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13.3k · Mar 2014
Joe Wilson Mar 2014
Oh to wander down country lanes
Where ‘shank’s pony’ is the mode
By which one travels from end to end
Beating off the open road.

Willow-herb and cow parsley
Grow tall against the hedge
Where dandelions behave like kings
Growing wild among the sedge.

A toad pops out and then pops back
To long grass where he’s hidden
Where birds will sing a merry song
And ducklings scurry when bidden.

For these few hours you forget the world
And you feel at peace with yourself
But the lure back to your reality
Gets this dream returned to the shelf.

13.1k · Apr 2014
Joe Wilson Apr 2014
The Victoria plum-tree that we planted this year
Is now full of blossom that looks lovely from here
The creamy white flowers and the brightest green leaves
Makes beautiful colour as Springtime relieves.

The garden of Winter, this year so wet
Does blossom herald a ‘best Summer yet.’

It’s quite true of course that village life so snug
Can have a tendency to make one feel smug
But for years our’s has struggled, it now has no shops
And a pub that’s near closure though it still sells the ‘hops.’

We don’t take it lightly the community here
For we know we could lose it which would cost us all dear.

It’s not really the money though the costs would be great
But there’d be no Village Hall and no Summer Fete
No chats with our friends over stiles by the field
Nor any more eggs from the local chicks yield.

We don’t take it lightly the community here
And we will fight to keep it which will cost us all dear.

Villages struggle much more nowadays, ours does.
4.7k · Apr 2015
Riding a bike with my dad...
Joe Wilson Apr 2015
I’m thinking now of my childhood
Of Dinky toys and a bright shiny trike
I travelled for miles going nowhere
On that beautiful three-wheeled bike.
It even had a boot on the back
Like a bread bin between the wheels
That I used to fill with books and toys
Only opened to best friend’s appeals.
The bike was bright red and I loved it
I raced round on it every day
Until that time when I was just too big
And the bike was taken away.
I missed that old red tricycle
It had been my companion for a while
But the two-wheeled cycle that Dad got
Soon turned my lips up in a smile.
It was a second-hand bike and quite grown-up
Hand-painted the darkest maroon
And I rode it for miles, this time with my dad
But it’s fun-giving days went too soon.
My next bike was blue, and a racer
Derailleur gears numbered ten
I wanted to ride out again with my dad
But he’d cycled his last before then.
My dad rode a bike for the whole of his life
Yet he never reached fifty-three
When I’m on a bike now, cycling along
I think of him riding with me.

©Joe Wilson – Riding a bike with my dad…2015
3.5k · Apr 2014
Joe Wilson Apr 2014
Again last night the shadow men called
As I finally dropped into the softness of sleep
Bringing with them the memories of tortured souls
Of those not quite dead who can only weep.

Those who went suddenly and left those who cried
Who then later joined them when they too had died.

I felt like I was falling for a thousand miles
Into a great hole so flooded with their tears
The palpable sorrow that penetrated my soul
That seemed to wash over me for so many years.

I was lost, I am lost, I know not what to do
Amongst all these souls I am searching for you.

Who do these cruel images keep entering my sleep
They go as I wake, but they ever come back
The souls seer their faces right into my heart
And their sorrow brings to me the dog that is black.

I search every time for your beautiful soul
Nothing left now, it’s my life’s only goal.

3.3k · Aug 2014
Accuser accused
Joe Wilson Aug 2014
I never said you’d done it
though we both know that you had
the way you choose to think of me
so often leaves me sad’

I don’t know how I’ve hurt you
I never meant to charm
perhaps my easy-going ways
just cause you too much harm.

But we were drifting slowly
and then you suddenly perked up
the way a person might do
when they've found a more full cup.

But I never said you’d done it
I’d know that I had lost
and now you don’t believe me
and that’s too great a cost.

©Joe Wilson – Accuser accused 2014
3.3k · Jul 2014
The now empty garden
Joe Wilson Jul 2014
The garden looks lovely at this time of day
but an essential ingredient is not here
for without your feel for its Gaia
It’s not really a garden I fear.

I touch a rose and see your beautiful face
in the hibiscus and camellia it’s there too
but without your gentle encouragement
their beauty just doesn’t shine through.

I sit on a small garden bench in the shade
and I think of the things that we said
and the tears start to fall and they just cannot stop
how I wish for those good times instead.

I’ll carry on tending our small garden
I know that you’d like it that way
but it will never again have that sparkle
that it did when you tended each day.

©Joe Wilson – The now empty garden 2014
2.6k · Jul 2014
His weird mania
Joe Wilson Jul 2014
He lives his life holding a superstitious breath
And his mania is of other people’s or his death
If ever he encounters a funeral any day
He dives over a wall till it’s passed by his way.

He’ll wander round graveyards and look at the stones
And tell you the nature of the owner of the bones
For if flowers were growing he’ll tell you for free
The bones of a good person lay down underneath.
But if weeds there are growing they’d died in disgrace
For flowers could never take root in this place

He saw a white moth once fly into his home
So straight-away he said that to him death would come
And he totally refuses to call at his best friend’s flat
For he’s driven me crackers and I've bought a black cat!

©Joe Wilson – His weird mania 2014
2.5k · Jan 2014
The Errant Hose
Joe Wilson Jan 2014
I’ve got an urgent appointment
I’m absolutely all of a rush
I have to get there quickly
And I'm starting to feel a hot flush.

