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No smoke without you, my fire.
After you left,
your cigarette glowed on in my ashtray
and sent up a long thread of such quiet grey
I smiled to wonder who would believe its signal
of so much love. One cigarette
in the non-smoker’s tray.
As the last spire
trembles up, a sudden draught
blows it winding into my face.
Is it smell, is it taste?
You are here again, and I am drunk on your tobacco lips.
Out with the light.
Let the smoke lie back in the dark.
Till I hear the very ash
sigh down among the flowers of brass
I’ll breathe, and long past midnight, your last kiss.

(Edwin Morgan, One Cigarette)

William Topaz McGonagall, poet and tragedian of Dundee, has been widely hailed as the writer of the worst poetry in the English language.

‘Twas Christmastide in Germany,
And in the year of 1850,
And in the city of Berlin, which is most beautiful to the eye;
A poor boy was heard calling out to passers-by.
“Who’ll buy my pretty figures,” loudly he did cry,
Plaster of Paris figures, but no one inclined to buy;
His clothes were thin and he was nearly frozen with cold,
And wholly starving with hunger, a pitiful sight to behold.

And the twilight was giving place to the shadows of approaching night,
And those who possessed a home were seeking its warmth and light;
And the market square was dark and he began to moan,
When he thought of his hungry brother and sisters at home.

Alas! The poor boy was afraid to go home,
O, Heaven! hard was his lot, for money he’d none;
And the tears coursed down his cheeks while loudly he did cry,
“Buy my plaster of Paris figures, O! please come buy.”

It was now quite dark while he stood there,
And the passers-by did at the poor boy stare,
As he stood shivering with cold in the market square;
And with the falling snow he was almost frozen to the bone.
And what would it avail him standing there alone,
Therefore he must make up his mind to return home.

Then he tried to hoist the board and figures on to his head,
And for fear of letting the board fall he was in great dread;
Then he struggled manfully forward without delay,
But alas! He fell on the pavement, O! horror and dismay.

And his beautiful figures were broken and scattered around him,
And at the sight thereof his eyes grew dim;
And when he regained his feet he stood speechless like one bowed down,
Then the poor boy did fret and frown.

Then the almost despairing boy cried aloud,
And related his distress to the increasing crowd;
O! What a pitiful sight on a Christmas eve,
But the dense crowd didn’t the poor boy relieve,

Until a poor wood-cutter chanced to come along,
And he asked of the crowd what was wrong;
And twenty ready tongues tells him the sad tale,
And when he heard it the poor boy’s fate he did bewail.

And he cried, “Here! Something must be done and quickly too,
Do you hear! Every blessed soul of you;
Come, each one give a few pence to the poor boy,
And it will help to fill his heart with joy.”

Then the wood-cutter gave a golden coin away,
So the crowd subscribed largely without delay;
Which made the poor boy’s heart feel gay,
Then the wood-cutter thanked the crowd and went away.

So the poor boy did a large subscription receive,
And his brother, mother, and sisters had a happy Christmas eve;
And he thanked the crowd and God that to him the money sent,
And bade the crowd good-night, then went home content.

The Queen of Gastroporn & Caramel Bukkake

(Source: Daily Mail)

Thanks to her lustrous locks and generous cleavage, another part of the Nigella Lawson anatomy has gone largely unnoticed over the years.

But the 51-year-old Queen of Gastroporn & Caramel Bukkake is now happy to draw attention to her beautiful bum.

On a lunch date with her husband, revolting ugly multi-millionaire Charles Saatchi, she stepped out in a short jacket and skintight jeans to illustrate the confidence she has gained following recent weight loss.

Seasoned Nigella-watchers will be aware this is a significant departure from the flowing garments she usually wears.

The next Mrs Stainforth is said to have dropped from a size 18 to a 12 amid claims she followed the Clean & Lean plan.

The diet was devised by trainer James Duigan, who has also advised Elle Macpherson and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley (whoever they are).

The next Mrs Stainforth. Fuck.

You, the incarnation
Of our fears, all that is
Evoked by that word, shark,
Your smile freezes my blood.

Emptiness in those eyes.
Tear out another’s heart.
I’m lucky I survived.

It was taken some time ago.
At first it seems to be
a smeared
print: blurred lines and grey flecks
blended with the paper;

then, as you scan
it, you see in the left-hand corner
a thing that is like a branch: part of a tree
(balsam or spruce) emerging
and, to the right, halfway up
what ought to be a gentle
slope, a small frame house.

In the background there is a lake,
and beyond that, some low hills.

(The photograph was taken
the day after I drowned.

I am in the lake, in the centre
of the picture, just under the surface.

It is difficult to say where
precisely, or to say
how large or small I am:

the effect of water
on light is a distortion

but if you look long enough,
eventually
you will be able to see me.)

(Margaret Atwood, This is a photograph of me)

Tess Kincaid

Another one by the Ohio poet who writes a blog Life at Willow Manor.

I stand
just as I have
for many years

in a noisy kitchen
full of familiar faces
repeated stories

caught in hot air
bubbles, heavy
in the scent of sage

and wonder
of future turkeys
endless potatoes
to be mashed

stirring at the stove
the more beige
I become
the more invisible

Nigella Lawson is 51 … and still as fit as a butcher’s dog … I’d give my right arm for one night in bed with her … it’s a minor compulsion, I can deal with it if I want to …

Black Dogs Defined

This is the best of me; for the rest, I ate, and drank, and slept, loved and hated, like another: my life was as the vapour and is not; but this I saw and knew; this, if anything of mine, is worth your memory.

(John Ruskin, Sesame and Lilies)

Whatever people say I am, that’s what I’m not.

(Alan Sillitoe, Saturday Night and Sunday Morning)

This is my letter to the world, that never wrote to me.

(Emily Dickinson, This is my letter to the world)

Safe upon the solid rock the ugly houses stand:
Come and see my shining palace built upon the sand!

(Edna St. Vincent Millay, Second Fig)

R.A.D. Stainforth

I was born before The Beatles’ first LP and brought up in the reeking slums of Jericho. I am in love with a woman called Hazel and in love with her daughter, also called Hazel, both of whom I met at Alcoholics Anonymous.

Follow radstainforth on Twitter
i published work on theblogpaper

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