Poetry – Chainsaws and Gun Shots

Chainsaws and Gun Shots

Chainsaws and gunshots

Chainsaws and gunshots

Saw-teeth and bullets

Bangs and buzzes

Bangs and buzzes

Tearing into flesh




Opher 17.2.2021

I walk up my hill into the green manufacturing industry known as the countryside to the sound of multiple bangs and the chunter of chainsaws.

Every single day I hear the sound of shots.

The green fields have been blanket bombed with pesticide but even so, if anything dares to try to cling on to life it is blasted to hell.

I can hear the chainsaws attacking another tree. There are not too many of those left – little oasis in the green desert.

I’m walking in nature and listening to the relentless sound of death.

Poetry – Death


If you live with me

You’ll never live

Far from death

Liquid torrents in my veins

The skies

The rock

The water

Stalking my dreams

My death will be unique

Fantastic and terrible


Without hope

That must drive your life

Death that is oblivion

Each second stolen

From the void

Each thought

A universe

Each day

A life

When you live with me

You live with life

That burns.

Opher 10.9.99

Life is measured in seconds. I have no belief is anything after. I opened my eyes into a wondrous universe. My purpose is to make each second as full and purposeful as I possibly can. I want to wrest as much out of it, enjoy, create and experience, to squeeze the sponge of life until each drop is savoured.

Each second is precious for our life after is as our life before. That’s OK.

Poetry – THE END



That’s a body in that coffin

He’s gone

We will never see him again

Never talk to him

But there are a lot of things not in that coffin

His smile

His crazy laugh

A twinkle

His perceptive intelligence

That could penetrate walls

His barbed wit

His craziness

His individuality


And madness

He was an irascible old bastard

An awkward old sod

An impetuous madman who knew no boundaries

He hurt people

And we loved him

He loved people

And we hurt him

He was a confused wonderer

A thoughtful targeter

A gleeful commentator

A worried madman

A poet, musician, father and a man

His poems, his music and his thoughts are not in that coffin.

He’s left them back here with us.

He is alive in our memories.

He goes on and on forever through the ripples we all pass along

The bastard touched us

And moved the world.

Miss Him?  It will be hard to live without him. But only part of him has gone.

Opher 12.1.02

I wrote this for a friend

Our lives are much too short. We only just get going and it is over.

Every friend gone leaves a hole.

All we leave are the ripples of our wake. They spread out endlessly to touch everyone, passing from one to another in an endless chain, like snooker balls, our ripples bounce off each other.

We may not touch others directly but we nudge and prod through others.

Friends are gone but they live on in our thoughts, our memories and the effect they had on us. They change us. We change each other.

Together we build a zeitgeist that changes the world.

I wrote this poem for a dear friend who is now a series of ripples that are resounding around this globe. I miss him. But I still feel him talking to me in my head. I take out my memories and dust them off. He still teaches me. He has left so much of himself behind for us.

It is wrong that he is gone, it makes me angry, but his ripples will live on for ever.

Poetry – You Set Me Free

You Set Me Free

You opened up the rainforest

And set me free.

You sent in the loggers

And released me.

Your hunters and merchants

Took me to distant lands

Your wet markets and butchers

Have blood on their hands.

Now I’m in your blood

Breeding rapidly.

I bet you are glad

You set me free.

Opher – 13.9.2020

Covid-19 – another pandemic set loose by our own stupidity.

We continue to open up the inaccessible regions.

We hunt and catch the poor creatures who live there.

We put them in cages and sell them in markets.

We ship them around the world in terrible conditions, all crammed together, starving, thirsty, terrified.

We keep them in insanitary conditions.

We take them to market and slaughter them.

Their blood is on our hands.

The wet markets release virus after virus – HIV, SARS, MERS, Swine Flu, Avian Flu. There has been a stream of them.

Are we going to all this terrible trade to continue?

I think it’s as bad as slavery!

How long is it before a virus is released that will wipe us all out?

Chris Ridell cartoonist. The Covid-19 virus – it isn’t over yet.

He’s right – this isn’t over by a long chalk.

We’ve probably got months of the virus yet!

That will be thousands of deaths!

There might be mutations!

There are the antivaxxers undermining herd immunity!

There’s Trump, Bolsonaro and Johnson!

Then it’s all going to have to be paid for and who do you think is going to pick up that tab?? You guessed it!!

