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'Heroes & Villains'
April 2011

04 May 2012


On marches with Heroes
when I was young
voices raised high
words that we sung.

Banners were raised
with hope in our heart
the miracle of comrades
who each played a part.

The things that we fought for
have long gone astray
industries have vanished
all hope gone away.

Heroes forgotten
amidst poverty and waste
the price that they paid
how bitter the taste.

The Villains prosper
it is always the way
class still divides
it’s the poor who must pay.

All angles
Heroes and villains are lifted up on placards
outside government buildings in bold letters
telling audiences on widescreen that their
actions are absolutely pure or evil.

The neon lighted celebrity chased by fawning
admirers;blinded by shades covering swollen
eyes races to the theatre entrance;to once again
be swooned by vapid laughter among the cavalcade
of champagne glasses. When the lights are dimmed
and the room is quiet a spring clean of her thoughts
is not the same as taking out the pledge on every
glass tabletop or wooden surface. She muses that
values are the language of permanence;trends - the
temporary flashing lightbulbs that flicker in patches.

The dust bowled fork lift truck driver clatters several
pallets on a large pile. He looks forward to intervals
of jocular ribaldry and exaggerated plots shared with friends;
where he outwits or outscores a dangerous opponent. Arriving
home to take a shower,he once again plays the trailer of
the wild west hero with the saved lady in waiting. The
bleeping sirens the following day force him back to reality
amidst the steely grip of an industrial wasteland of discarded
carbaretors and wrenched apart engines.

In another part of the city an elderly couple celebrate
60 years of marriage recalling times hidden under tarpaulin
covers in air raid shelters blocking their ears to the sound
of bombs overhead. Recalling the simplicity of their courtship
through walks of scented lavender and disagreements in which
they put their differences aside because being together meant
so much. Is it any wonder they got a standing ovation.

An observation to finish:
Black and white shapes contain a compass through treacherous waters
The shades in between are the colours that give understanding of
those noble risk takers - Heroes and Villains.

Simon Walker
Goodmayes Writers

The Crystal Ball

I stared into the crystal ball
As distant voices captured me
Dragon’s fire and mountains tall
A vast and unrelenting sea.

I felt persued by unnamed foes
Goblins, Awks
A fearfull sound
A fading moon
The howl of wolves

And terror all around.

The Kraken woke and split the night
Dimensions opened wide
But deep within I answered him
The call of Light was not denied.

And in the distance dawn returned
And birdsong filled the air
My Hero on a pure white horse
With stardust in his hair.

The crystal vision faded
I awoke in my own bed
The bearded one beside me
(now a little white)
Held my hand and made me feel
That everything’s alright .

Stevenage Survivors

Hero or villain

The moral elastic can twang
a tune of hero or villain;
we may finger it to the sweet refrain,
of 'the good guys won', or stretch it to
the dirge of 'they done us wrong'.

bruce barnes

Tell me the story

Tell me the story
Tell me the story, my love.
What kind do you want to hear?
The one about the little birds,
how they killed and ate them all.

Tell me the story, my love,
about the hedgehogs,
how they skinned them alive,
because they envied
them their spines.

Tell me the story, my love.
What kind do you want to hear?
The one about mental institutions
full of mental patients,
because somebody was playing
with their minds
to cover their crimes.

Tell me the story, my love.
What kind do you want to hear?
The one with the good end.

Here is the story about how snow
was falling on the city of Pottsville
and all people were sleeping,
and sleeping, and sleeping.
Suddenly the fire siren went off
and all firemen had an emergency,
and all policemen had an emergency,
and all in the health care had an emergency.
All victims, when they didn't burn alive,
were scared and homeless.

You asked for the good ending story.
This is good end, because all victims
received very quick help.

I wish you good night.

