A Plaque Of Our Very Own

Hiding behind walls and locked gates
the expensive headland houses
cling to the very view that adds to their price
clad in Cornish slate 
keeping the consequences of that view safely at bay
so that those who are able to afford 
can stay warm and snug inside -
should they ever chose visit.

Walk down past a pole groaning with signs
"Private road!  No cars, no parking, no cycling!
past the many benches 
smothered with plaques
reminding us all of our own fragility 
the path taking us to the very cliff edge 
towering over a beach 
made from layers of ancient folded volcanic rock
waiting to take us if we fell!

The shiny new lifeboat station looks on knowingly from across the bay
looking for all the world 
like it's face is in shock
waiting to disgorge its lifeboat 
a crew ready when called if we do fall!

Amidst the rugged beauty - there is danger!
In the distant
the tide turns 
readying itself to charge in once more
like bull to do battle 
with the structures we build
walls and houses  - the very beach isn't safe
these places we love 
these places are vulnerable 
like we are

...maybe we could have a plaque on a bench of our own



War Is Never

I am a pacifist 
I believe war is never the answer 
I believe one life lost in a war 
is one too many.
I was never a soldier
I never fought in a war 
I was never pushed out of the back of an aeroplane
to dangle by a thread
dropping to a probable death
high over enemy held territory - and neither was my father.

He and his father - my Grandad
lived in a pit village
my Grandad worked in a coal mine
coal mining was a reserved occupation 
and as such
miners were not called-up to fight for their country in conventional ways
he worked to dig out coal 
the coal the country needed to fight a war
for its power stations
power for its factories 
factories to make munitions 
munitions to fight a war
coal to power the trains to get it to where it was needed
so my Grandad was never a soldier either- unless you count being in the 'Home Guard' as being a soldier
ready in the evenings and weekends when he wasn't working at the pit
he never belonged to a regiment 
he never fought and died in a famous battle
he never lost endless comrades.
he never got any medals
and is not buried in a far off land

Now don't think I don't care
don't believe I can't see what those who fought and died - gave
for I know so many gave everything.
My relatives gave
but they gave in a different way.

My thinking is shaped by my history 
as much as yours is too
I don't sit and muse over my Grandparents medals - as perhaps you might
I don't have their uniforms in my loft
nor have I copies of their war records.

If you think harshly of what you've just read - read my words again.

...I believe war is never the answer.



Funerals

Funerals - great aren't they!
They are a good time for extended families to get together
for some families 
a funeral is the only time they get together 
It's always good to meet up 
it's a great opportunity to renew old grudges 
with relatives you never got on with
to sit around and try to work out what people are really thinking
and to smile at people you don't know ...but should
and try to work out if you're related to them or not
and if so - how
...and why!
there's often food 
you get a free lunch or afternoon tea laid on 
full of things you can't eat 
or simply don't like
it usually rains
you're in a cold church you're not familiar with 
you get to sit on hard pews 
and sing songs you don't believe in
from a religion you don't subscribe to
all in a somber mood
then spend an afternoon in a village hall
making small talk with strangers...
"Yes I know, they were big weren't they!"

but you do get to pay your respects for the passing of someone close - well an extended family member anyway!
 
Funerals - great aren't they!




Scary Thoughts

It's the 'bogeyman' that haunts our sleep
forces us into counting sheep
fills our mind with scary thoughts
the chance of recooperation thwarts

he slips out quietly from where he hides
behind us - laying on our sides
and fills our minds with scary thoughts  our total logical cognition distorts

uncertain darkness makes perception flee
our brains fill gaps our eyes can't see
which fills our minds with scary thoughts 
a monster howls; a demon snorts

"go to sleep there's nothing there!"
too late our mind is now aware
and fills our head with scary thoughts
of beasts of every size and sorts 
as we lay safe in our warm beds

...you know the bogeyman 
is just In our heads!

(Haiku)

They have their world on 
their mobiles but not their minds 
on what's around them

Tittle Tattle

It was Mr Pym who runs the gym
who said Mr Gummer - he's our plumber
had mate
Mr Tilda - he's the builder 
who's doing our extension 
admidst all this tension 
he knew the lady - Mrs Maxi, 
she the one who drives the taxi
who caught Mr Mickey - he's the brickie
"laying bricks" if you you know what I mean
with her - at number 2-15
and the mother-in-law 
said she saw 
Mrs Meacher - you know the teacher
with Mrs Top - at the corner shop
and felt she saw Mr Mars - he the one who fixes cars
kissing Mrs Hatcher - she the one who married the thatcher 
Mr Catt - or something like that
then set light to the bar 
which belonged to Mrs Parr
so they called the nurse in somewhat of a hurry,   
I think her name is - Mrs Curry
and of course PC Hopper - the local copper
was dragged from his bed
it was his own one they said
because Mr Goad - who mends the road
said he knew they wouldn't get through
for the high street was closed 
a detour imposed
for Mr Proctor was "under the doctor"
Dr Dean - if you know what I mean
and that Mrs Palmer - the local farmer
eloped with Mr Smithern-Bain 
you know the posh bloke with the plane!

Well that's what they said 
no truer word
...I think that's the story
         so I heard!