Friday, August 26, 2016


Mostly, I saw him smiling
or laughing and on the odd
occasion when it was needed
I’d seen him get aggressive
and violent but only once
 did I see his
eyes leak when he spoke of
a wife and children he’d
lost a very long time ago;
a chilling November breeze
raced into the public shelter
and he passed the bottle to
me and dabbed at his blood-
shot eyes; I took a deep
swallow of the rot-gut wine
and thought of people
crying and I couldn’t
remember the last time I
had cried and this 
very thought
misted my eyes.


‘My husband was a publisher,
we’d been in Phoenix, Arizona
for about a year before we found
the perfect premises; we’d
secured a lucrative deal with
Walmart’s, printing pamphlets
and catalogues;
one day. four months in,
12 men, dressed in black
biker leathers, riding Harley’s
appeared and one of them
walked into the office and
he put his face 
very close to mine
and he was ugly 
and he said ‘You’ve got two 
hours to leave’
it was the Mafia;
at the time, gambling was
illegal in Phoenix;
the Mafia were intimidating
politicians  and councillors
and public figures and
businesses ; people were
going missing, entire
families were vanishing;
we left Phoenix
 later that day and two
days later we left the U.S.
I have never been so
frightened in my life and 
I’ve never known what
became of our business,
we lost everything we had,
that is,
except our lives’


‘And my mum and dad were
fighting and I stepped in
between them and received
a back-hander from my dad
that knocked me unconscious;
I woke up 3 or 4 hours later,
lying on the floor where I
had fallen; my mum and dad
were watching t.v. like
nothing had taken place;
I got up and walked out
of the house and vowed
never to return and I slept
on a park bench for 3 
nights; no one came looking
for me; I was 16 years old;
I got a job
somewhere to live
I went to night-school
and became educated and
qualified in physics and the
sciences and later graduated
with honours and taught
in the most expensive
I married and had children
and then after 49 years I
and now
I’m 77 years old and I
have nothing and I
want to die with some
and I don’t know how’

John D Robinson

Helpless I do not know if good intentions prevail among the elected, among the appointed, leaving me apprehensive that the fate ...