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Simon Piesse Sep 2022
We thank you for our Queen,
For all that she has been!
By generations seen
As steadfast and serene.

Strong champion of the Arts,
She played so many parts,
Although our mourning starts,
She’ll live on in our hearts.

She counselled countless politicians,
Showed a loving disposition,
‘Service not self’ remained her position,
The Christian faith, her life-long mission.

She walked with the rich;
She talked with the poor;
She re-formed a nation
Broken by war.

Her Christmas messages
And kaleidoscopic dresses
Gave us hope,
Took away our distresses.

Above all, though she led our nation
She stayed down to earth, our special relation.
Now her train has left our station
We offer our humble adulation.

We thank you for our Queen,
For all that she has been!
By generations seen
As steadfast and serene.
Simon Piesse Aug 2022
What's your code no passport connection four hundred years grandfather's father his father coming there first test DNA dry place immigrant country no code no almond milk and honey wet wipes gone eyes longing God in each of us what's your code which God fountain of mercy chopped tomatoes snug crates E5 what's your code he shot me in the head and legs smug nearly forgot thank you for calling the job centre your call is important stranger rich tea smooth no nuts unboxed leeks centre job wait what's your code hot sand busy thank you what's your code blue masks requirement professor of linguistics sir do you have Weetabix I Lithuania bless you Kuwait Syria Michigan Holloway Italy chef many interviews knives the knives needed all are welcome double yellow lines peas code your what's your necessary referral code appointment hurry sorry reindeer biscuit then joking we used to climb over and pick the blackberries no desk write the date and time sign what's your code Ukraine just wait for delivery..
Simon Piesse Jun 2022
Dear Don Alberto
Flamboyant Octogenarian
To a pair of weather-beaten families on the Camino
And to Backpacker Bridget from Granada via Barnsley
And to all who seek shelter from the Galician downpours
You sound
Like an Angel
As you hold aloft your otherworldly radio
And play for us Tina Turner’s
Simply the Best
On happy repeat.

Dear Don Alberto
With your doggy entourage
To a bunch of Ryanair Refugees on the Camino
And to uber cool Bridget naturalised Granadina don’t mention Barnsley
And to all who seek sanctuary from the Galician heatwaves  
You taste
Like a rustic slice of empanada
Rich deep and
Eternally replenishing itself.

You weren’t ever on our map
Don Alberto, were you?
The ID cards you offer up for inspection
Make us laugh at the farce of our controls and borders.

And so
To us make-shift pilgrims on the Camino
You show us how to journey properly
Dancing the salsa
On every roundabout.

Simon Piesse
This by our recent experience of doing a pilgrimage with 4 children.  First in hopefully a series. Feedback welcome!
Simon Piesse Jan 2022
Today, I’m well.
I’m good,
I should say.
God, no!
Good God!
Up-welling of wellness.
Bow tied:
A bow-tie-kind-of-day day.

Sun furtive.
Won’t be long.
Shouldn’t expect she’ll be long.
Yes, she.
Sheer she-ness.
Just a Walkers crisp of a bit longer.

It is possible, I might add,
She’ll appear a fraction different
To what one can reasonably be expected to remember.

I’m good.
That is how it is said, in these parts, isn’t it?
Are you good?
Are you…
Up to the task, I mean.
Fit to fly.
Which sort?  
Wearing odd socks, again.
Accentuate the good.
Try to.
Left and right; or the other way around:
Right and left.  
Or could be both… fancy that!
Cream and chocolate, hey, superb!

Today is a wooly-hat-kind-of-a-day day, is it not?
Prepare for the worst and hope for the best.
Lest there be gales.
What? No! Disaster!
Now, wouldn’t that be…
Wouldn’t that scupper things?  Do you think not?

I love my wooly hat.  
He’s got a name, you know.
Stitched with love.
So warm, it is.
Ready for jaunts.
With Rupert.
Up Horsenden Hill.
Too hot, soon.
Best to toss it in the bushes.


Perhaps I am under-dressed?
Am I?
Hard to know.
I’ll wear my bow tie again.
Yes, I’ll wear my bow tie when, that is to say, Assuming
The rules permit it.

God permits us
To revel a bit. Kick back.
Do you think God likes to laugh?
God, grant me the gift to laugh.  


Did you hear that?
Heating broken,
Not a peep.
Closed valve cylinder, limited warranty,
Manual unfathomable.

No viable option.
‘Northfields Community Library Welcomes You.’
The toilets better be warm!
I watched a wonderful production of Samuel Beckett's 'Happy Days' before Christmas and this poem, I think, has that feel.  I've tried to root it in my local area and capture something of the absurdity of conformity to abstract 'rules' that seems to be increasingly contentious and divisive in this Covid pandemonium
Simon Piesse Nov 2021
I sing again,
‘Though stone conceals  
The way you laughed
The day we met.

I sing again,
‘Though stone’s defaced
Your wonky smile,
Your honey lips.

I sing again,
‘Though stone forgot
The tunes you made up
Just for fun.

You ran away
To war, they said,
Without a kiss,
A little death now etched in stone.

Memorials in stone are dead,
Ill-equipped to help or heal;
Instead of poppies, stuttered words,
Sing again.
Memorials mask the raw emotion of human loss.
Simon Piesse Nov 2021
Dear Mr Tree,
What do you think of me?

Do you rate my life
Do you like my wife?

Dear Mr Tree,
What do you think of me?

When you put on blossom,
Do you think 'hello, handsome?'
Does your buxom bark
Contain some private mark?

When you drop your leaves,
Do you laugh at me?
As I stoop and scrape,
With bag and rake,
What difference do I make?

And when I'm old and mad,
Will you testify
You know the truth,
Or tell a lie?

Dear Mr Tree,
What do you think of me?
Each year I spend lots of my free time underneath the Japanese pagoda tree in front of where we live sweeping its leaves.  It's self-confidence sometimes jars with my self-doubt. Anyhow, today I went into reverie and was inspired to write this light-hearted reflection.  I hope you enjoy it.
Simon Piesse Oct 2021
Stop all the cars.
Shut down the coal.
Prevent Big Oil from dumping its ***** load.
Shake up complacency
And pull out the stops:

Let our leaders lead.

You are North and South and East and West;
Our sanctuary
At God’s behest.

The time is now to transform our ways,
So warming ends,
Now and always.

Simon Piesse
I was inspired by the punchiness / gut-wrenching-ness of W H Auden's 'Stop the clocks' poem.   It seemed apt to transmute this tone for the make or break climate summit at Cop 26 that starts today.
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