Billy and The Angel

The angel sat on the edge of the trench smoking a cigarette as a new dawn rose over the ruined landscape.
‘There’s always someone worse off than you’ it said.
Billy looked around with the eye that he still had left to see.
The trench was full of mud and blood, most of which, observed Billy, was his.
‘I don’t see anyone’ he said.
‘Look harder’ said the angel.
‘My legs hurt’ said Billy.
‘That’ll be the legs that you no longer have’ said the angel.
A tear fell from Billy’s eye.
‘No use crying over spilt milk.’
Billy wiped the tear from his one eye with the one arm he had left.
‘God help me’ he said.
‘Praying for yourself now?’ said the angel, smiling, ‘Tut, tut.’
Billy despaired.
‘Give me a break, for fuck’s sake.’
‘Look’ said the angel, pointing, ‘over there.’
Billy strained his one eye in the darkness and saw, ten foot down the trench under a pile of wooden planks and body parts and broken ammunition boxes, something stir.
‘There you go’ said the angel.
‘There you go what?’ said Billy.
‘Someone worse off than you.’
‘Help me’ said a feeble voice, ‘please help me.’
‘Well go on’ said the angel to Billy, ‘do something.’
Billy looked with his one eye at the arm he no longer had left and the legs he no longer had and the blood all around him that was mostly his and said:
‘I’m sorry.
I can’t.’
‘Help me’ said the voice, ‘please help me.’
‘How the fuck’ said Billy to the angel, ‘is he worse off than me right now?’
‘It’s simple’ said the angel, blowing a cloud of smoke across the last star.
‘Nobody loves him.’
A warm wave washed over Billy’s heart and he remembered the sweet peas in his grandmother’s garden and the warm smell of home.
‘Oh’ he said.
‘Help me’ said the voice.
‘I’m here for you, brother’ said Billy.
‘Goodbye, Billy’ said the angel.
‘I’m here.’

© Gail Foster 30th July 2019

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The Return of the Gay Knight

For my friends in the BM, and for Will; a fairy tale

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To a fanfare of horns

The young knight returned

With a tale of slain dragons to tell

The princesses blushed

And the old queen flushed

And the gay knights were happy as well

He had cast down his cross

From the height of his hoss

And left the thing there where it fell

For the great and the good

Were in need of the wood

To stoke up the fires of hell

He’d only been back for a moment before

He was begging a poke with a pardon

And a giggle, and “Push!”

From a quivering bush

Could be heard from the end of the garden

No need for a graven memorial stone

Or the ring of a funeral bell

The young knight was back

And well up for the crack

And all in the kingdom was well

*

© Gail Foster 2016

 

The Tale of the Wobbly Bog

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On the subject of the unwanted water feature down Wobbly Way…

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 Water, water, everywhere

In rushing rivers down the wall

As loud as grand Niagara’s Fall

In to the Wobbly Bog

Pouring, pouring, endlessly

Insistent flow of running streams

Unwanted runnels carved through dreams

Swelling the Wobbly Bog

Soaking, soaking, soggily

The puddle deep, the muddy ground

‘Tis said there was a postman found

Drowned in the Wobbly Bog

Dropping, dropping, gravity

Bleaching brick with scale of lime

On damp of wall the mark of time

Shadows the Wobbly Bog

Gushing, gushing, noisily

Unbalancing the Feng and Shui

No wind to dry the churning sea

Flooding the Wobbly Bog

Madness, madness, sanity

By white noise of incessant drip

Is sunken like a sodden ship

Wrecked in the Wobbly Bog

Misty, misty, spookily

By moonlight come the boggy sprites

With mischief and their tiny lights

Haunting the Wobbly Bog

Wishing, wishing, hopelessly

That some good knight with tool or sword

From Aster or the Water Board

Might conquer the Wobbly Bog

Watching, watching, grumpily

The paint that never dries; dismay

As Wiltshire waters pour away

In to the Wobbly Bog

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by Gail

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Assize Matters

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A Fairy Tale

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Once upon a time there was a grand historical building, in the centre of a small but beautiful Wiltshire town, called the Assize Court. For many years the processes of law were carried out within the stern Bath stone walls of the court, and many folk were sentenced in the dock.  Some walked under the Ionic pillars to freedom, some to death and some to endless captivity.  All human drama was there.  Tears were spilt, reputations were ruined and children were left fatherless.  Justice was seen to be done.  But then one day, as is the way of things, it became obsolete; the last sentence was delivered, and the doors were closed.  It stood, slowly decaying, for year upon year; a strange symbol of dereliction in the beating heart of the town.  And now, and then, good folk devoted much energy to finding new hope and purpose for the building.  Nothing came to pass.  The people were met by brick walls and stonewalling.  The people gave up the fight.  It crumbled.  Years, and yet more years, passed.  Good folk tried again.  No joy.  More brick walls and stone walling.  It crumbled.  Again, passionate people rallied, and tried to make sense of it.  Again, brick walls and stonewalling.  It crumbled.  Until, one day, it had crumbled beyond all hope.  At which point the land was used to build houses and offices.  And yea, verily, as some had prophesied, someone made a large pot of gold.  And lived happily ever after.

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by Gail