Hunting around with my shirt hanging out
It’s missing! It’s missing! I let out a shout.

Whenever I have to dress for a date
If ever I get there I'm dreadfully late
It’s not punctuality that comes as a shock
It’s that I always manage to lose a sock.

2.5k · Sep 2014
A Windy Day by the Sea…
Joe Wilson Sep 2014
Walking along on the shingle spit
At Keyhaven near to Milford on Sea
You can almost touch the Isle of Wight
Less than a mile away o'er the lea.

Crab-fishing next at Mudeford Quay
With Lizzie and Sam on the nets
When off flies my hat which then lands in the sea
Chase is given but I’m taking no bets.

Later, me new-hatted, we sit by a pub
Enjoying our lunch and a chat
And we laugh at the turn of events in the day
Particularly at the flight of my hat.

Wearily later to our lodgings we go
Chicken Cacciatore for dinner, by me
We then all collapse and nod off to sleep
This just always will happen by the sea.

©Joe Wilson – A Windy Day by the Sea…2014
Joe Wilson Apr 2014
Within that magical moment
The world is at one and at ease
Everyone is loving their neighbour
And we have control of disease.

But it doesn't last, it cannot last
It will all go back as before
To the dying from hunger and violence
To man’s unending desire for war.

One man plants a crop for food
But another man reaps the gain
The one making life from the profit
While another’s reward is just pain.

That man is black, or yellow, who cares!
His blood like yours is red
The bullets or knives that pierce your skins
Would make you both as dead.

A man gets beaten in the street
His crime was being gay
Who gave those others the right to judge
Will prejudice never go away?

The ones with strength to dominate
Should nonetheless take heed
When they themselves are wanting help
Who’ll stay to fill that need.

I hear the ever-growing rains
They flood the town and field
Where hardship’s felt so gravely
Where man is forced to yield.

Perhaps we brought it on ourselves
We feel the need for so much
But there are so many more with nothing
Who’d benefit from a gentle touch.

Back to that magical moment
It’s the one just before I awake
Where the next moment comes and it’s over
And it can’t be put right with a shake.

©Joe Wilson – A Magical Moment…and then it’s gone! 2014
2.5k · Jul 2014
In quiet contemplation
Joe Wilson Jul 2014
There was an eerie quiet peacefulness
in the small sparsely furnished room.
The only sound that may have been heard
was of a solitary man wearing a brown robe
with the hood pushed carefully back in order
that his head would bared before God. He was
breathing in and out in a steady and relaxed way
as he occasionally and deliberately turned a page.

The man, perhaps in his sixties, one couldn’t tell
but for the age-worn hands that rested gently on a tome
before him. He was deep in thought and concentration
as he studied his Bible, something he did daily.
These were his moments of quiet contemplation,
but ones that he never shared, but with his God,
and upon finishing, he quickly rose and rejoined his Brothers.

He felt at Peace.

©Joe Wilson – In quiet contemplation 2014
2.3k · Jul 2014
Joe Wilson Jul 2014
he thought of all the horrid things
he would have liked to have said to his boss
for he was a very nasty piece of work
a fleeting thought and then it was lost

he’d have told him how much he despised him
and that he thought he was well past his prime
but the thought passed as quick he had it
as with all thoughts now he hadn’t the time

he’d have said lots of thing to some others
there were many many words they had used
but the one that had hit him the hardest
was when his boss had used the word ‘accused’

but then he had been stealing the money
he’d spent it on gambling and cars
but he was lousy at picking the winners
and spent a lot too much time in the bars

but he couldn’t face a lifetime in prison
he couldn’t have lived with the shame
so he felt that a fast trip down earthward
was the only way of saving his name

and so he was now on that journey
one he’d never taken before
it’s a once in a lifetime experience
when you jump from the fiftieth floor.

©Joe Wilson – Jumping 2014

‘a bit of fun – for me if not for him!’
2.3k · Sep 2014
Whisky and my pen...
Joe Wilson Sep 2014
Wind blows its way right through my senses
All my thoughts have but slowly disappeared
One more large smoky glass of cheap whisky
One more sad lonely night that you're not here.

Loneliness set in as the door quickly closed
Using the back door now and keeping that one shut
It will stay like that until ever you come back
But I've a notion now that it will stay put.

Old sore wounds that somehow resurfaced
Caused a bitter rift long forgotten to return
And the memories and the tears from the last time
Hit the heart, exploded and then burned.

So I sit trying to write and supping whisky
As I wait to hear your key in the front door
I hope with all my heart that you'll forgive me
I can't bear to be alone here any more.

The wind is getting stronger now and I thought I heard the latch
But it was just some fighting creatures out in the dark
So I'll wait as I do each night with my whisky and my pen
Sitting here and waking up with the sound of the lark.

©Joe Wilson - Whisky and my pen 2014
1.8k · Mar 2014
1914 - Final Thoughts
Joe Wilson Mar 2014
To a war that they’d never understand
Were sent men who hadn't a clue
Because men behind doors make decisions
While the dying’s for me and for you.

So thousands went off into battle
To places that they’d never known
Over the top and shot down to die
In fields where red poppies have grown.

Is there ever a point to this mayhem
I struggle to find one, I do
History'll record that I stayed here
So it matters not, but to a few.

