Bedded, blessed and bared

  • So many contemporary depictions of sex are crass, pornographic and over-idealistic, in novels and films. This poem attempts to be erotic, and at the same time, subtle.


    Plump and pretty, crowned with surprise;

    beautiful your buttons, delightfully they rise,

    gravity un-defied, our bodies slightly battered,

    tired limbs entangled, hearts somewhat tattered.

    Fumbling blind in your hinge-opened thighs,

    slow foraging fingers, sleep-sensual eyes;

    purse-clasp open, pressed pussy-willow tip:

    rhythmic spasms whip your shapely hips.


    My crooked warm wonder shows little indecision,

    bare bishop-head smooth, piston-like precision,

    sunken to hilt, my sword sinks to inner core,

    ecstatic neurons sing but tendons slightly sore.

    Silent bodies bump, deep in understanding,

    mutual submission, romantic that *commanding,

    long covenanted couple, deep our strong roots,

    bedded, blessed and bared, sweet shared fruit.


    * Sexual drives are strong, but marriage is strong enough to contain them and provide for a balanced and fulfilling sexual life in a world of sexual disorder. The marriage bed must be a place of mutuality—the husband seeking to satisfy his wife, the wife seeking to satisfy her husband…1 Corinthians 7: 2 & 3

    “The Song of Songs” – woodcut by Eric Gill, 1925


Down high hedgerow lanes

Douglas Percy Bliss


Take me down high hedgerow lanes

when happy summer sun is high,

past the somnolent old houses

as hallowed haze blurs the sky.


I will walk with stick on shoulder,

my skulking collie leads the way,

birdsong embroiders fertile foliage,

wild mammals tenuously stray.


Few cars colonise this rural scene,

noble trees wear leafy crowns,

I walk to pass the time of day,

I’m long since retired from town.


One day I hope to hold a hand

much smaller than my own,

seesaw sized, we’ll amble slow,

God says: not good to be alone.


Many quaint questions asked,

amusing toddler, serious sage,

keenly detected family traits,

annotated those poetic pages.


happy days for rescue dog!

photos by Dora Kazmierak


Tennis-ball dropped quite near feet,

then hidden behind tree he waits,

tick-tock tail-wag, smile so sweet

  • who taught such charming traits?


Paw-worn path around tree base,

forays remind, needed assistance,

– ball throw triggers manic race

speed pursued, terrier persistence.


Orb ballistic, racquet propelled

down the long garden at speed,

bounce area athletically smelled,

lock-jaw clenched ball retrieved.


Hard-chased any object thrown,

helter-skelter, pursuit crazy,

target-locked, predator-prone,

hotly pursued, Jack never lazy.


Slightly stiff this pup-at-heart,

dog-centric much domestic dialogue,

sparse canine time spent apart

  • happy days for rescue dog!



I had been trying for many years to write a poem about the boarding school girlfriend, who started me off writing, in 1972. One day in 1980 she turned up, out of the blue….for just a few hours. I never heard from or saw her ever again…until someone kind found her online for me in recent years.


Lips long un-kissed, once-curtained by hair,

long-rued troubled muse, late my care;

unassuaged guilt, how far can a sinner fall?

Predestined, I caught your  phone call?


Old school friends, we readily agree to meet:

your mini skirt admired on that city street;

many mementos devoured in a dimly lit cafe,

time significant spent – much to ask and say.


Amsterdam to Dublin, an anguish-event:

your father’s life edited, too-soon spent;

squeezing extra time, parted at midnight,

bit back tears, our hugs lingered tight.


Decades later rediscovered: online, smiling,

my naieve card hoped repeat reconciling;

long your silence, I still yearn second chance –

vain the patient wait for second happenstance?

Vivaldi’s Virginal Choir

Females seduced, babies took blame,

infant girls lacked needed surname,

at della Pieta discreetly deposited,

orphaned offspring, convent-closeted.


Music mentored, once-undesired,

Vivaldi’s brain melodically inspired:

quick-inscribed score, passion poured out:

hard hearts bow, joyful angels shout.


Venetian audiences deeply moved,

salacious souls briefly soothed

by lively lutes, violin strings bowed,

balconied singers blessing bestowed.


*Figlie di coro, lattice-protected

very eligible girls, half-inspected:

pinafore-plain, hair bundled in bun;

sacred songs about life-giving Son.


Wondrous such words, echo-flung

in Latin language, sweetly sung;

happy the heart that well resonates

In excelsis deo: transferred all weights.


