The gif spread slowly across my screen Opinionated, detonated, created, calculated.
Cold and cruel, treating me to someone’s 
unhappy heart turned on me in spite, a bite
Of hate.

——/
Her photo stolen from her life, haunting her
as they passed it along its invisible trip wire.
Seeking fame by defaming, hoping for shares,
and done despairs, violated, cries to be heard.
In vain.

—/
He knew the perpetrator who’d sold their soul to the ancient devil of betrayal for a joke they’d said.
A knowing Dad, noticed his darkened demeanour,
wrestled the walled silence of shame, in the hope.
Of rescue.

——
The suicide note said it succinctly, shouted the ——-
scream, a soul too stretched by media malice,
pushed to the perimeter of a life once played.
New fears of furious parents are charged with 
Their tears. 

——
Media moguls sit in their silks and silver service,
ignoring the strain, the pain, the chains that bind,
And grind down the hope of tomorrow, backs to the misery and missed chances to save lives lost to.
Their Greed.

The walls of Hate.

It was lost before it started,

as the sun rose over the horizon

and the cloud of the dust of centuries

of believing that this is right and that

is so very, very wrong.

==========================

No-one saw the stain in the beginning

but stood and broadcast their right, to

murder, malign, maim over a message

that you, my friend, my neighbour I hate.

====================================

Years roll past and the violence and vehemence

gather strength to make walls and wounds that 

fester making all the yesterdays crucified to

a cause that has no foundation, but falsehood.

=====================================

History repeats and murders by memory,

while children whisper learned hatred,

and bully the difference in themselves

and others, making life a deliberate

nightmare of separatists and strident

speaking of truth – that is no truth at all.

===============================

Our roots are bound to others, but brokenly

we refuse to build our lives to root in goodness,

reconciliation and tolerance, still we 

suffer in large numbers and reject

the words of the murdered one, for saying

Love your neighbour as your selves.

The Prisoner

The Prisoner

She looks through the bars,

her intelligence

dulled by repetition

of the daily chores

and cheerlessness.

Tears fall

as tortured

thoughts

of her child

growing without

her loving touch.

A glimpse now and again,

never enough

as someone

else

charts her child’s

precious years.

Politicians mutter,

What can her family do

against prejudice

injustice

and perfidy

like this,

taking a woman from her

family,

from her freedom

and framing her,

mercilessly

destroying the fragile

bond, that holds

body and soul

together.

Lord, that she may be free

Amen.

How will they know?

It was the glimpse of a frost iced field, where the

lowly sheep were lazily crunching on crisp grass,

that touched my heart and brought the memories

of chapped cheeks and gloves with holes where

the cold wind whistled and the promise of snow.

——–

Snow that fell in lazy circles tasting of ice cream,

bearing the brunt of blizzards that filled the gullies,

and hedgerows hidden by drifts with holes where

wellington boots had reached the for the ground,

delighted laughter as the snow soaked their socks.

——————————–

Headlong screaming on a home made wood sled,

that Father Christmas brought, and the thud of 

snowballs against wet coats and the scramble 

to roll the biggest snowman’s torso and the deft

heave of the body and a jaunty carrot nose head.

—–

Faces aglow with the joy of cold hands and a

warm heart, snow knocked off boots in the yard

and coats shaken, and then the sharp pain as the

warmth of home sets blood flowing in the fingers.

The scent of baking potatoes and dumpling stew.

—–

How will our grand children know how to tumble

and grumble in the cold snow as snowballs fly?

The soft sound of walking in snowy landscapes?

The crunch through silent lanes? the cancellation of

school? The sheer joy watching the first flakes fall.

———–

Instead they watch the thermals rising, knowing

that the heat warming, fossil fuels are still burned 

and being brought out to burn their liberty away, for

high temperatures are not for fun or running in frosty 

times. Tears fall because it seems the desire for real

change

is

absent.

It is Rare

It is rare that we hear the truth from leaning liars,

and we find ourselves assigned apologies that are

spun and woven as spider’s webs to placate and push

away critics and the fearful future of resignations.

