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Bill Adair Sep 2020
And the countries called,
Seductive heroism,
And the young men came.

And their mothers sang
Songs of woe, Lieder von Leid.
And the young men served.

And the people wept,
Tears a universal tongue,
As the young men died.
This poem was first used a few years ago at a Remembrance Sunday Service.
Aug 2020 · 63
Random Haiku #40
Bill Adair Aug 2020
Black lives don’t matter.
At least not anymore than
Anyone elses.

All life is sacred.
Life is holy whatever
Your faith or colour.
Aug 2020 · 56
Playground
Bill Adair Aug 2020
Even though they were smaller than me
They made me feel very afraid
As they roamed the playground together,
With the smell of over-boiled cabbage and nicotine
Clinging to their clothes and hair,
Their small, hard hands and *****, sharp finger nails
Grabbing at the lapels of your blazer.

They had white dinner tickets for free school meals.
Our tickets were blue and cost a shilling.
They sat, bunched together, in the middle of row four,
And if you were moved to sit beside them,
Your friends pointed at you and laughed,
Like when you had just had your haircut,
Or you wore glasses for the first time.

Their uniforms were ragged, hand-knitted jumpers
And wellingtons, even in the summer.
When you had sweets they would corner you in the playground,
Demanding their tribute share.
And you always handed over the best of your sweets, because,
Even though they were smaller than me,
They made me feel very afraid.
Bill Adair Aug 2020
On your way to church,
See God dressed in beggar’s clothes.
Stop and say hello.
Bill Adair Aug 2020
On your Sabbath day,
Sing and pray and praise your God,
Leave religion out.
Aug 2020 · 39
Learning To Fly
Bill Adair Aug 2020
Up on the old high road
That led to my grandmother’s house,
Uncertainly I rode my new bike,
Held up by my father, teaching me to fly.
Then suddenly he was beside me,
“I’m not holding you anymore,” he said.
“You’re flying on your own.”

A year later we drove,
Once more to my grandmother’s house
Where he, quietly and without fuss,
Lay down on her old iron bed-stead and died,
He couldn’t hold me up any more.
“I have to go to sleep now, son,” he said.
“You’re flying on your own.”
From "Learning to Fly" (2017)
Learning To Fly © Bill Adair 2016
Aug 2020 · 63
Recycled
Bill Adair Aug 2020
The stately tree falls
To the woodcutter’s axe
And all nature mourns.

From death comes new life.
A perfect shape emerges
From the plain, gnarled wood.

In his skilful hands
The carpenter produces
A thing of beauty.

But all things must pass.
Crushed wood re-born as paper.
Metamorphosis.

The woodcutter dies
And rests in the tree re-made.
Seeking forgiveness?

He enters the earth.
The soft forest floor opens
And bids him welcome.

An oak marks his place.
Its roots at one with his bones.
The slow turn of life.

And beneath the soil
His decomposing body
Gives the young tree life.
From "Learning to Fly"
Recycled © Bill Adair 2015
Bill Adair Aug 2020
Jesus, Carpenter.
Time-served in his father’s shop
Left home to find work.
Bill Adair Aug 2020
When I am an old man I shall not wear beige.
I shall wear faded denim and cowboy boots which are down at heel and need soled.
I shall spend all my money on guitar strings and magazines and beer,
And buy coffee for the old women wearing purple.
I shall still wear a golden earing, like some kind of ancient, gypsy minstrel,
And go out in port and starboard socks like Kate and Anna McGarrigle.
I shall sing the protest songs I learned as a teenager
That demand to know where all the flowers have gone.
And I shall argue in public with traffic wardens and slow check-out girls,
And swear loudly at religious zealots and politicians
To challenge the arrogance of their self-promoting dogma.

I shall turn up at music festivals with my guitar
And people will look and say, “I thought he was dead.”
And I will release a CD of new songs
That shall have on its cover a cautionary label which says:
**** Parental Guidance!

