St Kitts

My Island

A pulse that never ceases;

the world is alive.

A creation alive like you and me.

Each morning the light sparkles

as the palms wave, look ,

look they point toward tomorrow.

Overhead the clouds gossamer white

fly to the mountain, and darken

to sacrifice themselves to give

 the rain to quench the parched

sugar cane.  The whole island waves

blue green in unison with the sea.

It waves, as the palms whisper

I love you.  Come home to me!


The Sea

It rolls and whispers, breaks and roars, slides and slips along the shore

Seemingly an eternal rock and roll, that calls, lures, seducing time.

Colours are conjured, from sweet invitations to threatening deeps

From peace to rancour of the hurricane, from horsemen’s fleece

To placid pond of safe haven, to splash and feel the lively sea.

Beware, this constant beauty monstrous sometimes is

And tears away the peace and sweetness of your day

It swallows up and regurgitates our rubbish and our lives.

The surrounding sea, unseen and seen uncared for like the gutter

Unseen and seen, we throw our shit and waste, a zillion plastic things

 Expecting to wash away our sins of consumption to Neverland

The sea is not Neverland, this sea lives and loves and gives and takes,

The sea’s best friend the wind, that blows the good and bad, but giving life to all.

So as I sit, and watch and listen to my friend the sea, I wonder if we’ll stop murdering it, and listen to its song. 

Waiting in an empty day.- lock down.

I’m waiting in an empty day.

Today I have nothing to do 

If you were here,

today would be full of things to do.

But it is not, it is an empty day

when the beach is un-walked,

the sea un-swum.

I wait, there is nothing else to do,

for I can not think of anything but you.

You are not here, the vacuum goes on,

I could read, I could drive, but to what purpose

I cannot read because my mind is full of you,

I cannot drive because I have nowhere to go.

The beach holds no delight,

if I sit there alone,

there is no one to splash or hold my hand.

I do not want to drink beer at the shack

for there is no one to look at

over my tepid, flat rum and some’at.

I can dream and sleep and think of you ,

see you in my dreams and pretend that I

can touch you and hear you laugh.

I have no desire to be awake,

for if I sleep and dream I can be with you.

My fear is that I shall lose you in my dreams.

And then there will only be the empty day,

once more, spent waiting, 

waiting for time to pass

until the day is bright and full again

and  I can hold you in my arms,

feel your breath and look into your eyes.

Keep giving if you can.

Yesterday has flown, whoosh, gone,
What happened? I have no idea.
I won’t see my yesterday again
Was it wasted? Far away, yet near?

Today will soon be yesterday,
time ticks faster still.
Yet what? I ask, makes this day differ
for others’ good or ill?

My clock has not so far to go
My spring is all but sprung its last
I ask only that I have the wit
To wind a gentle deed or make a happy cast.

Don’t smugly backward look,
Today’s the day for deeds
Time nor tide don’t hold me back
Not for myself, but for a stranger’s needs.

I’ve received much love, I’ve spent such joy,
round the world I’ve travelled.
My strength today, it ebbs away
But still in all I marvel.

So last of all, I’ll stir my stumps,
Once more my effort, perhaps the last time made,
For someone, somewhere, I don’t know who,
For in their smile, will be a light, and never will it fade.

Aberfan – lest we forget.

The world needs to know, that when the darkness comes, how black it is.

 How a town like Aberfan, so small, so modest, with its peaceful tumbledown streets could

be struck by such an ghastly, catastrophic tragedy.

Aberfan, a soft and lovely name, serene in the black of a coal hewn valley, in a coal hewn

place called Wales.

They lived their lives in the shadow of the great hill of spoiled land,

they sang and went to Chapel and believed in what they had.

They knew and loved their neighbours from habit and

the comfort of a known tomorrow.  They were content.

Children were the treasure of that place. Nurtured in a hard

 but lovely family that spanned the town from end to end. 

In the shadow of the filthy tip placed by skilled and knowledgeable men.

 They trusted and cared for one another, a village of togetherness

All things bright and beautiful, all creatures great and small.

They sang, they believed. Tomorrow was to be half term,

what joy, what sweetness in the coming day;

at home, no school, just a chance to play.

And then, with the Devil, riding down the hill, the blackness came.

A monstrous surge of filthy slurry.

Half the village children, teachers and carers too

Wiped out, gone, slaughtered in a trice.

This was not a war. It was much worse, it was the sin of carelessness.

The arrogance of an ignorant establishment.

Worse still it was a sin of omission,

a sin of ‘we don’t care’; until it will always be too late.

Buried alive! Buried alive in that black filth!

Sacrilege, obscenity!

A pain that’s worse than death for those who mourn. 

Now we care. We weep, but we cannot take the pain away.

Fifty years have passed, and still the guilty live

Guilty because they live, because they didn’t lose,

Guilty because they couldn’t cry

Guilty because they didn’t die.

They queued to find their dead,

wrapped in blankets in the Chapel morgues.

A grief unreal in its magnitude

Where each heart beat for one another.

Aberfan is torn apart,

where modest heaven has descended into hell.

Where the future is no more.

Blackened and drowned into foul oblivion.

The sepulchre of love now sits high on the hill

Where parents join their loves at last.

Memorials sweet cannot, and never will,

wipe out the blackness of that dreadful day.

We, like sheep, have gone astray

 Lead me, idiot, to the ‘promised land’,

Where we can be free, free of Brussels.

Free of immigrants, and others I don’t understand.

We’ll have lots of money and fish galore

The supermarket and the surgery will

For ever be mine with a crowded no more.

Hospitals will welcome me within the hour

British medics will attend us efficient as ever

No more jostling with immigrants dour.

Wait, just a moment, this can’t be true

I remember the bus and all those lies,

Surely it’s Boris that hasn’t a clue.

We agree the Brussels department is bust

We dopes voted despite our ignorant guess

We have to leave now, for democracy we must.

Dear David what a poisoned gift you have left

Barmy Boris and co in charge of this awful mess

Let’s hope, dear boy, UK doesn’t go left.

What’s ancient Greek for ‘I don’t understand’?

Let’s giggle away the problems we can’t see

In Boris’s incoherent, his last great grand-stand.

Where to now? I hear you plaintively enquire

To poverty or wealth or Mojo-land

Now here’s a fact, – one thing for sure, we have no bloody idea!

Making the best of this transient life.

This morning I lost a friend.  I hadn’t known him long, he was a client of a charity with which I am associated.  In the short time that I have spent with my new friend, he was never able to speak, at least not clearly. Yet he was a lovely man with a twinkle in his eye, a man who knew that death was imminent, and yet we spent a few hours together and the smile in his eyes never faded.

I grieve, I am greatly saddened because this small but lovely light has gone out.  This tiny dynamo of humanity is no more and we are all the poorer for it.

I have no right to grieve, I hardly knew the man. Yet, in that family home, there is and will remain a simple truth and it is this; none of us can love too much.  Here, in a place unfamiliar to me, is grace and kindness of unbelievable power.  It has been a privilege to be touched by the selfless giving and patient kindness of this family.

My short relationship is regretted only in that it was so short, but the example of the living and my now departed friend will be with me forever.