Heads, you lose…

Speeding along not a care in the world
the young man and his beautiful girl
driving in an open-topped E-type Jag
they were happy
………………………….and life was a whirl.

They were racing along the motorway
fast approaching Gravelly Hill
when a tanker jack-knifed in front of them
……….I can hear their screaming still.

They had nowhere to go but under
the trailer, however, was too low
and I, in a car a short distance back
saw both of their heads suddenly
…………………………………………………go.

One head rolled onto the hard shoulder
and sat there staring right back at me
while the other bounced over the railing
and fell into Witton
……………………………….for all there to see.

It put me off my lunch I can tell you
for that’s where I was going at the time
and if it wasn’t for the fact that it’s totally true
it would be a case of the ridiculous
……………………………….from the sublime.

 

©Joe Wilson – Heads, you lose…2015

The trawlerman’s wife & the 1953 spring-tide disaster…

Flood
Mablethorpe 2 Feb 1953

 

A little dot of light in the distance
Signalled that they were on their way home
She was waiting at her own insistence
As the trawler drew closer through the foam.

Her man had taken another man’s place
And he sailed with yesterday’s tide
But their baby was due in only three days
She wanted him back on dry land by her side.

It caused her to reflect on her father
He’d been lost in the’53 spring tide
That had raced down the east coast of England
Brushing trawlers and ferries to one side.

They called it ‘The Big Flood’, it was really that bad
It happened unexpectedly
Two and a half thousand, including her dad
Were drowned and swallowed by the sea.

January thirty-first into February one
The storm raged like no other before
Then it turned out to sea and was suddenly gone
Leaving death and devastation in it’s maw.

The trawler was pulled into the harbour
And her husband jumped the jetty and ran
He took her into his arms and she worried no more
He was home, he was safe, and her man.

 

©Joe Wilson – The trawlerman’s wife & the 1953 spring-tide disaster…2015

Desolation…

I see the lights of distant towns
yet hear the noise of happy sounds
while sitting, seeing in my cave
in total silence
……….…..like the grave.

My cave’s a room
within a house
where I sit quietly
….………..as a mouse.

I cannot think
as thought is gone
from brain which stopped
……..…….it can’t go on.

And so to dust
my body goes
reduced by maggots
……………and fed to the crows.

©Joe Wilson – Desolation…2015

Some things cannot be bought…

Within his head there are thoughts, so many
most are irrelevant and thus ten a penny
though rare amongst his brain’s detritus
a thought whirls round just like St. Vitus
yet as he struggles this thought’s recall
he knows not if it be grand, or small.

And then it’s gone and is no more
remembers not he, nor is he sure
thus he returns to comfort’s while
wanders round his country pile
his life of wealth is all for naught
soundness of mind cannot be bought.

 

©Joe Wilson – Some thing cannot be bought…2015

His last words (25 December 1914)…

war_edited
…a lonely grave…

 

 

Scarred from the relentless passage of time
pitted with acid rain and covered with grime
forgotten by those who oft pass it by
gazed rarely upon by anyone’s eye.

A proud little monument in a faraway  field
with now faded words and a family shield
his nation had called and he’d gone off to war
though he and his friends didn’t really know what for.

And if you should wander and wonder at it
you’ll probably feel as if you have been hit
by the words that you see that are writ thereupon
“It is with such sadness that I bury my son.”

The last words they had, came back home in a letter
“It can’t go on Father, it has to get better
the killing is awful, they’re young men much like us
Please kiss dearest Mother, and a Merry Christmas.

 

©Joe Wilson – His last words (25 December 1914)… 2014

Difficult conversations…2014 (reviewed)

GETTY IMAGES
GETTY IMAGES

 

Wizened by the hardships of his life
he moved his tired old body to the edge,
it took him longer to get out of his bed
these days, but get up he would
for if there was one thing he had learnt
it was that time spent in bed was time
lost in the fields and the crops didn’t pick
themselves, of that he thought he was sure,
though he couldn’t quite remember why.

He sometimes wished that he had not been
so adamant about farming in the old way
– a bit of that confounded modern machinery
would sure help sometimes as digging potatoes
across all those acres was hard work and he’d
been doing it for so long he was beginning to
hate the blasted things – he certainly
never ate them, preferring instead to eat all
his food from cans as a way of getting his
own back on some other poor so and so
who probably hadn’t broken his back
at harvest time for sixty years.

Dad – Dad – it’s Tom , Dad, your son, never mind
Dad, perhaps you’ll remember me later. It’s alright.
What potatoes? – It’s alright Dad, let’s sit here
and you can tell me – no please – please Dad,
don’t cry – please don’t cry. I know Dad
I miss Mum too. I wish I could explain Dad
I really do.

Why does this horrible man always keep me from my work,
I’ve got tomatoes – – potatoes to pick, tomatoes, potatoes,
well I’ve got to pick them anyway. Why should I sit down?
Tell you about what? I’m not going to tell a stranger
where my potatoes are, or is it tomatoes? I’m not sure now.
I must sleep – I’ve got lots to do, I must be fresh when I start.

Dad – Dad – you sleep now then. I’ll just be in the next room. Perhaps
– perhaps we’ll talk a bit later. I miss you Dad………….

[This is a repost that is a direct response to the continuing cuts in services within the NHS. The front line are doing the work with one hand tied behind their back. This is one of those services. One in three people over 65 will develop dementia and there is currently no cure. There is also inadequate funding in both care and research.]

©Joe Wilson – Difficult conversations… 2014 (reviewed)

Lost ships…

Photographed off the coast of Bournemouth 2013 (Joe Wilson)

 

 

She sits alone with her ancient thoughts
she’s sat till she’s covered in grime
she never moves from her rocking chair
she just wiles away the time.

What does go on inside her head?
what does she really think?
the pain has made her look so sad
with eyes that rarely blink.

Her hands are hard and calloused
the cracks are etched so deep
you sense she feels some fearful hurt
but never does she weep.

Some say she’s sat for thirty years
They say she loved a sailor
It’s also said all hands were lost
The prey to a ghostly whaler.

That ship set sail from Mulgrave Port
With fifteen men on board
The seas were rough and wind was hard
but fin whales beckoned Nor’ard.

A listing ship in thick fog banks
the crew fell to watery graves
they now haunt the eastern seaboard
or rest beneath those stormy waves.

So the old crone will sit there forever
she knows that her man won’t return
she’ll sit there and rock while she’s waiting
to join him when Death calls her turn.

©Joe Wilson – Lost ships…2014 (originally 1992)