…the worst of his fears…


It was a grey dawn that held an ominous weight about it
all the curtains were drawn shut and yet somehow he knew
the wind-driven rains that had howled in the dark night
and the long-buried secret that would surely now be on view.

The man who’d abused him all of those long years ago
had disappeared like a ghost in the middle of the night
and now there would be those who would find out at last
why he’d suddenly vanished from everyone’s sight.

He’d flayed him so often he now hunched his back
where his skin had knotted and mended like string
but the worst of his fears – the drunken attacks
humiliating tears and the terror it would bring.

He stood it for so long, it should never have been
this pain from a guardian, so vile and obscene
till one day a knife found its way into his hand
at the time of the stabbing he was only fourteen.

Being out on a farm and there being just them two
he was terrified he’d be taken far away
so he buried the guardian as deep as he could
and hoped underground was where he would stay.

He tended the farm and made it quite a success
and carried on as best as he could
he finished education and returned to the farm
where he waited almost hoping for last night’s flood.

The terrible secret that he’d kept all these years
made him avoid making friends so he’d no kind of life
he watched television and he read many books
and discounted all thoughts of a girl or a wife.

How he’d survived the twenty years since he just didn’t know
he was lonely and so terribly sad
and though he knew what he’d done was all that he could
he was painfully aware that it was wicked and bad.

And so in a way the storm held mixed blessings
he could finally admit to all what he’d done
he knew that his life would never be the same
but in his thirty-fours there was not a thing he had won.

With reluctance and a heavy heart he drew curtains back
rain water and mud flooded his land six feet deep
and though sheds had fallen and hedgerows lay bent
the ground yielded nothing and his secret it would keep.

Slowly he now realised that he’d wanted this release
but he’d not be believed if he called anyone
he couldn’t bear the thought of more years of disgrace
so finally, desperately, he loaded his gun………..

©Joe Wilson – …the worst of his fears…2014

His regret

And so it was his past caught up
a dread for many years
it was time to face reality
and belay his darkest fears.

A time to face a painful truth
he’d never known this child
he’d left when he was just hours old
and the loss had made him wild.

A soldier he’d been sent abroad
to fight for others’ errors
and in the deepness of his mind
he remembered years of terrors.

They’d captured him and half his men
his captain they had killed
and made the rest including him
dig the grave and get it filled.

When he came home he was a wreck
who drank himself to sleep
and though he had had several jobs
they were impossible to keep.

He later found his faith again
and now he has a certain peace
but the fear of meeting his son at last
was filling him with unease.

He wonders if he’ll understand
and how it will work out
but the boy had come and sought him
now he waited full of doubt……..

©Joe Wilson – His regret 2014

A Magical Moment…and then it’s gone!

The World Crisis 2012 3

Within that magical moment
The world is at one and at ease
Everyone is loving their neighbour
And we have control of disease.

But it doesn’t last, it cannot last
It will all go back as before
To the dying from hunger and violence
To man’s unending desire for war.

One man plants a crop for food
But another man reaps the gain
The one making life from the profit
While another’s reward is just pain.

If a man is black, or yellow, who cares!
His blood like yours is red
The bullets or knives that pierce your skins
Would make you both as dead.

A man gets beaten in the street
His crime was being gay
Who gave those others the right to judge
Will prejudice never go away?

The ones with strength to dominate
Should nonetheless take heed
When they themselves are wanting help
Who’ll stay to fill that need.

I hear the ever-growing rains
They flood the town and field
Where hardship’s felt so gravely
Where man is forced to yield.

Perhaps we brought it on ourselves
We feel the need for so much
But there are so many with nothing
Who’d benefit from a gentle touch.

Back to that magical moment
It’s the one just before I awake
Where the next moment comes and it’s over
And it can’t be put right with a shake.


©Joe Wilson – A Magical Moment…and then it’s gone! 2014

Vulnerable Paranoia


I lie naked and exposed my pride revealed
My vulnerable spirit is in view
The warrior stands before me now
His lance is set to pierce me through.

I do have one trick up my sleeve
As he readies himself for attack
He moves in to kill and his gizzards are mine
And I drive in the dagger hidden at my back.

Why do I have these violent dreams…
As if I am part of a past so bad
Waking each night with my silent screams
The realness of it driving me mad.

It’s possible that this is all part of the dream
And that what I have written is not real
And when the warrior comes for me again this night
I’ll forget to defend against the cold of his steel.

©Joe Wilson – Vulnerable Paranoia 2014

A Weighty Problem


Writhing against the binding
From weights on my feet I sink
The pain in my chest is blinding
As I struggle for air and to think.

I could have been a much better person
But I wasn’t and I find myself here
I’ll be sitting by Davy Jones locker
Drowned, it’s been one of my fears.

I’m almost at bottom of the ocean
In front of my name they’ll write ‘late’
And because I was always a ‘bad ‘un’
With Old Nick I now have a d…

©Joe Wilson – A Weighty Problem 2014

The image appeared in Punch 10 December 1892