Homes deserted

Destroyed by power and prejudice

The blood encrusted brick and concrete dust,

The remains of living, of hope

A memory now

Replaced by pain and hunger

While legs worn and weary,

On shoes broken by endless footsteps

Camp in a pulverized arena


The donated blanket,

The small gifts of living, a hope

A future, I wander, I wander


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hopehumanityrefugeewar poetry

Rosa Parks

Rosa Parks

Your weary legs walked proudly to your seat

And having sat you could not bear to stand

Since standing meant submit to slow defeat

Forgoing principle for lame demand


Arrested, charged and jailed, you broke the law

But stood your ground, the senate heard your plea

While Martin Luthor spoke for what he saw

Supporters gathered strength, they set you free



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I make my mark on the world

not large but big enough

no highlight, fame nor fortune

but written bold with love.

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I am

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I am the tree, my roots mysterious and deep,

My seed has ridden on the wind and settled

to wait for the sun rise over land I will never see,

Grow and mature, resemble me.

Related, we are family.


I am the gazelle, my legs lissom and swift

I run like the wind, and settle to graze the grasslands,

never alone in the sun, together we are free my herd and me.


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Gaggle me

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I am one, I am two I am three million.

The ways I know are a thousand trillion

Spend an epoch, squander an age


Eons pass, I am the sage

I tell the future, own your past

Life inside, the dice is cast.


How many microbes in this space

Adrift like plankton,

A world-wide rat race


Follow me, I know the way

Don’t be shy, go get bitten

I have done it all, and written.



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I discovered the wild green plum

down the lane, where the horse's run

rolls the clay to a chocolate base,

Turning features on the face

of fertile wet earth dust

on her bulging bee-yeast crust,

and the creamy custard sky

tops a bramble plum-filled pie.


Here the spikey blackthorns reach

to the haw, to the oak, to the beech,

While their tarty indigo sloes

top the gentle-fruit of the ...

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Faster than thought,

His retracting pupil checks, stirs,

The yellow eye sees, movement, caught.


Folds wings fleeting, speeds between trees,

glides, with the grace of a dancer

in a silent world.


Unqualified precision, cold.

The beauty of hunger, propelled

sleekly, through a funnel of air

brushed by light feather sweeping down,

down to the ground.


Into the chasm, small and gr...

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The Invitation

Wrote this for the Birkenhead Park poetry competition, didn't win, but well, never mind eh?

It’s so long since we walked in BirkenheadPark, together

And wandered at will down the paths, or fed ducks on the lake,

And rolled in the grass, or sat under a tree in fine weather

Where light-sabres of sun fight the dark-side, and we lie and wait.

Watch blue, fish-shaped, sky in an ocean of leaves m...

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A perfect day on velvet hill

where wild garlic grows,

cabbage white seeks cabbage, and still wings stir.


This dreamy afternoon

the grass grows dry and warm.

The air wears the hum of the hoverfly


The young leave the warren,

play tag in the bracken, investigate the slopes,

bravely explore the other side, forget to hide.


Soundless, unseen, she circles above,

The raptor locks her...

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My swollen belly, evidence enough for you

my accusers, who


see not my weakness

nor the advantage taken of it,


but only guilt

and gather, empty handed yet


assume the shame of acquiescence,

imagine contrivance.


your judgement the vessel,

my doom the journey’s end.


The agony of ignorance explodes on my skin

and blameless stones glisten red in the sun.


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At the end of the day

When I pack away

All my thoughts into the suitcase of my mind

Sometimes I can't close the lid.

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Matching Pairs

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Matching couples stroll along the promenade at dusk

Jeans together, teens together, cheeks Dior to musk.

Spectacled and spectacled gazing each to each,

Sandaled ones accompany each other on the beach.


Couples jog, along with dog, in multi-coloured tracksuits

And double lap the two who nap beside the sea in swimsuits.

Trendy twos in leather shoes, with matching hair and sweaters

Strike a ...

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Death will come

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Death will come to me dressed in grey

resembling an ordinary day

of muted birdsong in lazy trees

of slow dark clouds and muddied streams

of empty life and squandered years

of sleep-walking and idle dreams.


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The railway carried us away

On trains by day,

On trains by night


To descend onto a God-forsaken stage

In hell

In the line to the left

You need no bed, nor shelter

In the line to the right

You will run with a sack on your back

Until you can’t go on


In naked fear

Your dignity stripped

All contact from before, lost

You are forgotten

Outside of the i...

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Rosa Parks

Rosa Parks

Mother of the Modern Day Civil Rights Movement



Your purpose settled deep within your skin

When innate courage mirrored glowing coal

Determination, all were found within

You Rosa, kindled fire in your soul

When weary legs could bear you to your seat

And having sat they could not bear to stand

Since standing meant submit to slow defeat

Forgoing principle for lame demand


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Enough hard truths and promises

Hugs and kisses stained with secret regret

And interrupted eye contact


You wobble between parallel worlds

Clutching, afraid to let go

When letting go will send you crashing into fact,

And in your dreams

Weave thin stories

Around the lie of your fabricated life

Paying your way with excuses

Existing in a haze of hope

And despair

When real...

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Worn, like the shores of a thousand reasons

Like the coat of a hundred seasons

Or the grass on the trodden footpath

Of countless errands

Past the bark of a busy tree

Home to small creatures

Eaten by relentless birds

And stripped by squirrels

While crouching in a rain drenched corner of monotony

By the fence supported with a growth of clinging ivy


To a house with tired window...

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A bowl of broth in an ocean washes thinly on a wasting shore


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Your crown burns like fire as you pass

From womb to warm water

Without a gasp

Submerged, head first

Eyes hidden,

Your fine hair sways like sea-grass

And the soft helix of your ear is born

Naked on my thigh.


All is still

And time is measured in a breathless pause

Generations seem to pass

Waiting for your shoulders to rotate,


With pouting grimace

Your prof...

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The Shoe: China 2008

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The Shoe: China 2008


The ground moved and I ran

Shocked rock rained

Earth crushed earth,

And groaned with the agony of creaking bones

The rupture of structure

The buildings breaking

Crashing, pushing, crowding

I ran, and I was lost

My fleeing finished, I am left behind

Half buried and blind

Here in rubble, wrecked and hopeless

Lost and footless

Forgotten in the agony of reality


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A droning voice directs the road ahead

Small screen

No people

All life safely hidden

From sight

Behind flat lines curves and corners

While driving between dimensions we travel

Through parallel roads to parallel worlds

Rushing into stagnation

Debris in a drain

Backing up

Spewing up

Gushing damnation

On an axle of ever

Growing commitment driven conquests

Hands steeri...

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William Henley 1849 to 1903 suffered from tubercular arthritis from childhood and spent most of his life in great pain.  He had one of his feet amputated as a result of his illness.

He met Robert Louise Stevenson who became a close friend and described Henley as burley, boisterous and piratic. Stevenson used him as inspiration for his Long John Silver character in Treasure Island.

I love this po...

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Dedicated to Pete Crompton who found the room where he was born

Waiting by the window
In the car park
Or in the branches of the young beech trees
Holding on
Have you done this before?
Which one? Which one is yours?
The woman lying quietly, catching every beat
The woman pacing on puffed out feet
The woman rocking and rocking again
Or the woman screaming in fear and in pain

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  • 2008 - 2016 (23)


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