CHAIN OF COURAGE

Why did she go back?
This brave lady.
To continue her father’s work
In a country torn by conflict.
Why did she go back
To the cheers of her party?
Benazir Bhutto.
A woman’s role model.
Unacceptable to many.
Her calls for freedom
And end to poverty, enslavement
Were challenges to settle.
Her death a tragic ending
With democracy fading.
Dynasties emerging.
Her party re-arranging.
Oh! Why did she go back?
We need not ask the question.
She went to serve her country.
Her name now part of its history
Beneath her fathers.
Their sacrifice unending.
More will follow….

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LONG HAIR

Beautiful copper hair,
October’s sunlight blesses.
Tossed in golden air,
Tumbling waist length fair.
A swirling cape
Hugs a slender shape.

It’s Autumn everywhere.
Oh! Such shining hair!
The young girl confesses
She will cut her gleaming tresses.

To be equal with the others
And play freely with her brothers.
Among the falling leaves
Her shorn locks fly
And all of beauty grieves
As we walk by

GRATEFUL

I reach for my lost youth
To feel the breeze on my face
Recalling how I searched for truth
And moved from place to place.

Remembering how sun and rain
Filled me with wonder and joy
With a freedom hard to explain
Which old age can’t destroy.

The furture a desert shrinking
The present endurable yet
I constantly am thinking
Of things it is best to forget.

There’s relief in jokes shared
And prayer is a focus for good.
But I wonder why I am spared.
This is yet to be understood.

HOSPITALITY

In the heat of a July evening
You admit you paid for everything.
Now they’ve gone back to their own country.
You wont get it back.
It’s only money. What does it matter?
We are alive. There is food on the table.
The rent is paid. It’s summer
They might come back.
Would you do it again?
Their memory is tinged with bitterness
But it felt good at the time.
We are poor, yet not worn out
With accounting despite the overdraft
Subtracted from our home Of
Freedom and love where the travellers
Came, their eyes fixed on small screens
In silence, while we made tea.

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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.

OCELOT

You want to see an Ocelot
Whose coats were all the rage
Worn by wealthy women
In films or on the stage.

There is a picture of one
In a cat book on our shelf.
You want to see an Ocelot.
To see it for yourself.

The Ocelot has markings
Magnificent to see
And grace to leap up high
Into the tallest tree.

You want to see an Ocelot
They’ve got some in the zoo
But not here in London
A fact that makes you blue.

You want to see an Ocelot
To gaze at and admire
I wish I was the subject of
Such passion and desire!

TO A BLACKBIRD

Little bird cold but free
You are not captive like me.
Little bird don’t fly away.
In my vision please do stay.
I am a blissful captive yet
I have plenty to regret.
Shielded from the winter’s blast
I am a prisoner of my past.

Little bird in the tree
There is a bond with you and me;
Ever, ever shall it be.
I will pray that you survive
Despite the snow that you
Will thrive.

I love your song.
Its music makes me feel strong.
Just knowing that you fly free
Sends joy to chase eternity.