The Old Insomniac

Sleep1959

‘Sleep’ – WHB … pencil

The Old Insomniac

Old age has its delights, 
Its pensions and its freebies, 
But, oh, the restless nights
Give me the heeby jeebies. 

My pleasures are so various, 
From playing cards to skiing, 
Some dubious, some precarious, 
From lawn bowls to sight-seeing. 

But at night I still can’t sleep;
Perhaps I am too active? 
Instead of counting sheep
I need something more distractive. 

Maybe I’ll take up yoga, 
Or write another will, 
Decamp to Saratoga
– Or just take another pill! 

 

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Before I Go

heaven

Before  I  Go

 

Hit me, hurt me, kiss me quick, 
Time is rushing by;
I want to feel both joy and pain, 
To lust, to pant, to sigh. 

To run barefoot in morning dew
To roll in new mown grass
To drench my dreams in churning rain
Let all these come to pass

For when I sigh my final sigh
I want the world to know
I loved the life God gave to me
And await its afterglow. 

 



 

 

 

Now Gone the Buzz

silhouette photo of man and woman kissing

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NOW GONE THE BUZZ

 

More lust than love
More greed than need
A risk too far
A stolen kiss
A snatch at bliss

A chance to fly
To challenge fate
Perhaps to catch
That passing star

Danger denied
And fear defeated
Replaced by want
By hunger
Longing
Oh, the need

Heedless of falling
Angst riven
Success driven
The wire so near
The fire so strong
Fingers knuckle-burnt
Dipped in greed

The risk taken
The book not played by
Rules deformed
to suit my purpose
The world being mine
To redesign

One night of passion
Now gone the buzz

Regret came later
As it does

 

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Morning Glory

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‘Sunrise’ … Watercolour – WHB – 2014

MORNING  GLORY

Let me go
Let me run in the early dew
To brush against the laurel’s leaves
Tread the cool earth’s cushion
And linger in the dampness of the silent wood.

Before the cooing of the collared bird,
The bite of the new day’s busy-ness,
Its threats and promises,
Breaks into the stillness of my morning world
And ruptures this mood of mystery
Of thrill and almost menace,
Leaving me to face another day of reality
One more acceptance of the wrenching truth.

 

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Not Nice

not nice

Scoundrel, ruffian, thug
Villain, rogue, and gangster 
Slimeball, badass, scum,
Miscreant, knave and monster. 

He wears the habit badly
Unkempt and badly shod
His words are dark and dreadful
No asset to man or god.

Given to coarse bad mouthing, 
Selfish to the core;
No thought but for self pity;
A monumental bore. 

His paucity of language
Discourteous, full of spite, 
Repeating without caution, 
Each word is made to bite.

Disdainful, unforgiving, 
Unpleasant and uncouth. 
A nasty slice of manhood, 
A product of his youth. 

And now he’s reached adulthood
His world is black and grey. 
Unheeding those around him
He intends to have his say. 

He’ll always be remembered
As a nasty piece of work;
A blot on the horizon, 
A slob, an oaf, a birk.

A throwback Neanderthal;
I thank my lucky stars
I never really knew him, 
No page in my memoirs. 

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A Father’s Idiomatic Advice

people meeting workspace team

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Advice from Father to Son
consisting of a collection of popular idiomatic phrases

 

Just gird your loins 
And grit your teeth, 
Above, below, 
Beside, beneath. 

Staunch the flow, 
Don’t quit the race. 
Don’t pinch your nose 
To spite your face. 

Scratch your back
And hold your tongue;
Never old, 
Forever young. 

Take my hand
Don’t hang your head;
Fly your kite, 
Don’t swing the lead. 

Grab that chance
To play the game;
Seize the day
And end your shame. 

Stap not your vitals, 
Sling not your hook, 
Dish not the dirt, 
Don’t spoil your looks.

Yes, kill the time, 
Then make my day. 
Play the fool, 
But make it pay. 

Crash the car,
If you must, 
But count the cost. 
All ends in dust. 

Don’t pull my leg, 
Don’t make me sick. 
Don’t twist my arm, 
No ‘Kiss Me Quick’.

Don’t dig your grave
Or cook the books. 
Just take your time 
And fill your boots. 

Life is short, 
Not what it seems,
So split those hairs
And spill those beans. 

Here today, 
Gone tomorrow. 
Good grief, goodbye, 
Beg, buy or borrow. 

Prick your conscience, 
Burst the bubble. 
Pop the question – 
Don’t ask for trouble. 

Don’t tie me up 
Don’t tie me down;
Just hold your tongue, 
Don’t act the clown. 

I hope these help, 
Tropes you should heed. 
Take them to heart, 
Wise words indeed. 

For after all
Is said and done 
You are my
One and only son.

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Reverie #5: On Birth

child baby newborn arms

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I remember Birth . . .

Warm womb,
emerging
into cold January,
suckled and succoured
into the life
and death 
of a warring world.

Heedless 
of pain 
of worry,
my unconsciousness
nestled in love,
cocooned in blessings,
future undetermined
but on course for
the perdition of
being ordinary.

One more mouth
to be fed,
one more life to be led;
another census tick.
Reconstituted dust
become bone,
flesh and vital blood,
to be both burden
and blessing. 

Only now,
a life lived,
aware that it is
irrecoverable
here to be forgotten.

Until resurrected
in whatever next there may be.

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Iron Valley

abandoned abandoned building architecture building

Photo by Tom Swinnen on Pexels.com

The streams descending from the hills
Ran red with the iron they brought. 
It could as well have been lost blood
For all the wealth they sought.

Plenteous in ore and rich in scope
Those Northern hills were ravaged;
In the name of thrusting Revolution
My native land was savaged. 

The earth’s spoils harvested to feed
the world’s gross need for steel;
So while the master’s pockets bulged
No stop to progress’s wheel. 

The cost was counted in toil and sweat,
In the maiming of the land,
And the crying of unnumbered souls
Who did not understand. 


NOTE:  There were 400 fatalities at Eston, North Yorkshire, in the 100 years (in the 19th and early 20th Centuries) the mines were worked there in the Eston Hills, between Cleveland and the River Tees Estuary.

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The Arrangement

closed up photo of man in black blazer facing tablet

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Yes?… No! 

Why not? … Headache!

Later? …  Maybe! 

Tomorrow? … Unlikely! 

When? … Sometime! 

 Soon?  … Perhaps!

Here?  … Somewhere! 

Where? … Dunno! 

Any ifs? … Plenty!

Affair?  … Don’t you dare!

Separation? … Impractical! 

Divorce? … Costly!

Forget it? … Better! 

For now? … For ever! 

As we were? … As we are! 

OK? … OK! 

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