Crooked - Tony Gardner

A crooked little man with his crooked little wife
Lived a little crooked but a happy sort of life
Laughing at the troubles that his crooked life threw up
Ignoring Life's ill temper like a happy little pup

This crooked little man with his crooked little wife
Smiled at every trouble, and sneered at every strife
They grew stronger with each hardship, with each adversity
And vowed to make the best of it than give in to misery

Twisted roads before him fell straight with common sense
And balanced all the bad times Fate often would dispense
Though seldom down that crooked road he glimpsed Luck's golden smile
The crooked man, his crooked wife seemed happy all the while

Tony Gardner

Missing My Mum - Diane Scantlebury

We never quite got on
My mum and I,
For I was always
A daddy’s girl,
But I miss her most
On Mother’s day,
She was the grit
In our family pearl,

She’d make us wait
Hours and hours
While she prepared,
The tastiest food
There ever could be,
For our mother lived
In her own world and had
No idea of time you see,

Mum never left the house
Without a scarf or bright red lippy,
And we couldn’t go out
Without hair combed or teeth done,
Sometimes she could be
A hideous tyrant,
But underneath it all she’d
A wicked sense of fun,

Pity we never quite got on
My mum and I,
But I loved her a lot
As you can tell,
And secretly I have to giggle
When I know,
Up in heaven
She’s giving them hell!

Diane Scantlebury

Borneo, Nature Boy, the Enigma - Bryant Doyle

I'm 66, but still confused
exactly who, or what I am
sometimes I'm brave, as any lion
but often I'm gentle, as a lamb.

I like doing women's hair, and flower-arranging
cage-fighting, and racing cars
I did architecture, and demolition
I've got qualifications, and lots of scars.

I'm Nature Boy, all animals like me
I've got up to some very weird things
I've rounded up loose horses, sheep and cattle
I never get dog or flea-bites, or insect stings.

I'd be happy living rough
in a tent, a den, or a shed
I live in a nice little cottage
I got no woman, so I got no bed.

Bryant Doyle

Song Of The Sioux - Richard Fleming

Once there were men and buffalo
that nourished us, that fed the tribe.
The land and all it could bestow
was ours. The Elders now describe
it as a Paradise on earth,
harmonious, our place of birth,
before the white men came to kill
our buffalo then break our will.

We dwelt in tribes, our rivalry
divided us: such was our plight
when faced with well-armed cavalry
our indecision, like a blight,
unmanned us, so our young men died,
our old men raged, our women cried,
while they, that force none could withstand,
came, massacred, then stole our land.

In retrospect, I see it clear,
we lived in childlike ignorance.
The world had changed but we, I fear,
refused to see the evidence
while, all the time, approaching fast,
the railroad with its piercing blast:
the Future coming, smokey-haired,
to catch us only half prepared.

Richard Fleming

Busker - Marie O’Nette

In bowler hat, with shoulders bowed, he plays
a ukulele while he blows, with zest,
into a silver fife attached
to a wire harness nursing on his chest,
tunes to beguile the stream of passers-by.
Deep lines zig-zag across his leathered brow,
the threadbare coat is greasy, stained and patched,
his eyes, pale-blue, are watchful underneath
a hat-brim as he swings this way and that.
A small crowd gathers, children point and laugh.
A woman tourist takes a photograph.

Around his wrist a weathered leather strap
controls two tiny puppets at his feet
who prance with uncoordinated glee
as he, when younger, to the crazy beat
of frantic music, might have done
in streets like this, at closing-time, amok
with coursing blood, adrenaline and joy.
Beneath the town clock’s cold, unblinking eye,
the puppets twitch and jig for strings and fife.
No star, this man: he keeps the company of dolls.
Into his upturned cap the conscience-coinage falls.

Marie O’Nette

Some People Are So Poor, All They Have Is Money - Ian Duquemin

They can go on holidays
They can buy a house
Many have actually bought their spouse
They can purchase diamonds
Flaunt expensive rings
Drive the fastest cars,
Wear designer things
But they just want more
Like a junkie needs
And they will not stop till their greed succeeds
It's kind of sad
And yet it's also funny
That some people are so poor, all they have is their money

Ian Duquemin

Two Faced - Lester Queripel

I’ve got people asking me to be their friend on Facebook.

Yet when I see them on the street they don’t give me a second look.

What’s that all about?

Lester Queripel

Baby Boomers Are Aging - Kathy Figueroa

Baby boomers are aging
Sometimes, dementia takes hold
It isn’t a pleasant thing
But happens as folks get old

Personalities might change
This can cause consternation
When someone starts acting strange
It’s a bad situation

What is a person to do
When a friend becomes bonky?
Relationships get ruined
When things go weird and wonky

What if they behave in ways
Both hurtful and offensive?
It seems pointless - of no use
To even get defensive

You can’t suggest to someone
That they go and take a pill
If they’ve “gone off the deep end”
But, yet, you care for them, still

If they become deceitful
And deny the things they’ve done
What are you supposed to do
When you can’t just turn and run?

It’s a terrible disease
One that seems devoid of hope
So, until a cure is found
We’ll pray for the strength to cope

Kathy Figueroa

Baby Boomers Are Aging was published in the February 23, 2017 issue of The Bancroft Times newspaper.

Last Hope - Julian Clarke

The visions are clouded for the cynics of mankind who blindly believe it best not to believe.
But Layla’s last hope for her sick one lay in the palms of a pagan priestess.
And so the priestess cast a circle upon the ground and with eyes closed she rode the latitudes of time.
From all points of the compass winds were weaving weighing mystic chants from the shaman of nations to dance in spiritual trance.
With karma gathered and harnessed in heart the priestess returned to her natural awareness.
Her rainbow gown laced in white flowed silently while hands circled the air as she sang incantations with spiritual care.
Layla wore tears on her cheeks that rolled to the earth as she wept with joy at the breath of her daughter’s soulful re-birth.

Julian Clarke

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