The Prisoner

The Prisoner

She looks through the bars,

her intelligence

dulled by repetition

of the daily chores

and cheerlessness.

Tears fall

as tortured


of her child

growing without

her loving touch.

A glimpse now and again,

never enough

as someone


charts her child’s

precious years.

Politicians mutter,

What can her family do

against prejudice


and perfidy

like this,

taking a woman from her


from her freedom

and framing her,


destroying the fragile

bond, that holds

body and soul


Lord, that she may be free


Where Land is Rare

I stood on the cliffs and looked out to blue, blue sea,

the bobbing boats with lines and nets in the bounty.


An innocence spread out on the tortured ruins below

the rippling waves where we came too    late, too       slow. 

Heard the bells of the churches and cathedrals calling

‘neath the waves in sadness and sorrow and raw regret.

I heard the bells of bicycles and front doors and a sound

of the clocks, that ticked away the rising waters of ice

melt, as the sun’s strength grew, and indecisive leaders

tried, and Canute like, failed to turn the trespassing tide.

I watched folk, weighed down with a silvery, fish catch,

as they carried their boxes up the fresh cut, cliff steps.

I laid a hand on my swelling tide of my own and felt

the hoped for baby tumbling beneath my trembling hands.

The heat of the sun bore down on us both and I turned

to return to the city, with its ancient walls, where windows

looked once on rolling fields; now upon rising tumbling waves.

An ancient settlement. Where fish are plenty but land is rare.

Goodness Sown

Politics is the name but man

-ipulation the game as they 

have learned to use our 

prejudices against us,

leaning on us like toppling

trees to sway our thinking and

blow away our morality.

Murdoch has tumbled the


numbers to open he safe, of

sanity and pushed the news

into his own road. And it rises

to meet the crowds listening.

Like a torrent it washes their

minds with the sewage of

racism, misogyny and the

exploitation of small children.


Television has fallen to their

wolflike wiles; and promotes

government biased propaganda,

while those in charge pour 

our economy into the drain

of their utter incompetence.

The evil that they do lives

long after them and the good

is oft crushed to build an empire.


Are we a thin voice in a 


or do we work alongside others?

Avaaz, Amnesty, Tear Fund, 

Faith groups , Greta and great,

egregious heroes that shame 

their lies, build bulwarks against 

a base enemy as they battle

to break bonds and broker change. 


There is 

mighty good my friends, and

we reap what we sow.

A Moment of Grace

For a moment it blazed across the sky,

deep rubies, amethyst and gold as

the sun sank below the sea leaving

me. I looked and saw through the 

colours into a lit space where all

was possible beyond imagining,

For a moment time stopped. 

Then the sun sank and darkness

collected around me – yet still I

carried the glow in my heart, despite

that blanketed breaking night.


A fragile glow, a moment of 

      grace in the face of grief

and loss as the world turns on

its own, destroying the sunrise

over battered broken tree stumps,

children begging for a safe place

and guns being fired on the innocent

while governments manipulate and destroy

but still within. An eternal flame.

Help! Look what’s happened!

O phial from astra Zeneca we adore you,

the first drops made in Europe 


by ports and threats and paperwork.

Millions more expected, so they say

as they sit around a table and nod

their heads with Eton wisdom, while

thousands and thousands and more

sicken daily, and a thousand and more

die from a disease limited as much

as the Canute faced, ocean tide.


We play hide and seek with a 

ranging minotaur while some 

take their lead from a leader who 

behaves as if life is all a prank, so

they party and prance around as if

they are the only ones who matter.

Self-centred, egotistically bound

they carpet their parties with the

dead, the sick and the grieving. But

no one sees or notices the old lady

dying from a virus in her own room.


And watching the 

Icarus antics in the cabinet room,

they swerve away from common 

sense, and dutifully fulfil the will 

of those

taking the excuse to erode the hard

won rights of women, children and

increase the burden on the struggling,

and see their own untaxed moneys 

grow into mountains the sick carry.

A Woman’s Choice

She peeled back her skin and saw

that she was raw material for a 

marketing machine that would

make a fortune in denying the

fragile existence of a woman 

because she was fitted out in

the wrong covering. 


Leaving her tight skin friends

another floated into money by

stripping out her stomach and

pretending that her body was

a robot’s by oiling the joints

with the catwalk.


They met over a dustbin of lies

where the flies circled the misery

placed on their heads by those

blinded by the balance of funds

and break the beauty and the

gift of those who will die of

the sickness of who they are.