It is rare that we hear of poverty on the agenda

of the wealth driven economies of the wide world, 

and so they wallow, wreathed in smiles, trading

joy for the piercing the pain of the prevalent poor.

====

It is rare that the rapist is prosecuted and their

violated victim able to see right justice visited,

and proper judgements meaning a perpetrator

is behind prison bars of civilised sentencing.

——

It is rare that royalty faces the full force of 

the law and paedophile’s are held to account,

wealthy or poor, public or private, halted for

each vulnerable child deserves to live safely.

———

It is rare that we find good overcoming evil,

as vice, calumny and cruelty are newsworthy

but the good is oft interred and the efforts of

hard working folk is the quiet grace of God.

The Loss of family

She just looked,

no sight in her eyes.

as they turn into her turmoil.

He just sighed,

no hope in his soul,

as he lives on the streets.

Their young lives stolen by adults too bound up with pleasure

that they abandon the child of their loins, some sold, and

the little hands and feet beat a rhythm in their rags of the

sounds that are wound around their lives of calls and cries,

screams and tears stream down their dirty faces making 

those tracks that blind adults ignore, whoring the little ones

piteously, hideously  lasciviously taken their spirit to spit

it out and still the films are churned our teaching them

to spurn the family life that returns to a child their hope,

dignity and conformity to a way of life of security.

The Wise Men

It was slow and cold over the malevolent mountains

where icicle adorned camels tread on vague 

suspicions of trails. Their bitter breath freezing

in the air and each of us huddled gasping against

the icy blasts. The camps were hard; starting a

fire and hiding under the rough rugs and skins,

sheltering under the lee of snow weary camels,

with whitened humped backs or cool rocky caves.

——

We thought we’d understand, but soon forgot what 

it was that drove us here. A star hidden by dark 

clouds, just glimpses to direct our guarded gaze. 

Plodding feet of chilly camels. Holding on to the 

idea that somewhere was a birth that was God 

given. Months ago we’d spied the star as it rose, 

spilling its golden beams over the earth.  Each of us 

serious in science, astronomy and have called us wise.

—-

Though seeing us now, cold and blizzard blown, they

might not  think it wisdom that sends us on the way, 

but the desperate need to be in a place away from the 

wolf howling, grinding, wind of violent living. The

drifts of snow became light dustings. And, we could 

see trees and the apathy of mountain passes became 

joy of green valleys where we rested, hunted and then

slept. But the beckoning star called us to continue on.

——

Thru’ the glittering night watches and gathering ourselves, 

we walked on towards a future that may be no future. 

Doubts come in droves in deserts, fearing our foolishness 

we arrived at a place our forebears knew and called the 

city of peace. The gold globe of  the temple shone 

in the late sun and the people jostled us with questions 

and insults as the camels shouldered their way up

narrow streets. Our wise servants buy from sumptuous, 

—–

Thru’ the glittering night watches and gathering ourselves, 

we walked on towards a future that may be no future. 

Doubts come in droves in deserts, fearing our foolishness 

we arrived at a place our forebears knew and called the 

city of peace. The gold globe of  the temple shone 

in the late sun and the curious people jostled us with 

questions  and insults as our camels shouldered their 

way up narrow streets lined by newly laden stalls. 

——–

Our arrival noticed.  We are coldly summoned and

invited in to see the suspicious king whose questions

hurt.  Gradually he reveals the cruel tyranny  of a

jealous man and we are caught in his spider web,

and there is no new- born king, only a silly hope

born of scientific observations and superstition. 

and now with wounded pride we hear his hidden 

snarl as he ask for our return with eyes of iron.

—–

Twas the news of the baby he wanted. Like an asp,

he would worship the opposition. Perhaps we 

were wise after all – searching for goodness and 

seeing through his veiled threats and violence. 

As we left,  the star brightens on the horizon. 

——

Faith, like a newly lit candle wavered and held.

It was not far the unfolding. O’er Bethlehem it

shone. We murmured and mumbled as it stopped.

And we asked of a baby. And we met a few ’til

we saw the child, and felt the surrounding holiness.

No need for words, 

we fell down. 

We worshipped 

that we did not know 

and hoped that this smiling gift 

would bear our hope.  

