A Race

Fleet of foot, we rose up on new legs
And crawled from the ocean,
Found caves by the shore more secure,
But ambitious, precocious, we wanted more.

Overtaking the bones of dinosaurs
Forging weapons of our bodies
We set out to outsmart competition
Surpass them with strength and speed.

It was not easy. Some fell early
To malnutrition; attrition rate high,
But we were stubborn, focused;
Too intent on growth to die.

Hurdled germs on our own terms
Through the darker ages, lettered pages
To illuminate and illustrate
Our superior ways, our mind, our fate.

When prayer for days fell out of fashion,
Revolution wrought new passion
Choosing sides and burning towns:
Spoils to victors, death to clowns.

Bloodied our hands in War and Peace
With the drawing of borders and global police
Such inventive solutions to building new homes
That we thought we were Gods, not flesh and bones.

And now we have entered a digital age
We find new forms of life engaged
In fights for supremacy, violent rage
Evolved to the glare of a flickering page.

But we haven’t forgotten our primitive roots
For one, in anger, aims and shoots
To rid this world of other tribes
Ensuring only “ours” survives.

The Peacemakers

Simple lines are drawn in sand
Before too long a raid is planned
Evading those so underhand
They would presume to claim this land

Off we sneak in battle dress
Such gentle men and ladies, less
To mop and mock the endless mess
Than blow things up, as merciless

To violence we’ve long adhered
We have become the thing we feared
And afterwards may not be cleared
Of careful killings, well prepared

Poor War has wandered far and wide
From hill to valley, mountainside
And sunk such fortunes, fear and pride
To foster thoughts of suicide

Promoting causes, long since lost
He breeds support and hides the cost
Our future terrorists to host
More pointless conflict, until most

If not quite all are lying dead
Two tribes with matching holes in head
Surrounded by twin pools of red
Both died for an ideal, it’s said

And what is left to selfless men
But legends of their struggle, gain?
We heed such calls to follow pain
Our children reach for arms again.

Breathing Space

For years I felt that a cupboard, a room
Was all of the space I could need
I’d sit there surrounded by books in the gloom
And scribble my thoughts by the light of the moon
Fill my head with the words I would read

I’d not have to worry at all for the neighbours
Or find time to re-paint the bath
For comfortable was just a duvet and PJs
With nothing more needed, no disco or DJs
A candle gave light from the hearth

But somehow we found that with two of us there
It was no longer quite the same palace
The world had grown bigger and started to stare
With the castle we built out of no more than air
At the couple that lived from a suitcase

We struggled, resistant to others’ attempts
To provoke us to find a new shelter
We shivered through winter, and mended the fence,
And in summer we suffered in panting offence
Rigged a fan to the bookshelf to swelter

Then finally when we had reached boiling point
All our options had dribbled away
We agreed it was time that we looked to the rent
To decide our intentions by firm government
We examined our options to stay

Though it took us ten years to find one we’d afford
Now a house we have suddenly bought
Yet still reeling in shock at the sight of the floors
Finding furniture shops and new knobs for old doors
What incredible chaos we’ve wrought

For such jealousy now seems to stem from the tide
Of those others who’d scorn, scowl and scoff
I am tempted to find a new cupboard to hide
Quite confused at the poison that seeps from outside
From their tedious, terminal cough

Though it seems we gave in to their constant demand
It was hardly to match with the Joneses
And though cupboard and room has expanded in ground
We have worked to repair what we needed and found
We have never yet tilted our noses

For at heart I’ve a cupboard I can call my own
With a book and a candle inside it
I vacuum the floors and I dust every tome
For the library walls I can now term my home
Though my friends may but scarcely abide it

For a home is a place that we find in ourselves
With no need for the trappings of glory
To be quite at peace with my own book-filled shelves
While I scribble my thoughts on our heavenly hells
Is but one chapter of my own story