Just for now though, in my sombre middle age, I have to act responsibly
And not embarrass my friends and family.
I have to eat sensibly and not drink too much,
And pay my taxes and vote.
But later on, when I am old, my friends will know
That in my dotage I am just rebelling late in life
Against the strict, grey Presbyterianism of my youth.
From "Learning to Fly" (2017)
Omen © Bill Adair 2013
Bill Adair Aug 2020
After a long struggle with electronic devices,
The Hand-Written Letter has peacefully passed into obscurity.
From the earliest Egyptian hieroglyphics,
to the hastily scrawled note in pencil,
from parchment and quill to paper and ball-point pen,
The Hand-Written Letter led the way in written correspondence,
bringing together the writer and the reader
in a way that emails never could.

Let us remember how we chose the paper,
how we picked and filled a favourite pen
and then witnessed the wonderful marriage of paper and ink
as the blank page filled with living words,
until finally, in that last, intimate moment,
it is placed in an envelope and sealed with saliva,
and in that moment’s parting kiss
you send something of yourself.
Obituary For The Hand-Written Letter © Bill Adair 2018
Bill Adair Aug 2020
Radi was a hungry lion,
Radi was a lady hater.
One day Radi
Met a lady,
Radiator.
From "Learning to Fly" (2017)
The Tale of the Misogynist Lion and the Terrible Fate Which Be-fell the Lady He Met © Bill Adair 2014
Aug 2020 · 45
Haiku #23
Bill Adair Aug 2020
In this day and age
Where can you find a glyphic?
I’d like to hire one!
Bill Adair Aug 2020
Poor men talk to God.
Rich men talk of wealth and fame.
Poets talk to ghosts.
Jul 2020 · 39
Baking Music
Bill Adair Jul 2020
Ingredients:
One voice lifted in song,
Two hands ready to play,
Six strings, freshly picked,
One guitar, perfectly tuned,
One foot to keep time,
One heart full of inspiration,
One positive mental attitude
Without any artificial additives.

Method:
Blend gently together,
Fold in a warm, mellow mood,
Play for as long as it takes,
Or until everything good rises
Into a bluesy, folksy, mixture
That will satisfy the hungriest hungry soul.
Serve anytime, anywhere.
Goes especially well with friends, singers and other musicians.
From "Learning to Fly" (2017)
Baking Music © Bill Adair 2015
Jul 2020 · 1.0k
The Owl Versus The Pussycat
Bill Adair Jul 2020
The owl and the pussycat came home from sea,
Their boat had finished its course.
The cat took the honey, and most of the money,
Then filed a suit for divorce.

The owl had a hard time finding a brief,
But the pussycat had it made.
For you see the poor owl was a ripped-off old fowl,
But the cat got feline aid.

They argued away, for a year and a day,
In court, where they made a fine show.
Till the owl, said he, would better off be
In the land where the **** trees grow.

He was asked, “Are you willing to sell for a shilling
Your share of the boat and guitar?”
Then after long wrangles and tough legal tangles,
The owl and his brief said, “We are.”

So the owl and the pussycat went their own ways,
The cat left dancing a jig.
She hopped on a plane and got married again,
And the owl went to live with the pig.
For those of you who wondered what happened next.

From "Learning to Fly" (2017)
The Owl Versus The Pussycat © Bill Adair 2013
Bill Adair Jul 2020
Despite God watching,
People die and children starve.
It’s okay to doubt.
Bill Adair Jul 2020
I can see her face, standing before him,
Looking lost and alone and afraid.
But he can't take it back,
That uncalled for attack,
Or undo the mistake that he made.

For you wish your tongue dead on the pavement,
Brutally torn from your head.
But the tears you have cried
Over love which has died
Can never repair what you said.

For the roses you bought her have withered,
And the champagne you shared has gone flat.
You betrayed a great trust,
And it’s all turned to rust,
And there’s not much you can do about that.

