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Jan 2018 · 262
Moments
Words flutter by us,
Caught in their moments,
Words sent to try us,
‘Loss’ and ‘Elopements’,
Some may inspire us,
Others may burn,
Once they decry us
They never return

Some were left out there,
When I was young,
Caught in the frost where
My youth was undone.
Some may pass by me
More often, and then,
Echo in silence and
Drip from my pen.

Where do they float to,
That is the mystery,
Some learnt by rote to
Be writ in each history,
Others elude us but
Catch at our breath,
Slide in our coffins and
Hound us to death.

While we are ever
Living and breathing,
Some words should never
Be heard, one is ‘Leaving’,
Three words are only
Both honest and true,
Should one be left lonely,
And those, ‘I love you.’

David Lewis Paget
Dec 2017 · 291
The Selfling
I saw her first in the lighting flash
That lit her up in the storm,
The rain was beating on down to slash
Her more than shapely form,
She’d just emerged from a woodland copse
Was soaked as she could be,
So came to shelter beneath the
Mighty Oak, along with me.

Her hair was more than bedraggled, but
As black as a phantom crow,
Her clothes were old and ragged, but
They clung to her figure so,
I asked her what had possessed her then
To wander out in the rain,
She looked at me and began to pout,
‘I could well ask you the same.’

I said I wasn’t prepared for it,
It came down out of the blue,
Just as the sun went underground
And dark, so what about you?
She said that she only ventured out
When the daylight was eclipsed,
In wind and storm she was newly born
On an evening such as this.

But then she sighed and I saw her eyes
Weren’t blue or green, but black,
Her lips an unearthly red, like blood,
No lipstick looked like that.
She said, ‘they call me The Selfling, for
I offer myself for free,
I give whatever you want, but then
I take what I want for me.’

She lay down under that mighty tree
And pulled me down on top,
Onto a pile of Autumn leaves,
And said, ‘now don’t you stop.’
I must confess that I did no less
Than The Selfling said to do,
As she took me into that wilderness
There was pain and pleasure too.

Her teeth bit into my helpless wrist
As we rolled there in the mud,
I felt my essence begin to ebb
As she took a pint of blood.
When I awoke I was on my own
Though I caught a final glimpse,
Of her, in a flash of lightning, though
I’ve never seen her since.

David Lewis Paget
Dec 2017 · 227
The Elopement
‘Be waiting up at the window,’ said
The note he sent by hand,
‘I’ll come and collect you at midnight,’
Said the note, ‘the way we planned.’
She heard the clatter of hoofbeats in
The courtyard down below,
And waved to him from the window
As she seized her portmanteau.

She quickly skipped down the staircase
Holding both her shoes in hand,
Trying to avoid the clatter as
She raced down to her man,
It only took but a moment then
To seat her on his horse,
And gallop out of the courtyard on
Their way to the watercourse.

A light appeared in an upper room
And they heard her father roar,
‘By God, you’ll pay for your insolence,
I told you once before.’
He’d promised her to a Banker’s clerk
Who had paid him for her hand,
Though she had said that it wouldn’t work,
She had bowed to his command.

But then the couple had plotted,
He was sworn to break her free,
‘If anyone is to marry, it
Will just be you to me.’
They headed down to the water where
The sloop, ‘The Esperance’,
Was waiting for their arrival
Before sailing off to France.

It took an hour to set the sails
And wait for the tide to turn,
They hid themselves below the deck
In a cabin at the stern,
But soon the thunder of hoofbeats said
They must have been found out,
For then they heard her father’s call,
‘It’s best that you come out,’

He ventured slowly out on the deck
To reason with the man,
Then saw the flash of the powder that
Was loaded in the pan,
The ball cut straight through his windpipe,
Left him sprawling on the deck,
While she was dragged from below, and screamed
‘All curses on your neck.’

He locked her into an attic room
And he wouldn’t let her out,
Though she would wail, and would scream at him,
And curse and yell, and shout,
She waited up till the early hours
Then she set her room alight,
The fire spread till they all were dead
From that single candlelight.

It sits as a blackened ruin now
With soot on the standing walls,
A testament to a daughter who
Refused to be overruled,
And still some nights when the moon is bright
There’s a whisper, close at hand,
‘I’ll come and collect you at midnight,
And we’ll leave, the way we planned.’

David Lewis Paget
Dec 2017 · 683
The French Corvette
At midnight, out on the cobblestones
There’s the sound of rolling wheels,
And a shadow cast on a window pane
From the road outside, it steals,
A wagon, black in its livery,
And pulled by a single horse,
As black as the heart of the man that steers,
Whipped up from the watercourse.

From down in a tiny inlet, deep
Enough for a man of war,
A French corvette is lying, waiting,
Just metres away from shore,
It carried a cargo of brandy, wine,
And cases full of tea,
Smuggled into the tiny cove
Its goods all duty free.

Now it’s waiting upon the tide
To turn the ship around,
Its cargo gone in the wagon now,
Headed for higher ground,
And then the galloping hoofbeats echo
Over the cobblestones,
The crack of a couple of pistols and
The air is filled with groans.

The horse breaks free of its halter and
The wagon rolls back down,
It’s shadow passing my window pane
A second time around,
It rolls back into the harbour while
I hear the boom of guns,
Firing from the French Corvette
As it hoists its sail, and runs.

Once a year on the fifth of June
And late into the night,
Whenever the moon is lying low
And casting down its light,
I see the shadows and hear the sounds
From that deadly time of yore,
As the ghostly French Corvette departs
And sails from the ghostly shore.

And glistening out on the cobblestones
There’s a dampness, looks like mud,
That dissipates in an hour or two,
A pool of the smuggler’s blood,
I dare not go to the window, look,
Or even open the door,
In case I’m carried away by them
From two hundred years before.

David Lewis Paget
Dec 2017 · 364
You May Glimpse Wings...
He took to the skies most every night
Unfurling his wings of black, not white,
Invisible in the night sky when
He hovered above the world of men.

‘Go out and bring me a ****** girl,’
His master bade from his darkling world,
But scanning this broad humanity
There wasn’t a ****** he could see.

He’d scan and swoop from his greater height
When the clouds got into his way at night,
And beam on in to the female kind,
To enter their thoughts, and read each mind.

Then every day he’d return back home
Reporting back where his master roamed,
‘There isn’t a one,’ he said, ‘You’re sure?
You surely can find me one that’s pure.’

‘I scan three hundred and more each night,
And none of their thoughts are pearly white,
For even the ones not quite undone
Have dreams that tell them it might be fun.’

‘I have to say that they sometimes shock
With dirtier minds than the weathercock,
A ****** body is easy to find,
But not one pure with a ****** mind.’

He still flies out in the midnight world
In a fruitless search for a ****** girl,
Pure in body and pure in mind,
But now extinct in our humankind.

He tells his master his search is cursed,
There’s none to find in the universe,
His darkling master is left confused,
‘Perhaps you would like one barely used?’

But no, his master will still insist,
And waits in vain for his ****** tryst,
So that’s why, under a harvest moon,
You may glimpse wings in the month of June.

David Lewis Paget
Dec 2017 · 246
The Ringmaster
There were tigers, bears and elephants,
The day that the circus came,
And dwarves and clowns in our tiny town
It never would be the same.
The people stared as it passed on by
It was like a grand parade,
If only we’d known what was going down,
It was time to be afraid.

The tent went up in the open field
Behind old Barney’s store,
And lines of booths for the local youths
At a penny or so a draw,
While lines of coloured bulbs lit up
Where the fairground rides were set,
And musical hurdy-gurdies sounded
Just like a passing jet.

Then girls in flimsy bikinis flew
Up and under the top,
A giant net underneath them, yet
In case that one might drop.
The Ringmaster with his hat and whip
And his giant, curled moustache,
Kept all of the ******* riders straight
In line, and under his lash.

The elephants were herded in
And stood on their great hind legs,
Trumpeting sighs, and rolling their eyes,
Just like a dog that begs.
The clowns raced in and disrupted all
Clambering over the seats,
And roused the crowd, that laughed out loud
At all their ridiculous feats.

At ten, the tent had begun to whirl
And the audience went still,
As hounds had bounded in and around,
The Hounds of the Baskervilles.
A massive bell had begun to chime
The Ringmaster’s coat turned black,
He grew in size right before their eyes
And some had a heart attack.

He grew two horns on top of his head
That made him look like a goat,
And then a shimmering tail of dread
Slid out, from under his coat.
‘You pays yer money and takes yer choice,’
His voice boomed out in a bit,
The prayers prayed and the screamers screamed
As the floor sank into a pit.

The first three rows fell into the pit,
The rest of us stood and cowered,
While he just floated and cracked his whip
Over his pit of power.
And flames shot up from the pit below
To the chime of the Black Mass Bell,
We knew we stood at that terrible hour
By the Seventh Circle of Hell.

Our lips were sealed, and I risk my soul
And any future of grace,
By telling you all just what went down
In this, now devilish place.
You’ll see the field behind Barney’s store
Lies burnt, still black with their blood,
Where once the Devil’s own circus came
And set up in our neighbourhood.

David Lewis Paget
Dec 2017 · 413
Well We Might
There once was time to sit and spin
The dream without, the light within
When young ideals like creed and rote
Would wreathe their blue tobacco smoke!

When wine was certain at each sip
When answers leapt at every lip,
Such were the days, when we all knew
If we were asked, what we would do.

But life began to call us in
And time, as such, has grown so thin,
We rush to do the things we must
While dreams, ideals, are things of dust.

And soon we turn our backs on them
Those shadows that were once young men
Who never dreamt hypocrisy
Would spill their dreams, philosophy;

And rule them with a rod of steel
And teach them well how not to feel,
And lead them blindly through their days –
They spare no thought for younger ways.

And where that dream, ideal, that once
Was held to spell deliverance?
Well we might ask, and well we might;
It’s life, not death, puts out the light!

David Lewis Paget
Dec 2017 · 184
Amnesia
I came home to an empty house
To find that you were out,
That you’d be home much later, then
I hadn’t any doubt,
But the day stretched into evening
Without a sight of you,
And you didn’t even call me
Like you always used to do.

When you’d not returned by midnight
I was worried, and was stressed,
I’d thought to call the police, but didn’t
Know just what was best,
You might have been embarrassed if
I’d simply jumped the gun,
And you came home unharmed to say:
‘I went out, having fun.’

