Sensei - June 2020

Catherine Heath

June 2020

You were my sensei,

Teaching me to smoke weed,

Take MDMA,

And pay household bills.

I couldn’t cook,

And you showed me

How to defrost chicken

(It was horrible

When we found flies

In the broccoli).

We had such fun,

You and I––

Cavorting through first year,

Inhabiting Flat Three,

And complaining about Judas,

(In hindsight,

I think it was probably for the best

That she left).

Third year was a riot

When we lived in the mansion––

Though we always knew

When to leave a party––

And when the party was at ours

I always kicked people out.

Southampton University 

Was our time.

You were my sensei,

Helping me understand

This maze we call life,

So I don’t fall in a hole,

Or drop my chicken nuggets

(As I nearly did that time).

Quad vods in Sobar,

Jesticles in Jesters––

We’d put anything down our throats,

As long as we were together––

And I always felt safe

With you,

So when you shouted at me,

I knew I should stop.

You are one of my very best friends;

We went on

Strange trips to Amsterdam,

Weed brownies on the coach
Scrambling our brains.

You lived in a house,

In first year,

So I came to your BBQs,

While you came to my halls,

And called me on the phone

When we had something to say

That couldn’t wait.

University daze;

It does amaze me

How I’ll always remember you––

You’re a good guy,

Through and through––

A corrupter of youth,

And saviour of girls

Who might have ended up too wild,

And in a loveless marriage,


Or both. 

You studied just enough

To pass,

Knowing when to call bullshit

On this raving madness

We call society,

Finding a good job

In the place you call home

(That’s the smart thing to do)

And if I’m scared of anything, 

I’ll always ask you

To give me the plain



For Alex Mann

Photo by Adam Whitlock on Unsplash