Fate is in our own hands…

In that moment, just before…
I wonder what you were thinking
Did you believe that you’d be brave enough
Or were your spirits already shrinking
And during that time when you etched out your future
Were your tear-filled eyes even then blinking.

And to which vital moment might I now refer
The job interview maybe, that you really feared
Or was it that long-ago speeding offence
That you always wished had just disappeared.
Or was it the time when you fell in love
And got tongue-tied when wanting a date
The way that you never knew whether to kiss
On that first goodnight at her garden gate.
Whichever it was, was a long time ago
Yet you wonder now as you recall
Perhaps if you’d acted in different ways
But you played straight and let the die fall.

Who knows – we just do the best that we can
And hope that life treats us quite well
We sympathise with those who get kicked in the teeth
Feeling lucky we don’t share their hell!!

©Joe Wilson – Fate is in our own hands…2015

Una congregazione ispirata…

With regard to the steeple
The church underneath
Holds masses for people
To their blessed relief.
While the spire does aspire
To be seen through the shire
Welcomes members of the choir
In their Sunday attire.
They all gather there at matins
Travelling as they can afford
Filling pews in little patterns
For the worship of their Lord.

They listen to the choir
In such angelic voice
Then sitting down, or kneeling
To pray as is their choice.
The vicar who’s a huge man
With a dark and flowing beard
Will talk as kindly as he can
So not to be too feared.
He opens up his arms
To welcome all the people
Gathering there to worship
Beneath the church’s steeple.

©Joe Wilson – Una congregazione ispirata…2015

The aftermath…

After the rain, the sun never shone
It was just as if a bright light had gone
Then slowly at night activity all ceased
Violent crime unremittingly increased.

The bombs had destroyed all the power plants
Government response to the poor’s non-compliance
Till slowly street life just ground to a halt
People lay dying became the default.

No clean water caused the spread of disease
Soon there was cholera and children had fleas
It needn’t have happened, but governments don’t heed
The basic essentials of poor peoples’ need.

Eventually people will rise to a cause
Vile as it may be they don’t think to pause
And consider what may be the dark end result
Where everyone suffers and it’s everyone’s fault.

©Joe Wilson – The aftermath…2015

The piano, the genius, and the jealous master…

Backwards and forwards
— backwards and forwards
— — in monotonous regularity
The ever present metronome
— moving with such clarity.

But he knows all his pieces off by heart
Yet still his harsh master loves the part
Where he can suddenly change the fate
Of the genius boy he has come to hate.
The boy stays calm although it’s late
When criticism comes to precipitate
The act of violence when the master strikes
Another of the man’s hate-driven likes.

He slams the lid down onto the keys
The boy, too fast, moves his hands to his knees
Then gently he lifts the lid up to play
His fingers stay safe for yet one more day.
So still, the boy plays on and on
His pieces, angelic thoughts, every one
He will never sully composers’ aims
To satisfy his vile master’s games.

Tick tock, just like the clock
The boy plays with thoughts so pure
A jealousy entered his master’s heart
For which the boy has no cure.

©Joe Wilson – The piano, the genius, and the jealous master…2015

I wrote this for a challenge on a poetry site. (Metronome, Precipitate, Sully)

They also serve…

Careful are they who tend the sick
On battlefields where blood runs thick
Midst the slaughter and the shells
Queasy stomach that barely quells.

Brave are they that do this work
From their duty they won’t shirk
Mending bodies that are broken
Quiet encouraging words are spoken.

They fight their wars on blood-soaked table
Making wounded soldiers stable
Losing some they just can’t save
Haunting faces to their grave.

Theirs, a different kind of war
Filled with horror just as raw
Oft, while soldiers rest the gun
They’re still trying to save someone.

For war’s a tragic way to go
Those who’ve fought and lived will know
And yet there never seems to be
A day that ended, gunshot free.

©Joe Wilson – They also serve…2015

The demon’s touch…

Would that I could spare you pain
You feel the demon’s touch again
I’ll wrap you in my loving heart
Where demons can’t wrench us apart.
And as you lie in sleep’s repose
Protect you, I, against all those
Who bring such wicked dreams to you
I’ll take my sword and them pursue.

With honour pure and blade so true
I’ll drive those demons out from you
And peace and such serenity
Will be returned to you and me.

Would that life could ever be
As straightforward as poetry.

©Joe Wilson – The demon’s touch…2015

Laughter lines…

I can trace the little laughter lines
That have formed around her eyes
I remember when they first showed signs
And I loved them so, to my surprise.
We’ve laughed together over many years
And we’ve cried together too
She always drives away my fears
For her that’s what I do.

Over time some pain assumed
Some scars upon our lives
Frantic waits in quiet rooms
Prayers for skills from surgeon’s knives.
Through this I’ve loved and in return
Been loved far more than I could earn.

©Joe Wilson – Laughter lines…2015


He was at the end of the line
His wall had been reached
Palliative care was only stopping his whine
It was now high time to practice
— that which he had always preached.

They’d tried of course, many times
There had been operations galore
He was now so covered in ugly scars
That his so often cut chest
— was all puckered and sore.

He decided no more
And consulted his list
Of the things before death he would do
And he noticed he’d put another parachute jump
— that somehow he seemed to have missed.

He gathered his pain
And went to the club
He arranged a jump fairly quick
Then he thought about life and he thought about death
— and he sensed that the timing was slick

On the day of the jump in unbelievable pain
He decided he’d not pull the cord
But it made him feel like he was a quitter
So he did
— and he floated down to the sward.

He may of course now just die in his sleep
Or get run down by a car or a bus
But his choice was to get on with life as it was
Sod the rest
— he couldn’t stand the fuss.

©Joe Wilson – Choices…2015

Purgatory is Hell…


By choice he always sits alone
He makes capacious notes
Rarely moving very fast
Never raising
— old dust motes.

He never talks, nor glances up
He keeps about his task
And what he writes of
No one knows
— nobody thinks to ask.

For a thousand years he’s sat there
Quill moving slowly at work
Memories hiding in his head
What secrets
— in there lurk?

And in this library of the dead
Where all about is still
Is every single written word
In dark ink
— from his quill.

Tasked to record every thing
That happens everywhere
He’s scratched away for many years
In punishment
— that he thinks fair.

On Earth he did the foulest deeds
In Limbo he pays the price
Knowing he’ll never leave this place
He was told
— on good advice.

The Devil finds all the sinners
And they don’t all burn in Hell
There are punishments far, far worse than that
As this man
—would surely tell.

©Joe Wilson – Purgatory is hell…2015

It is who we are…

In moving through our hope-filled lives
A fork so oft presents itself
And choices made, we set to strive
Determined, we abandon stealth.

And crashing forward at pell-mell
Pride takes hold, we sometimes fall
Yet as time rings the final bell
Our friends, we hope, may then recall.

That we were loved, that’s all we pray
And not forgot like some old book
As we loved them and life each day
In all the things we undertook.

Thus in the library far beyond
We’ll sit and gather our friends around
And to life’s question we will respond
By words and friendship we are bound.

©Joe Wilson – It is who we are…2015