The Umbrella

July 31, 2008

The umbrella
was a really a bamboo cane
wrapped in a sheet of cellaphane
like an emerald spool of silk.

The umbrella
was really a frozen snake
pulled from the snow of an icy lake
and it’s skin made stiff with cold.

The umbrella
was really a merry-go-round
that would turn in the night for a couple of pounds
and that children would play in.

The umbrella
was really a bicycle wheel
but riding was always a bit of a meal
without another one like it.

The umbrellas
were really the sun and the moon
or a couple of floating ivory balloons
melting into a sky.

The umbrellas
were really the roof of a hut
where rain would play like sand on drums
or the sound of someone, sleeping…

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First Pet

July 30, 2008

When I was nine
I wanted a dog,

but I got a budgerigar.

It was blue and small
and didn’t talk

but I tried to make the best of it.

First, I tried to take my budgie for a walk.
I made a small lead, with a loop for it’s beak

but my budgie wouldn’t pay no heed.

Next, I took him to the park –
but my budgie wouldn’t fetch or bark.

I tried to feed my budgie lamb,
Winalot – out of a can –

but it was useless.

My budgie wouldn’t budge
my budgerigar was budgie-stant.

And so we took each other home
agreed to talk no more of bones –

we got on much better
after that.

Budgie-Dog (kids gig)

July 30, 2008

When I was nine
I wanted a dog,

but I got a budgerigar

It was blue and small
and didn’t talk
but I tried to make
the best of it all.

First, I tried to take my budgie for a walk.
I made a small lead, with a loop for it’s beak

but my budgie wouldn’t pay no heed.

Next, I took him to the park
and asked if he would fetch a ball,

but my budgerigar
just pecked the grass.

I tried to feed my budgie bones,
Winalot, and biscuit bows-

but nothing like that ever worked

Eventually I gave it up –
bought a mirror for his cage
a perch, a feeder and some games

and it was only then and at that point
my budgie barked

and wagged his tail.

10 Tips for Finding Lost Caterpillars.

Leave the lid off their tank.
This was their home
you never know
they may come back.

Accept that this is unlikely.
Leaving the lid off is exactly
what got you into this mess
in the first place.

Leave leaves
at regular intervals
around the house.

Don’t tell anyone
why you are doing this.
There is no sense in causing
unnecessary alarm.

Loiter round corners.
Quietly call to them.

Walk carefully.
Hide all shoes.
Encourage others
to go bare foot.

Promise them anything,
in return for them coming back.

Don’t have
green furniture.

Don’t have
17 caterpillars.

If you lose them
hope that they turn

into 17 butterflies.

When I was 8, my 7th grade primary class had a a tank of silk worm caterpillars as a classroom pet. When summer came around they couldn’t be left, so the children were each given the opportunity to take some home to look after until September, when we all returned. In order to be allowed to take some home you had to have a letter of permission from a parent, stating how many they were happy for you to have. My mother didn’t want me to have any. After days and days of pleading she finally relented and let me have one. I placed a 7 after the 1 that she had written on the letter, and brought home 17. My mother did not know I’d done this. A week into the summer holiday, all 17 caterpillars went missing. 22 years on, this is my reflective advise to anyone finding themselves in a similar situation…

10 Tips for Finding Lost Caterpillars.

Leave the lid off their tank.
This was their home
you never know
they may come back.

Accept that this is unlikely.
Leaving the lid off is exactly
what got you into this mess
in the first place.

Leave leaves
at regular intervals
around the house.

Don’t tell anyone
why you are doing this.
There is no sense in causing
unnecessary alarm.

Loiter round corners.
Quietly call to them.

Walk carefully.
Hide all shoes.
Encourage others
to go bare foot.

Promise them anything,
unreservedly.

Don’t have
green furniture.

Should they turn up
anywhere other
than in the tank –

deny all knowledge
of ever having had them.

Wait it out –

butterflies
are easier to find
than caterpillars.

Leave a net
by your bed.
Close windows.

Don’t have
green furniture.

Blame them on your mother’s house plants.

What happens if you eat grass?

You turn into a sheep
if you eat grass – a sheep

with round horns and a cotton coat
and big flashing eyes.

What happens if you eat all the grass
and all the rocks?

You turn into a garden
if you eat all the grass and all the rocks

and then a family comes along
and builds a house next to you

and they move in –
and then

all the children in the house
run all over you

and jump up and down
and make you dizzy.

What happens
if you eat a path?

If you eat a path
you turn into a motorway –

you get really wide
and really long

and some people drive up
with a great big truck of cement

and pour it all over you
and you get very, very

messy and if the wind changes
you stay like that

which all goes to show
you shouldn’t eat grass

or rocks, or paths,
or not unless –

you’re really, really
hungry.

Hats

July 26, 2008

I like hats
I buy them everywhere I go

I buy them when I’m feeling flush
I buy them when I’m on the go.

I buy them when it’s hot
I buy them when it’s cold

I wear them when it’s overcast
or when I’m feeling on my own

I like hats –
I’d like to juggle if we can.

I’ve got a brown one with a veil
I’ve got one green like curly kale

I’ve got one like a sailor’s cap
and one that’s like a sleek white cat

I’ve got one like a UFO
and one that’s like one hundred bows

and one that’s like an arrow cocked
and one that’s like a great big rock.

I’ve got them coming out my ears
But still I’d like ’em –

give ’em ‘ere.

This Cloak
is a cloak of invisibility.
When I put it on
no one can see me.

I won’t put it on now
because I don’t want to scare you
I’d dissapear into air
and no one would believe you

But this cloak
is a cloak
of invisibility

Look If I put it on my arm
you can’t see it anymore

If I put it on my head
you can’t see my face to talk

This cloak
is a cloak
of invisibility

But ok
I’ll tell you what I’ll do
I’ll put it on and tell it not
to make me go invisible.

Cinderella held her slippers
like a ruby pair of kippers

She was always trying to throw them out
but someone always brought them back.

Cinderella held her slippers
like a ruby pair of kippers.

She’d rather have a bouncing ball
or a bugle, perhaps a horn

But people always gave her shoes
Birthdays, Christmas, Back to School

She had got a wardrobe full
of trainers, boots and shiny mules.

Cinderella held her slippers
like a ruby pair of kippers

and then
she clicked her heels

and put them on.

Cinderella held her slippers
like a ruby pair of kippers

She was always trying to throw them out
but someone always tracked her down

expected her to give them thanks
before they went their way.

Cinderella held her slippers
like a ruby pair of kippers.

She’d rather have a crystal ball
or a bugle perhaps a horn

But people always gave her shoes
Birthdays, Christmas, back to school

She had got a wardrobe full
of trainers, boots and shiny mules.

Cinderella held her slippers
like a ruby pair of ruby kippers

and then
she put them on.