We gave him from our store 

Gold, frankincense and Myrrh, gifts worthy of him 

and believed in our hearts that God was here.  We left,

 quietly and travelled home on a God given route

with a burning in our hearts:

knowing that we had been

at a beginning.

The NHS and Number 10

He stood by me disrupted bed and gentle voiced,

he spoke my name, He checked the bleeping, 

life saving equipment and then my plethora of 

pipes and plastic tubes that will keep me from

being the next statistic of those dying from covid.

—-

Do they see – feel the woe?

Do they care to even  know?

Or is this the way they want it?

He smiled through his mask and I could see it

echoed in in dark eyes. Easing my distress he

spoke kindly and encouragingly that the figures

were improving and that if it stays that way then

the team will come to remove the paraphernalia.

—-

Do they see – feel the woe?

Do they care to even  know?

Or is this the way they want it?

—-

I lay looking at the same slightly cracked white 

tile above my bed and wondered how my child

was coping without me. Would her flustered father 

fix her hair, hold her, whisper encouragement, 

pack up her school bag, remember her gym kit?

——-

Do they see – feel the woe?

Do they care to even  know?

Or is this the way they want it?

—-

I saw him on the screen last night and would’ve

wept if I’d the energy. Proudly shows a wonderful,

pinman picture of me in a hospital bed and tears 

rolling down drawn cheeks as he realised that 

I was alive and animated and coming home. 

—–

Do they see – feel the woe?

Do they care to even  know?

Or is this the way they want it?

—–

The gentleman in the pristine bed by me is

gently gone this morning, wheeled down to 

the miserable morgue where he’ll wait for his

wife to weep at his funeral. And today I find

a single tear for him or was it pity for me?

——

Do they see – feel the woe?

Do they care to even  know?

Or is this the way they want it?

——

Sorrow for him and me  and the emergency, 

exhausted staff look at the news in horror, 

as Johnson and his staff ease the rules so

more and more sick and dying will be on

their lists. And is I wept. Each salty drop,

a patient, those caring people, who have just

saved my life and lovingly helped another

to depart theirs, are so pressed and hurt,

forced to choose between their vocations

their faithful families, their mental health.

=====

Still, at number 10 that means nothing as

they play at politics and give money to

their friends, and no one investigates and

no one has stopped their tossing aside the

rules and fragile folk everywhere mourn.

—–

Did they see – feel the woe

Did they care to even  know?

Or is this the way they want it?

The Refugee’s Journey in Darkness

The darkness overwhelmed her and within its womb

her hurts were hidden and her tears could fall like rain

and the storm of running, hiding, and protecting her

children was for a moment abating and creating a place,

a space for rest and respite, hugs and holding tight.

The smell of burned homes and grenades bursting

still soaked their clothes and strong in her nostrils.

Sights and sounds that will stir their vivid dreams.

——-

The guns were distant and the drones silent in the star

lighted sky, exhausted her eyes closed and the drag

of sleep overcame her but a rustle in the bushes and

she was awake, alert and her anxiety rose as she lay.

No other sound and so she let her heavy eyes droop

and her head rest on the emaciated bone hardness of 

her daughter, and woke as the light began to show

bringing colour to the shrubs and trees around them.

—–

Slowly they arose and she gave them water, bread 

and the strength to walk on through the thickening

trees. Pausing here, and there to watch and hear if

death drones followed. And so they crept on silently.

In the susurrous rustling of leaves they saw the hut.

A man took her cash, watch, phone and promised

a safe journey. The hungry, wasting children were

quiet on the boat and hastened to travel as advised.

——

They had not eaten, nor had clean water and yet

hopefully setting off they joyfully arrived at the

shore of the English Channel.  The boat was thin

and crowded but sailing towards her mother and

there were her cousins too, gave her good spirits.

Cold, Hungry after travelling  a thousand miles

they arrive. Firmly they are shushed and ushered,

into locked rooms, questioned, cruelly separated.

——-

The children dragged away from her screaming.

