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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
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
Joe Wilson Mar 2014
His mate sent a letter to his girl back at home
All the houses in their road put out flags
They were led to believe that the war wouldn’t last
By Christmas they’d be back at home smoking ****.

But it wasn’t so, he was still there on Christmas Day
With others just like him who were terrified
He’d heard they’d played footie somewhere miles away
But they carried on shooting and more men died.

He’d not really known how much a man could hate mud
But when it got in your food, then your eyes
And when you slept in it, and lived in it day after day
When men died in it their blood made dark dyes.

And the deafening noise of the guns just kept on
Till his eardrums had burst and made him deaf
The noise carried on like a dull thumping sound
He’d have run, but he’d got no run left.

All around him his friends were all dying
His mate with the letter had now gone
From the hundreds who’d been in the trench yesterday
Of the twenty-nine left, he was one.

What was this madness, again his heart cried
These men he must **** and for why
He couldn’t understand why the generals back home
Sent here all these young men just to die.

Then a round hit him just under his rib-cage
And the blood that oozed out was dark red
There was no medic nor anyone near him
So he bled out on his own till he was dead.

So another man lay in the mud dying
Still the reasons of why would remain
He just knew that those back at home waiting
Would get the sad telegram of pain.

Part of a series of WW1 poems I'm currently writing
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
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
Joe Wilson Feb 2014
It was a solemn affair
The funeral
Everyone who’d ever known him
Was there
Some even liked him a little
But most
Had just come to make sure
He was dead.

Amongst these folk a little arm
Reached up
To hold a grown-ups hand
His lad
His eyes squeezed tight, so tight
Lest he cry
To him at least he’d been
Just Dad
To this young boy the man had been
His Hero
Criminal in life the man had left behind
The Innocent.
Only time would tell if that would
Remain the case.

Joe Wilson Oct 2014
(This is just a piece of whimsy)

There’s a rabbit in the headlights
and I see him every day
he’s in the shaving mirror
and I cannot look away.

That I could find the courage
and turn my eyes away
I’d probably shave just half a face
and feel a fool all day.

To me this is just whimsy
to others it’s quite real
I’m not a frightened fellow
and the rabbit’s in the field.

©Joe Wilson – A bury of rabbits…2014
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
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.

Joe Wilson Aug 2014
Wandering in my mind looking for reasons
I came across far more questions than answers
Why are so many children of the world dying
Why are so many many mothers crying
Why is God so cruel to them – but I know
It is mankind that is cruel, it is man.

Why was man put here to be so unkind
Why are we here at all if not to find
A way to learn to treat our sisters
A way to learn to love our children
A way to learn to respect our elders
A way to learn to love with dignity.

Some choose a path that takes them to God
Some choose a different way and yet still hope
Some take a path that leads to their dying
And leave behind their widows and children crying
Can we not yet see that utter pointlessness
Nor see all of the good that we should bless.

A little child lies dying in a hospital crib
Her mother so unwilling now to depart
The shortest of lives that the wee thing lived
Like a stake has been driven right into her heart.
She was killed in the crossfire unintentionally
But she’s no less dead, can we not yet see!

A Cruelty Unbearable…2014
Joe Wilson Sep 2014
An innocent man though charged was he
For crimes so vile too despicable to bear
But sentenced to servitude indefinite
Behind dark bars his now wasted life.

The Winter days dragged long and weary
Penetrating cold congealed his once pure heart
The hurt he felt, humiliation now complete
His need for revenge, or pride at least, restored.

He sat and waited and counted off the days
Till then his moment kept at length
But time would come when he would strike
And hurt, and life would be undone.

No more he’d take from them the crumbs of fear
The lies of those who for so many so little cared
Would be swept aside as the truth so brightly revealed
No wrong he’d done, as die he now would, his conscience clear.