  • Figlie di coro = choir of daughters

The Ospedale della Pietà was a convent, orphanage, and music school in Venice. Much of Vivaldi’s sacred vocal and instrumental music was written for performance at the Pietà, where there was an orchestra of at least thirty to forty elements, all females.

Born to be Wild


New spoke sparkle this child idolised,

two wheelers seen on winter streets,

slightly envious, my Clark-shod feet

didn’t push shop-clean pedals prized.


Hand-me-down bike, sibling pre-owned,

chrome carrier rusty, paintwork scratched,

absent twist-grip with numbers attached,

no dynamo, frame paint not two-toned.


Metallic gold unisex bike came next,

my “grease-monkey” brother restyled,

custom-made chopper brought smile:

cow-bars, back-rest, banana seat spec.


Acoustic Harley had no starter key,

trend setter now, not cyclist outsider,

three speed throttle, rapid easy-rider,

street-long wheelies achieved with ease.


Small queues formed to take turns,

round the block races counted down,

born-to-be-wild, Steppenwolf sound:

rebel engine grumble, sweet octane burn…

Simple Six Dot Sequence


His father’s face showed fright;

child-curious, Louis fatefully

played with sharp workshop awl,

accidentally scratched cornea;

infant internship fully blinded.

“Why this deep dark, daddy?”

his plaintive query stung pride…

did ever-mindful mother berate

that fallible self-accusing father?


Tight-gripped, lovingly-crafted

cane now guided this blind boy

on country lanes and village paths;

free-spirited his sense of adventure.

Boarding-school then mentored

the imaginative adolescent, inventor;

adopted the cryptic night writing

patterned print adapted, improved.


Morse-code freed the sightless

with a simple six dot sequence,

thick paper awl-pummelled,

embossed by abstract alphabet,

brains baptised, Braille bolstered:

finally all books opened, unsealed.


Blinded in both eyes as a result of an early childhood accident, Braille mastered his disability while still a boy. He excelled in his education and received scholarship to France’s Royal Institute for Blind Youth. While still a student, at the age of fifteen, he began developing a system of tactile code, inspired by the military cryptography of Charles Barbier.  “Braille” allowed blind people to read and write quickly and efficiently.

Alexander Cruden, eccentric corrector

Hunting holy words with glee,

indexing them systematically,

feather quill scrawled hurriedly,

almost autistic, evangelical energy

passionate, prophetic, lexicon pursuit.


By early morning candle light,

proofreading  pre-print newspapers,

slept exhausted until dawn,

birdsong summoned to pious prayers.


Wondrous words need compiling,

digging through biblical dramas;

verbal quarry a one-time Sabbath game,

“every man a scriptural scholar”.


Abjectly neglected, your bookshop’s

sparsely stocked shelves unattractive;

your bloodshot eyes frightened off many,

your mad muttering many dismayed.


Asylum imprisoned, until night escape

over wall, hobbling home wearing one shoe.

What surreal contrast from an earlier

introductory audience with Queen Caroline!

Never pre-destined, “Albion’s Corrector”

your manifesto meaninglessly declaimed,

elected only for one gallows rope rescue.


Thrice-spurned by mocking amours

– unloved but for platonic prostitute

whom you rescued from sexual slavery;

she discovered you dead with blessed Book;

What an epitaph for an earnest autodidact!

Pious people still mine meaning from

your elephantine small-print treasure,

magisterial, your gargantuan concordance.


Cruden (1701 – 1770) compiled his Concordance, first ever index of key words in the Bible. He was proofreader and publisher, and also self-styled Corrector of the nation’s morals.

Let Neglected Authors Speak again

Light opera songs sung cheerily upstairs,

book browsers scowl, throw pointless glares;

under desk, price tags carpet the vinyl,

battalions of books, unevenly spinal.


Rows of books, somewhat regimented

pages permeate, shop sweetly scented;

authors are sinners, authors are saints,

some show caution, others, no restraint.


Waiting wooden ladders stand  angled,

there’s little in this shop new fangled

but books galore, differing typefaces,

stories transport us to distant places.


Hidden train tickets, often old stamps,

some books pristine, others foxed-damp,

some underlined or margin annotated,

autodidacts pencilled opinions stated.


Languages learned with differing truths,

books are mentors missed in youth;

historians challenge narrative witness:

Shaw queries Chesterton’s fitness.


Let neglected voices speak again,

older authors bless our brains,

our gaze may dip or diligently delve,

serendipity lurks among dusty shelves…