Johnny F

on mist in the night
from a dark corner
he brought with him
a damp lonely light
a crumpled pack
of Major cigarettes
and a constant thirst
for tea and company

the chair by the door
was his alone
reserved for his visits
with unwashed hands
the Sisters of Mercy
bought black welly boots
kept him in clothes
and partially fed

he lived on his own
in his council shed
the ghost of his brother
ten years dead
the family house ruined
land gone to bracken
a few barren cows
just him and the rats

the last of the village
old bachelor boys
abandoned to rot in his
four fucking fields
growing older gets harder
like a peat bog man
sphagnum soaked
with years of rain

a chance meeting
two weeks before
his body was found
on the road out of town
he’d bought me a pint
to the locals’ surprise
Sláinte he spoke
quiet trust in his eyes

there is a saying
that some would believe
if you see in the dawn
a hare taking leave
that death has come knocking
a spirit set free
an old friend is waving
farewell to thee

johnny f

Echo

he came
and sang
my name
upon the porch
and the winds then carried us both away

my oh my
I was wild
a forest child
back in the day
his north country muse and borderline torch

hobos both
drifters too
howlin’ wolves
in travellin’ shoes
our spirits set free to pick and choose

word strings on
snowflake wings
his Echo from
Minnesota springs
he sang of love and those mountain blues

but now
it’s time
to bid
farewell
I wonder, will he remember me at all?

farewell

this waiting
hopelessly hesitating
every second counting
minute by minute

grains of sand falling
clouds passing
words whispering
hour by hour

time slowly passing
thoughts drifting
waves crashing
day by day

love and hate making
friends disappearing
it’s hard understanding
week by week

the seasons changing
waxing waning
thunder lightning
month by month

clocks are ticking
memories fading
our elders dying
year by year

the grass in the top meadow was cut last night
a warm breeze today will blow dry it into hay
this is the time for renewal and taking stock of our lives
for winter will soon be upon us…

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(I took this photo this morning about 8.30 and messed around with it using my editing software. I like the way it now looks as if it’s from a bygone age. All that’s needed are a few people in period costume holding pitch forks next to a donkey and cart. Sometimes we find old photos that have no date, names or explanation. They are glimpsed reminders from the depths of our anonymous past. Mysterious and magical moments to celebrate)