Friday, January 22, 2010

Casper the commuting cat killed by hit-and-run driver

Bus driver and passengers pay tribute to Casper the cat who would board Plymouth bus and ride around city


The tale of Casper the commuting cat, who would politely queue with bus passengers before contentedly riding around Plymouth, made headlines and raised smiles around the world.

Sadly the cat's love affair with the open road has proved his downfall after he was killed by a hit-and-run driver, it emerged today.

A notice appeared at the cat's usual bus stop saying: "Many local people knew Casper, who loved everyone. He also enjoyed the bus journeys. Sadly a motorist hit him and did not stop.

"Casper died from his injuries. He will be greatly missed. He was a much-loved pet who had so much character. Thank you to all those who befriended him."

Casper's life on the buses came to international attention last year. It turned out that for four years he had been riding the no 3 bus, passing the Devon city's historic dockyard and naval base, en route.

He tended to curl up on a seat or sometimes purr around fellow passengers' legs, all the way to the final stop, stay on and make the return journey. Drivers got used to letting him off at the correct stop.

His owner, Sue Finden, said she had never understood what he was doing until a bus driver let her into the secret of Casper's travelling.

"I couldn't believe it at first, but it explains a lot. He loves people and we have a bus stop right outside our house so that must be how he got started -just following everyone on," she said at the time.

Postings on the website of Casper's local newspaper [" title="Postings], the Herald, proved just what a popular character he was.

"Hail to Casper the cat, I'll miss ya m8 ride in heaven," wrote Chris the bus driver. "RIP Casper, you will be missed," said another reader.

There were, inevitably, a few sick jokes, while Mick from Plymouth said he would not have let any cat of his run across roads and jump on buses.

And Eternal Optimist questioned whether the paper should be troubling itself with Casper's story: "I am so glad that I live in such a peaceful and crime-free city as Plymouth where so little happens that a dead cat is considered newsworthy."

However, Mel of Plymouth summed up the feeling of most: "RIP Casper, you were one cool cat! Reading about your travels put a smile on my face."

Friday, January 15, 2010

2 Scots poets

The Watergaw (by Hugh MacDiarmid)

Ae weet forenicht i' the yow-trummle
I saw yon antrin thing,
A watergaw wi' its chitterin' licht
Ayont the on-ding;
An' I thocht o' the last wild look ye gied
Afore ye deed!

There was nae reek i' the laverock's hoose
That nicht - an' nane i' mine;
But I hae thocht o' that foolish licht
Ever sin' syne;
An' I think that mebbe at last I ken
What your look meant then.

Tom Leonard (from HESITATIONS, and from FOODIES)

a dont give a shite
fur any a thim

a dont give a
a dogs turd

supposin thi entire

fuckin lot
and all thir fukin wurks an pomps

copped it
copped thi fuckin

whole thing

it would serve
it would serve thim

entirely accordin
tay thaht
which they totally fuckin deserve

thats ma opinion
and having delivered it
I will now have my fucking breakfast

rest assured

the cattle in our pies
were once
professors of psychiatry

ah like ma egg turned
the white quite firm

ma yoke saft enough
- though no too runny

thanks a lot

a could go
a right big haddock

deep-fried in batter
crunchy at the tail

thick in the middle
dead white inside

a single fish

Tom Leonard's excerpts from the etruscan books 1997 triptych: Raworth, Griffiths, Leonard.

"Watergaw" rainbow

Thursday, January 7, 2010

2 Irish poets

W.B. Yeats.....a stanza from THE TOWER

Does the imagination dwell the most
Upon a woman won or woman lost?
If on the lost, admit you turned aside
From a great labyrinth out of pride,
Cowardice, some silly over-subtle thought
Or anything called conscience once;
And if that memory recur, the sun's
Under eclipse and the day blotted out.


No, no, no, I know I was not important as I moved
Through the colourful country, I was but a single
Item in the picture, the namer not the beloved.
O tedious man with whom no gods commingle.
Beauty, who has described beauty? Once upon a time
I had a myth that was a lie but it served:
Trees walking across the crests of hills and my rhyme
Cavorting on mile-high stilts and the unnerved
Crowds looking up with terror in their rational faces.
O dance with Kitty Stobling I outrageously
Cried out-of-sense to them, while their timorous paces
Stumbled behind Jove's page boy paging me.
I had a very pleasant journey, thank you sincerely
For giving me my madness back, or nearly.

a poem by Dylan Thomas

The hunchback in the park
A solitary mister
Propped between trees and water
From the opening of the garden lock
That lets the trees and water enter
Until the Sunday sombre bell at dark

Eating bread from a newspaper
Drinking water from a chained cup
That the children filled with gravel
In the fountain basin where I sailed my ship
Slept at night in a dog kennel
But nobody chained him up.

Like the park birds he came early
Like the water he sat down
And Mister they called Hey mister
The truant boys from the town
Running when he had heard them clearly
On out of sound

Past lake and rockery
Laughing when he shook his paper
Hunchbacked in mockery
Through the loud zoo of the willow groves
Dodging the park keeper
With his stick that picked up leaves.

And the old dog sleeper
Alone between nurses and swans
While the boys among willows
Made the tigers jump out of their eyes
To roar on the rockery stones
And the groves were blue with sailors

Made all day until bell time
A woman figure without fault
Straight as a young elm
Straight and tall from his crooked bones
That she might stand in the night
After the locks and chains

All night in the unmade park
After the railings and shrubberies
The birds the grass the trees the lake
And the wild boys innocent as strawberries
Had followed the hunchback
To his kennel in the dark.