You can’t have that

If you’re pining for a treat I can bake you a cake
If your living room is dowdy I can redecorate
If your clothes are in rags I’ll sew anything you need
If you want fresh food I’ll grow vegetables from seed
If you need cheering up I’ve compassion by the score
But please don’t ask me for anything more

I can landscape your garden, carve your pet’s tombstone
make a hanging mobile from rags and bone
I can build a wall or a kitchen or a pine bookcase
I can act like a fool to put a smile on your face
I can do most things with reasonable skill
but there’s just one desire that I cannot fulfil

I can write you a poem about the sky or the sea
about what I used to do or how I’d like to be
Or a tidy little story in a choice of genre
to encourage you to giggle or to cry or to ponder
I can weave you a tale of success or mystery
but I cannot write lies into my history

history has shaped me into what you see
without my history I wouldn’t be me
it’s made me an expert on love of every kind
and love’s nearly driven me out of my mind
you can have my assistance or advice with any task
but you can’t have my loving so please don’t ask

Written for The Daily Post #Expert

Β©Jane Paterson Basil

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66 thoughts on “You can’t have that

    1. Thank you – these days I mostly sit at a computer and write, but years ago I had to learn to most things for myself. My husband spent his spare time tinkling with his beloved car, and we didn’t have the money to pay tradesmen to turn our hovel into a home. It stood me in good stead πŸ™‚

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    1. Haha – this poem was aimed at one particular person, who’s angling for a kind of love I can’t give him.
      On the other hand, I have genuine love for my wonderful friends on WP πŸ™‚ xx

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    1. Yet another of your comments, rudely dumped into my spam tray by Akismet. Grrr… Although I think this is a repeat. All the same,I don’t want to trash it – I have a theory that if your comments are trashed you’re more at risk of new ones disappearing into spam trays.

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        1. That happened to me a while back. ALL of my comments were being spammed except the ones I wrote on my own blog. It went on for months. I contacted Akismet and they said they’d fixed it, but they hadn’t. It took ages for me to get their attention again. It sounds silly, but it was horrible not being able to comment on blogs.

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            1. You’re right. I,ve been blogging for about 21 months, and the amazing support I’ve received has helped me to grow, and carried me through some difficult times. If I can’t reach other bloggers, I’m unable to pay it forward.

              Liked by 1 person

        1. Am I? That’s a massive honour. You will never write like me because we have different styles, but you have greatness inside you. Maybe one day you’ll have an opportunity to use that greatness, while I will still be writing interesting little poems.

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          1. Yes, our writing styles are different. No matter how hard I resolve to make it sound mature, when I put pen to paper its always this! Well, by His Grace, if I ever do achieve anything, I’ll remember that it was your interesting poems that kept me trying πŸ™‚

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  1. Lovely poem, Jane. Something that can’t be demanded of anyone – quite right. Though I wouldn’t go offering all of that around too much – you’ll never have a moment to yourself πŸ™‚

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    1. I have little contact with the people who know about it. My current circle of friends think that all I’ve ever done is gardening and writing – and I’m keeping it that way (although they know about the ecclesiastical embroidery, but they’re not likely to ask me to do that). πŸ™‚

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        1. Hassocks were mostly machine embroidered by the 1970’s. There were only two places in the country that did quality hand embroidered ecclesiasticlal pieces, and one was in Exeter. Only about ten of us worked there. We did some big stuff, like alter cloths and a few special occasion hassocks, etc, but a lot of it was smaller stuff. We also repaired old embroideries and tapestries, mostly for the church, but also for trade unions (their beautiful old banners) and museums. We worked the embroidery and applique by hand, using 9carat gold couching thread and silk embroidery thread. It was mostly long-and-short stitch, french knots and couching. I went there because although I had been offered a part scholarship – going straight to year 2 – in the The Royal School of Embroidery, I couldn’t afford to attend. At the time I was devastated.

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          1. At least you got to couch with the pros, Jane. πŸ™‚ Such a shame about your embroidery aims being dashed, though I hear the RSE is very out of touch with contemporary stitching – very set in their ways. πŸ™‚

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                1. I went there in its heydey – it was gorgeous, full of men in Lord Kitchener’s old uniforms, or frilly shirts and tight trousers in jester’s colours, girls in generic polka dots and Mary Quant daisies, swinging their mini skirts; looking crisp in trouser suits; cool in culottes, magical window displays and the strains of Dedicated Follower of Fashion by the Kinks, while the sun shone down on the hot heart of swinging London. I’m getting carried away, but there has never been another place, or another time, like it.

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                  1. It does sound exciting, though I find it’s all too easy to focus on the fashion, music and free love. There were some bloody awful things going on in the world too, weren’t there? Vietnam, the Cultural Revolution, the Cold War, the Cuban Missile Crisis. A strange mixture of hedonism and looming apocalypse. Actually, that sounds rather familiar … πŸ™‚

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                    1. By the time a came of age I was in on all the protests, particularly nuclear disarmamant. It was a bad time, but we believed we could change things, and although I came to realise it wasn’t that simple, it stood me in good stead, and taught me not to be part of the problem.
                      Yes, it was a bad time, but it was a good time. We cared about the planet and all its creatures, and we had hope for the future.

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                    2. I think perhaps that’s a big difference, at least as far as I can see – hope. Not that I don’t have hope in vague terms and personal terms ttoo, but for man’s long term future on the planet, for the continuation of broad biodiversity, for us reaching our goals for reducing pollution, air quality, co2 … Hmm. I like to imagine a world well rid of humans, clean and without the hum of electrics and damn cars. Then I just go and put the kettle on πŸ™‚

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            1. I’ll have to check that I get notifications for your post – that side of things went haywire a while ago, and it’s not quite sorted out.
              My following is rising dramatically. I get an average of about 20 new followers a week, but most of them only dip in occasionally, and some only follow to get my attention, but I’m happy with things πŸ™‚ xx

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                1. Not that many – it should be 600 in a day or two – I hit a bad patch a while ago when all my comments were being sent to spam and I couldn’t participate in prompts and so on. It took almost three months for WP to sort it out. That messed me up a bit…

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        1. Limitless with love – what a beautiful feeling.
          When my first grandchild was born I was surprised at the extent of my love for him – I didn’t love him more than my own children, but it was different. Although we spent a great deal of time together, I found I had more patience with him, so I suppose it was more joyful

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