One in a group of poems recognising the centenary of WWI
1.7k · Jan 2016
Lauds…(2nd morning)
Joe Wilson Jan 2016
In life as in so many things
Mercy needs angelic wings.
Forgiveness, the rarest gift.

Could we all not better choose
Those who sadly, often lose.
Forgiveness, the rarest gift.

Mercy needs angelic wings
A darker soul yet sometimes sings.
Forgiveness, the rarest gift.

Those who sadly, often lose
Fail to see the hidden clues.
Forgiveness, the rarest gift.

A darker soul yet sometimes sings
A peace will fall as new day brings.
Forgiveness, the rarest gift.

And God will watch and study all
To see what madness will befall.
Forgiveness, the rarest gift.

A peace will fall as new day brings
In life as in so many things.
Forgiveness, the rarest gift.

©Joe Wilson – Lauds…(2nd morning)…2016
1.7k · Nov 2014
Bragging right, 1950's style
Joe Wilson Nov 2014
He took his lass to the local flicks
By heck he was so very eager
But when his hand slipped down her back
She said, “I smell Swarfega.”

Not so easily discouraged
He went and scrubbed his hands
But when he got back to try again
She’d gone, and thwarted his plans.

They didn't have mobiles in those days
Further contact there couldn’t have been
So he went to the pub and stood with his mates
And bragged about the heaven he’d seen.

The tales those young men told…

©Joe Wilson – Bragging rights, 1950’s style…2014
(For those who may not know, Swarfega was invented in 1947
by Audley Bowdler Williamson, and is a hand-cleaning product
originally invented to prolong the life of silk stockings.
It found far more use in garages than it ever did in lady’s boudoirs)
1.6k · Jun 2015
Another sad statistic…
Joe Wilson Jun 2015
Harsh cold winds race down ***** back alleys
Bin lids are lifted and all taking flight
Ragged town foxes, heads inside dustbins
Cries of sheer anguish and they take off in fright.

Cold stillborn baby found in a  dustbin
Wrapped up in bin bags and filthy soaked towel
A bitter result of unlawful liaison
Another young girl has been treated so foul.

Search is now on to find the sad mother
Everyone knows that she will be ill
Soon she is found with wrists that are bright red
Only fourteen, lying perfectly still.

Another statistic of society’s indifference
As always lip service just isn’t enough
And still the harsh wind blows down ***** back alleys
Where young children find on the street, life is tough.

©Joe Wilson – Another sad statistic…2015
1.4k · Sep 2014
My many coloured life...
Joe Wilson Sep 2014
My many coloured life...

Colour me brown for the woods I played in as a boy
For the bow and arrows I used for a toy
For the friends and the fun and the unfettered joy.

Colour me beige for my calm and neutral look at life
The nothingness that could have been spread with a knife
The colour I felt before I loved my wife.

Colour me green for the nature that surrounds
For the children we had and there ever happy sounds
For the promise that their future hopes abound.

Colour me cream for your quiet elegant ways
That fill my life with beautiful days
The joy of being in a life-long phase.

Colour me blue for the truth you speak
For the trust you gave when my life was bleak
For the quiet solitude we sometimes seek.

Colour me pink for the true love you give
For the beauty of each and every day that we live
For the small thoughtless sins that you always forgive.

Colour me red for the passion we still feel
For each other a passion that is still very real
For the hearts that we tied with an emotional seal.

Colour me purple for the compassion you hold
For the sensitive spirits that with you unfold
For the judgement and dreams that help me feel bold.

Colour me yellow for the wisdom you set free
For the knowledge I learnt so empowering to see
For the sunshine in your heart saved especially for me.

Colour me all the colours so magnificently
You gave to me life far far less ordinary
You gave me your love and you showed to me…me.

©Joe Wilson – My many coloured life…2014
1.4k · Jan 2015
To sail...
Joe Wilson Jan 2015
I’d love to sail o’er the powerful sea, to sail to the end of time
and meet amazing people and be thankful in every rime
the pull on the sails, the feel of the rope and the salty sea
and a good fast ship to sail in, would be enough for me.

I’d love to sail and never stop, see the world in its symmetry
and watch the mighty albatross as it’s shadow flies over me
as the pull from the sea and the wind drive me on
and the cobwebs and quietude of the normal are gone.

I’d love to sail round Equator’s girth, and sail right back again
and read accounts of sailing men, who sailed this way back then
for the pull of the sea and a driving wind, and with all the sails unfurled
would make me the happiest of men in our strange water-filled world.

©Joe Wilson – To sail… 2015
Joe Wilson Jun 2014
The giant fin whale swam along with the tide
A nineteen-foot calf was swimming by her side
They were swimming away from her mate’s now dead shell
Trapped in a lagoon and then all shot to hell.

She’ll raise her young calf on her own from now on
Not mating again as they only take one
Her mate had followed a herring shoal in with the tide
And for a short while there were those who had tried
To help him turn and head back to sea
But the cruelty of nature would not let it be
At eighty feet long and a shallow cliff lea
It could not turn around to escape and be free.

And then a vile streak in the locals took hold
A most wicked shooting match began to unfold
The most handsome of whales was trapped and revealed
As shooters took aim and young children squealed.

They fired and they fired and they fired and they fired
Stopping only to reload and then when they got tired
They even drove speedboats across his shot back
Leaving deep deep prop cuts as a further attack.