The day stretched into weeks and still
You never came back home,
Though everyone was looking, saying
‘Jen’s gone off to roam.’
I couldn’t quite believe it for
We’d never had a spat,
Some evil had befallen you,
I was so sure of that.

A year went by of heartache but
I hadn’t given up,
The house became so lonely when
I had to bite or sup,
To say I cried a river for
A year would understate,
That desolation feeling that
I’d lost my only mate.

And then down on the jetty of
A distant coastal town,
I thought I saw your figure, with
A man, and looking round,
I followed you and caught you
As you got into his car,
But you had simply stared at me,
‘I don’t know who you are.’

The man was quite aggressive, said
‘You’re talking to my girl.
You’d better not annoy us, I’ll
Reorganise your world,’
I cried, ‘Don’t you remember me?’
And called her name out, ‘Jen,’
She simply stood and stared at me
And said, ‘My name is Gwen.’

He dropped you at a hospital,
I’d followed in the rain,
And saw you go inside alone,
While all I felt was pain,
I waited till the man had left
And went in through the door,
Sought out the doctor tending you
Up on the second floor.

He said you had amnesia
Were picked up in the street,
That you had wandered aimlessly
He thought, about a week,
I told him how you’d left one day
And walked out of my life,
And that your name was Jenny, you
Were certainly my wife.

There wasn’t much that he could do,
I’d visit every day,
And talk about my life with you,
You’d stare in your dismay,
‘My life was just a blank,’ you said,
‘Before you came along,
But if I can’t remember you,
To love you would be wrong.’

I left you there and went back home
But gave you our address,
And hoped that you would call one day,
I couldn’t ask for less,
And when you did, your eyes lit up,
‘I do remember now,
I’d fallen out of love with you,
And had to leave somehow.’

David Lewis Paget
Nov 2017 · 157
Christmastime
Christmastime was lurking at
The corner of the street,
Just waiting for the 25th.,
It tried to be discreet.
It didn’t want to force itself
On Muslims or on Jews,
On atheists, agnostics, or
On skepticism views.

It checked on all the homes that hung
Their holly in the hall,
Dressed up their trees with mistletoe
Hung greetings on the wall.
It wants us to be jolly
It’s a giving time of year,
Of gifts of Roses Chocolates,
And cartons full of beer.

For Christmastime is such a gift
To every creed and race,
It doesn’t have the time to check
On every scowling face,
For all of those believers it’s
The birthday of their Lord,
The one and only saviour
With the favour of his word.

So think on Christmas morning
Of the Lord and of his grace,
Watch emerging little children with
A smile on every face,
And kiss all your beloved ones
Standing by the Christmas tree,
So that Christmas won’t be lurking
At the birth of Jesus C.

David Lewis Paget
Nov 2017 · 157
Castle McClair
There wasn’t a lot of the Castle left,
A couple of Towers, and Keep,
Most of the walls had fallen in
To a courtyard, full of sheep.
It stood up high on a Scottish hill
Now all enclosed by a farm,
But once there was always blue-blood there,
Brought in by its Highland charm.

It ruled all over the countryside
That it mastered, looking down,
Bolstered by the power of a Laird
With a royal court and a clown,
The Laird was a noble, Ralph McClair,
And his wife, a Lady Ann,
A beauty brought from the Western Isles
But from quite a different clan.

The clown was a kinsman, Rod McBain
Who’d been held from a local feud,
At court he’d been made to entertain
For the peace that his kinsmen sued.
They never ceased to humiliate
McBain for his royal blood,
And dressed him in bells and motley there,
Simply because they could.

From what one knows, as the story goes
When McClair rode far and wide,
Taxing the poorest peasants there
For the sake of his royal pride,
It came one day he returned, they say,
To discover his Lady Ann,
In flagrante delicto in
The arms of a naked man.

The man just happened to be McBain
Who was seized, and his features spoiled,
They ripped the flesh from his back and dropped
Him into a cask of oil,
The oil was heated to boiling point
Till his screams rang out, and loud,
While she was naked, paraded there
In front of the courtyard crowd.

His screams and cries and the lady’s sighs
Ate into the castle walls,
And that they say is the only way
To explain the stonework falls,
A fungus grew in the mortar there
And destroyed the Castle McClair,
And as I say, if you go today
You will see the result right there.

For up on that distant Scottish height
You will see the remains of love,
Especially when the Northern Lights
Light up the sky from above,
For stones still fall from the Towers and Keep,
At night, and in winter rain,
And crash down into the courtyard, but
Sounding like screams of pain.

David Lewis Paget
Nov 2017 · 131
A Tale Will Tell
He was only a simple storyteller
But looked much like a clown,
He wore red, yellow and jingle bells
When coming to our town,
He’d sit outside by the wishing well
And gather up all the kids,
Who’d laugh, and clap their little hands
At everything he did.

The parents, they didn’t like him much,
Their eyes were filled with fear,
They thought, like the Pied Piper, all
Their kids might disappear.
He seemed to be so harmless, though
He won their trust, despite
The stories that he would whisper by
The wishing well each night.

He set up a little pay booth at
The well, and scrawled a sign,
‘I only charge but a dollar each
For the stories that are mine.’
But no-one left any money
At his tiny little hut,
So everyone woke one day to find
Their doors were nailed shut.

And then they found in their gardens
There were strange things in the ground,
All their veggies were growing square
That should be growing round,
He told a tale of ungrateful folk
Who proved to be so mean,
Their square was filling with artichokes,
Their lawns were blue, not green.

He asked, would nobody pay him
For his stories and his verse,
They said there wasn’t a way in hell,
But he could do his worst,
The beer was turned into water down
At all the local bars,
And when they went to go home, they found
They couldn’t start their cars.

They dragged him before a magistrate
Who said, ‘You’re quite a threat,’
He jingled his bells and said, ‘Oh well,
You ain’t seen nothing yet.’
The bench the magistrate sat upon
Was wood, cut down from trees,
And suddenly sprouted branches
Five feet high and thick with leaves.

They couldn’t admit what he had done,
He’d made them look like fools,
He had a rapport with nature and
He’d modified the rules,
‘I’ve only to tell a story, it
Becomes a new creation,
Anything that I want, I get
From my imagination.’

Everyone pays their dollar now
The streets are neat and clean,
The carrots aren’t growing upside down
And even the lawns are green,
But everyone’s still suspicious when
It comes to telling tales,
They still remember about their doors
And hide their hammers and nails.

David Lewis Paget
Nov 2017 · 155
The Bloody Train
By a stream of running water,
Underneath a moonless sky,
Like a nightmare of a slaughter
The blood-spattered train goes by.
Where the rails have long been rusted
All along the valley plain,
There the train, so blood encrusted
Will repeat its run again.

I can hear the rails humming
To the rhythm of its wheels,
As the train, it keeps on coming,
As the driver’s mind, it reels,
And he stares out through the darkness
With each glaring, bloodshot eye,
He will have to face the horror
When he stops the train, or die.

There’s a skull smashed on the boiler,
There’s an arm caught on a ledge,
There is blood and guts and gore all spattered,
On the front, and wedged,
When the train ploughed through the gangers who
Were working on the track,
Then their blood sprayed through his cabin
And he didn’t dare look back.

Then the fireman had to ***** as
Their blood sprayed in his face,
But he heaped the coals upon it just
To keep their frantic pace,
And now both their eyes are crazy at
The slaughter they have done,
They are bound for hell, not heaven
On this final ghostly run.

It’s been sixty seven years now since
That train raced down that track,
And those seven men were slaughtered,
But they keep on coming back,
By a stream of running water,
Underneath a moonless sky,
Like a nightmare of a slaughter
The blood-spattered train goes by.

David Lewis Paget
Nov 2017 · 178
Uncle John
My Uncle John was a woebegone
In the all out way of things,
Wherever he went, no sun had shone
And we all were ding-a-lings.

He had no time for the hoi poloi
Or women who rant and tweet,
He’d pick on their saddest attributes
When he said they had **** feet.

But those that he hated most were men
With money, and stick-out ears,
He said they could overhear him when
He whispered to privateers.

When I was a boy, I looked for joy
But he only gave me grief,
He’d say a bloke with a silly joke
Was simply a petty thief.

He’d never praise original thought
He’d say that it sounded dumb,
His wife Elaine said he’d still complain
As long as he sat on his ***.

She once cooked him a glorious meal
He muttered, and spat it out,
So Aunt Elaine said, ‘it’s such a shame,
I thought it might give him gout.’

I have to tell it was just as well,
He came to a terrible end,
He fell right back with a heart attack
When somebody called him ‘friend.’

We planted a bed of chrysanthemums
On his plot in the cemetery,
It gives him something to ***** about
When the cats go there to ***.

David Lewis Paget
Nov 2017 · 375
Following the Sage
You sat in your chair, and read your book,
As often I’ve seen you do,
While each now and then I’d peek a look,
A glance filled with love for you.
The hour was late, but you didn’t stir,
I said I’d be off to bed,
I noticed your look was fixed on your book
So it went right over your head.

I lay awake for an hour or two,
And thought that you might come up,
We’d both had coffee before I came,
I’d made you a second cup,
You may have fallen asleep down there
All cuddled up in your chair,
I cleared my head, and got out of bed,
Thinking to call you there.

I ventured into a darkened lounge
And found that the power had failed,
While lighting flashed through the open blinds,
And thunder above assailed.
But still you sat in your cozy nook
And stared straight down at the page,
Clinging on to your open book
By an old, forgotten sage.

I called you once, and I called you twice
But you didn’t move or stir,
I tried to shake you awake, but you
Were cold in the cool night air.
Your face was pale in the flashing light
Of the lightning bursts outside,
And then the terrible truth came out,
You’d sat in your chair, and died.

I tried so hard to revive you, but
You didn’t allay my fears,
Your eyes were open, but dull and black,
While my own eyes filled with tears.
I laid your open book on the hearth
And tried to preserve the page,
The final one you were looking at
As you left this mortal stage.

And often now I stare at that book
At the final words you read,
As death crept up and it claimed you then
As those words rang in your head:
‘You must let go and come walk with me
To the green fields of the park,
Just take my hand and then leave with me,
Don’t be afraid of the dark.’

