Before entering the book,
Lying in the almost dark,
I thought about the comfort
Of an ordinary life,
But, all things considered:
The page wrapped smooth
About me. I remember excitment,
and a sense of belonging
in that desperate landscape
of unfamilar words, lit only
by a spark from an inward torch.
In Snailybeach, beyond the wood,
There lies a garden pure and good,
And down the path in yonder house,
Live Mr Fox and Mr Mouse.
One morning, in the month of May,
Young Mr Fox was heard to say
Oh Mr Mouse, come here and see,
There’s something here, what can it be?
It’s rocket shaped and squashed the veg,
Come quickly, I am quite on edge
Well Mr Mouse ran to his side
He stood there and his eyes were wide
For sure enough, as Foxy feared
An alien spaceship had appeared.
The two young men stared long and hard,
At what had landed in their yard,
So silver clad and pointy tailed
They thought its engine must’ve failed.
But what’s inside? said Mr Fox,
It can’t be just an empty box,
I think we ought to coax it out
So Mr Mouse began to shout.
He shouted loud and shouted strong
And shouted till his voice was gone,
But still all access was denied
The rocket’s secrets trapped inside.
Then Mr Fox had an idea,
What music would you like to hear
If you had come from outer space?
We’ll welcome them to our home place.
They dragged out their old gramophone
And played a tune and sang of home
And slowly so they hardly knew
The rocket opened… In it grew
A single plant of silver green
It was a fabulous alien bean!
We have a new matteress in our house
It’s six feet long, and widee
No hope of us ever amoving it cuz
It’s made of lead insidee
Delivery men in a terrible rush
Have dumped it in the doorway
We cunna get past and it dussena push
We’ll have to sleep in the hallway!
I reached here earlier today,
lit our fire to guide you homeward,
I built it bright and warmly wait
The return of your footfall.
Amongst Christmas preparations
In the twilight of a year
We’ll kiss beneath the mistletoe wreath
Hang holly in the hall.
This Christmas birth, twelve days of love
One tree, one Angel dear
Our family’s arms, our human forms
One day when heaven calls.
Come in, come on, come Christmas,
How sweet the choir draws near,
How we’ll embrace and feel the grace
And learn to love us all.
We are brickless, backless turtles ridden by nightmares;
nemesis of ideals, monstrous victims of blind eyes,
walked upon inadvertently by vulnerable feet.
Keen-edged conceit is a knife that steals amongst us,
slashing our flimsy shelters with its silver tongue,
so we must run out shivering in the rain.
The grandfather clock coughs
and then they are all at it,
armchairs belch their stuffing,
tables drop all their leaves, cushions deflate.
The radiator complains of a temperature;
the bed winces when I lie on it, so
I perch near the moaning fish tank
watching eczema paint peel from sore throat walls.
Later, I grab my guitar, but it winges and slides
out of tune with the day,
offending the aching ears of the television
which begs me to turn the sound down