As kids, enjoying usual larks,
We fell on floors and grazed our knees,
And came a cropper climbing trees.
Slingshots and conkers tied to strings
Were weapons made from our own hands;
We fought in playgrounds and on swings.
Now we are adult and fight wars,
But our manoeuvres stay the same.
There are high stakes in our new game,
It’s true, and more expensive toys,...
Tuesday 30th May 2023 8:42 am
Days of Sorrow
We live close to the stars,
But closer by the days:
From times which have long gone
Till the dawning of tomorrow.
Consider, for one moment,
The stars and the days, piled high:
The tortured sky.
Saturday 20th May 2023 9:32 pm
I’m sure they didn’t mean to finish here.
They once were young men; they are still today.
Time has not aged them; boyish souls outlive
Their mortal frames, long since dissolved to dust.
Each pristine grave is their nobility,
A passport to well-deserved endurance.
From all around the hubs and spokes of Earth,
They came and died from homelands far away,
In Britain and the loy...
Tuesday 16th May 2023 8:50 am
‘How many of you live here?’
The man with the clipboard was asking.
Numbers are not my strong point
And I get a bit tongue-tied.
I reply, in a roundabout way:
‘Well, some, here and there;
Not many now;
Fewer than there used to be.’
‘Is that the best you can do?’
He snapped, looking peeved.
I slope off, inadequate,
Turning round, I see ...
Sunday 30th April 2023 5:22 pm
Folding up your kit,
Cleaning out your gun,
Marching side by side,
Writing home to Mum.
Lobbing a grenade,
Fingers in your ears,
Larking with your mates,
Sinking twenty beers.
Blow the bastards up,
Keep your powder dry,
Punch the freezing air
As you watch them die.
Paying off the tarts,
Clearing body parts,
Bullet in the head:
Tuesday 25th April 2023 8:42 am
We think the only victims in a war
Are those with names engraved who rise no more.
But we should spare a thought for those who live,
Those damaged souls with so much more to give:
Exploits in the battle oft unspoken,
Hearts and minds decayed or simply broken.
So many of them suffer from a loss
And find it tough to put a smiling gloss
On situations which become so hard
Thursday 13th April 2023 7:52 am
These pictures look quite dated now,
Like all those old films that we see.
That’s you, returning on the bus,
And, picking up the kids, it’s me.
Back in the glory days of peace,
We lived together hand in glove.
Our future seemed mapped out in stone,
The present sparkled with our love.
Now that seems like another world;
Your letters from afar arrive,
Wednesday 5th April 2023 9:53 pm
In the great tempest of eighty-seven,
Mum and Dad remembered milk bottles
Bouncing and blowing down their quiet street.
Incredibly, none of them were broken,
Though hordes of healthy trees were smashed to bits.
But soldiers do not escape so lightly:
One bullet shot is easily enough
To shatter for good their unprotected shield.
The broken glass has to be collected
Wednesday 29th March 2023 7:44 am
Courtesy of lily-livered missiles
(Tactical? Strategic? Who on Earth cares?)
Ukrainians lose the rest of their lives,
While eating lunch or dinner in their flats.
My thoughts drift to twittish highland royals,
And double-barrelled toffs who hunt for stags,
Which bleed and stagger round for days on end
Before they die in bouts of howling pain.
It is all part of a continuum:...
Saturday 25th March 2023 8:54 am
Who includes diversity...
Written in March 2023: one year on.
(...sees races, eras, dates, generations,
The past, the future, dwelling there, like space, inseparable together"
Walt Whitman, Kosmos)
Only fragile glass
holds the cold
night's times at bay:
each star above the beech
owning its mo...
Friday 24th March 2023 11:37 am
Some people wilfully tread on spiders,
But I don’t.
Some squash ladybirds for fun:
That’s not my style.
Some laugh as they crush an ant:
I can’t do that.
You can see where this is going:
Some people are just different.
They are born that way;
Or do they become like that?
They can’t all be sadists;
Sometimes it’s just circumstances.
So, could I become t...
Monday 13th March 2023 4:50 pm
It’s only anonymity
Which makes us go to war;
When soldiers meet up face to face
They wonder what it’s for.
They talk of friends and relatives,
About whom they all care;
Discuss the beauty of the world,
Which they delight to share.
They do not bow to nation states
Or military types,
Whose mission is to keep them down
By tapping on their stripes.
Sunday 5th March 2023 9:08 am
The sky looked weary
Pale and colourless
As were we
I laid down my rifle
and thought of what I'd told her
I'd left it in the hollow of her mind
In the place where dreams ascend
So, when the day came
they could carry
all that grief & sorrow away
and feed it to the clouds
for when they felt like crying
And on that day
Laden with the burden of
Friday 10th February 2023 4:35 pm
You get the feeling he would cross the road
To not to have to give you time of day,
Though in his flowered garden, taut, he dotes
On children, bouncing them upon his knee,
And will cherish every stricken insect
Like a father cradling his newly born.
In working hours, required stiffness
Does not prevent him cracking the odd joke.
He says it’s nothing personal (it is);
Thursday 9th February 2023 9:17 am
in the end everything seemed
to be superfluous,
our whims, our worries,
our everyday words
whirling in between
the four corners of any statutory affairs
in the end everything was
so predictable like the unfolding
of any well rehearsed drama
that our words became silent
like the tired desert
after the longest day of the year
in the end everything pushed...
Tuesday 7th February 2023 4:47 am
It’s bizarre that Eurovision,
That riot of drivel and camp,
Became a combatant in war:
Builders bopped to the Ukraine song.
Politicians of every sort
Are decked out in blue and yellow.
Hollywood types, shocked in their awe,
Enlist and worship at the shrine.
Lottery winners in hard hats
View body bags through telescopes.
Pray silence for the giant screen.
Monday 6th February 2023 9:04 am
The Finer Things
Wars are the usual bag of tricks:
Fought by the same class of suckers,
Straight out of factory or school,
Uncomplaining and scared to death.
Heads crammed with patriotic guff,
They squirm in trenches at the front
And finish dead or short of limbs.
Those who survive, when they return
To a country fit for heroes,
Are told, in no uncertain terms,
To shut up and to know t...
Tuesday 31st January 2023 8:50 am
This Is Today
It is not a fable or a fairy tale,
even a child could understand my plea
that is why I speak loudly and vehemently
I am outraged to see
how those who wield power,
supported by uniforms and boots
see us as nincompoops,
weaving narratives of a distorted history
as if nothing had been there
Their very accommodated stories
build paper monuments to their heroes o...
Thursday 12th January 2023 3:56 pm
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