When rain my eyes…

‘Let us not look back in anger, nor forward in fear, but around in awareness.’
JAMES THURBER, Credos and Curios        Harper & Row 1962

On looking back along the course the year has taken
Immediacy brings a sense of such great sorrow and pain
Yet, where at first my thoughts were steeped in anger
I’m calmer now, reluctant to travel that sorry path again.
For though it’s true I’ll never yet more see her face
She is in my heart and helps to stay my grief
I look back now at all the things in life we shared
Her life so very full of goodness and self-belief.

So with her in my heart I’m feeling rather brave
For she would brook no choice to sit things out
Adventure was a watchword that I think drove her
And family of course, that first, there was no doubt.
Thus when I’m huddled down and my eyes begin to rain
My heart feels crushed to the smallest ravaged pieces
I think of her throughout her life and am restored
And once again my mind is smoothed of creases.

We take our personal journey and do with it as we will
And help along the way can sometimes be expected
For if there’s none perhaps our route is far too wayward
We should get on track and then we’d be accepted.
Yet those who cannot bring themselves to care
Are still our brothers in this strange odyssey
Thus we should wish them well as we move along our way
And convince ourselves the crazy ones are never you or me.

©Joe Wilson – When rain my eyes…2016

Prideful consequences…

I gaze from my window at mid-Autumn sunshine
A breeze lifting those few leaves that still cling on
And I think back to the times that I spent with you
Just memories now, for you’ve gone.

And every flower that stood so proud
In the garden we both grew and cherished
Has fallen now to the chill of the frost
And the fruits on the trees are but perished.

I think that they miss you as I do now
If they could they surely would wonder
How foolish is man who drives such a wedge
That sends love away like a loud bark of thunder.

Here now as the cold has settled itself in
Self-pity takes a hold as it will
For each blames the other for this wrong, or that
Yet each loves the other so very much still.

So you went and I fear that I drove you
I was foolish and prideful and wrong
And now on my own with my pity
I realise alone I’m not strong.

Slowly the leaves have now fallen to ground
Soon the winter will start to take hold
I’ll do anything to win back your heart
So our memories won’t die in the cold.

©Joe Wilson – Prideful consequences…2016

I’ve recently been reading a debut book by Barbara Nickless (Blood on the Tracks). Having thoroughly enjoyed it, I looked at her website which also became a thoughtful and enjoyable experience. Her lead character is Special Agent Sydney Rose Parnell of the railway police, a former marine with Mortuary Affairs. It’s also worth reading ‘Shade It Black: Death and After in Iraq’ by Jessica Goodell and John Hearn for real insight into that which we don’t really want to know, the recovery of dead soldiers. I felt rather compelled, I hope no one is hurt or offended…

Ghosts – survivors guilt…

Along the ridge, bit by bit we crawled
Slowly, pinned down by well-equipped rebels
There had been so many of us at first
We were now like a small bunch of pebbles.

There was Al, a baker back in easy street
Who regaled us with tales of his cakes
Who wanted to get home to his wife and kids
As we all did, for Heaven sakes.

He drove us mad sometimes…

Tim, a horologist in the world that was real
Course he mended everyone’s clocks
Got caught on a desert road one day
We just found his watch and his socks.

Time just seemed to stand still for a while…

And there was Jess, at only five foot four
Perhaps the bravest soldier I knew
Got shot to death by sniper fire
After rescuing two of her crew.

We all feared the bloody snipers…

And then there’s me, a corporal in charge
All the officers gone, and Sarge too
I’d like to be home with my poetry books
But there was killin’ work there left to do.

There was no fun in that at all…

Finally we managed to reach an end
Then the drawdown came and we flew
But dead soldiers faces oft haunt me now
As for so many soldiers they do.

Goddamn politicians can’t explain that away…no Sir!

©Joe Wilson – Ghosts – survivors guilt…2016

The gentleman in the velvet chair…



And here I sit amidst this pall
As I await the fools who call
They enter down my bone-strewn way
To find it’s their last earthly day.

And such surprise upon the face
When first they look upon this place
For I am sat like gentle man
Soon mesmerised, they’ll wish they’d ran.

The axe comes up to strike them down
Their rashness draws from me – a frown
And see my face they never do
For all I show is shadowed hue.

And from this chair I make them grieve
I welcome in All Hallows’ Eve
From here I dispatch young and old
And any fool who’s feeling bold.

The axe comes down and heads fall off
They never scream nor even cough
For so entranced are they by me
The axe that chops they never see.

So venture not into such places
Filled with now dead haunted faces
For you may soon yourself join them
As heads dis-join from spinal stem.

©Joe Wilson – The gentleman in the velvet chair…2016

The tear-soaked mud…


How long the furrow that man must plough
How deep the mud so filled with dread
How sad the tears that fall to earth
Now mud that takes us when we’re dead.

And all along, and all along
The good man keeps his godly faith
But sad the man who feels so sinned
That he might rise as driven wraith.

And all those souls of bloodied gristle
Who smite the sinned by means so foul
Will feel the pain and share the fate
As when they fall the wraith will howl.

And when the good man falls to sin
As feet of clay oft make him do
The tear-soaked mud now draws him down
He’s now sin-free, yet what of you!

And all along, and all along
The furrow stays yet still to plough
For sinners yet to make their mark
A simple matter of when…and how.

©Joe Wilson – The tear-soaked mud…2016