Tales of life: Old age~sadness…

Life has now started to overwhelm

Sadly, he no longer feels at the helm

And where he was once in complete control

He often now thinks his brain takes a stroll.

He’s not one for moping and sitting around

Giving a hundred percent for each pound

It’s a rate of exchange that he understands

How one should pay for ones life’s demands.

But it seems too much as the years add up

His fingers can now barely hold a cup

And his voice has developed a wheezy gasp

As many small things seem beyond his grasp.

He sits in the study and reads his book

And ponders the path the journey took

Though he has regrets he can’t recall

When thinking back his mind will stall.

In his long life he’s seen such things

In younger days they gave him wings

To fly and soar, his love nearby

No longer here, it makes him cry.

He feels so very old and worn

A heart once full seems badly torn

And as he sits a silent sigh

Is all it takes, he starts to cry.

‘Where did it go, so quickly too

His life no longer spent with you

And soon his time will come to pass

Then he will join you there at last.’

©Joe Wilson – Old age~sadness…2017

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

Grief and sadness…

like cobwebs
in the darkest corner
mocking the tears
that having flowed
now dry in the air
and leave
that sticky dryness
on your cheek.
And a heart that pounds
Too fast, too fast.
Till slowly
the Jack
or Jim
or Elias
lulls you to a sleep
where once again
you face the nightmares
where together
you fight
that terrible beast
that tries to do you in.
And by her side
you win.
But yet
when dawn inevitably breaks
you once again
find yourself

©Joe Wilson – Grief and sadness—2016


He gently laid down his knife and fork.

Why the thought had suddenly occurred
he had no real idea, nor did he ponder
Stopping only to tie his shoes
he headed for the door, and yonder.

The evening was as cold as it was dark.

He cared not a bit, he barely noticed
as he strode off purposefully to where?
To no one he spoke, nor wave his hand
for he himself knew not till he was there.

He walked for miles across fields and hills.

It was quite some time before he slowed
and when he stopped he was thinking.
For he’d forgotten why he’d left his home,
he just stood there, sadly blinking.

©Joe Wilson – Lost…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

Two Shorts…


My dearest friend…

My very, very dearest friend
I say these words so true
In faith I know not where I’d be
Were it not for you.
For when I hit rock-bottom
I know you’ll help me up
And if I feel myself alone
You’ll come and share a cup.

The simple truth is always there
It stares us in the face
The world in all its vastness
Can be a lonely place.

©Joe Wilson – My dearest friend…2016

Salted tears…

I turn and watch the noon-day sun
And salted tears dry on my face
The echoes of your perfume
Linger with the slightest trace.
So many times we came here
Yet still, I come myself
For you have all but gone now
You wandered off in silent stealth.

Yet though I hold you in my arms
Sometimes I see your fears
For you just don’t remember me
And that’s what brings the tears.

©Joe Wilson – Salted tears…2016

I remember Miss Havisham…

In dust motes, her should-have-been trousseau now sat
She’d no heart to throw it away
It sat all forlorn by his unworn top hat
They held bitter memories of that awful day.

For five years they’d lived as husband and wife
In the end they decided to wed
They wanted to commit for the whole of their life
But to sorrow they committed instead.

The sun had been high on that beautiful day
And the sky was so bright and so blue
All had been perfect in that special way
But misfortune attended and away his life flew.

So lovely she’d looked as she stood outside church
He was so often late, no surprise
Then news made its way and she gave a slight lurch
She just crumbled before everyone’s eyes.

He’d been running to church, he was five minutes late
Dismissing the great surge in his chest
He fell to the ground in a terrible state
He’d be late now forever, his last breath expressed.

She has memories to keep to remember him by
And the daughter that they had both had
But the saddest of things, that will oft make her cry
Is her daughter’s soft spoken, ‘I so miss my Dad’.

©Joe Wilson – I remember Miss Havisham…2016

The Sadness…

It became the time of The Sadness
The world had lost its chi
There was more, so much more killing
Every fifth life, a refugee.

Controversial depleted uranium
Was filling every armoured shell
Determined weapons businesses
Were sending the people to Hell.

And the people all behaved as sheep
Just milled around and waited
Till not a one was left there
Red mist passion was finally sated.

©Joe Wilson – The Sadness…2015

My life less ordinary

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As the years go flying past
you realise just how much
your perspective changes and
when I now look back at how
things were I realise that far
from having had an uneventful life
mine has been one so full and rich
with love and laughter that I wonder
that there was time for it all to fit.

How we laughed as we left the wedding reception
and all those ‘old fogeys’ and drove away
to enjoy our honeymoon together – alone!
and how we loved each other finding fun in
all that we did together, sometimes
just looking at each other – and how
highly amused we were by the ‘jobs-worth’
car-park attendant by our hotel who stuck his hand out
the moment we crossed his threshold and said
“ten pee please”, he did it every time we went
there, often just to hear him say it again, and
how beautiful you looked in that dress that was
covered in the lovely cherry design. I think
everybody else loved you too.

How wonderful the mead tasted as we sat by the
pub fire in a place we’d never before heard of
never letting go of each others hands for a minute
and how the regulars who treated us so nicely
must have thought we were a bit bonkers.

The joys in raising our beloved children and
the intertwining pain of watching them sometimes
get a little hurt along the way, but our always
being there to help them find their own right solutions
has helped weave a rich tapestry through our lives.
The times when you want to take their pain and
make it your own – but can’t, the smile on their faces
and their laughter as they play with friends and
of course the grumpy expressions as they rail against
doing homework and tidying things like bedrooms. But
what pride we felt at their achievements along the way.

And now they too are married, one on a beach
under a lovely blue sky on the other side
of the world, and one in a most beautiful
church in our capital city. We spend such a
lot of time laughing with our grandchildren,
they are so very clever, and so funny – and
they just make us feel so young again.

Illness – illness!! Now there’s an unfortunate
word, one that has been used in our lives rather
more often than we would like. My wife has been ill,
survived and can still love and laugh. I have too,
but I can still love and laugh. Our children are not
unscathed either from this darker part of growing older,
and yet they too still happily love and laugh very much
and with all their hearts. Illness really is just
a small percentage of our time here.

So now when I reflect on my life I realise that
far from being ordinary I have been very lucky
indeed to have taken part in a life that has overflowed
with love and fun and laughter and only the occasional
sadness and it’s then that we help each other through
to the other side of it. It turns out the fact is
there has been nothing ordinary about my life at all.

And I’ll not be bowing out yet – not yet

©Joe Wilson – My life less ordinary 2014