©Joe Wilson -A dark kind of retribution...2014
Joe Wilson Jun 2015
Anger rises, an outlet sought
A kind of peace not easy bought
It never used to be like this
The signs of cracks and things amiss
Can send us down the dark hallways
That lead to melancholy days.

Of pain and heartache on both sides
Who ever thought there were free rides?
We have to stand and keep our nerve
And fight for principles we serve
Of honour, love and dignity
And once again, our hearts set free.

Sacrifices must be made
A bright future, a good fair trade.

©Joe Wilson – A depressive state – but not as we know it…2015
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
Joe Wilson Sep 2015
And so at last it comes to this
A choice betwixt that place, or bliss
Struggling through a life of pain
Working hard for little gain.
The semblance of my life’s refrain
Is echoed o’er the world’s domain
As slipping now I start to miss
Life’s final sweet and tender kiss.

But yet, I fight and will not go
I’ve been here once before, I know
Fighting then to stay behind
Brought back to life by those so kind.
I’ve felt it though, so I won’t mind
When time is finally called I’ll find
As slide I into ebb and flow
No tiny imprints left to show.

We are here son
We so do be
But when we leave
We are set free.

We are as but a grain of sand
And dying once, I understand
We’re here to help within our span
To nurture life, do all we can.
Embracing differences of man
As tiny parts in this great plan
And if we sense it’s something grand
Perhaps we’ll feel that mighty hand.

©Joe Wilson – A grand plan…2015
Joe Wilson Feb 2014
Relentlessly the hard rain falls
Filling rivers, then people’s halls
From coast to coast across the land
Built-on flood plains, foolish plan.
Water’s nowhere left to run
Clearing mud off floors – no fun
Twenty years, no rivers dredged
Agencies failed to keep their pledge
To support environments welfare
I wonder if they really care.

They say that it will get much worse
More than one has left by hearse
Meanwhile winds have picked up too
Downing trees as roofs unglued
Causing damage at bills untold
Premium help-line costs unfold

The political football has now been tossed
As always, it’s the ‘us’ who've lost.
Ministers forced into too-late action
Doing it to just gain vote traction.
It should have happened years ago
Sadly it’s how we always go.
Nothing happens till lives are lost
And that becomes the priceless cost.
Somethings that can’t be replaced
Perhaps at last it might be faced.

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
Joe Wilson May 2015
Each day he tried so very hard
Her tender heart to win
She’d often smile at this silly card
Putting unopened notes in a tin.

For many years it was this way
He kept on trying so hard
Until one day she looked his way
And kissed this silly card.

She then began to read his notes
She took them from her tin
And on the wings of love it floats
The love he’d penned within.

They courted then and fell in deep
A love of purest gold
And love they did from wake to sleep
Until they both grew old.

They rarely left each others side
It’s where they liked to be
He said, there was no one else, with pride
You were all there was for me.

Decades on, and growing old
The spark of love still glows
Daily still his wife is told
“I love you”, and my love still grows.

Now hand in hand they fall asleep
And pray to see tomorrow
They only hope they go as one
To spare the other sorrow.

But yet, they wake another day
They smile and still try hard
Her beauty keeping age at bay
He's still her silly card.

©Joe Wilson – A lifetime of gold…2015
Joe Wilson Dec 2014
He leaves the village and takes his bow
and soon in silence his prey he'll know
he'll **** a boar and his family will be fed
life in the margins is that or be dead.
He'll cut the beast down the centre line
give half to his neighbour, he is that kind
this is their way, these people are fair
with their neighbours and friends they always share.
But let us not forget the soul of the boar
He reached into its heart and his then did soar
the beast served its purpose, fed people, went rotten
its soul though was pure, and by Him, not forgotten

©Joe Wilson - All His children... 2014
Joe Wilson Nov 2014
He died in a pool of disgust
after a lifetime of self-loathing
a life in which he had abused people
their trust, and even his own family's good name.

He had been a terrible person by his own reckoning
and he was filled with remorse -- but also self-pity.

