MT 1-1: Monkey Teaches Sunday School on Mondays


Monkey Teaches Sunday School on Mondays
(With apologies to Pavlov and his dogs)

Younger monkeys e-mail elder monkey
and expect an answer within two minutes.
Elder monkey drools and writes right back.

He is turned on by the bells
and whistles of his computer.
“Woof! Woof!”
His handlers hand him a biscuit.

Elder monkey has grown to appreciate
tension and abuse:
the systematic beatings,
the shit and foul words hurled at his head.

The working conditions are overcrowded.
Elder monkey is overworked.

Yet he has managed to survive,
to stay alive and fight
what he once believed was the good fight.

Now he no longer knows:
nor does he drool anymore
when bells and whistles sound
and his handlers bait him
with an occasional, half-price biscuit.



I will record and post the whole of Monkey Temple, poem by poem, with voice recordings. I’ll use two key trigger elements: first, the grinning monkey in the picture and second, the MT 1-1 designation, standing for Part 1 Poem 1 … this will continue 1-2, 1-3, 1-4 etc. If you are enjoying these poems and readings, keep your eyes open for those two triggers and catch your favorite monkey as he goes about his monkey business.

6 thoughts on “MT 1-1: Monkey Teaches Sunday School on Mondays

  1. I am enjoying these recordings so much! I’m glad you’re going to read all the Monkey Temple poems – this is based on your experiences in academia? Dealing with the bureaucracy? Looking forward to the next one!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dealing with bureaucracy, officialdom in Spain and Mexico, the church in Spain, all the administrative details now involved in coaching, growing old, life in general, the bus conductor syndrome … that’s worth a book in itself … the best part about Monkey Temple is that it is universal. Everyone recognizes these monkeys, and there’s a little bit of each of them in ourselves. Many who have read this collection admit to having been shamed and embarrassed by little tricks of monkey business they know they have pulled. It’s a very sobering book to go back over … I am so glad I wrote it … it grows in meaning each time I read it. It’s hilariously sad. So glad you like it, Meg.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Good morning, John. As I said to Jan (below), I am really enjoying revisiting these poems. To know you are out there, reading and listening, gives me a great sense of audience too. I know it’s not ‘live’, but I also know it’s very special.


    • Thanks, Jan. It’s great fun to revisit them and reading them aloud is so energizing. I should write a sequence on Monkey’s Easter Bunny and Secret Bunny Battery. The reading aloud has regenerated my creative energies, too. Knowing people are reading certainly helps. It’s great to have a regular audience.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s