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Monday, 24 February 2014

IF


If my mother had not have been her,
I would not have been me.

If my father had not been him,
I would not have been me.

If my mother and father had not been them,
I would not be.

I would not be in this place,
in this chair,
tapping this keyboard,
creating these words,
thinking these thoughts,
living this life.

I would be someone else
or, perhaps, I would not have been born.

I would not have been me.

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

WIND

Wind of change,
Howl of apathy,
Breeze of sighs,
Gust of despair....

....the flame wavers,
sways, flickers,
splutters as a door opens
or slams shut.

The flame reacts 
but remains alight
defying the power of darkness,
leading the way,
to a place of the possible.

Friday, 14 February 2014

ANCESTORS


Ashes, ashes,
dust, dust,
the remains of ancestors
like dunes
blocking my progress
from here to there,
from past to present
and on.....

My feet sink into
the sands of time.
I move slowly
if I move at all,
the grip of annoyed spirits
tugging at my heels.

Thursday, 13 February 2014

SEASONS


The seasons have lost their discipline,
their sense of order and sequence,
their place in the great scheme of things,
autumns, winters, summers, springs,
sometimes all in one week,
sometimes all in one day,
that's not supposed to happen,
that's not the usual way.

What's behind the chaos,
look for clues, find the source,
is Man to blame for the confusion,
or is Nature taking its course?

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

TOWERS


Between the conical towers,
Steep steps rise to a heavy door.

Once inside, the room's blackness hides everything
Except sounds, the breath of human sighs.

With limited vision tricks come
To tease and taunt senses and fears.

There is the presence of menace
And of something – someone - familiar.

Candle wax adds a sweet perfume - 
Is that you approaching me?

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

KINDNESS


In his life, he made a difference
But you wouldn't know what that was,
No celebrity awards adorned his mantelpiece,
No ovations, no publicity campaigns, no interviews,
For he was an ordinary man doing ordinary things,
Satisfied that his one forgotten act of kindness
Was just that - forgotten.

Nor would you recognise his name,
For he was someone untouched by fame,
A man in the background, quiet, shy,
Who changed the life of a passer-by.

Friday, 7 February 2014

ARITHMETIC


From a news report in August 2012: "A Norwegian court has found that mass killer Anders Behring Breivik is sane and sentenced him to 21 years in jail.  Breivik, who admitted killing 77 people when he bombed central Oslo and then opened fire at an island youth camp, told the court he would not appeal. He insisted he was sane and refused to plead guilty, saying last year's attacks were necessary to stop the "Islamisation" of Norway."

21 years in jail,
77 murdered people - 
Does that add up?

A mass killer smirks and wins
For the most horrendous of sins.

Sane? Insane?
What did he think he would gain?

77 dead and gone,
Yet he lives on.

Does that add up?


0.27 years per person.
3.27 months per person.
14.18 weeks per person.
99.54 days per person.

Does that add up?

Thursday, 6 February 2014

LATE (DEATH OF A POLICEMAN)


(I wrote this after reading that PC David Rathband, who was shot at close range in July 2010, had taken his own life.)

One moment,
one murderous moment,
and everything changed,
everything,
nothing would,
nothing could
ever be the same again.

The murderer was dead,
easy way out,
the victim lived on
in suffering and challenge,
with courage and defiance,
until that point that few of us know,
that point of no return,
that point when candles burn
to salute the hero, to mourn his fate,
- too late, people, too late.

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

SQUALL (Belfast man, 80)


“….caught in the squall, sir
ordinary people like me, sir
all we wanted was to get on, sir
no trouble sir,
no hassle, sir
raise a family, sir
food on the table, sir
work and wages, sir
two nights a week in the pub, sir
simple things, sir
a bit of peace and quiet, sir
look out for each other, sir
stop looking back, sir
the here and now, sir
a future to look forward to, sir
thousands dead, sir
thousands maimed, sir
thousands traumatised, sir
thousands grieving, sir
what for, sir
what for, sir 
the bastards in charge, sir
are no better than the bastards before, sir
in the blink of an eye, sir
the whole thing’s on its arse, sir
but don’t listen to me, sir
just an ordinary, ignorant, old has-been, sir
old shites like me never had a voice, sir
whatever you say, say nothing, sir
what’s the bloody point, sir
caught in the squall, sir….”

Monday, 3 February 2014

SONNET (.....OF THE MODERN WORLD)


The gall of our leaders to change their minds,
Once elected to their power posts,
From their shredded manifestos, nothing binds,
Promises and pledges thin as ghosts;
We live in times of turmoil, times austere,
Of gung-ho wars and fat-cat bankers greed,
We tough it out and look for things to cheer,
Considering desire or want or need;
One by one dictators fall from grace,
Some by bloody means, by sword and fire,
Not certain that the ones that take their place,
Have the talents to encourage and inspire.
          But in this world of more bad news than good,
          We have love and must use it as we should.