Category Archives: Poetry.

Losing you.

You think I wasn’t there but I was there

I held your hand all through the night

Every breath that you breathed I was breathing

Every battle you fought I did fight

You think I wasn’t there but I was there

The pains that I felt were for real

Your anguish, despair and your suffering

Everything you felt I could feel

You think I wasn’t there but I was there

I stood bowed with God at my side

The tears that I wept could have drowned me

My emotions had nowhere to hide.

You think I wasn’t there but I was there

I was the one shaking in fright

I prayed that I would be taken

In return for you lasting the night

You think I wasn’t there but I was there

Each moment, each second, each day

You may think I wasn’t there but I was love

Every moment, every second, every day.

 

Death row.

I recently read a John Grisham novel about a man on death row and this poem came into my mind shortly afterwards, so I wrote it down and share it with you, not for any ghoulish reason and not because I am either in favour or against the death penalty, purely because it was a poetic reaction to what I had read.

 

 

My skin would soon be burning

I was just three paces from hell

After twenty-two years on death row

And a lifetime in prison cells

They wrapped me in chains to bind me

As if I had someplace to run

With guards stood around in a circle

Wielding baton, rifle and gun

The priest he gave me forgiveness

And asked if I wanted to pray

I gave him a smile and shook my head

Said ‘Father, no praying this day.’

They tied me to the chair in silence

As the witnesses looked on in dread

The clock ticked loudly and slowly

Counting the seconds till dead

They say that your life swims before you

But it didn’t for me I must say

I just gazed out at the faces

As my seconds ticked on and away

The black hood it took away vision

All but the ticking had gone

I thought I heard a guard counting

Three, two and then one………

 

Dusty Springfield.

Come back Dusty.

I was driving through downtown Darlington, slowly.

It was the early morning traffic that slowed me down.

Drifting through Darlington,

Watching the people scurrying up and down the pavements

Hurrying somewhere or nowhere, but scurrying anyway.

The radio was on but I wasn’t listening

Until

The first few notes of a song punched it’s way into my empty mind.

Dusty

One could recognise her voice instantly

‘Going back’

Probably my favourite Dusty song.

Her voice sent shivers down my spine, I loved it

And loved the song.

‘Come back Dusty’ I thought to myself.

I would have loved to have seen her in concert, but never did.

She sang on, through my radio

I couldn’t seem to hear the words any more,

I could just hear that amazing soulful voice, piercing my heart.

Haunting me.

‘Come back Dusty’

Why is it that so many good and talented people go before they should?

The song finished and I turned the radio off rather than listen to something else.

Me and the ghost of Dusty Springfield cruised along the road.

I thought of others

Karen Carpenter, the beautiful silky voiced young American singer.

What would she have sounded like now had she lived to grace our lives?

Jimmy Hendrix

Jim Morrison

Janis Joplin

Mama Cass

So many of my generation.

Gone before they should.

Just me and Dusty now on the A66

Not quite as romantic as Route 66

But it’s all we have.

We’re going back.

Me and Dusty.

The sky is moody, black clouds carrying rain

But for the moment we are in sunshine.

The song runs again in my mind

And for a moment I hear Karen Carpenter singing backing vocals.

Just angels singing in my mind.

The passenger seat is empty.

Come back Dusty.

 

P.S. If you have never heard Dusty singing ‘Going back’ treat yourself. Close your eyes and listen.

Ring your bells.

 

Ring your bells to this way toll

To resonate in glory

Then sit you down and listen hard

I’ll tell to you a story

On glistening hills, on rolling moor

In the autumn of the year

Full howling gale and hard black rain

Whose noise it filled the air

The stranger rode his snorting beast

His eyes were coal black holes

Through the drowning rain he came

To seek the fingered souls

The sickly child, the tortured wife

He found them all with ease

Then ripped their souls with bloody lust

And cast them to the breeze

The innocent, the guilty too

They fell to fill his load

With cackle laugh and streaming cloak

He thundered down the road

Rich or poor, the lost and found

If named and on his list

Their epitaph was writ in blood

They died beneath his kiss

So harken now and heed this tale

When next the storm doest break

For death will ride the highways

With his list of souls to take

Life is there to live in full

Each day a precious gift

For the only man who fears not death

Is the man who never lived.

 

Peter Pan

I remember walking in Hyde Park in London and coming across a statue of Peter Pan and thinking about it later this poem drifted into my mind.

Peter Pan lives in the park now

He stands on a mountain of stone

His gaze is fixed past the serpentine

To a place faraway that was home

Pan lives in the park now

In bronze he is tethered and cold

There is something of death about him

But yet he will never grow old

Pan lives in the park now

The casting hides his yearning to fly

But I swear if you look at him closely

You can see a bronze tear in his eye

Pan lives in the park now

No music, no children to play

Eternity stretches before him

As day rolls to night rolls to day

Pan lives in the park now

Neverland will be never again

Because Pan he dies in the park now

And if you see him you will feel his pain.

 

Amongst broken branches.

This poem came to me whilst I walked through a forest and suddenly came across a huge section that had been cut down, leaving only an odd bare trunk that seemed to stand guard over it’s fallen friends. A sad and desolate place, waiting for new life to be breathed into the ravaged earth, but a place to reflect, in the way that sitting in a cemetery seems to bring about reflection and questioning.

 Like twisted limbs the trees did bend

Their trunks in tortured stance

The wind did whip and howl and tear

To force them into dance

The forest deep in dappled greens

Did swallow in my sounds

In silent step on cushioned earth

I walked this hallowed ground

The whispers came like murmured prayers

Soft floating through the air

They cut the wind like spirit knives

But no single leaf did stir

‘What love, what love,’ the whisper asked

‘What love, what truth is this?’

‘In unrequited warm embrace

Doest linger in her kiss?’

The question asked the murmur fades

From when and whence it lives

Whilst words they burrow deep and worm

No answers do they give

And so it goes this forest stroll

Amongst these stricken trees

The truth it lies ‘mongst broken branch

By lips brought to it’s knees

Galileo

I saw the ghost of Galileo
On the costa giorgio
He was heading for Martelli
With some friends I didn’t know
The sun beat down in earnest
On the cobbles in the street
As I gazed at marble buildings
That shimmered in the heat
Cathedrals that were monuments
Were sculptured to the sky
And fifteenth century convents
Still soothed the passer by
Ancient glass with glimpses through
Of history in time
And hollowed stone where rested hands
Had dwelt in place as mine
The vaguest smells
And the almost seen
In ghostly form
A nearly dream
A touch, so near
A slipping by
A sound come whisper
Almost a sigh
The feeling creeps
But slow away
Reality repaints the day
I turn then once
Look down the hill
See Galileo
Stopped and still
He smiles, half waves
Then turns at last
To fade back whence
To distant past