David Lewis Paget
Nov 2017 · 492
The Attempt
I’d decided that I’d drown myself
And waded from the shore,
If I had to live without you
I would want to live no more,
For you’d shouted that you’d done with me,
There was no second chance,
Though I’d loved and thought you needed me
You ended our romance.

They had said it was more pleasant than
A gunshot to the chest,
That you’d slowly drift away, and
Wouldn’t leave quite such a mess,
And I didn’t fancy dying from
A bullet in the head,
It would spoil the later viewing
Even though I would be dead.

I could always cut my throat, I thought,
To make you scream and shout,
For my blood would stain your carpet
You would never get it out,
But I thought it might be painful for
That thirty second bleed,
And at best, I’m quite the coward,
It was pain I didn’t need.

So I came in my depression to
The shingle on the shore,
And I watched the massive breakers
As the tide came in once more,
Then it struck me, it was easy
All I had to do was wade,
Way on out to deeper water where
My body could be laid.

I’d be caught by undercurrents,
Taken right out by the rip,
Would be ****** right down and drowned on this
My final deadly trip,
So I pushed on out and waded there,
And pushed against the tide,
Though I wouldn’t be quite honest if
I didn’t say I cried.

Every time I made a hundred yards
The breakers took me in,
As if the white capped rollers wouldn’t
Help me in my sin,
They were thrusting me back shoreward
Every time I tried to turn,
Until I was exhausted
And I found I couldn’t drown.

Then I staggered from the water and
I fell upon my face,
And I thought your voice was calling
Till I looked and saw you, Grace,
You were holding out a towel while
You stood and caught your breath,
Then you said, ‘Get dry, and come back home,
It’s cold, you’ll catch your death.’

David Lewis Paget
I thought that I was the only one
Who had never found a mate,
I’d been so busy with other things
That I’d left it up to fate,
Then I was suddenly fortyish
When I started looking round,
But other people had caught the fish
That were swimming in our town.

The single ones were too young for me,
Their glances all were cold,
Whenever I’d proposition one
They’d say, ‘You’re much too old.’
And fate had seemingly passed me by
For my early diffidence,
It said, ‘you couldn’t be bothered,
Now there is no recompense.’

Though most unkind I became resigned
To my lonely single state,
I thought that whether I lived forever
I’d never get a date,
I’d wander aimlessly round the square
Of my village, Gretchley Green,
And sit alone on the benches there
To watch the passing scene.

I thought I knew every woman there
As they passed, or pushed a pram,
And some went by with their only guy
Or would not know who I am.
But then one day just a yard away
Passed a woman dressed in black,
Her face was covered in net, but then
She turned, was heading back.

She came and sat on the bench by me
And said that her feet were sore,
She’d had to walk from the town hall clock
On some yet unmentioned chore.
I said I’d carry her bag for her
And would see her safely home,
But then I spied her sparkling eyes
As the net on her face was blown.

She didn’t look very miserable
For a widow, dressed in black,
But said she’d had a terrible loss,
He’d died of a heart attack.
Though we’d just met, she removed the net
And I saw her dimpled cheeks,
Her hair in clips and her full, red lips
That would haunt my mind for weeks.

She started passing me every day
As I lazed in the village square,
And often sat on the bench with me,
‘I thought that I saw you there.’
We’d talk of the trivialities
That you find in village life,
I said that it must be strange for her
As a widow, and not a wife.

I think I must have embarrassed her
So I let the subject drop,
She said she had a confession, but
I told her then to stop.
I wouldn’t pry in her private life
Or her deep felt hurt or grief,
She must have loved her departed one,
So I felt like a furtive thief.

She ceased to cover her hair or face
But she still remained in black,
Though wearing more of a jump suit now
Designed for field or track.
It showed her marvellous figure off
And my heart stuck in my throat,
I said if only I’d met her first,
And she said, ‘you surely joke.’

It took me weeks to confess my love
When she turned to me, and kissed,
She said, ‘I prayed to the lord above,
Now I’m really feeling blessed.
It’s hard for me to approach a man
So I had to work a ruse,
I hope that you will forgive my plan…’
But she left me all confused.

‘I’d watched from off in the distance
And I really fancied you,
I couldn’t come, for it isn’t done,
I didn’t know what to do.
I’m not a widow at all, you know,
I’ll have to make it plain,
The one I lost to a heart attack
Was just my pet Great Dane.’

David Lewis Paget
Nov 2017 · 239
Starlight
We had lain back in the meadow
Looking up to see the stars,
They were clustered all together
We were trying to find ours,
For we each had picked a single star
Up in the sky so high,
Then I rolled around to face you
And I found your naked thigh.

They were not among the brightest stars
Up in the sky that night,
But they shone on down upon us
With a pale and pinkish light,
And I wondered why the astral ray
Was pink, and nothing less,
When I realised, reflected was
The tint of naked flesh.

For your dress, it lay unbuttoned,
Was flung open, side to side,
There was nothing left uncovered,
Not your body, nor your pride,
You had never let me see your
Secret places there before,
But you whispered, ‘take me gently,
You may enter at the core.’

Now there wasn’t but a single inch
Of you but gave me bliss,
Not an inch of pulsing womanhood
I felt I couldn't kiss,
From your ankles to your calves and up
Along each silky thigh,
To that tiny sacred wilderness
That opened to the sky.

I have tasted balm from heaven
From your ankles to your breast,
For your love is all encompassing
I’d not expected less,
And I thank the lord for giving joy
When stars above us shine,
For giving life to womanhood,
And for his grand design.

David Lewis Paget
Nov 2017 · 141
The Image
I’ve been looking in the mirror
Every day since I was three,
Till a week ago I looked again
And saw it wasn’t me.
For this haggard face with wrinkles
And grey hair that should be black,
Took my place within the mirror,
And it stood there, staring back.

Sure, it registered surprise and seemed
To stare, and be in shock,
And behind me in the mirror stood
Our old grandfather clock,
It was ticking off the moments,
All that I had left of life,
So in case it was an omen, then
I thought I’d call the wife.

‘Can you see that ancient visage
In the glass, Penelope?
It’s supposed to be my image
But I think it isn’t me,’
And Penelope had stood and stared
Then shook her greying hair,
‘Yes, that scar was on your left cheek, dear,
But now it isn’t there.’

I was staring at the visage and
It gave me quite a fright,
For that scar upon my left cheek now
Showed firmly on the right.
And the parting in my hair was not
Just where it used to be,
For most everything was back to front,
So who the hell was he?

‘There’s a demon in the mirror,’
I exclaimed, ‘it has my mole,
And it’s come here from the devil just
To claim my mortal soul,’
So I seized a ball pein hammer and
Attacked the mirror glass,
Till it shattered into tiny shards,
That’s seven years, alas!

We’ve not allowed a mirror in
The house, from then to now,
We won’t invite a demon in,
We’ll keep him out, somehow.
We know we both are ageing, but
We’re not as bad as that,
Penelope will paint her face,
While I just wear a hat.

David Lewis Paget
Nov 2017 · 146
Writing
I’m so heartily sick of writing
As I do most every day,
I’m missing that flash of lightning as
I write my life away.
My friends are dead, or went on ahead
As they left me on the page,
And said, ‘You just fill the details in
While we go off to rage.’

I get no sense of achievement from
A page that’s white and blank,
I have to fill in some alphabet
Of scenes that I once drank,
I search around for a storyline
That no-one wrote before,
It’s like a flea on an elephant,
That’s what I’m looking for.

At least I fashion my characters
The way I’d like them be,
The men so brutally strong, and then
The women willowy,
The latter tend to be acrobats
So supple, every night,
And take up a shape impossible
To fill me with delight.

My ladies all are submissive as
They dribble from my pen,
They ask me what I would like to do
And I reply, ‘but then…’
I flip through the Kama Sutra for
The inspiration lacked,
And have them jumping through hoops to prove
How well each one is stacked.

But still I’m lacking a storyline
To put my people through,
So I look out of my window just
To watch what folk will do,
The world out there is a scary place
When I look down from above,
The only theme that is not obscene
Is the fairytale of love.

So in the end you can party folks
Go out to roar and rage,
I’d rather sit here alone and live
Here on the printed page,
It may not be as exciting as
An extra-marital fling,
But I’m content with the themes I’m lent
Because writing is my thing.

David Lewis Paget
Nov 2017 · 215
The Invisible Ship
Caroline called from the balcony
To join her and check out the bay,
‘You wouldn’t believe, there’s a barquentine,
You never see them today.’
I looked and I scanned the horizon there
But all I could see was the pier,
There wasn’t a sign of a barquentine
And all the horizon was clear.

‘I can see nothing,’ I told her then,
‘The sea is as calm as a pond,’
‘I’ll give you a hint, just make your eyes squint,
Then look to the pier and beyond.’
And suddenly there was a shadow shape,
That looked like a barquentine,
But out where it lay, it was old and grey,
And something about it obscene.

‘It makes me uneasy,’ I said to her,
‘There’s something transparent and cold,’
‘I think it’s romantic,’ was her reply,
‘It must be two hundred years old.’
It gave me the shivers, I went inside,
As rain pelted in at our door,
Though Caroline wouldn’t come in, but sighed,
And stayed where she’d stood before.

That night I woke up in the early hours
To find she had gone from our bed,
I followed her footsteps down to the pier
And saw her just walking ahead.
But Caroline wasn’t alone out there
She walked with a man I could see,
And holding his hand, she kissed him, and,
Was as transparent as he.

Then back in the cottage I found her there,
All restless, and tumbled in bed,
She suddenly woke, and gasped as she spoke,
‘I’ve had a strange dream in my head.
I’d been making love in that barquentine
To someone that I never knew,
He said we should go, but I told him ‘No’,
And then I came looking for you.'

We got up at dawn as the sun came up,
Walked out to the balcony,
We squinted our eyes, but to our surprise,
All we could see was the sea.
There wasn’t a sign of that barquentine
But only an empty pier,
And Caroline sighed, stood at my side,
‘Some things are much more than queer.’

David Lewis Paget
Nov 2017 · 159
The Portent
We lived right up on a grassy bluff
That looked down on the sea,
In a tiny cottage, fit for two,
Just Arabelle and me.
But Arabelle was a wistful wraith
Insubstantial in the flesh,
She hovered around in her ghostlike way
With an air of faint distress.

The surrounding air was turbulent
For it always seemed to blow,
Over the top of the bluff from depths
Down in the cove below,
But Arabelle was restless in
Even the faintest breeze,
Worse when the wind came surging up
And swaying the tops of trees.

