Monday, February 1, 2016


Darren Scanlon


There's a line in the sand

drawn in dark distant lands,

where the guts and the glory

and fine marching bands

will all die in the dust

and play into their hands,

till they all say, NO!

Those invisible walls

across seas oh so wide

are not worth all the tears

in the storms where they hide

and the sailors and captains

should close the divide,

they should all say, NO!

Then the skies overhead

drawn with lines of deceit,

like the cracks in the path

beneath cold marching feet,

but the soldiers and victims

should stand in the streets

and should all say, NO!

Let the bullets and bombs

from our very own guns,

never fall on the graves

of our fathers and sons,

let us all walk together

to where it began

and we'll all say, NO!

All the fortunes and futures

within corrupt hands,

as they roll out the dice

and decide and demand

that the power and glory

is theirs to command,

we must all say, NO!

The dark and the deep fear

of what is unknown

is the harvest we reap

from the seeds they have sown,

for they govern our lives

more than anyone knows,

we must all say, NO!

Will our children be raised

in a world of elites,

where they search through the rubble

for something to eat,

will we then bow our heads

in dejected defeat,

or will we all say, NO!

Just a short simple word

with such power to wield

but it leaves no more doubt

about how we all feel,

we must rise up united

in townships and fields

and just all say, NO!

Will we cower and hide

from the one's who impart

all the laws and the lies

that leave lives torn apart,

or we all stand as one

and raise hell with our hearts

as we all say, NO!

All the pimps and the whores

in their halls upon high,

with their airs and their graces

will start in surprise

as they look upon unity

in all they despise,

when we all say, NO!


A cold deserted alleyway,

dark as a desolate grave,

away off in the distance

dogs howling their dismay.

A winter wind is gathering,

blowing old papers away,

with tired forgotten faces

and news of yesterday.

Discarded cans and bottles

clatter on down the street,

the chill night air is biting

as he pulls in his frozen feet.

So many dull and dreary nights

spent seeking private reproof

as the familiar pitter-patter

sounds upon his cardboard roof.

His heart is filled with shame

and a cold, deep hollow pain...

...and here comes the rain.

In and out of a fitful sleep

his dreams are demon-filled,

taunting him and teasing him

destroying the last of his will.

He hears an awful scratching

and he’s searching all about,

the sight of rats around his feet,

he screams and then kicks out.

Scuttling away in the darkness

squeaking out their complaint,

off to find some other poor soul

to torment and to taint.

Another wretched creature

living life down in the drain...

...and here comes the rain.

Traffic swishing here and there

on dampened tarmac lanes,

home to loving arms and

a fire of flickering flames.

Safe within their warm embrace,

they watch the hot flames dance.

No need for words between them

as they drift into a trance.

Silently they kiss and cuddle

and gaze into each others eyes,

warm, dry and safe inside

each others contented sighs.

But the long distant memories

are all that now remain... the cold and pouring rain.

His body starts to tremble

with a deep and longing need,

the painful image beckons him

and then it slowly recedes.

A sob escapes the willful wall

he’d built to hold it all in,

it turns into a mournful moan

that’s lost amidst the din.

His body is wracked with baleful cries

for a life that he once enjoyed,

so fragile he soon discovered

as he’d watched it all destroyed.

And all he now has to show

for all those precious years

is a glimpse of sunlight memory

between clouds of doubt and fear.

A bitter, painful afterimage

and a slowly sagging shelter...

...from the cold and pouring rain.

And as the slow dawn breaks

he lies motionless and quiet,

whilst out there on the busy street

people talk about their diets.

Oblivious to the lifeless victim

enshrined in a cardboard tomb,

a helpless soul in a world of indifference,

he lost his fight too soon.

The report will say hypothermia,

they'll tie a tag upon his toe

but the real tragedy in his tale

is that nobody will ever know.

That a once proud and happy man

could no longer take the strain.

He died of a broken heart,

in the cold and the dark

and the rain.



“You’ll be safe, I promise”, reassured his mum.

“But its not you who’ll end up sat on your bum!”

A conversation they’d had most every week

but it didn’t make his knees feel any less weak.

“Now come along, Harry, stop messing about,

go finish your homework whilst I clean up this house.

The show doesn’t start till the end of the week

and all this chatter is making me Squeak.”

Harry slumped away with a frown on his face,

it wasn’t as if he was scared of the race,

he loved going fast with the wind in his hair

but a loop-the-loop, well that just wasn’t fair.

The circus wagons rumbled and bumped their way

from village to town over many long days,

the shows were such fun and well worth the wait

from building the tents up to opening the gates.

Smiling families came from miles around

to watch the acrobats, the magic and the clowns

but the act they were waiting for, the No.1 star,

was Harry The Hamster in his red racing car.

The children beamed as they watched all his tricks

skidding and spinning his way round the track

until it was time for him to aim for the roof

and attempt to complete the dreaded loop.

A family tradition, passed down through the years

but that didn’t help at all to get him over his fears.

He hadn’t yet made it, though he’d tried really hard,

a last minute panic and he skidded into the yard.

That night as he slept, he tossed and turned

as he dreamt of disaster at the very last turn,

he made it to the top but then ran out of speed,

he landed on his bum and was not very pleased.

The weekend came and they raised the tents

but Harry wasn’t happy for he knew what that meant.

He put on his costume and polished his car

with its flashy white stripes and the shiny chrome bars.

The crowd started clapping and cheering him on

but Harry would be glad when it was over and done.

He whizzed round the track going faster than ever

he was determined this time; it was now or never.

He made the turn lifting up on two wheels

to the sound of cheering and children’s squeals,

racing along to the end of the track

where the loop was waiting, there was no turning back.

He entered the loop with a scream of pure fright

that turned into laughter as he started his flight,

pulling up into the climb, he was having so much fun

as he reached the top, would he land on his bum?

But luck was now with him, he finally saw

he was going to make it, so he cried “Yee Haw!”

Up and under the crest of the loop

he was flying back down with a “Whoop Whoop Whoop!”

At the bottom of the loop he shot out at full pelt

and he couldn’t believe just how good he now felt,

heading straight for the cushions at the end of the run

he came to a stop with a jump; he had won!

The crowd was standing and cheering for more

from Harry The Hamster, the star of the show

as he strutted his way back over to the start

with a spring in his step and joy in his heart.

His friends and his family all shook his hand

till he felt like his arm was a rubber band.

His mum looked on with a tear in her eye

she knew he could do it if he would only try.

That night as she tucked him up in his bed

she bent and kissed him on his soft furry head

“I’m so proud of you, Harry, for not giving up hope

and I always believed the fact that you’d cope”.

Harry smiled and gave a twitch of his nose,

holding his mum in a cuddle so close,

as a lullaby, she started to sing and hum,

he whispered in her ear, “I love you, mum”.

©2015 Darren Scanlon. All rights reserved.

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