It’s not just a fag anymore…


Gently, very gently
She held the child in her arms
She was a mother, a protector
And would shield her from all of life’s harms.
Or at least that’s what the lady thought
As she leaned down to coo and smile
As she breathed her nicotine breath on her
And passed germs to her baby so vile.
The child at four got cancer
At six she’s no longer here
Yet the mother still smokes in her sorrow
For those who won’t listen never hear.

©Joe Wilson – It’s not just a fag anymore…2016

So graceful…

She was so beautiful and so kind
The sweetest child that one could find
And though an imp in many ways
She was my heart those joyous days.

So graceful and yet down to earth
No price could tell what she was worth
Yet quiet and dignified through and through
Like I so loved her, you would too.

Her many friends all loved her so
So many more that I don’t know
Would visit in rota to her bed
To leave with hearts where happy fled.

And what of she
Her hopes, her dreams
Diminished now
By life’s cruel schemes.

So brave her fight, and so, so long
She tried so hard to be so strong
But cancer is a cruel beast
That flares where one expects it least.

©Joe Wilson – So graceful…2016

These are the ravings of a soured soul,
laid bare by such sadness that it has never known.

A quiet reflection…

A man gave his all at work today
he strove with his usual endeavour,
but the father whose child he saved this day
will now always love him forever.
A nurse, overstretched, yet so willing,
will care for her patients all day;
yet they will not hear her ever complain
she leaves that till she’s far away.

When sitting in a pub with those such as she
she lets go the strain and then moans
no patient will ever hear her though
nor any parent feel her tired angst
for they are ever so grateful
as they smile and give her their thanks.

A bed is moved by two young men
in a quiet and dignified way
it’s just one of many singular things
that make up a porters day.
And all of the time, the ladies
will keep the wards so flush
and the things they see, but don’t see
as they work with their mop and brush.

And the patient lies there quiet and inert
as a battle-royal takes place
but we see that progress is being made
as bewilderment slowly slips from her face.
Small steps we take each one of us
as we live with fingers crossed
every person is pulling their weight
and no-one will stop whatever the cost.
Hope springs
Love abounds.

©Joe Wilson – A quiet reflection…2016

A report of hope…

The days are long
and tiring.
Each thought process
a giant effort,
and yet,
struggle as she may,
progress is made.
She signed her name
– today.
Laugh heartily she would
and perhaps get the giggles,
but it was all in the box,
that strange bunch of squiggles.
Though bewilderment still lingers
behind her sad eyes
even at this moment
from as far as can be
another journeys here
to help her get free.
That someone
would forego
the home of their birth
and with their beloved
come to this land of his,
is an enormity that
leaves me
with pride and love.
But she will see
her brother soon
and her sad eyes will surely
brighten at the sight.

©Joe Wilson – A report of hope…2016

How still she lies…

How still she lies…

How still she lies, how very still
Silent puzzlement behind her eyes
Yet she’s our girl, our darling prize
And she possesses powerful will.
Slowly opened eyes, then closed
She awakes just a little this way
She smiles when she sees her children today
Though her speech is now carefully composed.

So we remain hopeful that she’ll win this fight
And return to the family that knows and that fears
Who’ve watched as she’s battled for over two years
And who all dread another call in the night.

Yet still there’s the cancer, that terrible ill
That has raged there inside her this long while
And through even that she always would smile
As with chemo she fought, and her powerful will.

So we sit, hold her hand, and watch her now sleep
As the flickering memories start to fall into place
And I see as her mother wipes a tear from her face
For we both sit — and quietly weep.

©Joe Wilson – How still she lies…2016

He became hungry

I wonder what he was before he became poor and hungry!

It was the being hungry that drove him as he carefully sorted through
the broken and rotting detritus that was left by me and you
he rarely found a full bag, nor ever an item that was clean
for people dispose of rubbish in disgusting ways that he used to find obscene.

He’d walked with his head held high once
– another time in the past
But a fear of the crowded, noisy hospital wards
– had shown itself at last.

He found that he couldn’t cope with the pain in the now far distant eyes
of the people who recently lost loved ones and their pleas and desperate cries.

He took off his white jacket and walked out of the ward one day
and try as he did he was never able to go back there again.

He still read books as he wanted to seem to himself at least to be trying
but it was all so many years ago and these days the hunger pain stung
and though he’d only had his street skills he had somehow survived
despite the cancer inside him that was even now eating away at his lung.

When he had enough bits that he could once again call a meal
he slipped away from the others in the street to find a quiet spot
for the one thing that he had learned almost straight away
is that anyone – anyone – will steal what little bit you’ve got.

He was used now to seeing dead bodies – as other street people died
from hunger and disease and other times – just from being alone
some of the older ones always seemed weak and so fragile
and in winter they’d often end up frozen – frozen to the bone.

The days were getting shorter now and he often felt very insecure
he knew that his lungs were getting much worse and cold would weaken them badly
the winter would bring his last days this time as he struggled so hard to cope
he’d never expected to die on the street but he’d do it now quite gladly.

©Joe Wilson – He became hungry 2014