The choice…

Everywhere that he ever went
He always travelled in style
With supple leather and cocktail bar
He sat in the rear for mile upon mile.

He traded this, he traded that
Till finally he didn’t care
It was weapons he sold, they were deadly
To him in war, all things were fair.

And then one day he got the chance
To choose twixt loss or gain
Some men kidnapped his family
He had never felt such pain.

The ransom when it came was surprising
There was just one simple demand
Stop all of the sales of your weapons
Including those already planned.

For him the choice was so easy
He turned from the cocktail haze
Now he writes of love and of romance
With his family near, life finally pays.

©Joe Wilson – The choice…2015

The letters…

Heavy the heart
Painful the burden
The messenger’s part
In passing the word on.

Deep are the creases
That now line his brow
The pain never ceases
It’s personal somehow.

His was the book
Which counted the dead
But each killing took
His heart’s peace instead.

They were his men
He loved them like sons
They’ll not sing again
Silenced by guns.

The letters he wrote
To tell of each death
Families he smote
By words of last breath.

The killing decided
There’s no final amount
Messenger lies dead
One more for the count.

©Joe Wilson – The letters…2015

Hope springs eternal…(acrostic)

Have we really lost our way
Open warfare every day
Perhaps if some could compromise
Earnest talks could open eyes.

Sparing children from seeing death
Plaguing memories till dying breath
Rights of all, to live in health
Interfering warmongers who all get wealth
No money, the poor go to food banks
Guess you dine anywhere if you sell tanks
Somebody making a fortune from others.

Each bullet fired can kill someone’s brothers
Talks round the tables among heads of state
Extracting solutions before it’s too late
Roses should be given by lovers on a date
Not on the gravestones of victims of hate
Armageddon is the end-game we fear
Let’s step back from the edge, it’s dangerously near.

©Joe Wilson – Hope Springs Eternal…2015


To sail…

I’d love to sail o’er the powerful sea, to sail to the end of time
and meet amazing people and be thankful in every rime
the pull on the sails, the feel of the rope and the salty sea
and a good fast ship to sail in, would be enough for me.

I’d love to sail and never stop, see the world in its symmetry
and watch the mighty albatross as it’s shadow flies over me
as the pull from the sea and the wind drive me on
and the cobwebs and quietude of the normal are gone.

I’d love to sail round Equator’s girth, and sail right back again
and read accounts of sailing men, who sailed this way back then
for the pull of the sea and a driving wind, and with all the sails unfurled
would make me the happiest man in our water-filled world.

©Joe Wilson – To sail… 2015

It isn’t ours…

Has man ever really stopped and looked
at all the beauty that Nature has cooked
arrayed throughout the world to see
by stumbling humans like you and me.

Deserts filled with shifting sand
moved by winds and Nature’s hand
creating dunes of epic scale
compared to this we are so frail.

Rill and brook, stream and creek
all a river’s end they seek
as they head for oceans wide
moving always with the tide.

Filled with fish of every size
sometimes caught for dinner’s prize
and on their trek it’s life or death
they struggle on for every breath.

Through the forests these rivers flow
passing trees whose names we know
they’re the lifeblood of our world
new breath with every leaf unfurled.

Too often though we cut them down
turning green land into brown
and yet somehow there are still flowers
grown by Nature’s greater powers.

They brighten days in glorious hues
so many colours, too many to choose
in meadows watered by rivers’ flow
past those trees whose names we know.

And on to seas with sharks and whales
the mighty Blues with their giant tails
whose flukes are wider than football fields
what majestic beauty the ocean yields.

To care for our planet we would do well
it’s a living thing not just a shell
it isn’t ours to destroy and maim
it’s future health should be our aim.

©Joe Wilson – It isn’t ours…2015

His last words (25 December 1914)…

…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

All His children…


He leaves the village and takes his bow

and soon in silence his prey he’ll know

he’ll kill a boar and his family is fed

life in the margins is that or be dead.

He’ll cut the beast down the centre line

give half to his neighbour, he is that kind

this is their way, these people are fair

with their neighbours and friends they always share.

But let us not forget the soul of the boar

He reached into its heart and his then did soar

the beast served its purpose, fed people, went rotten

its soul though was pure, and by Him, not forgotten

©Joe Wilson – All His children… 2014