2015 thoughts & a Happy New Year mate…

So, finally we reach here, the end of another year.

Many awful things have taken place in the past year. I am still Charlie. I am as committed to encouraging peaceful debate to find solutions to the world’s ills rather than the current trend of rushing into reckless warfare as ever I was. I also know that profit from such undertakings is made only by weapons manufacturers, CEOs of security and restructuring companies (positions oddly enough frequently occupied by many former politicians who know a thing or two about greasing the way to a happy and affluent retirement), and obsession-crazed zealots. Though I have no time for, or sympathy with any kind of terrorism, I have to say that I think the so-called foot soldiers there involved are never the winners either.

Women and children continue to be kidnapped and raped and then murdered or sold into slavery or prostitution around the world in acts that should shame any decent human. We are the only member of the animal kingdom who behaves so appallingly…of course some people treat the rest of the animal kingdom as their shooting gallery too.

Disease still takes the lives of the less fortunate, but where yet again great wealth has proved to be no defence against illness. Let us hope for new cures and remedies in the forthcoming year and in the years ahead.

Politicians have yet continued to look after themselves in their climb to the height of their own mediocrity, save but a few. I admire Angela Merkel and applaud her being voted Person of the Year. I deplore Donald Trump who even now is not yet a politician – let us hope it stays that way.

There were remarkable scenes in Pakistan in February when the national cricket team were defeated by India in a World Cup series match that was played in Saudi Arabia. It was their sixth successive defeat. Fans, that’s most of Pakistan, carried television sets out into the street and smashed them in disgust. Such passion!!

Presidents Putin and Netanyahu, of Russia and Israel respectively, have proved to be as totally intransigent as ever. Meanwhile Al-Shabaab, Boko Haram and the Islamic State have terrified the world, including most Moslems. It is quite clear from their spokespeople that they blame everyone for everything, and equally clear that those who oppose them feel likewise about them. Ergo, we are all to blame…what a great platform to debate solutions on. In China a seventy-one year old lady was sent to prison for seven years for having the temerity to complain about the lack of democracy, though I’m quite sure that point is wasted on them.

April saw terrible, terrible earthquakes in Nepal near Kathmandu in which nearly nine thousands souls were lost and another twenty-three thousand were injured. All this as we were being told that the global climate was becoming more unstable.

In Kabul in May, a woman annoyed a man by saying he was selling sham trinkets. He accused her of damaging the Koran, something he’d made up on the spot to get back at her and knowing what would happen. It did. The woman was immediately stoned to death, driven over by a car, her body burned and then tossed into a river like so much rubbish. Men were found guilty of this following much outrage, but that such things can go on in the twenty-first century, when of course there was never a time when it should have happened makes me despair.

It’s Victory Day in Russia, this time the Seventieth Anniversary of the defeat of Germany in World War Two. What does Putin do? He rolls out Russia’s powerful weaponry to show how tough he is. Bully for him!! On a par, Kim Yong-un continues to find reasons to execute anyone who he sees as a threat to his increasingly unpopular leadership.

Meanwhile, in Waco, Texas biker gangs waged war on each other in front of a Twin Peaks restaurant that features waitresses in bikinis (why do women stand for this?) Result? Eight deaths, sixteen injuries, almost two hundred jailed…and what did it prove? Nothing at all. At the same time as this deadly stupidity, and following the previous year’s drought, Texas was suffering tremendous flooding.

War in Syria. War in Iraq. War in Ukraine. Putin assures the West that it need not fear Russia saying, and I quote, “Only an insane person and only in a dream can imagine Russia would suddenly attack NATO. People with some common sense cannot even imagine such a large-scale military conflict today. We have other things to think about, I assure you.” Ukraine possibly!! It was not a good June.

After fifty-four years we have seen the re-establishment of full diplomatic relations between Cuba and the United States of America. This can only be a good thing.

In September we heard that a previously unknown species of human had been found, Homo naledi. Excellent news, but I wish we cared more for the current one. Sadly, and yet again, over two thousand pilgrims lost their lives at the Hajj in Mecca, which seems constantly to suffer from poor organisation and a seeming contempt by the rich for the poor and devout.

Hurricanes towards the end of the year were hurling winds about at two hundred miles an hour causing trouble while an earthquake in the Hindu Kush took nearly four hundred people over a wide area. Meanwhile, a plane crash in Sinai crashed killing precisely two hundred and twenty four men and women and children. There are now places in the United Kingdom that have been flooded several times during the course of a single month bringing total misery as insurance companies startle to talk weasel words.

Though it wasn’t all bad. In Ireland, perhaps surprisingly, same sex marriage was legalised by popular vote, making them the first country to do so.

But then —– there will always be Paris. In November, terrorists killed one hundred and thirty people in a series of deadly attacks on restaurants and a nightclub. Nothing so brave as attacking and murdering people while they have a knife and fork in their hands is there? Except perhaps when they are dancing and relaxing! It seems I am now Parisian Charlie.
So not a great year really. Of course individually you may have had a great year or a not so great year, the former I fervently wish. For my part, it has been a year of some slight ups and some very low downs within the family, all relating to health. We are a strong family though and by and large we are ending on a positive note within a huge bubble of love and caring for each other. I really, really hope your years are ending positively too.

