The Precipitation of Tears

On the streets of London, Manchester
and Kabul
In the homes of Syria, Paris
and Mosul
Is there a Richter Scale
to measure the sadness?
Or a depth in fathoms
to describe the grief?
Can the precipitation of tears
be gauged to tell us
when the weeping will end?
Is all this, this heartbreak
how it will always be?



You miss her too


In our garden
under a cool
October sun
I watch as
you crumble
Fall slowly
in your grief
Crushing plants
Dislodging petals

I slide my hands
beneath you
Between the cool
leaves and
your warmth
I gently lift you
Cry into
your limp body
Weep soft tears

I carry you
to your bed
Cover your grief
with her gown
A shroud of scent
to remind you
of her
You miss her too
You faithful friend

Missing life


Beneath time swept landscapes
where lost souls tread, you lie
buried; missing, death presumed.
Your lost treasures: your future life
and precious dreams entombed.
Above, no pale stone with chiselled
name marks the place: your grave.
A passive poet, doubtful warrior
you died young, consumed
in a holocaust made by men.
Beloved wife and child bereft
forever haunted by a never
healing sorrow, and unfulfilled
dreams of what might have been.

For you, my unmet grandfather
I carry your genes, your memory.
With these words I mark your life


During the First World War on the 9th of April 1917 my grandfather Clem Walter died during the the Battle of Arras.  A stretcher bearer his body was never found; one of 36,000 at Arras with no known grave.