Sunday, 27 March 2016

'I'm having enough air' (a metal-fork)

'Dear dear dear dear dear.'
'Sorry, Pooh?'
'Dear, oh dear.'
'What's dear?'
'Dearie me.'
'What's the matter?'
'Who'd have thought it?'
'Well, not me. I haven't got a clue--'
'Breathing, eh? So dangerous.'
'This programme I watched on Eeyore's new tv last night.'
'About breathing.'
'Well…sort of.'
'So what happened?'
'Well, there was this man. And this woman. And this man found out that this woman was doing something behind his back.'
'Making faces?'
'Impersonating Vlad the Impaler?'
'Realigning ocean currents?'
'Breathing, Piglet. She was having enough air.'
'She'd been behaving oddly. He confronted her. And she said, I'm having enough air.'
'Did she, now?'
'With my doctor, she said.'
'How is that a problem? She's going along the street, she thinks, coo, I'm a bit out of puff, ooh look, here's my doctor's, I'll just nip in, and he says what's up…well, not what's up doc, he's the doc, she isn't…and she says, lor lumme--'
'Piglet, who on earth says lor--?'
'All right, then, 'strewth, I'm not half out of breath, doctor, and he says, not to worry Mrs…Mrs…Person, just pop this mask on, deep breaths, think beautiful thoughts, there you go, how do you feel? And she says, tip-top, ta doc, and he says don't mention it, have a leaflet.'
'No, no, no, Piglet. When she said to the man, I'm having enough air, it didn't mean I'm having enough air, it meant…I'm--you know--having enough air.'
'Pooh, could you stop winking?'
'No, but do you see? It means what it doesn't mean it means.'
'Oh, really.'
'Yes. Owl calls it figurative language. When she said, I'm having enough air, she was using a metal-fork. See?'
'Not surprising. Those awful cookery programmes are all over the--'
'Like when some chap sings You Are My Sunshine, he's saying, how do you fancy being a metal-fork?'
'Ah. So his way of declaring love is a proposal to melt whoever-it-is down and turn her into--'
'Yes! Exactly!'
'So actual real breathing isn't a danger after all?'
'Well…thinking about it…yes and no.'
'And no?'
'See, you might think you're using a metal-fork, or that thing where you say something is like something else.'
'A smiley.'
'Precisely. My love is like a red, red nose and all that. So you might think you're using a metal-fork or a smiley but it might backfire. And then you're back to just meaning what you were not meaning to mean when you started meaning it.'
'But in that case, I'm having enough air would be alright, wouldn't it? The problem would be if the man said, what's up, you're looking a bit peaky, and she said, I'm not having enough air.'
'Well, Eeyore wondered if she wasn't having enough something.'

Saturday, 26 March 2016

'Happy Easter.'

'Happy Easter, then, Piglet.'
'And to you, Pooh.'
'Ah…a nice quiet few days.'
'Or not.'
'That boy in the red coat and sou'wester is organising some games.'
'What…is he back?'
'Rabbit says.'
'We'll have Social Services swarming all over the place again.'
'I'd say so.'
'So what games has he got in mind?'
'One's called catch as catch can catch can catch can catch.'
'Catch what?'
'A slow-moving full stop, I'd imagine.'
'I'll re-hibernate.'
'With another you have to swallow an Amazon.'
'Good grief…does it mind?'
'It won't know. Apparently five of you get together, become famous and then creep up on it.'
'Famous? Just like that? How?'
'I think you have to take a photo of yourself on one of those little gizmos like Tigger has.'
'Ah, a shellfish.'
'Yes, you take a shellfish and then make sure it goes floral.'
'I don't trust those gizmos. There's that poor lady Kim Dashcardigan.'
'Oh, yes, her.'
'Indeed her. Tries to take a shellfish, her gizmo steals all her clothes.'
'Look, where does this boy get these games from?'
'Rabbit said he had a book with him. Whoever wrote it put their autograph on the front.'
'Which is?'
'Gnid Blytor.'
'Hmm, Blytor is right. We must find them.'
'Have words.'
'Hide their Letraset.'
'Oh . . . and he wants an egg hunt.'
'He's not heard of hens, then.'
'Must have slipped Gnid's mind.'

Saturday, 19 March 2016

Suzi and Will.