Ghosts of Christmas

They politely exercise their prero

-gatives by     sitting on our beds

when we crack open an urgent

eye to begin the day. They come

to us in each piece of wrapping 

paper and gift, the stockings on

the mantelpiece breaking open

wounds and joys and hurts and 

crazy memories of floundering


in snow, or singing hymns in

a cold church, with a blowing

organ reviving the hearts and

hearing their voices we may be

gladdened or grown disturbed.


They are there in the mince pies

and tight waist bands, the sixpence

in the pudding or watching from

the tree where the wrinkled tinsel

is worn thin with long use. By the


glass of wine another one waits

and smiles at the champagne, for

those bubbles are surely as old

as the hills, and blind us to every

old ill; that comes with those thin

faces from yesterday’s Christmases.

They seldom stay long; but enough

to raise merry memories, or of a 

heart burnt in the flames, not of 



of life’s random acts of cruelty.

White Supremacy

Its competitiveness that daunts

the faint hearted, bullied into a 

dark place where submission is

heroic and the soul crushed by 

their insistence and persistence 

pushing them further into the 

darkness. Then, white skinned 

see only their own worth and 

break down the barriers of 

investment port folios and 

grab at the next chance to 

show their narrow eyed

prejudices to shore

up their self esteem..

The Shepherds

Did the star, so bright, kill the night?

The baby silent in submission to the

hands of unloved men and women?

Did angels hover and sing so sweetly?

Filling the sky with their susurration,

articulating the glory of an organic God?


Did Mary know that the sweat, pain

and agony of giving birth; was just the

beginning of his? Pain filled parturition 

of an embryo space where no-one need

protest, or claim difference or worthiness?

A love-in that shelters, equals and seeks

to redeem the bound world’s corruption.


The Shepherds knew. His life was like

their sheep, full of potential and then

the slaughter, the bloom of red 

spreading out to cover the blindness

of those; who saw their own images

and sought a sacrifice to cover their greed.

A Letter to Santa

I’ve written my letter and sent you my note,

he’s bound to see just what I wrote,

its not a lot but I’m sure he’ll see

that all these things are not for me.


Dear Santa, please may I have a big box

of peace, homes and hope along with my socks,

a jigsaw of food for all empty hands,

and drinking water in all of the lands.


Please will you take those who harm kids,

and put them in crates with very heavy lids,

and all those leaders who are pow! power mad

please, stop them because they are so very bad.


Please, stop climate change injustice,

regrow trillions of trees and lots of ice

help all people everywhere to finally see

that plastic does not belong in the seething sea.


Please Santa, we are so very very stuck,

and we turn all God’s beauty into muck.

I am afraid that everything is going to pot,

please, please,

place in my stocking all of this lot.

Oh the Children!

I was a hiding again in the cupboard,

they had started again and the grinding

hatred was spat out in words and then

he hit her, over and over. I heard her

moans and then screams and then all

went silent and I’d wet myself again.


I stayed still and silent hoping that he

wouldn’t look for me and let me know

again how loathsome and babylike I

was and how he hates us all; and then

he will collapse like a balloon bursting,

and his snoring engulf us all. I held on


and then I heard the shuffling and moaning

and knew that he had crumpled, for a 

moment we were safe from his vile venom.

I crept out and nearly screamed when I

saw her bloodied and broken face. She

was holding her arm and I knew that we

would take the bus and go to the hospital.


There, they would patch her up and ask

her questions, but she would never give

any real answers. She pointed to my wet 

trousers and I slipped afraid upstairs and 

changed and washed them out and hung

them over the cold rusting radiator in my


little bedroom. Then she covered her 

head with a scarf and put on a virus face 

mask. After taking my shaking hand she 

left the house and we ran down to-

gether down to the bus stop. The driver

looked at her suspiciously but 

she paid for the ticket to St Anne’s.


We sat in a small room and they came

and took her away for X-rays and 

a lady wearing a pink jumper came

and showed me some pictures. She 

asked me to choose one that was like

my house. I pointed to the one that 

was collapsed and had peeling wall-

paper, dirty carpets and bare shelves.


Touching my arm, she asked me to choose

a picture of my Mum. That was easy 

as they had one of a lady who was

dressed in bandages. Then I saw that

there was a picture like my Dad. He 

was angry and his fist was bigger than 

his head. I shrank down, 

hid my head,

and cried.