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Gospel truths in children's stories

  • 22 March 2011

My grandmothers red clay pot

Earthenware circular base and balanced coolnessas the world teeters a hairline from oblivionThe heat is manageable in small aluminium cupsfrom deep within your endless humanityI can feel the river pulse through your porous curvesyour neck constricted and arcing to hips receptiveFiltering anger to reasoned fahrenheitsstoring compassion in fissionary atoms morePowerful than the compressed anger of your warheadsso assiduously stored in your misplaced morality.

Wisdom is terracotted and the smoothnesstouches beyond the lies manufacturedFrozen and microwaved and served steamingwhen your unthinking hunger satesYou stare at the children with no nameshold the next meeting of the privilegedAround this receptacle of pureand feel the warm mud squelch between your toesPour yourself some water thathas been neither blessed nor cursed.

–Vinay Verma

Un éléphant

Old children's rhyme set to teach us French,that's French the language, not the kissing,conjured an aerial pachydermal feat all in French: the language, not the dressing.Unspoken truths concealed in children's songs,gospel truth spoken as a fable.Unmentioned elephants crowding the roomnébuleuse. Dodgy, with no label.Spider-Man-like these graceful fatmountainsdangle on silvery webs aquiver;elephantine tumblers serve as imageryfor cause célèbre, c'est impossible to deliver.Think of imprisoned suspects languishingin pest'lent pissholes 'cross the briney.Les accusations, no trial, solely griefand torture, daily, nightly.Ponder the pon'drous spinning mammals high,sure representations of unlikelyhappenings, like justice 'n' bread for les pauvres;equity selon Shelton Jackson, à la Spike Lee.What's more unfeasible? The dim prospectof churches selling off estates realto house and feed and clothe les sans-abri or elephants, webskidding with zeal? Un éléphant qui se balançaitSur une toile d'araignéeTrouva ce jeu si intéressantQu'il alla chercher un deuxième éléphant.

–Barry Gittins

Sunday conquest

A double bed is a kingdom of bounce and squirrel energy on lazy Sunday mornings for a tiny tyrant conceived here unimagined who, equally demanding as the eye-glint, burrows among bicep and breast to lie in the overwhelming comfortable, comforting smell of owned, known precious bodies.In this faux democracy, (Doctor Spock and othershave much to answer for), the small, legged turbulenceflush with coltish morning wriggles, turnstill firmly ordered quiet. Quiet persists for sixty seconds, thenback is braced on one flesh, feet on another flesh,to push apart the universe: such power!Threats prevail, contentment comes, untila sleepy sibling totters to the bedsideto be welcomed in with arguments of fairnessthat fail with sibling's sibling. If the usurper cannot be despatchedto hell if possible or to purgatory at least, a pattern's set.Freud knew this, and Goebbels, that loving father. Killers come from happy