Saturday, June 25, 2016

The bent banana song

Give two cheers, for our Brexiteers,
I stand up and applaud 'em
Soon we'll have our bent bananas
With less money to afford'em.

The banning of bent bananas was one of my favourite Euromyths (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euromyth)  When we've left the EU, doubtless we can gorge on them.

I'm still bemused by the Brexit vote. Don't know if it is tragedy or comedy or what.  It would be nice to think of people rejoicing by eating heavily curved or misshapen bananas weighed in pounds and ounces and paid for at half a crown a dozen.  But I don't think it will happen.

More likely after the euphoria and shock we are likely to get slowly poorer, both in the pocket and the spirit as our money and horizons shrink. What is clear is that what people hoped for when they voted for Leave is not what they will get. Geography and economics have not changed. When Brexit fails to lead to paradise (or much change at all in all probability) politics could become really nasty.    

We need think hard and deep about this.  
 PS
Incidentally the centenary of the Battle of the Somme came up just after the Brexit vote.  The Somme where a million men, mostly British German and French, got killed in  3 months is a horrible reminder of what can happen when Europe is divided.  Let's work to see it never happens again.

My father was wounded on the Somme and wrote about it.  I have put the complete chapter on the Njeanius website.  Just click on the link at http://www.njeanius.uk/

Or go to my facebook page https://www.facebook.com/nick.mellersh/posts/1188540411176585 

Sunday, May 29, 2016

First poem for ages: Another comic one

The day Granddad thought someone was gassing him


Well Granddad was alone one day,
The kids and mum were out to play.
Hed eaten lunch that Grannyd cooked
And settled down to read a book.
He said hed do the washing up,
(Just of the plate and knife and cup)
But Granddad, just like many a man
Thought “Ill do nothing while I can,
In time Ill follow Grannys wishes,
Theres lots of time to do the dishes.”

So Granddad found a comfy chair,
And wriggled his bum, and settled there.
He stretched and thought “Aah! This is bliss!”
But then he heard a funny hiss,
But still he read a page or two,
Thinking theres nothing I need do.

But there was something else as well,
He thought he smelt a funny smell.
“I’ve left the gas on. Damn and blast!
Must switch it off! Must do it fast!”
So Granddad jumped out of his chair
And turned the gas taps everywhere
But when to every tap hed gone,
There was nt one that hed left on.
He thought “That was a strange sensation,
It must be my imagination.”
Im going silly, going potty
Having those kids has driven me dotty!”

So Granddad settled down once more
And started reading as before.
The book was interesting ... but then
He thought he heard a hiss again
And then he heard it very plain,
It was the hissing sound again!
And then he sniffed and knew full well,
There really was a gassy smell.
He jumped up, quickly looked around
And couldn’t hear the hissing sound.
He walked around, looked through the door,
But the hissing sound was there no more.
So Granddad sat down in his chair
And, yes, the hissing sound was there.
And yes he heard it very plain
The hissing sound was there again!
And then he sniffed and really knew,
“Someone is gassing me, it’s true!”
So he jumped up, scared and offended,
And as he stood - the hissing ended.

Some silly ass is playing tricks,
He turns the gas on when I sits.
Come out, come out, where I can see
Just who is playing tricks on me.”
But all was quiet, quiet as a mouse,
Nothing to hear inside the house.
So Granddad looked behind the doors,
Opened the cupboard, pulled out drawers,
Under the stairs, behind the curtain.
Someone was hiding he was certain.

He looked, and nobody was there,
He shouted and pulled out his hair.
He listened hoping for a sound
But there was nobody around.

So Granddad felt extremely bad,
He thought “I must be going mad!
Theres no one here that I can see
And no one could be gassing me.
Ill go and make a cup of tea.”
And so he turned the kettle on
And when it boiled the smell had gone.

“It’s in my mind I really think.
Ill settle down and have my drink.”
And so he sat down in his chair.
And you can guess what happened there.
Oh yes, he heard that hissing sound
And gassy smells were all around.
“There’s someone underneath my chair!”
Granddad jumped up. Guess what was there.

