Mammoth Tasks, Or – Why The Mammoth Became Extinct.

Eat grass.
Eat more grass.
Rub tusks on tree trunk.
Eat grass.

Make huge hairy trumpeting noise
With my lovely mammoth trunk –
Attract beautiful lady mammoth
Make mammoth music together,
Make baby mammoths,
So that mammoth kind will never vanish from the earth…
Later.

Right now
Eat grass.

(World Book Day 2001 – The Horrible Headmonster – Macmillan)

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she paints the many-petalled poppy

I’ve been guest blogger on a friend’s site:
O is for Georgia O’Keeffe, Artist, #AtoZ Challenge 2017

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Vigil

in the partial light of candles
we imagine a garden

branches
delicate with thin spring leaves
invite us in

but the candles are too tall
too stand up straight
to be those men
slumped that night

they were not flames
they slept

the wafer
at the centre
pale and pearly grey
throws out no light
is odd man out
in all this shinery
that loneliness
feels right

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http://visualverse.org/submissions/biodegradable/

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Toddler Group – Incarnation

she is storytelling the glory of God
in gold annunciation

 
threads spinning from the messenger
shining round and through the frightened girl

 
which settles to a nub of joy
beneath her beating heart

 
she tells of journey
and the anxious tramp from no to no

 
until at last there’s somewhere
a blessed anywhere

 
a billet in the shed behind the pub
straw stacks shelter from the bitter night

 
and then the baby

 
she tells of shepherds on the hill
of stars the sudden blitz of light

 
all through the telling
the toddler stays on note

 
aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah        loud
unwavering                        aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah

 
but now the storyteller smiles
moves closer

 
yes she says that’s right
the whole sky’s singing aaaaaaaaah

 
child and teller eye to eye
he gives voice    she meets the cry

 
together they are             aaaaaaaaah
you’re right she says that’s how those angels sounded

 
that’s what they sang – aaaaaaaaaaaaa – llelujah
aaaaaaaa – lellujah                         aa – llelujah

 
together they fall silent                 still
now the boy listens

 
for the coming of the kings
the jingle of the harness bells

 
the long stride of camels
strange gifts

 
gold       incense    myrrh
a long determined human cry

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Big in the 80’s

I didn’t know until today
that Bombus Terrestris
was the buff-tailed bumble bee,
but I like the thumping heft of it
and the drawn out hiss.
I will say it often,
find ways to Latin drop.
I will chant it as I chop chives,
it will be the theme song of vacuuming.
Bombus Terrestris
will carry me away.

That buff-tailed bumble bee
on a sprig of bramble blossom
against unreasonably bright blue sky,
‘17p’ printed in black, the Queen’s head in gold.
Cards, cards, and more cards,
all those buff-tailed congratulations –
…..I would say swarming
…..but bumble bees are not hive-minded.
Those stamps were big in 1985.

Dead or Alive were in ‘the charts’-
…..now there’s a phrase that’s not worn well –
you spin me round, like a record, baby,
round and around.
It’s almost a foreign language
words left dangling from obsolete machines.
But that was the song
the first you ever hear with outside ears,
played over and over in Maternity.

The singer’s dead now,
first class post is more than halfway to a pound,
but bees and buzzing spring
still speak of life and energy and wonder.
We love our children
and when they love us back
it still spins us round and round.

Jan Dean

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What’s the point of jellyfish?

I asked another jellyfish
who being all curve and wobble
could not compute the concept ‘point’

direction was a problem too
we float we float
our liquid selves within the liquid sea

and then I understood something about tears
and grief
and oceans
and remembering you were lost
I cried for you

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