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BEFRIENDING

Her days of housework are over.
She has to live with the dust.
She would say to me, “Come on over.
You’re the only one I trust”

Her days of not cleaning the windows
Scar the incoming sun.
A curtain flaps
Where its hook unwraps.
The repair has not been done.

Her days of action suspended.
She sits upright in her chair.
An old lady I’ve befriended.
She refuses to go into care.

There are many old people
Liviing in isolation.
What they really need is
Lively conversation.

She is deaf. Her eyesight is poor.
She is aged ninety three.
Nothing happens anymore.
She’s content just to rest and be.

There’s a splendid view from her home.
East London spreads out below.
You can clearly see the Dome
Lit up in the sky’s rosy glow.

Reader, pause for a while.
Say a prayer for such as she.
I can still see her bravely smile
As she waves goodbye to me.

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IMMIGRANT FARMER

A russet, sun gold, face.
Red earth beneath his feet,
Before he came to this place
With vehicles in the street.
He once saw the sky
Jet velvet, pierced by stars.
Now he wonders why
There’s just headlamps from cars.

The breeze on his bare chest.
Muscles taunt from work.
Once he gave his best,
Now all he does is shirk.
He lies on an unmade bed.
Through the window a slant of light.
It’s a worry how to get fed.
To survive is a losing fight.

Boyhood long vanished.
The home he knew destroyed.
Fromm fields of youth he is banished.
In the West he is unemployed.
He recalls the taste of honey
Taken fresh from the hive;
It was free, but now it costs money
Just to stay alive.

High flats line the pavement.
There are shops and places to eat.
To own your home means enslavement.
If depressed you admit defeat.
He is told he is not trying,
But the natural world seems lost.
Now it’s all about buying,
But not how to bear the cost.

DREAMING

The air is bright with evening sun.
The cat is sleeping on a chair.
She should be out having fun,
But she has no cash to spare.

If she had sufficient cash
To eat alfresco and drink wine
While listening to a fountain splash
That would be very fine.

Dressed in silk with styled hair;
Her glass raised to toast the man
Who is blue eyed and fair.
He would fit nicely in this plan.

Yet near the window she does write.
And lets go of this ideal scheme.
She’s old, housebound with failing sight
But God allowed her space to dream.

ADOPTED

His mother told him
To go away,
So he had nowhere to stay.
He wandered round
In the dark.
And sometimes slept
In the park.

Then he asked
A neighbour to
Look after his case.
And he turned up
To wash, and change
At their place.

They had not thought
To have a son,
But it seemed the fates
Had won.
His odd sock was found.
And they were glad to have
Him around.

His mother had not
Liked him smoking pot
And bringing other
Lads around a lot.
Worse than this
That would enrage
Was his refusal with
Work to engage.

So the neighbours
Asked him to agree
That his future would
involve industry.
Then they promised
He would inherit
As their son.
And so a new family was
Begun

UNTAME THEM

They climbed trees
And scraped their knees,
Before health and safety.
Now to school be car
Though it isn’t far
Oh! My children.
Your learning dimmed
By facts
This counteracts
Imagination.
Do I hear the sound
Of Gradgrind near
Lurking in our nation?

The politician now
constructs
What your teacher instructs.
Oh! My children!
Not music, craft or art;
These acquired
When tutors
are hired
By those who can afford it.
Money and celebrity
Encourage some to lord it.

Staring at a screen.
What can it mean?
Oh! My children!
It isn’t real.
It makes us feel connected.
Demands on you are that
you be perfected.
Despite it
You are perfect all of you.
But of uniformity
Fight it!
We’ll help you to
What else can we do?
Oh! My children!

EVENTUALLY

I seek faith,
But instead find fear,
This must be wrong.
For God sent me here .
it’s to him I belong.
Unworthy I may be.
A haunting knowledge of
why faith has deserted me.
What is the reason?
Was I a Christian only
For the season?

Despite these doubts
I hold to prayer,
Sure to eventually find
That God will come and seek
Me where,
I try to live with Christ in mind.
For he is gracious; he is kind.

MAKING DO

When there’s a roaring in the sky
And an aeroplane goes by,
You wonder where it’s going to;
Far beyond you,
leaving a white trail behind.
You try not to mind
That you’re kept on earth
And have been since birth.
You haven’t been anywhere,
But you could swear
A journey was taken,
But you might be mistaken.
It was a long time ago.
You decide to move really slow
And get that old bike from the shed
Pedal power might be better
Than flying instead!
It shows independence!

EID

A sound of children laughing
Celebrating Eid today.
A time of feasting,
End of fasting.
Saris colourful and gay.

To their neighbours
Parents bringing
Freshly cooked chicken and rice.
Hear the children’s voices ringing.
True Muslims are very nice!