 80s I think it was. I don’t think her life was under threat other than from his cigarette smoke.

    • MeltonMowbray permalink
      March 28, 2011 11:30 PM

      Bloody nuns. Sounds pretty ‘armless.

  70. MeltonMowbray permalink
    March 28, 2011 4:06 PM

    If you find your sandals stuck to your feet,
    or the key to your house won’t turn in the slot,
    if your buttocks adhere to the toilet seat,
    you’ll hope Mr Coover is somewhere hot.

    I forgot to recommend Forbrydelsen (The Killing) to you. A fabulous series if you’ve got 20 hours to spare. I know I have. One of the matters arising is why Scandinavians swear in English. One of the Danish detectives said ‘for fuck’s sake, Lund!’ several times, and I noticed English swear words used in the Swedish language Wallander. Focking weird.

  71. March 28, 2011 8:11 PM

    It’s so obvious that it’s hardly worth the post
    But Spring is the season that cheers me up the most
    However
    Politely Homicidal’s needs are many and they must surely out
    For this I’ll affect a 180 degree turnabout
    Fucking spring is here again, hip hip hoo fucking ray
    Fucking blue skies replace the ones that were in fucking gray
    Fucking green shoots are bursting through the fucking ground
    Peace of mind once fucking lost has been fucking found
    Fucking birds won’t keep fucking quiet with their fucking song
    The fucking farmer spreads his fields with tons of fucking pong
    I’ll shoot the fucking swallows from the fucking sky
    I’ll poke the fucking lambikins in the fucking eye
    I’ll kick the fucking daffodils off their fucking stalks
    I’ll swear at the fucking ramblers on their fucking walks
    Fucking spring is here again, what a fucking bummer
    What is worse than fucking spring? Easy..fucking summer.

    Good to hear you’re up and about Mishari

    • MeltonMowbray permalink
      March 28, 2011 8:26 PM

      Fucking brill, ET, but don’t you mean a 180 degree turn?

      How do the show go down with the Cumbrians? Tough county, tough crowd, I would guess.

    • hic8ubique permalink
      March 28, 2011 8:36 PM

      I took it that ET was preferring the revolutionary approach, ie: one revolution.
      ?

    • MeltonMowbray permalink
      March 28, 2011 11:22 PM

      Over-analysing there, Hic. Occam’s razor is your friend.

    • hic8ubique permalink
      March 29, 2011 12:50 AM

      Nah* just playing, Professor, but I’m flattered by the charge.

      Note well that I made no mockery of your biscuits yestreen.
      I hope I know what’s sacred.

      [* St. Augustinism]

  72. MeltonMowbray permalink
    March 28, 2011 8:27 PM

    How did, I mean.

    • March 28, 2011 9:19 PM

      MM I did mean 180 degrees and have no idea why I put 360. If Mishari can alter then you can be Pound to my Ayres.

      We’re making a new show to be ready for dates in early May so it was rehearsing/production/prevarication rather than performing .

      We’re working with a group of 10, our workshop isn’t big enough to do the rehearsing and making so as part of a deal with a festival we’ve got the use of an extremely good work- space with adjacent bedrooms and a kitchen for three seperate weeks.

      We’ve never worked with such a big group so it was a new experience. It seemed to work thus far but there’s still time for it to go wrong.

      I’m glad I didn’t grow up in Cumbria. It’s an incredibly beautiful county but the towns seem quite seperate from each other. Farming was the future for many but given the foot and mouth epidemic and the way the supermarkets ripped the smaller farmers off over the price of lamb it’s no more secure than anything else round there.

    • MeltonMowbray permalink
      March 28, 2011 11:19 PM

      I didn’t realise it was on that kind of scale. It sounds like a major logistical headache for someone.

      I would suggest a visit to the Toffee Shop at Penrith, but no good for you, I suppose. Well, the pencil museum at Keswick is worth a look. I recommend the 2B and the 6H.

  73. mishari permalink*
    March 28, 2011 8:28 PM

    Fucking thanks, Ed. Here’s some extremely groovy electro-funk for you:

  74. mishari permalink*
    March 29, 2011 7:58 AM

    Thought For The Day (sic), the pious homily (i.e.special pleading) delivered every morning by some God-botherer, usually makes me want to pick up the radio and hurl it out of the nearest window.

