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Tuesday, 1 December 2009

"Exile Tanka"

As winter storms in
My little mimosa tree
Sports shivering blooms

The collared dove warms her feet
Dreaming of Southern Sunshine.

Far from the mountains
Where sages lived forever
My heart grows older

Remembering younger days
And weeping dark bamboo tears.

Copyright © Res JFB 25th November 2009

"Milk Fever & Cow Lifting"

"Thank's Res!"

Milk Fever and Cow Lifting.

"Res, I've got a cow down!"
My friend Leonard said,
"Show me, my friend!" said I,
And followed where he led.

Big black and white Friesian
Fallen and wedged quite tight
Behind the feeding troughs
And it was coming on for night!

"Milk fever?" I asked quietly
So as not to fright the cow
"Have you got the calcium in 'er?"
"Yes, I've just done it now!"

"Did you stick it in the milk vein?"
"No, just under the skin!"
"Damn, it'll take forever,
Milk vein's the place to whack it in!"

Though it wasn't Leonard's fault
But it really was a pain
With half a ton of cow on top
You couldn't reach the vein!

"Leonard we'll have to lift 'er,
But there isn't any space,
What have you got in the lifting way
That we can get into this place?"

"Well, I've got a pin-bone clamp,
That I picked up one time,
But nothing in the lifting way
That we can bring on line!"

"Come Leonard, I've seen scaffold poles
Out there in the scrap,
And sheave blocks and grain hoists
We can make something out of that!"

So we scat a hole up through the floor
Of the granary upstairs,
And built a sheer-legs out of poles
And collected pulley wheels in pairs.

Some rope from the bale trailer,
Threaded through the wheels
And we had a block and tackle
With a four to one lift deal!

So clamp clamped on the pin-bones
And filled with more than hope,,
Two husky sons and I began
To pull down on that rope!

"Oh Res, she's lifting nicely!"
Our Leonard he did say,
But her arse came up and her chin stayed down,
And then she stayed that way!

"No good, no good, no good!" I cried,
"Lower her down once more!
Gently now, don't let her drop!"
And we lowered her to the floor!

"We need another sheer-legs,
We need more rope and blocks,
Send a son to fetch back mine,
The one I use for moving rocks!"

So we built another sheer-legs,
Another hole in the granary floor
We made a sling for under her chest
And we start to lift her more!

This time she came up even
And we held her there a-while
But she wouldn't take her own weight
Not by a country mile.

"We need to massage her legs
To get some feeling back
But there just isn't room to work,
We'll have to lay her back!"

"No! No!" I said, "Let's tie her off,
Let's make a careful plan,
Let's cut some rollers and a door,
To lay her back upon!"

This we did, we cut some pipes,
We found a fine stout door
And arranged them underneath
Before we lowered her to the floor.

Now inch by inch we dragged her
Backwards on her door,
Until she popped, just like a cork
Onto the loose-box floor.

Ah now we would have room to work,
We let her rest just then.
No rest for us, we had to do
The whole job over again!

Two more holes up through the ceiling
Arrange the sheer-legs and the rope
The clamp, the sling, the blocks and all,
And start again with hope!

This time we raised her neatly
We were getting good by now,
We tied her off just dangling there,
And went to work on the cow.

We massaged each leg carefully,
She really did look sick,
We lifted them and flexed their joints
She was too tired to kick.

We built a wall of straw bales
To hold her up a while
And gradually slacked off the ropes
You should've seen Old Leonard smile.

We were also smiling
As we saw her take her weight
Another cow saved once more
From the Knacker-man's fate.

And in the lantern light we sat
Mrs L bought tea and scones,
Cow suckled calf, and Len and me
Were weary to our bones.

But satisfied and well pleased
With our labour on that day,
We'd earned a piece of heaven
As we went upon our way

Words Copyright © Res JFB 15th July 2008
Pics from the Web

"Better Now!"

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

"St Just Fire Brigade"

St Just Fire Brigade are volunteers
But when they are called out
The Butcher, Baker and Candlestick maker
All turn out for a "Shout."

One time they put out a fire
In a Penzance Square,
They say they put the fire out
Before Penzance crew got there!

