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8h · 40
Now, a passenger
Our love has never stalled
there was always a skilled driver
who steered it through the years
through all of those beautiful miles
through all of those byways of tears
driving us forward
not revving, but moving smoothly
on all of life’s upward climbs
over the potholes of misery
and the times of downward declines
now, in Winter, there is a stepping down
from the driving seat
an acknowledgement of the weathering
but this does not matter
for our journey together is almost complete
and now you can simply a passenger be
along what is left of life’s highways
its roads, its lanes, its older streets
now, you can simply take it easy,
and simply be with me
Pavements suddenly
become continuous puddles
a spattering of drops
wind down a window pane
and  feet are suddenly wary
and pausing before walking

Here comes the rain!

A leaf fills, and then falls
an insect swims on a tumbled ear of grain
a grass blade bows and then breaks

Here comes the rain!

Inside my heart a beat misses
remembers, with tears
long ago kisses
before separation’s pain
comes pouring into my mind

Here comes the rain!
8h · 31
What lies .....
What lies in hearts that have never warmed
to conscience, to morals or to love
what lies in the mind
that fosters hate
as cold as taloned claws
concealed in velvet gloves
that shield from the gnawing bite
of frost yet warm not the bone within
that is a framework for a broken something
an evil beneath the skin
that does not shine from a stranger’s eyes
nor in lips curved in smile or even in frown
nursing an evil that will **** or strangle
will **** with fire
or will in acid drown
who can know what lies in a stranger’s heart
who can see the evil in a dark dimmed soul
so shield yourself from a stranger’s passing gaze
and keep yourself and sanity, whole
What is a village for?
if not to provide a gathering place
for gossips focussing on all
except themselves
simply to keep their own face
What bird  it was
no-one could have known
but it stirred the leaves that Autumn
quick had  turned
there where the green of Summer
to a fierce blaze burned
the wings beat a tattoo
a rapid pitter patter, albeit slight
there in the tall scramble of branches
at the very edge of night
what bird was it
who could have known
that stirred with its wings
the Autumn’s burnt leaves
yet remained
1d · 44
Were I to be ...
Were I to be ...
without your closeness
the stars could fall
and the moon its benevolent light
would withdraw
there would be no call of bird
and hence no fluttering wing
and darkness would grow
and would swallow everything
there would be a masking
of  all warmth and light
but all of  this would go unnoticed
without your closeness
there can be no warm good night
nothing whole
nothing pure
nothing shining
nothing bright
were I to be
alone at night
1d · 101
What can I
what can I make of life
if life does not make something of me
what can I make of freedom
if freedom does not set me free
what can I make of love
if love does not seek me out
and what can I make of certainty
if I feel only doubt
1d · 39
the separation of her body from her mind
the separation from all that she has left behind
the loss of identity, that uncertainty
when once she felt so secure
the daily indignities
that her separating mind now has to endure
that girl full of idealism
bent on re-arranging,
even totally changing, the world
then that woman
who around his beckoning finger
her future  to his beckoning curled
now to this - this existence so far from
all before that she had known
and for so long so very long
had believed to be so sure
now all that is, is this
this separation that she
has had to endure
without him
without his presence by her side
now come, at last, the tears
the half comfort that she
at first to herself denied
2d · 34
Rough sleeper
his pillow is neither soft nor clean
not crisp linen, laundered and pristine
but hard, and grey, and stained
the result of years of use
it speaks to him of desperation,
of the decades of abuse
it is a kind of snapshot
part of a bigger picture that only he can see
the outward expression of all his despair
that is foreign to you or to me
we, who pass him by with scarcely a thought
just tossing a copper or two
know not why he lies with expressionless eyes
in a face of ashen hue
can only guess what our coins might buy
when he wanders the streets every night
unable to feel as he feels
when we disappear from sight
and he finally lays his head on that pillow
that head where bleak memories play
and he cannot sleep for sleeping
will never chase those dark memories away
the man who denied him a childhood
for his sins will never atone
so take time to spare
a brief moment of prayer
for the sleeper with pillow of stone
2d · 34
On the outside
I have spent all of my life
on the outside somehow
always on the edge of  everything
oh how I wish more than ever now
that I could be given wings
for I would take to the skies above me
to a place apart I would fly
with no-one to stop me from going
no one to question why
I would transform myself
into another
who could take all
and everything in their stride
and cast a million spells to protect
the last of the countryside
I would dismiss all pain,
all loneliness
every ache from every heart
and a new beginning for this tired old Earth
would be
the place where I would start
2d · 39
Old Age sits
Old Age sits
and waits as might a
predatory vulture
hunched and grey
waiting, watching
hungry for its prey
desperate to swallow youth
then to disgorge
the dimming  years
that offal of  all truth
(for the homeless who go
unnamed to their last resting places

