Empty plates

Once upon a time we jingled the coins in a pocket,

a loss of magnitude that cannot simply be realised,

half crowns and shillings, sixpence and pence. So

rich we felt with half a crown and even a sixpence

to buy sweets at the shop on the corner of our busy,

children in the road playing, gossiping, caring street.


One lost their job, and the neighbours gave of their

just coping, and felt the pain of the hungry and sad.

Now its a card in the wallet, the dour street divided

and the out of work numbers rising so that no cash

on hand to help another, not a spare meter token,

and find friends at the frantic, empty food banks.


He stared at the mighty banquets of the opulent 

as Oliver watched them as he ate his grim gruel.

So we seek change by becoming audacious agents  

of a new way to see and be in our land, where self-

centred politicians have wired us to be self-seeking

and survival of the wealthiest is their awful aim. 


Jesus spoke into this direst of situations with sense,

give banquets for the poor, the crippled and the lame,

not the groaning tables of the grand and thriving rich,

but he calls us again see the erosion of the way of

daily lives, community and making life impossible

by the sly, Conservative party’s destructive ruling.

Do they even care?

Sewage on our beaches

government beyond our reaches,

history did not teach us

and now they cling like leeches,


feeding off the poor, 

slamming shut the door,

hunger comes with a roar

and they say they’re sticking to the law.

Crisis costs will rise, 

Will they hear the dying sighs?

Will they finally raise their eyes?

And free them from wealthy ties.


Money goes into their coffers,

and kindness will make offers

of tins, beans, tea against the scoffers

and cars driven by chauffeurs.


Shivering inside from all ills,

chemist can’t get the right pills.

Climate crisis worsens and kills.

Who can save us from their selfish wills?

Poverty and Wealth 2022 style

Gaunt faces, Belsen like, shivering in Oxam coats 

and parcels of food in Red Cross Boxes,

schools struggling to open, free dinners lost

and hospitals stretched, homes wrecked and

breaking, while the MPs and corporations 


counting their profits and refusing to see

the results of rabid greed and sleep easy 

in their clean warm beds.

The Tory Party’s .

small print!


Its in the small print that we are not allowed

to see.

Its written large in their minds that we will not

be free.

Its in their meetings, their words and thrills

and the meaning is hid in their lying deceit.


Not one has been told but they guess that

it is.

They cannot believe that’s clearly considered

to be

and yet they meet in secret in pubs, remotely

located, with Russians betraying their flock.


The poor are now poorer and the rich count

their glee,

The food banks are closing for a serious lack

of food.

Trust Truss or Rishi, they say, but we all know 


their trust is in mammon for themselves and



Seaside Fun

Dancing sunlit waves, gleeful children,

reddened cheeks, glowing with joy under

a layer of factor 50, to fight off the furious

sun searching out each little corner of skin

uncovered; and so they dress them now

with protecting suits or pop up tents that 

shield, and enable freedom on the beach;

to dig and build, shape and fill buckets, to

make sandcastles that stretch across the 


thinking to stop the tide. and ride the ripples

in the welcoming ambling sea on its quiet, 

soulful days. But, they love too the tossing 

roaring waters that build and splash and 

challenge, that thrill and lift and tumble,

and each one to be met by crazy courage, 

over and over as they wait for the really big

one, that will toss them in the surging surf.

Hiccoughing and laughing, they face again

the cold waters and splash and scream ’til

the call comes to go back, and suddenly 

they are cold and shivering and struggling

with wet clothes and sandy feet that scrape,

warm, dry clothes bringing cheer, and 

tears are dried as they homeward trek to

hot drinks, restorative snacks and hot 

showers leaving gritty sand as they go to

a place to sit, relax, read and slow down.

Britain August 2022

Like sheep to the slaughter we voted them in,

like donkeys we slave away at their despotic will,

like a cat amongst pigeons they pursue and push

at our connections, destroying our community

but, like automatons they tread on unfeeling.


Like a lion they prowl and devour their prey,

chewing the last juicy money from their 

thin, worn pockets and adding it to their fine

warm, bulging bank accounts, watching as life

burns, burying their conscience beneath cash.


She is like a wraith as she looks at the shops,

willing the meagre sum in her purse to stretch,

willing the prices lower and the hunger, stamped

on her child’s face by politicians, to give way to

a happy, healthy smile that lights up the eyes.


Still they chew her coins as they claim expenses,

eating away at the tax payers purses and praying

no one will notice their shameless, shambolic

posturing. Like rats fleeing the sinking ship they 

sail away; steering the wreck from Tory havens.


Death comes oh so slowly for some,

whispering in each struggling breath,

holding them in its grip but tightly

not letting them go to their freedom,

gasping for air, painful frowns as

medication is measured and relief

is sought, but death comes too slow.


Death is sudden. Like a fist to the gut.

No warning, no word, no inkling of it.

She was so young, he was only. God!

This is not how I imagined my day.

Like a huge rolling wave it hits and

leaves an aftermath of abject misery.

It comes. A crater in someone’s life.


Death steals hope and fruitful futures,

and tho t’is part of nature nurturing. so

 it has its shadowy way; a dark valley.

Long ago a wounded hands reach out

from a cross, he shared with us the

grim journey. Now, he warmly welcomes

each weary soul with love and fills them

with life;