Poems

Botcherby Mill

Across the river and up the hill The maw of war more sons would kill. As the Cherry Blossom sheds its bloom The flower of youth would fade too soon. As the cogs in time would age and rust The dreams of men crumble to dust. At Charlotte Terrace-they lost four sons The...

OVER THE TOP

Weren’t we on a high? When the train pulled out, and they cheered us all off With the flags and banners waving, and the children held aloft. The Archduke was dead and we knew the score. Germany needed a lesson so Tommy Atkins went to war. But thousands slaughtered...

La belle fleur

‘That knowledge, to which, the few aspire Within our hearts we all desire…’ Though others would deny our worth We grow. and prosper, from our birth While Life is but a game of chance We clasp the future in our hands An enlightened mind can often be The pathway to...

Men of Worth

Unrivalled in their chosen worth The finest men to grace this earth That heavy burden that they bear In fellowship they gladly share To rank as equal with the best To never on their laurels rest Whatever challenges they are set Are with a quiet- forbearance met For...

The Poppy Poem

The Grass is Green The sky is Blue But danger enters too Guns are firing Lives are lost Each day more and more Families praying To save themselves But the bomb goes off The ground gets rough Fighting gets tough But in 1945 Some flowers grow As red as blood As black as...

Dark Soldiers

Darkness wraps me up again my blanket heavy, soaked with rain Is Churchill’s dog so fond of me? Is guilt and pain my destiny? What demons did my service find to infect body, soul and mind? What sin did I commit for this eternity in dark abyss? Rebuke me, tell me “get...

A Good Nights Sleep

A moth’s bedazzled by the light The shadows tiptoe through the night Within the prison of your mind Your demons will your weakness find The moonlight slowly fades away An owl swoops low above its prey The wind is gathering in its strength The willows’ branches writhe...

On Visiting Cockermouth

Though Man would harness wind and sun The few can to their dreams return… The variety of textures both rugged and divine The Other -we have come to fear to worship as sublime A common sight, a glorious scene How sad, how happy, life can seem Though we have grown to...

TREES

Each magnificent tree could tell a story Of horror and death and sometimes glory Those trees of which some still remain Have seen battles fought in their domain They have seen soldiers giving all they can Seen the bravery of man Seen anger, hatred, blood and gore And...

The Blooded Field

It’s quiet now, the guns have gone The poppies have stayed to remind everyone Of the horror of death And the blood that was spilled by the thousands of men Who went there to be killed. It’s the war to end wars was said by some But it was just a rehearsal for the other...

GRATITUDE

To you who send our kin to war, When they are fallen you need not; Doff the headdress; Bow the head; Stand to in the stillness; Lower the flag; Muffle the bells; Toll the knell; Beat the drum roll; Skirl the funereal air; Shuffle the slow march; Sound the last post;...

The Transience of Life

From that moment you were born A light within your heart has shone While theirs lie buried in their graves Your hopes and dreams would never fade. You’ve proved your cruel detractors wrong Who averred you were to failure born. For every praise you would deserve A...

The Fading Light

With the ever-quickening of the day Too soon the Autumn’s flown away Long Winter nights begin to fall The mice within the hayricks crawl. The river’s silent, cold, and dark The dogs within the farmyard bark The moon implores the vagrant sky An owl uluates its mournful...

The Question

Sunset-but yet no peace shall bid the day farewell; And what, before the dawn? Sunset-ablaze with beauty; but list the screaming shell, And God's fair lanscape torn. Night- but still no slumber comes to watchful eyes For war and hate's afalme; Night-and the crash of...

THE YPRES TRAIL

And many have marched the Ypres trail And many have marched and stayed But the silent sentinels* sternly stand And tell no tale of the hero band Who have marched it undismayed. And many have marched the Ypres trail Through the winter’s rain and snow When the grey mud...

FESTIVAL OF REMEMBRANCE

Sunset-but yet no peace shall bid the day farewell; And what, before the dawn? Sunset-ablaze with beauty; but list the screaming shell, And God's fair landscape torn. Night- but still no slumber comes to watchful eyes For war and hate's aflame; Night-and the crash of...

