The cruel hand of fate…

Things were very different in the Sixties
Everything was like new fresh breath
But this sad, true tale of my childhood
Is the tale of a friend’s early death.

Peter helped the Co-op grocers delivery-man
After he’d finished school for the day
He’d sit on an upturned milk crate
And they drove merrily along on their way.

He’d helped the man deliver for ages
It was what teenage boys would often do
But as the van took a corner in Rising Brook
Out to his sad fate Peter flew.

The van only had the single driver’s seat
No one else was supposed to be there
And the doors all slid back and stayed open
Safety wasn’t really thought about to be fair.

So out of the van my friend Peter flew
And fate treated him so very very cruel
He disappeared right under a passing bus
Right in front of the gates to his school.

My best friend was Harry, Peter’s brother
And for him everything changed on that day
I watched Harry wither before me
As his spirit of mischief flew away.

Just a few years later Harry drifted
I’ve not seen him from that day to now
But I hope he was able to find for himself
A way to survive the horror somehow.

I’ve not spoken of this since those dark days
and the flood of the memory is still raw
If only I could step back and warn him
My friend, please, please close the door.

By a sad twist of irony I lost my brother as well
He was struck down by the first ‘Asian Flu’
That memory hurts like a stab in the heart
I was twenty, he was just twenty-two.


©Joe Wilson – The cruel hand of fate…2014

Sadly, this is entirely true. Peter was killed falling under a bus in this manner and my brother was a recently married policeman who died of so-called ‘Asian Flu’ in 1970.

The Raven’s Mistress

The raven lands as she calls him
For she is the Queen of this place
She has the power to return him
To his once more human place.

For long ago as a man he had spurned her
Believing not that she was so strong
A foolish, foolish man was he then
In each beat of his wings he now knows he was wrong.

So she calls and he comes and she looks at him
And he looks at her through his human eyes
But he sees a strange look of regret in her
It’s a feeling he can still recognise.
©Joe Wilson – The Raven’s Mistress 2014

The sirens call…

The siren beckons...
The siren beckons…


I hear the wailing cries that call
They’re calling out to me
They call to draw the sailors down
To the shore at the bottom of the sea.

No one can ever resist their call
And so I fear I must go
If ever I find my way back home
Would I even really know.

The wailing calls grow louder
My captain lashed me to the mast
But the calls are strong and they took him
And I don’t know if I can last.

It matters not if you stop listening
For they find their way into your head
You just have to get away and onto dry land
Or they’ll pull you down to the sea bed.

At last I see dry land is yonder
It is almost within my reach
but the ropes that tie have undone now
And my feet can’t quite touch the beach.

I hear the wailing cries that call
They have now come to get only me
My mind is so full of their wailing
That I’m lost and can never be free.

©Joe Wilson – The sirens call…2014

Well we know where we belong don’t we?

I know my Place

(With a respectful nod to Messrs. Cleese, Barker & Corbett)

He looked out of his fine high-ceilinged office
He looked down at the city far below
With sleeves rolled up and his blood pressure mounting
Profits missing meant workers had to go.

He didn’t care where they would come from
Little people never registered on his screen
He was totally focussed on making dollars
In that he was absolutely obscene.

A little way down from his high pedestal
Was where those desperate celebrities abide
Where they sit wafer-thin in dark glasses
As they feed like piranhas on the crowds.

And though the Hollywood moguls will use them
Because they are the puppets that they are
All memories of where they all came from
Are now just a small thing in the past.

Lower still you will find politicians
All waiting for the moment that is theirs
When they have the glory of the ‘fifteen minute fame’
Before they fall back to their own obscurity.

We on the other hand gather down in the street
Like sheep we wait there in the hope that we’ll meet
A top businessman who might give us a position
Or perhaps for a glance at a celebrity snob.

And just up above the media vultures hover
As they hope for a juicy story to break
They’ll not care a fig for the lives they devour
Just the ratings for them are at stake.

As they say ‘T’was ever thus’ and it shall ever be
And it seems that frankly it can only get worse
You see my fine friend it’s not the humans involved
It’s simply the size of the ever-growing purse.

©Joe Wilson – Well we know where we belong don’t we? 2014

Whisky and my pen…

Faceted whisky glass
Faceted whisky glass


Wind blows its way right through my senses
All my thoughts have but slowly disappeared
One more large smoky glass of cheap whisky
One more sad lonely night that you’re not here.

Loneliness set in as the door quickly closed
Using the back door now and keeping that one shut
It will stay like that until ever you come back
But I’ve a notion now that it will stay put.

