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Monday, January 31, 2005

Patio window

"What shape were the missiles
Which smashed through your patio window?"
asks the policeman.
"Round," says the woman.
"Round? Do you mean spherical?"
"Yes, spherical missiles."
"So we're talking balls?"
"We're talking a lot of balls."
"How much balls are we talking?"
"In Roman numerals,

We are talking vee-one-one-one balls."
"I make that eight balls, in new money."

"The indication is, officer, that the balls
Were deliberately energised
By local feet."
"In your perception, madam,
How many local feet energised the balls?
"I make that eight feet, in new money."
"Yes, you do."
"So that's an average
Of one foot energising each ball."

"How long in Roman numerals
Did it take all eight balls
To penetrate your fenestration?"
"About nought point one-vee seconds."
"So the balls arrived in quick succession?"
"Yes, It was a tightly coordinated attack of balls."

"Does this happen a lot in the village?"
"It happens several times a week, officer."
"I see."
"Only yesterday,
Doris Carruthers was in her greenhouse
Doing her nasturtiums
When eight tightly coordinated balls
Crashed through her roof
And showered her with vitreous debris."

"Is there a recognisable pattern
To the attacks?"
"Yes, officer, there is.
The first three balls
Come in an isosceles triangle formation,
And the remaining five
Follow closely behind
In a perfect pentagon."

"So the attacks aren't random?"
"No. In every observed case
There has been
A rigorous geometrical precision about them."

"I don't know what to suggest, madam."
"I suggest, officer,
That we get out of bed
And have a nice cup of tea."

The police are very good

The mean streets

Under the radar

More Norfolk koans

Index of blog contents

Spirituality websites worth watching

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Jellybabies theme park

An old lady in a printed frock
Is standing in
A Jellybabies theme park
In Broadstairs.

She is watching
An illegal seal cull
Through night-vision binoculars.

Closer investigation
By the constabulary
Reveals that it is, in fact,
A trick of the light.

The Jellybabies theme park
Is in Whitstable.

Cheese sandwich

More Norfolk koans

Index of blog contents

Spirituality websites worth watching

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Circus in Southwold

A group of small children
Is going to the circus
In Southwold, Suffolk.

Their childminder
Is a thin woman
With a briefcase.

"What have you got
In your briefcase, Miss?"
Asks one of the children.

"Three pounds of Semtex plastic explosive
Timed to go off at 3.45pm today,
And two and a half thousand ball bearings."

"Is your briefcase strong enough
To contain the explosion?"

"No, darling.
My briefcase is strong enough
To contain the explosive,
But insufficiently robust
To contain the explosion itself."

"Won't it make a bit of a mess, Miss?"

"I hope so, darling.
But then it'll be nice
And quiet, won't it?"

Generation gap


Unlike the others

More Norfolk koans

Index of blog contents

Spirituality websites worth watching

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Seven toffee doughnuts

Having not eaten
For well over
twenty minutes,
The young woman was hungry.

She logged on to the internet
And ordered a stuffed crust pizza
With double pepperoni and chocolate,
French fries,
Seven toffee doughnuts
And a butterscotch milkshake.

Imagine her surprise,
Two minutes later,
When out of her 3D printer
Came a small piece
Of lettuce

And a plastic cup
of raspberry leaf tea.


Worth Matravers in Dorset

More Norfolk koans

Index of blog contents

Tuesday, January 25, 2005


She is a very beautiful woman;
A perfectly anorexic

Supermodel with many legs.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
The beholder is an insect.
The eye is compound.

Is the beauty enhanced
By multiple images?
Or is the beauty diminished

By biting mouthparts?

Directory of blogs written by insects

Dangerous tree in Warwickshire

More Norfolk koans

Index of blog contents

Spirituality websites worth watching

Thursday, January 20, 2005


A young woman
Sits by a swimming pool
Painting her toenails.

It is midnight.

She wonders
Whether it is possible
To foretell the future
Using an avocado pear.

Her husband brings her
An avocado pear.

This is strange.

The young woman
Has no husband.


Aquarian elf girl

Unusual cloud-form over Launceston

Lose weight feel great

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Poodle parlour in Purley

A thin man with a toothbrush
Stuck up his nose
Walks into a poodle parlour
In Purley.

