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The New Year 2021

The New Year 2021

 

A time for New Year's Resolutions

for introspection and internal ablutions

A glance at the past where it now belongs

as we drink, dance and sing familiar songs

 

A time to ponder and begin anew

for there lies ahead so much we can do

Let us waste no time as the future beckons

it will soon be here in hours, minutes and seconds

 

If we are with ...

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A Dark Secret

A Dark Secret

 

A dark secret well hidden

has brought fear to be bidden

As a boy I kept mum

a secret which never saw the sun

So I concealed my voice and could not utter

nervousness was at the root of my stutter

I moved in darkened places to find

what I could not clearly outline

I became furtive and very introvert

as my secret was highly covert

I searched for a l...

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An Inner Voice

An Inner Voice

 

We often need to listen to our inner voice 

that still small voice of calm

Which speaks words of wisdom

words which do not emanate from ourselves

But directly to heart and mind

 

The voices and noises of endless distraction

often drown this source of inner wisdom

The world outside will encroach upon us

to supress those words we need to hear

 

...

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A Childhood in Despair

A Childhood in Despair

 

I was drenched

and drained in dullness

I loathed my surroundings

nearly as much as

I loathed the other

children

School was a 

frigid and hostile

environment

The moorland was

inhospitable as 

were the gossiping

biddies in their

backstreets

There was an absence

of joy, with no colour

or contrasts

I vowed when I 

cam...

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Kindred Spirits

Kindred Spirits

 

Out of the blue, unannounced and from many miles afar

a soul arrived in my sacred space

It was meant to be that we should meet

from another land but of our common race

 

We bonded soon and bared our souls

a language used to forge new understanding

Since that day to this we have grown

in a place which will be truly everlasting

 

This was no rand...

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We are growing

We are growing

 

Every moment of life is grace filled

we are often not aware of this

Every thought and movement is growth

we are built and modelled every moment

Every brick is carefully laid

the architecture becomes unique

Every word spoken is of learning

it matures our soul and mind

Everyday the scaffolding falls away

to reveal more of who I am

Everyone about m...

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A Forest Glade

A Forest Glade

 

In a forest glade within its shade

love is made

A secret place for which no charge is made

love is made

Far from prying eyes we have a place prepared

where love is made

There we take off our clothes to be fully bared

is where love is made

Rampant passion here is flagrantly made

here is where love is made

Nature's dell our hidden  abode

where ...

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The Heart of the Matter

The Heart of the Matter

 

I plunge into the abyss of my soul

Unfettered by cerebral cavities of opaque thought

I search for the core of my being

The powerhouse of my spiritual wealth

Where my true identity sits in splendour

Silence pervades this deep chasm

When visited, it becomes illuminated

A strange but enigmatic place

Where I am challenged and motivated

Besides...

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The Virus comes home

The Virus comes home

 

The alarm bells of anxiety rang cruelly and loudly

as the pandemic reached into the heart of my family

No longer was it a statistic but a personal tragedy and reality

so tenuous is life, not knowing the hour or the day

I raced around in my confused mind

looking for what could not be found

Messages passed to and fro to offer prayers and support

but ...

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Immaculate Renewal

Immaculate Renewal

 

The waves of the Spirit wash over me

to cleanse and renew the fervour of my soul

Then I see anew as I am uplifted above all conciousness

an ephemeral gladness envelopes me

A balm heals the past of spiritual disfigurement

to breathe on me another time of reconciliation

A second or third or more, an opportunity to reopen my eyes

to the depths of my bei...

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Our Place

Our Place

 

We are in the right hand bottom corner

alone and quite separate as an entity

A diamond which glitters with brilliancy

giving the fragrance of creation and love

 

Especially conceived to be blessed into eternity

we are encased in perfect harmony and safety

Every detail is to perfection, an unparalleled miracle

outside darkness reigns into the unknown

 

...

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A Gentler Age

A Gentler Age

 

I was smoking my pipe outside as usual

A young observant man said that I reminded

him of a gentler age

Not many smoke pipes these days for fear 

of criticism

I acknowledged his remark and nodded

A gentler age I thought, at a time when 

young men in the trenches smoked pipes

almost to a man

Gleaned from black and white documentaries

of the Somme a...

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The Nanny State

The Nanny State

 

The Nanny State is here to stay

and woe betide those who go astray

Do you smoke they say

to this there is no give away

How many do you smoke each day

I replied that cigarettes were not within my pay

A pipe yes until the tobacco has burned away

He wrote the words, A smoker he does say

I was condemned that day

I am amongst those who stand outside to...