They'd turn out for anything
Cat up a tree, or stuck under a log,
A puppy down a mine shaft
Or a heifer stuck in a bog!

Peter Bennetts prize heifer
Up to her belly in marsh.
And 'im an' his lads couldn't budge 'er
Oh Lord! Peters comments were harsh!

So they called the boys out with their engine
Duckboards and sheer-legs and toys
Slings and sheave blocks for pulling
They knew what they were doin' those boys!

They heaved and they splashed and got muddy
The heifer got frightened and guess,
Yeah, frightened cattle always
Add a good contribution to mess.

Things got smelly and mucky
Neighbours arrived to lend hand
And with much swearin' and sweating
Eventually they got her to land.

Poor heifer stood shaking and trembling
The boys started cleaning their tack
Peter said to his son Johnathan
"Get a bottle of rum! Hurry back!"

All the firemen looked hopefull
And slowed down what they was doin'
They'd earned a drink of any mans rum
But they didn't know what was ensuein'.

The Firemen all looked thirsty
The bottle arrived like a zephyr
Peter Bennett took one long sniff
An' poured it all down the throat of the Heifer!

Faces have never dropped further
As they watched the gurgling grog
They saved Bennetts heifer that day
But Peter, they threw back in the bog!

Copyright © Res JFB 25th February 2008

Sunday, 15 November 2009

" Injured Birds "


Injured birds break my heart

Like injured innocence
Losing the gift of flight

If only one could cradle
Them in warm palms
Heal with the touch of love

Breath fresh confidence
Into their timid breasts

Their recovery would mend my heart!


Copyright © Res JFB 13th April 2008

"The Beaufort Scale "

The Beaufort Scale is an empirical measure for describing wind velocity based mainly on observed sea conditions.

The Beaufort Scal

Without regard for life or limb,
The weather, it comes storming in.
The waves do build, the wind does wail
As the weather climbs the Beaufort Scale.

At Force Six, Strong Breeze, large waves with foam

The fishing fleet starts to think of home
At Seven, Near Gale, the foam does streak
Out-doors is no place for the weak!

At Eight, the waves are eighteen feet,

And cars veer across the street!
At Strong Gale Nine, the slates do fly,
And chimneys shake against the sky.

At Ten, Whole Gale, whole trees do go,

And whole roofs too, "Look out below!"
Force Eleven has thirty seven foot waves,
And has taken many to their graves!

But Force Twelve has another dread name,

And that dread name is hurricane!
Ninety miles an hour winds, sixty foot seas,
Will do with you just what they please!

And wind and wave can go much higher,

If I told you now you'd think me liar!
But in the shriek and wave and wail,
You'll pray to God that you prevail!

And when it's over you won't believe

This friendly breeze knocked you to your knees.
You count your dead, lay them away
And brace to face another day.

But remember when fishers head away,

And sailors seek a sheltered bay,
When the weather is unfit for all,
The Life-boat is ready for your call!

Those brave, brave men will always sail

No matter what the Beaufort Scale.
They'll do their best for you and me,
And all in peril on the sea!

Poem Copyright © Res JFB 7th May 2008

Dedicated with the greatest admiration to the Crew 
of Lifeboat Solomon Browne, who, on the night of 19th December 1981
gave their lives trying to rescue the Crew of the Coaster
Union Star.
Both Crews were lost.
After one day of searching for survivors or bodies,
another full crew of volunteers reported for duty
on the replacement lifeboat!

"Stapling Rocks "


Here in Cornwall
We get such weather
We often staple
Rocks together!

To make our sea wall
Strong and stout
To keep the tide
And water out.

But sea salt and iron
You can trust
Eventually will
Give way to rust!

So now when our sea wall
We must heal
We put our trust in
Stainless steel!

Copyright © Res JFB 9th May 2008

"Fairy Queen "


If you were a Fairy Queen
A crown of Clover would be seen
Upon your head and in your hair
I know because I'd place it there.

I'd scatter bluebells round your feet
And bring honey for you to eat.
I'd ask the birds and ask the bees
To sing you songs and bring you ease.

Robes I'd weave from Mermaids Hair
Scatter roses everywhere
Write songs of you, for others to sing
Were you my Queen and I your King.

