Lonely

Lonely is a silent room
With no-one there but me.
Lonely is an echo
Where a footfall used to be.
Lonely is a double bed
And a single cup of tea.
Lonely’s not enough of you
And far too much of me.

© Dick Ockelton 1989

Christmas Cheer

I remember Christmas
With an intensity that tugs at my heart,
Fills it with joy and longing
And brings fond tears.

I remember my Dad,
Wrestling the reluctant tree into the pot,
Filling the room with forest smells
And our minds with anticipation.

I remember the lights,
Wayward and willful at first,
Filling the tree with magic at last,
And our hearts with joy.

I remember pillow cases
Waiting at the foot of the bed, in the dark,
Full of presents long-imagined
And fervently hoped for.

I remember a cold house
Warmed into riotous life by Dad’s determination,
Filling the grate with dancing flame
And our lives with contentment.

I remember the Christmas baubles.
Winking in glittering glass,
Full of flickering firelight
And twinkling mystery.

I remember my Mum
Weaving through the steaming tapestry of her kitchen,
Filling our plates with a splendid dinner.
And our bellies to busting.

And I remember the Christmas story,
Wonderful and unquestioned.
Filling our young lives with certainty
And our young hearts with hope.

I remember the brilliance of that beacon
Which, even now, a cynical world cannot quite extinguish.
Warming my hesitant soul with the glowing embers of faith.
And I am comforted.

© Dick Ockelton 2009

Rags to Riches

Round and round the rugged rocks
The Ragged Rascal ran.
Unfeeling folks would just ignore
The poor demented man,
Until, one day, “Are you alright?”
A helpful hiker said.
“Do you require assistance?
Are you crazy in the head?
You must be mad to clothe yourself
In garb that is so holey”.
The rascal gave him such a look
It seared his very soul, he…
Cried “my garb is holy, sir,
Because I am a monk,
But I didn’t like the praying
So I went and did a bunk.
My name is Ragged Richard,
And I’m sometimes known as Dick,
But please don’t let my tatty togs
Suggest that I am sick.
I need no cash, my riches lie
Up here amongst these crags.
These mighty stones are all I need
In place of money bags.
So if you see my dear old Ma,
Who worries, would you tell her,
That though I haven’t got a cent
I am Richard Rocky fella”.

© Dick Ockelton 2010

Great Expectorations

Materialism makes me spit!
The conflict caused because of it.
The burden on the average man
Not to be an “also ran”.
In ancient times beyond recall
He was quite glad to run at all.

Ancient Man, he had it right,
He didn’t lie awake at night
Afraid the curtains might not match,
He had his family’s food to catch.

His children didn’t fill their bellies
With junk food , watching plasma tellies,
They tucked in to a Mammoth feast,
Grateful he had killed the beast.

He never had to shop for jewellery,
flowers, perfume, that tomfoolery,
His mate adored him just as well,
If all he did was grunt and smell.

You wouldn’t see a cave man’s lass
Telling him to cut the grass,
Destroy his dinner’s habitat?
He wouldn’t reckon much to that!

His windows were just holes for smoke.
Alright, perhaps he’d sometimes choke,
But he would never have to deal
With pushy reps from Weatherseal.

And holidays?–well his perspective
Would be slightly more objective.
The only time he’d leave his village,
was if there was a chance of pillage.

Men–don’t despair! Who gives a toss
If there’s fluff stuck to the gloss,
If the gutter overflows,
And the Wife needs more new clothes.

If other husbands in your street
Are always perfect, why compete?
I’m off to form a Cave Man’s Club.
Come and join me, down the pub.

© Dick Ockelton 1989

Time to Fold

Cecil the contortionist
Was getting rather old.
His suppleness was in decline.
He found it hard to fold

But when his agent said to him
“you’re heading for the sack” it….
Spurred him to a desperate act,
To prove that he could hack it

And so he stood upon the stage,
Grim-faced without a word
And folded up his frame to form
The shape of a small bird.

But though it was spectacular
This awesome feat was barmy.
He could no longer breath and so….
Committed origami.

© Dick Ockelton 2005

The Slab

The drip and the cold,
The wet and the white,
And the voices, the whispering, the questions.
Where was I from?
How long dead?
How long since they took me from the water?
They look at my eyes,
My mouth,
My skin.
My guts have gone already.
And tomorrow?……..
I stink, therefore I am.
Who says a haddock has no sole?

© Dick Ockelton 2004

Touching Lines

“Let me make my own mistakes.”
The boy said to his father.
“ I want to go and do my thing,
Although I know you’d rather
I had got a proper job,
Like Engineer or Surgeon,
But I must go and try my luck,
And let my ideas burgeon.
So Dad, although I know you care,
You really must release me,
And now that I am twenty-two,
You can no longer police me.”
“Alright then, Son”, the father said,
“Go on and fly the nest then,
But don’t forget that my concerns
Were always for the best then,
For you will find mistakes to make
I never even thought of.
I’ll keep a watch until I know
There’s nothing you are short of.
Remember, Son, when you were small,
I watched you playing soccer,
Through wind and rain we shared the pain
When other teams were Cock-a-
Hoop at having yet again
reduced your team to ashes,
And still I shouted “Come on Lads”
To fuel your futile dashes
I see you still upon that  pitch,
Though you may have a wife, Son.
I’ll always be there, shouting,
From the touchline of your life, Son.”

© Dick Ockelton 2003

Nominally Enlightning

I heard tell
That Copernicus,
Ever mindful of the excellent conductivity of his underpants,
Was afraid to venture out,
In thunderstorms.

© Dick Ockelton 2005

The Peas of God?

If The Devil drops in for dinner,
Don’t ever give him peas.
Not even if he begs and cries
“Oh please, Oh please, OH PLEASE!”
Not even if you drink too much and end up with a thick head.
Don’t give him peas, ‘cos we all know
There’s no peas for the wicked.

© Dick Ockelton 2007