The Mirror

The mirror on the wall is old and brown
he bought it from the antiques shop down town
he didn’t know the power it possessed
it’s just a gift for his loving wife Bess.

It’s rather large she thought, where shall it go
the lounge he thought, study, she told him so
over the mantle-piece where the flames dance
to give the room an air of ambiance.

He looked into the glass one stormy night
a figure stood behind, oh what a fright
its face distorted as if in torment
its eyes as black as night, it’s clothes all rent.

It laid its deathly hand upon his neck
a grip of iron, one mighty squeeze did break
he fell upon the floor in a dead heap
he’s trapped in the mirror, its soul set free.

She could not find her man he is not there
In all the house there’s not a single stir
she looked into the mirror on the wall
and saw him there and thought he’d had a fall.

But when she turned to help him off the floor
she did not see his body there no more
she once more gazed into the mirror there
again, the mirror held him in its glare.

She felt a force upon her neck, a hand
and now she lies in there beside her man
she saw him trapped in glass for evermore
and now there’s two of them, or maybe more.

© D Marsden 2016

The Exodus

Good people leave in hordes their troubled land
behind their homes and life built from the sand
a vengeful war is raging, death is rife
the killers have no care for human life.

A place that once belonged to family fare
husband with wife, child played without a care
a gift from God for everyone to dwell
evil has turned it to a living hell.

Innocent child sees torture, rape and more
beheaded man, blood, flesh and gore
it’s etched into their minds, seen night and day
when they should have it in their hearts to play.

But not for them, the joy has long since fled
they have not any home to rest their head
they trudge along through valley, field and road
most of them laden down with heavy load.

Sick and old, man and woman, girl and boy
babies being carried, no glint of joy
heavy burdens hauled to who knows where
No sign of hope just gloom and vacant stare.

One by one borders closing every day
the refugees arrive but turned away
left alone a spectacle to all of us
a desperate and lonely exodus.

© D Marsden 2018

Scorched Earth

Scorpions fly across the sky
A deathly sting in their tales
how many left to bury the dead?
the fire rains down like hail.

The scorched earth is missing life
a barren land like desert formed
survivors in pockets for a while
get ready now, this is the norm.

We had our choice, saw the signs
thought we could ease our fears
built bombs in all four corners
we should have built plough shears.

The ruling classes tried to hide
in bunkers filled like the hive
underestimated a fiery hell
and now they're buried alive.

The cockroach crawls among the dead
a meal cooked and overdone
no human life to clean the earth
all burnt corpses every one.

One day the sun will shine again
the world will warm, the birds will sing
ice will melt and grass will grow
the human race won't know a thing.

© D Marsden 2019

Oh Well

Someone told me there is no hell
I said there is,
They just said, …oh well!

They've never seen a shanty town
and all the faces-mostly frowns
nor have they seen the poverty and despair
and their tin shacks and vacant glare.

The children have no toys or games
they don't go dancing in the rain
they've never rode on swinging chair
just sit in the blazing sun and stare.

That wretched sun it is so hot
nowhere can I find a pleasant spot
I'll be home tomorrow among the leafy trees
and sit drinking in the English summer breeze.

I'll watch the children on the park
running around and singing like the lark
I'll see my wife and kids as happy as can be
we'll sit and dine and talk, then watch tv.

I'll gaze at the stars and ponder
why is this place I do wonder?

I told someone there is a hell
and he just said… oh well!

© D Marsden 2016


The young boy grew up, wanting much more
burning inside was a decadent fire
he did what he liked and liked what he did
but it wasn’t enough, wanted much higher.

The devil knew this, he offered a deal
I’ll fill your desires to exceed your goal
till your heart’s content, fun, take what you want
but a levy I’ll need, my price is your soul.

How long do I get to taste all life’s dreams?
will you grant me till I’m thirty years old?
the devil he grinned then laughed out so loud
such a large price for a fool to be sold.

Youth and the devil shook hands, the deal was struck
you go on your way, you go and have fun
the man strolled along with great joy and glee
he held his head high, thought life had begun.

The years quickly went, the man had indulged
he took all the pleasures the devil laid out
sat in his dim room with drink in his hand
thirty years, it’s midnight, the clock shouted out

A shadow appeared; a figure so black
a demon approached, I’ve come for your soul
the devil has sent me to collect his due
“please leave me alone, please let me grow old”

You made a pact, you had pleasures abound
you took all you could without much regard
the devil gave out his promise in full
a deal is a deal no matter how hard.

The man fell down on his knees and prayed fast
a frightened boy, his pride all in tatters
please take me away from this journey to hell
oh Lord save my soul, what really matters.

At that point, a bright light, an angel stood
Begone you demon of old, your powers are weak
I come in the devil’s name, the demon said
the man he repents, in God’s name I speak

The devil knows his errand is futile
he has been cheated, a wound to his mark
no torment to please, no suffer of soul
the demon backed off, formed into the dark.

All of the angels in heaven cry out
a chorus sang loud, the way has been paved
the glory of God, how brightly his light
a time to rejoice, a soul has been saved.

© D Marsden 2020


The steely knives are drawn with haste
backstabbing is a moral fate
They fall like flies upon the dung
A close colleague, a dear old mate.
The numbers are dwindling quite fast
the contest takes a speedy pace
a party of a non-unite
a learned friend smacked in the face.
They talk of things so great and bold
how this country unite will rise
but all this lying through their teeth
staring at you with hidden eyes.
Fat bonuses for heads of the banks
corporate tax cuts for the greedy
celebrations for austerity
but what is left for the needy?
Entrepreneurs in finance and trade
they brag their status off aloud
sitting on their higher horses
each one of them sinful and proud.
But what of the working classes
who warily gave them their lot?
they labour then visit food banks
cut this, cut that, till they have not.
Squabble and fight without an end
this great, so called, party unite
oh, what a terrible shamble
a bunch of fools, shower of shite.
Stabbing, stabbing, is there no end?
their minds and hearts full of fury
and yet they couldn't organise
a piss-up in a brewery.

© D Marsden 2019

Does It Matter?

Life can be such a drag
they told me I can’t have a fag
bad for your health they said
if you don’t stop, you’ll soon be dead.

But what of when my lungs do pass
all of that poisonous belated gas
and radiation in the air
and testing bombs without a care.

And what of all the crops of wheat
sprayed with chemicals that we eat
and all the processed food, that’s nice
laced with additives to taste like spice.

No more meat: cow, sheep or swine
what shall I have, it’s dinner time?
tried eating fish out from the sea
but it’s all full of mercury.

Eating fruit and veg to be bold
it’s full of pesticides I’m told
I’ll have to try another fad
what of sugar? No! That killed my dad.

I’m telling you this is no joke
I think I’ll have a crafty smoke.

© D Marsden 2016