Love’s Shadow (Shanice

And what of Beauty, and what of Truth And who walks there through Rowbank Wood.? Enfolded and placed within a book Where few would ever chance to look. To read my words that in your praise May pass for ever down the age. ‘Your beauty charms the every hour More lovely...

Love of Freedom

Shaven headed onward you march The love of freedom in your hearts The saffron robes, your upturned bowls You have such beauty in your souls And, though, we offer you our love Your freedom will be won with blood.

The Shadow Of The Trees

Joe Anderson ma dear Joe. We walked the fields together. And manys a happy hour, Joe We slept with one another. Our love, was like a red rose That blossoms in the snow. Our love was like a sweet breeze- That o’ so gently blows. I love you as you are, Joe Your locks as...

THE VOID IS TOO WIDE/ DORKET HEAD

Two more from Terry Maltby THE VOID IS TOO WIDE You stand at the far end I stand two thirds You have your opinions And I have my words We don’t know the answers To the questions inside For you’re at the far end And the void is too wide The morning is waiting The night...

PARKING BLUES

Rainy Monday, what a day Stormy clouds of black and grey Bringing gales and gloomy light Through the day and all the night Heavy traffic caused by mums Taking kids with “suspect” tums To the school gates. parking close On grass verges, nose to nose How would people...

REMEMBRANCE DAY

There is a headstone in our churchyard. It stands Proud - but not alone. It marks the final resting place. Of a young hero I wish I had known. He gave his life, as many did. So Britain would be free. We all owe them a vote of thanks. That's Us, that's Thee, that's Me....

Beacon Hill, Penrith

The rocks placed on the tarmac road Where cars no longer ever go. The two little sisters on the hill Who languor there and ever will… Like gifts the Gods bestowed on earth-. The holly, the ponies, the singing birds. The pathways dappled with the leaves New-blown from...

The Seasons of Life…

Tiny-rose diamonds in the sky Engage the aspect of the eye. Entrammeled there amongst the trees Our every sense would seem to please. To bring contentment to that heart A troubled life might rend apart. At whose parting -a poet might say This was a sad and solemn day…...

STORM

Wave after wave beat on the shore A fearful wind through rigging tore Then fled the scene to howl past seats Where promenade and houses meet Weaving through the streets of town And bringing pots from chimneys down Not for a moment did it stop On up the hill and o’er...

Crystal tears

As the proud soldiers walked by, Crystal tears flowed down the rosy cheeks of families, They bid their loving farewells incase they lost a son, By the shore the soldiers left their families behind. On the battle field, we saw our brothers-in-arm drop dead, Thick,...

Fields of Red

When all was said And all was done Doomed youth marched into hell Who could bear to keep a count All of those who fell Lives cut short before their years So soon before their time Loved ones wept their bitter tears Whose blame this bloody crime A flare shot up A...

Recollection (Winter Childhood Morning 1960’s)

Jack Frost impressionistic inside of bedroom window. Lino sharp cold, on warm feet, muffled hunting for comfort of slippers. Down to gloom-shadow living room, single light bulb tries, but never quite makes it into every corner. Two bar electric fire perch on edge of...

Frostbite

Bitter cold growls like a circling dog. At first, just a warning, a hint of white mist. Closing in, dog nips at polar heels, then Wham! In for the killer bite immobilising fingers

My Fortress

I once was an open village. Then a bit of pain came into my life, so I built a small wall. But still pain came in so I built a bigger wall. But the pain still came in so I built a castle. But it still came in so I built a castle with a moat. But it still came in. So I...

Your past is my now.

To you it happened years ago to me it is now, today or yesterday. It happened so long ago or why now or it all in your head, you should be over it by now, this is all I hear from you. But imagine your worst day of your life. Now pause and rewind and press play again...

My hidden pain

I got my wounds on battlefields. I got my wounds from my friends not the enemy. My wounds you can’t see. My wounds hurt every day and there are no pain killers for this pain. My wounds don’t have any scars because to me they are still fresh. My wounds are still raw...

The Grass of Parnassus

High on the fells of boggy ground There, the flower of Cumberland’s found. By the name of bog star more commonly known Off the mountain of the gods your seeds were borne. On unforgiving windswept hills You hold sway over marsh and ghylls. When you glance down on that...

