The Child Prodigy’s Choice

Do you think she knows?

I wonder if that youthful vision blinds?

The promise floating from the shimmering

Brilliance, the warmth of line – melody

That cuts to the chase, singing the sadness

Of the world, the harmonic mystery

That uncurls the protective thorns hiding

Our fear and need, those seed beds of beauty.



There was sacrifice; it was important

That we knew her links to the great, her prize

Winning potential; not though out of pride,

More to show the question – was her decision right?

Had she taken the stage, turned to applause

From the hardships of family life,

We may have talked of her, wiped the odd tear

From our eyes before a Mozart cadence,

Joined with the general admiration.



She made her choice however, through wisdom

Or instinct I know not. But I do know

Her decision changed me, opened the door

For me and for many others, to life;

To go from watching, listening to others,

To creating, living the music we find

Hiding in places we’d never entered.

So her choice was to live and to give life –

Surely she must know.



Clean the drive, shine the windows, 
Scour the kitchen, beat the carpets; 
Polish the paintwork, wash the sorrows, 
Cover the blemishes, clear the weeds. 
But the spider creeps from its corner, 
Rains stain our shine with Sahara’s sand, 
The wastes of living feed the future 
And for us to flower, the tears must fall.

Be wise as serpents and innocent as doves

Oh yeah! Like that’s going to happen.
Besides, since when did animal
cunning and blind stupidity
cut through injustice’s fat smile?
Graveyards are filled with the corpses
left in the wake of innocence.
The wisdom of serpents stretches
only as far as the next meal.
This marriage though entrances us –
we want to be wise but unspoilt.
But the scars of experience
damage us, gouge out the tender
spots laid bare in our innocence
and make us fit to give and love.

By the Sea Shore

I throw off coverings of convention

And stand in the teeth of the gale

The salt spray sweeps away fears and troubles

And leaves me to be as I am.

Here the toll of bells can summon up no ghosts.

Time is ended by the waves rhythm

The shape of the sea bed and the moon’s pull,

Being breathes beneath Nature’s roar.

Afar, moonlight’s pale wash pits a walker

Against the flat expanse of sand,

One against the innumerable grains

Packed beneath the sea’s constant breath.

One man, a retort to the limitless,

A song in the endless silence,

Sung for the song’ s sake, for love and for hope

A launched message in a bottle.

The Railway Station

Stations had their own smells-

Steam bursts hissed the cocktail

Of oil, soot and hot grease

Across the open toed sandals

Of waiting boys thrilled

By the piston power,

The drive of skidding wheels

The explosion of smoke

Into victory’s disappointed fifties.


We were leaving

This heaving churn of mechanics,

This golden age of decline

And stepping across to a new platform.

No steam clouding here, no fire

Dragons, no soot, no scents.

We were stepping thoughtlessly

Into modernity, clean

Electric, speedy, taking

Us to a new world

Of specialist secrets, hidden

Powers and practicality.

The old romantics see this

As a step to sterility –

The scraping away of slums

For the clean lines of loneliness,

Of craft skills for the industries

Of service and alienation,

Of time for the local

For the stress of celebrity.


I however felt the pull of the future,

The elusive perfume of possibility.


Just before closing the door

I looked round

Eyes squinting against the morning sun.

Scattered across the floor

Were the lost papers

Skim read and abandoned.

I could have waited

To find patterns,

To wrap stories around bones of words,

To let my half closed eyes

Construct some kind of truth.

But there was too much there

And it was time for my eyes to close.

Easter Monday

Well, is that it then?

All the drama packed in a few months,

Birth and death compressed

To fill the dreary hours.

Now the sun warms and the bud swells

No one wants to know

What happens in the ‘happily ever after’.

Passion and romance

Are enough reality for us.

Evil conquered can be forgotten.


But we must go on

And tread the path we choose.

Our packs are our own.

There is no one for us

To follow beyond our memories;

No destination beyond our dreams,

Just the next step, the wind’s whistle,

Unreasonable hope

And the scent of the sea.

Yet the story cannot be untold.

It must flood through us with each touch

Of kindness, each gesture of compassion.