somewhere a clock
is ticking tonight
ticking away the final moments
of a life completed
and conveniently
out of sight
2d · 34
No-one sees her in the wings
Prompting when memory stalls
When lines are fluffed
No-one sees her linger
Where the curtain falls
Even if they did
Would they recognise
What once they admired
In those faded features
that faded, greying, hair
Those faded sequins
That scarf about her crepey throat
Reflecting the faded blue of eyes
Beauty came - and went too long ago
Too long, too long ago
When once she stole the show
Did no conception of his humanity
Enter your empty soul?
Did human connectedness
Finally crumble to charcoal
And thereafter reduce to soot
Was this how you saw his life
A useless ***-end crushed beneath
Your deliberate foot

You taunted him
Set alight plastic to drip
upon his frail human skin
What part of you was flawed
What heart could be porous  enough
To let such emptiness in

He had nothing, yet still you robbed him
Did your replace his humanness
With the blackness of your fears
“not deeply wicked” the Judge said
Pronouncing sentence
Yet, I wonder,
what can you shed in place of tears?
A BOY of 13 who killed a ***** by setting fire to him on a park bench was ordered to be detained for 3½ years yesterday.  Daily Mail, Friday, November 8, 1996
In our isolation a massed choir of
thoughts sang through our souls
here we were not really shielded.
Here we faced mortality  
for the cave wrapped us in shawls
of nurturing  
or shrouds colder than cold

We went down,
drinking in the darkness
Biting into our innermost reserves
Swallowing negative thoughts and fears,
digesting emotions  
Dissecting the depths,
uncovering arteries
carrying imagination
Lifeblood of the universal poet
It was dark within and around,
inside and out
Only fitfully illumined by conscious thought
Above us windswept streets
were the city’s own arteries
Of shops, of selling,
of the power of persuasion
There, below, beneath
wrapping itself around us
there was only the dark  
A smothering shroud
or a mothering shawl
Dependent upon the flow of our imagination
3d · 136
I am a Moth
I am a Moth
flying aimlessly
with the battered wings of age
waiting for words
to come to light
from the minds blank
and inkless page
another sleepless night!!
3d · 32
Deep dark receptacle
slaker of thirst
feelings, unstructured thought
things unthought of,
things unspoken inside the mind
the well of  innermost being
unstructured yet  built,
deep, dark receptacle
water bubbles upwards
from the well
bubbles upward from memory
creates more memories
of laughter, of love, of lifetimes lived.

