Three James’s, a Thomas,  a George and a John,

Are they all forgotten, all men long since gone?

Did we ever remember? Yes, but for a while,

And those now in power would their memory defile.


T’was not a lot asked for, just merely to live

In modestest comfort, and what would they give

For a belly that’s full and a home safe and warm

A brotherhood barrier - ‘gainst life’s dark storm.


Their land long forsaken, though not by their choice,

What should be their birthright – they gave it a voice,

And the earthly almighty despised, and were feared

‘Case the downtrodden rose, and their destiny neared.


So banishment came, to a far away land

And thus were they punished for taking a stand

For their birthright, though this not according to some

Men kept down has caused many a fortune to come


But their fellows feeling rose and it rose high

Questions were asked, and wonderings why

Their brothers had been sent so far away

Just for wanting a liveable pay


And in the end, much suffering past

The six where they belonged, at last

And what they said, it came to be –

We will! We will! We will be free!!

Where is He?

As silence stares, the only token

For future yet unspoken

The frame exists, but has no glass

So through it every doubt can pass

Are dreams of time to come


Hid deep within uncertainties?


So build a wall that can’t be breached

So the pinnacle is never reached

And spending all the light of light


Figures in the night

Stark, dark

Do not care-they just take all

Rejoicing as the shadows fall


Take arms! Take fight! And shut them out!

Should they just whisper, you must shout!

And shout! And shout! With all your might!

You have the day! Reclaim the night!


But ask – should puerile denseness take –

Where’s the Lord-for Heaven’s sake???


Back home

 The man from Penrhiwceiber

Who worked down Maerdy  Main

Has come to take the South Wales steel

The steel back home again


The South Wales steel forged by the coal

The coal that lit  the fires

The fires that drove the nations heart

The hearts of the Tory liars


The lies were told  - they were believed

The belief that tricked a nation

The nation that the miners saved –

And what of their salvation?


Though coal still plenty where it lies

There it still lies abundant

Abundant dogma – hate of pits –

The pits were made redundant!


Redundancy the legacy

And legacies can be broken

But broken promises are cruel

And through cruel lips were spoken


And spoken words that could have saved

Were saved to pacify

To pacify the men of gold

For a golden alibi


An alibi to stretch the truth

Though truth should be our right

Their right was wrong but they carried on

Till  truth gave up the fight


A tale of two billies.

 Glinting bright and shining

Half way up the mountain

Practised in the moonlight

Practised in the sun

Life ahead of certain

Gold and adoration

Sensitive to waiting

Will she be the one?


Stood outside the chemist

Half way down the terrace

Glinting bright and shining

Blue light in the sun

Life ahead not working

Life beyond life uncertain

Life is just existence

And now their lives are gone


Feeding the obsession

Starting the procession

Nothing more than waiting

For the day to come

When its finally dawning

Now at last the morning

Finalise the fawning

Just to be the one


Feeding the old story

Theirs is not the glory

Glory cometh later

But not for all, just some,

Deferred yet for a life time

There never is a lifeline

They’re never gonna make time

To get back in the sun


And so the circus hits town

No more on chairs she sits down

 Golden throne and jewelled crown

Soon be juxtaposing

Happy is the nation!

For continuation!

Each to his own station

Though where is the train going?


And the horses and the clowns

That populate the towns

Will witness many a frown

The sun it comes in phases

And some have more than others

Their sisters and their brothers

But all have still got mothers

But the memory erases


So some will never nurture

And some assure the future

An attempt to get through to yer

That the past is still to come

For ever on repeats

Indifference retreats

And surges, then competes

Though the battle can’t be won


For it has ever been

What is now and will be seen

For beyond the homecoming queen

The view’s not sentimental

And whatever there may come

The dumb become more dumb

And the word shall not be “Mum”

For all in transcendental


15 minutes more

fifteen minutes , Andy said
so, full of it and gladly
did she join those seen on screen
and pseudo-sickness blandly

displayed; shock-horror to all -
what a contorted grimace
showed as the invertebrate
passed her Harvey Nick's chemise

on its way to oblivion;
six-legged pawn in a sick game,
played to be seen - for seeing's 
sake-is this the price of fame?

