Grandad

My grandad was a lovely man
and I will tell you all I can
He wore a watch upon his vest
I’d hear it ticking on his chest
He’d mend my dolls if they got sick
and help me build things brick by brick
and hide my pudding as a trick

He wasn’t tall and he was stout
It’s true I never heard him shout
but he loved to sing a silly song
and teach me how to sing along
and show me how to plait some string
or find a pond with tadpoles in
or push me higher on a swing

I did not like his moustache bristles
which pricked and felt to me like thistles
‘Give Gramps a little kiss he’d say’
But I would turn my head away
It must have made his poor heart sore
but I was only three or four
He died before I grew much more

Oh Grandad, what I’d give today
to hug and kiss you come what may

Grenfell – the betrayal

where escape routes were none
where there was nowhere to run
where the flames lit the sky
where they prayed not to die

how they screamed while we cried
how come so many died
how come nowhere to turn
how come ‘jump or you’ll burn’

what a loss for those living
what they feel – unforgiving
what horrors they saw
what hell can hurt more

who fought against flames
who’s still searching for names
who still digs where fire laid them
who was it betrayed them

why were people not heard
when they passed on the word
where those dangers might lie
– who turned a blind eye?

 

image is courtesy of the Daily Mail

what can’t be cured

Today the wine of life turned bitter.
Pain seeped into my mind and heart
with the almond flavor 
of bespoke poison,
although I could not tell you
exactly why it came.
I only know that it’s colour
is the deepest, darkest blue
and that I must close my eyes
for fear that I may drown.

Bright hope, that giver of strength,
left by a different door.
While patience, at an end with indecision, 
pride and self-delusion,
followed closely behind.
But, just as a dying flower cannot
help but lose its petals and decay,
so must I rest my weary head
and accept that nothing will cure 
the cause of my despair.

in passing

What became of what’s-her-name
the one who hung around last fall?
Or was it spring, I can’t recall?

Seemed quite sad and melancholic.
We thought she might be alcoholic.
Remember her?

She was with us at your brothers ‘do’
And we talked of how our nails grew?
Well, WE talked, she listened.
Or seemed to.

Then she cried, her mascara ran.
Describe her? I don’t think I can
No, never saw her with a man

Yes! That’s it, you’ve got her now
The one who said you were a cow
to laugh at her that time.

Hey, WOW!

Gassed herself? And her cat?
Why ever do a thing like that?

So who’s now living in her flat?

 

in her heart a maiden

what does it matter come the day
it’s only chatter what they say
she’s had her life, she’s old and grey
mad as a hatter anyway

she turns her head with muted cry
to hear these words as they pass by
she knows how fast the years can fly
how all lifes plans can go awry

her winter feet now feel the chill
all steps become an act of will
but she can bear life’s bitter pill
while in her heart a maiden

 

late night shopper

supermarket window shows the ghost

of the someone she’d once been

not dumpy and dull with swollen legs

but a girl with sights unseen

 

such a pretty girl and a bright girl

with a sparkle in her eyes

life with meaning to be seen in

how she’s reaching for the prize

 

eyes growing teary, she’s so weary

as she leans against the glass

and slides slowly to the pavement

as the late night shoppers pass

Painter As Poet

I feel as if a thousand poems are waiting to be said
Why have I waited all these years to try my hand at rhyme?
Using sentences as colours for the words inside my head

Teasing syllables and sounds out from all the things I’ve read
To paint the kind of image that depicts things from my time
I feel as if a thousand poems are waiting to be said

Of happy thoughts, or sad ones where my soul was filled with dread,
Selecting adjectives and mixing, with no canvases to prime,
Using sentences as colours for the words inside my head

To create a kind of tapestry with words instead of thread
Coloured crimson, pink and purple, cerulean blue and lime
I feel as if a thousand poems are waiting to be said

Shall I start just anywhere? Things living or things dead?
Original or act a part? To mimic or to mime?
Using sentences as colours for the words inside my head

A poet uses language for rich tints and hues instead
– no need for paint where words are art, to forget this is a crime
I feel as if a thousand poems are waiting to be said
Using sentences as colours for the words inside my head