Thursday, October 25, 2012

Adieu La Vie

I've just published my novel Adieu La Vie as a paperback on amazon where it's also available as an ebook in Kindle format. Other ebook formats are available at

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Sister Anna The Juggling Nun

We all worship God in our own special way,
Some loudly, some softly, some silently pray.
However we worship, He hears us, each one,
Like He heard Sister Anna, the juggling nun.

She had lived many years in the cloister’s embrace,
She was fat, she was fifty, ill-favoured of face,
She was awkward, ungainly, an object of fun,
Oh poor Sister Anna, the juggling nun!

The Mother Superior, patient and kind,
Had struggled for years in an effort to find
Some outlet for Anna, some task that would suit
A well-meaning nun with the brain of a newt.

But Anna fell woefully short of success,
Her cooking was gruesome, her garden a mess,
She neither could sow, no more could she reap,
She often had trouble when milking the sheep.

And yet she was willing and anxious to serve
And failure was threatening to shatter her nerve.
She lived for those evenings, infrequent I fear,
When her turn to wash up the dishes drew near,

For not once in her lifetime, it’s strange to relate,
Had she broken so much as a small dinner plate
Nor damaged a saucer nor shattered a cup,
She was quite a remarkably good washer up.

Yet one fateful evening she’d always recall
While carrying freshly washed plates from the hall
She rounded a corner and saw with dismay
The Mother Superior coming her way.

With something between a collapse and a leap
She dropped her a curtsey and fell in a heap
And twenty-eight dinner plates span all around
Some up towards the ceiling, some down towards the ground.

The Mother Superior, closing her eyes,
Awaited the crash, but - sainted surprise! -
The crash never came and no damage was done,
For Anna had caught all the plates, every one!

The Mother Superior said, ‘I just knew
There had to be something you’re able to do!
Let’s tell all the others, they’ll be so impressed!’
But Anna was just as surprised as the rest.

And when they implored her, ‘Oh do it once more!’
She gazed with misgivings upon the stone floor
And picked up a couple of plates with a sigh
And in her embarrassment threw them too high.

Yet still she was able to catch them with ease!
She threw them in twos, and she threw them in threes,
She caught them unerringly, threw them again,
But how she achieved it she couldn’t explain.

‘It’s a gift!’ said the others, ‘A gift from above,
A manifestation of heavenly love!
Give praise to the Lord for the good things He’s done
Especially for Anna, the juggling nun.’

The Mother Superior said with delight,
‘When we meet to give praise in the chapel tonight
For the harvest we’ve gathered, the grain we have stored,
Then Anna shall juggle in sight of the Lord!’

So Anna rehearsed for the rest of the day
Catching platters in every conceivable way.
In rapture she blessed every plate as it spun,
Oh brave Sister Anna, the juggling nun!

That night in the chapel the sisters all knelt
To offer their tributes, but each of them felt
Their gifts were too humble compared to the one
Now offered by Anna, the juggling nun,

For she threw fifty dinner plates high in the air
And caught them in sequence with seconds to spare,
And the smile on her face no suspense could alloy,
She juggled and juggled and juggled for joy!

She juggled and juggled and juggled away
Till one of the others was tempted to say
(As Anna showed no inclination to stop),
‘I think our dear sister’s gone over the top.’

She juggled and juggled well into the night
Till Mother Superior asked if she might
Just stop for a minute, but Anna did not
For how to stop juggling she’d sadly forgot.

And then of a sudden the windows grew bright
With an eerie, unearthly but beautiful light.
The sisters fell prostrate at once to the floor,
But Anna if anything juggled still more,

Till brighter than daylight the brilliance shone
And still Sister Anna went juggling on,
Till at length from the light came a voice they all knew -
‘Thanks, dear Sister Anna. Don’t call us, we’ll call you.’

This is from a collection of songs and monologues just published as an ebook called SISTER ANNA THE JUGGLING NUN available from:

If you don't have a Kindle, you can download a free on-screen version. These links will take you to the appropriate download page: