Forum Activity for @ralph-jones

Ralph Jones
06/20/16 02:45:50AM
16 posts

'The flickering light' by Ralph Jones

West Coast Eisteddfod Online Poetry Competition 2016

lying here with nothing left but to reflect

on the things I have, and haven’t done yet

feel my body deteriorate, feel my illness advance

the things I’ve not done, now I won’t get a chance

different doctors I see, same questions they ask

I try to tell them through an oxygen mask

“how are you feeling, are you well

is the mask helping to breathe”. “It’s difficult to tell”

point to my chest as they ask, “is it your lungs”

but before I answer, the examination has begun

pyjamas top open, prodding with icy cold hands

talking in words I neither know, or understand

more x-rays, scans and blood tests

to see how my illness has progressed

then see the doctor, called in by a nurse

I can see by his face, my condition is worse

see his lips moving, don’t want to hear the words

can’t take it in, what I’ve just heard

as he looks at the x-ray, the shadows on the lungs

I knew then, that no more can be done

lying here, reminiscing about long lost better days

as the medication takes the pain away

hallucinating, dreaming, glassy eyed

thoughts turn back to my long departed bride

my childhood sweetheart, my guiding light

since she’s been gone, I’ve shed a tear each night

it’s many years, since up to Heaven she’s gone

lost without her, but for my family I stay strong

memories flood back, of my days in the mines

when my father took me, for my very first time

the first time in the bond, what a story to tell

told my grand-children “it was like dropping into hell”

at six o’clock in the morning, your day starts

as you walk to a place as black as the devils heart

the fireman tests, with a blue dim flame

for the presence of firedamp, or methane

into the coal face, a humid, damp, sweaty place

bent over, crawling, to a dark and cramped place

where your only friend, is the flickering light

of your cap lamp shining bright

the dust it engulfs you, like a black evil shroud

as you listen for sounds, for rumblings all around

while the perils of methane, is always there

invisible, tasteless, but deadly, so take care

my father said, “a days hard work never hurt me”

but there are men in the grave, who wouldn’t agree

good hard men, who worked their way into a tomb

mourning friends, thinking whose next to succumb

now laying on a bed, as the family gather crying

wheezing, gasping, tearfully watching me dying

a proud honest man, still full of fight

as the dust chokes out the last flickering light

final breath taken, no more suffering no more pain

then friends gather and wait in the howling rain

to say their final farewell

to a man who had so many stories to tell

see familiar faces, only seen on these sad days

getting fewer each time, as they slowly pass away

good colliers, who were also lifelong mates

together for the last time, at the graveyard gates

he’s back now with the woman he loved so much

the wife he missed, her kisses, her touch

up in heaven again they will meet

as at the pearly gates, she waits for him to greet

but not being a man to go quietly to his grave

a few words were written, by this man so brave

don’t mourn for me, as I’m not alone

and please put these words on my headstone

“when I die, don’t let the word spread

I’ll be in heaven, before the devil knows I’m dead

let him find out, as he reads my obituary

so he’ll tell his friends, “that soul should be for me.”

updated by @ralph-jones: 11/24/19 06:16:51PM
Ralph Jones
06/20/16 02:42:04AM
16 posts

'Halloween' by Ralph Jones

West Coast Eisteddfod Online Poetry Competition 2016

as the full moon is shrouded in an eerie mist

there lurks creatures,that some think don’t exist

witches and warlocks, zombies with eyes long dead

this is Halloween, a night to dread

ravens perch on the cemetery gates

waiting for their turn to mutate

to change into mystical, bloodthirsty ghouls

into creatures, who at the scent of blood will drool

these Devilish beings, with foul rotting flesh

with a lust, and a craving for human flesh

a creature with rancid, sickening breath

who feast, and rejoice at the sight of death

so as the Heavens open, with a thunderous scream

the ghouls come to life, this is no dream

they rise from their graves, in all forms of decay

and you can smell their aroma, smell the clay

the witching hour, is now in full flight

as evil forces control the night

the grim reaper, with his sharpened scythe

on the prowl, to take some lives

birds and wildlife hide in fear

as the grim reaper appears

ravens flying high above, circle and wait

the dead carcas’s he leaves, their hunger they’l sate

but help will soon be on hand

as the witch finders, scour the land

searching the country wide

looking for life, that has long since died

around their neck is a crucifix

guns loaded with silver bullets, for problems to fix

mirrors to look for no reflection

and behind the eyes there’s no connection

ghouls and zombies, carrying a deathly stench

search for warm blood, their thirst to quench

but the witch finder, he waits with bated breath

his silver bullet ready, to return them to death

and as the night time terror goes on and on

soon the grey skies break, and the sun will dawn

the ravens return to the cemetery gates

and the evil beings sense, it might be to late

and the witches return to their stinking caves

and the ghouls and zombies, go back to their graves

and the sun will rise, as it surely must

and the ghouls who stayed, are turned to dust

the witch finders, lay their heads to rest

knowing, that they have done their best

to save the world from the dark side

no longer must we be terrified

but they also know that next Halloween

the vampires, ghouls and witches, will again be seen

to look for fresh flesh to devour

so be wary of the witching hour

where the workings of the dead

can fill your homes with fear and dread

and if you hear noises in the night

and bloodthirsty screams, fill you with fright

and bats can be seen silhouetted around the moon

the dark side is preparing to come back soon

and if you hear dogs bark and growl

you know that the dark side is on the prowl

so keep your children in, and lock your door

as the witch finder may not be there anymore

with the witching hour approaching fast

the ghoulish creatures will try, to make it your last

updated by @ralph-jones: 06/20/16 02:42:28AM
Ralph Jones
06/20/16 02:37:40AM
16 posts

'Be careful with my Grampa' by Ralph Jones

West Coast Eisteddfod Online Poetry Competition 2016

be careful with my Grampa, with that knife

even though he’s come to the end of his life

give him the dignity that he has earned

a man once strong, stubborn and determined

at the age of fourteen he went to the mines

taken by his father, to a place of no sunshine

getting up in the morning, before the larks

and not coming home until it was dark

slogged all his life, in the evil of the coal face

a place that would beat hell into second place

in seams that were low, dusty and damp

with only the light of a flickering lamp

where the horrors of methane, lay in wait

one spark, and it would be too late

too many lives had been lost before

as methane lay in wait, to claim many more

I remember my Grampa taking me as a child

holding hands we walked the hill side

at the top of the hill, on the bench we’d stop

and look over the valley’s, at the flower tops

each flower he would say, was for the lives

of every good collier, taken from their wives

I didn’t understand it at the time

as he told me stories of the dust and slime

the dust, that once it got into you lungs

would make you old, before you were young

and the slime from the water, in the coal face

dripping down your back, in that hellish place

I remember my Grampa’s hands, once so strong

now his fingers twisted and arthritic, the strength gone

hands riddled with scars, look like a blue glove

pain in his eyes, for the lost friends he loved

men who were taken in their prime

men who lost their lives, before their time

names the paymasters, would soon forget

like the dust they had no mercy, no regrets

sympathy cards sent, printed by the thousand

but none are written by a caring hand

widows, who to their hats they would doff

while planing how much money to take off

I remember my Grampa taking me for a walk

to a place, of which he would often talk

a place, where fighters we would watch them

up two flights of stairs, into a gymnasium

a place also dark, sweaty and damp

he used to say,“I should have brought my lamp”

then down to the welfare, for a game of cards

and a pint with his butty’s, all old and scarred

Nana would ask, “Have you had a drink”

“No he would say”, and give me a wink

ruffle my hair, and give me a sweet

or a mint, bought from the shop in the street

when I would stay in his house overnight

Nana would put me to bed, kiss me goodnight

in between Nana and Grampa, I’d squeeze

lay my head on his chest, and hear it wheeze

I was there, when Grampa took his last breath

in my teens, the first time I’d witness a death

holding his hand, as his life ebbed away

gasping, as the dust took another life away

I remember his funeral, a day we all cried

a guard of honour, on the hill to the grave side

his grave overlooking the old colliery gates

the place he loved, which sealed his fate

old colleagues, themselves short of breath

numbers now declining, wondering who’s next

as they look at each other, standing in line

wondering who will next to be walked behind

I am now a grown man, with a son of my own

l’lI take him to the places that I was shown

to where my Grampa sat me on his knee

on the same bench where Grampa took me

ask him to look across the landscape

now the colliery is gone, I’ve had a lucky escape

remembering Grampa’s last words

“don’t go down that mine,” was all I heard

look over the horizon, the wheels are no more

on the hills are sheep, a hundred or more

but as we sit and watch the sheep graze

beyond in the mist, there’s a greyish haze

if the direction of the wind, your way will come

you can hear a slight and gentle hum

the wheels which we hoped were the last

have been replaced, by an open cast

money men and engineers, have now found

the coal can now be mined above the ground

the sites that councils said was common land

has been given out, with permission planned

permission to mine the tons of coal

that is lying under the surface so low

and as the local people protest

the lawyers protect the men who invest

as the coal is mined, they compensate

those who complained, tell them it’s too late

they’ve hired the best legal brains

so the misery starts over again

so once again the coal dust will cause misery

but the money men have no sympathy

and the dust, they all thought was in the past

will now float in from the opencast

dust will now continue to float in from the tips

landing on the washing lines, taste it on your lips

and they know if it goes to a courtroom fight

the fancy lawyers will give no respite

a court case will be delayed

as long as it’s put off, money will be made

by rich executives, never been below ground

money rules over all, the power of the pound

suddenly, a noise comes from the pram

and as I jump up startled, I realise where I am

I look at my baby, in him Grampa’s eyes I see

Grampa’s now in heaven, but he meant so much to me

looking over at the cemetery, memories flood back

as I see a procession, on it’s way up the track

strong men lining the hill, I can see beneath

and by the grave side, a family, united in grief

a family going through remorse and turmoil

as a loved one is lowered down into the soil

grieving for a loved one who has lost his life

please be careful with Grampa, with that knife

updated by @ralph-jones: 06/20/16 02:38:04AM
Ralph Jones
06/20/16 02:26:55AM
16 posts