and others, with their boxes watch
the box and squirm  at fantasy,
but just too little of disgust
to put them off their KFC

elsewhere, not on screen, a small
child, deep in concentration
seeks  sustenance in the dark
earth to avoid starvation

that is else his fate; he grubs
for grubs , but can he dig one
out? And then his face alight 
with glee, he finds a big one

and quickly eaten, looks again - 
how should this make us all feel?
this is no game that he plays-
It's fact! His life! It's fucking real!!!

A different fifteen minutes

Would Andy be proud
As the unthinking crowd
Gathers; with their boxes
Around the box

To see whoever she be-
Whatever her name was-
I forgot - it matters not-
As with a contorted grimace
In a Harvey Nicks chemise

She almost retches
As she fetches upwards
To ingest
A crawling struggling insect

Writhing watchers squirm to see-
It almost puts them off their KFC
But only almost, they eat it just the same
It's the price she must pay for another fifteen minutes of fame
And, sadly,
She pays it gladly

Would Andy be proud
As the small head, bowed
Scrapes feverishly in the barren ground
Maybe another grub can be found?
He knows nothing of fame
He's never played a game

He eats insects to stay alive
To survive
And - with sickening glee-
Discovers a delicacy
And swallows eagerly
Now, that WOULD put you off your KFC!

This is no play, it's his life-and he's in it!
And - Glory Be!!! He's just found another fifteen minutes!!!


Deep in the Earth, deep in the soil
Oblivion now life's new toil;
Kick of ball, then kick of gun -
Before life's quarter-first was done
Song of wrath then song of calling,
Heaven's bells toll for the fallen;
The hands that push-the hearts that bled-
Men turned to hate, green turned to red;
The hands that push, the hearts that reach
The words that learn, the books that teach;
A mother's grief-a stranger's sigh -
Who will know whereat you lie?
And-'ere this final act of War-
Did you find out the final score?

Jungus fever

A celeb (just a "C") in the jungus
Eats an insect-is her brain made of fungus?-
In full view, at her leisure
With apparent displeasure-
And a fee some consider humungus!

A child also eats an insectus,
But here endeth any connectus-
He eats to survive,
Not for fame but for life!
How could this not but greatly affect us? 

Does anyone know the score?

Blue but pale Spring morn
And the burden borne
By the man in grey up the Summerhill
Still touches him deep
And the hill is steep

He knows her well, knows them all,
They're kind
But the invitation for tea, 
 and breakfast,
Is declined

And he leaves, slowly,
His meditation less holy,
He abandoned his hope
With the brown envelope
He left. And before

He takes more,
Stops for a cigarette-
He hasn't finished yet-
More souls to shiver
With the rest to deliver

Inside Summerhill, the sad surmise
Is greeted with crying, knowing eyes,
This handsome man, their second son
Is it really true? Has he really gone
On some foreign field; believed  killed?
Is home's blood spilled?

Now words unspoken fill the air-
Will you ever know the where
Of the very spot in the hostile ground
Where he can be found?
And-should he be- in this mad war game

He'll be known forever by another name,
A borrowed birthright from first-born
To be the one whose oath was sworn.
What is this mad and pointless game
That robbed him of his name?

Has he lost it in vain?
Will he find it again?
Whose spirit will remain?
Has his life has turned to dust-
Why in his God did he place his trust?


Answering the call of new dreams, born
Of grime and clustered chimneys, many
Sailed the shadowed ocean giving
Birth to others nightmares.

Safe, with space, and room for
Roaming, private in their pristine
Dwellings, who could overcome their
Freedom?  Save for those they had

Imprisoned.  Cursed, confined within
The townships. In development
Divided. Ravenous rage would once
Spill over. Threatening those who’d

Come to conquer.  Brothers came and
Took the black men.  Some bound for
Defenestration.  Swinging rope and
Stinging whiplash.  Others left to tell

The story.  Told to fear and schooled in
Hatred,  those who might have healed the
Wounded, soon grew used to target
Practice - be it guns or worn-out tyres.