It was thus that he found himself before his Maker
and he fully expected errors had been made in the direction
of his post-life travel arrangements.

His Maker looked at him and said,
"You are one sorry son,
and you've been a great disappointment."

"I", he spluttered.

"Interrupt me not, for I am not in the least finished.
You have stolen yet not hurt, you have hurt though not killed,
you have killed but only in the name of your country,
peace and negotiation and compromise seemingly beyond
the gift of human understanding."

he heard him say,
for he was far too afraid to look upon his countenance.

"You have cursed and been ungodly
but you have cared for your old neighbour.
You have drunk to excess and yet have always
got to and done a days work.

Heaven only knows how sometimes.

You have had fights in the streets
though you have indeed tried to reform.
You have never listened to My Word
when I could have helped you and
it surely pained me to see you struggle.
You are one mixed-up man."

He was agog as his sorry life was so
painfully listed before him, and
he was sorely afraid of his fate.

His Maker went on, "However,
you are basically a good man adrift.
somewhat confused and in a morass of self-doubt,
and I would not cast you down to my
Greater Disappointment below,
where you would surely not enjoy
-- a single moment.

Get yourself in here lest I change my mind.
Do not think that this is the end of it, for
you have much to redeem yourself for
and my rooms are many."

Without another word his Maker disappeared
and he was amidst a wondrous throng.
He felt completely enlightened and knew
he had been saved. His heart was so full
and he felt a goodness he'd never known.
He truly wished he could pass this feeling
on to those he had left behind and that
he could make up for his past wrong-doing.

"You will my boy," he heard. "You will."

©Joe Wilson - All that is... 2014
Joe Wilson Jul 2014
She crushed his young heart with just a hard glance
he’d wanted for so long to ask her to dance
but with her haughty grin and that withering stare
he’d wished the ground would just swallow him there.

At the time they were both just sixteen years old
she had looked up at him and with a look that was cold
that had crossed over her face in such a harsh final way
he never thought he’d see her smile at him one day.

But he never gave up it just wasn’t his style
he thought that perhaps it would change in a while
so though he never pursued her he still always cared
and he made sure he stayed close but he never stared.

Then one day at lunchtime she spotted him nearby
and gave him a smile and in his heart he did cry
but cry out in joy at her beautiful face
and his heart just ran to her as if in a race.

She was not like the girl he had looked at before
but he too was no longer a child anymore
and in all of the years that had passed in between
she also had watched him and had followed his scene.

Both of them knowing that hearts now were full
and feeling desires for each other that pull
they fell into each others love hungry arms
and lived for that moment of love-driven charms.

They’ve never forgotten those love-hungry days
and they care for each now in so may ways
they’re always together even when they’re apart
for each gave the other the whole of their heart.

©Joe Wilson – A love that grows and grows 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
Joe Wilson Nov 2014
For I would walk my love, with you
down lanes and through these pastures green
and we would talk as good friends do
of joy and life, in mood serene.

For man could find no better mate
than lifelong’s lover by his side
with things as these to cogitate
and stroll along in time’s great tide.

And as we glide along in peace
we talk and laugh enjoying life
my love continually doth increase
for you the one who is my wife.

To have found you so long ago
and loved you then as I do now
an angel surely let me know
the route to your heart, and the how.

If other men had love as mine
to grow and last a lifetime through
had lives all filled with hearts divine
and days of joy and romance new.

Such joy they too would countenance
and lives that feel so much more fine
as they cavort through merry dance
in life so wondrous such as mine.

©Joe Wilson – An angel surely let me know… 2014
Joe Wilson Jan 2015
…and as I wandered through my mind
cluttered with memories of every kind
I smiled whenever I thought of you
the things we shared,
the love that grew.

…but time has caught us up at last
those memories all are in the past
yet still I smile at thoughts of you
loving our children
as they both grew.

…and when you ail I cannot bear
your being in pain that I can’t pare
yet as you smile to guide me through
I know I’d not survive
had I not you.

