O, To Be In Work by Ruth Nunn

O, To Be In Work by Ruth Nunn

Another dawn wakens me, gloomy and bleak,
Offering nothing of promise, little of hope.
Another dull day in another dim week
Offers still no end to this long gruesome slope,

Into spiralling debt, still further arrears,
With no means of settlement, just further dues.
No hope of employment to banish my tears,
Just ludicrous dreams of some favourable news.

Applications and c.v. s speculative,
Letters enhancing my value, my credit.
Replies, brief and standard, are all negative.
Employers blind to my best traits, my merit.

Days are dull and frugal, unstructured and long,
Austere, penny-pinching , a miserable void.
O, the busy, complaining, nine-o-clock throng!
I long to be salaried, valued, employed!

I long for something much more worthy to show
Than debts, unemployment, advantages few;
For a ready answer when people must know,
“What`s your line of work?  Tell me, what do you do?”

O for the daily slog, the hard-working grind,
For constant effort ; not one minute to shirk.
For tough work practices, a boss most unkind,
For rules, regulations.  O, to be in work!

O to earn for myself a comfortable wage,
For colleagues in an office of friendly mirk.
O for a worthwhile reason to mark the page,
To be useful, busy.  O, to be in work!


“The Wind Is Black” by Brendan Stoneham

“The Wind Is Black”

by Brendan Stoneham


Black time moves backwards,
Underneath moon’s crystal light.

The sky looks below,
Seeing midnight’s rise and fall.

I walk out, a conscious soul.
A whisperer among the silent.

A canal is at my left,
The water is as oil,
Black and dangerous.

I see street lamps through the gossiping trees,
They make the world melt away into a swirling pool of golden dreams.

I shake myself awake,
I do not wish to fall.

At my right,
The wind walks alongside me,
I tell it my secrets, it will not tell.

I look down, into the calling abyss,
I wonder “Will it bring a hellish bliss?”

The wind stays silent,
The trees shout, incomprehensible wailing.
The moon cries a blue tear.
The caped black maiden invites me,
asks me not to turn my back,

Who will stop this confusion of cacophony?

The moon sets,
The black maiden recedes.
Sun’s white line appears.
I try and forget the abyss, the endless dark.

But the voice of her still haunts my already haunted mind,

Don’t turn your back…

Happiness by Andy McMaster


by Andy McMaster

Deep still into the winter, the night frozen
only gives a grudging way to the sun. Nuthatch smartly attired
and quick in to breakfasting up the sheer pine, noisily seeking starters
and now to the supply of nuts hung on a rust encrusted iron post.

The nuthatch, sublimely strong shoulders a bantamweight boxer
would be proud of; no neck, just pure strength and sharp dining beak.
Robin, blue tits, gossiping sparrows all active alive on this blue black,
grey, deep winter’s day.

Happiness is being. Joy, deeper, is being aware of the magic
constant around you: a gift. Joy and sorrow,
passing acquaintances on nodding terms.
And yet they balance each other perfectly.

Yesterday the grey day; the bad news; the illness.
Today eggshell blue sky and the flight of birds following today’s meal
to go find and singing, singing praise.
Joy and sorrow, today, tomorrow.

I believe the answer is just be you.
That is happiness, at times
touching on joy.