The Harvest

The year will pass from Season to Season Each with it’s own particular trait Sometimes weather unwelcomed And another type we appreciate As we pass through the country lanes Strolling along carefree Looking for signs of Nature’s wonders Accepted readily Not long ago...

Thought for today

Sit with me for a while today All friends gathered here Try if you can to wear a smile Maybe the occasional tear For parting is such sweet sorrow But I’m not going away As my friendship is Eternal Each and every day Ever in your thoughts and minds This amity you’ll...

Danegeld

Like dragons from the sea they came The Vikings earned their bloody name. Marauding, murdering as they went Their fury on these isles were spent. At Lindifarne, they wreaked their worst Far and wide their names were cursed. Silver was their God -not gold And none were...

Behold the Sunset

The night has ended sleeplessly The new dawn is descending Will the day break with a cloudless sky Or rain that’s never ending Slowly daylight fills the skies Clear blue with a hint of mist A golden glow is growing now As though by Heaven Sun kissed ‘ere long the day...

Realization

Looking back at the image in the mirror I see a man who features are not those of someone scarred by the passage of time More like an old parchment, that is showing its age on the outside, You need to unravel it and look inside where you will find a lifetime of...

The Small White Cross

It’s quiet now, where once the Solders trod Now he lies under a simple white cross. Where are the words “Known Only To God” It’s quiet now, the guns have ceased He got what he wanted, eternal peace It’s quiet now, save for the sound of birds In this peaceful garden we...

Alone

Leave his chair by the fire He’ll be back any day I’ll be home by Christmas lass That’s what he’d say But Christmas has gone Other boys have come home Yet I sit by the fire oh so alone Kiss the babies goodnight for me There‘s a job I must do Keep your chin up be brave...

Lost in Time

While with a quiet, uncommon grace The Eden flows through time and place.. The park sits silent hushed and still St Michael’s stands upon the hill. How with a curse, a kicking goad Off into history they once rode. Where a garrison honed the art of slaughter A bishop...

We Stand Alone

The war is over, And now we mourn, For our friends that have fallen, We stand here alone. The poppies sway, On the scarred countryside, Torn by the battle, Where they laid, now gone. We remember them, For the blood that they shed, As red as a poppy, We will never...

We Will Remember Them

He wanted to serve his country And do his duty as a man He signed up for the Army Just as soon as the war began He just had his nineteenth birthday And was at the start of his adult life He had found the perfect woman That was going to be his wife She asked him not to...

The Magpie Inn

Once you played host to a Queen Who licked her lips and looked serene. And, now, you’re home to George and Laura And Brodie, the dog, whose coats so shiny She must be buffed-up twice times nightly, The regimental mascot she could be Like sunlight glinting through a...

My Jigsaw

Sitting here with darkness wrapped around me my memories eat slowly through my soul I wonder if the light will pierce this darkness to heal the hurt and pain and make me whole I am pieces hiding in life’s broken jigsaw Those near me try to make me whole again I place...

My Poppy

My poppy I wear with pride. Please don't try and make it about politics or religion. This is why I wear with pride. Poppies are red for all the blood that is spilled on the battlefields. Poppies have green leaves to represent the grass where all the fallen are buried....

LEST WE FORGET

A single tear rolled down his cheek, He could not breathe, he could not speak, The wind was cold, he did not mind, His comrades dead and he was blind. A hand reached out and took his own, And gently placed it on the stone, The names he felt were those he knew, And...

World of tragedy

My heart is weary from the grieving it has done For the sacrifices by our living and of our dead who have gone There seems to be no end to this death and misery What on earth can we mortal do to stop this tragedy The search for justice and trust in God, are the words...

ENGLAND MY ENGLAND

England my England is going England of my father’s has gone England of tomorrow is blowing In like a darkening storm The tide of the century is turning As it turned in centuries before But this time sadly I’m learning It is turning as never before England my England...

To the front

To the front to the front we were sent to the front as canon fodder we just young men and boys To the front to the front we moved up to the front for over the top were we bulits flying cracking of bombs as over the top we went and all to gain ground we once had lost...

HEY

Hey I'm only 15 Jimmy Jones is my name but im joining the pals and fighting for fame for king and for country im willing to die to keep England free im willing to lie To join up for service you must be 18 it's a lie I must tell to fight is my dream if I have to Waite...