Of times turning
3d · 44
In the last quarter of our span
we do not walk alone
for there are other footsteps echoing
the steps of both woman and man
lighter are those steps and surer
as they tread beside our own
as we grow less sure recalling
hours, days, months, years
and decades that have flown
there is a faltering now and again
‘though only to us known
for those steps echo other times
when sorrows like weeds have grown
and,  just as frequently, there is a skip
- a lift of the latch of the years -
when familiar voices echo
and laughter accompanies tears
but eventually, there is a stillness
and we know then that we walk alone
realising that we are old now
and the child that was within us has flown
3d · 35
Look into the mirror of yourself
and at  the people around you
each alone with dreams in their souls
who, among these, are totally happy
and at ease with their bodies,
and feeling totally whole?
who among them has not a closed closet
with shadows in the darkness behind
the lock and key?
who, when they look into their pasts
do not periods of desperation see?
who, if given a magic potion
would not change their pasts
and maybe their futures, too
who amongst them is totally happy
and totally whole
3d · 40
Concealed and concealing
Revealed and revealing
every cautious step
the years is swiftly  backwards peeling
Carpet cleaners catch time’s vacuum
Scullery maids
Ladies maids
All long since shed their tears
imprisoned by genteel facades
tickless clocks turn their faces away
here in this place we think back the years
and that model  house behind the glass decays
Newarke Houses Museum at  Leicester.
3d · 25
Cave Nottingham
Swim, surf, skate
Like the Ibis wading through the Nile
steeped in imagination’s flow I walk
A stone cross stands opposite in splendid isolation
The Cross Keys – a holy symbol?
holds a promise of  “rustic chips”
My mouth waters