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That Great Emotion

That Great Emotion

 

Love has no ownership , no script

it rises above normality and convention

It tingles with an ancient beauty

never distressed, only ever empowered

It is aroused out of nothing to something

never confined to boundaries or limits

Love is a gentle force in powerful clothing

as it embraces all manner of souls

By it we are attracted and consumed

into...

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The Land is Fallow

The Land is Fallow

 

The land is fallow, the virus has struck

the grass weeps and the fields sleep

Trees stand bare as onlookers stare

the land is fallow for a while, a year

 

The land is pock marked with tangled weeds

no longer is it time to sow the seeds

People retreat to the warmth of their hearth

nothing is achieved on inertia's path

 

Clouds and rain no lon...

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Stillness

Stillness

 

Early morning as daylight heralds a new day

I sit alone in my pre ordained space

to be still in thought and prayer

as I contemplate and commune

with the essence of my being

where the Divine Spirit has made his home

 

In the background I play softly and

listen to Gregorian Chant or the

strains of Peer Gynt in the beauty 

of the morning song

Peace b...

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Held in Abeyance

Held in Abeyance

 

The death throes of autumn have finally receeded

as the muffled drums of winter steadily begin their desultory beat

Nature retreats amidst cold winds, frost, sleet and ice

to clouds laden with snow waiting to the unleash their confetti

 

We shrink and cower by open fire sides with toasting forks

 to sleep wrapped in overcoats and gloves under weighty blan...

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They danced the Tango

They danced the Tango

 

She sat in a pale blue satin dress with white silk stockings

revealing legs of perfect form from ankles of a delicate strength

She smoked her cheroot in a languid manner

the feathered plumes of her hat, a crown of serene nonchalance

He asked her for a dance,

she accepted extinguishing her cigarette

On the floor, her stage of familiarity, she leaned a...

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After the Cabaret - impending doom

HAfter the Cabaret - Impending doom

 

Outside we heard the distant dark rumblings

in the clouds of impending war

Inside we were oblivious to such a world

as we danced, drank, smoked and made love

Darkness was at the outer limit of all horror

as we procrastinated in luxury and self indulgence

Our heads were buried in the sand as we sipped cocktails

and flirted outrageousl...

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Lockdown

Lockdown

 

I prefer to call it house arrest

as it is fast becoming an endurance test

Now we suffer human deprivation

an unbearable and intolerable condition

The pubs are now out of bounds

but the milkman continues his daily rounds

I go shopping wearing a bandit's mask

which makes the business more of a task

My glasses steam up and I collide with others

and on one o...

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Acceptance

Acceptance

 

I came across naive pebbles on a crowded beach

of different shapes, colours and forms

Frequently moved by the ebb and flow of the tide

yet all packed neatly together as if for comfort

 

Each individual pebble a part of a sea of stones and rocks

no two alike but in a common unison of sorts

I picked one at random, amazed at its uniqueness

no two were allike...

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A Tribute to Decency

A Tribute to Decency

 

If it were not for this patch of land

This small part of God's vast creation

Amongst a desultory but decent people

I would be lying in some back street

Having been raped by a broken bottle

Or murdered and deposited in a field

Where the harvest had yet to be reaped

Or thrown from the highest building

I live, exist only by grace in a place of litt...

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The Divide of Prejudice

The Divide of Prejudice

 

We were young and adventurous

curious about the world and ourselves

Our friendship had been forbidden

as we came from different religions

 

He was catholic and I was not

bigotry had seized upon our young souls

One day he took me to his church

where I glimpsed its interior and splendour

We dared not speak of this exploit

 

We always m...

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Inner Conflict

Inner Conflict

 

There are times when I am enveloped in a dense cloud of unknowing

In a state of utter and inner solitude I become transfixed

The atmosphere becomes pressurised and intense

A fearful beat of a strange sound emits a cascade of anxiety

I become inert, highly aware of where and who I am

Peaks of prominent unassailable mountains pervade my vulnerable soul

and bl...

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You would have found me....

You would have found me.....

 

You would have found me in a perambulator

or on a small seat fixed to my mother's bicycle

It was a time of austerity, of making do with

socks that were darned and pullovers knitted

 

Our home was a prefabricated bungalow

erected along with others on a bomb site

The German Airforce had re landscaped the area

everything appeard to be new a...

