Ballad of a Ragged Idiot

                                        As I walk the streets, I shuffle along

                                         Whistling a tune, singing a song

                              The hole in my trouser seat lets in the breeze

                       And my well darned socks are pulled up to my knees

                             The Sun shines down like gold coins on my face

                                And the wind blows my hair all over the place

                              Not that I have much, time has withered it away

                        So my bald patch shines brightly on a hot sunny day

                My battered old boots have seen many a day, in and out

               With holes in the soles the water comes in and pours out

                                      But I trundle around, without a care

                             Doing odd jobs to earn a bob here and there

                            I sleep soundly at night lying under the stars

                              No drinking for me, no nightclubs or bars

                 With the Moon as my light bulb my bedrooms always lit

                           So I mostly sleep soundly, only snoring a bit

             In the morning it’s a scrounge round for something to eat

                   Then I find a nice park bench; sit my bum on a seat

                   Good Morning, good morning I say as people pass by

      Returned occasionally by an offensive remark, that I just let lie

It’s a long way from the trenches in the fields of Verdun long ago

        Where I fought years earlier with my comrades in tow

       Amongst the bullets and the blood crawling low across fields

                              To fight a war in which neither side yields

                         The mortars drop constantly, the bullets whiz by

                           As my comrades drop regularly, sadly to die

                        How long will this last we tend to ask each other

                        Will I ever return home to my wife and my mother


                                Sadly, many didn’t make it, back home at all

          Lost their lives in the melee, their time ends where they fall

                           The Poppy Fields in France their last resting place

          A symbol of their courage of the mountain they had to face

                               I was one of the lucky ones – I made it back

                   But the problem never ended, my outlook was black

                              Unable to fit in where I used to be in life

                              Failing to deal with the trouble and strife

Because of what I had seen and been through, always on my mind

               Now I just wander the road sleeping where I can find

 Somewhere suitable, anywhere I can leave my bad memories behind

                          Just a mere resemblance of my long ago man

                Now a shadow in the wilderness with a dull outdoor tan 

          But the Poppies remind me of that time all those years past

Of the fallen friends and comrades that I lost in every bomb blast

          The blood and the screams hard to erase from one’s mind

                                 All these years later, hard to leave behind

               But in my raggedy arse trousers and shoes full of holes

                                 I still have a life, how good know one knows

                  But with the Sun and the Moon the Wind and the Rain

                                I will walk with a smile and enjoy life again


The Old House


It stands alone well off the road

A farmhouse with a heavy load

Some time ago those who resided there

Disappeared as if in thin air

No footprints seen, no bodies were found

No secrets buried beneath the ground

A strange phenomenon had taken place

Like they had left the human race

To this day no one knows

What happened that year of heavy snows?

Nineteen forty-five or forty-seven

When four good people went to heaven

A loving family so close knit

Who spent their last Christmas under a lamp well lit

As people testified many years later that they had last seen

Where the occupants had together been

This mystery lives on and on

About a family well and truly gone

No messages, no letters were ever left

Leaving neighbours so bereft

Now a shire that’s left untouched and alone

No lights, no sounds, no telephone

But at Christmas all the townsfolk gather for a candlelight prayer

Just in case their ghosts return, are they possibly still there


The Cemetery Mole


Down in the Churchyard

in amongst the graves so still

is a little problem

and it makes me ill


A Mole has made his home

in the family plot

as for our feelings

he does not give a jot


Every time I go to tend

the grave with love and care

I am greeted by this mound of earth

so I know that he has been there


He digs away to his heart’s content

the mound gets bigger every day

so I am going to have to trap him

try to catch it in some way


So I will dig a little hole into his mound

and set a trap for him

a passer by walked over

said what are you up to Jim


Trying to catch this little varmint

who is causing me concern?

I have to teach him a lesson

so that he will learn


To leave my family plot alone

go somewhere else to dig his tunnels

because all the mounds he leaves behind

looks like a row of funnels


So I set my trap, and off I went

home for a good nights rest

satisfied I had done my duty

to catch this little pest


As I fell asleep, my mind did dream

this little creature with his pick and shovel hard at work all night

dragging the dirt to the surface in his little cart

so it would be there for me to see at early light


Suddenly there was a clanging sound

as the trap snapped down on his neck hard and fast

trapped, struggling to break free

but soon to breathe his last


I awoke with such a start

shouting Oh Lord, what have I done?

I have killed one of Gods tiny creatures

on with clothes and out I run


Down to the Cemetery at high speed

till I reached the family plot

I yanked on the trap protruding

to see what I had got


To my relief there was nothing there

I must have dreamt it all it seems

my little friend was still alive

not dead, like in my dreams


I quietly flattened out his mounds

Thought I can do that every day

It can be a special thing between us

A game that we can play


After all what harm was he doing

tunnelling away

my relatives now had company

and that’s how it will have to stay