Deep down, underground
Arteries leaking, bleeding thoughts and feelings
Stone pillars supporting upper stories  
branching out into lofty emotions
Dusty earth is marked with footprints
blackened by dark imagined deeds
Rucksacks carry imagined necessities -
all that we think we need?
The space around us is supposedly empty
Yet it fills, fills with old imagined myths
is peopled, not just by us but by
phantoms resurrected by the darkness
The smell is cold, the coldness of earth
Smothering us as a shroud in
the finality and finiteness of life
A hook hangs empty where once
hung an unidentifiable carcase
A glint is neither diamonds
nor crystals but mundane glass,
brown bottle glass echoing
alcoholic nightmares
Amongst myriad marks
is a singular small shape,  
a fairy footprint
the cave is my, our, womb
A Visit to Nottingham to take part in a poetry workshop in a cave
4d · 36
past hurts
now these again the mind invade
tumbling the memory bricks that once  
of the happy years of youth were made
an army, these, the minions of
some faceless tyrant
bent on tearing peace apart
throwing doubt’s grenades
into an already hurting heart
a Tsunami, a fissure
a swelling up of mind magma
how do  we
curb it
stem it
plug it
this unreasoning fear
this roiling vent
how do we still this turbulence
of wondering
where the happiness of
years past
when the past comes back to haunt
5d · 36
I love him
I love him
and this how I love him
feeling safe in his presence
lying beside me
every night
being just with him
it is not the ups and downs
that we have had
that I give thought to
but the everlasting fear
that without him
the desire to carry on
will leave me
and I will be lost
and all hope of  life will
Time is passing
with every second
every moment, year, decade
centuries have come and gone
the building changes
these stones crumble
these doors dry, creaking as aged bones
the very floorboards
part, one from another
time is passing
those who came to create
garden encompassing
building of stone
for a purpose
for thought’s sake
all of these are gone
time is passing
all the little creatures
that once dwelt in peace
all have gone
all purpose
all worship
that once was held here
is gone
and...even now ....still....
time is passing....
uneasy lies the mind where sleep is denied
the dreams that are dark come too easily
preventing swift closing of eyes
creating the feeling that life
has in the past deceived
and still is telling lies
6d · 40
all that her heart now holds
is nothingness
she realises for the first time
that nothingness has its own weight
its own smell, its own stain
that creep and cling
out to her arms, her hands
her fingers and her skin
that these will be bruised
purpled by her loss
as is her heart within
and she knows now how nothingness
can move across her cold, cold skin
fluttering as brokenly
as a bird with shattered wing
ah, how love hurts
like a nettle, grasped when seeing
only green velvet leaves
and innocent white flowers
inflicts its hidden sting
nothingness has substance now
inflicted by him, nurtured by him
soaking deep inside her broken heart
tearing her little by little
6d · 30
Red the blood
Red the roses
Red the sunset
Red the dawn
Red the Strawberries
Red the Cranberries
Red the Raspberries
Red the Rosehips
Red the Haws
Red the flushed
Lover’s cheeks
Red the lips
that those cheeks stained
Red the veins
Red the arteries where
the blood supremely reigns
Red the fountains
staining oceans
from whales pierced
by steel harpoons
Red the Sun
Red glowers Mars
and Red shines
the Holy Harvest Moon
where does true bravery lie?
deep within the hearts of those who try
to give a smile
when the well of their happiness runs dry
when everything around them is as the darkest Winter’s day
when the sea of sorrow threatens to engulf them
and carry all that they long for far away
when no-one knows the unhappiness that they feel
and no-one cares about the nightmares
that deep into their sleep each night-time steal
when the world and all it carries
seems a place too far apart
where does true bravery lie?
deep within the heart
6d · 26
looking at the big House
we see windows, barred,
green doors, and doors, and doors
stables, but no horses
an ornate weather vane
something rusting quietly away in an open stable
we sit, here in the grand salon,
smell, hear, taste, touch, and see
imaginations wilderness here, inside
opening the gates of the mind
peering through a window to catch a glimpse of the past
but, wait...
there is a tree outside the window
does it know something we do not know?
it is leaning – purposefully?
   away from the house
Calke Abbey
That shining pearlised button
remained stubbornly undone
white lace camisole beneath
caught as she struggled to fasten this, the
symbol somehow of  all womanly virtue
her fingers trembling with pulse
at throat and wrist
dressing mirror reflecting
hair elaborately styled
complexion creamy as
milk in bedside glass
soft white shawl
around her shoulders passed
lips as rose red as when they first
had dared to kiss
still she stood, and pale
and, smiling, turned
picked up small silver scissors
milky white the button fell
and gleaming  as a tiny star
upon the polished floorboards burned
she thought of him alone, waiting
and left the lilac scented bedroom
bodice of wedding gown gaping
imagining his face,  his mouth
as bodice gaping wide
could he have only seen her
so disarrayed
which now he never would
as soon to be dutiful wife,
as beautiful  and blushing bride
The lingering stench of *****
the leather’s inheritance from Centuries past
rises in nostrils in creased flushed face
To Hell with St. Crispin
what’s the good of
obeisance, incense, prayers
the Rosary rattles against
coat’s cracked leather
God, but skin’s chapped
the tannin stings the slits
from the flaying knife
but that was Months since
now he’s merely a Scavenger
gathering curled scraps of leather
tossing them into baskets
blackened with the never ending grease
he wipes red rimmed eyes
turns, throws apron onto oily bench
walks away from
machines for rolling
machines  for necessary riveting
almost slips in toxic slush
upon the floor where
fresh flayed skins are piled
thinks of his dead wife
his three hungry children
his throat is dry
he imagines a black leather
bridle rein around his neck
straining his flesh
a drink is what  he needs
the slip of good whisky down his throat
to chase away the shadow of the Workhouse
that lashes at his mind
he coughs, spits
the spittle leaves a red stain
upon a single scrap of  uncollected leather
Luke Cran, father of 3 children by his second wife.  Little of him is known, except that he was Irish.  He and his children entered into the dreaded Workhouse, but the children were transferred to a "Cottage Home" from whence Sarah, one of the children came to Kegworth.  Sarah was one of my maternal Great Grandmothers.
Jul 11 · 71
She is the woman
sheila sharpe Jul 11
she is the woman sitting alone on a bench
in the crowded market place
the woman with the tousled hair
and the pale and wrinkled face

she is the woman who wears an outfit
nondescript and out of style
with hair badly cut, a fixed expression
and a hauntingly uncertain smile

she is the woman on the Supermarket tills
the one who makes small talk
about nothing in particular
as quickly and efficiently your bags she fills