Old sore wounds that somehow resurfaced
Caused a bitter rift long forgotten to return
And the memories and the tears from the last time
Hit the heart, exploded and then burned.

So I sit trying to write and supping whisky
As I wait to hear your key in the front door
I hope with all my heart that you’ll forgive me
I can’t bear to be alone here any more.

The wind is getting stronger now and I thought I heard the latch
But it was just some fighting creatures out in the dark
So I’ll wait as I do each night with my whisky and my pen
Sitting here and waking up with the sound of the lark.


©Joe Wilson – Whisky and my pen 2014

The re-assuring clock…

There’s something re-assuring about the tick of a clock
It counts off the moments and marks out the days
We know where we are and where we should be
It keeps the world moving without hesitancy.

But do we confine ourselves by wrapping in time
Are we constricted in this sectional way
What if we threw off the comfort of the norm
And took back the freedom of an old timeless form.

The world that we know would be drastically changed
Financial institutes would behave so deranged
Criminals would take over as ‘opportunities’ presented
Charlatans and fraudsters… – “The World Goes Demented”.

So the thing that we find is ‘there’s no other way.’
We depend on the start and the end of each day
But if time stopped existing not one of us would care
We’d soon cease to function and then we wouldn’t be there.

There’s something re-assuring about the tick of a clock…

©Joe Wilson – The re-assuring clock…2014

The long sad look…

He cast a long sad look along the horizon
And gazed down on the planet’s Armageddon
For man was battling on to it’s destruction
Destroying all that fell in their path.

Placing man on the Earth had been troublesome
But the intellect of man had given Him hope
They could work out the problems that beset them
Yet all the killing and shooting and bombing had to stop.

He’d placed races of differing hue and different creed
Putting them in all manner of places far and wide
But man’s warlike nature seemed reason enough
For them to find their excuses for genocide.

What was it with the homo-sapien class of mammal
That had them at each other’s oft exposed throats
It was not the result of something that He had created
But a flaw that was in the essence of man.

©Joe Wilson – The long sad look…2014

There is only one Earth…

Help earth_edited

I look in wonder at all I see
each flower, tree, bird and bee.

All these amazing things on earth
that fill its air and all its girth.

But what do we civilised animals do
we cut them, burn them, shoot them too.

We ravage forests for our own needs
ignoring harm we do to breeds.

We only think about ourselves
of stocking up our winter shelves.

Or eating so we get so fat
you don’t see ‘animals’ doing that!

We fill the skies with poisonous gases
killing each other with bombing passes.

Destroying wildlife habitats
to build new roads and boxy flats.

That stop the waters soaking in
and flood the lands that we live in.

And then we have a conference
where those who care get all incensed.

As promises and targets are pencilled in
with chance of actions wearing thin.

In years to come when it’s too late
we’ll wonder why we let it wait.

©Joe Wilson – There is only one Earth…2014

It’s getting a little late…

A son’s tale…

Unknown origin
Unknown origin

Hal drew his sword from it’s long sheath
and faced his nemesis on this dark heath
and fought for life and fought till death
his enemy taking his last foul breath.

Long times this family feud had raged
and in its wake young men had aged
for now the devil would breathe no more
till others rose to settle the score.

Returned he then to his peaceful life
sharing in joy with his new young wife
and she did bear him fine young sons
he hoped his violent past was gone.

But the devil will often find ways back
and thus with time came a new attack
so Hal’s son drew his father’s sword
this ancient duel his family reward.

The feud had lasted for ere so long
kinsfolk recalled it oft in song
of troubles over betrayals done
and deathly duels betwixt each first son.

And then one day Hal’s nemesis fell
and hurt them-self as he could tell
he lowered his sword and approached his foe
removing helmet let long hair flow.

This time it seemed there was no heir
but duty fell to the eldest there
and so the woman had taken up sword
for she too felt her kin’s reward.

But Hal had fallen deep in love
so swore that he’d not raise a glove
and she too felt her heart was won
the betrayal forgotten they were as one.

©Joe Wilson – A son’s tale…
This was just a story set in medieval England
where unimaginatively all first sons are called Hal.
I’ve tried to write it in that kind of style.

Just a boy…


It rained
It rained down on me
– and it wouldn’t stop!

The torrent of vicious blows just wouldn’t stop
They beat me
They beat me
They beat me

They wouldn’t stop

I was a boy…I was a child

Why wouldn’t they stop?


Why have you abandoned me?

This is not what it says

This is not a home

This is my nightmare.


©Joe Wilson – Just a boy…2014

Life could be harsh in orphanages in the nineteen-fifties.
I’m ever grateful that I only heard of this and didn’t experience it myself.