Old friends…

…he put away the whiskey bottle
a constant companion for a few years
he’d developed a liking for sour mash
but it was choking his internal gears.

There was no chance of him needing the twelve steps
But he was wary of danger nonetheless
That was one thing he wouldn’t slide into
Though it could have been easy he’d confess.

Black coffee, the saviour for so many
It can bring you back from the brink
It clears the head with its caffeine-born taste
And allows that now clear head to think.

©Joe Wilson – Old friends…2020

huddled over in tears…

…huddled over in tears
was he weeping for himself
or was he weeping for all
the undernourished children in the world
or perhaps for all the women
so brutally treated throughout the globe.
Or was he really weeping
because he’d never in his miserable life
lifted a single finger to help.
Or was he weeping because of how
he now judged himself?
For that can be the harshest judgment of all.

©Joe Wilson – huddled over in tears…2020


He couldn’t sleep – again

It had been a long time since he’d sat here
And fine cobwebs now criss-crossed his desk.
He dusted his black swivel chair and sat down
At the same time brushing aside the sticky grey fronds.

He thought the urge to write something had left him
And yet take up his pen once more he did.
He let all the words tumble out as fast as his pen gave up its ink
Like an eerie, strange and enchanted dance in the burlesque
As page after page of endless writing flowed
None of it making any sense or reason
Until suddenly –
his hand stopped and he wrote no more, he’d finished.
And looking at the hundred or so pages he realised
He realised just what grief looked like.
He wept and left his study in mind-numbing sorrow.

He would wait for that elusive sunrise
That brought the brighter tomorrow.

©Joe Wilson – Grief…2019

Feeble excuses…


Deep sleep
Chased away by early sunshine
That did nothing
To stop the hammering
In my sometimes battered
Caused by Jim Beam
By my having an arrangement
With Jim Beam.
I enjoyed his company
He didn’t complain.
How we convince ourselves
That it will help us
Not after the third one.
All thought disappears
And what the hell!
My opus will have to wait
Another day.
Such is the price we pay.

©Joe Wilson – Feeble excuses…2019



Just as the weatherman had said
It had been a gloriously hot May
And they had spent it together in bliss
Not to miss a single beautiful day.
Lovemaking, talking and simply looking
Together as one nothing else was there
It was a dream come true they both knew
And they loved through May without a care.

But – it wasn’t real, a dream at most
A figment of his sad imagined life
A memory of a time so long ago
Before the time he’d lost his beloved wife.

He sometimes thinks he’d save his tortured soul
And end what is for him a living death
But she would never want for him that end
So he’ll die this way until his final breath.

©Joe Wilson – Alone…2019

Alive and well…


Where did those halcyon days all go
That promise of so much was so bright
Where others seemed stuck in darkest drear
We laughed and headed straight for the light.

And found it we did in each other’s arms
My luck still holds true on that score
I think I was just treading water
In the life that existed before.

The body gets weary with ageing
The mind a little slower perhaps
But the light that still courses through the body
Burns bright and is yet ready for more laps.

We do not grow old until we let our mind convince us
that the spark of youthfulness has finally burnt out.

©Joe Wilson – Alive and well…2019

Long term lunacy…


I took a pill for that today
And another I took for this
I took another for something else
That one I’m not supposed to miss.
Some I’ve taken for thirty years
I’m settled at fifteen a day
I wonder how much good they do
I don’t know, who can say?

And then we have – the side effects
We don’t like to mention those
We take other pills to counter them
Which have side effects too I suppose.

The question is ‘who really wins here?’
The patient who’s all but forgotten
Or perhaps it’s only Big Pharma
Whose ethics are frequently rotten.
Of course we are always making decisions
Should I take these, maybe, but not take those
It’s a choice we don’t often consider
Maybe now it’s time that I chose.

©Joe Wilson – Long term lunacy…2019

Wasted lives…


Yet manfully they went to war
Sent off by the political whore
How red the fields now filled with blood
Laid down their lives, it did no good.
Their lives now lost, they are no more
Wretched souls that fared so poor
No more to open their front door
Now lying buried in coffin wood
Yet manfully they went.
And still young ones go as before
They never even up the score
And poppies grow where soldiers stood
In truth it’s where they all still should
What were they really fighting for!
Yet manfully they went.

©Joe Wilson – Wasted lives…2019

Why I chose to write this in Rondeau form I can’t really say. It just came out that way.

The pointlessness of it…


The haunting refrain of the old church bell
Was at odds to the din being made down below
Yet its purity of sound soon got lost in the wind
As the now late old sinner lost his blood in the snow.

He was just a street man with no one to care
His life had been ruined by cheap booze and drugs
And he now lay all stiff and so cold in the dark
This soul had been kicked at and stabbed by young thugs.

The police had been called and the Sarge shook her head
At the waste and how savage was such crime
As yet another soul had departed this life
And for what! There’s no reason or rhyme.

Yet still the sound of the haunting old bell
Echoes forlornly o’er the quiet dark town
And the chances of finding those guilty this time
So unlikely as police numbers keep going down.

Totally unmissed
No one to care
Dead on a corner
Utter despair!

©Joe Wilson – The pointlessness of it…2019