Marie Neumann

Heroes & Villains

On horseback he trots into town
devious eyes grin and snigger from around
He dismounts and swirls his cape
a rifle pokes through a gap in the fence

The saloon doors swing open
As predators chase round the sides
Double whisky is our heroes choice
The posse enter the bar from behind

Our hero gazes into the vegas lights
The posse take aim in downtown chicago
he throws his dimes onto the craps table
Eliot Ness untouched surrounds the table

But where is Clint " He's making a movie"
The man with no name, has he gone insane
cos Al capone isn't alone
sent back to Cuba all on his own

These heroes and villans are made
for our fun and entertainment.
Did sergio leone have a humerous side
or was it lost in the mexican desert

One thing for sure. laughter and fun
have a place to make.
The serious and dramatic appear
really quite absurd.

Paul Evans
Stevenage Survivors

God was absent

I tell you the story, my friend.
It is about one preacher
who was money and power hungry.
The preacher had so much money
he could buy whole town, land, mines.
He was so rich he could buy a king.
He could buy almost everybody,
because you can buy everything
for the right price.
He was paving his way to the power.
He had his disciples
and they were building
more and more churches everywhere.
He bribed, he did the favors,
he stole, he forged and he trapped
people by his favors.
He was giving away stolen cars.
People took them
blinded by his generosity.
He enjoyed his power.
He was everywhere
where he wanted to be,
breaking the friendships,
destroying family ties,
making babies out of the wedlock.
He had the power to bring the tears,
fear and despair.
He didn't like two words:
blood and death.
He was afraid to die.
Was it because he enjoyed
the life so much?
I don't think so.
He enjoyed the power
to destroy a goodness in people,
to use them and see them
cry and suffer.
Deep inside he was scared
for what he has done.
In the dark night
on his knees he prayed:
Dear God, I am afraid
of your punishment.

God wasn't there.

Marie Neumann

The Parade

Standing together
Shoulder to shoulder,
Year after year,
Older and older.
Marching along
To the tune of a song
And the thoughts in my head
Are of those who are dead.

And those who were there
Are fewer and fewer.
But the line is as long
With the newer and newer.
As each conflict stops
Another’s begun
And more of our young
Go to die in the sun.

So I ask, “What’s it for,
Our obsession with war?”
Then the crowds clap and cheer
As our column draws near
And the music gets loud.
With the public so proud
Of our glorious dead,
Are we right in the head?

Andrew Diamond
Goodmayes Writers


As the poppy petals fall
It is then I recall
A winters November eve
Cosy and warm, with my mom
In front of the tele
Watching the Remembrance service
From the grand Albert Hall
It was important, she said
To remember.
I didn’t understand then
Just knew my heart felt strange
As I watched the soldiers parade.
Then it was up early next morn
To go to my aunts
In Stechford, a bus ride away
To stand at the Cenotaph
Wrapped in scarves, the family together
It was important, they said
To remember.
I didn’t understand then
Just knew my heart felt strange
As I watched the soldiers parade.
Ever since then as I have grown older
I have always put aside that date in November
I understand now, why it’s important to remember
And it is pride that I feel in my heart
As I watch the soldiers parade.

Jan Hedger

A Nurse Abroad

The mirror showed a reflection
of a woman in her prime
thirty years behind her
knowledge in her eyes

She’d seen the world
travelled far and wide
had cried with joy
celebrated life

Mourned lost friends
cried with grief
known love and hate
been a rock

Sun bleached hair
framed her face
an image
of compassion

She’d found faith
when it was lost
had given hope
when there was none

Asked for nothing
in return
to have been there
was enough

Felt proud
was humbled
to be honoured
in this way

A touch of lipstick
a nervous smile
her thoughts collected
she was ready

‘We are gathered
here today
to reward
a dear friend,
for her loyalty
and humanity
through war
and in famine,
Ladies and Gentlemen
I give you
a remarkable woman’

Jan Hedger


Your Name: jan hedger
Your Comment: Good beat and rhythm - good message Sally!

Your Name: jan hedger
Your Comment: WOW, Simon - so different - such clever writing! Love it!

Your Name: jan hedger
Your Comment: My earlier comment must be in the ether!
Something like great stuff Andrew! Good to see you entered Paul - Marie sometimes it's good to be scared, makes one think! Now for the latest!
Short, sweet and observant Bruce - Lucia - ahhh beautiful, bless the bearded one!

Your Name: Marie Neumann
Your Comment: I didn't mean to scare you


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