Struggling whispers strained through
Darkness, rose above the cruel
Injustice.  Joined to make one mighty
Voice heard, worked together to
Accomplish.  Will was strong

And Hope undying, will to give
tomorrow’s nation Peace:  And Hope
for more tomorrows free from
Yesterday’s destruction, small
Beginnings, yet to flourish.

to my rebirth.

lay me not beneath the earth,
with soil and clay upon my breast,
for I will find eternal rest
if granted my rebirth.

lay no stone cross at my head,
but once my life has turned to dust
remember where I placed my trust
and take me there instead.

let no tears of darkness fall,
let not the air be filled with sadness,
instead let there be joy, and gladness,
I am down, but did not fall.

remember me with a happy heart,
the times we shared, the love, the laughter,
together always, now and after,
for you know we never part.

and come with me across the sea,
when once the journey’s time’s apace,
at solstice, to my meeting place
where captive minds can still be free.

let my soul be free to roam,
and feel that whispering wind again
across the Catalonian plain,
take me to my final home.

They Shoot Horses, don't they?

whose dreams shall they shatter,
whose hopes take away,
they shoot horses, don't they?

who are they to decide
who'll sink and who'll swim,
they shoot horses, don't they
it's grim!

divide and rule triumphs,
with man against man,
they shoot horses, don't they?
they can!

obliterate Salford!
no more trouble at t'mill!,
they shoot horses, don't they?
they will!

keep down all the scousers!,
and fuck Moss Side too!,
they shoot horses don't they?
for glue!

keep all you old bomb sites!
your broken down slum!,
they shoot horses, don't they?
they're dumb!

our urban sores fester,
and STILL they ignore!,
they shoot horses, don't they?,
what for?!

so damn all the have-nots!
they're not worth a fuck!
they shoot horses, don't they?
bad luck!

you're sacrificed, Salford,
there'll be no help for you!
they shoot horses, don't they?


In the area of Great Britain, North of Watford,
do we exist?
Or are we ignorant Northerners in braces
and flat caps,and constantly pissed?

Unlike refined Southerners
with their pureed petits pois,
do we eat mushy peas?
Wear knotted 'ankies on our 'eads in Summer
and flash our knobbly knees?

Instead of savouring Eastbourne's demure comforts,
do we  gnaw Rhyl rock?
And visit Bingo Halls, have fish and chip shops
on every block?

Are leafy - lined and gentile thatched - roof villages -
handy for motorway -
replaced by rows of terraced, brick - built houses
where clog - shod children play?

In Surbiton, whilst Bistros are frequented,
do we drink in pubs?
Instead of badminton and squash, is it snooker and darts
we play in our clubs?

Do the affluent, hard - working Southerners pay
for us all to stay on the dole?
And is that big white tub in our bathrooms
where we keep our coal?

Are ferrets down our trouser, and pigeons in lofts,
out in't backyard?
Unlike those scrawny wimps from down London way
are we all dead 'ard?

When said and done, such tales belong to folklore,
in Boulevard or Street,
so is North North, and is South South,
and shall the twain e'er meet?


high above my world, I find shelter
for a time,
in a kind stranger's home that can
never be mine.
I long for the day when
I won't have to fight,
but for now my needs must and
I will do what's right.

I've seen devastation, seen man
murder man,
and should I need to face it, I don't
know I can.
My heart's been on fire now, though I'm
feeling so cold,
though I've but twenty summers,
I've so quickly grown old.

See the sun's right above me, in the
middle of night,
and though my brothers love me, they
may die in the fight.
So why are we here now?,
what is it we do?,
why must you fight me, I
don't want to kill you!


The War!
To End All Wars!
No More Bloodshed Ever!
Live In Peace For Ever After!
They Lied!

Cinquaine written by my eleven year old daughter, in 1989

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