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The Rut

The rut is very deep and very narrow.
There are many people in the rut and it is very noisy.
Now and then they are given a glimpse
Of those who have crawled out of the rut.
The sun seems to shine on them all the time.
They are free to run in any direction they choose,
They have space.
That is why they do not like too many people
Climbing out of the rut.
They stamp on the fingers and heads of those who try.
Some call it democracy,
Some call it socialism,
Some call it communism,
Some call it fascism,
We, in the rut, call it politics.

A Little God?

Two butterflies fluttering past,
Two ants scurrying past,
A very young boy.
Went the Little boy’s hands
As they dived and attacked
The fluttering things
Went the hands
And a flutterby fell.
Went the hands
And the other fell too.
The little boy whistled
A falling bomb.
Went his foot.
Went the other.
“Mummy!” he screamed,
“Mummy! Look at me,
I’m playing God.”
Sometimes our gods
Should be sent to bed
Without their supper.

On the Hills Today

She walked alone on the hills today
And she called his name aloud,
The wind soughed low and carried it
Wrapped in a soft white cloud.
When she called his name on the hills today
It carried she knew not where,
But should he feel a breeze on his lips
His name and her lips are there.
The air was soft on the hills today,
As soft as the touch of his skin.
She closed her eyes and she touched him
Waking that magic within.
Did he see her there on the hills today?
Stretching her arms out in space.
She was reaching out across the world
Simply to touch his face.
She was alive on the hills today,
High on the love she gave,
Awake from a strange, lonely despond,
Returned from a dark inner cave.
In her heart on the hills today,
She talked to a God she’d denied,
For only in Him the love could she find,
The love that she felt inside.
She was afraid on the hills today,
And she asked this new God why?
A voice rumbled softly in sorrow
And tears fell from a darkening sky.
She was old on the hills today,
Older than all her years,
And she was afraid on the hills today
For her heart was a vale of tears.
She walked in pain on the hills today,
And the pain was a lonely thing.
For this love, the saddest of loves,
Was the love of autumn for spring.


Oh hell, where did the time all go?
Kafka had lived and died by now,
So had Edgar Alan Poe.
But hang about, it’s not too late,
Samuel Becket hadn’t started,
Stendahl had only just begun.
Richard Adams was still with H.M.O.
And Gaugin had just departed
For the sunny isles
And friendly smiles
Of the sway-hipped hinano.

No, it’s not too late
If you know the magic words,
The secret incantation,
The quiet voice that speaks determination.
Words are birds
That soar or flee,
And the ones that soar are “I want to be…”
A simple act of mental prestidigitation.


Tic-tock. Tic-tock.
One minute, two minutes,
One hour, two hours,
One month, two months,
One year, two years.
One lifetime. No time.
Tic-tock. Tic-tock.

Death of a Farm

The wind is wet with tears
And its sobbing cadence grieves
Around the stiff, dead fingers
Of all the dead elm trees.

It soughs and chatters in the slats
Of a creaking, sway-backed barn,
As it wraps a damp caress
Around the desolate farm.

It scrabbles at the windows,
Stammers unlocked gates,
Twists the flailing creeper and
Clatters red roof slates.

Wreaking howls of desolation
With a Greek Aeolian moan,
That with a callous finger
Probes the corners of a home.

Have You Seen What I've Seen?

Have you seen what I’ve seen?
A face at the window, my granddad appears,
Though he’s been dead for fifteen years.
“Have you come for me?” A shake of the head,
Making answers tho’ nothing is said.
“How are you?” I ask this man from the grave.
He smiles and nods, words without sound
And leaves as he came with mist all around.

Have you seen what I’ve seen?
In the dark of the night, like a thief in the night
The black dog came to lie on the bed and allow a small cuddle
And then he was gone. But the memory remained.
That morning we’d learned that the dog had been pained
And during the night his life had been taken,
But somehow he found me, my soul to awaken.

Have you seen what I’ve seen?
I see a boy full grown and a black dog
Standing in the orchard, reborn.
Just a wave, a smile, a nod of the head
Making words that never were said.
Tells me everything’s fine tho’ nothing was heard.
Just the breeze and bitter-sweet song of a bird.

Have you seen what I’ve seen?
A picture that, impossibly, stares right back.
Footprints in the sand that follow your tack.
Words without sounds that open a door almost wide,
To comfort and assure us that he walks alongside.
Though nothing was said.

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