And when they were done and the whale was no more
His body burst open and in death he’d now score
For the stench of his now rancid corpse was so rotten
This beautiful creature wasn’t easily forgotten.

There was a man who tried hard to get him free
But one man alone is as a wood with one tree
And by the time he had got national press all aware
The whale was now dead, so bored, they’d not now care.

©Joe Wilson – A Whale shouldn’t die like that 2014

Many years ago I was enthralled by the work of Farley Mowat the renowned Canadian environmentalist who died last month. From reading his book, based on real events ‘A Whale for the Killing’ published in 1972, I took to studying whales as a hobby and I quickly realised just what a perfect creature the Fin Whale is. It is the only whale that is match coloured along both sides giving it the same symmetrical beauty as a dolphin and is the second largest creature to live, the Blue Whale being the only creature bigger. It is so amazing it can lift its entire body out of the water. Why on earth would you fire thousands of rounds of ammunition into a creature so beautiful? Why?

This is a small tribute to the memory of Farley Mowat (May 12, 1921 – May 6, 2014) and to people like him who try so hard, such as the Sea Shepherds who try to stop the massacre of bottle-nose dolphins each year in Taiji, Japan ostensibly for food, even though most Japanese people shun the whale-meat.
1.3k · Dec 2014
Self-made Armageddon
Joe Wilson Dec 2014
And the days were spent in wonder
at all the horrors He’d seen
He sent unholy flooding and chaos
To wash the planet clean.

To see if change was ever made
He waited then two thousand years
But horror still was all around
And what He saw proved all His fears.

Can man not recognise his fate
can he not see when he is wrong
can man not see of His design
that words like peace and love mean strong.

The fiery pits that destroy our Earth
aren't in the depths of Hell
they’ll be the fire and cordite
of that last exploding shell!!

©Joe Wilson – Self-made Armageddon… 2014
1.3k · Sep 2014
The Wise Old Tailor
Joe Wilson Sep 2014
He sits cross-legged with fingers poised
His needle threaded with fine silken cord
As a bright new pattern takes over all thought
He starts a new coat very soon to be bought.

In each and every coat that he’s made
A customer’s future has been finely inlaid
For the tailor is also a very wise man
And he makes people happier whenever he can.

This maker of scarves and coats of all sizes
Won praise from the King, who gave him nice prizes
The new coat he’s making is for the King’s son
And he’ll sew in much wisdom and lots of good fun.

When the day comes that the boy takes the throne
He’ll be filled with such wisdom as never he’s known
The tailor talks not of such things, he won’t tell
He just smiles to himself to see all that is well.

©Joe Wilson – The Wise Old Tailor 2014

Written for children to enjoy
Joe Wilson Mar 2014
He was sent to Aldershot for training
He would learn ******* or be killed
The training was all done with broomsticks
When he thought back it made his blood chill.

His unit was sent down to Portsmouth
To board a ship and go over there
It was packed to the gunwales with weapons
And the rations left no room to spare.

He practiced with his rifle on the journey
Like others who’d not held one before
He’d no sense of the horror he’d be facing
Nor the violence he’d always abhorred.

It was such a small piece of shrapnel
Caught both eyes as a shell case shattered
He never saw his two boys as they grew into men
Missing out on so much that had mattered.

His wife who he loved always helped him
And a life with new interests grew
He learnt how to read the braille papers
It pleased him he’d still know the news.

But the trauma from the experience scarred him
And ire with politics grew by the day
So he took to his new odd braille keyboard
And wrote articles and letters to complain.

He could sense the new way that the wind blew
In the corridors of power in the House
There was money to be made in new weapons
And politicians ignore those who grouse.

Then again two decades later it started
Another war that would mean more dead men
The obscenity rose like a bile in his throat
So once again he took to his ‘pen’.

One in a group of poems recognising the centenary of WWI
1.2k · Apr 2015
The hopelessness...
Joe Wilson Apr 2015
I shouldn’t really be writing this naïve drivel. I have no idea at all of the hardships these desperate people go through. I wanted to imagine how it must feel though to finally find yourself in front of an uncaring bureaucracy. Obviously I, a secure white Englishman, whose history goes  back hundreds of years in this my home country, am far too safe to understand. My pen came up with this. I hope it doesn’t offend anyone.

The hopelessness…

It was such an ugly word
So many tall letters
It looked faintly absurd.
But the word simply robbed him
Of chances he had
Struggles to get here
So brutal, so bad.
Beaten, *****  and robbed
He’d slipped out of Mogadishu
His parents both dead now
He was there sole issue.
He paid all his money
For a hopeless sea trek
And got washed up on shore
Now the boat was a wreck.
It was filled to the gunwales
With people like he
Many were lost
As the boat wrecked at sea.
But he never gave up
He just fought all the way
And now six months later
He arrived at this day.
The bureaucrat before him
Had a large black word stamp
He was clutching it so hard
He surely had cramp.

And then there it was
That strange looking word
That made him an alien
Akin to a ****.
So all of the struggles
And all of the pain
Now left him deflated
It had all been in vain.
How desperate he’d journeyed
To leave behind war
What now! Invalidated!
His future unsure!

©Joe Wilson – The hopelessness…2015
1.2k · Jan 2014
I Remember The Mallard
Joe Wilson Jan 2014
As boys we sat atop a bridge
And saw the trains rush by
Steam flying out of funnel stacks
We watched them pass with a sigh.