    Today’s TFTD, however, made me want to burn down BBC HQ. Some Mogadon-voiced female vicar droned on about how the masked protesters at Sat.’s demo are enemies of God, man and democracy. Jesus…cutting-edge political analysis from an organisation that thinks wine and biscuits turn into blood and flesh.

    Things To Do Today:

    1. Burn down church.

    2. Crucify vicar.

    3. Buy socks.

    4. Flea collar for Pongo.

    • MeltonMowbray permalink
      March 29, 2011 1:59 PM

      I think transubstantiation is actually ruled out by the Thirty-Nine Articles, though some High Anglicans have always fancied it.

    • mishari permalink*
      March 29, 2011 8:02 PM

      Oh, I think we can take it as read that she’s a High Church, bells ‘n smells vicar…

  75. March 29, 2011 9:10 AM

    It wasn’t Anne Atkins was it?

    Her best one was that the most plausible explanation for the easter story was that Jesus died and then came back to life.

    There are a few holes in this argument – and not just in Jesus’s hands.

  76. mishari permalink*
    March 29, 2011 12:02 PM

    Nah…I’m familiar with Atkins, who’s just your garden variety dingbat. This was really putrid. In the first place, it’s supposed to be the God-spot, not a party political broadcast; in the second place, her points (if I can so dignify her vapid maunderings) were laughable (masked demonstrators are a threat to democracy? Really? More of a threat than tax-dodging corporations that buy and sell politicians? I don’t fucking think so).

    It was almost comical; she started out with the usual God-waffle: “I was thinking about Saturday’s demonstrations and it occurred to me that, in a very real sense, our saviour Jesus Christ was a demonstrator…” blahblahblah…then she launched into an attack on ‘disorder’ that would have warmed the heart of Pontius Pilate.

    I can picture this female vicar: thick spectacles, lank, greasy hair, £185 in a Bradford&Bingley High Interest Savings Account; wears socks with sandals, thinks the Pope ‘has a point, actually’; has an obese and sluggish cat named ‘Tigger’; thinks David Cameron and Nick Clegg are ‘ever so nice’…I think I’ve just made myself ill…

  77. March 29, 2011 12:15 PM

    Thatcher was very good at this sort of twisted thinking. “The Good Samaritan was the very first entrepreneur. If he hadn’t have been so successful at running a business he wouldn’t have had the time to save unfortunate people ” was one that had the effect of fingernails scraping down a blackboard on me.

  78. Reine permalink
    March 29, 2011 1:31 PM

    There follows an account of my first weekend in spring trip. Neither God nor Lady Thatcher features:

    I departed Dublin late; accustomed as I am to usually taking the motorway towards Westport, I did and had to travel several miles down it before I could go cross country onto the Galway road. I had forgotten about the second toll on that road and had to pull in before reaching the booth and waste precious time scrambling for change but in the course of so doing found a lost earring – every cloud… I arrived late to a still enthusiastic welcome from my cousin (the parrot owner and her husband over from London for the weekend, mercifully sans parrot). We had a mediocre lunch out near Spiddal and went for a stroll on the beach afterwards, a beach where 21 years previously I had tiptoed through the waves in an effort to impress a man, tripped on a rock and fell in the tide. He made me sit on a plastic bag in wet knickers and a GAA jacket (HIS) on the way back into Galway.

    We called to a craft shop where the cousin and husband chose some jaunty scarves and then she proceeded to berate the staff for their lack of enthusiasm and asked them how they hoped to get out of the recession with that attitude. I slunk around the corner and stared at length at a walking stick.

    Then after stopping on the prom in Salthill for a 99 (cone with flake) and a go on the slots (through which activities I feigned the best approximation of dignity I could muster), we repaired to our aunt’s house for dinner. Dinner (beef stroganoff followed by rhubarb crumble) was lovely as was the wine which I was badly in need of. My aunt and cousin, both very opinionated, shouted over each other all the way through dinner in a pleasant though headache-inducing way. The other three of us drank and observed for the most part. I love conversation but don’t hold with shouting people down.

