Memories and greetings Cards


A biscuit tin my Booba tossed aside
I found and cleaned, restored its shape and shine,
A swarm of memories buzzed inside my head,
And now this old-time Memory – tin is mine.

Dickensian house, once home for trusted clerks,
Reduced to shabby immigrant abode,
With Booba crossing – with six hand-locked kids
To Mrs Streimer’s choc-shop – Hackney Road.

A friend not seen in ages sends her card,
of polished greetings. And my mind now stirs
With images of friends and friendly places
Deep – rooted in the unreturning years.

Unique antiques! Old memories have no fellow
They can’t be bought or sold in Portobello.

Moss Rich 1st January 2005


The Art of Grief


Walking through the cemetery I keep stopping to stare at the letters on the tombstones. They
suspend Grief – they are the Art of Grief.

If print speaks as gently to your heart as blood flows softly through your veins you will
understand why I stop to read, and read again.

The lettering is simple, respectful, dry-eyed and in golden balance…a restrained sans serif as
quiet on the white stone as anything Eric Gill ever put on paper for London Underground.
And incised with an angel’s delicacy…

To each of his valued clients the stonemason gives a generous package of his renewable
stock of grief. He uses good, industrial Black and Decker and, for important commissions, a
new quarter inch drill point.

When his own time comes to ‘lay his tools to rest’ he too will expect his fellow masons to
apply their art in a manner consistent with their professional dignity and his family’s


Cowper Street To Spital Square


(Or Spouse to Spouse –
or Boys Department to Girls Department of Same School)


The education system
Has done neither of us good.
You learned for years to sew a seam
And I to work in wood.

Explain, then, why for all those years
Of learning we both fail.
You’ve hardly sewn a button
And I’ve barely knocked a nail.

I agree that school was biased
Against the feminine.
That’s why you changed at Clapham South
To go to Aberdeen?

Of course if they had taught you
To work in wood instead
You could have reckoned two times two
Entirely in your head.

They never taught you men-like things –
What fabric suit to buy.
It’s strange when we go buying suits
You know much more than I.

I wonder – just a timid thought –
Did Nature, then, intend
Each to have special aptitudes
And it’s Instinct in the end?