Locked-in here


he could see the nurses moving round
as they fussed about his bed
he could hear each word they spoke of him
as if he was already dead
and yet they knew he was alive
or why would he still be there
he’d already be burnt to ash and dust
and been stuck on a mantle somewhere.

it was odd the way that it started
he was walking home from work one day
his legs just started to feel very strange
then he collapsed as they both fell away.

he was rushed to the emergency hospital 
where his condition had got better each day
but suddenly he went into a spasm
that ended with him lying here today.

locked-in syndrome he heard one doctor
say to a colleague talking over his bed
and while they were wondering about him
he silently screamed in his head.

all the things they were saying were scaring
and he couldn’t tell them what he knew
he felt lost and alone and so frightened
but about it there was nothing he could do.

he’s been lying like that for six months now
they’ve assisted his breathing as well
but they don’t chat as if he’s not there though
and to him that now feels worse than hell.

he stopped breathing


they started his breathing this morning
but they’re worried that he’s getting frail
and inside his head he’s still screaming
and weeping though no-one can tell.


©Joe Wilson – Locked-in here 2014

A love of Beethoven (a sonnet)



I’m resting and listening to Beethoven
His Eighth Symphony to be precise
He called it his ‘Little Symphony’
But that doesn’t do it justice to me
It soars in such magical splendour
T’would be an insult to call it nice.
The majesty of the individual notes
Joined from such exactness of intent
Each note climbs up to heaven
Exactly as it was meant
I cannot match such beauty
And neither will I try
For when I listen to Beethoven
My eyes are rarely dry.


©Joe Wilson – A love of Beethoven (a sonnet)2014

Drunk in beauty

I‘m drunk
I’m drunk
I’m drunk on the possibilities of life and those that choose to live it
I’m drunk with the goodness of some and how they shine out like a beacon
I’m drunk on the wonders of good books and the pleasures they bring to the reader
I’m drunk with the beauty of music and the excitement and peace it can evoke
I’m drunk by the way a thought can just pop into my head and allow me expression
I’m drunk by the beauty of nature and how it can beguile me in its diversity
But I’m captivated by the person who would take the trouble
To see another struggle and ask if they might help in some way.
That is far more honest than any of our politicians or most celebrities
It is one person at the basic unspoilt level of humanity
that we sadly rarely encounter, and much less embrace in our busy lives.

©Joe Wilson – Drunk in beauty 2014



As he staggered through the door drunk
so his wife knew she was in for a beating
she could forgive him the anger he felt
she was the one who had betrayed him
she was the one who had been unfaithful
what she could not forgive were the beatings
he had no right to do that to her, he had no right
she had never imagined him to be a violent man
but since he felt the betrayal he had drunk
he had drunk so much he could often barely stand
but still he had no right to beat her, he had no right.

One night he went completely crazy and broke both of her legs
he broke one of her arms too but with the other one
she stabbed him to death with his favourite knife
she stabbed him so hard they couldn’t get the knife
out of his stomach till they did the autopsy
now everyone’s life is ruined, his, hers
the children’s, and his parents
and her parents, and their friends
and their neighbours, their work colleagues
and everybody they knew in some small way
has been affected and altered in some way.

She was wrong, he was wrong, everyone suffers
none of us are perfect and there are always


©Joe Wilson – Consequences 2014

My wife and I have had a lovely marriage that is still beautiful after forty-two years.
I just wish, rather naïvely perhaps, that others could be as fortunate.
Violence is no answer. ❤

Angie called…again


Angie called again this morning
that’s angina to you and folks
she called around about half past two
she beat me hard, please, no jokes.

She calls around from time to time
I suppose she always will
and though I’m very used to her
she scares me rigid still.

The by-pass eased the problem some
but of course it is no cure
and when Angie knocks upon my door
the pain she brings is pure.

©Joe Wilson – Angie called…again 2014

‘WALTER’ – a sticky end

In the bowels of the busy city
Where the frightened never show
Still hearing that sad and haunting song
Walter struck yet again some nights ago.

Cities often breed men like Walter
For it’s where the vulnerable stay
They’re poor and defenceless and easier meat
For people like Walter to steal them away.

But life’s full of irony as Walter found out
And to a sticky end he did come
For he picked on a man who was much worse than he
And his end was far from humdrum.

His end had come, he was no more
His crimes had caused such grief
But none of Walter’s victim’s friends
Felt anything but relief.

RIP  Walter

©Joe Wilson – ‘WALTER’ – a sticky end 2014