    Then I was left alone with my aunt and uncle and we chatted and drank more wine, although I wheezed my way through most of it. My aunt, a retired teacher, asked if I was smoking and looked disbelievingly at me when I said I wasn’t and that the wheeze was caused by an allergic reaction to their very hairy dog (notwithstanding a max intake of antihistamines). She doesn’t believe allergies are anything other than a figment of people’s imagination so the dog stayed put and I wheezed on stoically. I eventually slept propped up on several pillows to get some air into my lungs.

    The following day, I met some friends for lunch down town after which I went for a walk down Quay St for old time’s sake. I wandered into a shop or two and soaked up the atmosphere generated by all the people sitting outside the pubs and cafés. Returning towards the car, I heard someone shouting “Hello, hello, hello” and turned to have my head clasped in the hands of a woman wearing a mad purple hat. “I know you, I know you, what’s your name?” As she shook me excitedly I remembered her as the wife of a mature student from my politics class in UCG in the late 80s. So, I told her my name, pretended I knew hers and asked her how Jim was. “He’s down here” she replied and led me back down Quay St. (now the street entertainment) where Jim was drinking tea outside a cafe wearing the same coat he had in college. Houndstooth, tweed.

    So we embraced and shot the breeze and I asked about their kids whom I had babysat a couple of times with my then boyfriend, subsequently my first husband. Then they asked about David and his Dad and asked if we had had any more kids and they nodded furiously as I gave them the separation/ second marriage/ he has another child/ we’re all the best of friends synopis. After some more pleasantries and a lecture from their son, now 24, on the evils of capitalism and his interest in bodybuilding (which extended to making me feel his bulging bicep – Mr. Bean would look hefty beside him), I managed to extricate myself, wave goodbye to everybody on Quay St. and return to the peace of the car.

    I returned home to find HI covered in flour making his inaugural apple tart (which he forgot to put sugar in). That’s another story, which I’ll spare ye.

    Spring is a noisy lady.

    • MeltonMowbray permalink
      March 29, 2011 2:09 PM

      You’re as good a memoirist as the Prince, Reine. Wonderful stuff.

    • hic8ubique permalink
      March 29, 2011 2:27 PM

      It’s true! Though in distinctly different ways. Now I’m wonderfully entertained and terribly late.
      I do love houndstooth unreservedly, and all of you as well…….

  79. Reine permalink
    March 29, 2011 2:59 PM

    Thanks darlings, much gratified. Had to get it off my chest to parties who were not involved and wouldn’t sue.

  80. henrylloydmoon permalink
    March 29, 2011 6:16 PM

    Brilliant stuff, Reine. I was there with you. Well, not in a literal sense but…

    • Reine permalink
      March 29, 2011 6:35 PM

      I’m sure we had a lovely time. Thanks Henry.

  81. mishari permalink*
    March 29, 2011 7:56 PM

    Be afraid; be very afraid:

    Since the Fukushima accident we have seen a stream of experts on radiation telling us not to worry, that the doses are too low, that the accident is nothing like Chernobyl and so forth. They appear on television and we read their articles in the newspapers and online. Fortunately the majority of the public don’t believe them. I myself have appeared on television and radio with these people; one example was Ian Fells of the University of Newcastle who, after telling us all on BBC News that the accident was nothing like Chernobyl (wrong), and the radiation levels of no consequence (wrong), that the main problem was that there was no electricity and that the lifts didn’t work.

    “ If you have been in a situation when the lifts don’t work, as I have” he burbled on, “you will know what I mean.” You can see this interview on youtube and decide for yourself.

    What these people have in common is ignorance. You may think a professor at a university must actually know something about their subject. But this is not so. Nearly all of these experts who appear and pontificate have not actually done any research on the issue of radiation and health. Or if they have, they seem to have missed all the key studies and references. I leave out the real baddies, who are closely attached to the nuclear industry, like Richard Wakeford, or Richard D as he calls himself on the anonymous website he has set up to attack me, “chrisbusbyexposed”.

    I saw him a few times talking down the accident on the television, labelled in the stripe as Professor Richard Wakeford, University of Manchester. Incidentally, Wakeford is a physicist, his PhD was in particle physics at Liverpool. But he was not presented as ex- Principle Scientist, British Nuclear Fuels, Sellafield. That might have given the viewers the wrong idea. Early on we saw another baddy, Malcolm Grimston, talking about radiation and health, described as Professor, Imperial College. Grimston is a psychologist, not a scientist, and his expertise was in examining why the public was frightened of radiation, and how their (emotional) views could be changed.