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A Mysterious Warmth

A Mysterious Warmth

 

I heard a knock on the door

Two men stood there, simply dressed

We looked curiously at each other

"Are you warm?" one of them asked

"Yes"  I replied, "on the outside"

"But of your inner self" came the response

"I feel nothing here", as I touched my chest

"Come with us to a warmer place" was their invite

We left the house together

The front doo...

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Darkness and Light

Darkness and Light

 

The sun is low in the sky

as scanty clouds scud swiftly by

Most of the leaves have now gone

for in most places there are absolutely none

 

a gust of blustery wind presses against my face

as I bend forward into the wind apace

Leaves of autumnal splendour are everywhere

we choose carefully what clothes we decide to wear

 

Dawn arrives unannoun...

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True North

True North

 

We often sublimate ourselves

to conform and meet the

expectations of others

We aim to please but seldom ourselves

always others

Life can be spent in such a charade

which brings damage and no joy

We must enter into our inner selves

to face reality and come to

accept the truth of our identity

to do so with courage

The real me and the real you

No...

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People Watching

People Watching

 

I watch

I observe

I look

I search for clues and tell tale signs

for places of origin, fashion, and demeanour to find

I probe

I compare

I analyse

I evaluate all I see and more besides

I speculate on the minutest detail which may reside

I ponder

I fantasise

I desire

to see behind the veil which life affords

to discover what is discret...

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The Curtain Falls

The Curtain Falls

 

A dull twilight atmosphere of greyness prevails

Suspended between night and day

Winds gently buffet the branches of failing leaves

As a perpetual drizzle saturates the sodden earth

It is time to sleep, to rest as even autumn is now spent

Fading green leaves with red and yellow edges about to fall

As if flags are lowered at half mast

A chill which find...

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November is here

November is here

 

This quiescent mist which envelopes

the landscape

An inaminate veil as a blanket of

obscurity

Heralds the onset of shorter days

and longer periods of darkness

Into this stagnant gloom we reflect 

on death as nature falls dormant

A time of All Souls and of Remembrance

An apt climate choreographed for a

season of meditation

Hibernation and lo...

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Luis

Luis

 

I love him for his innate vulnerability

so I can massage those florid areas

of soreness to restore

confidence and bring healing

I shower petals of affection on his

trembling inner self

where darkness and doubt lie

in an abyss of inbred fear

His spontaneous outbursts of love

are fountains of intense colour

I am forever intrigued by his

evolutionary proc...

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Blessings Abound

Blessings Abound

 

We have many blessings which we seem to

know nothing about

Should we know them with real joy

we would shout

We know little of the hell of war

and starvation is far too far

We have an abundance of food

and clothing

There is little left to stimulate

any loathing

Good fortune and money line our

pockets with wealth

There is little need for s...

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A Dusty Road

A Dusty Road

 

Blown into eternity

the end has no formality

no significance to speak of

Reduced to mere dust

we are scattered into

a universe of particles

to be at the will of

the winds that blow

We will have left no impression

no remains 

but dust thinly scattered

Celestial debris

of no significance

What was it all for?

Caught up in the

draught o...

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The Dinghy of Hope

The Dinghy of Hope

 

Floundering in perilous seas

above an ocean's grave

clutching children

clutching each other

starry skies

A lunar beacon

grey heavy laden waves

a swirling ocean

Gripped by fear

prayers gasped

Water sodden clothing

a chilling wind

Dawn comes

as a lover returns

hope, a touch

more prayers

another day

Perhaps good fortune

...

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An Account

An Account

 

Seas of complacency

refuge of many 

foot weary and hapless

to swim the surface

albiet briefly  in tranquility

A wave breaks

chaos is King once more

scattered in confusion

no flowers in 

purple tulip vases

Empty carriages

with fine horses

await on cobbled streets

echo misery

A plummet to 

new depths

in iron clad walls

down throug...

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The Eternal Void

The Eternal Void

 

Dark and light wrestle in the vine

steps down to oblivion

Floundering in obscurity

bowels and bowels of nought

Surface light yearns

a fluidity sways the spirit

Tranquility holds fast

walls encompass security

Outside ambivalence 

to the perennial

The womb is home

speculative comfort

Before the neon lights

and depravity in

perfection...