…as we've grown older our love remains
passionate as ever despite life’s strains
love is the greatest gift twixt two
I found life’s gift
when I found you…

©Joe Wilson – And as I wander…2015
Joe Wilson Apr 2015
So round they come again, selling their wares
Trying to convince you the worth of the shares
Telling you all of the wonders they’ll do
When we are in power, we’re working for you.
It’s a great con of course, they just want your vote
Post all elections, folk don’t get a note
To say how important that cross was you made
All hopes for the future are surely, put-paid.

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

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

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

©Joe Wilson – And so it goes…2015
Joe Wilson Jul 2014
He could hear the steady beat in his ears
it was the only sound there was sometimes
and was the most comforting sound ever made
but he knew this was not the only sound
as he sometimes felt rather than heard
something making other gentle sounds
and when the something moved
he had no choice, he moved too.

Something in the distance would make noises back
though that thing didn't seem quite so gentle somehow
and where he was he felt very safe and comfortable
but although he couldn't see anything he felt
he was on a journey that would soon be over
and then – he would see everything.

Then one day he was there
he was surrounded by brightness
and moving things making strange noises at him
that he didn't understand and which made him cry.

But soon and very gently he was placed next to a thing
that he instinctively knew was his Mother.
It was the most beautiful thing
that he could have ever imagined.

©Joe Wilson – A new beginning 2014
Joe Wilson Mar 2015
A new life…

And so they gave her chamomile
To restore her sense of calm
But each and every person there
Saw pointlessness in balm.
She would now always live in fear
He’d died, she was on her own
And she who’d lived a  fragile life
Would spend her days alone.

And live she did, surprising most
A new life she took to
Her past fragility she shook off
In fact she even flew.
Around the world she travelled
To countries far and wide
And everywhere she journeyed
His heart felt by her side.
Until at almost ninety-nine
She then called it a day
Whilst jumping from an aeroplane
She kept her chute in stay.
But those who jumped out with her
Saw her face was so sublime
She shouted she was going now
To join him, it’s now time.
And so she fell down to the ground
Though gently she did fall
Carried down to  earth in peace
As if held by her lover’s thrall.

©Joe Wilson – A new life…2015
Joe Wilson Oct 2014
He walked down the length of that long lonely street
His footsteps tapping a short rhythmic beat
He encountered no one at that time of day
There was no one to stop him and have their say.

It was a dark three o’clock in the morning
As he wandered aimlessly along the road
But it wasn’t as if he had any place to go
He was only but another poor homeless Joe.

He was on the search for some food or scrap
New enough still to hate this poverty trap
Recently separated, he lost his job and his home
He now find’s himself on the road, where he roams.

He’s tried very hard to keep his dignity too
Not mixing much with the others who do
And he now walks about with an air of fake calm
Thinking that might protect him from coming to harm.

It had never occurred to him that he was always at work
His wife needed more, he understood that too late
Over years it had taken a hard marital toll
So she’d stepped away from him and he’d lost his role.

But he wouldn’t give in, he was determined about that
He desperately told himself every day
He couldn’t let himself live like this for long
He felt if he said so that he would remain strong.

His wife said she still loves him, despite that she left
He caused her such pain and he feels so bereft
But as long as she loves him it gives him some hope
He’ll fight his way back up this steep darkened *****.

He walked down the length of that long lonely street
You could hear a slight lightness to the short rhythmic beat
His eyes filled with tears as his wife filled his heart
Determined he walked on to make a new start.

©Joe Wilson – A new start…2014
Joe Wilson Aug 2014
Angela called again today
this time she was borne in the wind
she tore away at my heart again
she certainly is no friend.

the pain travelled right up through my neck
then made its way down my arm
there is nothing at all about Angela
that I could an endearing charm.

So then I got the big guns out
my nitro-lingual spray
I sprayed the devil right under my tongue
till slowly Angela flew away.