    But his lack of scientific training didn’t stop him explaining on TV and radio how the Fukushima accident was nothing to worry about. The doses were too low, nothing like Chernobyl, not as bad as 3-Mile Island, only 4 on the scale, all the usual blather. Most recently we have seen George Monbiot, who I know, and who also knows nothing about radiation and health, writing in The Guardian how this accident has actually changed his mind about nuclear power (can this be his Kierkegaard moment? Has he cracked? ) since he now understands (and reproduces a criminally misleading graphic to back up his new understanding) that radiation is actually OK and we shoudn’t worry about it.

    George does at least know better, or has been told better, since he asked me a few years ago to explain why internal and external radiation exposure cannot be considered to have the same health outcomes. He ignored what I said and wrote for him (with references) and promptly came out in favour of nuclear energy in his next article.–Chris Busby, counterpunch.org

    The radioactive core in a reactor at the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant appears to have melted through the bottom of its containment vessel and on to a concrete floor below, experts say, raising fears of a major release of radiation at the site.

    Richard Lahey, who has worked on the plant at Fukushima, told the Guardian officials seemed to have “lost the race” to save the reactor, but added that there was no danger of a Chernobyl-style catastrophe.–The Grauniad, today

  82. mishari permalink*
    March 29, 2011 8:09 PM

    There’s a new film out, (Peter Postlethwaite’s last), called Killing Bono; sadly, it’s not a documentary.

  83. mishari permalink*
    March 29, 2011 10:50 PM

    Sorry to go on about this nuclear thing but it really bothers me:

    Japan’s government is reportedly ready to consider nationalising the operator of the crippled power plant at the centre of the worst nuclear accident in the country’s history.

    News that the state could take a majority stake in the Tokyo Electric Power company (Tepco) came after nuclear safety officials confirmed traces of plutonium had been found in soil in five locations in the Fukushima Daiichi atomic complex.

    Doubts over the future of Tepco, the largest power company in Asia, has coincided with mounting criticism of its handling of the world’s worst nuclear emergency since Chernobyl.

    Much of the criticism is being directed at Tepco’s president, Masataka Shimizu, who has not been seen in public for several days. Tepco officials said Shimizu, 66, had been absent for a few days last week due to a “minor illness”, but claimed he had resumed work directing emergency operations at the company’s headquarters in Tokyo.

    Shimizu hasn’t appeared before the media since 13 March; for six days from 16 March, as his employees battled to prevent stricken reactors from going into full meltdown, he reportedly did not attend crisis meetings or visit Tepco’s HQ.

    In addition, Shimizu’s firm has been accused of delaying the use of seawater to cool overheating reactors at Fukushima because of the damage it might cause. The government has since said the plant will be decommissioned.

    On Sunday, the firm offered wildly inaccurate readings of radiation levels inside the No 2 reactor building, for which it later apologised. Last week it emerged that two workers exposed to high levels of radiation were standing in puddles of contaminated water wearing only ankle boots.

    Shimizu, an enthusiastic cost cutter, was praised for restoring Tepco to profitability after it sustained heavy losses in a 2007 earthquake. But recent reports said that under Shimizu, Tepco failed to make mandatory safety checks and sought to extend the operational life of old reactors.

    Tepco’s shares have lost about 70% of their value – or $30bn (£19bn) – since the 11 March earthquake and tsunami, and the cost of insuring its debts against default are 10 times higher than they were before the crisis. —The Groan, today

    Just what the hard-pressed taxpayers of Japan need: a nuclear industry that’s going tits-up financially and killing them while it does it. Once again, corporations privatise profits but expect (understandably, given the craven stupidity and dishonesty of politicians) the public to pick up the tab when it all goes wrong (c.f. the banks, the railways, the pensions industry etc etc ad nauseum.

    Hurrah for capitalism: it may be killing us (after pauperising us) but we get some really shiny toys–i-Pads! (or what one of my sons calls ‘Grandad tech’ and he has a point; I mean, who has an i-Pad? Alan Rusbridger, Stephen Fry and a cavalcade of middle-aged, middle-class tossers, that’s who).

