Sunday 26 February 2012


I once read that when Michelangelo was asked how he carved such beautiful Angels, he replied,
'I see the Angel in the stone, and I chip away at everything around it.'

                                              Image from Mitra Images

can you see
anything sacred
in the depths
of me?

And if you can,
will you chip away
the darkness
my Soul?
For grief
has festered
into gangrenous heart
to forge an
inner black hole.

Only those hands
are deft enough
to carve from
this ugly form,
a thing of beauty
that could be me
if I weren't
so endlessly

Sunday 19 February 2012


Illustration by Paul Nash

My Darling Wife,
I looked in on you the other night
while you were sleeping, and
I almost convinced myself
that I was home for good
and could simply climb
into bed beside you and
hold you close, just like
before the war.
But something wasn't right.
It was as if my vision
was partially obscured
by a muslin curtain, and
you looked older than I remembered.
Much older - an illusion created, no doubt,
by the moonlight shadows
slanting across the room.
I reached out to touch you,
but encountered only empty space
where you were lying.
I was so afraid, my Darling,
that I rushed back here
to this mud and misery
that has become my prison.
And I know it sounds soft, but
I hid my face and wept.

I have been so lonely here
since you stopped writing, my Darling.
That's why I had to see you, to
make sure you are alright
and that I hadn't upset you
by some thoughtless words
I may have inadvertently written.
Perhaps you may even have been
suffering the agonies of believing
that I had been killed.
I was in the place where
a massive shell exploded.
Yet, my Darling, by some miracle
I'm still here!
I tried to tell the medics,
but they ignored me.
I suppose they were too busy
collecting and bagging severed limbs
and other body parts to bother
with myself and the handful
of other uninjured survivors who
were wandering around in a daze.
I watched them collecting belongings
to box up and send home
to relatives.
They had my tobacco tin and
my photo of you. It was
splattered with blood, but
I saw your beautiful face, my Darling.
That was the only part
untouched by gore.
I was so angry that
they were taking my things.
I screamed at them to stop,
but still they ignored me.
I was distraught and terrified.
The loneliness and confusion
was overwhelming and
I desperately needed you to hold me, to
reassure me that things
would soon be back to normal.
I suppose all we can do is hope
for that, isn't it my Darling?
                                  Your Everloving Husband

I now realise that can never be.
I didn't survive that shell blast, did I?
You've probably known that
for many years by now.
There is no time here, not
after sudden death, just
an endless eternity of
seperation from you, of being trapped
and waiting for some kind Soul
to come and relieve the suffering.

And when a French farmer
is turning the earth in his field
someday in your future,
he'll find my bones and
I pray he'll give them
a decent burial; because
just as they held my body together
in life, so in death they're
keeping my Spirit shackled
to this desolate and dreary place.

So, light a candle in the
Cathedral for me, my Darling.
Pray for me and never give up hope.
And if someday you feel
a sudden gentle breeze
caressing your hair, although
there is no open window
nor door ajar, then you'll know
I've finally made it home!

Please believe me when I say
my love for you
has outlived the heart
that bore it.
               Your Adoring Husband.

Saturday 11 February 2012


Remember nineteen-seventy-nine
And the golden couple who looked so fine?
Remember how we all aspired
To emulate them, an image inspired?

Whatever happened to Simon and Jo
Who lit up the room wherever they'd go?
So in love and full of joy
Until the birth of  their little boy.

Now their son is twenty-four
And Joanne's spirits are on the floor,
While Simon's running around the town,
Nightly breaking his marriage down.

Overweight, in drab attire,
Jo's once brilliant eyes of fire
Are now a dull and jaded grey.
She wishes she could die today.

Simon's no time to spare a thought
For those at home, although he ought.
He's busy searching high and low
For his lost youth, young blonde in tow.

After what's happened to Simon and Jo,
The marital path I think I'll forgo.
A life of conflict isn't for me,
From Venus verses Mars I intend to be free! 

Sunday 5 February 2012


This poem was composed in response to an incident I witnessed in the street. It left me seething!

He's instantly recognisable
by his haughty facial expression,
smart Savile Row suit
and impeccably manicured nails.

A postman passes by, pushing
heavily laden bicycle.
'Good morning!' he cheerily
greets Mr. Materialist.
The latter gazes down
his long aristocratic nose,
as adept eyes assess this man.
And I'm momentarily aware of his thoughts.
Lower order specimen.
Working class - not
worth acknowledgement.
An inferior being
to be avoided at all costs,
in case his condition is contagious.
So he turns his head away
as though avoiding
an offensive odour;
and hurries on down the street,
gripping briefcase handle so tightly
that his knuckles turn white.
Non-academic underachiever.
A waste of human flesh - bound
to be a closet thief.
Status: below that
of my dogs...

Mustn't it be an awful
place to live,
inside that mind, where
personal aggrandisement and ostentation
have taken precedence over simple
common decency;
where there is such lack of regard
for anyone who needs to work hard
in order to keep body and Soul together?
It undoubtedly requires a high IQ
to make it to the position
of managing director,
but his must be
an extremely narrow form
of intelligence, for
he seems incapable of understanding
the fundamental fact
that the holding of an
important position
in a multinational company
does NOT transform a person
into a God;
neither does it give him the divine right
to judge others.
As human beings,
are we not ALL of equal value,
and therefore interdependent upon each other?

that includes you, Mr. Materialist!
You NEED the working classes
in order to maintain
your luxurious elevated lifestyle.
Who else would
deliver your mail,
empty your bins,
clean your house,
chauffeur you to and from the airport,
and wipe your backside because
you are too bone idle to do anything for yourself?
Certainly not your ego-inflated
pretentious cronies!

So, I believe it is high time
you learned to respect those
who carry you through life.
Without your workforce
you would have no company to direct!
That thought horrifies you, doesn't it?
Having no one to lord it over
would seriously challenge
your delusion of self-importance.

If you happen to be
reading this, Mr. M.,
try not to take it too personally
or to heart (if you have one).
I do not despise you.
I just feel pity for you,
because doesn't it state
somewhere in your Bible
that 'The Meek Shall Inherit the Earth'?
Unless you rapidly undergo
a humility transplant,
I dread to imagine
what your final inheritance will be!