Though you say you can go on without her,
Though you say that your heart is like stone,
You know it’s not true,
For she’s gone now and you
Can't think of tomorrow alone.
From "Learning to Fly" (2017)
An Argument © Bill Adair 2013
Bill Adair Jul 2020
Christ came to worship
And sat beside the needy.
Both were left to starve.
Jul 2020 · 96
At The Cavern Club
Bill Adair Jul 2020
It was dark inside the Cavern Club,
The Beatles played the night away.
We twisted and we shouted then
We waltzed when they played “Yesterday”.

It was loud inside the Cavern Club,
The throbbing music filled the air.
I’ll never dance with another now,
It pleased me I could take you there.

It was magical in the Cavern Club,
A mystery I don’t understand.
We said hello, we said goodbye,
We worked it out, I held your hand.

There was love inside the Cavern Club,
On that, I think, we are agreed.
From me to you, eight days a week,
And love is really all you need.
From "Learning to Fly" (2017)
At The Cavern Club © Bill Adair 2013
Jul 2020 · 49
Our Picnic Days Are Over
Bill Adair Jul 2020
Our picnic days are over,
The cherries are all done,
The clouds are darkening the sky,
And it’s chilly in the sun.
The strawberries are bitter now,
The wine has lost its taste,
The bread and cheese is hard and stale,
My broken heart lies with the waste.

Our picnic days are over
And the smell of new-mown hay
Is just a sad reminder
Of a sultry summer’s day
When we lay beneath a golden sun,
But the gold has turned to rust,
Those sultry summer days are gone,
My broken heart lies in the dust.
In case anyone is wondering, yes, it was my heart.

Our Picnic Days Are Over © Bill Adair 2015
Bill Adair Jul 2020
Jesus came to church
And sat beside Mohammed.
They were both ignored.
Bill Adair Jul 2020
Sunday joy is tea,
A well-tuned guitar and a
Clean pair of Levi’s.
Jul 2020 · 24
Triolet for Robert Frost
Bill Adair Jul 2020
I wonder what was on his mind
Stopping beside the woodland snow.
Did he wish he hadn’t been so kind?
I wonder? What was on his mind
With home and hearth so far behind,
And still with sleepless miles to go?
I wonder what was on his mind
Stopping beside the woodland snow?
Jul 2020 · 101
Beach Song
Bill Adair Jul 2020
On the beach at morning let me meet you there,
With necklaces of seashells and perfume in the air.
And this shall be the music that is played for you and me,
The murmur of the branches and the whisper of the sea.

And as you stand beside me in a linen dress of white,
Sweet shall be the kisses we share for our delight.
Warm will be the summer breeze as on your face it blows,
With bougainvillea in your hair and sand between your toes.

And in the evening we shall build a fire upon the beach,
Where no one can disturb us and the world can never reach.
Then as the night time music softly plays for you and me,
And while we lie beneath the stars beside the glittering sea,
We shall drink of love’s sweet wine as fireflies fill the air,
On the beach at evening, when you meet me there.
Beach Song © Bill Adair 2013
Bill Adair Nov 2019
Let me be the pickle in your cheese and pickle sandwich,
Let me be the butter on your toast.
Let me be the dressing that you season all your food with,
Let me be the taste you love the most.

Let me be the drizzle in the lemon cake you’re baking,
Let me be your favourite type of brie.
Let me be the brandy that ignites your Christmas pudding,
Let me be the cream in your cream tea.

Let me be the sherry that you pour into your trifle,
Let me be the cherries in your bowl.
Let me be the tonic in your Tanqueray and slim-line,
Let me be the lemon lying on your Dover sole.

Let me be the doughnut that you dip into your coffee,
Let me be your toffee apple stick.
Let me be the gravy in your steak and kidney pudding,
Let me be the dish you always pick.
From "Learning to Fly" (2017)
Let Me Be the Pickle in Your Cheese and Pickle Sandwich © Bill Adair 2014.

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