Old lady half hidden behind curtain lace, arthritic prisoner at her window
sat there friendless etched upon your face. No family to tend and nurse
a discarded burden on the state. I, minding my own business, can no longer
ignore your lonely stare; so do not be surprised to hear the opening of the gate,
a doorbell ringing, I asking neighbourly of anything you need or
fetching shopping. I haven’t got a great deal to share only time passing
the pot of tea and kindness to show there are still people
Who care for a weeping child huddled in a corner frozen blue with cold,
frozen stiff with fear of a fist that beats; scolding for no reason
left neglected, hungry; dirty the guilty secrets kept hidden locked
under stairs. Screams at night, not silent, I can no longer ignore ­—
I must be the someone who has to interfere to stop the cruelty a helpless
child is suffering. No more tears, for the hand now holding is of
A friend who cares when forests are cut down, oak tree dead giving space
instead to glass office blocks in urban conurbation town with precinct square.
Where springwood Rise is only a name remembered up high on a towering
concrete wall and people in their designer houses cannot recall what once
was growing there? When paper is just a faded museum exhibition piece
the acorn I have planted in my garden will have grown and spread its seed.
The news flashed on computer screens commuters daily read that my
children’s children’s children will sit beneath the dappled shade to hear
the leaves whispering “Thank God someone showed they cared!”
First published in the Co-Op Caring Poetry Festival Anthology, 1988
 How sad a forgotten graveyard clings close
to the side of the hill, long ravaged by the winds of
time, cold stone monuments silent, still;
fading inscriptions remembering those who died.
On breath of a breeze its bell long-silent begins
its ring, a haunting toll across the vale echoing.
Awakening again bitter‑sweet memories of those
left here behind. Who, on a sad day far back in
time stood beside the open grave and cried.
But who comes here now to tend the flowers?
Only bees. A dragonfly on gossamer wings
hovers over tall grass swaying in the wind.
Only chirping grasshoppers. A mistlethrush sings.
Picasso-painted butterfly flutters like a lost soul
departing a hill steeped in clouds those teardrops
of tranquillity found alone by Severn River’s
backdrop. A silver thread weaving amongst
lichen-crusted tombstones; a spider’s web set
in motion in this peaceful sacred ground.

First published in Beyond the Horizon (The Poetry Guild, 1997)

 I could not understand you though I tried
Speaking in syllables, signs in the air
With my hands, with my eyes and you watching,
Your smile and laughing, we were trying;
And somehow you knew me, reading my mind.
You were a man, Sebastian, with feelings
You cried, a child, but you thought as a man.
You loved like any man, and there was much
Compassion given so freely, not held back by fears,
And I wept frequently, unashamedly.
So why when you turned away, could I not come
Where you travelled still trapped in your chair?
You could not tell me, you tried to show me
Through blue eyes behind deep oceans forming
Barriers between us I could not cross.
So where have you gone tonight Sebastian,
Unlocked and unleashed; free from your prison?
I can still see you smiling, hear laughter but
Missing you in the spaces now empty.
Only the chair here that you left behind.

6 thoughts

  1. So beautiful Kit. All of them. But my favorite was old lady, weeping child, forest tree. Written with such emotion, you can feel that as you read them. You must should write as often as you can, touching people with your words. What a wonderful gift to humanity.


  2. Beautiful poems Kit. Old Lady Weeping gives me a gentle nudge to care a bit more about the important stuff and be calmer about little irritations in life and Sebastian brought a big lump to my throat. Thank you.


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