Oh yes I know it's make-believe
Like favours sewn upon a sleeve
And heraldry so seldom seen,
But to me you are my Queen.

And though we work and though we play
The magic is not far away
Your lovely hair crowns your lovely head
You bring love and rose petals to my bed.

Copyright © Res JFB 11th May 2008

"Morning Walk "


A pretty pastel morning,
The sea a gentle swell,
The morning Sun is climbing,
Over sand and sea and shell.

The air is like cool satin,
A caress against my face,
I stretch my legs and swing my arms,
Picking up the pace.

I want to get to Marazion,
The next town round the bay,
There and back will be five miles,
I hope to keep fit this way.

The light is always changeing,
The scene is always new,
It would take a lifetime,
To tire of this view.

There's rabbits playing on the grass,
And always dogs I know,
They'll remember me for a biscuit,
And bring me balls to throw.

There's flowers there to photograph,
And swans fly over the foam,
And maybe a "bacon banjo",
Before I venture home!

Copyright © Res JFB 12th May 2008.

" Life and Death"


A sweet friend who I love dearly
Not halfway through her beauty
Starts to fear for her passing
Starts to fear her dying hour
Will she waste the beauty
Of her loveliness and spirit
By fearing the one thing
That we know will come to pass?

We are all upon a journey
An exciting vivid pathway
Not just from birth to death
But from alpha to omega.
From amoeba to future man
From Africa to America
If we can trace our DNA
To the dawn of time in Africa
Surely by all that's Holy
It must stretch as far the other way!

All of us who have loved someone
Must have felt that consciousness
That expanding of awareness
Beyond the function of the brain!
That knowing beyond thinking
That's the senses of the spirit
That's the knowing that can go with us
When we leave this life behind!

I am quite content to know
The limit of my understanding
Cannot hope to encompass
Everything that will be so.
Whether playing harps in Heaven
Or going walkies with a Dog God
Or worshipping a Goddess
Oh Goddess let it be so!
Or imagine just an energy
With that loving consciousness
Merging with all others that have ever been.
Imagine all the sparking, the laughing and the larking
When this life is over I'll be content to go there.

I'm in no hurry to move onward
But I know it's surely coming
There's one or two would kick my ass
If I went too soon!
When my time comes I hope
I'm not a miser at my ending
Clinging greedily to days and nights
Who's worth is sadly declining.
But ready to hopefully
Face the onward journey
With all the love I've saved up
In my ever-loving' life!

Someone said 'twas better
To always travel hopefully
Than to arrive.
I think that's a better way
To try to live your life.
Live up to life's promise
Live all your life hopefully
No matter what the setbacks
Love as many dearly
As you'd wish to love yourself
This can be a life of beauty
And your only duty
Is to do your very best
For the best part of your life.

There's no need to live fearfully
Because of what is coming
That is just to waste the thing
That life has given us.
Death is just the next step
In the journey we must travel
To regret any part of it
Is to regret life itself.

So give yourself to living
Give yourself to loving
Give yourself to travelling
This lovely vivid road
Give to travelling hopefully
Till age make travelling wearyfull
Then allow kindly death relieve you of your load.

Copyright © Res JFB 18th May 2008

This is dedicated to my dear friend Dena with Love and Admiration.

"A Pair of Shorts "



Inspired by John Trudell's lovely song "Raptor"

Dancing in the dark,
To "Raptor"
Fine, fierce, feminine,

Flight of fancy,
Without you!


My Familiar Woods

My familiar woods,
Night breezes whisper,
My echo-locator
On the dark path home.

Copyright © Res JFB 20th May 2008

"To Lao Tzu and The Earthquake "


To Lao Tzu and The Earthquake

A Message From The West.

You spent your life
Learning and teaching
Serving by being.
Like water content
To take the lower path.
Seeking the common level.
And like water
Moving softly
But wearing away
Mountains of greed,
Ignorance and prejudice
By the practice
Of your faith and
The truth of your words!

As you grew older
Who knows if 'twas
Towards the end
Or the beginning
Of your sacred life,
You abandoned mans greed
And took another pathway.

