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A Jacob’s Ladder

The backward glance to where we have been
Gives us the assurance of making progress,
Without which there can be no future.
Personal history, memory,
Is what makes us what we are at this point in time.
We can change, not what we are,
But what we would like to be.
Our memory, our past,
Is merely the bottom block of a tower that has no limit.
It only requires a steady hand and the will,
For us to build a Jacob’s ladder to the stars.

Your Presence

Your presence is etched
On the face of the space
Where you were.

The Throne

Moments of pure meditation
Whilst seated here, on the throne,
Transcends all known concentration
And gurus perhaps better known.
The stress and the strain of this living
Passes, with motions, away
And the deep relief of such giving
Flushes one’s problems away.

Learning to Have Fun

Twisting, turning, winding,
Sinuous dive into laughter.
Doing it again and again.
Banking and corkscrewing through life.
Learning to have fun.

Winter Time Trial

Misty, muffled figures pedal silently
Out of the gloom and warm clouds of
Muted words appear and vanish
In the frosty air.

Racers shed their winter wool and shiver
With cold and nerves. Watches are
Consulted and the race against the clock
Commences over there.

Pungent liniments to make legs strong mingle
With warm body smells in the sharp, crisp
Morning scene. Shirts and towels and bikes
And bags lie everywhere.

Every minute, by the clock, a racer sprints
Away. Arms are swung and feet are stamped
Against the nervous cold. Coffee sweetly steams
A vacuum flask’s fanfare.

A nervous laugh, a slap on the back and
They are away. The sleep and cold are gone,
Muscles, rhythmic, stretch and thrust
To make a time that’s fair.

Hiss! go the tyres and rasps the breath.
Arms begin to ache and legs deaden. A marshal
Shouts encouragement and in the gut,
Leaden starts despair.

From misery’s depths comes swinging, winging
Hope, for off ahead a tiny figure shows
As, line unsteady, the minute-man loses
Time beyond repair.

Despair’s transposed to him who lags, new
Strength flows to the legs, for now
In sight the clock man waits, to end
The white line’s glare.

Lungs slow down as the praises grow and dead
Legs find new life. The time is good but he,
The winner, with modesty immodest,
Belittles the affair.

Little Fred's Nick-Nack Shop

“Mornin’, Fred.
Yow orlright?”
They always ask.
“Hey, bass”, West Indian
Rasta asks.
“You got radio?”
“Oh, gawd!”
Groans Fred, aloud.
“Another bleedin’ nig-nog”.
White teeth flash,
But in a grin, “They’s more acomin, bass”.
“I’d have your lot
On a banana boat”,
Fred mocks an angry scowl.
The grin widens,
“Do dey go
To Dudley, bass?”
“Ignore that black
Bastard”, says Fred
To the Traffic Warden.
The Rasta roars
With laughter,
“Got to go, buy a radio”.
“Come back termorra,
I’ve got a crystal set
Yow can afford”.
A cup of tea
Is passed to Yellow Peril,
“Two sugars, Alf?”
A fisherman enters,
Coarse of course.
“Carp’s tekkin, Fred”
“Tekkin what?”
“Floated crust.” He says.
“Never sin nuthin’ like it.”
And Fred, aglow,
Himself a piscatorial legend
Is lost to further trade.

Every Friday,
With a cheese roll
And a bottle of Mackie,
I listened
To Little Fred
Insult his customers.
Black, brown, white
All received the same
Razor-tongued invective.
And back they came
For more.
Could learn a lot
From Little Fred.


Could I articulate the perfume of a rose,
Spell the texture of a flower's petal,
Speak the patterns of a hoar frost,
Or express a single feather of a Swallow's wing,
Then could I tell you how much I love you.


Had a quick pray today, but You it seems were out.
Down Your local were You? With Your mates,
Mohammed and that fat fella Buddha?
I suppose it's all ambrosia and skittles these days.
Why aren't You there when I need You?
Personally I think You've gone away and nobody's noticed,
Or you're lying down somewhere
After a night out with Your fellow deities.
A sort of divine hangover.
That's the trouble with sorting out the world's problems,
You take a quick ambrosia to steady Your nerves
And before You know it You're sleeping it off again.
I'll e-mail You next time, okay?

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