No one was there, Im pleased to say,
Instead there was a can of spray
Now everything was clear as day.
(It was a spray for Granny’s hair
An aerosol that she’d left there.)
His bottom pressed down on the cap
And turned the spray on like a tap,
And that had made the hissing sound
And spread the smell of gas around.
His sitting had pressed down the top
And when he stood, the spray would stop.


Then Granddad felt extremely silly
And said “I am a Silly Billy!”
Then he picked up the can of spray
And moved it carefully away,
And sat down with his cup of tea
And said “At last some time for me!”

Later, in spite of Grannys wishes,
He still forgot to do the dishes.

Nick Mellersh Nov 2006

Hope you like this and hope I have n't put it up before.  

News is that Jeanie's pics are up in an exhibition in Lyndhurst community centre so if you are around Lyndhurst go and see them.  There's card and framed drawings as well as the ones on the walls.  Other people's are there as well.

Also plans for the Illustrated Fluteplaying ebook proceed apace.  See more about Jeanie's pics at her blog http://ipadpainting-jeanie.blogspot.co.uk/

 

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Two poems for spring

Taraxicum officianale (the common dandelion) in the Alexey Tolstoy crater on Mars. Widely considered to be the first proof of extra-terrestrial life. Photo courtesy NASA 2026. When astronaut Bud Blowhard tried to discover the time from a Martian dandelion clock he had to stop at 2,500,603 o'clock.  The low pressure atmosphere on the planet makes seed removal by blowing extremely problematical

 The Dandelion Fields of Mars​


The fields of dandelions on Mars

Have yet to be discovered.

But I won't be at all surprised

The day that they're uncovered.



Those yellow things get everywhere

It makes me quite forlorn

They can't be killed or driven out

Especially from my lawn.



I'm absolutely certain

They do it to annoy

For growing where unwanted

Is their single, simple joy.



When men land on the planet

And upon its surface burst.

The red planet will be yellow

'Cos the dandelions were first.

Nick Mellersh 2016


The rites of passage of the Liver Flukes

The rites of passage of the liver flukes

Don't feature is the lists of world's great books,

Where human rites of passage,

Had you wondered

Are in all but seven of the first eight hundred

And this is very odd because you see,

The flukes have eight, while we have only three.


Note: Liver flukes have the most amazing life cycle, first as eggs, then a swimming thing, then a parasite of a particular sort of snail, then as more swimming things then as parasites in (mostly) sheep and cattle livers and people's livers if they are unlucky!. For more see this

What's all this to do with spring?

You may reasonably wonder what these have to do with spring. The answer is that they are about the fecundity of life here on earth and the surprising fact that we can't find it anywhere else. All the more reason to cherish it, and ourselves, right here.

I personally think that God produced liver flukes to win a bet. There doesn't seem any rational reason to believe that anything as complicated as them could possibly survive, let alone thrive which they do.

Talking of the wonders of nature, one of the world's great books is Pilgrim on Tinker Creek by AnnieDillard. It doesn't actually talk of liver flukes but covers many equally strange and wonderful things. Read it if you are interested in the complexities and beauties of life.

Ebook news 

Jeanie's flute book Illustrated Fluteplaying written by her and Robin Soldan will be published as an ebook this summer.  To find the latest news go to illustrated-fluteplaying.com

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Poems for Holy Week


Holy Week: A peek into Christ's Diary

It's going to be an awful week. Look at my diary
Sunday: Ride on donkey while crowds shout at me to fight and defeat the world's biggest army.
Monday: Kick out the cheats from the temple and get cursed for doing it.
Tuesday: Try to teach but get interrupted by tiresome know-all fanatics asking me trick questions.
Wednesday: Same as Tuesday. Then, at night, sweat blood praying we might find another way
Thursday: Supper with supporters. Nice, but most don't understand me and one plots to betray me. Arrested on my midnight walk.
Friday: Whipped, hauled in front of the Roman governor, crucified.
Saturday: Wrestle with the devil in hell, or so the myth-makers say.
Sunday: Come back alive. I hope. They'll be talking about it in two thousand years if I'm right. But sometimes I think maybe I'm not.

