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: 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: Song of Sorrow

They kill babes in their beds
Kids’ limbs torn to shreds
Old women left to die
With blood in their eye
They taunt them with terror
Then look at the horror
These people you see
Are like you and me

Can you hear the missiles whine?
Like some hellish pantomime
Now is the time
Yes, it’s the time
To Free Palestine.

They crucified Christ
An ultimate heist
Everywhere they travelled
Their pain was unravelled
Under King David’s star
They wandered afar
Nowhere was home
And far did they roam

Can you hear the missiles whine?
Like some hellish pantomime
Now is the time
Yes, it’s the time
To Free Palestine.

Even the Black Death
Was blamed on their breath
As babes were baptised
The Jew was despised
By Shakespeare and Shylock
No door could they unlock
From Poland to France
They tripped the death dance

Can you hear the missiles whine?
Like some hellish pantomime
Now is the time
Yes, it’s the time
To Free Palestine.

In their millions they died
And in the ovens they fried
Then the arms of the world
Towards them unfurled
The final solution
Needed quick resolution
By the kind British hand
They were given their land

Can you hear the missiles whine?
Like some hellish pantomime
Now is the time
Yes, it’s the time
To Free Palestine.

In the millions they came
Moses, Ruth, Abel and Cain
With gold pockets of money
To taste milk and honey
A rich land of ripe cereal
They found their state Israel
The West’s greatest friend
Which it would always defend

Can you hear the missiles whine?
Like some hellish pantomime
Now is the time
Yes, it’s the time
To Free Palestine.

But something is wrong
As I sing you this song
The new land was just fine
It was called Palestine
But it belonged to some others
Who had been their brothers
And it is hard to forgive
When you have nowhere to live

Can you hear the missiles whine?
Like some hellish pantomime
Now is the time
Yes, it’s the time
To Free Palestine.

For sixty years or more
Arabs were ground to the floor
They were crushed and berated
By the Jew they were hated
Their homes torn from them
Under beatings and phlegm
And their only base crime
Was to keep Palestine

Can you hear the missiles whine?
Like some hellish pantomime
Now is the time
Yes, it’s the time
To Free Palestine.

Now time’s gone full circle
Gaza’s been sliced like a Berkel
The Zionists’ hate
Has closed the last gate
So innocent eyes
Stare with fear to the skies
The artillery shell
Introduces children to hell

Can you hear the missiles whine?
Like some hellish pantomime
Now is the time
Yes, it’s the time
To Free Palestine.

So let us try to reflect
On our years of regret
Amid the killing and torture
We were eyeless in Warsaw
And like Pilate of old
Our guilt it was sold
The West washed its hand
Stealing another man’s land

Can you hear the missiles whine?
Like some hellish pantomime
Now is the time
Yes, it’s the time
To Free Palestine.

Now the Zionist state
Is so full of hate
That behind an iron shield
Its own hell does it wield
To kill and to maim
More lives still to claim
From near Calvary’s Cross
Their gain is our loss

Can you hear the missiles whine?
Like some hellish pantomime
Now is the time
Yes, it’s the time
To Free Palestine.