Poetry – Over The Hill

Over The Hill

Up the hill, under low grey cloud,

A chill wind in the face,

Kicking leaves,

Hands in pockets,

Scarf wrapped tightly around the neck,


Walking steadily,

Looking, thinking.

Reaching the top.

Stood still.

Surveying the landscape spread below.

Fields still green with crops

In the midday twilight

Of late autumn,

But flat and drab,

Lacking vitality.

Many trees already bare,

Delicate skeletal branches against the sky.

Others defiantly green.

The long grass

Brown, lank,

Drooping into mud,

Into mulch.

The land is visibly dying.

The life draining away.

Opher – 24.10.2020

After the exuberance of spring and the vitality of summer the life is retreating. The birds no longer sing, apart from warning calls, to let others know that I, an evil predator, am lurking nearby.

We are heading for the chill of winter, for the months of frozen death, where much that lives either escapes or hides away deep in the soil, in crevices, dormant, waiting for the strength of the sun to return.

The land dies, then, by Easter, it is resurrected.

Poetry – On Holiday From Eternity

On Holiday From Eternity

We’re all on holiday from eternity,

So give us a smile!

We’re just visiting for the duration,

For a short while!

Out of the blankness of nothingness

We awoke into the world.

We looked around for something;

The universe unfurled.

What a wonder to find yourself in!

An endless delight!

The splendour all around us

To make us feel alright.

The planet puts on room service

Everything we need!

Like a glutton at a party

We consume it all with greed.

We’re all on holiday from eternity,

So give us a smile!

We’re just visiting for the duration,

For a short while!

Opher – 22.10.2020

Nothingness is not dark, it’s not empty; it just doesn’t exist.

It’s where we came from. It’s where we’re going back to.

We visit it nightly.

There’s no sadness in non-existence, no need to mourn.

Yet here we are, waking from non-existence into a whole universe of wonder. We are here on holiday, for a short while. I aim to make the most of it.

Poetry – Don’t be afraid of Covid

Don’t be afraid of Covid

Don’t be afraid of Covid.

Don’t let it dominate your life.

Work for America

Even if it kills your wife.

Don’t be afraid of Covid.

You’ll get the same treatment for sure

Don’t wear a mask

Covid won’t knock on your door.

Make America great.

Means more money for me.

Off your ass and work

For me and your country.

There’s two hundred and ten thousand

Deaths on my head.

Don’t take it so seriously.

You’d be better off dead.

So don’t be afraid of Covid.

Don’t distance or wash your hands.

Get the economy running

All across the land.

Don’t be afraid of Covid.

Don’t let it dominate your life.

Work for America

Even if it kills your wife.

Opher – 5.10.2020

Friends who are gone – extract from ‘Farther from the Sun’.

What’s the rudest word in the World? Could it be ‘don’t!’



And I sometimes think of Jeff who jumped into that train, and Pete on the motorbike, Jane who died of the brain tumour at the age of eighteen, and Loveridge, whose first name I’ve forgotten, who fell off the stack at the plastics factory and fractured his skull. I think of Shaun who was so full of life and would have done so much. I think of Mocy, who I only knew briefly. I think of my good friends Danny and Tony who I shared so much with. I think of how many others of my old friends have gone without me even knowing. I think of Jason who was with my sister for such a short time and was so brave and gentle, so bright and cheerful. All the ones I knew and are now gone. I talk of them to my students. I weave them into my lessons. I get them to illustrate my tales of life. They live in my stories and they live in my mind.

I think of my Dad.

I think about the universe expanding, the Big Bang, religion and politics, beauty and getting old.

I think about the pleasures and the pains.

I think about the travels and the meetings, the books and music, the doings and the things I missed doing.

The drugs and the drunks, the parties and the sex.

I think about Liz and our life together, our love, and the home and life we’ve built with all its myriad compromises.

I think about my mum and all the things she did for me. All that love that was lavished on me.

I think about my kids and I wonder about the lives and experiences they will have.

I dream about all the grandchildren. I hope I will be alive to see them grow. I hope they will know me.

I think about how life is so long, packed full of so much, and yet it is so very short.

These days I smile wistfully a lot and have great hopes for the world, the future and humanity.

I think about my stupid writing and wonder what other uses I could have put to all this time. What else could I have done? What else could any of us do?

Who knows, maybe one day we’ll get civilised and leave these dark ages behind, maybe one day we’ll understand a little bit more and be better people for it.

One day!