The Royal Scot was a favourite
The Flying Scotsman too
But the biggest thrill we ever got
Was when The Mallard raced right through.

Such a beauty she was in livery
All blue and shining and bright
And to children like us in the fifties
She was such an amazing sight.

She was the four four six eight
And she ran on four six two
You couldn’t see her funnel stacks
For speed they were hidden from view.

They’d built her up in Doncaster
Through a wind tunnel she had passed
And when she flew along the tracks
You caught a glimpse and gasped.

Steam trains of course don’t run now
Except on heritage lines
But smelly and ***** as they may have been
They were a glorious sight in their times.

1.2k · Sep 2014
The pebble of life...
Joe Wilson Sep 2014
The small stone fell from a ledge
in a study somewhere
and dropped into a travel bag.

Later the bag was picked up and carried away.

Much later still it was put in a car
being placed on the back seat. The car was
then driven to a port where it was taken off
the seat of the car and carried on-board
a cruise ship. The cruise ship was about
to sail up the Norwegian Fjords. It sailed
there quite frequently, though not
exclusively as it also sailed
around the Mediterranean Sea.

The bag was taken to and placed in
one of the luxurious staterooms.The
owner of the bag and her husband
were celebrating an important event
by enjoying a journey that they had
always promised themselves. The bag
eventually ended up on the deck as the
husband had fetched it for his wife
for an object that it contained. In
getting that thing out, the small
stone got caught up in it somehow
and was pulled out of the bag and
fell onto the deck of the ship,
whereupon it started to roll about.

Ultimately the stone found its way
to the stairs down to the lower deck
where it found a gap to lodge in. The
cruise ship sailed into the fjords
during a sudden heavy storm causing
much turbulence not only on the ship
but in a number of the passengers
stomachs, one of whom, a drinking man
I chance, could not contain himself,
and he was violently sick. The storm
abated however, and all was well.

A crewman took on the task of
cleaning up after the apparently
bibulous gentleman and washed down
the deck, and in doing so, washed
the small stone through a gap,
specially there for the deck washing
purpose, and into the fjord whereupon
it sank to the very deep bottom.

Such are the mysteries of life, but
in that one pebble's journey you can
gauge the unpredictable future of
every man, woman and child and creature
on Earth.

Isn't life utterly bewildering?

It is unlikely that the ever-moving tides
in the fjord will not have moved it elsewhere
many times since it fell in off the ship,
out of the bag, out of the car, into the car,
into the bag, and off the shelf
in the first place.

How it arrived on the shelf is
a story for another day.

Utterly bewildering!

©Joe Wilson - The pebble of life...2014
1.2k · May 2015
Sinful surfing…
Joe Wilson May 2015
Now is my passion genuine,
Or fuelled by lustful need to win
I must have you within my arms
Held tight together,  sharing charms.
Forbidden love, but do we care
Wrapped in sin, we make love there
While all around, the world goes mad
For this snatched moment we are glad.

And as we lie, our passion spent
The skies are filled with dark portent
The cuckold is life’s tragedy
He lost his lover’s love to me
He couldn’t ever set her free
I took her to Eternity.

©Joe Wilson – Sinful surfing…2015
1.2k · Mar 2014
1914 – We call It Wipers
Joe Wilson Mar 2014
Mud goes so stiff as it dries on the clothes
And it gets in the rifles and ammo
And men live in the mud for day after day
And they die there as the death tolls just grow.

The lads call it Wipers, but we know it’s called Ypres
And we don’t know the language but know mud
And the massive field guns that are firing this way
Causing lots of men to stay here for good.

In two months I’ve not heard the sound of a bird
With the fighting and dying you don’t listen
But I saw a dead blackbird lying out in the mud
And memories of home made my eyes glisten.

I’d rather be back at my home on the farm
Tending cattle and working the land
But I’m lying here shooting at men I don’t know
In a hard ****** war that I don’t understand.

We’ll soon be coming to the end of this year
We were told that it wouldn’t last too long
I don’t know how much longer the men can last out
The spirits willing but their bodies aren’t strong.

We’ve been pounded for hours, we’ve been pounded for days
It seems like so long and it’s so cold
There are men who've got frostbite and gangrene and sores
But it’s the dysentery that makes some men fold.

When will it end and who will make peace
They’re decisions that aren't made at the front
But by men back at home who think they know best
Not by poor dying men bearing the brunt.

One in a group of poems recognising the centenary of WW1
1.2k · Apr 2014
Joe Wilson Apr 2014
To toast the official opening
Of our village Millennium Green
Twelve of us went on a journey
To see sights we’d never seen.

With a degree of apprehension
We were all of one accord
With an enormous basket that was attached
To a hot-air balloon we all got on board.

Whooshhh was the noise from the burner
As the pilot lifted up off the ground
But then as we rose up much higher
It was done with nary a sound.

Slowly we drifted Westwards
Then moving slightly to the South
A dozen brave souls in a basket
Gazed at landscapes with open mouth.

Stafford Castle was down below us
Then the motorway passed by too
We soon headed away from Stafford
Then Cannock Chase came into view.

We spotted some fallow deer grazing
Some of them sitting as if to retire
Then the pilot again fired the burner
And lifted the basket much higher.

Finally we reached the maximum height
That we were allowed to reach
Four thousand four hundred and eighty feet
A specific height that our balloon couldn't breech.

