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Scenes from life


The female of a pair of baby turtles
my daughter had bought and put in my study
was lying still and limp
so I hunted high and low
until I finally got hold of a bottle of tonic
and poured that into the aquarium
and this morning she had pretty much revived
swimming down beneath the plants
then climbing up to perch
on a black pock-marked stone.


The little five-year-old girl from the flat above
comes in, carrying a piece of chocolate
and orders, 'Granddad, eat this'.
I lay it down, saying I'll eat it later
but she commands, 'Eat it at once'.
I have diabetes but
what can you do! Swallowing it in a gulp
---- 'Ah lovely!' No other way.


Every day an elderly man
from one of the apartment blocks,
carrying a big sack slung over one shoulder,
goes around the area between the blocks
picking up litter.

Whenever we meet
I greet him and also compliment him,
and when I remark on his constant efforts
he replies, 'It's my pleasure.'

Whenever I part from this novel Sack Monk
I greet him inwardly with joined hands.