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On the shores of a puddle
A small boy played.
A matchbox and sticks
Were an enemy raid.

A dam wall of mud
Kept the sea all inside
And the ripples of wind
Were the waves and the tide.

Brave soldiers of plastic
And tanks stuck with glue,
Lined the mud banks
All steadfast and true.

The little boy’s mind
Saw no mud nor a puddle,
Just vast seas and an army,
Locked in a struggle.

The game will be played
Until mother does call,
Then with god-like delight
He will break the dam wall.


Love me?
Mmmm? Oh, yes.
Really love me?
What? Yes, of course.
Really and truly love me?
You don’t mean that?
I do.
But, but you just said...
That I love you.
I do.
I do love you.
Really and truly?

Gentle Jack (a black Labrador)

At least once in their lives
Everyone should know a ‘gentle Jack’.
Coal black, shiny hair and dark eyes
Full of knowing,, even understanding.
Fiercely protective of those he loved,
But ever gentle with the smallest child.
A gentle, gentleman who walked, ran and swam
Whenever he could, but treated with disdain
Those kin who misbehaved.
Dear Jack, knowing you has been
A life enhancing experience.
We thank you for enriching our lives.


Confrontations are useless,
They merely aggravate the open wound,
Rip asunder the healing stitches of time,
Open new wounds and serve no purpose
Other than salving the wounded ego,
Establishing the ‘rightness’ of intention.
(The do-gooder’s raison d’etre)

But confrontations resolve problems,
Expose difficulties, clean wounds
And prevent emotional gangrene.
Isn’t that better?

The Senses

A hawk stoops against a clear, blue sky.
But the man with the binoculars
Sees only the girl in the bikini.

The sun emblazons the horizon in molten gold.
But the man feels only the sweaty flesh
Of his own desiring.

A nightingale swells the evening air with song.
But the man is plugged into his
Battery operated Sony-Walkman.

Wild dog rose and golden vetch perfume the night air.
But the man smells only the vinegar
Of his fish and chips.


Spartan youth camps
Hitler youth camps
Al Qaeda training camps
Jesuit missionaries “Give me a child of 7 and he’s mine for life.”
Makes a nation
Of children
Trained to kill
Without discrimination.

The Prisoner

The prisoner hides within himself,
His eyes alone stare out,
Anxious, sharp,
Alert and dark.
Flinching from every verbal knout.

Everything at double pace,
A constant, nervous, scurry.
Rattled mugs,
Clattering studs,
A sobbing, breathless, hurry.
Oh God! Let the bastard trip and break his neck!

Four ounce of bread at every meal,
A grey anonymous lump,
A fag,
Quick drag.
A silent, crowded, loneliness.

Escape into a darkened womb,
Enfolded in the night.
A sneer,
A tear.
Rough blanket embrace tight.

The Plant

I cursed the plant in the window,
Merely to see it wilt.
A tall old plant with dank, lank leaves
And timid blue blossom a-tilt.

It leaned to the sun and it yearned
To be bigger and better one day,
But its fleshy pale stalks and wishy green leaves
Made it ugly and smell of decay.

I am tall and I’m fleshy and pale
And when I am old, like that plant,
Perhaps I’ll yearn to be better
And weep when I find that I can’t.

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