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A New Horizon

A New Horizon

 

The boat has been moored for months

fearful we have left her to be

No knowing the seas that lie ahead

as so many suffer and others are dead

 

Our lives have been turned upside down

needs and wants have been rearranged

Often we don't know which way to turn

but as times passes a new life we must learn

 

No longer are we able to kiss and hug

to s...

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The Ecclesiastical Empire

The Ecclesiastical Empire

 

A city of basilicas adorned with wealth

Art treasures occupy every niche

Their magnificence is overwhelming

An expression of beauty adornes even their lintels

Candles flicker before statues and icons

The prayers of the faithful on their knees

The poorest invariably give more than they can afford

 

Domes, cupolas and stained glass

The fra...

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Mendicants Slumber

Mendicants Slumber

 

In the light of day when the city is bright and free

they roam in dead earnest to sell or simply be

A diminished identity cries for recognition

a job or some longed for and much needed ambition

 

People know who they are and from where they come

they are but as parts of an eternal sum

Their eyes cannot conceal defeat and dismay

as they search for ...

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The Layers of Age

The Layers of Age

 

I feel the layers of age as I draw each breath

every movement is a reminder of years past

I am crouched through frailty and surgery

my body aches intermittently with each twist and turn

Life is slowing down quite perceptibly

but I worry not about this inevitable process

My mind and soul are still invigored

temptation still attracts carnal desires

T...

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A New Love

A New Love  (dedicated to the Eternal city of Rome)

 

My old loves have fallen

from grace

No longer do they hold a

place

They have been relegated

to times past

For a new lover beckons

at last

 

He has always had a 

place in my heart

And this is from 

the very start

I considered him to be 

out of reach

Like a sand castle on 

a crumblling beach

...

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Shake off the Dust

Shake off the Dust

 

For those who seek personal aggrandizement at your expense

Shake off the dust from under your feet and walk away

 

For those who smile at your face then cheat you

Shake off the dust from under your feet and walk away

 

For those who befriend you and then stab you in the back

Shake off the dust from under your feet and walk away

 

For those who ...

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Nothing is Lost

Nothing is Lost

 

We play the smallest part in life

briefly we are here to live and be

From birth to death our print is made

then only to disappear, but not to die

For death is final and has no home here

to see is not to love, but to know is

What we cannot see remains with us

in memories of heart and mind

Both of which cannot be turned into dust

nothing is lost for...

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An Ocean of Time

An Ocean of Time

 

Memories reverberate across the ocean wave

you touch my heart on the crest of each nerve

I want to reach out but the mist of time says 'no'

yet for the sake of love I cannot let go

 

Time has not lessened my passion for you

despite all others my heart has remained true

I am blessed with good fortune yet sad

between us there was no room for anything ...

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Alone in a Pandemic

Alone in a Pandemic

 

He sat alone looking interminably sad

his mask had fallen beneath his chin

In his mouth a pipe clenched between his teeth

a trickle of blue smoke grew into ascending rings

The wooden bench was in the village square

surrounded by the usual High Street shops

An unopened newspaper lay on his lap

mostly unread with the usual contents of dread

Deep in...

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I did not belong

I did not belong

 

The landscape of my childhood anaesthetized my soul

I had no vested interest in it for it was ugly and raw

An industrial scene the place of my exile was utterly foul

a sea of chimney stacks in grey fields of gloomy chaos

 

A simple glance was sufficient to avert my gaze elsewhere

and cast my mind back to memories refined in pastures green

I had been ta...

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I imagine....

I imagine....

 

To imagine is to conjure the mind

entering into the folds of desire and fantasy

To lie in a solitary darkened room

images flash to and fro at random

We construct our dreams to suit ourselves

others arrive unannounced to charm us

Journeys are undertaken and the past relived

faces and places return to haunt us

Intense sadness and the joy of exhileration

...

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Exactly the Same - 1939

Exactly the Same - 1939

 

They are exactly the same

as we peer into the past

 and absorb the present 

a new generation is brainwashed

 

The President for Life

in a one party state

A Fuehrer for Life

in a one party state

 

Jews, gypsies, gays and dissidents

segregated for extermination

Uighur Muslims and dissidents

selected for re education or eliminatio...

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Gangster Town

Gangster Town

 

A giant gothic structure

where concrete blocks

keep democracy at bay

 

Gangster Town

a wind tunnel

an echo chamber

of futile banter

 

Gangster Town

the talking shop

of little earthly use

a cavern of deceit

 

Gangster Town

the casino of corruption

where nests are feathered

and plummage preened

 

Gangster Town

a Victor...

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