‘Why do you let it get to you,
Why are you so forlorn?’
Often I’d say, as Arabelle
Would sit hunched up, at dawn.
‘I can detect a spirit there
That tumbles from out my breath,
That’s where the wind is coming from,
It’s a portent of death.’

Then she’d begin to gasp for air
As if she couldn’t breathe,
I’d say, ‘there’s plenty of air out there,
It rattles around the eaves,’
I’d take her hand and I’d lead her out
Walking along the bluff,
While she took many a gulp of air
Until she had had enough.

She died quite early one Sunday when
The wind had clattered outside,
I found her slumped on the grassy bluff
From watching the rising tide,
But now, there’s only a gentle breeze
Since I’ve been living alone,
I only hear the clattering gale
When visiting her headstone.

David Lewis Paget
Nov 2017 · 143
Only The Wind
They laid her out on a plastic sheet
Where she stared unseeingly,
With nothing to cover her naked form
When they said, ‘Come in and see.’
I thought how she would be mortified
To be naked under their gaze,
But she was laid in the mortuary
For this was her end of  days.

That final humiliation is saved
To be served at the end of life,
They saw her just as an empty shell,
But I, as my loving wife.
She still looked stunning, and had the form
That would peak any man’s desire,
But all of life had been ripped and torn
Before she entered the fire.

They’d taken her kidneys, liver too,
And had left some **** scars,
But her gorgeous *******, and that little nest
Were left, for they had been ours.
I’d not have shared her with anyone,
We’d ****** at each other’s breath,
But she had signed for her organs, so
I had to share her with death.

I heard the crackle of flames behind
The grim steel plate of the door,
That they would open, and ****** her in
Just like a victim of war,
The horror tales of the holocaust
Came flitting across my brain,
That final test that would scorch the flesh
And all I could feel was pain.

She’s sitting up on the mantlepiece
In an urn of marble and stone,
A red ribbon sash, surrounding her ash,
I couldn’t leave her alone.
I hear her sigh in the early hours
As she did, whenever we sinned,
And wander around our lonely house,
Perhaps, it’s only the wind.

David Lewis Paget
Nov 2017 · 115
Love
To what degree does love survive
No matter what it cost,
Can man escape lost love alive
Once it is truly lost?
When let into a tender heart
Love pierces man’s defence,
And leaves the heart with battle scars
Without much recompense.

The early Spring of love will bring
A new and urgent beat,
As love will raise his footsteps up
A foot above the street.
And nature seems to smile on him
From blue, unclouded skies,
The Summer of his love will beam
From her adoring eyes.

But Autumn brings the falling leaves
All dry and burned up, sere,
Once she begins to turn her back
At this time of the year.
Then love will show its darker side
Will threaten to depart,
As he despairs at her grim cares
That tear and shred his heart.

Foul winter is the final stage
When he awakes one day,
To echoes of her footsteps as
He finds she's gone away.
Then life will stretch before him like
A grim, unending storm,
As love will turn its back on him,
He’ll wish he’d not been born.

David Lewis Paget
Nov 2017 · 151
Raglan Roc
Raglan Roc was a Warlock, and
He lived up on Mandrake Hill,
Up where the witches gathered
Once a month, for a coven spell,
He tended his herbal garden, growing
Mugwort, sage and ash,
Supplying the monthly coven, though
He never would deal in cash.

They paid him in philtres, magic charms,
And the odd love potion or two,
For some of the witches were younger ones,
He’d say, ‘Let’s try it on you.’
And they would giggle and ride their brooms
Right into the witching Dell,
To check out the Warlock’s magic wand
As he put them under his spell.

He didn’t believe in favourites
But welcomed more than a few,
Till half the coven had buns in the oven
And didn’t know what to do.
They got too heavy to ride their brooms
Back down to the village street,
But waddled along the cobblestones,
Tripping over their feet.

And husband’s, down in the village square
Would mutter and moan, nonplussed,
‘Here comes another, a magic mother,
It should have been one of us.
The place will be full of ankle biters
If this don’t come to a stop,
All with a set of tiny horns
And looking like Raglan Roc.’

They followed the witches up the hill
On a coven day in June,
And each one carried a baseball bat
On that sunny afternoon,
They played a tinkling game that day
On his ribs and his Warlock form,
And by the time that they went away
They’d chopped off his favourite horn.

The witches no longer go up the hill
They say it isn’t much fun,
Not since the Warlock lost his pants
And his flirting days are done.
They get their herbs from the corner shop
And they weave their spells ad hoc,
While ankle biters still roam the streets
To remind them of Raglan Roc.

David Lewis Paget
Nov 2017 · 275
Death Called My Name...
Death called my name, and I replied,
‘I’m not quite ready now.
There must be others, more deserving
Of your time, somehow.
I find I still have much to do
Or leave the world in debt,
For instance, all the many women
I’ve not slept with yet.

‘You’ve followed me for far too long,
I’ve felt you on my tail,
Your hot breath on my neck, though I
Tried not to leave a trail.
My health is not the best, it’s true,
But there are some far worse,
The great decision’s up to you
But you should take them first.’

‘I noticed when you call my name
There’s some disparity,
With other names almost the same
You used a second ’t’,
Go back and check the register
You’ll find some other guy,
Who hides behind my name, he’s game,
But you should ask him ‘why?’’

‘You’ve stalked the world for far too long
In you there’s little grace,
You’ve taken everyone I loved,
You give no breathing space.
Don’t worry, I shall let you know
When I am done with life,
Should you want one to practice on
You might try my ex-wife.’

David Lewis Paget
Nov 2017 · 237
Lost Youth
‘I wish that I could be young again,’
He sighed from his easy chair,
Watching the film he’d made back then
When there was still time to spare.
‘Why would you want to go back to that,’
His wife said, ‘What about me?
We hadn’t met when you made that film
Back in 1963.’

Margaret lit an incense stick
And sandalwood filled the air,
A heavy aroma filled the room
As Derek continued to stare.
And there was his wife, at seventeen,
Just walking along the pier,
Should he go up and say hello.
Or should he just disappear?

He suddenly felt so fit, and light,
He hadn’t felt that for years,
Then turned to look at his ageing wife
As her eyes all filled with tears.
‘You wouldn’t pick me again,’ she said,
‘Not knowing what you know now,’
He would have replied, but love was dead,
Had died, he didn’t know how.

‘I wouldn’t know what I’d do again,
Given the self-same choice,’
‘Surely you would,’ said Margaret then,
‘You would have chosen Joyce.’
He thought of Joyce in the winter barn
As she rolled with him in the hay,
What was the point that she’d said goodbye,
And ended up going away?

‘You were still going with Gordon then,’
He said, as if in reply,
‘I was surprised that you went with me,
You said that you loved the guy.’
But Margaret’s tears were flowing now
And rolling along each cheek,
She should have been true to Gordon, but
He’d gone away for a week.

‘Life is just full of ironies,’
He said, while stroking her hair,
‘There was a moment, back in time,
When you were suddenly there.
I thought that you cared, and I did too,
We both of us made a choice.’
Too little, too late, to think it now,
For Gordon had married Joyce.

David Lewis Paget
Nov 2017 · 149
The End of Dream
They had said that he was dying but
He might as well be home,
He was taking up an empty bed
At the hospital, in Rome,
And no amount of medicaments would
Bring him back to life,
So they threw him in an ambulance
And sent him to his wife.

And she, poor girl, was mystified
She didn’t need the stress,
Of tending to a cadaver while
She wore her party dress.
He saw the world through greying eyes
But he never made a sound,
He’d married her through thick and thin
But on thin, she’d let him down.

His days were grey and mist-like as
He looked around his room,
She’d kept the curtains pulled across
So he lay there in the gloom,
And shadows of her sister would
Stand pensive at his bed,
He’d loved, and he really missed her
But the sister long was dead.

Perhaps he should have married Grace
As the younger of the two,
But that would have left the elder one
Not knowing what to do.
The eldest must be married first
Or so the father said,
So Raymond Royce was given no choice
He’d married Gwen instead.

It seemed as if he woke sometimes
And he went to greet the day,
Out in the broader sunshine where
His pains had gone away.
But Gwen was never there with him
As she’d never been in life,
While Grace had sat and talked with him
As if she were alive.

And when Grace reached and held his hand
He thought that his heart would burst,
The tears he shed from his lonely bed
Said he had loved her first.
He asked why Grace had died on him
And she gave him his reply,
‘My sister Gwen had put poison in
That gift of an apple pie.’

‘She knew I only had eyes for you,
And she thought that you would leave,
She saw the way that you looked at me
And her heart began to grieve.
It wasn’t as if she wanted you
But she knew that if you left,
The world would see it as scandal
And would leave her quite bereft.’

And so he lay there, day by day
While his wife brought boyfriends home,
They lay there in the adjoining room
In that little flat in Rome.
While he could not decide between
Reality and dream,
The grey days were his night, he thought
And the brighter days his cream.

He knew just where he would rather be
In the day-like days with Grace,
But Gwen would settle beside his bed
And would mutter to his face.
He saw her dimly through the mist
And repeat beneath her breath,
‘How long, how long will you resist
When the end for you is death?’

The day came that the sun was bright,
It was time that he was fed,
While Grace looked on as her sister sat
Beside her husband’s bed.
And Grace had whispered between her tears
‘Don’t you even wonder why…’
While her sister, with a face so grim
Sat and fed him apple pie.

David Lewis Paget
Nov 2017 · 252
The Poltergeist
It started late on a Sunday night,
The sudden rattle of pans,
With nobody in the kitchen then,
‘What’s happening, Dianne?’
Dianne went pale and she looked at me
‘You’d better go down and see,
Maybe we have an intruder there,
Just keep him away from me.’

I went, but nobody there of course,
I didn’t think there was,
But two large knives on the cupboard were
Arranged in a sort of cross,
‘Didn’t you put the knives away,’
I called, but she was there,
Looking over my shoulder and
I saw that she was scared.

‘But I haven’t used those knives for days,
There’s something going on,
Somebody must have sneaked in here,
I tell you, this is wrong!’
I turned and I tried to comfort her,
‘There’s no-one in here now,
Just someone playing a crazy trick,
I’ll catch them out, somehow.’