  84. MeltonMowbray permalink
    March 30, 2011 12:23 AM

    One of Mrs M’s brothers (he actually is a grandad, so there you go) has an i-pad: middle-aged, middle-class, though not that much of a tosser. He uses it for work (or so he says). I hear disabled people find them useful.

    I thought Chernobyl had killed nuclear for ever, and I was (moderately) surprised when NewLab started making noises about it again. It’s never going to be safe, but no one wants to make (should have started 30 years ago) the necessary investment in cleaner energy generation. No profits for 20 years? Forget about it.

  85. mishari permalink*
    March 30, 2011 2:21 AM

    Never mind all that: this is really important–Muslamic rapegangs enforcing Muslamic law in London…but I’ll let the EDL’s (English Defence League) very own Joseph Goebbels explain:

  86. mishari permalink*
    March 30, 2011 5:48 AM

    Sweet jumping Jesus…it’s worse than I thought: it’s not ‘muslamic rape gangs’, it’s Muslamic Ray Guns:

  87. March 30, 2011 8:48 AM

    I wonder what Muslims think about these Muslams ?

  88. mishari permalink*
    March 30, 2011 9:02 AM

    I think perhaps EDL leader Tommy Robinson can explain that to you, Ed (the fact that he is apparently an amphetamine addict should not be held against him–none of us is perfect):

    • March 30, 2011 10:45 AM

      I fink one fing what Tommy forgot to mention is the sneaky Sharia bastards who are infiltrating America and pretending to be Christians and stealing our freedoms…!

      ***

      “One blog post on the Eagle Forum Alaska site praised efforts at criminalizing adultery in Michigan, and Paskvan asked Haase if he thought it should be a felony in Alaska.

      “I don’t see that that would rise to the level of a felony,” Haase said.

      Paskvan: “Do you believe it should be a crime?”

      Haase: “Yeah, I think it’s very harmful to have extramarital affairs. It’s harmful to children, it’s harmful to the spouse who entered a legally binding agreement to marry the person that’s cheating on them.”

      Paskvan: “What about premarital affairs — should that be a crime?”

      Haase: “I think that would be up to the voters certainly. If it came before (the state) as a vote, I probably would vote for it … I can see where it would be a matter for the state to be involved with because of the spread of disease and the likelihood that it would cause violence. I can see legitimate reasons to push that as a crime.”

      ***

      http://www.adn.com/2011/03/23/1772266/senate-panel-questions-judicial.html

    • mishari permalink*
      March 30, 2011 10:55 AM

      Quite right, too. Adulterers here in Whitechapel are stoned to death every Friday after prayers at the Al-Loony Mosque & Carwash (25% discount for Hajjis). I’m also in favour of burning witches and sorcerers. There’s one fellow who tours Europe with a giant, inflatable Satanic pig, warping innocent young minds and turning them into consumers of unclean foods like bacon, Jimmy Dean Pork-On-A-Stick, smoked ham milkshakes and similar abominations. He’s first on our ‘to burn’ list….

    • March 30, 2011 11:20 AM

      I envy ET… so few of us already know how we’re destined to be remembered by future generations (if at all)…

    • March 30, 2011 4:21 PM

      If they only remember the pig then I’m saved .

  89. March 30, 2011 9:13 AM

    Judging by the background Tommy lives in quite a grand pied-a-terre. I suspect his middle name is Quentin and if the camera pulled back you’d see he’s holding an i-pad.

  90. mishari permalink*
    March 30, 2011 9:16 AM

    Actually, I think that might be the local police station and Tommy’s just been released on bail after being charged with selling whiz to schoolkids…fair play, though: the kids need to be quick to avoid the Muslamic Ray Guns.

  91. mishari permalink*
    March 30, 2011 10:13 AM

    My contender for Ironic Quote of The Decade:

    “I am living testimony to the moral force of non-violence.” —Barack Obama, acceptance speech at the awarding of his Nobel Prize

    All contenders welcome.