May the forthcoming year bring some solutions to the problems that ail us globally and individually. Let us spare a thought for those in peril, those in constant danger of abuse, those less fortunate, those who put themselves in harms way on our behalf to protect us, those who would rescue people from burning buildings, or at sea, or who race to our emergencies along our busy roads or in our houses, those who care for the sick and infirm or who constantly try to free the minds of the confused, those who find themselves caring for their parents when they are just children who should enjoying life, and those who care for loved ones who no longer remember them.

Let us all be much kinder to one another and strive for a Happy New, and all the way through, Year.

Happy 2016 everyone, the whole world over.

©JRW2015

Motorway fun…

‘Look out you devil, you pulled out in front
Good manners prevents me calling you…’
Yes, I’m back on the motorway, yet once more
‘Watch out mate, you just missed my door’.
Amidst the drivers in their trucks and vans
And though it’s now winter, odd caravans
With cars so many in all shapes and size
Plus dozens of winners of my Lunatic Prize.
I’m off to service station for personal ease
The toilet block, closed – if you please
So we all press on with resolve quite firm
To the next oasis, I’m beginning to squirm.

But! Then it suddenly occurs to me
The loo in my motorhome is perfectly free
As always the inevitable happens of course
One of those jams where it seems there’s no source.
So to the hard shoulder I feel I must pull
It is an emergency — the pain more than dull.

Post blessed relief and the washing of hands
A knock on the door at the side of the van
The there revealed looked barely restrained
‘Your loo mate, may I, I’m barely contained.
But after all duties had been dusted and done
He said, ‘Move along now, come on now, move on.

©Joe Wilson – Motorway fun…2015

Mr Dickens and my newly opened eyes…

I was a shy and rather awkward boy when my father died
Insular, feeling alone, for a while I gave up and no longer tried.
As I journeyed on through my strange teenage years
I got into many fights, I was fighting my fears.
I grew big and tough and never was downed
But my heart was near breaking and I very near drowned.
In time I found love which is surely so good
We’ve loved ever since as hard as we could.

But a gift you say, a gift real and true
‘Twas the books of Charles Dickens, Mr Dickens, ‘twas you.
Many was the time I’d immerse in your fables
Hoping as always for the weak to turn tables
And often they did, but oft times at great cost
In tales based on those who you helped, who were lost.
Thus a hundred years after the year that you died
I decided to write, and with a conscience I’ve tried.

I read and I read and I stretched out my mind
Hoping my soul would behave in like kind.
Then I took to my pen scribbling that which I knew
In red , green and black ink, and often just blue.
And writing is plentiful, though not always good
But I try and improve as always one should
Thus inspired me you did, in your books as I grew
So the gift that is so true, Mr Dickens, is you.

©Joe Wilson – Mr Dickens and my newly opened eyes…2015

Let me not for a second minimise the wonderful gift my wife has been to me, I’ve written about her frequently, indeed I couldn’t resist slipping in the two lines about her here. But I met Mr Dickens first and he too has always accompanied me in my Night Walks through The Battle of Life.

Peace in our time?…

Gone now the thoughts from in his young head
As in his explosion he now joins the dead
But what would have put those ideas in there
Such angst in a world that we all must share.
And why do the young fall so easy as prey
As fools to extremis in this modern way.
Seventeen years old is so young to do this
Those over thirty all give it a miss.

Perhaps if the older ones did it themselves
Ideas of suicide might stay on the shelves.
In truth it’s the reasons that must be addressed
As the vicious on all sides remain so obsessed.
A new year is coming and a line should be drawn
To struggle for peace, we must all be sworn.

©Joe Wilson – Peace in our time?…2015

Merry Christmas to all my Friends

Decorated lit up Christmas trees
Presents stacked neatly below
Children barely contained now
Just a short while to go.

Families beginning to gather
To enjoy the Christmas cheer
Some may only see their folks
At this Special time of year.

I have you Good Friends online too
Guiding my poetry steer
And I wish you all a Merry time
This Christmas and New Year.

Let’s hope for a better next year
Filled with lots of love and joy
When the penny drops, the fighting stops
And there’s hope for each girl and boy.

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE…

©JRW2015

Spare a thought…

School has broken up now
Their nativity plays all ended
It’s time to get out that stocking
That every year gets mended.

The fridges and larders are bursting
With food for the Christmas table
As we celebrate again this year
The miracle in that far away stable.

But spare a thought for the less well-fed
As you eat your well-earned dinner
For while you’re gaining unwanted fat
In poverty people get thinner.

Huddled in rags and blankets for warmth
In a doss-house in a back street somewhere
The people who live in Dead End Street
Will miss out on Christmas Fayre.

It isn’t your fault, nor oft even theirs
It’s simply the way some things are
But just a few pence for a coffee
Shows kindness can travel quite far.

©Joe Wilson – Spare a thought…2015

Silently in love…

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Silence is the killer
It slowly breaks you up
It says so much in nothing
It drains the loving cup.
It makes the days seem endless
It makes the nights so dark
It makes what’s living seem so dead
It takes away the spark.

And yet, there is a silence
Twixt lovers like me and you
That simply fills with love unique
Like that between us two.

For us there is no hollow
No void that can’t be reached
Our love fills all the spaces
And not a drop has leeched.

©Joe Wilson – Silently in love…2015