It's going to be an unholy awful week.

About Holy Week

Well Easter has come round again.  And  I thought I should put this poem up on the blog again.  What struck me when I was preparing an art exhibition for the church was how short a time these events took.  All in seven days.  Whether you are a believer or not (and to my mind this doesn't really matter) the world was changed by these seven days.  

It is interesting to think what Christ might have prayed on that Wednesday night.  A thought I had was that maybe the alternative to him going ahead with the crucifixion was quite simply ending the world just at that moment. "Enough of this failed experiment Father.  Let's cut our loses and start again."

Anyway since this poem has been on the blog before, here is another one religious one.  About how twisted and imperfect people are.

Pink Hyacinth


 


Pink Hyacinth I hate you,
Look, you should be blue.
Your colour is a sort of muted pink
Your growth is small and stunted.
Your scent bred out of you.
Pink Hyacinth I hate you.

And yet …. and yet …and yet
Pink Hyacinth I love you.
I love you for two things.
First the good intentions of the men
Who turned you pink.
But most, because, in spite of all,
You still remain a Hyacinth.

Men are the same,
Twisted away from our true beauty
Into shapes and colours that are wrong for us.
Perhaps God loves men (and me) the way I love pink hyacinths.
Nick Mellersh Jan 2015


And a last thought while I am looking through old poems.  I often have long talks with my counselor (a very impressive woman click here to read more) about ambition in life.  While religions urge us to try to be perfect and to be discontent when we fail, counselors seem to urge us just to try and be more or less OK and make the best of it.  The religious view seems too hard, the counselor's view too depressing.  Both are speaking to one or other side of the truth I suppose. Anyway here are my thoughts on this tangled matter.

All-right


When life is “all-right” well, that's sort of all-right
Well it's nearly all-right, well it's almost all-right.
Yes being all right, is sort of all-right
But it don't seem a target to aim for.
Maybe being all right is really all wrong
For “all-right's” not the life that we came for.

But being all wrong, to continue the song
Is the place where the most of us wallow,
And above the all-right, well we'll fall from that height,
There's a truth that we all have to swallow.

Nick Mellersh 2015

Anyway, life goes on as usual.  Jeanie is putting up some iPad paintings on her blog.  We have found a way to show them being built up stroke by stroke and hope to put up a serious video on painting on the iPad pretty soon.  Meanwhile you can see a few pics being created stroke for stroke on her blog.
http://ipadpainting-jeanie.blogspot.co.uk/  and there is my daughter's blog to look at too.  Interesting stuff about bronzes, https://mellersh.wordpress.com/and finally try looking at my nephew's latest film.  It's a bit of fun.http://www.5greedybankers.com/



Friday, February 19, 2016

Valentine's poem for Jeanie

I thought this was rather neat and it gave Jeanie and me a lot of fun. She;s great!  Hope you enjoy it too.
Nick

PS: a new drawing coming up on Jeanie's life drawing blog http://ipadpainting-jeanie.blogspot.co.uk/

PPS:  We;re working on the ebook version of Illustrated Fluteplaying.  Hope it will be available this summer.  More soon.

PPPS  Our daughter Lucy has recently created a couple of amazing bronze women nudes. A picture is below.  You can see more and learn about the process of creating a bronze from her blog.
Bronze by daughter Lucy Mellersh.  Learn more at her blog  

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Is it true our pretty Christmas story?

And is it true

Our pretty Christmas story?

No never true, for it is more than true
The heart leaps at it.
It is a doorway into joy that each of us can enter.

The angels singing. Surely we hear that whisper when a baby's born.

The ox and ass bowing their heads.
It's right, for every child knows that in some ways,
The beasts see more than we do.

Then come the curious, shepherds and wise men,
The peasants and the sages both knowing
That something very new is here.

