December 12


Mama, is that Papa? I do not understand why someone
So valuable is so completely untouched. Days are leaving.

December 11


Taking receipt of a new wife, replacing the old wife.
I think it was a Saturday. Air full of ice.

December 10


The day I left home and went home, homestead, small-
Holding, condominium, maisonette, chateau, none
Of the above. Mama, is that you?

December 9


The day I began to sprout hair in unexpected
Places. Tristan da Cunha. Desnogorsk. Bikini Atoll –
Although there it started to fall out almost immediately.

December 8


One of my highlights of the past dreadful age has been the little castrato who was filmed juggling several coloured balls in what I suppose one might call “the threatening air”.

December 7



O ye tap on the door! Thy ribaldry! Maestro!
Thy outlets multiply! Meet me after the flood . . .

December 6



— I think I’ve taken things as far as I can, and need to pass the baton on to the next idiot.
—It’s not a race.
—Actually it is, and I’m quite out of puff.
—But you are still a relatively young man. 102 is no age at all these days.
—Tell the lasses in the clubs and literary salons that.
—I’m sure they are not consumers of your effusions.
—It depends. Some of them have been.
—And what did they make of it, dare I ask?
—It’s difficult to say. None of them have spoken to me since what might be termed their “encounter”.
—But you have admirers. Not loads, it’s true, but if we booked a coach for a fan day trip to Skegness and sold tickets we would probably break even.
—Are you sure about that?
—Yes, if it was a small coach and we hired it outside the high season.
—Would I have to go on the trip?
—I think it would be expected.
—I don’t like Skegness.
—It doesn’t have to be Skegness. Mablethorpe has a lot going for it, or so I’ve heard. I’ve never been there.
—All this sounds too far outside my comfort zone, which is basically my house. And I’m not completely comfortable there, either. Anyway, we’ve drifted off the point. I have a baton, and I need to pass it on. Do you know any idiots?
—None to compare with you, to be honest.

December 5



“Why is Darkness Cove called Darkness Cove?” Bunty asked Arthur, who stopped looking at footsteps in the sand and began to think about taking up pipe smoking or, as an alternative, enrolling for a course on portraiture at evening class.
“I think because it is often quite dark here,” he replied, as the sunlight came down from the sky and bounced off his head.
“I want to go home now,” said Bunty.

December 4


To take my mind off some of the concerns I have I should go
And feed the horse. If only, if only we had a horse.
It would be like having a kingdom. A kingdom. A kingdom.
Or a garden where one’s eyes might be graced by the colours.

December 3


           How to go on? To be comfortable
Is not the same as being happy, or satisfied
With what just rolled off the conveyor belt.