Still More Reflections In A Broken Looking Glass


My kingdom is rocks by the sea

For I am a fisherman

On many a dawn in the early light

I stand erect

In defiance of the waves

That crash around my feet

Cane rod pointing towards the sky

Poised for the battle

In my quest to conquer a dweller of the deep

Cunning in my choice of bait

Cunjevoi, delicious piscatorial lure,

To gull a brave creature into battle with me

Or else a bijou crab serves as a trap

To beguile a sturdy groper into conflict

There I am, waiting poised

Time standing still

Until what I seek turns into a holy grail

A strike

And the rod arches within my grasp

The line is taut almost to breaking

A precious item can be mine for the taking

My body bends with the strain

As I am pulled towards the restless waves

One step, two…

I fight back

Feet feeling for safety on the slippery rocks

Closer to the edge I come

Back I must go or else enter a watery grave


I am losing

The fish is too strong for me

It is drawing me down to water level 

And the rod bends seemingly to breaking point

Then my opponent swims into its sanctuary, a reef

The struggle ends; the line snags and breaks; I have lost

But the nobility of the victor makes me ignore the cost

Memoirs Of A Rogue

I am a beast, an arrant rogue

Cunning, successful where cheating’s in vogue

Duplicitous, two-faced, mendacious and scheming

If you think you’ve defined me, you’re clearly dreaming

I have a lofty social life and I’m not in the least academic

If you claim I have integrity you’ll start a real polemic

For my own acquisitive pleasure I betray my friends

I flirt like Hell with their wives until the friendship ends

I am not tame because of fame and conquest is my game 

I win the hearts of supplicants who all bow to my name

If you have not heard of me that is a surprise

As I have risen through the ranks with schemes that I devise

It really is a wonder though to see such popularity

When the secret nature of my being reeks of sheer vulgarity

As the days go by, with my status high, I ply my ugly ways

I prove to the world beyond all doubt that immorality pays

I’m violent too and draw my sword when I meet a rival

I lie and scam and double-cross to make sure my survival

I can stir a crowd if I’m allowed to make a political point

The mob will rise and eulogise me – a saint that they anoint

And white is the colour of a true love’s face

That is my philosophy for the human race

In the world of business I’m a star in a lucrative sky

I bribe, embezzle, insider trade till the price of my shares is high

So as you know my story, there is little more to say

But if you elect me as your leader, you will make my day


I am an apprentice so my papers say

And I work like the Devil for my pay

On the job early

In the hurly-burly 

In no way daring to shirk

I must do much dirty work

I am a gun without a trigger

Striving to be a rigger

Dealing with big constructions

As I struggle to follow instructions

They are very hard to understand

My boss makes often the impossible demand

But I battle on and do my best

I work all day without a rest

I am a pathetic figure

Looking for lost vigour

A crane lifts my man-basket ever so high

Alarmingly towards the sky

I am such a long way up on the building frame

Where we toil on a high-rise with no name

The people below me look so small

I’m uneasy with heights – afraid to fall

And the work I’m forced to do

Makes me long for something new

I know sadness too for I lost a friend

When a wall collapsed he met his end

There are bullies too in this my life

Who distort my world and bring me strife

They are constantly mean and offensive

While I struggle to be defensive

Five long years will test my will

Before I have appropriate skill

Cruel fate plays havoc with my destiny

As troubles from a harsh world come to rest in me


For thirty years I’ve delivered letters

To a prescribed part of the city

It’s tedious work 

And I am not seen as very significant 

To most people

Just a robot of routine

Putting as yet unread missives into letter boxes

At the back of my mind however,

There is an awareness of my value

Because I bring people together

Loved ones sharing news

Decision makers notifying success or failure

Debtors receiving demands for payment

Miscreants fined for traffic breaches

And the odd advisors perhaps 

Sharing new doorways to a better life

My deeds are not heroic

Although motorists at times

Do their best to knock me off my bicycle

I am just simply a part of things


Meticulous day after day

Functioning in all weathers

Responsible at times for letters

In the wrong box not read

But always striving to get things right

Retirement is coming soon

So my thoughts ramble

About the future of the role I have played

Email looms and the internet grooms

A totally new world of communication

Perhaps my calling

Will be rewritten in that grave new world

Times do change don’t they?

Soon a very different outcome we might see

For a message ending with RSVP

Law and Order

I am a policeman

Stationed in the region of West Hades

Life is not easy for us these days

Lots of madness on the roads

Demonstrations over global warming

Gunshots in a parking lot last Friday

And a fatal lover’s quarrel yesterday

Three suicides, two of them soldiers

In the past two months

It’s not easy being a first responder

Meeting death face to face

Tends to give you the shakes

No matter how practised you are

Breaking the news is even harder

Empathy is a painful thing

So often needed in the modern world

You can see the pain in their eyes

When you tell them the truth

You notice colour draining from their faces

God knows all this

Brings you close to giving up

But it’s the work you have to do

Paid less for it than others receive for easier tasks

On the positive side

We have just found three hikers

Lost in Phantom Valley

Great rejoicing, widespread

I am in the news a lot

Interviewed on television from time to time

Often about tragedy I’m afraid

But that’s the way it is

And life goes on in its usual way…

While other folk are blandly resting

The work we policemen have to do is even more arresting


I walk with others towards the future

Because I am a teacher

I travel the dusty road of self awareness

Patiently correcting errors

And giving new hope of success

In spite of all the barriers

That bar the way

I find in my care very often

Underlings in strife

Torn and harassed by the traumas of life:

Troubled parents

Graven images of instructional gain

Costly solutions to needs that don’t exist

And external testing probing the wrong things

Sometimes I win the battle:

Words are read with understanding

Significant equations are solved

The past becomes a living thing that teaches in the now

But the rest of my work is a never ending struggle

There is always more to be done

If the war is to be won

And I fight on

Rewarded joyfully from time to time

By the light in a pupil’s eyes

That is often my only sign of success

But it carries me forward

With a dream of a better world

Some will say dreams have no place in the classroom

That old fashioned stress and duress are sorely needed

To bring back the good old days

I say no

That is not the place to go

Worn out ways are not what my students need

There will be a different legacy when I am gone

I look upon each lesson as time passes

As a way to face tomorrow through my classes


One thought on “Still More Reflections In A Broken Looking Glass

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