    • March 30, 2011 11:10 AM

      Won’t touch it. There is, however, this:

      “However, less staid publications, as the AP notes, focused on passages characterizing Gandhi’s close relationship with the German-Jewish architect and amateur body-builder Hermann Kallenbach, who lived with Gandhi in South Africa for several years in the early 1900s. The implication of such coverage is that Gandhi was bisexual, though Lelyveld—author of the 1986 Pulitzer Prize winning study of apartheid rule in South Africa, “Move Your Shadow”—has issued a statement saying that “the word ‘bisexual’ nowhere appears in the book.” The overseas press has also dwelled on a single instance in which the word ‘racist’ appears to characterize comments made by the late Indian independence leader and civil-disobedience pioneer.”

      Explains the sleeping-with-nubile-virgins-to-prove-his-chastity trick (he liked ’em beefy). Also the bit where he let his wife die, untreated, from an easily-treatable condition.

  92. mishari permalink*
    March 30, 2011 11:28 AM

    There was a young lawyer named Gandhi
    Who secretly thought sex was dandy
    With Germans named ‘Hermann’
    Said Gandhi, ‘Why spurn ’em?
    a hole is a hole when I’m randy.’

  93. Kevin permalink
    March 30, 2011 12:02 PM

    I came across this site, the oil drum, last year, a few weeks after getting the wind put up me when looking for informed discussion on the Macando blow-out, from such rational sites as Icke, Alex Jones, Above Top Secret and Ben Fulford, all saying it was HAARP/nuclear bombs that done it, planted by the satanists in the Illuminati/NWO, who’s plan to depopulate the planet by six billion is now under way.

    The oil drum is full of oil engineers and was the main site of sense and science for last years Gulf events, and there’s a lot of informed stats, facts and chat about the nuclear nightmare in Japan also.

    Fulford‘s interpretation of recent events is startling:

    “The people of the world need to urgently take action against the cabal responsible for the nuclear and tsunami attack against Japan because it is a sign they are desperate, dangerous and are speeding up their planned artificial end-times. The next attack is almost certain to take place on US soil and is expected to be far worse than what happened to Japan, according to multiple cabal-linked sources. The cabal is also planning to announce a new global currency in the coming weeks but it will fail because it is merely a desperate bid by them to remain in control of global finance, according to sources in the British Royal Family and at the Bank of International Settlements.

    ~

    The other find of last week, was an Iraqi journalist, Ghaith Abdul-Ahad, who started writing for the Guardian in 2004. I got through his articles for them over the course of last weekend, and reading him really put the view from the ground, of what was going on in the ME, from the pov of a native.

    It’s the same with the nuclear commentators, lots of talking heads with no knowledge saying all is well. Manibot even converted to nuclear after this disaster.

    “Monbiot isn’t a serious journalist by any standards. He is a campaigning environmentalist who courts controversy and popularity to generate page hits for advertisers.”

    It’s the same here with the Moriarty report, that spent 14 years investigating Ireland’s first mobile phone license awarded to Billionaire Denis O’Brien by a committe of civil servants when the Telegraph minister was Michael Lowry, a parish pump politcian who’s been representing his consitituency for (I think) four or five terms and is a skilled getter-of-what-he-wants.

    Moriarty’s report came to the conclusion that Lowry influenced the outcome by passing on info useful to O’Brien’s bid, projecting the crucial event happened in a pub it was on record they had a meeting at. Anyway, the chattering classes here, who really bug the tits off me coz it’s transparently obvious they are only waffling for a fee, hail-fellow-well-met Trinty heads talking tripe, like the rest of Ireland, their capacity for deluding emselves that they have special insight just coz they have an Irish voice, are all down on Lowry, without having time to read the report, even admitting it, and using it as the excuse – their intrepretation of this report they have not read – to rant on about corruption and how terrible it is.

    Lowry defended hiself yesterday in the Dail, in an hour long speech, which was very impressive in that he pointed out the various witnesses in the tribunal who flatly contradict Moriarty’s findings based more on supposition than facts, and many holes and mistakes in the thing Moriarty himself has admitted.

    There was on hack, a posh south Dublin head bint, Justine Kennedy, who admitted to Vincent Brown she had not seen this defence, read the report or owt, but still, she knows, she knows blah blah blah, give me my fee, let me talk shit and arghhhh…

    I am so fucking angry about everything this morning, I just wanna smash Jedward’s fucking faces in, take to the streets and kill, kill the infidels!!!