The Soldier’s Legacy

‘Since I joined the Army I’ve saved enclosed £2 All my belongings, at Nairn, are gifted too…’ The High Road Home the dead must take Where kith by hearth by lychgate wait. And should I, too, forfeit my life- My blood I gave for you, and Christ…

The Land o’ The Leal

In the land of the loyal where brave men sleep Where the willows in silent homage weep What stories of courage they could tell Of the friends who lived, of the friends who fell Of the battles they lost, of the battles they won Of the demons they fought in the cruel...

LEST WE FORGET

The country's mood was sombre, The prophecy was of doom, Britain was preparing for war, Her island shrouded in gloom. The war would be over by Christmas, Or so we were all informed. We didn't know it would last for years Or how many men would be mourned. Men and boys...

Faite, to the Garden of Skye

The Isle of Skye awaits your coming The tides of Portree Bay are turning. When you alight upon the shore A welcome’s there at every door. The coronach of seagulls in the bay The pipes that for those lost souls play. The corries where the wild flowers grow The River...

Landscapes of the Mind.

The aspect of the sky was grey And cast its gloom upon the day. However light of heart the mood The mountains silent, brooding stood. Derwent Island in quiet seclusion sits The mists deceive the eye with tricks. A spectral presence on Cat Bells The lonely traveller...

EYES.

It's remarkable when we come to realise How much we can see when we really use our eyes The beauty of the setting sun in a sparsely clouded sky. The first rays of the sun in the morning shining on snowflakes drifting by. Children happily playing with their toboggans...

Fields of Gold

When winter tightens in its hold The trees cast off their leaves of gold Where few in idle reverie go The Dandy Line’s adrift with snow. Beneath the star-illumined sky Who’ll hear the rabbit’s stricken cry? In the distance, a train is heard The frost entraps a...

Love, In Perpetuum

That unfathomable love you feel for me Is deeper than the Ocean’s sea And every leaf, of every tree Will speak of all you mean to me. And though the moon may shift the tide We’ll be for ever side by side. As the roses, and the willow, grow The rivers ever onward flow...

The Mountain Ash

Wild-bramble, thistle, proud harebell The gnarled tree high upon the fell. The shadow-darkened wood and path The sunlit-dappled gorse and grass. With lightened heart the mind transcends The road that winds. and twists, and bends. Amid an early-morning haze The sheep...

BLACK AND WHITE PHOTO (1913-1914)

The photo showed a football team Of young men in their teens Who could know what lay in store For these few might-have-beens They played together through that year That led up to the war When brave men such as these young lads Were slaughtered by the score What hope...

WAR IS NEVER WON

Down Whitehall’s austere Avenue They march with measured stride To honour those who went to war Who fought but sadly died Upon their chests the medals gleam So proudly worn this day Reminders of those harsher times In battles far away And as the eleventh hour sounds...

DOUBTS AND FEARS

The time has come to cast away The doubts and fears of yesterday Those memories of days gone by When you were scared to even try To face the nights or lonely days As you walked in a numbing haze Too long the hurt has held you back Reminding you of what you lack Your...

THE OLD WHITE OWL

I stood in the wood at midnight I heard her weep and sigh As the old white owl came hunting So swift and silent by When the old white owl came hunting With cruel and piercing eye There in the wood at midnight Some creature sure would die I stood in the wood at...

The Paratrooper

A Soldier I always wanted to be It was my main aim in life To serve my Queen and country In areas where troubles are rife The training was hard but I saw it through For I knew when all was said and done I’d be capable in any situation With a Bayonet Knife or Gun The...

Men of Steel (HMS Sheffield)

Midst cruising ‘round - ‘The Gulf’ - (Arabia) Neath cloudless sky; I chanced to dream of Home Whilst picturing her face (Ophelia) I wondered just how far I dared to roam Twas then that Captain Salt (like condiment) Didst shake me from my slumber o’er Tannoy...

Winter Jasmine

The flower upon the window’s ledge Would wither as you lay in bed. Down from its eminence in the trees The heron tiptoes through the reeds. Kingfishers, the barking dogs, The Spinners Arms, the brewer’s still Towards the bridge beyond the hill The Caldew Valley, the...