I’ve had the attack, the by-pass too
a long time ago plus a day
and I guess that the odd call from Angela
Is really such a small price to pay.

©Joe Wilson – Angela called – again 2014
Joe Wilson Apr 2014
He sat there, always looking out of a small round window
That could easily be a reflection of his tragic mind
Since the day he knew he’d been left on his own
It seemed like there was nothing in there left to find.

Every day from half-past eight and all day till five-past five
He sat immobile staring out, a sad look on his face
He’d never notice anyone, nor speak a single word
He’d sit there never stirring from his lonely lonely place.

He may have wondered where they’d gone, for they looked after him
But his parents, both of them now dead, had done their very best
Now here he was at fifty-three, an only child yet still
Just left to stare through windows, in old pyjama bottoms and vest.

He’ll be swallowed up by the system, and churned back out to the street
He’ll wander about in his own little world, and we won’t understand
He’ll be doing his best with what he knows and what he tries to follow
But our complex welfare system just won’t deal with his demands.

©Joe Wilson – An Inadequate System 2014
Joe Wilson Mar 2014
Twenty-three pairs of chromosomes
That’s forty-six in all
Are in the human body
And generally having a ball.
Until something goes very wrong
And trillions of molecules go wild
And cells grow odd and multiply
In bad ways not required.
And in any part of the body
Those cells can go awry
And sadly that often means cancer
To the likes of you and I.

There’s a battle raging through your body
And another going on in your mind
You’ll be asking all kinds of questions
And want answers of every kind.
Then you’ll wonder if this was your fault
If you’d done something to cause this vile hitch
But no, as your body is under assault
Rest assured it’s ‘cause life can be a *****.
But fight the *****, that’s what you must do
Because really you've no other choice
And beat the thing back and make sure you win
Those who love you will breathe out and rejoice.

Sometimes life gets in the way.
Joe Wilson Dec 2014
Slim grows the Willow sapling
before it blossoms wide
while through the gate of mighty Oak
the Ivy grows up by its side,
and seated on this chair of Beech
I gaze at the Rowan berries
reduce in number as I watch
as birds are making merry,
and walking round the meadow
where Lime trees grow quite tall
the Redwoods push up to the sky
to dominate them all.
We pass the nearby churchyard
where Yew trees always grew,
the tree that has the sorry task
of saying goodbye to you.

©Joe Wilson - An ode to trees... 2014
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
Joe Wilson Jun 2015
...(still in the manner of Ogden Nash)

This badger is large and of course, lives underground
He barks like a dog, and makes quite a sound
He’s got massive claws so I keep far away
But then, he doesn’t visit much down my way.

I recently saw him go after an eel
He walloped him hard and it made a loud squeal
Then next he tried to provoke a large cat
Which simply swanned off, well fancy that!

Old brock then went after a giant eagle owl
Well he’s not exactly your domestic fowl
The owl flew up with things left unsaid
But dropped a large message right on his head.

That badger, a glutton in more ways than one
Next tried to see off a massive white swan
Who just raised his wings in a mighty display
Old brock disappeared for the rest of the day.

Soon after the badger’s done his vanishing trick
All of the birds burst out fast and thick
And meeses and voles had their best time yet
Knowing old brock was asleep in his sett.

©Joe Wilson – An unfortunate badger…2015
This is purely a bit of fun. I did a previous poem in the style of Ogden Nash for a challenge on a different site. This is still in a Nash style, perhaps with a bit of Dr Seuss thrown in, and a bit of me.
Joe Wilson Jun 2014
The wind was howling and the trees were bare
I called your name, there was no one there
The darkness gathered all around
And stillness – there was not a sound.

It was then I saw Him watching me
With eyes so sad that I could see
He felt the sorrow and sensed my pain
He knew I’d not see you again.

He surrounded me with a kindly peace
As if He knew there was no release
And all my tears welled up inside
Emotions that I’d tried to hide
All came tumbling, tumbling down
And fell like raindrops to the ground
And in that moment I think I knew
What He, Himself, had once been through.