You mounted your Water Buffalo
Xiao Gao Jiao, Little Longhorn
That most patient of companions
And rode away
Towards the West,
Where your wisdom
Was then so badly needed.
More so than at home.

I have often wondered
When you would get here!
But as you told me in a dream,
To those whose hearts are open,
You are already here.

Perhaps now, Honoured Friend,
Whilst China's bosom is bleeding
By the Dragon's shrugging shoulders,
So many dead, so many needing comfort.
It is time for you to return
To China once again.

Ah! But of course,
Lao Tzu. Wo lao pen yu,*
To those whose hearts are open,
You are already there!

Take your wisdom and your acceptance
To those in need of understanding.
Join with Lady Kuan Yin,
Bring healing to the sore.
Lay the hand of comfort
Upon the souls of those who suffer,
Grant them the strength to survive
And the wisdom to rebuild.

Tell them that those who see
The Tao. By whatever name
Different peoples give it,
Send their wishes for recovery
And our hopes for days to come,
And their love to share
In both the sorrows and the happiness
Of our brothers and our sisters
In the East and Everywhere!

Copyright © Res JFB 21st May 2008
*Lao Tzu. Wo lao pen yu = Lao Tzu. My old friend.


Saturday, 14 November 2009

" A Mother's Sacrifice. "

A Mothers Sacrifice.

In the Land of the Giant Panda,
In the Province of Sichuan,
They were digging in the rubble,
Still hoping to find someone.

They found a Mother stiff and cold,
How long had she been there,
Dying under the wreckage,
Dust and grit all in her hair.

As they gently turned her over,
Knowing they were too late,
They saw, shielded by her body,
A baby, saved from it's Mothers fate.

A careful Policeman noticed,
The Mother clutching tight,
A cell phone with a text upon it,
The last thing she'd ever write.

"Dear Baby" she had written,
Trapped there in the dark.
"Remember the person who saved you,
And these words you must mark!"

"Make a meaningful life for yourself,
Live so all our neighbours can see,
That you were worthy of my sacrifice,
And an Honourable Son to me!"

Poem Copyright © Res JFB 22nd May 2008

" The Worthy Teacher. "

The Worthy Teacher.

This heaped up pile of rubble,
This was once the school.
Where The Teacher held his classes,
And taught the Golden Rule.

He took his duties seriously,
He loved to bring the light
Of learning to his pupils,
And taught them wrong from right.

"Be true to yourselves and each other,
Stand up for your fellow man,
Help your brothers and sisters,
And protect all those that you can!"

When the Dragon shook it's shoulders,
And tore their world apart,
There was only one lesson left,
For that worthy Teacher to impart.

Three students he pushed under the platform,
Protected by the overhanging shelf,
And when he couldn't cover the entrance,
He covered it up with himself!

He gripped the edge of the platform,
His fingers locked on so tight,
They had to break his poor dead fingers
When they bought his poor body to light!

But under the platform, protected,
Saved from all flying stone and glass,
Three teenage pupils were found safely,
Where The Teacher had held his last class!

With the vice-like grip of his fingers,
With his blood and his very last sigh,
He proved that the lessons he'd taught them
Were the things for which he would die!

This is one tale among many,
Of brave people who answered the call,
But the lesson that brave Teacher taught
In his last class, is one for us all!

Copyright © Res JFB 25th May 2008

This is the last (I think) in my Earthquake Trilogy.
 I heard of this Teachers courage from the blog of my friend Yang Wei, who works in one of the many hospitals to which badly injured survivors are being evacuated.
The Chinese people in the Sichuan Earthquake Area still need every help we can give them, whether it be money, food, shelter or just prayers and well wishes. Give generously of what you can.
Love to all of you ~ Res

" The Miracle at Country Life Press Station"


The Miracle at Country Life Press Station

There comes a time in many a young life,
After stony roads and loads of strife,
We can fall into places inter-tidal,
Then hopeless we sink to suicidal.

Young girl sitting by the railroad line,
Feelin' she'd just run out of time,
Body and mind shrieked the same refrain,
"I'm gonna end it under the very next train!"

Sitting down the end of Chestnut Street,
Waiting there her fate to meet,
Praying for that final expiation,
On disused Country Life Press Station.