It was then that I saw with amazement
While the evening sun shone at our side
A passenger liner flew up through the clouds
It was a beautiful sight which no-one denied.

And did I get such a fabulous picture
Well of course not, I was too much in awe
By the time I had swung round my camera
A tailplane and the sight was no more.

We were coming to the end of our journey
I thought seeing the plane was the peak
But then we saw Lichfield Cathedral
With its three spires that make it unique.

The experience will always stay with me
Of an evening with a view from above
As we floated about in the heavens
Over countryside in the county I love.

©Joe Wilson – A View from Above 2014

‘August 2000 on a Friday evening in glorious sunshine, the balloon
lying in a heap on Derrington Millennium Green in Staffordshire, UK,
gradually began to fill with air as the pilot and his assistant slowly
pulled at it to allow air into all the creases. Suddenly it stood up
and drifted up into the air, though it was still tethered in four places
to the ground. I had no idea they were so big or so tall.’ ©Joe Wilson 2014
1.2k · Feb 2014
A Huge Fraction
Joe Wilson Feb 2014
He still felt deafened by the terrible noise
From the huge field guns that both sides had
Been firing hour after hour for four days. You
Could be scared to death just from the noise.

An eighth didn’t seem like much
Two sixteenths
Four thirty-seconds
Eight sixty-fourths
Sixteen one hundred and twenty-eighths.

Following his recent promotion to Colonel
He was sitting in his new office at his new desk
Hesitating to put his pen to paper
Resisting the inevitable sorrow to come.

He was writing down the numbers – thinking
Thirty two two hundred and fifty-sixths
Sixty four five hundred and twelfths.
Now the numbers looked much bigger.
When he reached
Five hundred and twelve as a
fraction of four thousand and ninety-six
He stopped.

The number now seemed insurmountable
Yet it was still that small fraction.
But he now had to write to that number
Of wives, mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters
And tell them that their boy would
Never again walk through their front door.

An eighth is so much more than just a fraction.

This is a poem about one man's responsibility in WW1
1.2k · Aug 2014
Love will always win…
Joe Wilson Aug 2014
I saved my childish heart for you
and luckily for me you took it
our life of glorious ups and ups
across the world or just next door
I would never have wanted anyone else
I couldn’t have loved you more.

Who could ever imagine
how amazing a person could be
the goodness and love you’ve given
you’ve given only to me
and why I ask was I ere so blessed
we make our choice with a heart that’s free.

There are times even now when I catch
my breath and feel a wonderful sigh
of contentment at my very full glass
and I smile as I think of my riches
it’s as if I’d been given all of that bread
and eaten all of those fishes.

After these thoughts my pains just ease
I’ll deal with those another day
and in your beauty I will bide
I’ll not change a single thing
but listen to your beating heart
and hear my own heart sing.

©Joe Wilson – Love will always win…2014
1.2k · May 2014
LOVE - an acrostic poem
Joe Wilson May 2014

Laugh  with you openly happy
Often about things of no note
Vital times that we embrace together
Every ounce of my love I devote.

You are my bedrock, you are my muse
Oft times alone I am of no use
Until once more you’re here as you choose.

©Joe Wilson – Love 2014
1.1k · Jan 2014
A Trip to the Seaside
Joe Wilson Jan 2014
The old and now empty railway track
Where iron horses will never come back
Carried trains along it on two four four
Driving along to the Welsh sea shore.

Children would travel with bucket and *****
Later to wonder at castles they’d made
While Mum and Dad with bags by three
Wondered if they’d brought enough for tea.

From Stafford station it pulled away
Stopping at Newport along the way
Then Shrewsbury town and Machynlleth too
Pulling in at Barmouth just after two.

Passengers piled out in their droves
Most of them looking for shallow coves
Mums carrying babies who’d often screech
Heading for quiet spots left on the beach.

To Mum and Dad it was a well earned rest
From their working days and household stress
And the joy of seeing children have such fun
It meant the holidays had begun.

Some days later, maybe three or four
Passengers waited by carriage doors
And back to their homes they all would go
With tales to tell to folks they know.

And as they journeyed East again
Saying goodbyes to holiday friends
They felt refreshed and enjoyed the ride
As the train sped away from the wild Welsh tide.

1.1k · Apr 2014
Joe Wilson Apr 2014
A big wooden train Dad made and painted red
Or a tricycle I sometimes preferred instead
Sometimes a Jeep or a truck or a plane
Those Dinky cars I played with again and again.

Cowboys and Indians that we played near the shed
At the end of the garden till it was past time for bed
Where I’d read Secret Seven books or Famous Five stuff
Till Mum put the light out and I’d feign a big huff.

It was a leisurely time full of fun with no fear
We enjoyed our school days and held them so dear
But it all fell to pieces on one Saturday past noon
When my beloved father died at years far too soon.

My childhood till then had been fun like a game
But from that moment on it was never the same
Though the standing by his grave in the cold pouring rain
Isn't the memory I recall, it’s Dad’s home-made red train.

1.0k · Jun 2014
My love lies beside me
Joe Wilson Jun 2014
Inward smiling as the thought just returned
Remembering the shame as advances were spurned
Still going red at the thought's recollect
No romance that time, another chance wrecked.

Ah adolescence and all the things new
The callowness is borne like a fedora askew
The so spotty face that we tried hard to hide
By growing our side-burns enormously wide.

