Sunday, November 16, 2008


This is the word.

Once the language of victims,
But in this sorry world, we must confess,
Now it often flows from the mouths
Of those who’ve swiftly learned to oppress.

This is a well.

Once it was a living thing,
Once watered our crops, our land.
Now it stands useless, slowly
Filling with memories and sand.

This is a seed.

This tiny green promise.
Where the wind will carry it, none can know.
I read in a black book a long time ago,
What you reap is what you sow.

This is a stone.

With one such as this,
Against the order of the world, defiant,
A single shepherd boy
Brought down to earth an armoured giant.

This is a poem.

Sometimes its words are lost,
Drowned by the voices of false gods.
Just once in a while it is an incitement
To live and fight against all odds.

Thanks for all your kind messages of support. Fighting fit again.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Salvator Mundi

Eyes squeezed tight,
muscles frozen stiff,
as the big C.A.T. scanned my body. Thoughtfully

I did the tourist bit,
wedged onto a No. 3 bus,
as far as the Coliseum,

watched an oriental wedding party,
a sorry Fiat wrapped around a plane tree,
joined the queue behind churlish Swedish stags,

released, breathless up to the Palatine Hill,
restless seated on a marble column,
felled too many years ago to contemplate,

strolled through the Forum where
nothing funny happened,
paused where Caesar came down to earth,

watched one coin arc
over wishful heads,
splash into the waters of the Trevi,

jostled with students
demonstrating on the Spanish Steps
but didn't get the point at first,

opened my eyes again,
white walls, white sheets,
Madonna and Child watching TV

a Nero in the White House,
Hope allowed out,
for one day.

How many more days out
are we allowed
before the shutters come down again?

Turned around, turned out the light,
kept all my dreams
safely out of sight!

This one is coming from Rome where I have just spent another 3 days in hospital, but as you can see I am happily recovered and waiting for the insurance to take me home. We were having a good holiday before a small clot interupted. Lucky to have Susan and Derek with us to keep us strong. So when they ask me where I was when Obama was elected.....