She’s interrogated with her heart breaking. ‘I’m

back fighting for my life,  my girls, my son,’

she thought. No welcome, no warmth, only 

questions and coldness.  As the darkness of tory

party prejudice destroyed her hopes it seemed

to her that the killer, diving drones 

would have been 

kinder.

The Secret Power.

They met in secret, stealthily straining at gnats

to be sure that they would never be restraining

their wealth and never permit the poor to speak.

They’re busily retraining multiple ministers so

they would be refraining from supporting needy

people for that was to go against their reigning.

Teaching then to be disdaining of the protesters

and binding them in law, in statutes to silence,

and stop them staining an ordered fascist land.

They sit in power, chaining the hands of those

who dare and draining the hope of the refugee,

and sending them home to violence and death.

—–

Who gives them the power that they take?

Who allows them to be always on the make?

Governments and leaders feigning innocence.


He sits and smirks as they pat his obedience for 

caning a waning economy; like a smiling nanny 

seeing a pretty child, posing for their parents.

The Coming of Hope

It was slow and cold over the malevolent mountains

where icicle adorned camels tread on vague 

suspicions of trails. Their bitter breath freezing

in the air and each of us huddled gasping against

the icy blasts. The camps were hard; starting a

fire and hiding under the rough rugs and skins,

sheltering under the lee of snow weary camels,

with whitened humped backs or cool rocky caves.

—–

We thought we’d understand, but soon forgot what 

it was that drove us here. A star hidden by dark 

clouds, just glimpses to direct our guarded gaze. 

Plodding feet of chilly camels. Holding on to the 

idea that somewhere was a birth that was God 

given. Months ago we’d spied the star as it rose, 

spilling its golden beams over the earth.  Each of us 

serious in science, astronomy and have called us wise.

—–

Though seeing us now, cold and blizzard blown, they

might not  think it wisdom that sends us on the way, 

but the desperate need to be in a place away from the 

wolf howling, grinding, wind of violent living. The

drifts of snow became light dustings. And, we could 

see trees and the apathy of mountain passes became 

joy of green valleys where we rested, hunted and then

slept. But the beckoning star called us to continue on.

—-

Thru’ the glittering night watches and gathering ourselves, 

we walked on towards a future that may be no future. 

Doubts come in droves in deserts, fearing our foolishness 

we arrived at a place our forebears knew and called the 

city of peace. The gold globe of  the temple shone 

in the late sun and the curious people jostled us with 

questions  and insults as our camels shouldered their 

way up narrow streets lined by newly laden stalls. 

—–

Our arrival noticed.  We are coldly summoned and

invited in to see the suspicious king whose questions

hurt.  Gradually we learn that he is a tyrant and a 

jealous man and we are caught in his spider web,

and there is no new- born king, only a silly hope

born of scientific observations and superstition. 

and now with wounded pride we hear his hidden 

snarl as he ask for our return with eyes of iron.

——

Twas the news of the baby he wanted. Like an asp,

he would worship the opposition. Perhaps we 

were wise after all – searching for goodness and 

seeing through his veiled threats and violence. 

As we left,  the star brightens on the horizon. 

Faith, like a newly lit candle wavered and held.

It was not far the unfolding. O’er Bethlehem it

shone. We murmured and mumbled as it stopped.

—-

And we asked of a baby. And we met a few ’til

we saw the child, and felt the surrounding holiness.

No need for words, 

we fell down. 

We worshipped 

one we did not know,

and hoped that this smiling gift 

would not be crushed by our hope.  

John 6:66

After this many disciples quit following him and did not accompany him any longer.

To stay or go

He stands bewildered by their unfurling, hurled unbelief.

He sees in their smouldering embered eyes

A return to earthly vows,

Narrowed estuaries of thought

How could they not?

Why believe in a man

With only his flesh to offer.

No better than others.

———-

She stands shaded and affronted.

After all he had offered

Given, mended the broken, 

Surely it would be just

Not to doubt but stay 

To understand 

the question.

——-

Another, not yet decided

looks down at his sandal shod feet

Questions, doubts.

Drags his feet.

To go from him? 

Like a child snatched from its mother’s breast

and wander, or cast away his beliefs,

Against all his life’s learning.

To stay with the fount of all being

the word of life.