The Other Way

Such is the fate of the timid

That chance will be denied

Scenes of what might have been

Are painted on eyelids, inside

….

Memories that have no past

Faces and places never seen

Hands wanting for the holding

The other side of time’s screen

Dreamers know such losses

On nights that last all day

Things that would be different

Had they taken the other way

A Moment in Time

Racism is treating people as ‘others’

The opposite of acting like brothers

We are not designed to be the same

Whatever we are, we are not to blame

….

Is it part of the human condition

To want to establish our position

In some imaginary pecking order

‘Us’ versus ‘them’ from a historic border

….

It seems we have an inner need

Looking down on some other creed

To feel a bit better about our lot

Rejecting notions of a mixing pot

….

But assimilation is nature’s way

Differences, ultimately, become passé

Though bigotry and injustice may cause delay

All will be free to be who they are, one day

….

Until then, use well the power to vote

Campaign peacefully, equality promote

Practise humanity, value all life

Have empathy, turn your back on strife

Covid-19 and Racism

One is an arbitrary killer, which puts no value on life

The other holds an unspoken tenet: that some people are worth less than others

One is without consciousness, the other without conscience

One attacks vulnerable people, the other makes people vulnerable.

Both exhibit a lack of humanity, compassion, and reason

One is invisible to the naked eye; the other, insidious, is hidden in plain sight

One will, with perseverance, eventually be driven away by the ingenuity of mankind

The other will endure in the dark corners of men’s minds, until a cure can be found for prejudice.

The Visitor

Listen if you will in the quiet of the night

To the scraping and scratching of things out of sight

To the noise of blood as it roars in your ears

To the beat of your heart as it measures your fears

 

Somewhere in the house a clock says tick-tock

Below in the street a key clicks in its lock

The third stair from the top creaks as it might

When stepped on in stealth by something so slight

 

Then hinges in want of an oil drop or more

Announce a faint shadow at the bedroom door

You turn on a light to see who is there

Not even a dust mote moves in the air

 

Return to the pillow, try to find sleep

The visitor is gone, no need to weep

The Supermarket Mouse

I must stay positive, I really must

Scampering across this film of dust

Whiskers tremble on twitching nose

Alert, examining empty shadows

Mice, who once were spoiled for choice

Now mourn their loss in squeaky voice

Tiny claws make tinny sounds

On bare metal shelving battlegrounds

A dozen different types of bread

Empty spaces here instead

Beans and pasta, once stacked proud

Now all gone, with the crowd

Long life milk disappeared

Hoarded selfishly, and not shared

Toilet rolls that made a good nest

Vanished suddenly with the rest

Long gone ancestors and early forebears

Told of shortages in the war years

Awry the plans of mice and men

Failed to stop it once again

COVID-19

This orient-born global threat

A cloud passing before the sun

Its silent shadow crossing our lands

Killing without a gun

 

The world awaits the final account

Holding its collective breath

Invisible, insidious, stealthy, amoral

This viral agent of death

 

There is no border it respects

No peoples beyond its reach

‘Self-isolate’ is the official advice

Don’t panic-buy they pathetically beseech

 

Come the time when those left re-emerge

Grateful to be disease free

Only to know it will happen again

A Malthusian catastrophe

The Window of Lucidity

Tossing, turning in a sweat soaked bed

Tugging moist sheets from legs of lead

Cracking an eye to the light of dawn

Another day’s prospect, this new morn

 

Pulling on socks, trousers, shoes

Tee shirt with logo “What’s to lose”

Brushing teeth that taste of booze

How did I get another new bruise?

 

What did I eat, it’s hard to remember?

My stomach churning like a blender

Shakily pouring a glass of juice

All this down to alcohol abuse?

 

Perhaps I should cut back a bit

But can I show the needed grit?

Jut now I have the power to decide

But think tonight, I’ll go with the tide