Friday, May 23, 2008

My Feet

Tuesday: the birds softly bugle
end of day. I look at my feet,
bare and wriggling on hot concrete.
They are pitted, spurred, I see,
cracked as white wood.
They are at the business end, my feet,
still dodging, chasing lost causes,
up in the night silent as slippers.
To my head, at the other extreme,
they are mere beasts of burden.
Though they work for the same body
there is no camaraderie there,
no joint sense of mission.
My feet think my head’s had it easy,
up there in the fresh air all these years,
talking crap. Where would it be without
them to do the donkey work?
No fancy products wasted on their upkeep,
just soap and water, cheap socks.
I think if my feet ever met my head again
they’d give it a good kicking.

Thursday, May 15, 2008


The heatwave continues. Reluctant though I am to discuss matters pertaining to my employment as House Master in St Dymphna's Grammar, I must record my admiration for those jolly red cheeked coves forced to sit in blazers and mufflers in conditions of arabian heat while conjugating latin verbs or wrestling with the subtleties of the Second Punic War. "I say sir" said one little scamp yesterday, "does exholare mean exhale or expire?" Well as you can imagine we all laughed and laughed and as reward for the boy's wit I took my diamond tipped cane and poked a tiny hole in one of the ancient windows, welded shut since the 1842 Cholera epidemic, to allow a small breath of fetid air into the room.

Preparations for the new project are apace though they are being interrupted by my collaborator's continued stream of successes that compel him to go to prize-givings, visit Tuscany, open new branches of ASDA etc. I do not grudge him any of this and do not subscribe for a second to Gore Vidal's notion that "whenever a friend succeeds a little something in me dies", though I have been feeling a bit peaky recently.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Miraculous Times

Summer has come to Drumsleet in all its glory. The jacaranda bushes are blooming in the Nith Delta and the girls walking across the river to the glue factoies are wearing wellingtons of the gayest hue. Yesterday the mood was heightened considerably by the amazing news of Theosyphillis Neill's return from the dead through the miraculous intervention of St Simon Pyrites.

Neill, a life long devotee to the cult of St Simon, had lain dead for four days in his flat in Lochside when a small group of his friends gathered at the local shrine. No sooner had one taken a new £20 note out of his wallet and said "well, here's to poor old Theo" than Neill projected himself from his bed and in a state of cosmic bliss flew over the town and in the back door of the Prancing Pensioner. Such was the consternation and delight of the onlookers that Neill's first re-animated words - "Do you think you could see fit to lend me a fiver"- were lost in the din.

This of course is not the first miracle attributed to St Simon in the Prancing Pensioner.

“….and the people were much afraid,and went to their neighbours doors, wailing“Who shall gathereth in the corn and arrowroot now that our father is on incapacity benefit?”But Simon said “showeth me the crippled patriarch who built such strong dykes and fathered scores of children in his mighty breeches, so I may do the work of my heavenly Master.” And they showeth Simon to the palette wherein their father lay, swaddled in blankets and drinking deeply in his despair, and Simon sayeth, brandishing the crutches, “Rise now,for I have a place for thee standing straight and tall as a young sapling.” And to the amazement of the people, even those of the DHSS hidden among the olive trees, Simon and he walketh without aid to the local Inn…”

Simon Pyrites Third Statement to the Licensing Board,
Chapter 6, Vs 17-96

Theosyphillis Neill is 38 and is survived by Gerry, a local imbecile.