And last those two who haunted the doorways of the synagogues.
Anna and Simeon
Suddenly their doubt has ended
It's come what they'd been waiting for.

And was it like the pictures in our minds
An English landscape, snow, Mary a pure bred Anglo Saxon,
The baby blue eyed?

No it was not. But that's no matter.
No matter how we see it, it can be our way
to see that God is in this fearful world and cares for it.
For this is more than truth. It is a doorway into joy.
This Christmas let us go through the doorway.
Nick Mellersh 2016

Today (Sunday Jan 31) is Candlemass  the last act in the nativity story. When two strange prophets Simeon and Anna tell Mary that her son is something very amazing.  Heaven knows what Mary thought.  Weren't the angels enough without having two eccentric old pensioners disrupt the Christening?  Anyway here's a holy poem to mark the end of this Christmas.  I hope it makes you think.

The work on the ebooks continues and we are making good progress on Illustrated Fluteplaying as an ebook.

As ever there is a new set of drawings on the sister blog currently showing "A nude a week", well almost every week anyway.  See http://ipadpainting-jeanie.blogspot.co.uk/

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Poem of the week: How Freya became the world's best football player


This is the story of a girl named Freya
Who became the world's best football player.
It all began as a sort of mistake
When her mother baked her a beautiful cake.
She was almost eight and for her birthday you see,
There were eight sugar fairies playing under a tree.
Each one was lovely, but best of all
Was the one who was running and kicking a ball.


Her birthday party came and, out of control,
Freya grabbed that fairy and swallowed her whole!
The next thing that happened was really frightening
Freya was struck by a bolt of lightening.
And everyone said “How good and speedy!
It serves Freya right for being so greedy.”
But Freya stood up, not dead at all
And said “I really must kick a ball.”
She ran to the garden as quick as quick
Found a ball and gave it a terrific kick.
It went through the walls, it was kicked so hard
And knocked the top of the London Shard
And traveled, at twice the speed of sound,
And landed in Arsenal's football ground.

Arsene Wenger said “I must have that player.
There's a name on the ball and the name is Freya.”
They found her and taught her to head and pass 'n all
And soon she was in the first team at Arsenal.

The other team laughed at the big surprise,
She was eight, and a girl, and was half their size.
Their captain said “Go easy on her mate”
But Freya had the ball and then it was too late.

She dribbled round the captain, quick and neat,
Ran through his legs and round his feet,
She jumped over his head and the crowd all roared
Freya gave a kick and Hooray!, she scored.
And she scored and scored and went on until
Her team was winning 50 nil.
The other team soon forgot their sneers
And every one of them left in tears.

After that Freya was a huge sensation
She was in all the papers throughout the nation
And her playing career went up and up
Till she played for England in the big World Cup.

They were playing the final against Brazil
There was a minute to go and the score nil – nil.
And the crowd was shouting to every player
"Pass the ball, pass the ball, pass it to Freya!!"
She got it with only ten seconds to go,
How she ran so fast we will never know.
She made each man look like a silly one
As she dribbled through the legs of every Brazilian.
Then she kicked with all of her heart and soul
And it broke the net of the Brazilian goal.

The crowd all cheered and every player
Was shouting “Hooray! Hooray for Freya”
There were fireworks and music. It was quite as scene
As she took the World Cup from the Queen.
There were shouts and cheers and a great big fuss
And she rode at the front of an open-topped bus.

Now each team in the world are wanting Freya
'Cos she is the world's best football player.
They said to her “Freya, see how this sounds,
We want to give you ten gazillion pounds.”

But Freya said “No that's not for me
I want to go home to my Mum's for tea.”

And so she did.


Nick Mellersh 2016 The quick sketches by Jeanie see her blog at http://ipadpainting-jeanie.blogspot.co.uk/ where she puts up a nude drawing most weeks

Happy new year to you all.  Hope you are happy with the change from the serious to the ridiculous.  That's how life is it seems to me.  Nick

PPS: Went to see this great film last night written and directed by my God-daughter's husband.  It's real fun and we hope it will go far see http://www.5greedybankers.com/