Latest ode – drafts

My Mask

I used to have feelings I tried to repress

Emotions were frowned on, they couldn’t care less

No matter the heartache, I buried my pain

Got up every day and did it again

Faced all my demons, without buckle or quake

To blub or break down would have been a mistake

My mask was a shield, I wore it with pride

The self underneath was easy to hide

But over the years I had hidden too well

Just who I  was, no-one could tell.



Who doesn’t want to be totally free?

Then I could shoot you, and you could shoot me.

Might would be right and the route to success

No limits on having, no taint to excess.

Oh, what an orgy of bloodshed and greed!

Why care about others? you won’t see the need

A merciless battle of oligarch kings

Striving to grab a stockpile of things

Damage relentless with freedom the fire

Engulfing the world with short-term desire.


Mary Judith

The Glens woman’s voice and her broken-toothed smile

Her eyes so expressive and lacking in guile

Her idioms might leave you a tad mystified

Why are clocks farting at their own fireside?

Now clocks should be silenced and hooves clad in hay

As a mark of respect with tears held at bay

Granny has gone, we must work through our grief

Looking for comfort in Christian belief,

Or find in our memories the joy that she gave

A legacy stronger than death and the grave.


Poets of Moscow

What noise did you make
When your words were constrained by the organs of state
As they stood on your dreams were you conscious, awake?
As darkness descended, was it too late
To write of humanity banished, betrayed
Hidden in gulags, the innocents slayed?
Blood red was the blanket of terror that spread,
Dissent was a whisper “we’re better off dead”.
So taking the only way out of this hell
Did you write final words intending to tell
The collective to treasure its beauty and art?
Words that fell silent, like the beat of your heart.


Pray for me now;
I’m inside your head,
Invading your thoughts
As you suck on the bread
That sticks to the roof
Of your mouth like a bat.
You push with your tongue,
But you’ve no luck with that.
The wafer won’t shift
So you’re stuck with the host
In a weird state of limbo,
The unswallowed ghost.
Has it transfigured,
Has bread become flesh?
Is this His body?
And if so, how fresh?
Irreverent thoughts
In the house of our Lord
As you grind out the ritual,
And find yourself bored.
Not quite believing
The Liturgical line;
Back at the altar
A priest drinks the wine.
Your wafer’s dislodged,
And Mass is complete
A sacrosanct Sunday,
The faithful replete.


Awesome Beauty

There’s a girl at the bar with a look in her eye
That turns men into milksops all furtive and sly.
A suitor stepped forward, his heart in his hand
“You have me bewitched, I await your command”
A withering sneer crept over her face
“Be gone and desist, get out of this place!”
He left with his spirits crushed and forlorn
Regretting the day such a fool could be born.

The mood had turned gloomy, but luckily brief
When a young man approached, a notable thief.
He thought he could steal a kiss with his guile
She heeded his words and then with a smile
Decked him so sweetly, he was floored with one punch
Just a small interruption before she had lunch.
A huddle of hopefuls propelled a fresh swain
With nothing to lose and much beauty to gain.

He carried himself with swagger and charm
Avoiding the reach of her pugilist arm
“What will it take, to find favour with you?
My motives are noble, my character true.”
She considered the speaker and then gave riposte
“The price is too high, you won’t like the cost.”
“There is no price too high, my bounty is huge
No more delay, no more subterfuge.

Ask, it is yours without terms or condition
Careless of danger or risk of perdition”.
Thus was decided his terrible fate
And all for the chance of a beautiful mate
He didn’t protest or try to retract
The bargain was struck and that was a fact
So he plucked out his eyeballs and cut out his tongue
He would be silent and she would stay young.








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