    • Reine permalink
      March 30, 2011 1:46 PM

      Sometimes the Official Secrets Act really gets in the way. Sigh.

  94. Kevin permalink
    March 30, 2011 12:08 PM

    The one highlight was the other night, seeing a documentary about Ken Dodd.

  95. MeltonMowbray permalink
    March 30, 2011 2:20 PM

    Sorry to raise the subject again, but did you see this?

    http://www.targetmap.com/viewer.aspx?reportId=3073

    • Reine permalink
      March 30, 2011 3:13 PM

      Reminds me of the Member who wanted to “drive home penile (sic) reform”. From three inches to six doubtless.

    • March 30, 2011 6:14 PM

      Next time I’m hassled by a Kr… er… a native of Teutonia… I’ll gently remind him/her that I’m here to boost the national average

  96. mishari permalink*
    March 30, 2011 2:43 PM

    No wonder those wily orientals are inscrutable–they’re all hung like Needle-Dick The Bug-Fucker…

  97. mishari permalink*
    March 30, 2011 4:41 PM

    Highly entertaining spat between illiterate self-published ‘author’ and…well…everybody, actually. Read it and cringe HERE.

    • March 30, 2011 6:20 PM

      “Look ____ , I’m not in the mood for playing snake with you, what I read above has no flaws. My writing is fine.”

      This is now my official counter-attack.

    • Reine permalink
      March 30, 2011 6:27 PM

      She sounds like she could do with playing snake with someone. Maybe one of those lads from Ecuador… or maybe I am just projecting.

  98. mishari permalink*
    March 30, 2011 5:54 PM

    Correia brings up a significant but little-known fact about death-penalty law in the US – namely, that current court precedent allows the execution of innocent people. Remarkably, the supreme court, in a 1993 opinion, suggested that “actual innocence” is not a sufficient cause to be let free. —The Groan, today

    Oh, beautiful for spacious skies
    For amber waves of grain
    For purple mountain majesty
    Across the (something) plain
    America, America
    God shed His grace on thee
    And crown thy good
    With brotherhood…(cough, cough)

    …never mind.

    • MeltonMowbray permalink
      March 30, 2011 11:02 PM

      Reminds me of Lord Denning and the Birmingham Six appeal.

      ‘Just consider the course of events if their action were to proceed to trial … If the six men failed it would mean that much time and money and worry would have been expended by many people to no good purpose. If they won, it would mean that the police were guilty of perjury; that they were guilty of violence and threats; that the confessions were involuntary and improperly admitted in evidence; and that the convictions were erroneous. … That was such an appalling vista that every sensible person would say, “It cannot be right that these actions should go any further.”

      Idiot.

  99. Reine permalink
    March 30, 2011 6:14 PM

    Howya Spring

    “Spring I hardly knew ya
    With your apple blossom hat
    From last year? I don’t believe ya
    Would ya go way out of that?
    You’re too modest by a long shot
    You’re a sight for our sore eyes
    That winter is a wanker
    And he’s always telling lies
    Forecasts frost and gives us rain
    Hails out of the blue
    He really is a pain
    But now, well look at you
    Spring, you’re looking mighty
    It was nearly worth the wait
    I know you’re a tad flighty
    But I’d sooner have your gait
    Than his old creeping Jesus
    Begging your pardon please
    It’s still a little cold out
    Don’t mind me if I sneeze
    It’s just a winter cold
    Ha, would ya listen to me?
    A spring snuffle I should say
    With a leftover winter wheeze
    Well, mind yourself Spring
    You never ever know
    When that fucker might drop in again
    And shit on us with snow.”

    • MeltonMowbray permalink
      March 30, 2011 10:58 PM

      That’s really good. The energy makes me feel even older than usual (that’s a compliment).

      Have you been watching The Secret World Of Whitehall? It’s nice to know that the civil service keeps some kind of leash on the lunatics.

    • Reine permalink
      March 30, 2011 11:30 PM

      Thanks MM. I just imagined two old friends bumping into each other at home. Had just read it to David who expressed doubt that anyone outside Westport would get the colloquialisms so feel vindicated.

      Have only seem some of SWofW – it is pretty much the same beast everywhere it seems.

  100. Reine permalink
    March 30, 2011 11:38 PM

    seem, schmeem

Comments are closed.