Outside the Palace of the Inquisition
The stone streets stand silent,
Save for our slow footsteps
And a solitary bird singing,
It’s clear notes echoing
Down the narrow street.

Inside, the tiny stonewalled cells
Of the prisoners, no sound reached:
No light entered.
Rules on torture were strict –
Only half an hour at a time
Was sanctioned by the Holy See…
But the details chilled.

Outside, into the safe sunshine
The bird still sang
From its cage on the high balcony…

Valletta, Malta; 2004


Grave Questions

Floral tributes DAD and MUM
Brightened up the old churchyard.
“Why does it say Mum”, said Mia,
Reading well and thinking hard.

The tricky situation
Know-all Sammy saves –
“All dead people lying there.
The flowers are on their graves”.

“But what happens to the children
If Mum and Dad both die?”
Mia answered this one
Without batting an eye.

“They all go to the orphanage”
She claimed with certitude.
“So would that happen to us”, asked Sam.
He sounded quite subdued.

Gran made haste to reassure
The puzzled pair of tots.
“Who do you think could look after you –
There’s lots and lots and lots…”

Sam mentioned Stevie, wouldn’t you know!
Then Nic and Jenna too.
Or Ben and Carrie, Lance and Kate…
The list just grew and grew…

Till Mia calmly closed the page
With “or we could go to the orphanage?” !

Sundon, 2004

Mia’s First Rainbow

Hours are ours to fill as we choose
Or lose.
How long does the sun take to rise
Above the sea – red golfball
On an instant’s tee?
Does a rainbow last an hour?|
Or outlast a shower?
Mia stands transfixed at the open door;
“Pink – yellow – top of sky”.
first small poem from childish eye.
Hours are ours to muse or lose.

Way to Goad

One for you, one for me –
Sam and Mia, four and three
Picking strawberries for tea
But eating them immediately.

Finally the last one showed;
Mia picked it, waved it, crowed
Going, going, going, goed!
Minxes sure know how to goad.