Poem: The night awakes

Last night I was woken by a scream

It came to me from someone else’s dream

The dark it leapt in echoes across the room

My fears stood in shadows before the half lit moon

And when I closed my eyes

The night was gone too soon

You lay asleep with your head against my arm

I held you tight to keep you safe from harm

Outside the wind it whistled softly in the trees

An owl it screeched on the lonely autumn breeze

And when I closed my eyes

I heard the rattle of your keys

So stand back you dark shadows of my past

What you gain now we know will never last

Don’t play games to hurt my family or my son

For the winner here still has a race to run

And when I close my eyes

The loser has now won

Poem: Island Dreamer

I left my heart in the islands

On a westerly breeze

Purple heather blooming

Amid bare rowan trees

Bluebells blazing

Where the fast waters flow

The time has come

For me to go

Feel like a prisoner

In a bleak city world

Need to turn back the clock

To where the wild cat is curled

My heart’s in the islands

Wherever I roam

That’s where I’ll be

When I get called home

Feel like I’m drifting

On a grey rolling sea

Watching mermaids dance

And she’s singing to me

But the waves wash deep

Over a mortal dream

And nothing is as easy

As it once did seem

Feel like my love was

Lost in the glen

On a mountain side

Where the stags rut again

On the rocky shore

My heart begins to burn

By a smoking peat fire

Someday I’ll return

My heart’s in the islands

At the break of dawn

When I left there

I hadn’t even been born

Just a young man all at sea

I threw too much out of the door

Now I am further away

Than ever before

Feel like I’m lost

So I sit and yearn

Some things in life

Take an age to unlearn

The sun outside shines on me

But not like the sun that used to be

On the ben I now see the winter hare

I’m not lost, I’m already there

Poem: John (Jack) Walker 1888-1968

Uncle Jack

His name was Uncle Jack

He complained about his back

And smelled of liniment and ginger

He sat me on his knee when I was only three

And told me tales of the royal house of Windsor

The kings they eat tea and buns

And the Generals load the guns

For lowly men like Uncle Jack to fire

So come and sit by me although you’re only three

And I’ll sing you hymns you won’t hear from any choir

I was just six and a score

When I was called to that bloody war

To kill the evil Hun or die trying

Buried in the mud and the gas shells they did thud

Around me was the constant wailing of the dying

On one fateful autumn day

In our trench we all did lay

When I heard our captain yell something at me

Look out across the wire where the Germans now do fire

And tell me brave Jack what do you see?

I stared out across the land

And among the filthy blood and sand

I saw my best friend Davey shot and dying

Without a second thought I climbed into no man’s land

And crawled to where poor Davey was now lying

I grabbed his webbing belt in vain

And dragged him slowly back again

But sniper’s bullet suddenly found me out

I dropped poor wounded Davey to the ground

And in the battle noise no-one could hear us shout

So little Nicky listen to your Uncle Jack

This long scar upon my back

Was not won for the flippin’ king

Or the war mongers back at home

But bought by my pal Davey and death’s deadly sting

So take this dish of medals

And buy a new bicycle with pedals

And cycle carefully down to your local toy shop

Tell the folks you see to listen close to me

This bloody game they all call war just has to stop

The years they all expired

And Uncle Jack grew old and tired

But he always found the time to talk to me

My older brother Burnet died of gastro enteric fever

And the poor lad hadn’t yet reached thirty-three

He smelled of gangrene and rot

And his bowels they would not stop

Until poor Burnet’s short life was no more

His face eaten away with screams of pain

Now buried in the drain of the earth on a foreign shore

There is no sense in war

The generals always knew the score

While red poppies tell tales of death and glory

But it wasn’t like that then and isn’t now

Death, mud, blood and disease are the real story

Poem: Drowning a Demon

Another boring day

What is that? I hear you say

The problem in my eyes

A messed-up compromise

But can I still get out alive

To find some paradise?

One more drop

I know I’ve got to stop

I’ve been hanging on too long

Just trying to find this song

One more drop

Just a tortured soul

I’m buried in a hole

Needing another drink

To let my conscience think

But can I still get out alive

To find some paradise?

One more drop

I know I’ve got to stop

I’ve been hanging on too long

Just trying to find this song

One more drop

Long lost friends

Where does it end?

They were all so loyal at first

But I had to quench my thirst

But can I still get out alive

To find some paradise?

One more drop

I know I’ve got to stop

I’ve been hanging on too long

Just trying to find this song

One more drop

One last drink

Who knows what to think?

My life is a ruined climb

The descent is so sublime

But can I still get out alive

To find some paradise?

One more drop

I know I’ve got to stop

I’ve been hanging on too long

Just trying to find this song

One more drop

It doesn’t matter anymore

Lying in a heap upon the floor

Memories spin and fade

Into the oblivion I have made

I can still get out alive

My own life is paradise

Poem: Life is a Short Movie

Looking back on a winter’s day

Life’s movie seems so short

Grey flannelled memories dance and sway

Snapshots of the past cannot be bought

The rain runs rivers down the window

Life’s movie seems so short

Dark forest horrors still move too slow

Like a running deer pursued for sport

Ladies came and lovers went

Life’s movie seems so short

The cancer cure was crooked and bent

And love’s sad death the cruellest sport

The children of men have now all gone

Life’s movie seems so short

Lost in a haze of another false song

With ageless hope the last resort

The world is old, the world is grey

Life’s movie seems so short

Lessons of life can’t be learned in a day

So I sit and let the image distort

Poem: Keep on Keeping On

I’ve just reached a place where I can’t go on

My friends all tell me to just be strong

But strength is an illusion I have known too long

So far away from where I began

Now I just stay where I don’t belong

Play my guitar and sing this song

It’s the end my love

The end

Time is a window into a world gone wrong

Far away from the maddening throng

But happiness is a façade

I have worn all along

So far away from where I began

Now I just stay where I don’t belong

Play my guitar and sing this song

It’s the end my love

The end

Hope is the marathon we try to prolong

All the way from Memphis to far Guangdong

But music soothes the pain

I have carried too long

So far away from where I began

Now I just stay where I don’t belong

Play my guitar and sing this song

It’s the end my love

The end

Poem: Forgotten Souls

Been to a place where souls are

Forgotten

Where anger and pity are

One

Been to a place right down at the

Bottom

But in my heart I have to go

On.
So come losers, criminals and corrupters of

Men

Take your last chance

Now

Cos it won’t come

Again

I’m ready and waiting for

You.

A last pistol shot

Cracks

In the cavern

This movie has a short time to

Run

You’re too late

And I’m already away

Riding into the

Sun.