Before he puts pen to paper…

What will the poet write today
As he unfurls this modern play
Will there be lines all filled with song
With words that carry the day along.
And subject matter, what will he choose
Romance and stars or peoples’ blues
Or will perhaps he strive to change
The thoughts of men whose minds are strange.
For can a man with written word
Effect such change from the absurd
When those who clamour and give voice
Are never listened to by choice.

Thus poets make their metered point
Whilst soldiers in baptism anoint
And innocent ones fall to the sounds
Six pounds of pressure to fire the rounds.
Meanwhile in safety shouting still
Elected ones test soldiers will
And so the poet writes this down
His tear-filled eyes and furrowed frown
As he relates insanity
For words are that which sets him free.

©Joe Wilson – Before he puts pen to paper…2017

I’ve recently been reading a debut book by Barbara Nickless (Blood on the Tracks). Having thoroughly enjoyed it, I looked at her website which also became a thoughtful and enjoyable experience. Her lead character is Special Agent Sydney Rose Parnell of the railway police, a former marine with Mortuary Affairs. It’s also worth reading ‘Shade It Black: Death and After in Iraq’ by Jessica Goodell and John Hearn for real insight into that which we don’t really want to know, the recovery of dead soldiers. I felt rather compelled, I hope no one is hurt or offended…

Ghosts – survivors guilt…

Along the ridge, bit by bit we crawled
Slowly, pinned down by well-equipped rebels
There had been so many of us at first
We were now like a small bunch of pebbles.

There was Al, a baker back in easy street
Who regaled us with tales of his cakes
Who wanted to get home to his wife and kids
As we all did, for Heaven sakes.

He drove us mad sometimes…

Tim, a horologist in the world that was real
Course he mended everyone’s clocks
Got caught on a desert road one day
We just found his watch and his socks.

Time just seemed to stand still for a while…

And there was Jess, at only five foot four
Perhaps the bravest soldier I knew
Got shot to death by sniper fire
After rescuing two of her crew.

We all feared the bloody snipers…

And then there’s me, a corporal in charge
All the officers gone, and Sarge too
I’d like to be home with my poetry books
But there was killin’ work there left to do.

There was no fun in that at all…

Finally we managed to reach an end
Then the drawdown came and we flew
But dead soldiers faces oft haunt me now
As for so many soldiers they do.

Goddamn politicians can’t explain that away…no Sir!

©Joe Wilson – Ghosts – survivors guilt…2016

Those who are at the end of the queue, always…

At year end oft, we think to say
Look back no more, as comes new day.

Some will see it with their spoons engraved
Though sadly, many remain enslaved.

But Hopeful ever, we press right on
As we search for good in everyone.

In store and warehouse food is bailed
Urgent supplies for when crops have failed.

While shattered lives in tents on hillsides
Families caught in the refugee tides.

As earthquake victims lie underground
Courageous rescuers listen for sound.

Some must rely on drug-lord’s favours
In lives that no sane person savours.

Yet here are we in our clean safe home
From which we’re always free to roam.

Complaining often, we fail to grasp
The richness of our situations
In truth we live in comfort zones
Free from terror and deprivation.
Whilst some no luck they ever see
Until in death at last they’re free.

And who should tackle such terrible woes
It should be us, plain as your nose
So we elect fine politicians
Who mainly only serve patricians
From whence they mainly are derived
Plebeians forgotten, of voice deprived.
For even though your vote was cast
And Bills you disapprove get passed
You only get to vote one way
And never really have your say
Your troubled mind creaks with unease
As those in charge do as they please.

And in inertia nothing moves
The rut of hopelessness just proves
That though we feel the pain of others
Around this Earth we all are brothers
The comfort zone adapts to fit
The place within in which you sit.

Meanwhile, those victims still in tents
Await such help as we have sent
Which waits in ports in rotting state
While shares are argued in debate.
We did our bit they all will cry
But did that stop young children die??

©Joe Wilson – Those who are at the end of the queue, always…2016

And so it goes…

So round they come again, selling their wares
Trying to convince you the worth of the shares
Telling you all of the wonders they’ll do
When we are in power, we’re working for you.
It’s a great con of course, they just want your vote
Post all elections, folk don’t get a note
To say how important that cross was you made
All hopes for the future are surely, put-paid.

The rules are stark and simple, and this is how they go
One side’s for the people, the other’s for business & co.

It more expensive, the challenge, of looking after folk
The side that’s into business sees the poor as just a joke
Some say even she, that woman called of iron
Was kinder to the nation, but that’s a bit of a try-on.
She tore the heart from where they’ll never come back
Under the same yoke again, and we’re under attack
And of course there are several new ways we can think
Yet if we don’t get change soon, we’re all going to sink.

The rules are stark and simple, and this is how they go
One side cares about you, the others don’t, you know!

©Joe Wilson – And so it goes…2015

Outrageous fortune…

Voracious the appetite of government departments
Entrapping the citizen in reams of red tape
Bringing out laws that reduce our empowerment
They are in charge…there is no escape!

Woeful the behaviour of said politicians
Claims of expenses for things they don’t need
Peddling half-truths in the Westminster bubble
Those grand good intentions get lost to the greed.

But we do get a chance in May, this year
To say who shall mess up the next, let’s not gripe
Though it matters not where your crosses are placed
They’ll all make us suffer, no matter their stripe.

Patients will still lie in A & E corridors
While over-stretched staff do their best
Sick people die from a lack of attention
The system is wrong and not properly addressed.

The greed will go on, the poor will still lose
While the fortunate will reap the rewards
The disreputable will be given directorships
No men of honour left to fall on their swords.

©Joe Wilson – Outrageous fortune…2015


Love is the most powerful weapon on Earth…
Don’t argue against such a thing of great worth

So why the Hell won’t politicians listen?
Do they not see the Earth’s sad eyes as they glisten?

From the tears that are flooding out over the land
But no! Politicians don’t want to understand!

©Joe Wilson – Sadness…2014


Well we know where we belong don’t we?

I know my Place

(With a respectful nod to Messrs. Cleese, Barker & Corbett)

He looked out of his fine high-ceilinged office
He looked down at the city far below
With sleeves rolled up and his blood pressure mounting
Profits missing meant workers had to go.

He didn’t care where they would come from
Little people never registered on his screen
He was totally focussed on making dollars
In that he was absolutely obscene.

A little way down from his high pedestal
Was where those desperate celebrities abide
Where they sit wafer-thin in dark glasses
As they feed like piranhas on the crowds.

And though the Hollywood moguls will use them
Because they are the puppets that they are
All memories of where they all came from
Are now just a small thing in the past.

Lower still you will find politicians
All waiting for the moment that is theirs
When they have the glory of the ‘fifteen minute fame’
Before they fall back to their own obscurity.

We on the other hand gather down in the street
Like sheep we wait there in the hope that we’ll meet
A top businessman who might give us a position
Or perhaps for a glance at a celebrity snob.

And just up above the media vultures hover
As they hope for a juicy story to break
They’ll not care a fig for the lives they devour
Just the ratings for them are at stake.

As they say ‘T’was ever thus’ and it shall ever be
And it seems that frankly it can only get worse
You see my fine friend it’s not the humans involved
It’s simply the size of the ever-growing purse.

©Joe Wilson – Well we know where we belong don’t we? 2014