Sunday 24 December 2017


Let not Christmas drive you crackers,
it is just a winter's day,
though not for wallabies and bushwhackers
that live the antipodal way.

Christmas should be homely,
but often it's pretence,
too fake, too shopaholic,
too much that makes no sense.

What if Christmas were an island
under cloudless starlit skies,
a place and time all silent,
till baby Jesus cries?

( nilsburgh)

Thursday 2 November 2017

Rat and Cat

Original Picture by JC/MMEL (2014)

In the garden last night and the night before
a rummaging rat met a lurking cat;
alas, the rats are now no more
than carcasses inanimate,
the one tricked out of pleasure and toil
on ghostly Halloween,
the other one returned to soil
on All Saints' Day when graves are clean.

I therefore ponder on the second
on the meaning of All Souls
and why a beast's transcendence is reckoned
to be beyond God's goals.

What if the rat had not been a rat
and the cat was not a cat?

( nilsburgh)

Original Picture by JC/MMEL (2014)

Tuesday 3 October 2017


I recently tried, to no avail,
to slow down a forward moving snail;
each time I blocked its middle section
and gently pulled its house in the opposite direction
I felt a rather purposeful reaction
of it sticking to the base and of additional traction.
How unsuccessful I had finally been
could unmistakably be seen
from the linear, slimy trail
left behind the tiny traveller's tail.
Not being French, I suddenly became apologetic
towards this little escargot, which was so energetic,
and I therefore helped it onto a laurel leaf
and wondered if its life would be long or brief.
( nilsburgh)

Monday 11 September 2017


I was absent-mindedly listening
to a vegetarian sausage 'crispening'
in tinfoil on the barbecue grill,
not sizzling, yet not entirely still,
when I suddenly heard a tapping,
then the sound of bird wings flapping
before something struck me on the head,
bouncing off against the garden shed.
The dropping was a walnut,
its shell still partly shut,
the culprit was a hungry rook
that had unwittingly hit the cook.
Never mind, I forgive you, bird,
but I'll keep your walnut for dessert.
( nilsburgh)

Friday 8 September 2017

Not all there

Should you feel like a brief excursion
into the realm of introversion
there is something simple you can do
apart from hiding in the loo.
Get yourself into a recumbent position
and slightly modify your 'perceptory' condition
with earplugs, an eye mask and a sheet
that covers you from head to feet.
This may, of course, seem rather contrived
and aesthetically, no doubt, a bit deprived,
but, at least, it will promptly help you to retract
from unwanted reality and displeasing fact.
And if there is any kind of pong
just add a nose clip to make it less strong.
( nilsburgh)

Monday 4 September 2017


Painting (Monotype / Gouache)
by Colin M. Smith   (1961)

'No man is an elephant, no matter how great,'
said John feeling bloated from something he ate.
( nilsburgh)

Sunday 3 September 2017


Hedgehogs are known to be solitary creatures,
yet six of them come to eat,
with their rustic manners and bear-like features,
their spiky backs, their long noses and feet.
Some try to be early before rations are thin,
some wait their turn, others snort, ram and barge in.
Surprisingly though, even when they make it their goal
to stubbornly cram around the same bowl,
it is not at all rare
that they simply munch, crunch and share,
and then roam off alone
into other places, neat or overgrown,
in search of what else nature can spare
towards their ample fat-building fare.
( nilsburgh)

Saturday 2 September 2017

Lone Sheep

A lone sheep needs an island
with fresh water and green grass,
shelter from the elements,
a barrier the wolf cannot pass.
But if the sheep is only halfway wise,
it will pull the wool over its own eyes.
( nilsburgh)