Wednesday, 6 January 2016


You kept looking behind you,
Over your spare rib,
Over your back-fat,
Over your question-mark tail.
Was Death following you,
He who had nabbed your mummy
And your mummy’s mummy
And your mummy’s mummy’s mummy
And so on,
In pretty damn quick succession? 

Something black and suspirating was chasing, peeping,
Shuffling, snuffling, running?
Was it Death chasing you all round the caves?
Did he peep at you through the telamons’ legs,
Smiling at the thought of  butchers’
Knives and hooks?.
Did he shuffle through the burning sand behind you?
Did his hot breath snuffle at your rubber bum?
Did Death run in your question-mark tail’s shadow?

Well, no actually. 
It wasn’t Death and Death didn’t.
It was the blessed Widow’s little black,
Archaic milch cow.

Meet Isis, Tony,
After the goddess, not the Caliphate.
Good name for a milch cow, Monica.
She’s half a gaur, Tony.
Half a gaur is better than none, Monica.
She did not smile.
Funny how my Isis follows your little Piggles all over.
She said.

I could tell that you did not find it funny.
You, in your pig-ignorance,
Did not distinguish
That little, snuffling, shuffling,
Black, archaic milch cow.

Thursday, 31 December 2015


Sometimes, kiddo,
Things get just a little too serious,
Don’t you find?
Life and Death and all that,
Well, I know they’re both important
And not always fun.

Times like that I’m glad I’ve got you to talk to
Even posthumously and
Believe me! It really does help.
Back at The Hermitage, the Devil came by with some more visions
I could have done without.

The tempting fiend, diobolically transmogrified
Into a monkey-fingered Indian cook,
Curried favour and you, Piggles,
Served, with poppodoms, you,
Sweet-flavoured enough to make a saint spit,
On a spit.

You had been plumping up nicely for a pet
But the Devil, who envies all that’s good,
Disposed me to see:
Four Cumberland sausages for your four fat legs,
A pink pork belly that besought beans,
A ham-acting rubber bum.
It was enough to try the patience.

What saved you this time?
Saint George, bless her!, came by with fish and chips.
Nice piece of cod, Tony!
Passeth understanding, Captain George!
We laughed.
You escaped incommunicado
beneath the table.
You were remitted.

Sunday, 27 December 2015


That sand-blasted Sunday morning at Ali’s glummy bar,
In from the desert to find the place deserted.
Just you and me, Piggles!
Home from our holy days
And not a blessed Teague
In sight.

Mass evacuation, Ali!, What?
He did not smile.
No saints came marching in.
Not even a Desert Father to call

I was mooding into my Guinness,
Searching for the secret ingredient,
Missing the bimbi
And fantasising about black Fatima’s thighs.
You were pretty glummy too,
Pathetic even.

But what a pickup when church let out
And the dominoes team,
Saint Columba and the holy Teagues, stout fellows,
All saints, bless them,
Fell in like little bits of heaven
From out the sky
One day.

A thumping of dominoes
Followed a gulping of  diurnal Guinnesses
And an elutriation of sand-blown, parrot’s-cage,
Scrawny throats,
And when old Colly told the one about the one-legged nun
And the Taoiseach.
How we all laughed despite the agony.

Tears streamed over our pious cheeks,
Trickled along the ridges of our holy noses,
Dripped down our blessed beards
And splashed into our good-for-gulping Guinnesses
And onto our sand-strewn dominoes.

For one moment
I fondly thought, dear Piggles,
You too were able to shut your little piggy
Eyes to the bloody-awful, wretched, woebegone, comfortless,
Forlorn, godforsaken, miserable
Nature of this weary world.

But no,  you were just shutting your piggy eyes.

Thursday, 24 December 2015




 Who was the joker who painted that portrait of you?

One or the other, saints both, bless them!

Whoever, he got carried away,
Fell over his easel
Easily done I said
He did not smile.

Then he fed his colours,
Pinks exclusively,
Into your
Piggy image.

You to the life, Piggles,

Pink and pathetic,
Delicately blushing
But no-one would notice.

Suddenly -  ‘What was that falling?

A shadow of Yaddo?

No, it was the sun.

It was the onset of the sunset.

Augustine/John smiled as
The pink light rubbed you out..
'If it’s there I paint it,
If it’s not I don’t.’
He said.

In the end
You were the pigling nobody needed to paint.
You were the ‘Pig at Sunset’s Onset.
Subsumed by a pink window,

I was disappointed.
I really wanted that painting.
You, however, were short on opinion.
You did not comment
Which was expected.

Sunday, 20 December 2015


Suddenly I needed a holy day from you.

I just wanted to be clever alone,

Wanted to cut a figure

Sharp-edged and pigless, white in the moonlight.

Which of the holy bimbi, bless them,

Had starched my best shirt?

Sister Suzy Wong surely?

You trotted behind.

Go away Piggles!

You hung about.

Push off!  Go play with the girls!

You would not hear.

Shove off!  Go snuffle a truffle!

Suddenly you were enough to try the patience.

Piss off, Piggles!

You did not piss off.

You crept beneath my feet.

Pop-eyed and pathetic,

Peeping up at my essential pinkness

Hoping to find your dead and eaten Mum here,

Behind and beneath the sharp edges of my starched shirt.

Sunday, 16 September 2012


I remember lots of happy local locusts. 
Thick as autumnal leaves that strow the brooks
And two short planks.

But happy certainly.  Eating their greens,
Enjoying each others’ company. 
So happy they didn’t know they were happy.

One holy day we watched them swarm,
Shove off, scarper, push off, hop it, skedaddle,
Buzz off southwards.

The locusts were leaving the locality.
When they swarmed they ate the sun,
Made a someone-scored-for-England noise.

One moved they all moved
No locust any otherwards.

Which had me thinking deep and clever thoughts,
You, let’s face it, Piggles, could not share them,
About the unfailing logic of the earth.

You sat on your question-mark tail, waiting for supper,
Thick as a dozy locust but less happy,
What were you good for?  I asked myself.



When was the next time you were pathetic?
That picnic at Karnak with the girls?
You and me (or I, -  a saint may choose,)
With the hamper
On our defective tilting humper?
Four legs being better than three, Piggles,
Especially with camels.

You were pretty dizzy.
It was just too big to put in a poke,  that temple,
Just too grand for a nauseated pigling.
It was just too much.
We squinted up at the inadequate ceiling,
Miles above my tonsura
Miles above little Laura with the aura,
Miles above the glowing nimbi of the holy bimbi,
Miles above your quivering pink snout,
(Well, maybe not miles!)
And you were literally
sickened again.

I know the guide we settled for didn’t help
Startling teeth,  princess shoulders,
Bottom of an Irish cook and the smell of Nubia.
She reminded you of your mum,
Gave us some Theban tedium,
Not one joke!
You, nip-conscious,
Kept out of her way.

For me the highlight was the belly-dance.
Saint Fatima,  bless her, big and beautiful,
Thighs like a glass of Guinness,
Livening up the picnic
With two tassels, a fig-leaf
And that fat scarab in her bouncing navel.
You weren’t too impressed. (Surprise, surprise!)
Dare say you don’t remember much,
Being these days very
But I have only to close my eyes: