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'Angels & Demons'
May 2013

 01 June 2013

Six whacks with an old gym shoe.

Six whacks with an old gym shoe,
Were like six lightning sparks.
And he would have you bending,
So the class could see the marks!

All the boys wore trousers then,
With legs both loose and short.
He would have you touch your toes,
A target for his sport.

The punished had to show each boy in turn,
The marks as they turned red.
"That's what mistakes will earn for you,"
The gym shoe sadie said.

The walk between each vibrant desk,
To him was pure delight.
While fumbling fingers fast removed,
Their pressure, out of sight.

He always had the same ones up to beat,
They never ever tried to get work right.
They seemed to think it was a special treat,
They seemed to think we all enjoyed the sight.

On leaving for another school,
And starting out again.
Gone was the gym shoe sadist fool,
And gone the red rear pain.


The Angels I have known.

Mr. Lesley Bedford was an angel because she did so very much for others during her life.  Working as a volunteer for the London County Council during the 1940s, Mrs Bedford would visit the homes and schools of children she considered to be in need and those allocated to her for attention.

For many reasons Mrs. Bedford started to visit me at home in North London.
She was the wife of a leading banker and wished to give her time to helping the needy.  She lived in a house in Hampstead and had children of her own.
Mr. Bedford had a concert organ built into his living room wall and into the garage.

I was one of my father's eight children living in a small flat, but at that time there were five of us plus two adults.  My job was often to be a nursemaid to the younger ones as I was eleven and they were much younger.  After being kept home from school to look after the children and being punished for truancy at school, the LCC asked Mrs. Bedford to visit my home.

This tiny lady had to stand up to many excuses for my condition and my lack of school attendance, against very powerful opposition: she would never give up.
She took me home to spend weekends with her family before driving me to boarding schools in the country.  Mrs. Bedford kept trying against formidable odds to remove me from my home environment and to find me a better life.

Finally, and after reams of beautifully hand written letters to the LCC, she found funding for me to leave home at the age of thirteen in 1950.  These letters and now in safekeeping in the London School of Economics, where I saw them some forty years later.

People like Lesley Bedford may not become Angels while living (but later) however, some certainly become saints.

Author's Note:
The Bedford family should know what a great difference their mother, Mrs. Lesley Bedford made to so many, as a voluntary social worker for the LCC in the 1940s.


The Demons

The Demons who almost took my twin sons, Matthew and Mark, from me some years ago, are the ones I fear most.
They all reside in a bottle.
I like a drink now and then, in moderation: a drink at times with friends can do no harm in my opinion.
When drinking becomes a way of life, it can bring about the end of life.

When my sons entered hospital on different occasions as a result of over drinking, I truly thought I had lost them.
We all face different tragedies in life and though they may differ from person to person, it takes a great deal of faith to live through such suffering.
We can not do this alone: we need the help of others.

There is no special strategy, no magic potion, no words of wisdom to help us at these times.
In the end, we all have to find the strength from deep within us:  and we all really do have this.
Many of you have found this power within you. Why not share it with others?

What did I do, how did I cope and survive?
Luckily for me, my sons seemed to take it in turns to get very ill, so I always had one with me for support.
This gradually helped us both to talk about our problems over a single pint and no more.

I take no credit for their eventual recovery, but I can give great credit to the new lady friends they both found.
I am convinced that it was love which cured my sons and the love now of their own children.
They say that love cures all, and it was certainly love which helped my sons to kick the habit.

Demons come in very different forms, and my mother always told me that it's the ones we CAN see which we need to worry about....
Because of her firm belief that only the living need to be feared, I would walk through the local grave yard and ask for them to come out and scare me: there was never a reply....

I'm told we can "will" spirits to visit us, but none have ever visited me in my 76 years on this wonderful earth.