'…and apart from the Queen, there's Shakespeare.'
'Sorry, Piglet?'
'Big events in April, Tigger says.'
'Are they cleaning him, too?'
'Celebrating him.'
'That's nice.'
'Four hundred years.'
'Goodness. Now there's a healthy diet.'
'It makes you think, Pooh. A Suziquatrocentenary.'
'I never realised Suzi Quatro wrote Shakespeare.'
'I never realised we knew who she was.'
'Aren't we bundles of surprise?'
'Aren't we, though?'
'Though I'd say they probably collaborated.'
'What, Pooh?'
'Suzi and Will.'
'Oh, no doubt. I can hear just hear Mrs Macbeth singing "Your Mother Won't Like Me".'
'And "What A Way To Die".'
'Well, they all have to sing that, his lot, at some point in a play.'
'After they'd had their ordnance shot off.'
'Their excursions alarumed.'
'That rotter in "Othello", he'd love "Devil Gate Drive." What's his name?'
'We should ask that nice rambler Mr Beckett what he thinks of Shakespeare.'
'Owl tried.'
'What did he say?'
'He just shrank to a spot-lit mouth and yelled "What? No! Him!!".'
'Rivalry there, I'd say.'
'Yes, bit of an atmosphere in the Green Room.'
'Why is it always green?'
'I'm not sure. Perhaps that's the colour of motivation.'
'Or perdition fumbles all the souls it's meant to catch.'
'Yes, mess all over the walls. Impossible to clear. Unless Barry Scott drops by.'
'Is he in one of their plays, then?'
'Antibac and Cleopatra.'
'Oh, yes…"Once more unto the bleach" and all that.'
'Stirring stuff, Pooh.'

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Barry Scott, Scott Joplin and the Big Clean

'What exactly is that "Clean for the Queen" thing they're going on about out there?'
'Ah, big campaign.'
'Is that so?'
'Yes. Everyone is being encouraged to go on a huge litter-pick and tidying drive to get where they live all spick and span for her birthday.'
'Remind me, when is that?'
'Tigger reckons it's started already.'
'And when will it end?'
'I hear the tone of your words, Pooh.'
'So they've all got to get cracking?'
'Yes. Big play being made to primary schools, Tigger says. Get them involved, make it a fun project.'
'I see. Like getting them to design logos.'
'For nothing, yes. Tigger says it saves a mountain in design company fees.'
'I think Owl calls it faux-democracy.'
'Well, he loves a bit of Icelandic.'
'And when they've done all the tidying? I mean, what does she do in return?'
'In return?'
'You don't get the hang of how their country works, do you, Pooh?'
'Well…never really wanted to.'
'She might ask them some questions.'
'Oh, yes?'
'Possibly. "Have you scrubbed far?" That sort of thing.'
'I see.'
'Or "Are you related to Barry Scott?"'
'Who's Barry Scott?'
'Oh, Pooh. The Cillit-Bang Man.'
'Ah, of course. The one who walked out in all that snow: "I'm going to tackle the toilet rim and I may be quite some time".'
'Spot on, Pooh.'
'As Mr Scott would say. Although…'
'Eeyore said that he'd seen him on TV, doing a wildlife show from years and years ago.'
'No, Pooh, that would be Scott Joplin. Used to play piano between the items with one of those brightly coloured birds on his shoulder.'
'A Parapet?'
'I'm confidently not sure.'
'…and when he wasn't playing piano, Eeyore said, he sang the blues dressed up as woman in a tee-shirt saying "I Heart Port Arthur, Texas."'
'No, no, Pooh, that's Janis Scott.'
'Ah…Barry Scott's wife?'
'Or mum.'

Monday, 7 March 2016

'Tintagel' (Cornwall)


I want to rise in steam

from the leafy thrust
of hot public gardens
and anchor in the skies above Tintagel

where the postmistress
and the lading-clerk,
loveless through years of cargo,
of letters insulted by boot-heel and rain,
fall at last in each other’s way.
I shall be the promenade
that opens blue
between her corsage and his gravy stains
the engine of an evening’s walk
the something that aligns her daring toes
with his better-days leather.

I shall, a moment on,
be the pinch-gap
of thumb and finger
lifting ill-chosen pie from his breath
and a lifetime’s disabling catch
from hers

so words come
so a murmur outcrooks his elbow
so another hinges her resinous fingers
within it
just so

(from Come To Pass, Oversteps Books,