But late that night, in the early hours
The bed began to shake,
Dianne woke up and she grabbed at me,
‘I think it’s a real earthquake.’
I tumbled onto the floor at that,
But the floor was still and sound,
Only the bed was shaking, quaking,
Just above the ground.

And that was only the start of it,
Strange things went on for weeks,
For things would fly off the table and
Plates off the mantlepiece.
A carving knife pinned me to the wall
By the collar of my shirt,
‘I don’t think somebody likes you,’ said
Dianne, ‘you might get hurt.’

Dianne had an ancient father who
Was mean as the day was young,
He hated me, and I used to say,
‘How did he stay unhung?’
We rarely went off to visit him
As he acted like a skunk,
But Dianne dragged me along at times
To show a united front.

Doors were slamming and windows cracking
So Dianne had to shout,
‘We have to visit my father, Dean,
It’s time that we went out.’
I ventured cautiously through his room
And called the old boy’s name,
But it was quieter than the tomb
And Dianne said the same.

We found him out in the laundry then,
He’d fallen in the tub,
Had gone a couple of spin cycles,
Oh yes, and here’s the rub,
One bony arm and a hand were out
And pointed, looking mean,
We knew then who was the poltergeist,
But boy, his bones were clean.

David Lewis Paget
Oct 2017 · 186
Spider Bait
I’d seen her wander along the street
A number of times, or more,
And know I should have approached her then
But she might have said, ‘what for?’
I could have asked for a date, but then
I left it much too late,
And saw her then with a guy called Ben,
But he looked like spider bait.

He had a straggly beard and hair
That stood up straight in spikes,
I don’t know what she could see in him
For my first response was ‘Yikes!’
His frame was thin and all caving in
And his clothes were contrabands,
But he clutched at her with a bony paw,
With hair on the back of his hands.

She went to stay at his cottage, which
Was set at the edge of the wood,
More of a tumbledown shack, I thought,
Not right for that neighbourhood,
It lay half-hidden between the trees
With their foliage hanging down,
You had to push past the bushes that
Enclosed the whole surround.

She’d sit out on the verandah with
The sun about to set,
While I would creep in around there
For a glimpse of her, Colette.
I thought, perhaps if she saw me there
She might come out to see,
And once I’d managed to talk to her
She’d fall in love with me.

But Ben would never let go of her
Nor let her out of his sight,
He kept her there by the spiders that
Would weave their webs each night,
From every dangling branch there hung
An orb web in the breeze,
And in each centre a spider that
Would make Colette’s blood freeze.

I think he must have been breeding them
He seemed to take delight,
In pointing out how the thousands seemed
To weave there every night,
Then she began to withdraw from him
And refuse his coarse demands,
Whenever he went to reach for her
With his scrawny, hairy hands.

The webs ballooned and they hit the roof
Formed a blanket from the trees,
They covered the little cottage and
I heard her frightened pleas,
She couldn’t leave the verandah though
She said she’d have to go,
He said that he was a spider man,
And that’s when I heard his ‘No!’

She didn’t come out again for days
And I heard her cry at night,
‘I hate this place, and I hate your face,’
But he said, ‘You’re my delight.’
A week went by and I heard her sigh,
The last sound that she made,
So I burst through all the gossamer webs
With an old and rusty blade.

He was knelt beside her form supine
In the corner of the room,
While she was wrapped in gossamer fine
And looked like a large cocoon,
I lashed out with the rusty blade
And cut off his evil head,
When thousands of spiders scurried out
From his neck, and over the bed.

I cut her out of the tight cocoon
And peeled it back from her face,
She hugged me in the gathering gloom
And said, ‘Let’s leave this place.’
I’d like to say that she went with me
But I’d left my run too late,
‘I’ll never look at a man again
Since he made me spider bait.’

David Lewis Paget
Oct 2017 · 241
The Stile
I always knew there was something strange
About that farmer’s stile,
For no-one ever climbed over it
And I’d watched it for a while.
The field beyond it was out of sight
Behind a hawthorn hedge,
I didn’t know till I tried to go
It was perched along the edge.

The edge of history, edge of time,
It may have been the gate,
That hell was hidden behind in that
It saved us from our fate,
I threw a stray dog over it first
To see what would transpire,
It came back ravening, racked with thirst
And it set the hedge on fire.

I wasn’t going to risk my health
Nor even my sanity,
But somebody else would have to go
For my curiosity.
I passed young Ann in the marketplace
And I thought she’d be no loss,
I talked her into crossing the stile,
She did, at Pentecost.

Now Ann had been unattractive when
I sent her over the stile,
I didn’t hear from her straight away
But hung around for a while,
Then out from behind the hawthorn hedge
She suddenly poked her head,
A ravishing beauty Ann was now
When I’d thought she might be dead.

‘Could that be possibly you?’ I said
When I saw her pouting lips,
Her stylish sash and fluttering lash
And her painted fingertips,
I hadn’t noticed her dimples when
I’d looked at her before,
But now she was drop dead gorgeous,
And the word was, ‘I adore.’

I tried to get her over the stile
But she said to me, ‘No fear,
For everything is so beautiful
I think I’ll be staying here.’
And then if I really wanted her
I would have to cross myself,
She said there was gold and rubies there
Amid signs of untold wealth.

I conquered my inner demons and
I took the step at a run,
Leapt over the farmer’s stile to Ann,
There in the midday sun,
But all I found was a battleground
Littered with heads and hands,
The ******* of seven centuries
And a pile of old tin cans.

While Ann was dressed in a peasant gown
And had lost her pouting lips,
Her stylish sash that had turned to ash
And her coarsened fingertips,
‘What did you really expect,’ she said
As she pinned me to the ground,
‘Now you’ll be mine, though it seems unkind,
As long as the earth turns round.’

I’ve tried to escape for seven years
But I cannot find the stile,
The one that I jumped up over once
In response to her woman’s wiles.
I really thought I had played the girl
When she wasn’t much to see,
But she found me in the marketplace
And she ended playing me…

David Lewis Paget
Oct 2017 · 183
Facetimed
I sit entranced by the silver screen
To watch and wait for your eyes,
To peer on out, as I sit and dream,
Between the clouds in my skies.
I’ve carried you in my heart so long
Without a kiss from your lips,
But sat and sighed till I almost died
For a touch from your fingertips.

I’ve traced the gentle curve of your cheek,
The noble arch of your brow,
The slow spread of the smile that said:
‘I want to be with you, now.’
I’ve watched the tears that we both have shed
For the years that were lost in time,
When you could well have belonged to me,
Or I could have made you mine.

But time and distance are so unfair,
I see you, bright like a star,
One I could wear in my buttonhole
If only it wasn’t so far.
We both reach out and we touch the screen
I trace my fingers on yours,
One day we’ll see, what will be, will be,
But your camera’s set on pause.

David Lewis Paget
Oct 2017 · 356
Missing
He kept them locked in a tower,
And I’ll let you guess the score,
The thirteen women that disappeared
To leave not a sign before.
We thought we would never find them,
There wasn’t a clue or trace,
They’d simply gone for a gentle stroll
And walked off the planet’s face.

And mine was the thirteenth woman,
To date, who had disappeared,
At first, I thought she had left me,
Or that was the thing I feared,
But I heard her voice coming back to me
As an echo, alone at night,
‘My love for you is a love that’s true,
Rolled up in a ball, and tight.’

She had such a way of smiling,
Of reaching, cuddling in,
She said we had such a special love,
A personal kind of sin.
So I knew she must have been kidnapped,
Was snatched as she crossed the street,
As all those others had gone before,
They hadn’t been indiscreet.

I haunted the railway station,
Went roaming abroad most nights,
I peeked in each cottage window
From valley to village heights,
When out on the edge of woodland
I came on the black stone tower,
A padlock bolt on a door of oak
I found at the midnight hour.

I hid in the trees and bushes,
Then waited and held my breath,
A figure came in from the rushes
Crept in, at the hour of death.
For they say at three in the morning
That our hearts will beat the least,
But mine was pounding and roaring
As I leapt, and captured the beast.

The women were chained to a railing,
To links in the cold, stone wall,
They shivered, without any clothing,
And cried, when they heard me call,
For some had been physically altered,
Each one for a different kink,
I chained the beast as their cries increased,
And then I undid each link.

I wrapped my girl in my shirt, then sent
The beast to his ****** fate,
I heard him scream as his manhood went,
For him, it was getting late.
He lay in pieces, spread through the trees
And no-one was ever charged,
The police in their wisdom wrote their screed,
‘There must be a wolf at large…’

David Lewis Paget
Oct 2017 · 213
Vengeance
She shouldn’t have been on the platform
On that fateful day in June,
The train she needed to catch would leave
Later that afternoon,
But I would never have met her then
If I hadn’t heard her cough,
And was offering her a cold flu pill
Just as the bomb went off.

I don’t think we actually heard it,
It came as a sort of ‘whoosh’,
The air was suddenly filled with nails
And bits of flesh, in a hush,
I felt her calf as it hit my leg,
Was blown clean off at the knee,
As she collapsed with a sort of gasp
And lay there, looking at me.

I think I must have been stupefied
For hours after the blast,
I only came to my senses, down
At the hospital, at last,
The girl lay flat on a trolley there
In the hospital corridor,
While I just sat and I held her hand,
My feet on the bloodstained floor.

I had some cuts and contusions but
She’d sheltered me from the blast,
And bodies lay in confusion as
They prayed, while breathing their last,
The surgeons tried to attach her leg
But too much damage was done,
The leg was dropped in a basket where
It never would walk, or run.

I found her name was Andromeda
After some distant star,
I told her that mine was Tim, she said,
‘I was wondering who you are.’
It was then I knew I’d look after her,
Would be at her beck and call,
For fate had pushed us together when
Disaster had come to call.

She didn’t take much persuading when
It came to me moving in,
For everyone else had backed right off
To see the state she was in,
‘They’ll never be tied to a *******,’
She said with a bitter smile,
I stroked her hair as I pushed her chair,
‘I’ll be around for a while.’

I don’t know whether she loved me back,
But I had fallen for her,
And thanked the lord for her missing leg
When I carried her up the stair,
She acquiesced with my every need
She knew I had to be fed,
And paid me back for each caring deed
By leading me to her bed.

She tried to cover her bitterness
To those who planted the bomb,
But still she seemed to be curious
Like who, and where were they from?
‘What would you do?’ I’d say to her,
‘If I stood them here in a line?’
Her brow grew black, as the words she spat,
‘Vengeance would be mine.’