Just sitting there in a world of pain,
Waiting for that lethal train,
She thought she sat all alone there,
When "Got a Smoke?" whispered in her ear!

An old Hobo sat there by her side,
Frightened her so she nearly died,
Then she saw that as a ghastly joke,
So they sat there quiet and shared a smoke.

A train was coming! But she just sat there,
Suicide is a very private affair,
Her innate good manners, she couldn't end
Her life in front of her smoking friend!

The train pulled up, in that screeching way,
"Better get on this one," she heard him say,
"Won't be another chance." he said so mild,
"Thanks for the smoke, God Bless you child!"

She climbed aboard and waved good-bye,
He wasn't there, she didn't know why.
"Tickets please!" said the Conductor Man,
Standing there, holding out his hand.

"I haven't a ticket, I must confess,
Can I buy one from Country Life Press?"
"You must be mistaken, Child, I greatly fear.
Trains ain't stopped there for many a year!"

She was too shocked to argue the matter,
Her heart was beating pitter-patter,
A pain in her soul like a bowie knife,
Had an Angel Hobo just saved her life?

From that day on she never looked back,
On the smoothest roads or the outward track,
Not once more did she go adrift,
She made good use of the Hobo's Gift.

Young Girl grew up strong and true,
Good friend to me, good neighbour to you,
And the only flaw in her reputation,
Is a belief in Angels on a disused station!

Copyright © Res JFB 26th May 2008

This is a true story that happened many years ago while Country Life Press Station, Long Island was closed, though trains still whistled through!

"The Servants Reply "


The Servant's Reply

I am Restless, breathless with desire,
Your studies have my skin on fire,
Each touch and slide with hand or knee,
Are fuelling fires deep in me.
I feel your gaze as you take in,
Every line from toe to chin.
I feel your breath upon my skin,
It makes my senses reel and spin.
I wouldn't stop, I wouldn't wait,
There stands a Queen at my gate.
Oh Welcome, welcome, come inside,
I pray that you have come to 'bide.
Explore my body search my mind,
There's love here, love, for you to find.
Aye Love and Lust in equal measure,
Give me, take me, equal pleasure.
Pleasure me, love me, once, again,
The perfect potion for all pain.
And let this be a flowing sea,
Between the shores of thee and me.
There's nothing that you may not ask,
Pleasure, pain or worthy task.
And after lust is all assuaged,,
And you lie with bed and legs dis'rayed.
Come back to love and love me sweet,
You'll be my wine, you'll be my meat.
You'll be my love, my heart and Queen.
Like no love that's before been seen.
Let's build a love as bright as day,
And pray it never, ever fades away.

I should point out that Servant in this case means one who serves, not necessarily one who is subservient. It is also a play upon my surname which in Old English originally meant "A Servant in the Bower" or "He who serves in a Noble Lady's Bed Chamber." Eat you heart's out Guys - Lucky Me!

Copyright © Res JFB 1st January 2008

"Heart Attack"

Some time ago, through exertion, stress and probably the wrong medication I thought I was having a heart attack. Do not worry about this, certain things went wrong and I have sorted them since. Nothing to worry about.

However, I was at the top of Causwayhead, in Penzance and feeling a bit crook, so I stopped at Sean's Diner, sat at a picnic table outside and ordered a pot of tea. I was a little shaky and having chest pains so I decided that with the tea I'd take an aspirin, SOP.

The tea came and I searched my bag for the aspirin I knew was there. Now there are many pockets in my bag and there is something in nearly every one of them. But no aspirin!

Oh shit, search more carefully, this takes a while, feeling worse, no bloody aspirin. Sean came to the door of the cafe to say, "Hi." By this time I was visibly shaking and sweat was running down my face and down my back. "Sean. Have you any aspirin?" said I urgently. "Nah. You'll get some at the bottom of the street at the Newsagents." he replied casually, turning and sauntering back to his kitchen. I thought, "Sod it, woulda done ya good to run down there for me." But of course, ever the good Taoist, I bit my tongue.

