They made you with the maker’s leave

A whisper on the breeze

Led on by the shapes of hills

Summer passed to winter frills


Morning strikes with rain and thunder

Accusing you of blunder

All the gardens yours to tend

Crying out for some small mend


But now the ghosts have fallen silent

Even your instincts are compliant

Never have we had it so good

To know any better we never would

Streets Of Home

An after-image lingers

On the streets of home

The frozen music fading

The archways leading home


Dying flecks float yonder

On the streets of home

The glinting river lading

The rays of sunset home


A wind-chill on your fingers

On the streets of home

The warm and bitter heating

Greets the traveller home


Familiar from distance fonder

Shrunken streets of home

The eyes of age retreating

Paints the scene of home

Some Fake News – Garden Gnome Pandemic

A new pandemic has been discovered involving people who own garden gnomes. Most of the afflicted are elderly, and so far no children have died, but the government has warned that we are all at risk. Most of the deaths involve co-morbidities such as heart-attacks, cancer and being struck by a motor vehicle, but it should be stressed that the main cause of these deaths is the owning of a garden gnome. Additionally, there have been cases of deaths where no other morbidity has been found proving how lethal this epidemic can be.

The death rate has been climbing sharply as more deaths are investigated and garden gnomes found. At first it was thought that the death rate could be as high as 100% since every dead person who had owned a garden gnome turned out to be quite dead. It was later discovered that there are living people who own garden gnomes. This selfish action which endangers us all is fully deserving of mob violence and the police have been adapted into a militia to help deal with it.

Since this is a “novel” pandemic, garden gnomes being previously unknown in human history, there has been confusion over statistics, cause and effect, and other scientific issues. It is important therefore to only heed and share government approved information and denounce all attempts to get at the truth with dissent, evidence gathering and experiment as “conspiracy theory”.

The government has announced that since it is not clear exactly how garden gnomes kill it has taken the step of shutting down all activity and enforcing a policy of solitary confinement. Many citizens have delighted in the news. “I can finally do all the things I’ve always wanted to do but never had time”, said one mother of three, “stare at the ceiling, make stick figures out of old newspapers, etc”. The government also announced it will cover the pay of all workers, as well as refunding any missing underpants. When not asked where the money will come from the Minister for Economic Affairs didn’t reply “China has loads of money. We’ll just borrow it from them. It’s fine”.


Did you try to find your place

In a faceless menagerie

A child locked inside a park

Where no one knows how to play


Tried to read from all the books

In a language you don’t understand

And tried to flee from every look

Foreign custom in native land


Went round every corner

And found there’s nothing there

Just a variant of the former

And another vacant stare

Why Are Our Streets Empty?

To learn to live you must learn to die

The ancients warned us, memento mori

But on the white walls of this enclosure

The grime of neglect, the mould of exposure


So we value the fact of life, not the living

Turn away from death, and from each other

Bury our faces from the taking and giving

Birth the abortion, divorce the lover


Yet in this land of the English and the Irish

Life’s meaning is in every tree, every hedgerow

That between the earth and the trembling sky

Is the patient place, each soul may lie


I have written this after for some time being frustrated that we have shut down the economy, an action that will cause many more deaths and much more suffering than the corona virus, despite the fact that there is no evidence that it will make any difference nor that this new disease is any more dangerous than many previously existing viruses. But this poem is about how our bureaucratic modern societies forget that it is useless to be alive if you cannot live. Life is a gift you can chuck in the attic to collect dust or you can choose to make something of it. And they may find a cure for corona, but they’ll never find a cure for the fatal condition called life.

Dark Windows

Bright rays tell me, something watches

Gray shadows tell me, something lingers

Cold breezes tell me, something moves

Light morning communicates, something awakens


Black clouds tell me, something comes

Familiar rain tells me, something leaves

Pattering shelter tells me, something follows

Clattering thunder communicates, something sleeps


When the sparrow ignores me on the bench

And weeds tangle wild behind my back

The ray that wrenches out from clouds

Promises the presence my senses lack