Tuesday, 29 November 2011


Hildegard of Bingen cruised in,
Great saint, bless her!, great poet!
Herself a luxury-liner, nun better!
Doing the Nile with the Herrenvolk.
Her face, a Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte mit Sahne
On a big white dish. We waved
And climbed the narrow companionway
To a , well!,
Seen one, seem them all,
A nun’s cabin,
Crumpled sheets, fag-ends, empty gin bottles,
More littery than literary.
Sieg heil, Hildchen!, she did not smile,
I showed her some of my best poems,
Really good ones.
Her voice, the dithyramb of an impaled herring-gull:
Who wrote these then, Tonio,
You or your pinky fat friend?
It was you she meant, Piggles.
I took the point of that ‘who wrote these?’
You took the point of that ‘pinky fat friend’.
You squeaked
And tipped yourself out off her
Bun’s nunk. No, not so much
Bun’s nunk, Piggles,
Nun’s bunk.
I grabbed back my really good poems.
Fat yourself, sister! The rapier wit struck home.
I carried you down,
Shivering, shaking, squealing,
Pathetic as per usual,
To our quotidian cuddle.

Later, when you were very
Dead, Piggles,
A postcard made its long journey
From the Vaterland.
Hildegard thanking me for the Schinken.
Nice pig, Tony! she wrote.
It was you she meant,
Piggles baby.