Monthly Archives: March 2019

A Blog is Born


I launched my new blog this evening. It’s called Jane’s Clean Slate, although I may switch it to Naked Infiniverse once the slate gets a bit smudged 🙂

I’m so tired that I can’t figure out how to start transferring those I follow on to my new site.

Copy and paste URLs into the reader, maybe. First I need sleep.

Farewell to Jenny

Last night

while I wrote remote history, last night
while I revived lowlights of my life, last night
while I cried over a spilled note, last night

Jenny died.


you wept
even as you entered
the scented season of life.

You felt
– long before the sickening Fall –
– ere grief’s canker grew organic form –
you felt
your roots being gnawed
by flown protectors of your youth
while your sore heart languished between
the spectral hands
of the child
of your womb.


the woman
that everyone died on;
a truth that consumed you.

sullied your cloak of bright colours,
choking your willow courage, yet you fought
far past the darkest hour, beyond the point
where salt
ate your rainbow disguise.
Untiringly you stitched, yet
each time you tried to repair
the flimsy attire
the thread broke.


I waited, somehow knowing
that we would meet some day. Long before
I saw your face, I sensed your breath on my cheek as if
your spirit whispered to me, yet I did not guess
that our acquaintance would be 
so brief.
We met but once,
a singular meeting which conceived
an embryonic friendship, aborted
by the decree that would
steal you to eternity.
Jenny, it was an honour;
for in those brief moments
you exceeded my hopes.


you must have shed
a lake of tears deeper than
the raging stream that swept her
to her death. Now
the flood ebbs, eased by your stilled flesh.
Today and for evermore,
may you rest
with your daughter
in peace.


©Jane Paterson Basil

Clean slate or dirty plate?


Woe, woe, woe is me,
I’m having trouble with WP.
Am I an island or is it a trend,
a tangle of issues which bloggers can’t mend?
I don’t want to contact the happiness crew;
they’ll say I’m to blame, so what can I do?
My plate is stained, it’s sullied and old,
I’ll grab a clean slate and spurn the mould.

Is anyone else having these problems with WP?

The cogs that used to keep my blog running smoothly appear to have chipped a few teeth. I don’t know whether it was my angst or humour that wore them down. I’m not sure of the cure, since I have so many issues. and the last time I went to the forum for help, although I was passed on to a ‘happiness engineer’ who sorted the problem out, I felt as if my wrist had been slapped when I was accused of following blogs simply in order to get them to follow me; a claim that couldn’t be further from the truth. I have nothing to sell and I’m not an attention junkie. I write. I’m pleased when anyone reads my poetry, but I won’t wave  a flag to grab your attention.

Once again, when I click the ‘follow’ button on a blog, I am ignored. I don’t want to go back to the forum and be treated like a naughty girl. The engineer told me I mustn’t follow too many blogs at one time since it wouldn’t be possible to sort it out again? Not possible! That’s ridiculous. Now, in addition, I have difficulties when I visit upgraded blogs. ‘Like’ buttons don’t switch to ‘liked when I click on them and if I try to comment, I’m informed that I’m logged out – though I’m not – and requested to log in.

Incidentally, I’ve always kept my list below 100, and I currently follow 68, which is considered an acceptable number. Some of them have been inactive for quite a while, but I don’t want to cease following them, since they might become active again. I used to check out the first posts of new blogs, to give them company and encouragement. I’ve stopped all that, as I feared that it might have contributed to the problem. Gee, WP, thanks for discouraging me from supporting new blogs.

There’s more; I’m trying to clear a backlog of drafts, but I often find I can’t access them. Sometimes I have trouble posting responses to readers’ comments and I have to go into admin and access my comments page in order to reply. I wonder if the clunkiness I’m experiencing is a cunning plot dreamed up by WP to nudge us freewheelers into upgrading. Me? I wouldn’t dare, in case I have similar difficulties after paying my subscription.

This difficulty of communicating is putting me off reading, and often when I do read, I feel too pissed off with the faulty system to comment, so I creep quietly away. It’s also putting me off posting; if I write, but never appear show my face on other blogs, I feel as if I’m being insulting. I write every day, but few of my poems reach my blog.

I’m considering starting afresh: new blog, still with WP so I don’t lose touch with my friends, but with a new email address so that WP’s bug doesn’t follow me around.

I’d rather serve food on a clean slate than a dirty plate.

Comments please.
Commentaires s’il vous plais
Kommentare please
Comentarios por favor
Commenti per favore
opmerkingen u
Kommentit please (this one is for Raili)
kommentarer Vänligena
Lorg ma’s do thoil e (6 points if you can pinpoint the language, 10 if I’ve got it wrong and you can correct me)
adow plegya (10 points for knowing this one)



I was about to post an image of a new slate when this gecko crawled onto it.


©Jane Paterson Basil

Loveable Drunk

I never expect you, yet
I am ever sure that soon
you will reach my door,
your smile, your eyes, your body talking,
communicating all that I have longed for and all
that I refuse to dwell upon.
It rushes in as I lay aside the simple “sorry” on your lips,
mouthed beneath the clamour
of celebrating heart, racing pulse.

You are here.
I don’t mind that you dined
on Dutch courage before you arrived.
We’re both of us breaking the rules,
you renaging on a vow made for life,
me evading thoughts of your wife.

