Monthly Archives: January 2018

Fish Friday

Fish Friday

What cook worth his salt could contemplate

putting such an array on a plate?


A dribble of peas, a pitiful puddle;

his mind must be a mushy muddle.


The cod in batter is so dry,

it petitions a tear from my eye.


And what can be said of the chips?

Triple-fried? Just read my lips.


St. Peter risked life on the seas,

for victuals so different to these.


This shrivelled, misshapen cod;

a fist in the face of God.


How can I bring myself to eat

this farcical Fish Friday Treat?

Regular followers of this blog will know that I frequently write poems provoked or inspired by food and drink.  Recent examples of this are poems about cherry tomatoes and peach schnapps.  The Song of the Cherry Tomato was intended to celebrate the delicious nature of such miniature tomatoes, and the ease of eating them.  Fish Friday, on the contrary, was provoked by one of the most disappointing meals I’ve ever been served in a restaurant.  I’ve always enjoyed eating fish and chips, and have written poems on the subject before.  There’s something about the connections with fish and the Christian religion, together with the habit of eating fish on a Friday, that tend to generate poetic imagery.  I would have liked to have written in a more celebratory tone, but the food that was offered to me on this occasion was so awful that I was left with no alternative.


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The Age of the Universe


(“The age of the universe is about 109 years.” Rupert Sheldrake – The Science Delusion.)

How can this be right?
Three little digits,
so tiny, so tight.
To compress energy,
dark energy,
the speed of light,
dark matter,
all things bright
and beautiful,
all things
in our sight,
all things that we hear,
go back to the year,
go back to the minute,
the vertiginous limit,
the moment,
the instant,
it all began,
the Big Bang.
How can they do it,
those digits,
from Big Bang
to NOW?
Three little digits,
so tiny,
so tight.
How can they do it?
How can this be right?

The last book I read in 2017 was also, I think, the most stimulating, most interesting, most provocative book I read all year: The Science Delusion, by Rupert Sheldrake.  I found the arguments in the book – basically an attack on the materialistic, mechanistic views of Richard Dawkins – so convincing that I shall no doubt be returning to the book in future posts.  Suffice it for now to mention that just one of the fascinating facts I came across in the book was that the age of the universe could be expressed in the three digits signifying ten to the power of nine.  I did a double-take, looked again at the three tiny digits, and suddenly the ideas for the above poem came flooding into my head.

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