'A man of great integrity' by Ralph Jones

West Coast Eisteddfod Online Poetry Competition 2016

so it seems a Tory has a

as he and his job depart

saying that he could not go on

with the disabled cuts. What took him so long

he claims it is undefendable

to justify cuts to the disabled

when the budget gives the richest more tax relief

and then takes off the disabled just like a thief

but let us not be fooled, this man is not our friend

he’s a Tory through and through, to the bitter end

is he only resigning just to save face

as the public can see he’s a total disgrace

it was his plan to take the money at the start

now he says it is not in his heart

to take money off injured service personal

and the disabled people as well

he says he was under pressure to make the cuts or

answer to the prime minister and the chancellor

so when the going got tough

he decided that he had had enough

but in his place comes a man with no spine

a man who will be told how to tow the line

he is younger and with plenty of ambition

does not care who he stabs in the back or walks upon

he might be quiet, as he gets his feet under the table

but as soon as he does he’ll continue to attack the disabled

charming when he talks with a crocodile smile

but plotting and scheming at the same time

he’ll be a puppet, a whipping boy, that’s him

tening to his bosses every whim

when they say jump, he’ll ask “how high and where”

as he cuts the benefits, and the disabled care

for the new man, like a one eyed snake

will do whatever it takes

to do the evil he has been put there for

to carry on the injustice of his predecessor

but what chance do we have as they argue at the top

and when will the attacks ever stop

as the Tories continue to stay on as trustees

and then vote to to take off money, and claim extortionate fees

but let us hope that they argue amongst their self

these people of arrogance and wealth

and soon the likes of Osbourne and Cameron

will be caught out, and then they will be gone

but if Dennis Skinner has his way, that day will not be too far

as he is asking questions, they can not answer

it’s a pity that this man is not twenty years younger

for this man of great integrity would make a great prime minister

updated by @ralph-jones: 06/20/16 02:32:45AM
Ralph Jones
02/13/16 02:05:39AM
16 posts

Flo And Stan by Ralph Jones

West Coast Eisteddfod Short Story Competition 2014

Flo and Stan

Tower ballroom Blackpool, a tall distinguished gentleman was waltzing around the dance floor. His dancing partner,he had met on a senior citizen coach holiday, although travelling on different trips.

Stan and Flo had met over a cream tea afternoon in the hotel where they were staying, and hit it off immediately, sharing the same interests. Both having been bereaved and sharing an interest in ballroom dancing.

When they weren’t dancing or sharing cream teas, they used to take a short walk to the cafe on the edge of the fairground where they would enjoy a dinner of fish and chips and enjoy each others company.

Although they were on a short break holiday, they swapped telephone numbers, and promised to keep in touch as they boarded their  separate buses for the journey home.

As time went on Flo would wait for the call that never came,and resigned herself to not hearing again from Stan. Although her friends urged her to contact Stan, knowing that she still had his number, but she refused to do so.

Two years later Flo and her friends boarded the bus to go again to Blackpool. This trip was also for her 70th birthday,her friends all saying that she might meet up again with Stan.But Flo thought that this was unlikely, convincing herself that Stan did not want to meet up again.

That evening as Flo and her friends relaxed in the lounge of the hotel, a tall distinguished figure walked into the room. Flo looked over as he smiled in her direction,and could feel her pulse quickening, it was Stan.

As they talked Flo at first was cold towards him,as Stan explained that he had tried to telephone her, and had been kept getting told that this was the wrong number, he then gave up thinking that Flo did not want to talk to him.

Flo was not impressed with his explanation,until Stan brought a piece of paper out of his wallet. Flo took the paper off Stan and saw that it was in her handwriting, containing her telephone number that she had written down for him. As she looked at the number she realised that the number she had written down was wrong, the third digit should have been a seven, but it looked like a one.

Flo was horrified,she had been secretly blaming Stan for not getting in touch with her, when all of the time it was her mistake with the phone number that she had given him. But Stan was just glad that they were reunited.

He told Flo that her son had contacted him, as Flo had also kept his number,and told him that it was her birthday and it might be nice for them to meet up again.

The two days that they were there, they were inseparable, dancing, cream teas and fish and chips. When they were to go home they made sure that they had the correct phone numbers,and promised that this time they would keep in touch.

Over the next two years they would spend time together. They would visit each others homes, and meet the families.

Stan didn’t have any children,and he was well liked by Flo’s two son’s and her daughter and the grandchildren.

One week-end Stan and Flo went to Blackpool, and as usual they walked around the pleasure park, and went dancing. The afternoon before they came home they went to their favourite hotel for a cream tea.

Stan as usual poured the tea, and took a cake off the stand,put it on a plate and handed it to Flo. The cake had a strawberry on top, Flo’s favourite. As she took the strawberry off the top as she always did,underneath was an engagement ring.

They are now very happily married.

updated by @ralph-jones: 02/13/16 02:06:05AM