Talkin Tarn

Unfathomed depths of primordial plate A kettle hole, a small Norse lake. Two adults, with a child, in an old sailing boat Out of the frame of Time they float. Those branches once would creak and bow, The hanging tree’s grown silent now. Fragmenta of a time long gone,...

SPEED ON LITTLE LADY, SPEED ON

Across the moonlit land The night is shifting fast We must be there before the breaking dawn There is no time at hand To seek respite in rest We must be there before the day is born Upon a lonely shore My lover waits for me We must be there before the night is gone...

TO THE OLD BROAD OAK

Oh old broad oak, I’ll miss you If you are gone before I You that’s stood the test of time Weathered many a storm And watched the passing hours go by From dawn to dawn You whose ancient rooms, with oaken beams On many a lonely night Inspired and re-lit fast fading...

Emblematic Wings

Intro; “In an eagle there is all the wisdom in the world” (Lame Deer – Sioux Medicine Man) An omen (in its soaring form) to Zeus Espied before TITANic victory Ere ‘Legions’ (out of Rome) didst introduce As standard raised on high for all to see This “Bringer of the...

“Brexit means Exit”

Procrastination’s now the tool of choice When used by those who cannot bear to leave Denying (thru attempts to stifle voice) Of democratic rights (they misperceive) Tis freedom (of a sort) the people crave From wanton regulation o’er our lives Where once co-operation...

TODAY

You’ll never face a no-mans-land Like the one we crossed today You’ll never breach a wire, my friend Like the wire we breached today You’ll never face the shot and shell Nor the long slow walk to a living hell Or hear the scream of Death’s Great Bell Such as those we...

“Stone Me; Rosetta’s Smashed”

Tis journey’s end for one who’s travelled far Across the dark expanse, whilst shedding light On origins of life ‘neath yonder star Now solar power wanes, condemning flight As Mother ship descends with open arms Embracing ‘Philae’ offspring (once hath flown) Perchance...

I LIED ABOUT ME AGE…

I lied about me age Mam, really sorry Dad Wanted to be a soldier, make you proud of your wee lad I lied about me age Dad to the sergeant at the Hall He just said sign here son, and line up against that wall I lied about me age Mam, but there were plenty more One said...

WHY WE MARCH IN WHITEHALL

We clean our medals, don our hats To let the whole world see It’s we who manned the guns To keep these islands free. We fought the foe in Africa, We fought him on the sea. He beat us on the land in France, Despite our bravery. The Germans ruled the British sky But we...

Oh Mother Mine!

A cry was heard from o’er the Barricade Twas one that’s shared by all (we Sons of same) Whilst craving of her arms as life doth fade Tis less of gentle plea, more loud exclaim! What primal need drives men unto the womb? Which nurtured them thru all that lay in store...

For ‘Mobbsy’

Private George Mobbs, Mobbsy to your mates Are you on sentry duty, outside the Pearly Gates? Or are you still struggling through the mud in ‘No Man’s Land’ Listening to the ghostly sound of a Scottish bagpipe band Are you watching over Thiepval, where many men are...

With ‘Bated’ Breath

Neath waves which churn the air above my head I sense the depth twixt here and ocean floor No sooner doth the swell increase one’s dread Than riptide carries farther out from shore Whilst drifting off may lend oneself to sleep Tis taking breath; pre-empts a last...

“For Whom the Bell Tolls” (9/11)

What’s happened here this day, this hour, I cannot fathom still Yet here I am embroiled in cause which seeks alone to kill Forgive this action that I take, in faith that’s notwithstanding Of consequences I believe beyond one’s understanding Searing heat may take my...

Between Bridges

Tears of the Golden Willow fall like tresses of a mythological Goddess, cascading in a unbroken, quivering stream to the dark underworld far below where Sedges erupt, dwarf like trolls with heavy metal hair ‘we are trolls, fol-dee-rol, we are trolls, fol-dee-rol, we...

Invictus Choir

Yet again I have been humbled, yet again I am moved By the courage of our forces and the joy a choir has proved Through uncertainty and effort you made a lovely sound While some healing of your pain you surely also found

SEPTEMBER BROWN

September Brown Was her name Came in my life Like autumn flame So full of colour So full of song But all too soon September’s gone September Brown So full of love Together we touched The stars above Reached for the moon Laughed in the sun But all too soon September’s...