Across the street, Sweeny Todd's the Barber Shop, all the girls in there know me, they all know I have a bit of heart trouble, they'll help. I walked to the door, my shirt by now drenched with sweat, shaking and clutching my chest, raucous laughter, Essex girls chatting quietly, "Has anyone got an aspirin!" I shouted over the row. "Nah, but I've got asthma, if that's any good to ya!" A voice shouted back. "Huh!" I thought, "If I'd offered a bit of leg-over you'd have shown more interest!"

Now, I've danced with death a time or two and it doesn't hold any more fears for me than the next man, but if I'm gonna go, I'd like a little more warning than a goddam big finger pointing down at me from the sky and saying "Now". Besides, there were things left undone. And I thought it would be bloody stupid to die now for want of a tuppeny ha'penny aspirin!

So off I set, down the hill heading for the newsagent. Staggering a little by now, still clutching my chest and shaking quite badly. Vaguely aware of glances but no help at hand. By now I'm thinking to myself, "I could die here and no bugger would even notice. I'd probably be lying here till the Road Sweepers turned up!" This seemed totally unacceptable so I became even more determined to survive this brush with the Grim Reaper.

Finally I made it to the door of the Newsagents. McNews, members of that old Scottish Clan of Stationers and Newsagents. But what's this? Stuck in the doorway, two sweet old ladies. "Now Dear, shall I go in and get … while you go elsewhere and get… or shall we both go in…. and go elsewhere after together…etc etc. Do you know how long an et cetera can become when you're having a heart attack?

Now it did occur to me to shout, "Get out of the f*cking way, I'm having a heart attack!" Of course I realised that this could confuse the issue more, and what right did I, as a good Taoist, have to shout at two little old dears anyway. All this I considered, while jumping from foot to foot, not deliberately, the shakes had developed into the sort of macabre gyrations of St Vitas Dance. Could I shout at two little old ladies? F*cking right, I could. I filled my lungs, to capacity!

It was then, a Damascus Road revelation. Oh God/dess. Knowing my luck I'd just get to shouting! And the Golden Gates would crash open and I'd tumble through yelling, "Get out of the f*cking way!"

Well. Imagine it. You'd be able to hear an angels feather fall to the fluffy cloud floor, wouldn't you? Oh Shit, the disgrace, especially when you were there for the long haul. An' there's me wanting to be a Saint, but not till a half hour before kick-off, if ya catch my drift.

So I dithered while the old ladies dithered, and then they moved. Leap for the gap, slip through, and there's Michelle.

Ah Michelle, daughter of the McNews Clan, pretty as a picture, she'll help, born for the role of Angel of Mercy. "Michelle, Michelle, have you any Aspirin?" - - - "Yes," nonchalantly, "Up the end of the shop!" Turning away. Jesus, McNews is the longest shop in Penzance, I can barely see to the other end.

I stagger on, this is now like a marathon, oh bugger, there's two steps up too. Up clump thud Up clump thud. My two legs and my walking stick making a three point tempo to accompany the thudding of my heart and the pounding of my pulse.

My vision clears slightly as I near the counter, now is the time for multi-tasking if ever I knew one, so I am now pulling handfuls of loose change out of my pocket, pennies and five penny pieces rolling everywhere, I get to the counter, "Aspirin, Aspirin, gimme some Aspirin!" I shout in a cracked hoarse voice filled with the urgency of a dying man.

"You just wait your turn like everyone else Dear," was the reply, "I'll be with you when I've served this lady!" One of the little old dears from the door had beaten me to the counter. How the f*ck had she done that? I had galloped up that damn shop!

There are those in this world who actually go slower when there is urgency in the air. Yes, I had one of those. Finally, my turn, "Aspirin you want, do you Dear?" By this time I'm practically inarticulate, "Yessssss." I hiss urgently through the rigor of my clenched teeth. Oh! Sweet Jesus, they are at least three feet away, how many steps can you fit into three feet? And they are on the top shelf, two tries to reach them. Ah, she has them in her hand. "I've got Aspirin…" I cannot believe my eyes as she puts them back and picks up the next packet, "And I've got paracet…" "Gimme the Aspirin" I shriek suddenly finding my voice.

She puts the paracetamol back on the shelf, and yes, has two grabs at the aspirin before grasping it. She brings it closer, I lean over the counter to grab it from her hands. She holds it tantalizingly out of reach, "Now wait a minute Dear, You know I've got to scan it first!"