I Believe In Angels

When faced by troubled circumstance, I Pray
Beyond the realm of "Earthly" pleas confined
To reach out in sure hope, of “Come what may”
What e’er my plight, I need not feel resigned
As all about seem anchored by their chains
Deep contemplation leads me to conclude
Release from torment, lest such evil gains
Is but a waft away from Saints like Jude
Yet here among us walk in human form
The very essence of said Seraphim
‘Though "Miracles" performed may seem the norm
By caring nature, grace Creator’s whim
If granted just one wish, I do propose
“Assign to all” one Angel “Heaven knows”

Richard Gildea

Angels Ten O'Clock

A dark and cloudy sky holds sway above the earth so green and damp
My spirit needs uplifting; lonely days bereft of smiles and fun
I try to lose myself in books, sitting next to reading lamp
Tis then I hear the call to soar and fly beneath the sun

Breaking through the covered gloom in innocence they swoop and dive
Upon a heart that jumps within, at image set before my eyes
"Angels Ten O'clock" appear in trinity to give “High Five”
The 'Daughters of my Daughter' come to brighten up the skies

They have no wings to lift me high, just smiles that make my life worthwhile
Hugs of warm embrace for one, who’s blessed beyond good measure thrice
Laughter breaks out, giggles too and loneliness is put on trial
Sugar n’ spice the sentence passed, my time is full of all things nice

Richard Gildea

The cry of Pain.

She cries in anguish each day.
She is deeply wounded
And there is a numbness until nothing else matters any more.
We see her,we hear her, we are also in pain.
We feel our pain, but only ours.
After all the sins we feel nothing for her.
Watching her from afar, every move she makes is so unimportant to us,
But entertaining of course.
She is not a sister, nor a friend, nor a mother, or anything or anything to us, just unimportant.
Let it be Oh please! Let it be!
We are the making of her misery.  We need not be there,
No-one will hear of her, or know her.
There is no proof, nor friends of hers, there is no-one for her, it is eternal now.......

Miss Harinder Sehmi

A Dittty

My Watson, my Friday, my Robin, my love
My Chaplin, my Monroe, my sweet
My angel, my demon, my temptress from Eden
My chaplain, confessor complete

My refuge, my mountain, my penny drenched fountain
My jailor, my saviour, my love
My weakness, my tower, my torment, my power
My angel, my gift from above

Paul Butler
Newham Writers

Child of Venus

In a crowd she looks so lonely
But alone she seems complete
Balanced on the cutting knife edge
Demons, hurt and anger meet
How she wishes to be wanted
Him to kiss away her pain
Fill the emptiness inside her
Make her feel she's loved again
She whispers secrets to the Moon
Sends her love out to the stars
'Cause she is a child of Venus
Searching for a man from Mars

Ashley Jordan

Tribute to a teacher.

A young lady teacher came to our North London school in 1947.

She had recently finished her training, and entered our class like a breath of fresh air.  I have not seen her since that day, but she made a lasting impression on me, and may have influenced my future work in the voluntary sector.

It is so strange how a single saintly gesture can leave so poignant an impression on a young person, I was 10 at the time and Miss King was 20.  She would be 86 now and if by some quirk of fate she should see this, then it is a big thank you to her.

When this young and beautiful teacher started her lesson, she asked us all to write our name in turn on the black board.  We were so pleased to go up and stand next to her.  My turn came and I was so nervous that I made a chalk mark before writing my name and Miss King reached in front of me for the board buffer.  At that moment, I instinctively flinched and this caused her to gasp,

"Good heavens David, did you think I would strike you?" I said,

"No Miss King."  She was clearly upset, and she told us all to sit down at our desks.  She kept her back to the class while taking a handkerchief from her bag.  She then turned to the class and said,

"I want you all to know that I could NEVER hurt any one of you."  There was so much silent tension in the class of 40: some even cried a little.   We all loved her at that moment.  She continued the class like a modern day stand up comedian and had us all laughing by the time she left.

She never returned.