Reflections on my Tower Poppy

Who was this man who gave his life Did he leave a son, a mum, a wife Did death come quick, did he die in pain Never to walk these shores again To this man and the rest I owe such a debt The poppy a symbol lest I forget How do I live, do I honour his name Did the world...

Shoo away the clouds

My languid form reclines as if in pose Whilst soaking up the warmth of yonder star A gentle breeze meanders ‘twixt my toes I sense in turn as each bids "au revoir" Tis glorious when life just saunters by No headlong dash to greet what’s yet to come No trepidation of...

A Promissory Note

I am aware my life’s on loan: tho due To be redeem’d when e’er Thou choose to call Still yet awhile, doth Pray my days accrue Allotted span perchance this once forestall Thru early years my Spirit roam’d as free No fear of intervention from ‘On High’ No obligation...

At End of Tether

Confession (hath been said) ‘tis good for soul Whilst contemplating ‘end of rope’ demise Helps concentrate the mind; brings self control ‘Fore dread of what’s to come, thru fear belies O’er years the same routine hath oft’ played out ‘Ere final walk to gallows sealed...

Time to remember

It's time to remember those who have gone, They fought with valour until the job was done. Young men and women in the prime of their life, Many leaving behind a husband or wife. They shall not be forgotten as time passes by And as memories are recalled, bring a tear...

Autumn

Ploughed fields with furrows straight muddy tracks leading out of gate changing colours of leaves on trees wafting gently on the breeze longer evenings drawing in. get out your Flour and rolling pin Meat and potato or Apple pies that make you drool and roll your eyes...

The Seraph & The Cross

Though, now, no longer flesh and bone Who lies unknown beneath this stone? What were your dreams and sorrows We may, now, never know Life changes with its fashions The years, thus, onward go, The sun then shone upon your face At Farlam Church, you sang God’ s praise....

DARK SHADOW

Come in, come in dark shadow And show yourself to me Let me see who’s lurking there Beneath the garden tree Come in, come in I beg of you Don’t linger in the shade Reveal yourself and let me see Of what foul fiends are made Come in, come in to where the light Will...

TO ONE OF THE FALLEN

Unknown soldier, nameless? No, not he Unknown history, yes; no family tree Private Johnson Hamill, where are you from? We know where you died, on the infamous Somme Birthplace, parents, siblings, unknown Was anyone missing you, wishing you home? Safe with your loved...

GNOMIC VERSES

Fear Disdained I will not act out Of fear… and I will not Once fear to act. Fear Explained Fear is not all Bad… because courage only Counts when you are scared. Fear Ingrained If you are a slave To fear… you are not a Master of your fate. Fear Maintained Having fear…...

IN ARDUIS FIDELIS

Know me from whence… within the battle’s point. You will know me then from when the battle is joined… Violence bares its teeth and crooks its claws. From noble ceaseless fight I will not pause. You will know that I will not flag or fail I am a child of travesty and...

PERFECTION

When things start to go wrong… If your problems are long, And your emotions are wild and unchecked… Whatever you do Remember that you Should just practice; you don’t have to be perfect. If you can learn from mistakes, Then whatever it takes, You know you should never...

Streets of Silent Houses

In many towns are many streets of silent houses Where broken hearts beat quickly under mothers’ blouses Telegrams are opened, and, with trembling lips, are read Husbands, sons and brothers may be missing, presumed dead Soldiers from Great Britain, Canada and France...

THAT’S LIFE

Life doesn’t have to be amazing… It doesn’t have to be ideal. Life doesn’t have to be crazy… It doesn’t have to be surreal. Life isn’t a matter of having it free… It doesn’t have to be fair. Life rarely is just what you want it to be… It can leave you to hang in the...

My heart disappears

My heart disappears to see the grave yards far and near Everyone sees the sight Of people being obliterated they take flight. And also they see thousands lying on the battlefields Those poor souls they had no meals. My heart disappears With all the soldiers they had...

%

of people exposed to mass violence have been shown to develop PTSD

Million Adults are diagnosed with PTSD during a given year

Women are 2x more likely to suffer from PTSD than men