When I lived in a black hole

When I lived in a black hole, no light escaped.
Light-bearing tones
were sucked in by the gravity
of waning density.

My black hole never filled,
there was always room
for matters to collapse inward,
growing melancholy.

As pain sank in,
like nails driven into the palms of Christ,
you saw my face
lighten for a camera.

Scientists used to have a theory of general misery.
They said my black hole would collapse
and, just as Dante emerged from his dark wood,
I would regain my fire,

and become a star reborn.

Which is more unpleasant?

Which is more unpleasant

an Americano without body

a meal without taste

an apple rotten to the core

a woman who’s never cried

a man afraid to try

a child you can’t distract

a secret smashed to smithereens

a dream turned sour

a faith unfounded

howls of slaughtered daisies

weeping willows in drought

the last gasp of an olive tree

a whale beached on barnacles

the last dodo dying in chains

an island of plastic reproducing

a dog that will not walk

a cat that cannot purr

an elephant on crutches

fifteen years of carbuncles

sixteen decades in a black hole

seventeen centuries without a change in the weather.

Catholic ethos in our schools

It’s hard to recall my last Confession
and whether I finished my penance.
I went to Mass at Xmas.

Is it still a sin to sleep
with my best friend’s husband?
I know Limbo’s dead,  is Purgatory still alive?

We are a Catholic country.

I believe in God.
I used to like the Crucifixion,
but I really love Easter Eggs.

A Catholic ethos for my child
is what I want. I send a few Christmas cards,
the price of stamps is way too high.

We are a Catholic country.

I never need a Bible,
there’s one on a shelf next to the dictionary.
How would I know it’s Old or New?

I don’t have an elephant’s memory,
but I do know an elephant’s trunk
cannot extinguish the Devil’s flames.

I believe in miracles,
I believe Jesus walked on water,
I believe in the Last Day,
in eternal salvation,
in Heaven and Hell.

We are all Christians
whether we know it or not.
It’s bad manners to talk about my faith.

This is a Catholic country.

I want my child’s First Holy Communion,
with lots of money, and a fancy party.
We both deserve new shoes.

A Catholic ethos in our schools
keeps children safe and saintly.
I’ll fight to the death to keep it alive.

What happens at home
stays at home.
It’s none of your business.

What is it like to be a man?

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What is it like to be a man?
the painter asked.

Is it the stubble that grows on your face?
Is it the underpants and trousers you wear to work,
the brogues you pull over your socks,
the wombless life you live.

What is it like to resemble a man?
the painter asked.

To talk like a man,
to eat like one of the lads,
to have male blood in your veins,
and the wombless way you walk.

What is it like to feel a man?
the painter asked.

To feel grown up,
to shut your mouth when entranced,
to be silent when dismayed,
to keep secrets from your best friend,
and mature in an eggless, wombless existence,

the painter asked.



Teresa May’s opening address to Cabinet today

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Darlings, you got to let me know
Should I stay or should I go?
If you say that you are fine
I’ll be here till the end of time
So you got to let me know
Should I stay or should I go?

It’s always tease, tease, tease
You’re happy when I’m on my knees
One day it’s fine and next it’s black
So if you want me off your back
Well, come on and let me know
Should I stay or should I go?

Should I stay or should I go now?
Should I stay or should I go now?
If I go, there will be trouble
Má théimid is trioblóid a bheidh ann
And if I stay it will be double
má fhanann muid beidh sé ina dtrioblóid
So come on and let me know

This indecision’s bugging me
If you don’t want me, set me free
Exactly whom I’m supposed to be
Don’t you know which clothes even fit me?
Come on and let me know
Should I cool it or should I blow?

Should I quit or should I remain?
Should I change or stay the same?
If I crash there will be trouble
And if I stop it will be double
So you gotta let me know
Should I stick or should I blow?

Should we remain or should we leave now?
If we go there will be trouble
Má théimid is trioblóid a bheidh ann
And if we stay it will be double
Má fhanann muid beidh sé dúbailte
Mar sin, lig dom ya ‘gotta dom
Should I stay or should I go?


Note:  This is a pastiche of original lyrics written by Mick Jones of The Clash

Who are the best known people in the world?

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“It’s obvious” proclaimed the man in the brown suit
“Jesus Christ”

“No so” declared the woman in black
“Mao Zedong”

“What about Hitler?”
said the teenager

“Christopher Columbus”
stammered the drunk

The cyclist interrupted
“Genghis Kahn”

“Leonardo da Vinci”
piped up the painter

“Surely Mahatma Gandi”
whispered the songwriter

“Don’t overlook Oprah Winfrey”
suggested the priest

“Rosa Parks”
cried the astronaut

“The Virgin Mary”
muttered the atheist

“Indira Gandi for sure”
insisted the scientist

“Shakespeare the great”
chipped in the politician

“Catherine the Greater”
quipped the taxi driver

“Don’t we all know Marco Polo?”
asked the hiker

“Empress Dowager Cixi”
shouted the grandmother

“Tiger Woods”
sang the umpire

“You’re ignoring Nelson Mandela”
challenged the chef

“Martin Luther King is a must”
scribbled the poet

“The Buddha begorra”
blurted the CEO.

At this moment the world ended.



Where would we be without mothers?

If all our mothers disappeared from Earth

If our young women never again gave birth

There’d be no more elephants born

No afterbirth to consume

No eggs to hatch

No more pups, kittens, cubs, kids, calves, colts, fillies, foals, porcupettes, lambs, duckling, keets, cygnets, poults, pufflings, goslings, eaglets, efts, tadpoles, codling, smolts, spats, spiderlings, wrigglers, chicks, hatchlings, joeys, toadlets, snakelets, antlings, leverets, kits, eyases,  shoats, farrow, ephyrae, squeakers, pinkies, nymphs, elvers, squabs, hoglets, wormlets, fawns, fingerlings,