Slip in their veins


I started as a boy
straight from school
in nineteen fifty
and I enjoyed my
twenty five years here.

It was almost like
a home from home, really.

It was always said
that potters had
slip
in their veins
instead of blood.

That’s what we were.
We were potters.



Terry Abbotts, former Royal Doulton worker, interview in the BBC4 programme Ceramics: A Fragile History. The Age of Wedgwood, first broadcast 17th October 2011. Submitted by Ailsa Holland.

Vitriol and Opportunity

I would love to say we’ve got a great show for you tonight,
but I’m not sure that’s the case.
Old friends, no one wants to do this listening.
All too often we are here.
Stunned by a crazy that is rarer than we think,
how incredible, the packing of the deceased,
the pain of disturbing nature with a moment of graphic speak,
of toxic and absurdity.

Here we are again, violent.
Vitriol and opportunity on television,
in the way we talk to each other.
Exonerate from blame a reality that we cannot approach verbally.
Our capacity to be horrified by being truly sad.
The shattered lunacy of real dignity,
the sense of such situations.
Senselessness in being cut way too short.

Read up on being numb,
the dispiriting implications,
troubled enemies with families of pain.
Match the forever-paranoid with great rhetorics
of light and thank you.
Never worse than when the actions of madmen take forever.

Don’t you know the leading of thought
away from the tragedy of shame?
How much living and catharsis in predictable crazy.
Something incredibly stupid and silly
that we had previously lost.
Manifestos of anonymous goodness.
More often than not, people creating solace
for tomorrows they’ve never even met.
Wouldn’t it be nice to cause this hyperbole of feeling,
however fleeting?

Taken from the Jon Stewart show after the Tucson shootings, on the 20th January 2011. Submitted by Haley Patail.

Don’t Speak


I’ve got nobody to talk to.
Nobody to say, how you feel?
Nobody to say, you ok?
Nobody. You can’t talk.
I can only talk to you.
And you’re no frigging good,

cos you can’t talk back.

It’s been really funny, cos in the stillness I’ve felt
you know
my goodness, you know,
this is me. It’s just
it’s just me now. I feel kinda stripped bare.
I can’t
the only way I can describe it is I feel
tetchy. I feel
every time it gets really quiet I think
I’m out of control.

With all the stillness
I really can look at myself.
I don’t know whether you can
whether that’s ever happened to you
where you’ve actually looked in the mirror and
you can kind of see past the eyes. And it’s like
meeting a new person.

Right now, right this minute
this is the loneliest I’ve felt since I was
was at the children’s home.



Volunteers on a silent retreat, taken from the BBC’s The Big Silence, first broadcast on 22nd October 2010. Submitted by Marika Rose.

Bagpuss

Once upon a time, not so long ago,
there was a little girl and her name was Emily.
And she had a shop – there it is.
It was rather an unusual shop
because it didn’t sell anything.
You see, everything in that shop window
was a thing that somebody had once lost,
and Emily had found,
and brought home to Bagpuss.

Emily’s cat Bagpuss:
the most important –
the most beautiful –
the most magical –
saggy old cloth cat in the whole wide world.

Well now, one day Emily found a thing
and she brought it back to the shop
and put it down in front of Bagpuss
who was in the shop window fast asleep as usual.
But then Emily said some magic words:

Bagpuss, dear Bagpuss,
old fat furry catpuss,
wake up and look at this thing that I bring.
Wake up, be bright,
be golden and light;
Bagpuss, oh hear what I sing.

And Bagpuss was wide awake.
And when Bagpuss wakes up
all his friends wake up too:
the mice on the mouse-organ woke up and
stretched; Madeleine, the rag doll; Gabriel,
the toad; and last of all, Professor Yaffle,
who was a very distinguished old woodpecker.

He climbed down off his bookend and went to see
what it was that Emily had brought.

The voiceover from the beginning of each and every episode of Bagpuss, a UK children’s TV programme from 1974. Submitted by Gabriel Smy.

Hose on Charlie’s Nose

–Drip. Drip. Drip.

Charlie, can I ask you a favour?
will it be alright if I stick my hose
on the end of your nose
because we need a lot more water
to wash the soap off Button Moon.

Of course you can Small. Come on,
Charlie, get ready to be turned on.

–I don’t want a hose
on the end of my nose.
I’ll look like an elephant.

O but Charlie, just think,
you’ll be doing a great job.
Your cold water will be cleaning
Button Moon.

Please Charlie.

–Alright Small,
just for you.
Go on.
Stick it on.

Small, when you’re ready
for Charlie to be turned on
you just call out
and I’ll get soggy cloth.
He spends most of his time
sitting over there in that soap dish.
It’s about time he did some work.

Sorry Captain Large,
I’ve got the other end of the hose
but I don’t know what to do with it.

–Look Small, we’re running out of time
so you give me the hose and I’ll do it
while you operate the remote control.

You might as well get ready to turn him on.
Slurp. Slurp. Slurp.

–Oh well done Small.
Now you can press the button
nice and slow.

I’ve never worked these before.

–Oooooh.

My kids were watching Button Moon and the dialogue caught my ear. Button Moon is a British children’s TV series with puppets broadcast in the 1980s. The dialogue above is from the episode ‘Hose on Charlie’s Nose.’ Submitted by Gabriel Smy.