Muhammad Ali

“Float like a butterfly,
sting like a bee.”
Muhammad Ali



Spinning round and round and round,
dizziness swelling.
Where to go now?
Frantically rushing,
here and there,
reddened faces coming and going,
collisions and confusion reign;
always returning somehow to the same face.
Then retracing the steps,
no escape,
frantically trying to keep up;
and then back once again,
confusion is doubled,
only by good fortune is disaster averted.
more spinning,
more dizziness.
Strip The Willow is a bewildering dance to the uninitiated!

Mustn’t Grumble, Can’t Complain

“Hello there, how are you doing?
It’s nice to see you once again.
How am I? Oh, well, you know,
Mustn’t grumble, can’t complain.
I still suffer from lumbago
Which flares up in the rain,
But I’m not too bad considering,
Mustn’t grumble, can’t complain.
And when some laddie on his scooter
Came hurtling down our lane,
He knocked me down and broke my arm,
But mustn’t grumble, can’t complain.
And I’ve had a very upset stomach
Since our holiday in Spain.
It must have been the water,
But mustn’t grumble, can’t complain.
And I still get recurring migraines,
As if someone’s digging in my brain,
But they only last a week or so
So mustn’t grumble, can’t complain.
And I’ve got two ingrown toenails
Which cause considerable pain,
But they’re coming off next Thursday
So mustn’t grumble, can’t complain.
But how about you – usual problem?
Well the solution to that is plain.
I’ll write you a repeat prescription.
Mustn’t grumble, can’t complain.”

Peace 2

That moment when the car is parked, and the engine turned off.
The radio is silenced.
The revving, beeping, knuckle-whitening commute is completed.
The chatter and noise and demands of the office are left far behind.

The door is not yet opened.
The chattering, noisy, demanding children have not yet been collected.
The television has yet to be switched on.
No noise, no demands, no concerns.

Just peace.

Just for a moment.


They stand quiet and composed, small faces solemn and well-washed.
The minister announces that the choristers will now sing the anthem.
The choir mistress raises her hands, with a slight nod to the organist.
The first chords flow from the organ, an unheard breath is taken,
then the first golden notes begin to float above the choristers.
They soar up and down, twisting together in scintillating silver ribbons of sound,
filling the church with such enchantment
that even the statues in the niches seem almost about to quicken.
Then, softly, the notes fall away to silence,
and to approbation.