I stood and looked into the night
Of Him there was no longer sight
And thus I left that Holy place
Myself at peace, and you in grace
And though my life will just go on
Forever now we’ll be as one
But when I go back to that place
I’ll hope to see His peaceful face.

©Joe Wilson – A Place of Tranquility 1994 (re-edited 2014)
Joe Wilson Feb 2014
Angelic voices called to her
She faltered at beauty’s sound
She’d thought that she was doing well
Surprised that now she had been found.

The monsoon rains had brought her down
A fever struck so deep
Her strength gave out eventually
Her will began to seep.

She’d worked out in the harshest place
She’d dug and picked and sown
On land that others made profit from
The land was not her own.

She’d even had a child once there
And then just carried on
The baby wrapped up on her back
Her plaintiff cry so wan.

But now the time had come for her
Worn out at forty two
Amidst the constant poverty
Her death was nothing new.

They buried her and carried on
No tears upon their face
The crops still needed planting
Her daughter filled her place.

Joe Wilson Mar 2014
It starts with a trickle way up in a hill
Just a small drop little more than a rill
It seeks out the gulleys and cracks in the ground
And begins its long journey all the way down.

There is a short distance where it goes underground
And listening quite closely one can hear the sound
Of the loud rushing sound as one stream joins another
It’s much larger now as it bursts from its cover.

Down it keeps tumbling still fairly small
Till it drops from a cliff in a long waterfall
Where it now joins a much bigger stream and together
They race for the sea as they go hell for leather.

After a few miles the pace slows right down
As the river encircles the outskirts of town
There are men dipping fishing rods hoping for bounty
That flows with this river, the pride of the county.

Miles further on the river seems to stop
There’s a very sharp bend and a deep hillside drop
But after the bend it gets off on its way
Nothing else holds up its progress today.

Other streams will join it as it quickens its pace
Smaller rivers too will join in the race
The mighty thing grows as it travels along
Sometimes it sounds like it’s singing a song.

There’s a very high bridge that carries the trains
That travel along on the networks veins
It has several arches that lift the bridge high
And the river flows through them as it passes on by.

A family of swans with their heads all held high
Their necks long and slender reach up to the sky
They swim along gaily and some ducks join them too
But they stop sometime later as there’s nesting to do.

There’s a place miles along where it goes through the sky
Borne on an aquaduct that creaks with a sigh
Where underneath lorries carry freight to the ports
Vying for space with cars and vans of all sorts.

Many more bridges will it pass on its way
And more roads will cross it in every which way
Till finally the river arrives at the coast
Suddenly small by a much greater host.

In the estuary the river meets up with the sea
When the weather is stormy they crash forcefully
And back in the hills many miles far away
A small drop of water starts the journey again.

Joe Wilson Nov 2014
Along a rugged pathway
I not so silently struggle on
The rising fear is ever there within.

The returning pain like some old friend
Has called on me yet again
I’m powerless as always to resist.

Weakened now from this new call
I struggle to catch my breath
One day, one day, I may yet falter.

The hand of love forever there
Reached in the night to comfort
That alone has helped me through.

The darkness passes yet once more
And peace returns to quell
More fragile now once more, but on I go.

©Joe Wilson – Arterial squeeze…2014
Joe Wilson May 2015
On such a glorious day as this
We left the aisle in wedded bliss
And through the years of joy, and pain
I’ve thought, I’d do it all again.

A journey such as we have made
Where love stands out and ill did fade
Was all I ever hoped to see
With one who’d know the real me.

©Joe Wilson–A short note to my wife…2015
Joe Wilson May 2015
And so you reach your final scene
Will someone know that you have been
Did you enjoy a fulfilled life
Or was it filled with pain and strife
And did you ever stop and find
Enough surprise to blow your mind
Did music lift your spirits high
And books so thrill you by and by
Or were perhaps these not for you
You found more sporty things to do.

