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He stands at the field’s edge, astraddle

the scythe handle that rests between his feet.

The metronomic schoof schoof sounds

as sharpening stone scours blade.


Back and forth in relentless rhythm,

forehand to backhand along its length,

edge brightening with each stroke

till his shrewd eye is satisfied.


Chine flips to sward with a tweak of the snath,

his practiced...

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It has come to my attention that I’m old. I don’t

know when first I realised this fact; it has sneaked

up on me, below the radar as it were. And realisation,

when it came, was coupled with another realisation,

that this was not a sudden thing.


I suppose it was when the settings on my hearing aids

needed to be tweaked for the third or fourth time,

that the spectre of deafn...

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Bard Work

I’ll tell you of a writer, Bill the Bard as he was known,

a bloke that wrote a load of plays and verse.

He started out when good old Liz the First was on the throne,

and gave his actors plenty to rehearse.


He wasn’t all that famous but he got some well-earnt praise,

and coined some phrases never used before,

like green-eyed monster, elbow room, and also salad days,

so wel...

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The Game

It was a game we played on sunny Irish afternoons

when we had nothing planned but adventure,

taking us to magical, unknown places,

places we’d never seen, probably never heard of,

but were just there, in the unseen corner of nature’s eye.


It was a simple game. Just point the car down the road

and go. That’s it. But then came the decisions. Next left,

second turn to the ri...

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Red Brick Boxes

A glimpse of red brick boxes lined along the railway track,

where the people stop and watch us scurry by;

an excerpt from a scene in some suburban paperback

like a stroboscopic snapshot of their lives.


A transient impression of their washing on a line,

hanging frozen in that instant that we pass,

reflected in the rhythm of the high hypnotic whine

through the carriage wind...

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Darkened streets lit only by the stars

lie silent as a corpse’s endless sleep.

Adrift upon the air, the subtle scent

of daffodils among the shadowed trees.

There in the night I stand with shuttered eyes,

Imagining their glory in the dawn.

And in this dream, a sudden spectral shade

near stops my heart, for I have recognised

that severed soul whose loss I still will mourn


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Who Cares

What happened in the Middle East?

They argue but no one agrees.

Yet steadily the deaths increased,

and you think that’s ok? Oh please!


People dying in their tents,

a country crying, on its knees,

yet we supply the armaments,

and you think that’s ok? Oh please!


A war by any other name,

it still means killing and disease.

For some it seems like just a game,


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A Sense Of You

Through yawning tangles of unsleeping night

in snatches of unbidden sight

I catch a glimpse of you.


Against the shadowed curtain’s gloom, I swear

that almost certain swish of hair

a whispered hint of you.


That shudder yesterday at my front door

when shower’s sudden petrichor

evoked a walk with you.


A sound of laughter on the evening air

that speared me ...

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St George’s Day

These days George is a binge drinker,

wears his red cross tabard down the pub;

not much of a religious thinker,

worships footy with his Sunday grub.


Pawned his knightly armour long ago,

gave the lance to pay his bookie’s bill.

Golden Dragon, Saturday he’ll go

with his wayward mates and drink his fill.


Monday morning finds him back at work,

hiding from the gaffe...

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Wish You Were Here

We went abroad to guarantee the sun

and all this week we’ve revelled in the heat.

I have to say, we’re having so much fun,

with sights so stunning, home just can’t compete.

And oh, the food’s almost too good to eat;

I’ve put on so much weight, it’s pitiful.

We’ve stopped at this café to rest our feet,

to have a drink and text you something cool;

the weather’s here, wish you...

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River Of Tears

All through this night your words have had me reeling;

I thought I felt the growth of a connection,

but now I’ve had to second-guess that feeling.


The glut of tears reflect on my dejection;

No matter what I do, I can’t stop crying,

for what you said can only mean rejection.


Was any of it real, or were you lying?

Why would you stoop to toy with my affections,

to le...

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This form has got a fearsome reputation;

I don’t know why, it seems ok to me.

I guess it’s ‘cause there’s lots of repetition.


Come now and let’s review my definition;

five tercets and a quatrain, I agree

this form has got a fearsome reputation.


I thought it was a simple composition,

but straight away the problem’s there to see;

I guess it’s ‘cause there’s lots of ...

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Can someone say what is the rationale

that says we cannot be platonic mates?

Simply because you’ve now become a pal,

we’re not obliged to have romantic dates.


We’ll still go out and chat and have a laugh,

no pressure to start jumping into bed;

and just ignore the sceptical riff-raff

who will not leave scurrilousness unsaid.


We two can be content in our rapport,


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I think of all the loves that there have been,

and there have been a number, it is true,

there’s one I hold so dear, and has to mean

the most to me. No matter when a new


infatuation comes along, I still

return to my old favourite in time,

to prove that I can never have my fill

of one who leaves me feeling so sublime.


The taste of some brings pleasure to my lips,


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The Price

What is it with those weathermen that now

they want to give a name to every storm?

Do they believe that this will humanise

the winds and floods left trailing in their wake?

And will a cutesy designation serve

to moderate the mindless potency

that rips the very rooftop from our home?

Shall we just smile when rivers burst their banks

to fill the house with all that endless oo...

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