And then the police had arrested them,
Two men from an evil cell,
Andromeda said she’d see them when
I’d take her to court, as well,
We took our place in the gallery
And could see them, looking down,
An evil pair, a defiant stare,
She pulled the gun from her gown.

I didn’t know that she’d got a gun,
She must have hidden it well,
With just one thought, and a loud retort,
She blew them away to hell.
She didn’t care what they did to her,
She said, ‘I’m not going to beg!’
Then pulling her dress up round her waist
She showed the judge her leg.

David Lewis Paget
Oct 2017 · 296
Tax
Tax
This government’s greed’s cut into my need
By taxing tobacco smoke,
I needed my **** to concentrate,
They’ve turned it into a joke.
So how many lines of poetry
I’ll never be able to write,
All for the sake of the Nanny State
Insisting I quit tonight.

I see it as persecution of
The few of us that are left,
Turning us into a cash cow that
Has left us feeling bereft.
I thought that the days of fascists died
In the bunker with ******’s crew,
We seem to have re-elected them,
They’re telling us what to do.

We should be allowed to live our lives
The way that we always did,
Making our personal choices then
And not be ruled by the quid.
They keep on edging their taxes up
To make us submit by stealth,
By making it unaffordable,
They say it’s all about health.

What will they do when we all give up
And they find all their coffers bare?
What will they find to tax us then
To make up the smoker’s share?
Maybe they’ll tax the pollies perks
That they vote themselves at night,
Whenever the world’s not watching them,
But that never happens - Right?

We seem to be ruled by a den of thieves
Who make up rules as they go,
Their arrogance you would not believe
As they crush the ordinary Joe.
It’s time that we formed a voting block
To target the safest seats,
And toss out the whole corrupted lot
By dumping them out in the streets.

David Lewis Paget
Oct 2017 · 446
1400
I’ve devoted my life to poetry
Whenever I’ve had the time,
Created whole towns and villages
And even the people rhyme.
There’s only supposed to be six plots
In the stories we have to tell,
And half of them aim for heaven, while
The rest of them end in hell.

But I’ve written fourteen hundred tales
And each of them has a plot,
With climaxes in the middle, and
A twist in the tail, or not.
There’s anger, love and revenge in there
Mixed in the poetic stew,
And some of the plots are quite threadbare,
But they’re all written for you.

My women are all quite beautiful,
My men are as hard as nails,
They constantly search for love, I find,
In all of my paper trails.
But most have an itch they have to scratch,
For some of them there’s regret,
They pay the cost when a lover’s lost
And it haunts their stories yet.

I often scribble in witches, ghouls,
And spirits that have no souls,
That hover around the edges, with
Their indeterminate goals.
I look to the distant future now
For tales you’ll never forget,
And trust to fate that it’s not too late
For a million stories yet.

David Lewis Paget
Oct 2017 · 180
Godless
He was often at the market
Signing books that no-one read,
If they had, and known the target
Then they’d not be lying dead.
For the mystic glyph inscriptions
Pointed men towards their fate,
He would say, ‘You’d better read them
Or perhaps you’ll be too late.’

But he seemed so insignificant
They wouldn’t heed his words,
Threw his books in their collections
So they wouldn’t be disturbed.
For the few who really read them
Dived right in and turned the page,
Suffered instant palpitations that
Expressed themselves in rage.

Though they didn’t realise, he was
A god from outer space,
Who had come down with his minions
To save the human race,
But the human brain had limits that
Could not absorb much more,
Than the irritants that stimulate
And lead them off to war.

It came to pass that leaders heard,
Surrounded him with trucks,
And trying to suppress the word
They seized, and burned his books.
They didn’t want the people having
Knowledge, at the least,
That could interfere with politics
And might burst out in peace.

The dollar ruled that ammunition,
Bombs that could be lobbed,
And hand grenades, and tank displays
They all came down to jobs.
And so they closed the market down
To end the sale of books,
That warned about conscription, and
Aspiring army cooks.

And so the god from outer space
Climbed back in his machine,
He’d tried to help the human race,
The human race was mean.
He took on board his minions
And said, ‘It’s getting late,’
Engaged the afterburners and
Then left us to our fate.

David Lewis Paget
Oct 2017 · 225
Coconut Ice
She lived in a strange old gabled house
But she rarely came outside,
I’d glimpse her up on the balcony
But she’d see me, and she’d hide.
She seemed a nervous, tremulous thing
But I thought she looked so sweet,
Her hair in a long blonde ponytail,
And a dimple in either cheek.

She lived alone with her grandmother
Who was old, and sharp of tongue,
A sort of witch with a constant itch
She had scratched since she was young.
She wouldn’t allow young callers, who
Attracted to Abigail,
Would try to court but were overwrought
By her, till their efforts failed.

The two who had breached her sanctuary
Who had forced their way inside,
Had only stayed but a single day
Then emerged, and had later died.
It seemed that a curse lay on that house
There was something in the air,
A sense of sin that had lain within
Caught up in the word, ‘despair’.

The more that I glimpsed of Abigail,
The more that my heart would leap,
I’d stand and stare on the corner there
And I’d sometimes hear her weep.
I’d hear the drone of that dry old crone
As she snapped and snarled at her,
‘A man is a fret that you’ll soon regret,
There’s a thousand more out there.’

I finally braved the woman’s wrath
And beat on their old front door,
I knew she wouldn’t invite me in
But hoped that her mood would thaw.
‘I’m coming to call on Abigail,’
I cried, and I pushed on past,
And racing across the hallway floor
I ran up the stairs, at last.

Abigail stood and smiled at me
With her grandmother aghast,
She took me out to the balcony,
I thought that the dye was cast.
I said that I’d seen her from afar
On the balcony above,
‘I want you to know I’m here to show
That I’ve fallen for you, in love.’

‘And I’ve watched you from above,’ she said,
‘I saw the love in your eyes,
I knew that you would finally come
So it’s not a great surprise.’
At this the crone had mounted the stairs,
I finally saw her smile,
She carried a platter for us to eat,
‘Some sweets, will you stay awhile?’

Abigail tied them up in a cloth
To take when I left that night,
Some cherry whirls, and peppermint twirls
And chunks of Turkish Delight,
She scribbled a note that she placed within
And she’d underlined it twice,
‘Whatever you do, I’m telling you,
Don’t eat the Coconut Ice.’

It seems that the sweets were all home made
In the kitchen under the stair,
‘My grandmother takes great pride in these,
But still, you’d better beware.’
At home I unwrapped them carefully
And I checked the Coconut Ice,
The smell was bitter like almonds so
I took Abigail’s advice.

The chemist confirmed that cyanide
Was part of the recipe,
The police arrested the grandmother
And now Abigail is free.
I wish I could say she stayed with me
But she went with Raymond Bryce,
So there was a lesson learned, you see,
I never touch Coconut Ice.

David Lewis Paget
Sep 2017 · 166
The Wander
She used to walk in the woods at night,
She said she needed the air,
But didn’t want me to go with her,
She said that it’s cold out there.
‘Well, cold for me would be cold for you,’
I said, but she didn’t mind,
‘I need to go on my own,’ she said,
Made out she was being kind.

Though what it was I would find, who knew?
It raised suspicions in me,
For what do you meet in a darkened wood
But only the occasional tree?
Perhaps she wasn’t the only one
Who wandered into the sward,
Maybe another lonely one,
But no, she gave me her word.

Not that her word was worth too much
As I’d caught her out before,
Meeting a man delinquently,
But never again, she swore.
I had no reason to doubt her then
She said she would play it square,
‘It’s only an empty wood,’ she said,
‘There’s nothing but trees out there.’

I followed her into the woods one night,
Kept quietly out of sight,
And watched as she entered a clearing,
Deep in the dead of night.
She walked straight up to an old ash tree
And knelt before it, and prayed,
While fronds from the tree encircled her,
Like some strange masquerade.

And then as I watched, a shape appeared
Embedded within the tree,
The form of a man, the god named Pan
As clear as it could be.
Patricia advanced, embraced him now
And the form sprang into life,
Doing the things you wouldn’t do
Except with a much loved wife.

He looked like a goat that stood *****,
His horns swept back from his head,
Balancing on his cloven hoofs
While I hid myself in dread.
He raised a set of pipes to his lips
And played an enchanting tune,
That swept the glade as Patricia played
And cavorted in the gloom.

Then suddenly I was back at home,
Woke up in my easy chair,
I rubbed my eyes to the sound of sighs
And Patricia was standing there.
‘I just had the strangest dream,’ I said,
‘Of you in a woodland glade.’
And she just smiled for a little while
As I sat in my chair, dismayed.

‘I think I know why you wander now,
Though you never will with me,
There’s something about a clearing there
And a most remarkable tree.’
She turned, and pierced me with a look
That said that she didn’t care,
‘It’s true, I have a favourite nook
Where I go… I saw you there!’

David Lewis Paget
Sep 2017 · 242
Three Days in a Cave
We were on a tour of the Breton Caves
That had stalactites galore,
A one-time trip to that limestone drip
Forming stalagmites on the floor.
There were only eight, and the tour was late
Was the last one for the day,
It was getting dark in the tourist park
But the guide still led the way.

And that’s when I first saw Monica
Who hung on her boyfriend’s arm,
There was something about her, even then
Some quiet, ineffable charm.
I tried to speak, to engage her there
But she snubbed each tame advance,
And flashed the ring on her finger that
Proclaimed her one romance.

The party wandered about the caves,
Spread out on the limestone floor,
And even Monica wandered off
For what she was looking for.
So when the ceiling had tumbled in
Creating a great divide,
With she and I all alone in there,
The rest on the other side.

The only light was a single beam
That came through a crack above,
And Monica stood in fear, and screamed,
Called out to her new-found love.
But he was stuck on the other side
Of a thousand tons of stone,
I told her, he couldn’t hear a thing,
She said, ‘Just leave me alone.’

She treated me with a great disdain
As if it had been my fault,
That she’d been caught on the further side
At the drop of the limestone vault.
I said, ‘We’re lucky to be alive,
It’s better than being dead,
Under a thousand tons of rock,
Get that in your pretty head!’

