More Poems Still

Paper Boy

I was a paper boy once

Better that than school where I was a dunce

“Pay-per, pay-per, World get yourWorld,” I would cry

Shouting at people in the hope that they would buy

Selling on corners or trams going past

Carefully ensuring no step was my last

That life was hard and never funny

But I helped my dear mother with the money

Nothing for me; that had to be

It did little to end my misery

To avoid the dangers I was quick on my feet

That you must be to survive on the street

Poor Freddie Jones was killed one day

He was my mate I sadly say

Hit by a car with his paper load

I saw him lying dead on the road

Once I dropped the papers and some blew away

The newsagent docked me six days’ pay

I had a row another time with a highly cranky old bastard

We turned a few heads while the battle lasted

The trouble was he dropped the change

And then blamed me which was very strange

To get away I leaped onto a bus

Alighting next stop victorious

On another grim day my mother died

Her loss was a blow and for months I cried

I sold no papers from that day on

As I had to support my kid brother Don

So I left school for full time employment

That job for me was ironic deployment

Life is strange but sometimes it rhymes

Now I clean toilets for the New York Times

Crocodile Tears

What a performance!

You read out the names of dead soldiers

Fighting back tears


As if they were your own family

And not victims of your bellicose policies

How well you act!

Stanislavsky would be proud of you

There’s method in your sadness

What did you focus on to conjure forth emotion?

A dead cat?

There are other questions more disturbing

Note them well

What on earth were they doing in that foreign land?

Who put them there?


The answers to these questions make me cry

Real tears I swear to you

Because I am alone in my room

On display to no one

But there is a consequence coming

A conclusion

I can feel it in my bones

The war that plays on your feelings will soon be over

No winner, only losers

On both sides

But the time will come for postmortems

Not the kind you have just delivered

No. No. No.

Reality instead

Truth will confront the jingoistic mob

As angels step in where fools fear to tread

At the going down of the sun

And in the morning

We will forget them


There they were

The burnt out ends of smoking days

Scattered on the footpath

As I went by

Cigarette butts

That set me wondering

Who put them there

Was it a child

Who stole the money

And did a deal at Fagan’s tobacco kiosk?

Was that boy or a girl already caught up

In a lifelong deadly habit?

Or was it perhaps a single mother

Trapped in nicotine addiction

Condemning her child to passive smoking

And a future fixation

Or can you see in your mind’s anguished eye

A tattered old fogey or wrinkled crone

Giving off smoke like a factory zone

And clutching death between stained fingers

Demise for them is not far away

You can see it in their eyes

What else can you see?

Why other victims everywhere

Young and old, rich and poor

Snared with a destiny of dying what’s more

Smoking their lives away

In the midst of all this

Is the corporate bliss

Of the company that makes the poison

The income is important to the politician

So honourable members condone the mortician

As their stricken people smoke, smoke, smoke each cigarette


It’s a funny thing the mind

It is where you plan your destiny

Or endure the whims of fate

That have made your life almost unbearable

But not quite

It is where you are free to make decisions

About right and wrong

Where you make mistakes constantly

Because of the deception

That has been fed into your awareness

Yet there is something else

That happens there

It is where you decide to love or hate

To link yourself to someone else with unbounded passion

Or cast aside another

With destructively baleful negativity

It is that choice that gives your mind mountains of joy

Or valleys of despair

Your thought process today is where your future lives

Where love can become a reality

Or hate a fatality

So dwell not in the past forever

So much depends on the now as the saying goes

The awareness where current thoughts define your woes

So climb this steeple

Today’s thinking can make you love other people

And their thoughts in return will be your affair to share

It’s a funny thing the mind



I’m pleased to meet you

Do you come here often?

I do

It’s where I soften the blows of my existence

Where are you from?

Oh my! I’ve never heard of that place

Is it near any well known location I might know?

I see

Well anyway, welcome my new friend from nowhere

My place in the world?


Not much to say about that

Once I was involved, really involved 

But then I died metaphorically although I was still breathing

Retirement they call it

When you are obsolete and no longer needed

What am I now?

Soon to be no more than a memory

A fading burden on society

Yet there is one comfort that says I am not alone

For in that past

There were other lives interacting with mine

Souls I influenced

Dreams I participated in

Little triumphs shared

Companions I walked with when the weather was bad

They are still with me now in my mind 

Good friends still

Whose spirit I share with you

For I was a teacher

Thanks for your company

Good to talk with you; have a nice day

As I Was Going To Strawberry Fair

As I was going to Strawberry Fair

I met a man who wasn’t there

He gave me a promise to set me free

If I helped his party gain victory

He then set other thoughts afloat

Clearly designed to get my vote

He said his opponents lied with lust

And he was the only one I could trust

He had learnt to manage our nation’s finance

While his rivals were fiscally in a trance

Because he was able to turn the right knobs

The land would be blessed with more and more jobs

Invasion he mentioned with arrant perfection

He’d keep us safe with border protection

One other claim caused a minor sensation

He said he would strive for the good of the nation

Then with a blast he left to the last

A promise to make need a thing of the past

I was swept away by the pie in the sky

So I thought a handshake was worth a try

The kind of greeting I tend to do

When eager to hail a man tried and true

O how can I tell you of my despair

When I reached out my hand and grasped the air?

What a lethal end to my false elation!

It’s a deadly thing your imagination.


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