I understand that a movement of young teachers then put their job on the line and started the campaign: S.T.O.P.  This was the School Teachers Opposed to Punishment.  Many lost their jobs and any chance of promotion, but they succeeded, after years of petitions to the government and the law was changed.  I somehow know that the valiant Miss King would have been among these devoted movers and shakers.

We later noted, when she left our class she had written in small words on the blackboard: 'Violence breeds violence. W.S.'

David Rex

Los Demonios/Los Ángeles

Los Demonios

En la casa de cuento y fantasía que hablan más que otro en su gran teatro
No hay dinero pa’salud y escuela y el seguro social y derechos

Los Ángeles

Y en la voz de la alma y los ojos para justicia y paz y trabajo y no al racismo
La marcha de Baltimore hasta Washington
La campaña pobre para el pueblo celebrando 45 años un amor
¡Sí se puede!


The Demons

In the house of stories and fantasies which speaks the most on a grand show
There’s no money for health and schools and social security and rights…

The Angels

In the voices of the soul in the eyes of justice, peace, and work, and no to racism
The Poor People’s Campaign March from Baltimore to Washington
celebrating 45 years with love
Yes we can!
We shall overcome!

© 5/13/13 Carlos Raúl Dufflar, Written in College Park, Maryland.
The Bread is Rising Poetry Collective

Angels and ...

I gaze at the angel
Full of body
That saves me each night
I’ve loved many
But it alone loves me
And now it’s half empty

I gaze at the new angel
Full to the brim
That will save me tonight
And sip
Ah, my sweet angel
Then like her it is gone

I gaze at another angel
Full of hope
But already half emptied
And dream
And cold reality ebbs away
Where then is the demon?

Lennie Limehouse

Hell and Haven

Haven is a busy place.
All angels’ trays
are overflowing
with miracles’ requests
and other calls
for help.

Hell reports
the highest unemployment
in years.
Devils are having
locusts, fire-ants
and such
for breakfast, dinner
and lunch.

Marie Neumann


There was a razor ribbon of clouds in the sky
Then a flicker in the distance caught my eye.
As the flicker grew larger and became a dust cloud
That surrounded its host like an unholy shroud.
We all knew who was coming. He’s been before
And it’s no use hiding behind your locked doors.
So to those who knew better, or wouldn’t take heed.
It’s time to pay for your selfishness and greed
So stand up and be counted. You took what he gave
Your debt’s being collected; you’ve become his slave.

By Jim White

Angels and Demons
My own Angels are all living and will always be my twin sons (43) and my young grand daughters.
My partner Val and my Wife, now separated but still much loved.
These angels really do make my life worth living. I do feel truly blessed.
How nice and cosy, you may think!
I have also met devils in hell, but more of these later.
My dear late Mother, now gone to a better place... and social workers who lifted me from a life of unhealthy involvement.
The angels of art and music: J.S.Bach  and Escher. Perhaps Jung who went where I have been.
Angels have great beauty and need nothing added and nothing taken away: they have beauty in the purest form.
As humans, we can often see angels who are not rewarded for all they do in life: they pass unnoticed by most of us.
At times we chance upon an angel and find later that we have lost the moment.
It is so very transient, so passing, so ethereal.
My demons were those who led me into hell on earth: they almost succeeded in making me join them.
Oh! it was so tempting to walk in the paths they walked. That feeling of freedom and liberation from convention.
They told me that it was much easier to go mad than to stay relatively sane. None of us are fully so.
Abandonment to the " do whatever you wish culture" and avoid all standards of the norm,
to live without clothing, to swim this way in the warm waters of foreign lands.
These devils will tell you it is OK to get satisfaction any way you can.
If you get hurt for this, it is worth the pain and you have to learn to enjoy it....
The devils forget that the pain you endure is doing harm to those causing your pain.
Love is not known to these: it is not within their experience. they truly fear love.
If you need to know what this hell is, then you need to email me,
as I do not offer this to those who know the power of true love: they have no need for hell.
The strongest of us can see these things, but still keep in love with life and our world.
I was lucky, but some went under in the Far East when I was there in 1955.
For a human being to go bad, it needs that person to do nothing.
It is hard work to remain sane: it is easy to go the other way.
When in the Far East, I was 18 and knew nothing of the world.
Devils came to the bar where I was drinking a weak shandy  and was contentedly alone.
The devils had a little bottle of drug to slip into my glass while one of them distracted me.
I came to some time later in a shed where the devils took their victims for torture.
Beating was continued till I agreed to do all they asked, till I was almost conditioned to remain this way.
Almost....because  my former Angels kept telling me that I did not enjoy what they were doing to me all night long.
It took two years to let the Angels deep into my heart and to pull me far away from these devils.
Seven thousand miles away......