The beam then slowly faded away
And left us sat in the dark,
I heard her sigh, and begin to cry,
Our future was bleak and stark.
I thought that I’d try to comfort her
But she pushed my hand away,
‘Don’t let my fears give you sick ideas,
We’ll be out of here in a day.’

That was a long and lonely night
And the worst, by far, of three,
‘They may come looking for you,’ I said,
‘There’s no-one looking for me.’
‘Haven’t you got a girl at home?’
She ventured, one little spark,
Said in an almost friendly tone
As we lay there in the dark.

We heard the skittering sound of rats
As I said, ‘No, I’m alone.’
And then she suddenly came up close,
‘I’m sorry,’ was in her tone.
We shared a couple of chocolate bars,
I sensed her shivering form,
And threw my coat round her shoulders then
Just trying to keep her warm.

The beam appeared as the sun came up,
She finally met my eyes,
‘I’m sorry if I was off before,
You seem to be kind, and wise.’
‘I simply think that you’re beautiful,’
I said, with a touch of awe,
‘Your guy must think you’re incredible.’
‘I wish…,’ and she softly swore.

The hours dragged by, and a day and night
Seemed more than a week to me,
‘Maybe they think, on the other side
We’re buried, so let us be.’
The pangs of hunger were bad by now
And nothing to slake our thirst,
‘If only I’d known,’ said Monica,
‘I’d never have come, we’re cursed.’

The cold got us on the second night,
She didn’t resist me much,
My coat we draped over both of us,
I felt the warmth of her touch.
Her head was lying across my chest
My arms held her, in bliss,
And that’s when she raised her face to me
And gave me a gentle kiss.

Three days we lay there in misery,
We felt that it was the end,
‘If we’re to die, then I wonder why
I’d not make love with a friend?’
The thought of death fairly takes the breath
There’s things we wouldn’t have done,
But she was as eager as me, you see,
In coming together as one.

They broke on through in the afternoon
Of the third day after the fall,
And there her guy with a glistening eye
As she climbed over the wall.
They took us both to the hospital
And I thought she had gone for good,
A brief respite in a lonely life,
But suddenly, there she stood.

I felt bemused and a mite confused
When I asked her, ‘Where’s your guy?’
She shrugged and said we were almost dead,
While he was as sweet as pie.
‘He didn’t share my imprisonment,
So what did you want to do?
It only took three days in a cave,
I've fallen in love with you.’

David Lewis Paget
Sep 2017 · 165
Wedding day (for Tiff)
We came into this life alone
A long, long time ago,
With each of us to each unknown
It gave us time to grow,
Then season after season passed
Our lives would open yet,
When my eyes lit on you at last
Upon the day we met.

And since that day, just like a dream
We’ve never been apart,
You’re everything that love would seem
To this, my bursting heart.
And so today we tie the knot
That binds us both for life,
When I call you my husband, dear,
And you call me your wife.

David Lewis Paget
Written at the request of my granddaughter, Tiffany, for her to
read at her wedding in Ocotber.
Sep 2017 · 297
The Wind in the Wires
She went with a friend for the evening,
But she wouldn’t tell me where to,
Just turned as the two began leaving,
Said, ‘Where I go’s nothing to you.’
She liked to be so independent,
Go off, and leave me on the spot,
Then tried to make me feel repentant
For asking her why, where or what?

I sat up and waited till midnight,
Expecting that she would be home,
She must have known I would be uptight
Not knowing where she’d gone to roam.
I knew that her friend never liked me,
Would glory in turning the *****,
Encourage Darlene to defy me,
She’d tell her, ‘So what can he do?’

She hadn’t returned the next morning,
Nor even when it became noon,
The sun towards eve began falling,
So surely she must return soon.
I passed the time on the computer,
Watched Facebook alive on the screen,
When Darlene popped up using FaceTime
Then suddenly started to scream.

‘You’ll have to come in here and get me,
I seem to be inside my phone,
I tried leaving, it wouldn’t let me,
And Marge went and left me alone.’
The face on the screen began fraying,
And she was hysterical now,
Her face in the picture was greying,
‘I’ll come for you, just tell me how.’

‘Just follow me through all the windows,
The frames are all breeding like spores,
My mind’s in a haze, I’m caught in a maze,
There’s many more windows than doors.’
I looked for her picture in Instagram,
And searched for her trace in What’s App,
Then Googled her name, she ran through a frame,
But all that I caught was her back.

The high tension wires running overhead
Were humming and whining all night,
I lay in my bed, convinced she was dead,
Then heard her voice moaning in fright.
The Darlene I knew never came back home,
She travels by churches and spires,
A crackle in time and a hum in the line
Tells me she is the Wind in the Wires.

David Lewis Paget
Sep 2017 · 100
Twin Paths
The day had been rather stormy when
I walked in the garden gate,
With lighting flashing around me,
It was dark, and getting late.
I tried the key in the old front door
But found that it didn’t fit,
And had to pound on the knocker so
That Kate would answer it.

It took a minute or so before
I heard her steps on the floor,
She probably wondered who it was
Before she opened the door,
She stared at me with the strangest look
On her face that I’d ever seen,
But stood there blocking the door, I said,
‘Aren’t you going to let me in?’

She stood aside in a moment then
And I walked in through the door,
She said, ‘And what’s the occasion then?
You’ve not called here before.’
I thought she must have been joking then
And gave her a sickly smile,
She said, ‘you’d better believe it, you
Have not been here for a while.’

I tried to give her a kiss, but she
Pulled back, and turned away,
‘The time for that was an age ago,
That was another day.’
I asked her what she had meant, for she
Had been my wife for years,
‘Not since you married my sister, and
You turned my world to tears.’

I said that I didn’t follow her,
And must have looked confused,
She said that I’d turned my back on her
And left her feeling used,
‘You broke off from our engagement, when
The date had just been set,
And went and married my sister then,
You’re married to Jeanette.’

I thought I was going crazy, though
Perhaps, I thought, it’s Kate,
Having a mid-life crisis, but she
Looked at me with hate.
She said to go to her sister’s place
Just further down the street,
So thinking that I would humour her
I went, through hail and sleet.

I tried my key in Jeanette’s front door
And that gave me a shock,
The key had fitted it perfectly
As then the door unlocked,
I wandered into the kitchen where
Jeanette was making tea
For a man at the kitchen table,
But I swear the man was me!

David Lewis Paget
Sep 2017 · 162
Do or Dare
I watched her dance with her bright red crop
At a party of Do or Dare,
Strutting her stuff on a table top
I knew I could have her there.
For she mouthed at me, ‘You’re the only one,’
As she stripped right down to the buff,
I mouthed, ‘You’re on,’ but she still danced on
I’d never have seen enough.

While all the others would reach and *****
I stood well back and I stared,
She tipped champagne all over their heads
All over the ones that dared,
She fell down into my open arms
Once she had finished her dance,
While Emma Lou took her place up there,
But I’d found a new romance.

I’d gone to the party for Emma Lou
Who’d wanted to meet me there,
She’d said, ‘I feel like taking a chance,
The party’s a Do or Dare.’
We’d only dated a month or two
But that hadn’t got too far,
We’d gone for drinks at the Seven Links
And necked in the back of the car.

But Carla Deane was a ****** dream
For flames had danced in her hair,
The prettiest body I’d ever seen,
I knew she wanted to share,
For in my arms I could feel her charms
And she raised her lips for a kiss,
Her silken skin promised treats within
And who was I to resist?

She dressed again, it was almost ten
When she took me home to her flat,
And poured a couple of highballs, then
She suddenly said, ‘That’s that!’
It seems her wager with Emma Lou
Said she could steal me away,
If she could, anyone else could too,
She didn’t intend to play.

I felt like the dog with a juicy bone
Stood staring into a stream,
And seeing my own reflection there
I’d dropped the bone for a dream.
For Emma Lou never came to call
The bone I’d managed to drop
For one swept over a waterfall
Who’d danced on a table top.

David Lewis Paget
Sep 2017 · 267
Time Waits for No Man
‘The time’s become fleeting and flying,
And rushing me off to the grave,’
Or so would say Roderick Styling,
‘It’s sweeping me on like a wave.’
I found his remarks so depressing
I’d walk on the side of the street
Where I knew he wouldn’t be walking,
On hearing the sound of his feet.

He’d corner me back in the office,
Unburden his pure misery,
Or catch me in field or in coppice,
To tell me his bleak history.
For often I’d find he was waiting
Wherever he shouldn’t have been,
I found that I couldn’t avoid him,
His whispers and chatter obscene.

‘We’ve only one life, so enjoy it,’
I’d counter, when he would begin,
But then he would start to destroy it,
By saying that life became grim.
‘The older you get, so the faster,
It races along like a train,
Is headed for certain disaster,
The end of the journey is pain.’

Then he seemed to age by the minute,
His skin became wrinkled and worn,
Despair, he would seem to dive in it,
And had since the day he was born.
‘You’ll not do yourself any favours,’
I’d say, ‘when it hangs on each breath,
For life will not gift what it savours,
If you’re so determined on death.’

But one day I looked in the mirror,
And saw what I never had seen,
The markings of age, like a river,
Were flowing, where once youth had been.
I tried to ignore it by sighing
That ageing was lending me grace,
But I could see Roderick Styling
Was staring right back in my face.

And that’s when I knew life was fleeting
I had to seize what there was left,
I sent him a note for a meeting
While I was still feeling bereft.
He lies in a grave in a coppice
A jagged hole under his jaw,
While I work alone, in the office,
He’d got what he’d been looking for.

David Lewis Paget
Sep 2017 · 344
Spooking a Spook
They didn’t tell when we bought the place
Of the ghost in the attic room,
They knew that they’d have to drop the price
If the ***** jumped out in the gloom.
So we’d signed the papers and paid the fees,
There wasn’t really an out,
We’d had a couple of days of peace
Then it came jumping about.

It started with a terrible crash
That roused us out of our bed,
I said, ‘that sounded like breaking glass
And it came from overhead.’
But overhead was the attic room
And that was an empty space,
So I went up with a whisking broom,
Found glass, all over the place.

And worse than that, it was mirror shards
It was seven years bad luck,
So just like an irritated Bard
I yelled out, ‘***?’
I got to work with the whisking broom
And was cursing, fit to toss,
When the *****, in the corner of the room
Appeared with a blazing cross.