Finally it is within reach, I grab the little box while shoving the pile of loose change towards her. I scrabble with the box, out fall the bloody instructions, do I need these, I think not! Ah! The blister pack, I push one tablet through the tinfoil and toss it to the back of my throat. Quick draw of my water bottle and swig it down. Ah! Saved….. Oh Shit! Shouldn't have necked it, won't dissolve in time. Struggle to get another tablet out of the blister pack. Throw that one in, chew madly, mouth dry, bits of aspirin flying with each exhalation through my gasping mouth, chew chew drink swallow. Phew!

"Have you got a really bad headache Dear?" says the slow lady behind the counter!

Taoist wisdom prevents me immolating her with my glare. I shuffled out to the bench in the street outside and ponder the near Golden Gate experience and it was then that I had my second Road to Damascus moment of the Day.

If I had burst through the gates to be faced with a Man who had promised to love me unconditionally and forgive me all my sins, a responsibility I had always shouldered myself, would I have been able to cope with that. I don't think so. So where could I look for unconditional love and forgiveness?

And then I knew. I saw it all. My enlightenment. All questions answered. Yes I can see it now!

I'd walk in those ol' golden gates and up there on the comfy cushion , pleased as punch to see me. The biggest loveliest DOG you could imagine. Bounding down, jumping up, knocking me down, which wouldn't matter 'cos the grass in Heavens gotta be clean and soft eh? And all my joints would be renewed and supple so landing hard wouldn't matter. And that Ol' Dog would wag and wriggle and I would dig my fingers in his fur and scratch and stroke and tickle and he would lick and forgive me all my sins and love me forever! Who else could do that?

When I die I'm gonna be head down and runnin' at them gates. "Here boy! Here boy! Let me in! I'm a-comin' home. Walkies!"

Copyright © Res JFB 3rd January 2008

"Cultivating Love and Fruit (Parental Advisory) "


Cultivating Love and Fruit

Hail, my lady, I stand proudly
In your presence here
I come to polish apples
And plant my seeds down there!

I am intent on cultivation
Is this fertile earth and fresh
Watered by my salivation
To bring sweetness from your flesh?

Oh your apples shine so sweetly
In the candle light of night
And the pips pucker to my touch
Oh you are a lovely sight.

I love your scent I love your taste
I love your peachy skin
I love the splitting of the fig
As you rise to let me in.

But first a salty furrow
I'd plough with tongue and nose
I'll tip-toe through your tulips
Now who's got curling toes?

I see your nectar oozing
I see this earth rise up
I love your taste I love your scent
Drinking from your loving cup.

I peel your grape
And taste it there
Oh thou art, thou art,
Thou are fair!

And now comes time
To stir the spell
Mixed in this cauldron
I love so well.

Pestle in mortar
Grind on grind
To stir the flesh
To squeeze the rind.

To mix the fruits
Till juices run
You are my moon
You are my sun.

This is my garden
I till to please
To bring delight
To bring you ease.

This is my temple
I worship here
Goddess love
Goddess care.

This is your bower
'Tis where I serve
When duty calls
I serve with verve!

Hail Lady, I stand proudly
To serve I am not loath.
For in your garden of delights
I'm Master and Servant, both!

Copyright © Res JFB 12th June 2008





The Lotus sits
Pure, pristine and symmetrical
Upon her murky seat.

The golden centre shining
Illuminating the creamy
White petals, from within.

I can imagine primitive man
Thinking that Godhead
Resided here, in this perfection.

I too, modern, sophisticated,
Twentieth century man
Trying on the twenty-first!.

Like a new overcoat
And rather liking
The fit and the feel of it.

I also feel, within this one
Perfect bloom
The touch of the Divine.

By whatever name
You choose
To call Her!

Copyright © Res JFB 28th June 2008

My photograph.

"Word From Oz"

There's a whisper on the prairie
A word upon the "Ghan"
A murmur in the Outback
That they're at it again!

Yep, two who should know better
And who never meant no harm
But I do believe they're at it
Up in the Old Hay Barn.