You need another drink.
Still I don’t mind.
You are with me again,
shoulders shrugging your duties away,
Germanic eyes pale as ice, yet
like a welcoming sky on the day that Spring arrives,
your lopsided smile issuing a silent enquiry.

How could you doubt my constancy?

Reading my body’s response,
you display ivories I’ve been longing to see.

“I’ll get my coat,” I say.
Dipping into the living room,
I relate a hasty Dear John to a misbegotten distraction:
“He’s come for me.
You can finish your coffee and take
the back way out once I’ve gone.
It’s been fun. Sorry it’s so sudden, but
we’re done.”
I have no time for his tears. At this moment
he repels me.
It’s not my fault, I tell myself –
I always told them no-one
could ever
with you.

It’s true I am cruel,
but I think only of you and now
you are here.

You you you.

Maybe when we say
our last goodbye
I’ll train to be kind to those
who don’t compare to you.


we drive to a village pub,
stepping into a hubbub
instantly hushed by the arrival
of two outsiders.
As conversation resumes
we choose a quiet corner of the murky room.
You get the drinks while I
shake off memories of the void;
pointless days stretching to months,
aping passion,
faking pleasure with insipid imitations of you,
playing the field without reason
in a game where I cheat, don’t care if I kill,
where nobody wins and no healing takes place,
failing to fill a space while I wait for the one man
who leaves me intact.

As you bend to place the drinks on the table,
that rebellious forelock of blonde hair
flops across your face. As always,
you shake your head to move it,
and as always, your effort fails.
A kitten wakes inside me, chases a tickly ball of wool,
nudging the overfilled bucket of adoration in my chest,
spilling it everywhere.
I love, love, love you.
Wherever I go, love keeps me company,
pumping through these veins,
blowing in the wind, catching in trees,
filling me, stroking my flesh, its tendrils
caressing me, embracing everything I see,
yet still your presence
overwhelms me.

By the time we leave you’ll be three sheets.
You’ll drive slowly, perhaps your tyres will clip the bank,
but I trust you to keep me alive, like in the days
before I knew of your duality;
All those times you practiced knife throwing skills
while I lay, limbs akimbo
trusting that the knife would miss my armpits and thighs,
I neither knew nor cared whether
it was luck or skill
that guided the knife.

You take my hand.
I burrow into your shoulder.
Sounds issue from our lips;
inconsequential things that describe
dinners, histories, bricks,
while our spirits hold their own conversation..

You, my beloved one, my breath, my home.
You love us both, and that’s fine by me.
I ask only for your happiness.
Any joy that might come my way is a bonus.
Were I in your shoes, I would find it hard to choose
between homemaker and adventuress.

The clock ticks, timing each moment.
Later I will memorise this;
clutch it close for when I am alone.

It’s time to go home.
We sit in your car, letting it idle while
we pretend it is easy to say goodnight.
After a while you turn the key,
leaving silence. At this stage,
secrets trail silver streaks in the wake
of each word we speak,
me and my supreme, loveable drunk,
so we share light kisses, lips barely brushing,
sticking to the limits we set,
sitting on separate sides of the clutch.

Written for Paul Sunstone over at the café philos, in response to his brand-spanking-new

->->->-> poetry prompt <-<-<-<-

This was the day that I was finally going to catch up with the blogs, see how my friends are doing. But I got an email from Paul. I don’t know how to say no to him, so my time has been spent writing, and you all know how I hate to write. The poem doesn’t fulfil all the requirements, but the moving finger writes, and having writ, it makes an obscene gesture and moves on.

©Jane Paterson Basil

We Loved So Well


We loved so well
with a depth I treasure to this day,
yet I don’t regret
that age might erase my memories,
or fear that all vestiges of it
will be stripped away when we cease to breathe,
since throughout eternity,
the waves we made will reverberate.

You see,
we are no less than butterflies
whose wings barely disturb the air,
no more than Kingfishers dipping their beaks,
causing ripples that indiscernibly adjust
the course of the stream,
yet together with Dinosaurs and Frankenstein’s sheep,
together with all sentient beings that swim fly and creep,
together with all creatures that have ever been,
together everything current and ceased
beneath the sky that leads to infinity,
though we be tiny, finite,
our energy echoes forever.

We loved so well
with a love which will kiss the earth
*(as it gently recovers our vacated flesh.
Flowers will bloom, worms will flourish)
and the earth will listen to the wind
singing our story
throughout eternity.

*I’m not sure whether I should keep these two lines, since they might detract from the romantic mood of the poem. Hence the faded writing. Opinions please?

©Jane Paterson Basil

Ode to a Fool

You see this flesh
and you want to possess me.
Since you are terminally thick
you misconstrue my jests as reality.
Even my insults are erogenous to you
since you don’t understand simple sentences.
and though I slap away your feeble grip
still you think you can heal me
by hiding your pricked-up mess
in the opening between my thighs.

You speak of love
as if it’s a gift which cannot but hold my interest;
a treat that must surely fascinate

*(She said “Love? Lord above,
now you’re tryin’ to put me in love.”)

Looks like you’re too late, mate.
Better men have tried,
but worse men got there first.
You missed the train by miles.

If you’d been there with your fists fifty years since,
you could have licked the rapist and changed my history,
but you were busy with some silly missus,
making your own mistakes, shouting down deaf alleys,
cursing, boozing, losing at pool,
the two of you taking turns to screw up your kids,
and I wouldn’t have looked twice even then.

*Lyric from Free; All Right Now.

©Jane Paterson Basil