Did you find someone to love
Who made your heart soar high above
And was your faith a boring drone
That made you feel the need to moan
Or did it lift your spiritual tone
And let you know you weren’t alone.
Have you made a difference
Of complex times have you made sense
And have you done the best you can
Or been a swine or harridan
Is your humbleness well known
Or is your call a megaphone?

We are so many, we differ so
How others feel we sometimes know
But if we’re generous in our hearts
Friendships grow from gentle starts
And you can love just who you choose
The loveless are the ones to lose
As those who love care for the land
Embracing nature, no demand
And making way to journey’s end
When sometimes death seems like a friend
Perhaps reflect and leave this hint
We all should leave a small footprint.

©Joe Wilson – A small footprint to signify ones life…2015
Joe Wilson Sep 2014
Hal drew his sword from it’s long sheath
and faced his nemesis on this dark heath
and fought for life and fought till death
his enemy taking his last foul breath.

Long times this family feud had raged
and in its wake young men had aged
for now the devil would breathe no more
till others rose to settle the score.

Returned he then to his peaceful life
sharing in joy with his new young wife
and she did bear him fine young sons
he hoped his violent past was gone.

But the devil will often find ways back
and thus with time came a new attack
so Hal’s son drew his father’s sword
this ancient duel his family reward.

The feud had lasted for ere so long
kinsfolk recalled it oft in song
of troubles over betrayals done
and deathly duels betwixt each first son.

And then one day Hal’s nemesis fell
and hurt them-self as he could tell
he lowered his sword and approached his foe
removing helmet let long hair flow.

This time it seemed there was no heir
but duty fell to the eldest there
and so the woman had taken up sword
for she too felt her kin’s reward.

But Hal had fallen deep in love
so swore that he’d not raise a glove
and she too felt her heart was won
the betrayal forgotten they were as one.

©Joe Wilson – A son’s tale…
This was just a story set in medieval England
where unimaginatively all first sons are called Hal.
I’ve tried to write it in that kind of style.
Joe Wilson Oct 2014
If I raise my head I can see out the window
But I know it’s raining I can hear it
I’ll not raise my head
Why the hell is it raining
I’m supposed to be going for a job interview
And it’s raining…******.

I’ll be soaked to the skin and my hair will be
plastered to my ****** face again
just like it was at the last of these things
Where I was the blasted wet interviewee.

So why I ask did I not cut my hair?
I didn’t get it cut last time either
and I can draw a sad conclusion too
I don’t wan’t the job nor the mither.

So I know that it’s raining
I know I’ll get wet
It’s a thankless job anyway
So I’ll stay here in bed.

Get up, get up, lazy sod!
Oh God it’s my righteous inner-self again
**** and Blast!
One more pointless interview
coming up…

©Joe Wilson – A sort of pointlessness…2014
Joe Wilson Dec 2014
He walked among them and felt their joy
it was Christmas Eve but he had no employ
his job was lost, recession has a cost
his back was bowed from all he’d lost.

This year his children would have few toys
no in-line skates or games like other boys
his beloved wife would have little too
it broke his heart but what could he do!

And so he stood upon the railway track
knowing he couldn’t get it back
he heard the train from so far away
not wanting to face another day.

And while he stood and waited there
a star so bright he had to stare
his earthly troubles all slipped aside
a presence engulfed and he warmed inside.

He realised his dreadful selfish act
would worsen many other lives in fact
and hurried back to the home he shared
full of guilt for how he’d not cared.

He reached his door to find his wife
the beautiful woman who shared his life
and in her hand an envelope
contained an offer of work and hope.

The next day dawned and as he woke
inside his head a small voice spoke
patience my son, things do work out
retain your faith, remove all doubt.

That Christmas Day was good indeed
from children’s joy that filled a need
and from a faithful inner glow
brought about by Him we know.

