Friends & Family
(On going to university at the age of
Youth, you who
passed before I knew you,
Welcome yet again in median age.
really you that quickens so my step,
Sharpens keen the sparkled eye and
With excitement at my indrawn breath?
Perhaps tis only
circumspection fled, or
Sobriety anaesthetised whilst greater
hides its face in blushed embarrassment.
What'ere it is a spring midst
A river, electric, flows with purest energy,
banks of static time and
Flushing dead ideas, detritus of dull
From stale channels, freshing chok-ed roots,
setting new gainst old,
Dead gainst live and ignorance against
Fountain of new thought.
Apollo and Athena walk with me
goddess Até plays a Pander to my Troilus
Outside the rules of royal
rime, and engages
Me in thoughts of time disjoint with time.
thrice welcome thou my youth
Delayed from time past to time present,
Not these knees unlock or eyes dark mist
Before this youth has run
the gamut of time missed.
Memory of a Suffolk
What lingers in
my mind is how very extraordinary
The ordinary seemed to somehow be.
ordinary, friendly ordinary, fresh ordinary,
A completely unpretentious
The sausage rolls Ive had a thousand times,
rolls and vol-au-vents and
Things on sticks like plates of timber
But it really was extrordinary
How delightful the
ordinary seemed to be.
A Tribute to My
(William 'Bill' Oakey, a policeman at Hay
Mills until his retirement in 1931)
Born upon Sabrinas banks in verdant Worcestershire,
boy at Lenchford, he plied himself for hire.
Cradled in that Severn vale to
fullest stature grew,
Until the Queen she called him to fight a country
To fight for life and liberty, Old Kruger called the Boers
grandad went to fight the first of many wars.
From rolling sward to
blistered veldt, grandad rode his steed,
Chasing Boer shadows and cursing at
But he grew to love the sun scorched earth and every sun bleached
He swore that hed go back there, when they sent him home,
he was an honest man, straighter never walked;
So he signed on as a
constable and criminals he stalked.
When gas jets hissed and pubs their
Grandad strode in fearlessly and peace, with fists,
A Georgian King now called upon this warriors time,
serve against the Kaiser in the armys foremost line.
Blood and muck
and bullets, goes the modern joke,
But not when grandads uniform the
blood began to soak.
When the Somme and Ypres and Passendale had faded from
Grandad joined the police again to be with his own kind.
honourable career with commendations proper,
No promotion or commission,
just a very solid copper.
In the quiet of his life respect he did
From all who ever met him, of high or low estate.
He had no time
for falsehood or hypocrisys two face,
He only knew that those he loved
earned in his heart a place.
Also see the short story
upon the stair,
I met a man who wasnt there.
He wasnt there
How I wish hed go away.
thereve been many men,
Men upon the stair.
Men who vanish into
Men whore never there.
They vanish into
Gone without a trace,
Denied by all about them,
Men without a
Were they ever really there?
Did they physically exist?
they propaganda tools,
The illusion of a terrorist?
I deny their
Protest their bland denial.
They die without a trial.
Can we deny their presence?
Cease to ratify their living?
Will they really go away
If we refute their
No, theyll never go away,
Those men upon the
Because there are a few of us
Who know theyre really
splendid, predatory animal.
No red blood singing in the veins.
world of pristine stone
Erected from Mans mind.
a ferro-concrete layer
And seas a slowly, heaving, turgid mass.
on the upturned cheek
A prussic acid rain-drop falls
From an artificial
No birds greet this dawn, just
The twittering electronic
Of computer controlled humans;
Jellied legs petroleum
And button dimpled fingers soft.
Mindless bureaucrats, paranoid
Natures wilful intransigence;
Trees fill no forms, nor pay
And their leaves untidy lie.
STOP THE WORLD!
I WANT TO GET
gathers slowly, far out to sea, rises, curls,
Hangs suspended, lunges,
crashes in a spume of spray
And retreats in shuddering undertow to be
Somewhere in the vastness of the deep from whence it came.
does passion ride the mind, torment the body
And spatter its essence into
the chasm of desire
Only to renew itself in some hidden corner of the
(a tongue in cheek epic of the Roman
All made a bid the Empire to sway.
But Julius arrived to
cut out the rot
And slit a few throats to cry "That's your lot!"
assembled the plebs and cried with salt tears,
"Make me your Caesar and lend
me your ears."
Casca and Brutus sweetened his wine,
Slipped in the knife
and made him divine.
Cicero, briefly, took up the reins.
caught him and opened his veins.
A trio to rule they decided upon,
Augustus Octavian wanted just one.
Anthony busy, with the Queen of the
Was caught with his pants down and died without style.
Lepidus, third of three,
Lucky in Carthage contrived to stay
Augustus the sage ruled cruelly they tell,
Pulled by the
strings of a wife straight from hell.
Through age and false trust his
attention did nod,
Livia, the wife, made him a god.
Adopted by law
came stern old Tiberius,
Gay as a fairy, but terribly serious.
in his villa he kept all his tarts,
And had new-born babies to suck at his
The irony was to one steeped in sin,
It was Gaius, his son, who
But the sins of the father, it could be said,
ever be called upon that son's head.
In the case of Caligula this never was
He invented more sins than his father could know!
incest as well,
A list as long as a book could tell.
Mad as a hatter he
Skewered on the end of a Praetorian's
Stuttering, limping Claudius came.
Reluctantly called to that
hall of fame.
Good he tried, but found alas
He'd throats to cut before
Messalina, Clo Clo's wife
Led a very hectic life.
left and right and center
Straight to Hell Clo Clo sent her.
Slipped a drug into Clo Clo's tummy.
Sitting on poor Clo
"Claudius names my son." She said.
Drusus Nero, queer
Told the Senate to 'get knotted'.
Musical and gay to
All he cared for was the loot.
Told the plebs had denounced
He fired the city as diversion.
Evil deeds his
Cut his throat to dodge the anger.
Galba next by deeds
Strict and brutal, himself did crown.
Flabby Otho spurred by
Had him slain, but foreswore the deed.
Otho in his bloody
Took the mantle and the wrath.
None can say what a King
As all discovered, when he slew his friends.
Sick of Otho's
heart of stone
Vitellius' army fell on Rome.
Short and bloody Otho's
Took his dagger and died in pain.
By spoils of war Vitellius
And outside Rome began his reign.
Terrified of plots to
Vitellius sanctioned rape and strife.
Vespasian, by plebs
Took the crown and command.
Vitellius still with firm
Fought a war of attrition.
People clapped and cheered and
As the battle raged and Rome was looted.
Bound and dragged
Beneath a rain of stones from Hell.
Sixty-nine was a
When Caesars three died in fear.
Still within the twelve
Vespasian became 'the man'.
A half-score years were to
Before another roused the mass.
Vespasian's rule was long and
A time to build and none defeat.
A Caesar true of level
One of the first to die in bed.
Vespasian's son, Titus the
Pledged peace and love and joy anew.
Not being cruel nor showing
His brother, Domitian was allowed to exist.
Two years, two
months and twenty days,
Titus ruled in that ancient of lays.
died the people mourned,
Twice as much had they been warned.
called the old times back,
Rape and murder, cross and rack.
Fat and gross
To see his enemies and friends benighted.
Drunken, sotted he
could but stagger
And died beneath an unknown dagger.
came, more Caesars went,
Some were good, some were bent.
But none could
equal in renown
Those first to bear the laurel crown.
murderers, rapists these,
Plumbing depths to make blood freeze.
they took in stride,
'Twas from their friends they usually died.
Senate, people, soldiers all,
A ripe round raspberry was their