An excess of pride…(two sonnets which can be read individually, but my intention is that you read them together as a single poem.)



For life is not a young man’s game
To flutter like moths around a flame
Yet as we age the larger scene
Will leave the clues for us to glean.
And in maturing as we do
With friends right there to help us through
It’s clear, though some may need a shove
The only thing that counts – is love.

And of the world in which we live
So much war, who can forgive?
And yet forgiveness is a start
More men need Mandela’s heart
A blood-soaked land he turned to loam
By finding peace as he walked home.


And so full circle back to dust
Disposed of with respect we trust
Earth to generation new
With baited-breath, what will they do?
For surely now they see the light
As love gets lost in vicious fight
And yet it could with care reside
If foolish men had far less pride.

For battles now need not be fought
If peace not power were what men sought
As children die along the way
Never to see a better day.
Look in their tiny saddened eyes
Sit down and talk, and compromise.

©Joe Wilson – An excess of pride…2016

A reason for most of us to feel grateful…

Listen to the sound
of children’s voices
full of excitement
at life’s wondrous choices.
Till out of the mist
comes someone like Harris
and childhood’s no longer
like Springtime in Paris.
And fear is the watchword
that they now live by
afraid in their minds
when alone they just cry.

What kind of a world
is then offered these kids
a world full of fear
maybe life on the skids.
Where someone will come
and rob them of childhood
a person they may know
not a man in a hood.

And no one believes them
it’s made worse by that
authority treads on them
much like a doormat.
And as life goes on
it gets harder to bear
such things are not simple
and so hard to share.

And the villains will come
from all kinds of posts
with their seeming good name
they’re convivial hosts.
They often have power
and influence too
which they wield like a weapon
and they wield it at you…
And the local authority
sends out a report
they’re guarding their backs
for when it comes to court.

But a child still got hurt
and who really cares
for behind some closed doors
Children still fall down stairs.
Now the laughter has gone
and the bruises will show
though some can’t be seen
but they’re there, we all know.

Another life ruined
a child in the dark
the heartless and cruel
have stolen their spark.

©Joe Wilson – A reason for most of us to feel grateful…2016


No place for children

How very sweet the roses smell
In the evening setting sun
As round a garden table sat
We drink fine wine and tales we tell.

Recalling things of little worth
As chat one does with friends
A little quiet spot we’ve found
Our peaceful place on Earth.

And yet – for others Hell will rain
As bombs fall from the sky
They’re simply people just like us
Caught up, in wars insane.

Such violence is the modern tone
And innocence lives no more
Where far away yet more will die
As they yield to anonymous drone.

And now the roses seem so bitter
A trifle in the scheme
While children fall to violence
And get scattered like so much litter…

©Joe Wilson – Bittersweet…2016

Tears fall like rain…

Where are they now, those childhood days
When we ran and we played like heroes
Untrammelled by worry and other concerns
Often unknowing our parents fears.
But then we grew up and had kids of our own
And we remember the worry we saw
How sad our parents were from time to time
As we go through the same, and we know it hurts more.

The seven year old girl in the playground
Cuts over the schoolyard to dad
It’s only a memory now in my old head
That leaves me so hopelessly sad.

One day you wake and everything’s changed
And it can never be the same again
And your heart feels as if it is drowning
As all of your tears fall like rain.
And the thing is you know it will get much worse
Yet there’s nothing about it you can do
As again, your eyes cloud over with mist
Even on the days when the sky is so blue.

©Joe Wilson – Tears fall like rain…2016

Lauds…(the 5th morning)

A sparrowhawk swoops down for food
Spring blue skies will lift the mood
When days go rushing by.

Children race to school pell-mell
There are some who miss the bell
When days go rushing by.

Spring blue skies will lift the mood
And garden tasks are now pursued
When days go rushing by.

There are some who miss the bell
Who’ll waste time catching up as well
When days go rushing by.

And garden tasks are now pursued
The growing season is reviewed
When days go rushing by.

For He will hear the church bell ring
As hearty, thankful voices sing
When days go rushing by.

The growing season is reviewed
A sparrowhawk swoops down for food.
When days go rushing by.

©Joe Wilson – Lauds…(the 5th morning)…2016

Growing up…

Slowly she took a bite out of the peach she was holding
A small trickle of juice glistened on her little chin
She didn’t care, nor stopped to wipe it away
She just looked about her taking everything in.
And in that innocence I think I felt
All the years of joy that we had had
When watching our own two children grow
And the simple pleasure of just being dad.

Slowly they grow and make their own way
Out into the world of unknowing
To hopefully be happy and find that in life
Contentment comes from kindness you’re sowing.
And later perhaps they will understand
That money and wealth aren’t the thing
It’s simply observing your children
That will make a loving heart sing.

©Joe Wilson – Growing up…2016

An elephant! Up a tree!



Once more for animal lovers and children…

What a funny sight it would be
If an elephant really fell out of a tree
The mess it would make around the place
Would be nothing compared to the look on its face.
For elephants do not fall out of trees
They’re places for squirrels and birds and bees
But this was a special elephant you see
And he liked climbing tree after tree.
But he always fell with a mighty thud
Because of course, he was built like a pud!

His feet were large and his fingers well! None!
He used his trunk to really hang on
And of course his ears got in the way
He didn’t belong, well he was just so – grey.
The branches on which he sat would creak
When with his friends he played hide and seek
Who of course always looked up into the trees
Where their very large friend thought he hid if you please
Then he wobbled and shook and everyone could tell
As always the way he came down was, he fell.

©Joe Wilson – An elephant! Up a tree!…2015

No elephants were hurt in the writing of this poem.


Aylan Kurdi (aged only 3.)
Aylan Kurdi (aged only 3.)
Aylan Kurdi (so full of life)
Aylan Kurdi (so full of life)

And people saw and they did weep
That tiny child in final sleep
Cast up like flotsam on a beach
That such sad lesson laid out to teach.

Émigré , or refugee
The difference here is plain to see
The one will leave with life intact
The other’s world has been ransacked.

They flee from rape, and death and wars
Pay so much money to trafficking whores
Who promise that they will be alright
Such hollow words, such desperate plight.

Yet still the billionaires wring hands
They make their guns to sate demands
And more young man and women die
But they don’t care, they wouldn’t cry.

For where there’s guns there will be war
Caught in the crossfire are the poor
Protagonists though should not be vague
But tried for their crimes at The Hague.

Yet sadly, it was ever thus
Brushed under carpets, much less fuss
We have to get to grips with peace
Or life on Earth may surely cease.

©Joe Wilson – When?…2015

A small tribute to Aylan Kurdi (an innocent boy aged only 3)

Unconditional love…

Children weep over parent’s misfortune
But often say nothing of their own pain
And parents wrapped up in their own sad torture
Miss the hurt their kids feel once again.

If only we let ourselves see from their view
Perhaps we’d all better understand
If we just took that extra moment or two
Sometimes they just want a hand.

There’s no greater love than that of a child
But often, they feel over-awed
We don’t really need any book that’s compiled
To see they want love and accord.

The man in you will know this is true
The woman, of course she will know
It depends entirely on your point of view
But I like to see all children glow.

©Joe Wilson – Unconditional love…2015