She is the woman who cleans the office
quietly and efficiently at the close of day
the one who meekly stands aside
to let you pass by on your homeward way

she is the lover whose passion was kindled
then burnt out in the days of fickle youth
she is the wife who learned to lie in silence
hurt to the core by her suspicions
but who wanted still to learn the truth

she is the mother who a fretful infant calms
she is the Grandmother who would willingly
take the whole world to shelter in her arms
she is the lollipop lady on the crossing every day

she is the woman who you pass by every day  -  but

she is all of these  - and more, so  much more besides ....
Jul 11 · 48
For all of those
sheila sharpe Jul 11
for all of those
who have passed my way
who have brought the sun
to every passing day
for all of those
who have in passing smiled
for all of those
who have shortened the heavy miles
for all of those
who have loved and have cared
for all of those
who through the years
my thoughts have shared
know that I love you
then, now, and forever
know that you and I
will never be apart
know that until my very last breath
you will be within
my heart
for Florence, Tom, Stan, Jessie, Nancy, John, Tom, Mary, Janet, Dorothy, Reginald, and others gone but not forgotten - ever
Jul 11 · 41
sheila sharpe Jul 11
Though not of canvas
He is sturdy
He protects
He and I merge
Flesh to flesh
Blood to blood
Mind to mind
He to me did all
His worldly goods endow
I see no more through
Lenses smeared by war
I feel no doubt
No desperation
The future now is
Certain, certain
I smell no smell
Of bridges burned
Of hope dashed
The world has turned
Uncertainty is no more
The moths of my past  
My own private war
Are dashed
He is the centre of my peace
And a butterfly is poised
On the poppies now
Jul 11 · 46
Hunted and Hunter
sheila sharpe Jul 11
Sharp, inquisitive
Running, racing, breathless
Slyly craftily silkily swiftly,

Un-gentlemanly male
Arrogant uncaring autocratic
Rapidly riding regressively roughshod
Jul 11 · 97
sheila sharpe Jul 11
from a home that never gave you
a true sense of yourself
that left you
like an unread book
upon a dusty shelf
into a world that didn’t give
took all you had
and didn’t let you live
a life that stood the test
of future years
instead just an empty existence
full of frustration and tears
that put no fun or laughter
into your heart
just an endless blankness
to hide
the sadness
creating a person apart
Jul 10 · 76
We are nothing
sheila sharpe Jul 10
We are nothing
if for others
we do not feel
the fleetingly fearful emotions
that across another’s
features steal
or sound behind
a laughing voice
nor if we cannot see
the joy that lies behind the eyes
for another's happiness
Jul 10 · 37
Framework Knitters
sheila sharpe Jul 10
Dead wooden bobbins
Faded coloured wool on cone
Stand now in case alone
Yet still revive
the all pervasive stench of oil
Still reflect grey complexions
Dim eyes creased into the Knitters’ frown
In ill lit rooms

Ratchets come down
Poverty knocks
still echoing the dull throb of loom
Feet move again in rhythmic
Melancholy dirge
Singing the knitters’ song
Of life barely lived upon the bobbin’s verge
sheila sharpe Jul 10
Oh Tree so lonely
a single sentry
guarding the acres of green
how much of life have you sheltered
how much of nightmares and dreams
In Spring your branches
are budding bright
green blooming in Summer’s sun
as bright as the orange in Autumn
when the shortening days have come
but you stand as bleached as a carcase’s bones
when Winter’s breezes
your branches hone
Jul 10 · 67
Love is not just
sheila sharpe Jul 10
Love is not just
the sudden eruption
not just that first teenage quake
it is that winding and
well trodden path
that two people throughout
a life together take
Jul 9 · 63
Please tell me how to deal with them
the ever smiling, the all knowing, the all encompassing
Who just can’t resist how to tell you......
how to
wear your hair
what things to buy
what clothes
to wear
what  food to – what food not to – eat
how to cook said food
what property to live in
how to furnish said property
and furnish it neat
(note: never, but never describe it as a home)
where to go on holiday
(note: not  in this country – at least hardly ever)
what car to drive
how otherwise to thrive

