Secret History*

My dad was a remarkable man Who lived below the radar Keen not to court attention Lest people thought him bizarre, Judging, as is folks’s wont, His countenance and not his grace The colour of his skin Not the mind behind his face. He told us stories when we asked About the life he’d led […]

Injunctions*

Blood is thicker than water, Implying from Day One The coulda-shoulda-oughta-* Kinda undertakings implied by genetics That, over time, hone to family polemics Passed unquestioning across generations, The unnoticed ceding of trophy vexations Urging their way to a marketable brand With nobody pausing to try and understand Just exactly how these have grown, Passively, silently, […]

Unspoken*

My mother always cared for me With love, strength and dignity From first moments of infancy Til well into my adulthood, Shielding me from the painful Celebrating with the good. Always there when called upon To pick me up and dust me down, Unwritten in her undertaking The stepping back, the mending, making, Knowing when […]

Existential Crisis*

Dear Lord and Father of Mankind Forgive our human ways:¹ We could stand on the doorstep and argue our case For a month of Sabbath days… The people heading your English church Are leaving some of us in the lurch, Citing your Word as a justification For the self-righteous eradication Of a simple, human right […]

Cultural Contentment*

Happiness! -Happiness? The British said to show it less Than Holland’s more contented folk: This not incentive for a joke, No more a homage to Ken Dodd¹ (Who made a name playing funny-and-odd) But something more reflective Grown from government invective: Decisions sealed as legally binding Are, it seems we’re increasingly finding, Shaping our lively […]

Christmas Present

When I was small, I truly believed That each and every gift I received Was delivered by hand to my home address By a chap attired in seasonal dress; A pudding for a belly, a bell on his hat, And a red velvet gown to cover all that. (His belt, a little tight, I fear- […]

Traditional Tables*

Isn’t there a hint of pre-emptive defeat When we purchase a gift And keep the receipt, Sensing in our heads the likelihood That what we’ve chosen won’t be any good…? Not the style or colour or thing That our nearest and dearest Hoped Santa would bring But rather something not quite on trend That might […]