Everyone’s A Critic

The loud purring
Of a sensitive soul
Rumbles across my lap
A gentleman-mouser
Whose claws are rarely
Sheathed in my flesh
Save for those few
Accidental motions.
He pauses in his
Hypnotic kneading
Of careful paws
Twitches a whisker
Opens a lazy eye
We are content
Devoted Familiar and
Current Provider of ear-scratches
Precious moments spent together
Do not last as long
As they once did
Those rare islands
Of near-silence
I try to spend
Writing.
Such a distraction
Is sadly unacceptable
In company
My failure to stroke
Soft furry egos
While fingers
Play over lettered keys
And coffee cools
At a careless elbow
Lead to gentle taps
Polite, then more insistent
I frown and mutter
Trying to shake loose
Some old ideas
From new forehead creases
Transmit them to my dusty screen
Before the next
Set of demands is issued
By the charming pout
Of the other House Tyrant
Whose three-year-reign
Continues to sway
The working lives
Of all her subjects.
It is not enough.
I cannot please all
Of my many masters
Not this day.
As gentle snores fade to yawns
I sift through the tired
Dog-eared card catalogue
Housed temporarily for safekeeping
Within my rapidly emptying skull
Brain cycling faster
The vocalisation
Begins in earnest
Close behind my ear
“Miaouw!”
He is starting to insist
“Pssst! Shush!”
It is a futile gesture
To try to silence
An old friend
The search continues
There are paws on my shoulder
Tapping, prodding
A hint of sharpness
A gentle shove
Hot breath on my neck
Can I find a verbal noun,
Subclause, or synonym
To convey my sense
Of panic at the first stirrings
Of any sleeping creature
Under four feet
But still a giant?
Too late.
“Mummy!”
I hiss my discomfort
At the sudden perforation
Of my thigh.
Time’s up once again.

Hedgehog

I once moved country
With a sleeping bag
A dictionary
Two dresses
A blue t-shirt
One pair of jeans
And a change of underwear
To live in a nine foot
Square box with no
Toilet or fridge
I cooked ravioli
In the tin over
A five euro
Electric kettle
And washed both
Food and clothing
In the bidet
Entertaining friends
One at a time
As I acquired
A single mug
With no handle
Singing songs
With strangers
Who were also
Far from home
So do not dare
To presume
That I will permit
Myself to acknowledge
The inconvenience
Of personal growth
There are other things
Upon this Earth
That chafe

DElectable

If I were one, not two or three
I wouldn’t care what you thought of me
I’d have the choice to change, to be
The person inside, outside. Free.

But there is you, and her and him
And cool, and chic, and fair and slim
I don’t know where I should begin
To twist myself to meet each whim

Opinions hover overhead
What might she think? What would be said?
You couldn’t tell what’s in my head
I gathered thoughts, but lost the thread…

They’re moulding me to something new
To shine in every interview
And sell my soul – in shades of blue
With hints at things that could be true.

Hiatus

The Ugly Thought Spider
Squats on the ceiling
Above my head
Mocking my efforts
At pest control
Weaving strings of coincidence
Swapping hunger pangs and saliva
For absent-minded insects, the buzz
Of fast food suspended
With sticky strings attached
Out of reach
I cannot swat him
Though the news today was heavy
I endeavour to ignore his whispers
Cleaving to my sanity
As he to lunch

Lacking in punctuation

When I may wander mid the clouds
that form when I think far too loud
disturbing thus my reverie
I see such sights no man should see.
Not dusty clouds to cobwebs wed
but glittering smoke, which once thin-spread
reveals to me the shining towers
of cities, beautiful, which house
the fairy nations that there dwell
quite ignorant of heaven or hell
who smile their days and dance their nights,
delight in causing strangers frights,
but best of all, enjoy such life
without the care or daily strife
one sends to plague us here on Earth
and make us doubt our very worth –
for hopelessness and sad despair
are products such as one grows here
and harvests gleefully – cuts down
rejoicing in our every frown
until our chins have reached the floor
– we no more see as once before
but bow our heads in misery
for what we are, we may not be.