how to cure warts, ingrowing toenails, ****** hair
hair that’s too curly, hair that’s too straight
hair that’s the wrong colour
skin that’s not soft enough
not tanned enough, not youthful enough

how to save
for old age
for death
to give money to your children

in short - how to exist - at least ......according to  them

and then - please tell me how
to ignore them
Jul 9 · 46
Beyond the fence
beyond the fence that is my mind
a million images unwind
of oceans and continents
of mountains
rivers and streams
of forests and deserts
all those far flung places
subject of a million other dreams
I know I shall never travel to
the farthest reaches of the Earth
but in my senses
beyond the fences
my mind imagines
and these images
are nightly given birth
Jul 9 · 383
Beauty held...
My eyes continually feast upon
the beauty held forever
in the smallest of things
in the spiral of
colours in the shell
of a tiny snail
in the interlocking
patterns of the feathers
in a sparrow’s wings
in the rain clouds
that give birth to the colours
of a rainbow’s arc
and the diamond array
of the Milky Way
in a night sky, velvet dark
looking at the smallest of things in Nature
Jul 8 · 97
first glance invites
first glance invites
the lowered eyes
the tentatively touching finger tips
evokes in brush of lips to lips
a whispering exhalation
skin to skin then initiates
a wuthering inhalation
but then is the line crossed
from innocent blush
from fleeting first glance
all embracing
and  possession
lock with a kiss your love inside me
where the world’s misery
cannot its power dilute
and my heart will play
its old sweet song
on the  soul’s bright golden flute
Fear is a creature unknown
burrowing deep down
into muscle, skin and bone
fear is the unseen flutter
in ears too open to every sound
to every insinuating whisper
that in the mind re-echoes round
fear is the endless echo
to every terrified cry
fear is the constant presence
in every breath
in every sigh
Jul 7 · 39
Question time
The experts argued long and hard
it wasn’t difficult to see
that they were split right down the middle
very much like you and me

they said “it’s very cruel to hunt
poor Reynard to his death!”
then uttered, “we must preserve tradition”
in the very same breath

so we, the humble public
were left wondering how to vote
should we don protestors’ anoraks
or scarlet hunting coats?

the commons now has had its say
“outlaw the filthy sport!”
but then into the house of lords
was this Bill chased and caught

so, here's a difficult question for those
who don the hunting coat
back when the honorable gentlemen
were required to cast their vote

if you have a little time to spare
and fancy getting slim
would you be prepared to find a fox
and run alongside of him?
Jul 7 · 36
Care Home
A maze of rooms
stacked three floors high
each owning to little but
a table
a chair
and a wardrobe
storing forgotten fashions
suitcases full of
forgotten years
blankets  on beds where
****** figures stir
sighs escaping half opened lips
doors seemingly endless
scripted names beside each framed
yet oddly impersonal
almost an afterthought
a hot hushed afternoon
blinds shade eyes
from unwanted images
TV chatter masks the mumbling
of fragmented minds
a tear slides down a furrowed cheek
on laps folded hands fidget
betraying  papery skin
where the small brown coined  rings
fast mint advancing years
blank eyes in a blank face
into a future that we
mere visitors
do not
dare not begin to
care;memories;final days;
Jul 6 · 34
Different people
There are others
those who are different
who appear as if only halfway into this world
caught on its edges like skipped threads in the hem of a coat  
they walk unsteadily as if unsure of
where their feet  might take them
muffled against an imaginary cold
chins touching throats
hands clutching handbags,
briefcases, shopping bags
anything to act as a barrier between
themselves and others
they inspire not pity but unease
they are indifferent
they do not need to indulge
in polite conversation
they do not need to please
perhaps that is why
when we watch them we feel
a quickening of heartbeats
Jul 6 · 36
Words gather
words are a hostile army
bent upon invading
wading through the
ebbing tides of sleep
scuttling as *****
along the beaches of mind
settling in underground caverns
of thought dark and deep
that only the diving insomniac
could ever hope to find
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