Tag Archives: surrealism

A Tale From The Nursery

In the valley of the idiots

where a half-wit was King,

it was ordered coal-scuttles to be worn

on peoples’ heads when out in public

to prevent them seeing

things as they really are;

The whistling of merry tunes

was also prohibited,

lest joy was spread unannounced

and took others by surprise

who in turn might smile involuntarily

and so give rise to mirth,

and cause questions to be asked

about the edict on the wearing of coal-scuttles.

Author’s Footnote:

This is a companion piece to “The Ban on Straw”.

Potato & The Duke

“I don’t recognise that potato!

what is it doing here?”

enquired the perfumed Duc de Charlatan

with ineffable aristocratic mien;

To disturb the quotidian equilibrium

of this pastoral mise-en-scene

with the inclusion of an errant vegetable,

was in the Duc de Charlatan’s estimation

an inexcusable faux-pas traducing

countless centuries of natural order

and its attendant requisite deference;

To impugn the ethereal harmony

of form,subject and proportion

in such a profane manner according,

that is,to his Excellency,

necessitates the perpetrator of this act

once apprehended be subject to

the full penalties that the Law allows,

which the Duc de Charlatan opined,



Dali Exhibition:Bruges

” Quick !”,
” The camera !”
before the buildings all
up skirts and run away;
tourists huddled in gloomy
noonday shadows of The Belfort.
Nearby they’re exhibiting Dali,
though I can’t quite determine
its precise geographic location,
the blind waffle-vendor tells me,
indirectly that Dali has been
relocated to a nearby aubergine;
” You’d scarcely believe it had sufficient
room to house all of Dali’s effulgent textuality”
at that the midnight grinning tabby-cat
pronounced itself satisfied with its
idiomatic translation of the
sightless vendor’s account;
” unlock the secret aubergine portal and
you’ll never need to approach any lemon again,
citrussy traitors the lot of them!”
hectored the petty feline demagogue
in the spirit of an alfresco symposium;
I antithetically posited that not all
lemons were conspiratorial and was,
” I tawt I taw a puddy-tat” aware
that Belfries emphasised a deep human
urge for freedom and democracy ?
disquieted in that Sylvesterine manner
that all Cats display he reiterated
that Dali extricated the snot
from his own nose,flicked it at
the world and the critics said,
that it was art,truth and beauty;
” yeah,but what about all those conspiratorial Lemons?”
we concurred, the Feline and I.

Alternate Version

The Spanish speaking tabby cat

is reciting poetry at the door,

whilst mice in the cellar are

rehearsing ” The Barber of Seville “;

Our memories are scattered

and refuse to come home when called,

crimson has been voted most popular colour

by Old dutch masters who no longer paint;

We avoid mentioning the room in which

the elephant sits for fear of embarrassing

those who are about to leave;

All of our spelling mistakes have been corrected

by those who cannot read,

and for the sake of unity with dunces

we’ve hidden all our wisdom

in a box in the garden shed;

A giant broom of ignorance is sweeping

away the detritus we called learning

leaving the kitchen floor spotless once again.

Mystery of the Numbers

What do the numbers do when calculators are switched off ?

And when they are switched back on again ,

will the sums add up the same as before ?

Have numbers taken to redefining themselves ,

their values ,their own worth in the hidden realm

where we can’t see them ?

Are addition ,subtraction ,division ,multiplication

set in their ways ?

Inviolable .invariable ,inexorable  or are they

a matter of conjecture ,interpretation ,uncertainty ?

Only the numbers themselves can truly know

what the consequences are of those policies

and principles decided upon in secret conclave ;

far from our gaze ,beyond our mortal comprehension

the sum of two plus two hesitates to give an answer .



Dolphins don’t recite poetry

Pandas never discuss Kant ,

Seagulls are rarely eloquent

and Hyenas do nothing but rant ;

Orangutans like listening to Brahms

Piranhas enjoy Winter sports ,

Mountain Lions are socially maladroit

and Kangaroos never wear shorts ;

Chipmunks are big fans of Sinatra

Rhinos look good in Wellington boots ,

Basking Sharks frequent public libraries

and Gazelles favour three-piece suits .

High Noon

The Hours wait,
for the day
to start.

One,Two and Three,
begin to count
and count again,
the seconds
the minutes
every one of them.

Four and Five,
stare stolidly at those before
and at those to come,
knowing that it is early
and it’s their time
in the Sun.

Six,Seven and Eight,
march the morning past
circadian,quotidian rythm
round and round,
round again until;

Nine and Ten,
hastening toward Noon
for whom the bell tolls,
that hour that is doom,
thine and theirs
and those of men
expedited by Nine and Ten;

until Eleven
arrives announced,
unwelcome harbinger
of the fading morn,
long forgotten dawn
passed by and waved at,
for one last time as
Eleven struts and frets
its three-score minutes
upon the clock,
and then its chimes
are heard no more.

comes at High Noon,
on the Train,
a decision to be made
by someone stuck
between a hard place
and a rock,
all becomes clear
at Twelve


Days have come to resemble mirrors,

indolent and inattentive

in all their emptinesses;

mimicking one another

mimicking one another

in endless,artless,obsessive absences;

bereft of any thing to show

except each other each other,

staring vacantly back at days

emptied long ago of their residual meaning,

stripped of the possibility of action,

robbed of the silent

lip-read words

the mirrors have come

to refuse to reflect.


That metallic odour,

the sonorous tearing

of flesh,

the sotto-voce breaking

of bone,

incense-perfume clouds

of carnage,

a cloying aroma

of slaughter;

all our hopes hung

upside down,

in steel-hooked rows;

drip dripping in welters

weltering in channels,

channelling and washing

helter-skelter away,

into gutters down

down down and out,

out into echoing sewers

confluencing into rivers,

rivers running into the





see – saw .