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)

He looked at the cross…

It had been a while
it had been an age
since he last let his style
wander over the page.

He still felt such rage
which made him feel dire
but there’d be no next stage
till he’d put out this fire.

He felt so much calmer
as ink flowed ‘cross the page
words were such a disarmer
he had issues to engage.

The more that he penned
the calmer he got
as he tried to amend
and move on from this spot.

But at the very last line
with his pen in the margin
he tore it up as a sign
and he’d write it again.

____________________

Anger all gone now
he looked at the cross
and he knew then that somehow
He was sharing his loss.

He felt again whole
as he laid his pen down
he felt back in control
from a peace he’d now found.

Presently he turned again to his labours
leaving his writing and going back to his lathe
and as he looked over at one of his neighbours
he thought of his son on a cross being brave.

Who’d not spoken of God
or of angels with wings
but of the land and the sod
and of bread, fish and things.

Ah the mysteries of life
are such a matter of faith
she was Joseph’s wife
But ’twas God kept her safe.

©Joe Wilson – He looked at the cross…2014

This is a sort of fantasia on Joseph’s story

Beneath a tree deep in thought…

He sat beneath the acacia tree
and watched the world go by
its green-golden leaves bouncing joyously
while the breeze caused a rustling sigh.
He thought about life as he’d lived it
as a son, and a father, and as a man
and he smiled at some of the memories
he remembered from when his journey began.

Playing with his brothers as a toddler
and his sister who’d cared for him so
he hoped they’d all known how he loved them
not often enough said years ago.
There’d been plenty of sadness on his journey
they lost their father, grandparents they hardly knew
he lost some friends on the way that he’d never forget
and sadly, there was his beloved brother too.

But sitting there under this particular tree
looking over his little back lawn
her face came into his mind now
it swept in as if on the wind-borne.
She’d come into his life as a saviour
he knew he’d been blessed all along
while he was a weak selfish person
she was so beautiful, and witty and strong.

Their first years together she’d carried him
thinking back he’d always known it was true
how he wished he’d been a much better person
“But you’re good”, she said, “and I chose you.”
The children came along and life really changed
no time then for the fast social whirl
yet neither would have chosen a different life
than the joy from their boy and their girl.

Some hardships inevitably changed things
but they carefully steered their way through
and their love remained strong as expected
the most important ingredient between two.
Their children grew up, made roads for themselves
after tenuous steps they too settled down
now the grandchildren help keep them both youthful
with such fun and energy that astounds.

So he sits there under the acacia
and the memories linger awhile
there’s thankfully so many happy memories
that recall always causes a smile.
Then he reaches across as the wind blows
a silver hair falling out of place
he pushes it away and back over her ear
as he kisses her still lovely face.

©Joe Wilson – Beneath a tree  deep in thought…2015

Self-made Armageddon…

And the days were spent in wonder
at all the horrors He’d seen
He sent unholy flooding and chaos
To wash the planet clean.

To see if change was ever made
He waited then two thousand years
But horror still was all around
And what He saw proved all His fears.

Can man not recognise his fate
can he not see when he is wrong
can man not see of His design
that words like peace and love mean strong.

The fiery pits that destroy our Earth
aren’t in the depths of Hell
they’ll be the fire and cordite
of that last exploding shell!!

©Joe Wilson – Self-made Armageddon… 2014

The 11:42 to lonely…

 

march railway station

Carrying with it my dreams and you
The train pulled out – 11:42
I couldn’t but think I now was lost
I’d made a choice, too high the cost.

I think back now and pains return
Wiping eyes of tears that burn
And thinking brings you to my mind
The beauteous soul of one so kind.

Regrets I feel for that poor choice
I miss so much your tender voice
If such decisions I made anew
I’d never stay, I’d go with you.

So sorely how I wish that train
Would bring you to my arms again
Where we could grow our love once more
As lonely fills my empty core.

So much regret this foolish joe
I chose career and watched love go
And should I gain great opulence
I’d sit alone, there’d be no sense.

©Joe Wilson – The 11:42 to lonely… 2014

All that is…

He died in a pool of disgust
after a lifetime of self-loathing
a life in which he had abused people
their trust, and even his own family’s good name.

He had been a terrible person by his own reckoning
and he was filled with remorse — but also self-pity.

It was thus that he found himself before his Maker
and he fully expected errors had been made in the direction
of his post-life travel arrangements.

His Maker looked at him and said,
“You are one sorry son,
and you’ve been a great disappointment.”

“I”, he spluttered.

“Interrupt me not, for I am not in the least finished.
You have stolen yet not hurt, you have hurt though not killed,
you have killed but only in the name of your country,
peace and negotiation and compromise seemingly beyond
the gift of human understanding.”

he heard him say,
for he was far too afraid to look upon his countenance.

“You have cursed and been ungodly
but you have cared for your old neighbour.
You have drunk to excess and yet have always
got to and done a days work.

Heaven only knows how sometimes.

You have had fights in the streets
though you have indeed tried to reform.
You have never listened to My Word
when I could have helped you and
it surely pained me to see you struggle.
You are one mixed-up man.”

He was agog as his sorry life was so
painfully listed before him, and
he was sorely afraid of his fate.

His Maker went on, “However,
you are basically a good man adrift.
somewhat confused and in a morass of self-doubt,
and I would not cast you down to my
Greater Disappointment below,
where you would surely not enjoy
— a single moment.

Get yourself in here lest I change my mind.
Do not think that this is the end of it, for
you have much to redeem yourself for
and my rooms are many.”

Without another word his Maker disappeared
and he was amidst a wondrous throng.
He felt completely enlightened and knew
he had been saved. His heart was so full
and he felt a goodness he’d never known.
He truly wished he could pass this feeling
on to those he had left behind and that
he could make up for his past wrong-doing.

“You will my boy,” he heard. “You will.”

 

©Joe Wilson – All that is… 2014