©Joe Wilson – A star so bright… 2014
Joe Wilson Oct 2014
His death could oh so easily have been avoided
At eighteen he was far far too young to die
But the belief that lay within him was so powerful
Now his family have just the memories and they cry.

Men have always gone off fighting for their ideals
And their kinsfolk are the one’s put under strain
For the sickening news that often gets brought to them
Turns their once sun-happy days to ones of rain.

It doesn’t matter a single jot whose side they fight on
The resulting family heartache is still the same
There are those who would use these young men’s keenness
And exploit them in their own political game.

There’s a funeral now as another boy is laid down
And his family are beside themselves in grief
But governments have been this young man’s killer
Politicians stole his heartbeat like a thief.

©Joe Wilson – A stolen heartbeat…2014
Joe Wilson Nov 2014
A tiny tear falls from my eye
For each and every death
Another suicide bomb goes off
And snuffs out human breath.

They blow themselves for principles
That we don’t understand
If they are right ---if we are right
It still means blood-stained land.

For pity’s sake each life that’s lost
Just hardens attitudes against
We have to talk to stop their deaths
And negotiate without constraints.

Each innocent life that gets destroyed
Is a wasted friend or lover
A murdered mother or father
Or a dead sister or brother.

This surely cannot go on forever…

©Joe Wilson – A tiny tear…2014
Joe Wilson Jun 2015
He stood in protest against the war
‘What the hell do we have children for?’
We love them, teach them of free will
Not bringing them up to maim and ****.

But politicians make their spin
And send our children off to win
Against an enemy of their creation
They put at risk our very nation.

He stood and argued long and hard
As they pushed him back yard by yard
Until one day the poor man died
And at his death a nation cried.

Yes, I remember Brian Haw
His ten year protest against all war
The shameful way they moved him on
It’s four silent years since he’s been gone.

©Joe Wilson – A tribute to Brian Haw – peace protester…2015
Brian Haw died of cancer the day before my birthday four years was a respectful birthday.
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.

Joe Wilson Sep 2014
At the back of my mind is a small peaceful walk
Where I amble alone and I don’t have to talk
Where war in the world is a far distant nightmare
And only my personal thoughts I invite there.

If ever the bustle of life gets so fierce
That delicate bubble of sanity pierced
The final resort to losing my way
Shut down for a moment to this place I stray.

But just for a moment and then on with the show
There are things to be done and places to go
It just wouldn’t do to be all that insular
I leap from the sidelines with a little chutzpah.

So now all refreshed I return to my labours
All buoyed by my moment away from life’s sabres
Get myself to the grindstone and continue the task
Forgive me my failings is all that I ask.

My failings are many and yours may be few
We each try our best in the things that we do
If we just understood that and accepted this thing
Troubles would be less and far more hearts would sing.

Occasionally you’ll find me at the back of my mind
I’ll let your thoughts in if intentions are kind
And you’ll find that I think something similar to you
Our innocence was lost by the road as we grew.

There’s a small peaceful walk at the back of my mind
I like to go there and meet friends who are kind
It’s not really to hard to summon them there
They’re people like me who’d like the world to be fair.

©Joe Wilson – At the back of my mind…2014
Joe Wilson Oct 2014
Walking down the narrow footpath

That skirts along the tiny rill

I see the leaves all going red

But clinging on to branches still.

The redwings picking berries

Till their crops are all packed full

It’s all hubbub and chatter

Never a moment is dull.

And by the time we next walk round

The village green adjacent

The chill begins to penetrate

We are in Autumn nascent.

Trees growth begins to falter

The sap gets drawn back down

And leaves begin their annual fall

And land in heaps without a sound.

Slowly all the leaves fall down

The sycamore and ash and lime

The ground is strewn with many kinds

We’re in the Autumn prime.

But wait…there are a few leaves left

They rattle as strong winds blow

They’re oak and beech still hanging on

They’re often the last to go.

©Joe Wilson – Autumn’s arrival…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
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.
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