Leadership Training

Welcome dear, to the asylum
Where the grown-ups are not in control
Mummy’s out chasing a rainbow
Daddy is home but not whole

So what do we do with our brother
Who needs to be petted and fed?
Just sisters supporting each other
When parents don’t get out of bed

If you grab a hold by one ankle
Then I’ll take the other and try
To tease out the worst of the tangle
Then soap, rinse and powder him dry

I’m sorry your tummy is grumbly
There isn’t the money for S’mores
I’ll find what I can if you’re hungry
And we’ll have a picnic indoors

I guess we’re not going out playing
While youngest’s a hole in her shoe
I’ve mended the bits that were fraying
But darning the rubber won’t do

Besides which it’s no longer summer
And coats are too short in the sleeve
So even the common’s a bummer
With chilblains it’s better to leave

The exercise video’s starting
We’ll all sit together to stretch
Now reach for your toes if you’re hurting
And think of the rich and the wretch

If we can just keep it together
As family’s good for the soul
There’s almost no storm we can’t weather
To pursue an impossible goal

So try not to pick up your plimsolls
Don’t want anybody to know
If they catch a glimpse of the cardboard
When walking along in the snow

Then mummy and daddy are over
They’d ship us all out to a home
And though there’d be food there forever
We’re better off here on our own

Ex-Albania

“I like your face.”
The stranger smiled
A friendly eye
In a hostile world
Not to be ignored
At the end of a week
Whose gentle slide
From bad to cess –
Pitiable
Until she could feel
Herself yawning
Over the abyss
Clutching at nothing
More than the last
Frayed threads of temper.
Clearing consciousness
Not minding this overture
To a careful discussion of
Meteorologic insignificance
And closing with
Best wishes for
The weekend’s rest,
“Thank you” she said
And meant it.

A graceful corner

The wind that wafts the cypress trees
That sway as dancers, to and fro
Within this place of make-believe
To tickle fancies, fast and slow

Brings little joy to residents
Nor tourists struck by wanderlust
Who hurry onward, business-bent
And grit their teeth against the dust

These quiet passages bear marks
That whisper other sides to life
Some ooze what passes after dark
The noisome remnants of our strife

And yet my mind is pausing here
A pleasant hour to pass. I wait
Enclosed by those with much to fear
Without this sanctuary gate

Tempus fugit

Something is missing from my little world
Time passes so swiftly it’s almost absurd
As soon as my first daily job has been done
I’m already late starting on the next one.
Oh when will this treadmill let me catch my breath?
I’ve been working so hard, though young, I feel like death.
When finally homeward I wearily tread
It’s hardly worth sleeping, much less going to bed.
For changing to nightgown, brushing hair and teeth,
Wastes such precious time that I get no relief
And scrambling through supper and other routine
Makes senseless my efforts to rest or keep clean.
Even on the weekends, my work’s never done
As between friends and fam’ly, my time’s not my own.
Before I am ready it’s Monday alas,
And the whole wretched cycle starts over apace.

A Day of Rest

Che non potrei dare per un solo giorno
Senza gli ordini – niente da fare
Ni appuntamenti, neanche un lavoro
Ma il dritto di scegliere quando alzarmi.
Non pass’rei quel tempo tranquillo in fretta
Ma mi goderei poi d’ore benedette
E ‘tta riposata mi guarderei intorno
Dicendo ‘alquanto bello e stato quel giorno?’