Walk With Me


Take my hand.
Walk with me along life’s path,
Through fields of grazing sheep,
Toward the summit’s splendour.

Loaded down with picnic hamper;
Basket full of snacks and treats
That we can share along life’s way;
Our onward, upward hike.

Rest for lunch upon the peak;
Gaze out from the summit,
As far as eyes can see,
And look toward our future.

Wait until the crowds have gone;
The tourist walkers leave;
Then you and I shall rest, alone,
In private solitude.

Our peaceful idyll,
Under bright blue skies
With dappled shade from clouds on high,
Calms our troubled hearts.

You and I, finding peace,
Sitting, resting, talking, thinking,
Of philosophy and poetry,
Of life, and what we’ve made it.

Descend as evening starts to fall,
With shadows growing longer.
Walk with me, along life’s path,
And conquer hills together.

Surrounded by Predators


Trapped like prey, surrounded by predators
No way out, nowhere to run.
Such are the words of the lonely poet.

Stuttering with rage
And terror, and panic,
Speech comes haltingly
As the fight continues.

Yet as the end draws nigh,
When all appears lost,
His eyes he raises skyward
In desperation and hope;

And sees the shafts of light
Pouring from behind the clouds
Over distant landscapes,
Enlightening weary souls.

Inspiration from on high
Opens wide the troubled heart
That it may find salvation
In sharing words of comfort.

© 2014  Harcourt 51

Collier Lad


Collier lad, where are you, now?
Now that the coal dust has settled
On this valley, that once vibrated
To the hum of pit head winding wheels.

Your lamp, extinguished
When the last seam came to an end,
When the last tram rolled to a halt,
And the last shift clocked off.

Fourteen, you were. A child.
But Dad was gone;
A victim of your valley’s success;
And no one else to feed the family.

So down you went;
Down into the deep, dark mine,
To bend your back and dig,
Like any other man.

Then came the closure.
Pit-head baths run dry.
And were you sorry?
Oh no. No more mines for you.

Just a wracking cough
That tortured your lungs,
And an aching back with black scars
To remind you of the life you’d lived.

And now, now that all the coal is gone,
Who remembers?
Walking through the country park
That once was colliery.

The lake, man-made,
Once full of earth’s dark matter,
That fed the washeries,
Now clean, and stocked with fish.

A park-like garden
Where wild flowers grow
And wild animals roam
And memories drift by.

A park, where once you toiled;
You, and so many like you;
Not knowing, when the alarm whistle sounded,
Whether you would live or die.

And you are gone,
Though memories linger
Of the sacrifice you made
To feed the greedy flames.

Sleep well, my son.
Rest your weary head.
And know that as these paths are crossed, today,
A memory of you lives on.

Welcome to Harcourt 51 – Where anything can happen – And usually does


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