And now decades later and still happy in love
With the woman who always fits me like a glove
Those teenage angst years are now way in the past
But we have to go through them for the now things to last.

To be loved for decades is a wondrous thing
My heart wakes each morning and just starts to sing
For my love lies beside me as we welcome the day
In my heart I now realise it was always this way.

©Joe Wilson - My love lies beside me 2014
Joe Wilson Mar 2014
They marched off with no idea of the forthcoming horrors
For thousands and thousands there would be no tomorrows
They were summoned, no choice, they just had to go
The fodder that falls when the big weapons bellow.

Men who yesterday were working out on the farm
Sent to **** other men who’d done them no harm
Young men who’d answered the clarion call
Went to The Somme, to die, and to fall.

The nightmare of trenches, the cries in the night
The black lines through letters home to cover-up the plight
The new men conscripted who died the same day
Who fell from the bullets before their first pay.

The young soldier killed at the point of a knife
The sad telegram to his new pregnant wife
The horror for one man as he killed another
Standing next to a stranger he now calls a brother.

The smell of the cordite that lingers everywhere
Accompanies the stench in this deathly nightmare
The noise that so deafens, that damages ears
Fearing cowardice charges young men hide their fears.

Men started this obscenity in quiet comfortable rooms
They don’t do the dying nor end up in war tombs
They’ll take all the glory any victories afford
That belongs to those buried beneath foreign green sward.

Part of a series of WW1 poems I'm writing currently
1.0k · May 2014
Joe Wilson May 2014
The love that binds our sensitive hearts
Has powers so full of magic
Upsetting its delicate balance
Can cause damage so often tragic.

With all your heart you must work at love
Stay the course, don’t falter
The heart responds to kindness
For true love not to alter.

The heart is such a mighty thing
It will guide you through your day
Its steady beat sustaining life
As your emotions find their way.

Look after your heart, follow its lead
And you may yet find love
It’s as sure to be about you
As there are the stars above.

©Joe Wilson – Heart 2014
987 · May 2014
The European Elections
Joe Wilson May 2014
I’m minded today we have a choice
to make our mark and raise our voice
but there are those, it’s very funny
who’d tell you how they’d spend your money.

All over Europe pundits gather
getting themselves in quite a lather
giving opinions on issues political
trying to make them sound so critical.

Skeletons found in many a cupboard
the found out grimace, some have blubbered
and later when all votes are counted
disappointment follows campaigns mounted.

In Germany too they’ll do their thing
as seats stay put or make a swing
France and Italy, Ireland too
votes for Europe are quite a to-do.

Votes are counted on Sunday of course
and Dimbleby brothers roll out in force
the great Swingometer comes into play
as seats are won across the UK.

After all the dust has settled
new MEPs all keen and mettled
all take their seats with po-faced pride
personal pleasure they try to hide.

And so to business for some it’s new
there are many and various things to do
like getting claims in for their expenses
the sitting places – the search for fences.

Alliances to make are the next big thing
who’ll vote with you on anything
but represent those who for you voted
or you’ll be out next time, I hope that’s noted.

©Joe Wilson – The European Elections 2014
983 · Jul 2014
The Unmoving Heron!
Joe Wilson Jul 2014
For an age I stared at that heron
my camera poised ready to prove
that if you stare long enough at a heron
the awkward buggers just will not move.

But the moment you put down your camera
and move your eye line a little to one side
the sod takes off while you’re not looking
and there’s loads of loud groans in the hide.

©Joe Wilson – The Unmoving Heron! 2014
A bit of fun...
976 · Nov 2014
A golden thread...
Joe Wilson Nov 2014
A golden thread runs through my life
it keeps me safe with warmest love
along the way this well fit glove
has helped me live when I might not
when if I died meant not a jot
caring always that I’m well
constantly renews her spell
this thread protects me from all strife.
It brought me back from where I ran
with crazy notions in my head
this sorry creature that I am
I couldn’t live without my thread
but thoughts like these will see me through
because my golden thread is you.

©Joe Wilson – A golden thread… 2014
971 · Sep 2014
Rabbit 1 - Fox 0...
Joe Wilson Sep 2014
He saw me watching as he was eating his fill
with me he seemed totally unconcerned
but then out of nowhere his enemy pounced
a fox on the hunt for his tea unannounced
but as the fox struck the rabbit’s head turned,
a chase ensued and the fox he got burned.

The rabbit ran zig-zag all over the field
with the fox giving chase with all might
the rabbit charged this way, the fox it went that
by the time it was over I was laughing in my hat
then the rabbit reached his hole and he shot out of sight
the fox had to give up, he’d go hungry tonight.

©Joe Wilson – Rabbit 1 – Fox 0…2014

For children.
952 · Apr 2014
Joe Wilson Apr 2014
When I was a boy I really feared nothing
As a teenager I couldn't have feared less
But as a man when I became a loving father
My life took on all kinds of fearful stress.

You think but worry where your little kids are
You know that they’re at school, at least they were
The horrid thoughts that things might happen to them
Causes panic of the sort we all incur.

But they grow up and they manage to stay in one piece
Then they move away and make lives of their own
Then you get a call to say that one is injured
To the other side of the world you then have flown.

Later still you find your other child is ailing
And you do your best to stay so very calm
While your heart is breaking as you reassure them
This brave person that you once held in your palm.

So yes I fear so many things I never used to
Plus concerns about my body as it grows old
And of course they say we might now live to eighty
But I never did believe all I was told.