I noticed he held it upside down
Raised up, to cover his face,
I must admit that I threw a fit,
I acted with little grace,
‘What the hell are you doing here,
You’ve given us quite a fright,
Don’t you know, we were trying to sleep,
It’s an hour past midnight.’

It waved the blazing cross in the air
And gave out a dreadful groan,
Then flames from the floor devoured him
And left me standing alone.
I went back down to the bedroom to
The woman I loved the most,
Who said, ‘Well, what did you find up there?’
‘We’ve got us a Holy Ghost!’

From that night on, it was every night
It was boom and crash and groan,
While Jenny in fright, would curl up tight,
‘Won’t he ever leave us alone?’
I said, “It’s only at night he comes,
He must sleep during the day,
I have an idea, don’t worry dear,
He won’t have it all his way.’

I rigged up a speaker system there
And fed it all through an amp,
Then during the day, I’d blast away
And light the room with a lamp,
A blinding lamp of a thousand watts
To strobe, at a hundred clicks,
And blasted him with Metallica,
I knew it would make him sick.

The ***** came out on the seventh day
Stood trembling on the stair,
The flames on his cross had all gone out,
He stood there, tearing his hair.
He dashed on out through the open door
I thought he was going to puke,
And that was the last of the Ghost we saw,
So that’s how you ***** a *****!

David Lewis Paget
Sep 2017 · 171
The Whispering Tree
I knew that I shouldn’t be driving,
I’d had one more for the road,
So Jean and me were half cut, you see,
Were carrying quite a load.
We’d tried the Tequila slammers,
I’d even swallowed the worm,
I wish to hell I had lost the key
Then we’d both be home, and warm.

The road was most uninviting,
Was glistening in the dark,
We climbed on into the Beamer,
And headed out of the park.
The rain was a constant drizzle
As the Moon peeked over the trees,
I know that I should have listened
When Jean would entreat me, ‘Please!’

She always said that I drove too fast
And she was probably right,
I slammed my foot down flat to the boards
And sped away through the night.
The headlights cut a swathe through the trees
And lit the road in an arc,
I thought that we were invincible,
Speeding home in the dark.

It must have been a tyre that blew,
The Beamer suddenly veered,
The car careened off the road, it seemed,
No matter how I had steered.
It seemed to leap at a grove of trees
And hit the oak at a lean,
I was safe with my seatbelt on,
But Jean had flown through the screen.

She’d been sat quietly, holding my hand,
Her warmth was all that I felt,
She’d whispered softly her words of love,
Forgotten to put on her belt.
Now she lay spread on the bonnet there
Her head crushed into the tree,
I hoped and prayed, but I didn’t dare
Step out of the wreck, to see.

And then I heard her whispering words
Float back through the shattered screen,
‘If only you had listened to me…’
I said, ‘I know what you mean.’
‘You know our love was a special love,’
She seemed to whisper afar,
‘Just know my love will always be there,
I’ll beam it down from a star.’

My life is cold, and empty as well,
Since ever my love was lost,
I carry around my private hell
In a heart that is tempest tossed.
For now I know that I have no choice
When it all comes back to me,
If ever I need to hear her voice
I go to the whispering tree.

David Lewis Paget
Sep 2017 · 246
The Obelisk
Right at the top of the mountain
Stood an obelisk in stone,
It pointed up to the heavens
Was inscribed with a runic poem,
It wasn’t known who had put it there
Or when, though it made no odds,
For men had seen it had always been
From the time of the ancient gods.

It had seemed to have strange properties
It changed, when the stone was wet,
Deep in the midst of a thunderstorm
It went from grey to jet,
The stone would glisten and glow at night
In a way that seemed most odd,
And when the lightning came forking down
Would act as a lightning rod.

It stood in a pleasant clearing
No tree would grow too near,
Though trees grew all up the mountainside,
I thought that fact was queer.
We’d take a picnic basket there
And settle on the *****,
Lie in the shade of the obelisk
Just me and my girlfriend, Hope.

And she would recline and rest there,
She was pleasing to the eye,
She looked like a Grecian Goddess
For her eyes would match the sky,
Her hair the colour of yellow straw,
She turned, and she sighed at me,
Then said, ‘I feel I’ve been here before
In some ancient mystery.’

She couldn’t explain just what she meant
So we lay awhile, and kissed,
Up on the sun drenched mountain top
In the shade of the obelisk,
Then she got restless and wandered up
To the face that held the runes,
And traced her fingers across the script
On that sunny afternoon.

I started up when I heard her scream
And I saw the arm and fist,
That slid on out of the solid stone
And seized her by the wrist,
The lettering of the runes lit up
And they glowed a scarlet red,
While I grabbed hold of her other arm,
Held onto her, in dread.

She couldn’t manage to free herself
The hand held her so tight,
I strained and heaved, I could not believe,
But she turned pale, and white,
Her eyes went up in her head, then she
Fell fainting to the ground,
The hand still holding her by the wrist
But now there was no sound.

A shape rose out of her body there
Of mist, I couldn’t hold,
And slid right into the solid stone,
It must have been her soul,
For then the hand, it had disappeared
And left an empty shell,
It left her body behind, but Hope,
I knew, had gone to hell.

She sits in a sanatorium
By the window, every day,
And looks unknowingly through the pane
While my pain won’t go away.
I copied the rune and translated it
And it said, ‘The God of Life,
Is trapped in stone in this Obelisk,
And he needs to find a wife…’

David Lewis Paget
Sep 2017 · 214
The Way it Is...
‘What are we going to do with you?’
My parents would say to me,
‘We want you to work in a banking house,
But you write poetry.
You may look back on a wasted life
If that was all you did,
You need to steady, and take a wife
So you’ll need to make a quid.’

While I, in all of my innocence
Would look at them, askance,
‘If life were just about money, then
I think I’d rather dance.
I don’t believe that it’s all about
The grind, amassing wealth,
I cast my fate to the winds, let that
Take care of it, itself.’

I needed to be creative so
I scribbled, more and more,
Composing the perfect poems that
Did not exist before,
They didn’t earn me a single quid
But that was not the plan,
A part of me will be left behind
Once I am done with man.

And so I tell the Millennials
Don’t waste your time with sweat,
But add something to your culture that
Has not been written yet,
Whether your art is writing, music,
Painting, poetry,
The question, ‘What will you do with you?’
In time, will set you free.

David Lewis Paget
Sep 2017 · 301
The Restless Wife
The storm had unleashed its fury,
In gales, on the night before,
Had scribbled its bitter story
All over a battered shore,
For there lay the yacht ‘Imagine’,
Cast up on the outer reef,
Its sails and its stays were sagging,
And shredded beyond belief.

I scrambled over the rocks out there
When the tide left it high and dry,
In hopes that I’d find my friend, Jo Bère,
Unhurt, though I don’t know why.
Jo Bère was such a mountainous man
And so much larger than life,
He’d sailed through many a perfect storm
On board, with his restless wife.

So when I clambered aboard that day
I heard her calling my name,
And something about her pitiful cry
Said nothing would be the same.
I found her down on the cabin floor
All bruised, and somewhat distressed,
The storm had shattered the cabin door
And left the cabin a wreck.

I said to Dawn, ‘you outlived the storm,
But where is my friend, Jo Bère?’
She said, ‘He fell overboard last night,
I looked for him everywhere.’
Though she was bruised, there wasn’t a cut,
Just thrown around in the flood,
So what was the smear on the locker there,
The ominous sign of blood?

‘He must have fallen and hit his head,
I can’t remember, I swear,
The yacht was tossed and my husband lost,
He must be floating out there.’
I knew that she was a restless wife
She’d often give me the eye,
I knew their marriage had been in strife,
Could never figure out why.

But now she reached and she held my hand
And gave it a gentle squeeze,
‘My husband’s gone, but my life goes on,
I’ll always be here to please.
You must know, I’ve always cared for you,’
I said, ‘Don’t ever go there,
Because, to me, you will always be
The wife of my friend, Jo Bère.’

Her face grew dark, and I saw the spark
Of an anger, much like a storm,
She didn’t take to rejection well,
And I should have been forewarned.
I turned to leave so that I could grieve
The loss of my friend, Jo Bère,
Then saw on the floor the bloodstained axe,
With clumps of my old friend’s hair.

She leapt for it, but I got there first,
And I stamped it, down on the floor,
Then Dawn was wild, like a crazy child,
She came at me, tooth and claw.
‘I never thought you would ****** him,’
I cried, while beating her off,
She screamed, ‘You’re not going to put me in,’
And then she started to laugh.

A high pitched laugh that was like a scream
As I clambered over the side,
Just as the sea was flooding in,
Right at the turn of the tide.
She must have known that she’d have to pay
When I told them, creed and rote,
For I heard them say, the following day,
‘That woman has cut her throat.’

David Lewis Paget
Sep 2017 · 353
The Congenital Liar
Have ever you noticed that liars
Cross their fingers when they lie?
They seem to think it absolves them from
A judgement, up on high,
For fingers crossed means they didn’t mean
The thing they’re telling you,
But if you’re silly, and fall for it
They make you think it’s true.

I knew a terrible liar once
His name was John Coltrane,
He always cried on my shoulder then
As if he was in pain,
He said that life was short-changing him,
That there was nothing fair,
It only took just a minor thing
To drive him to despair.

We both worked then at an auto plant
And used a giant press,
Knocking out doors and bonnets there,
And working under stress,
For time and motion had set a rate
That we could not fulfil,
And truth to tell it had seemed like hell
And was making Coltrane ill.

No matter how fast we put them through
The steel kept banking up,
Thanks to the other press’s crew
Who’d stop, and have a cup,
While we were struggling then to clear
The backlog, piled up high,
And John was constantly in my ear,
‘I think I want to die.’

I said that he didn’t mean it,
It was just a lousy job,
But he just kept on repeating it
And even began to sob,
To tell the truth, it got on my nerves,
It really began to grate,
I lost my cool, and I said the fool
Was really tempting fate.

He seemed to go a bit crazy then,
Lay backwards on the dye,
I tried to pull him away, but he
Lay staring at the sky,
The press came down with a mighty thump
And it flattened out his head,
Two hundred and fifty tons per inch
Said John Coltrane was dead.

We all of us stood around in shock
When the press released him there,
All that was left was a headless corpse
With blood and brains to spare,
His corpse let out a terrible sigh
At the judgement he had lost,
For though he said he would want to die,
He lay with his fingers crossed.

David Lewis Paget
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