Angels …. and demons.

My demon - for sure
Shifts and sniggers at my
Errors and misdeeds.
It feeds on my pain, my hurt and needs.
It likes my weaknesses and the growing
Fleeting thoughts of bitterness.
It nurtures them from seeds
Like a creeping, dark, poisoned ivy
Entwined in every essence of my being.

But my Angel, for sure, is ever present
Patient, watching and always wishing for me
To move towards the Light.
To behave (in my imperfect human way) - right.
My angel comes to me
Whenever asked or beckoned
And helps drive fears away.
Whispers - ‘just believe and trust’
I make it through another day.

My Angel has looked
And knows me
From deep inside my soul.
My Angel has never strayed away -
But sometimes I have failed
To feel it’s presence.
Knowing and tenderly, it wipes away my tears and pain.
It gently enfolds me in an all-encompassing embrace
I am showered in the warmth of unconditional love.

Ellen Reardon.

Angels & Demons

I am as certain as I can be without actually seeing any that every person living on Earth has a being which, although unseen and unlikely to ever be seen, in this life, guards and protects its human assigned person.  This I believe cannot be dismissed or in any way proved.

Therefore if the power for good and right exists then it must be a fact that the opposite must also exist and we as human beings must try our best to support and sustain the good in this world and reject the evil of the lower places.  i do not want to labour this point, but I feel sure of both facts.

Stanley Clark


It has been suggested
That I reimburse the Government
The cost of my free bus pass
And winter fuel allowance
Because I have sufficient
Not to need these benefits.
Well, I suggest that Duncan Smith
Shoves a Dunkin’ Donut
In his mouth to keep it shut
And suffers indigestion
For making this suggestion.
And I think those in Government,
Who claim to have a right to rule
Because they went to Public School,
Should contribute their surplus wealth
To help improve our National Health,
So making sure we’re well equipped,
While our recession’s double dipped,
To have our workforce super fit
And claiming less in Benefit.

Andrew Diamond
Goodmayes Writers

rushs in the glens below

Your word of kindness in this night fire
Shiped auto soups across the drones
Lifted strength to out held class detriment
Wings outstanding stretched to flax glazed ribs
Detonates the willing musically up fields black currents glaring glare in berries far swag out the glen
GLUTTON flu fly lies waiting out of sure sight tucked in behind a hidden traffic warden out up from rocking glens
Saxophone blasts words sweetness traveling in writing a loud it calls for help from Hell
It's horn blows in blows and blues to outstripped hand and feet
Deer now may rest again when rushes quivering among the moon beams glad glare

John Joseph Sheehy

Angels or Demons

I have been obliterated more times
than I care to remember

I did not fit the specifications

Too young or old
too light or dark

Or vacant

And yes my mind was always drawn
to a space above the eyebrows
beyond the hairline
and even
just behind the head

Where hovered angels or demons
or none of that
a light shimmered on the horizon
flickered and went out

My gaze, still
was not averted

Faces merged
and this was their oblivion

and only some
became identities for me

My friends

Adam Dalf 130328


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