But these fears are just the things that keep us careful
It wouldn't do to let them get to rule our lives
For it’s fear of fear that takes you to the limit
It’s the very thing on which the panic thrives.

938 · Mar 2014
Wot! No Burglars!
Joe Wilson Mar 2014
Where’s the dog, where’s the dog?
There are burglars in the house
But the dog sleeps oh so quietly
As quietly as a mouse.

And so the husband, he takes charge
It’s the middle of the night
Reluctantly creeping down the stairs
He’s our hero in full – fright.

Of course – there was nobody there
It was one of those ‘sounds in the night’
And our hero couldn’t have seen him
He’d forgotten to turn on the light.

The hero thus returns to bed
Not to welcoming open arms
His wife has drifted back to sleep
Oblivious to his charms.

Oh well he thinks as he gets in bed
And then he falls himself to sleep
Meanwhile below, the hidden thief
Leaves for his home with swag to keep.

918 · Jul 2014
Teenage boys can be cruel
Joe Wilson Jul 2014
Sometimes we return to long ago conversations
where more than cross words were uttered
where protagonists squared up to one another
and arguments and insults were uttered.

And when with the benefit of hindsight,
that most magical and wondrous thing
we realise often how wrong we were
and the knowledge of embarrassments sting.

If we could just take back those words
that were aimed to wound so deep
knowing how they’d hit their mark
and said to make someone weep.

In those teenage years, how cruel we were
how very little of life we knew
how gentle and forgiving our heart’s desire
how slow the understanding – in young men grew.

I’m now a man – three score and five
a man who love has touched so deep
but I colour now as I think back
at my cruelty then and I want to weep.

For almost fifty years I've loved just one
kindness flows through her every pore
I've strived to make up for those teenage years
and she just smiles and then loves me more.

My luck has held, we've stayed the course
I pinch myself to check I can still feel
and she looks and smiles at me and I know
it’s not a dream and it’s still real.

©Joe Wilson – Teenage boys can be cruel 2014
907 · Sep 2014
My beloved parents...
Joe Wilson Sep 2014
His now withered hand hardly moved
and yet I still knew what he meant
but it hurt me so to see my Dad
once a man so powerfully strong
be brought down by a bad heart
and by arthritis so cruelly bent.

His last eleven years were all in pain
it was plain for all to see
he worked all through the second vile war
sometimes in long eighteen-hour shifts
but he died at only fifty-two
in front of my siblings and me.

I will never know how my Mum coped
there were six of us to raise
and though she struggled, oh how she struggled
she fed and clothed us by means
It was only much later as an adult
that I understood and looked back in praise.

©Joe Wilson – My beloved parents…2014
879 · Jul 2014
My life less ordinary
Joe Wilson Jul 2014
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 *** 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
842 · Jul 2014
Joe Wilson Jul 2014
They set out together a long time ago
there was a keenness to their gait
whatever was going to be thrown at them
they’d take in their stride and then leave to fate.

They made many new friends along the way
with hearts so stout and true
and some friends are with them still today
’cause they’re good people through and through.

Their journey took them far and wide
it has been one hell of a ride
there were hardships aplenty along the road
but they never left each other’s side.

And now they are here in the twilight years
the journey’s not over for them yet
the gait is less keen and they have their fears
but they've got plenty of mileage in them yet.

©Joe Wilson – Keep going…2014
840 · Feb 2016
The seat of democracy…
Joe Wilson Feb 2016
That that is seat of such wisdom
The home of our so-called democracy
Shamefully now filled with self-servers
In seats oft retained by hypocrisy.

It remains as it was and ever shall be
Ye, even from birth in Ancient Greece
The privileged make wealth and all of the rules
We the mob, are just there to fleece.

And in that place of such pretence
They hack at each other like fools
While under the guise of good manners
Disdain and sarcasm their oft-wielded tools.

And now we the mob, get to view the exchange
They presume that it keeps us amused
But we voted for representation
And we’re not, trust and faith are abused.

For democracy to work for the masses
Those elected must place people first
But sadly, this is rarely ever the case
It will remains that for which we all thirst.

©Joe Wilson – The seat of democracy…2016
Following yesterdays (24 February 2016) exchanges in the House of Commons, in which our Prime Minister resorted to attacking the Opposition Leader on his lack of sartorialism, and the general, but vicious banality of exchanges, these observations came to me. Those we elect behave like baying wolves trying to metaphorically draw blood from those opposite. We don’t elect them for this. Not one of them deserves our trust.

This of course is my personal opinion.
839 · Sep 2014
The scorn…
Joe Wilson Sep 2014
He always walks with head so bowed
Keeping from the other’s crowd
For he has shame and guilt to bear
And for mocking voices he doesn't care.

He once bore arms and was a knight
But turned once he from noble fight
And now a coward brand bears he
Upon his face for all to see.

But none can know just why he turned
Why battle honour he had spurned
They cannot know the man he’d fight
His father, that was this man’s plight.

For father fought on evil’s side
A fight against their family’s pride
And now he bears this wicked scorn
His father’s sin, the family torn.

©Joe Wilson – The scorn…2014
837 · Jan 2016
Lauds…(the 5th morning)
Joe Wilson Jan 2016
A sparrowhawk swoops down for food
Spring blue skies will lift the mood
When days go rushing by.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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