Too Late For Words



Oh, when they were alive we never said

The things we say about them now they’re dead

Too far away now, too far gone to hear

Gone, never to return or reappear

Too late to say how much they meant to us

Just hollow words, and funerals, and fuss

And sorry tears, and memories, and pain

And wishing we could see their face again

That gaze exchanged by eyes when last we met

That lingered a split second, we forget

That precious image, vague, so hard to find

In cupboard corners of unconscious mind


Why didn’t we just tell them they were great

Too late today, too late now, all too late

We had that thought that day, we didn’t call

What if we never called that much at all

Or when we did, droned on and on and on

No chance to listen now they’re dead and gone

And our last words, a blessing or a curse?

A dirty joke or elevating verse?


And what if it was bad, so very bad

Unreasonably difficult or sad

Too late to shake hands now, forget, forgive

For they have gone and we have stayed to live

To reconcile our difference alone

With icy wind and cold unyielding stone

With questioning, with anger, fear and prayer

And all the time just wishing they were there


They change us most, our dearest kith and kin

Lay waste the landscapes that we dwell within

Leave shattered palaces in ruined wake

Leave with that part of us they chose to take

Make waves rise up on ponds in silent glades

Blast particles of light through sunken shades

Part oceans with their leaving, break the sky

Leave fish upon the shore line high and dry


And even those we never thought we knew

The ones we thought were simply passing through

However long the number of their days

Do change us, in small subtle little ways

Make dust prints on the table in the hall

Leave crumbs on plates, and scuff marks on the wall

Blow gentle breezes soft through window crack

That whisper ‘I am never coming back’


The more we loved the more we miss, the more

We yearn for some strange loophole in the law

Unwilling to concede the battle lost

To pay for love, and ever count the cost

We search in dream, in lonely mountain walk

For one last touch, for one last quiet talk

And briefly, in the corner of our eye

We see them come, and go, and wave goodbye


At every funeral we stand and swear

That next time we will say how much we care

Say that we love them, call them on the phone

To let them know that they are not alone

And every time we fail and forget

That well intentioned heartfelt course we set

I loved you, did you know that, tell me true?

Unanswered echoes coming back at you

Dark holes within the soul and endless night

Bright angels lost in distant blinding light

The empty vase, the upturned empty chair

Deep lesions of the heart and songs in air


by Gail

Bar Humbug

In which there is much bad language in The Vaults (the best little micro pub in town), and Mortimer Cheese makes an unfounded allegation about Santa…


Not Bitter - Copy


 Mortimer Cheese wasn’t easily pleased

And he didn’t like Christmas at all

At the pub where he went for his grub and a vent

He would sometimes just rant at the wall

Particularly riled by people who smiled

He would give them a piece of his mind

He just didn’t get to where he was today

By being in any way kind

“Happy Christmas” they said, to the back of his head

“I think not” he would say as he turned

“Are you taking the piss?” he would splutter and hiss

Spraying mist from the beer he had earned

“Don’t give me that, about Christmas, you twat

All that tinsel and plastic and light

Santa” he said, “is a paedo in red

And I’m wishing for cloud on the night

As for the star and the kings from afar

I’m for Dawkins and none of that tosh

Jesus!” he said, “You are well off your head

Bring on the shagging and nosh!”

Seven pints supped, he was just warming up

He had a few choice things to say

Some thought he joked with the words that he spoke

But most folk just melted away

One girl held a candle, despite all his scandal

They had once had a ‘thing’ in his car

In a zebra striped dress which she wore to impress

She watched him with lust from the bar

“Leave me off your list” he said, getting more pissed

“Not you love, I’ll come in your stocking

A quick in and out, that’s what Santa’s about”

And other things frankly more shocking

His blood pressure rose as the atmosphere froze

And his words chilled the air of The Vaults

It seemed a good crack to stay on the attack

So he started on everyone’s faults

The sad and the chubby, the hapless, the grubby

All punters were grist to his mill

“What’s wrong with you folk, can you not take a joke

You’re all bloody ugly or ill”

By quarter to nine he had well crossed a line

Malc the landlord said “Cheese Boy, you’re barred”

“More feckin’ drink” said the drunk man, “I think

That I’m better than you and well hard”

“No, you’ve had enough” said the landlord, “so tough

It’s time you went home to your bed

You’ve been nasty and loud, you’ve done Britain First proud

And you’ve told us we’re better off dead”

Mortimer grumbled, and stood up and stumbled

And pointed himself at the door

Knocking the bar so the big humbug jar

Fell off and smashed on the floor

“Humbugs for me” he said, grinning with glee

As he picked out a few from the glass

“I’m already sweet but these humbugs are neat”

So he necked three, and fell on his arse

“He looks a bit red” one kind punter said

“Take no notice” said someone, “he’s joking”

“Stop larking about and get the fuck out!

Oh bollocks, he’s actually choking”

“Call for the Doc!”  “But he called me a cock”

“Well call for the nurse then!”  “She’s pissed”

There was nobody there who had much of a care

There were only the folk he had dissed

A bloke at the bar, who’d been quiet so far

Who had hoped to escape any drama

Had listened to Cheese, with his bile and sleaze

And had pondered the workings of karma

Understated but cool, the bloke jumped off his stool

Someone whispered “A nice little mover”

He grabbed hold of Cheese and with confident ease

Did a swift nifty Heimlich’s Manoeuvre

A grunt and a shout and the humbug shot out

Made a ring like a bell on the bar

“I’m guessing that’s time then” our Mortimer said

“I’d best get me coat then, ta-ra”

As he swayed up the street he heard following feet

And a voice that was eager to please

The girl from the pub, who was stripey and sweet

“Bar Humbug” sneered Mortimer Cheese


by Gail

The Angel of the Fence

The Angel of the Fence


The air is rarified up on the fence

As clear as far as watered eye can see

All silken blue, all glittered light intense

Translucent fathoms of infinity

Way down below, a long stone’s drop away

Through depths of fog and lazy clouded streams

The land lies; half in shadow, half in day

Divided by the fence in two extremes

New womb from yearning grave, dark black from white

The right from left, cool blue from burning red

Each country hidden from the other’s sight

Like crazy virgins doomed to never wed;

The angel of the fence can only pray

Don’t send me down there now, Lord, not today


by Gail

Gnawing Resentment

Some folk never let it lie…


He gnawed on his resentment

In public and alone

Like a dog he kept on worrying

The marrow from the bone

Till he gave himself an ulcer

Till his teeth got small and stumpy

Till other dogs said, Hang on, Fang

You’re starting to look grumpy

He wouldn’t leave the thing alone

Just wouldn’t let it lie

Time to put the bone down, Fido

Go on, try


by Gail

Cyber W*nk

The following rhyme contains sexual references

It was written in response to a provocative post in an online writers’ group 


You took a break from masturbation
To indulge in provocation
Badly judged, son, what bad luck
For most of us don’t give a f*ck
Now that you’ve expressed your issues
Best clean up with man sized tissues
We’re writers, kid, we’re hard as nails
Pointless posts and epic fails
Provide our mills with grist to write
For we make gold dust out of sh*te
So thanks for your ejaculate
If you were hoping for some hate
You’ll get some now, so good for you
You’ll get some love and humour too
And feedback and some cyber hugging

Have you logged off now?
Bet you’re tugging…


by Gail