They say they're talkin' literature
Among the bales and stooks
But that's the place for pleasure
Not discussing books!

But now I begin to wonder
Because we know our Jo is Boss
And a Book arrived this morning
And it's called a "Word From Oz."

And it's full of poems by Soma
It's full of words of delight
And the whisper's a Melbourne Bluesman
At last has got it right!

Copyright © Res JFB 18th July 2008


"Weather Report"

"There be squalls"
Here in Penzance
Chasing each other
Across roof-tops
Of houses and cars.

Dashing themselves
Into vapour
On all surfaces.
Death-sliding down
Roofs ~ over edges
Launders and gutters
Down-pipes overflowing.

Making raging rivers
In miniature
Down the steep streets
Leading to the sea.
Causing little dams
Of rubbish to form
Behind the wheels
Of Parked cars.

Last nights take away
Making a dash
For freedom
To evade
The hungry gulls.

School girls squeal
As each cold gust
Hits them
Too fashion conscious
To wear a coat
Or carry a 'brolly.

Visibility closes down
As each squall hits,
Opens again as sight
Follows the squall
Into the distance.
Across the bay.

And between each squall
Sunny spells shining
On the washed clean

The street cleaners
Will be happy
All the rubbish
Is at the bottom
Of the hill!

Copyright © Res JFB 18 Jan 2008

"Darkened Doorways "

If upon a Golden Highway,
Darkened Doorways you espy,
Should you plumb those depths of darkness,
Or on heels made hasty - fly?

Could you find - within the darkness,
A Talisman or key which might,
Someday unlock a gate of Golden,
Into a City of Delight?

Could you lose yourself in darkness,
Lost to light and lost to day,
Or can you always keep some brightness,
In your soul to show the way?

It isn't always choice that throws us,
Into the abyss of despair,
But if you wave off the birds of sadness,
They can't nest there in your hair!

So, while you'd always choose the sunshine
Try to stick to that Highway bright,
The lessons most in need of learning,
Are often hidden in the night.

So Golden Highway, rocky road,
Or perilous crossing o'er the foam.
The only place that means safe harbour,
Will be the place you call home!

Copyright © Res JFB 19 February 2008

"Johnny Gurkha" (revised)

On the 11th September 2008,  an 87 year old winner of the Victoria Cross, Britain’s Highest Honour for Valour, RSM Tul Bahadur Pun VC, handed back his medals at the door of Number 10 Downing Street, the official residence of the Prime Minister, in protest at being denied medical treatment in a London hospital!

“Johnny Gurkha

In utter disgust I write these words
I shouldn’t have to write this letter
About a Comrade of mine, sold down the line
We should treat our old friends better.

In the rattle of the battle

In the fog of fusillade

There's a comrade I'd have beside me

And no better friend was made.

He's a Gurkha from the Mountains

I'd have watch my left and right

And stalwart stand, kukri in hand

And guard me day and night.

And when the battle’s over

You forget those bloody miles

And what sticks most is your courtly host

And those gentle Gurkha smiles.

And now I hear them marching

To the door of Number 10

They've come to say, we saved your day

And you throw us away again.

Refused the right to Doctors

Refused the right to stay

They've been our friends, right to the ends

How can we serve 'em this way?

You can thank your Gods, whichever Gods

You choose, why even Kali

They politely ask, don't take you to task

Or shout "Ayo Gurkhali!"*

In every little skirmish, 

In every war that's been

He's been our mate, since early date

In Eighteen Seventeen.

And now it's time to show the world

To lead by some example

To show these friends before it ends

Our gratitude is ample.

Copyright ©  Res JF Burman 12th September 2008

This is dedicated with love and admiration to the men of 51 Gurkha Infantry Brigade
And 99 Gurkha Infantry Brigade with whom I had the honour of serving during the Borneo Campaign.
1963 to 1966

*The War cry of the Gurkhas: 
"Ayo Gurkhali" = "Here come the Gurkhas!"

"Jai Mahakali, Ayo Gurkhali" = "Hail Goddess Kali. The Gurkhas are upon you!”

The well known actress Joanna Lumley, among others, waged a successful campaign to redress at least some of the outrageous treatment our old allies were subjected to. 
Bless her!