The woman
Behind the counter
Looks at him.

The thin man with the toothbrush
Stuck up his nose
Looks back.

"What can I do for you, sir?"
Says the woman.

"I'd like to buy
An industrial-strength
Toothbrush-remover, please."

"Show me your poodle."

"I don't run a poodle."

"Do you have a poodle
Which runs itself?"

"I don't believe
In the existence
Of poodles."

"But are you sympathetic
To the general concept
Of poodles
As it functions
In the vernacular culture?"

"Wild poodles, yes.
Tame poodles, no.
Poodles should be left alone
To roam free
In the jungle."

"It is my duty
To enquire, sir,
Whether that is your last word
On the subject
Of poodles?"

"It is."

"Then for both business
And metaphysical reasons,
I must terminate this conversation."


Images of poodles
1 2 3 4

Images of Purley
1 2 3 4

Sunday, January 02, 2005

World of Bears

Page update: 28.02.08

The time is right to issue a statement about the bear problem.

There has been a lot of loose speculation in the media, recently, about the exact motivation of the bear population in launching multiple nocturnal investigations into human dustbins.

And there was that unhelpful cartoon in The New Yorker which depicted a bear sitting at a restaurant table, studying the menu, and saying to the waiter: "I know I shouldn't, but I'm going to have the garbage."

A lot of people laugh at bears. Sadly for some, it is the last thing that they laugh at in their lives.

It is only fair, I think, to record that for many of us of bipedal persuasion, the early literature of our spiritual formation involved prominent bear exemplars. I think of the Tedi Masters, Rupert, Pooh and Paddington in particular.

And Bigears should not be forgotten in this context, although Noddy might demur. Of course, Bigears was not a bear. But he was bear-like: that is the point. Bigears was more formidable, pastorally, in his day than any Johnny-come-lately armoured bear of the Dark Materials canon.

And we should not forget tarsiers. Tarsiers, in crepuscular conditions, may sometimes be confused with bears by those with zoological difficulties.

Now, I am not myself a bear. And I don't eat bears, even at Christmas. But I do like to hibernate. And, of course, I am fully sympathetic to the concerns of the beargarden community, particularly in its Thames Valley Homeland. As you all know by now, I have long been a trusted companion of the animal people.

I urge people of goodwill everywhere to extend cyber-cleansed screenpaws to our friends, the bears. At difficult times like these, they deserve our support and understanding. And if they are koalas, they need urgent relief from the marsupial culture which so unfortunately surrounds them.

I will speak about wallabies on a future occasion. There is an issue of vulgarity to be addressed. And there is an issue of under-achievement at Rugby Football.

For ease of reference, and in case it assists in calming public fears, I append herewith a hyperlink to a high-resolution image of a tarsier.

Whoops! Sorry. That was the wrong one. Where are we now? Ah, yes. Here we are. That's better. Tarquin the Tarsier.

Alcuin Bramerton


How silly is salvation?


Pope terror talks

Index of blog contents

The central question of the universe

It is time
We addressed honestly,
The central question
Of the universe.

What is
The central question
Of the universe?

The central question
Of the universe is this:

Where the bloody hell
Did I put the chocolate biscuits?


The quest is on

Is God an idealist?

Directory of blogs written by insects

Creative subversion

Slippery questions

Index of blog contents

Strange news; strange times

Spirituality websites worth watching


It happened at a Tesco supermarket in Northumberland.
A supermarket is a market which is super.
For ease of reference, Tesco is the trade name given to certain markets which for cultural reasons are designated in the public mind as supernatural.
Northumberland is a physical plane location in Old Europe.
Two women were standing by the kitchen rolls.
One said to the other: "What are you giving it for supper?"
The other said: "I'm giving it fish. It doesn't like onion mash on Tuesdays."
I said: "It's Saturday today. Why not give it engine oil?"
The two women looked at me.
One of them said to the other: "Funny people you get in here, Doris."
For me, this was an epiphany.

For them, it was just another day out.

Olive restaurant in Bromley

Index of blog contents

Strange news; strange times

Spirituality websites worth watching