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Published in the Mayfield and District U3A anthology celebrating its 10th anniversary.

Best Laid Plans

In the woods

there's the bed of a brook...

In disregard for shape and form,

it hangs before us...

Buenos Aires

A city of promenades and boulevards...

Candy Floss

No mere Punch and Judy show, 

A child's heart beat deeper,...


You are afraid.

What do you expect?...

Coffee and Pancake

She bends slowly forward

and hesitantly...


I half awake in heavy black.

Cold black that scratches...

Cupboard on the Landing

He slopes past

The cupboard each morning...

First Date

That trousseau nose

and auburn hair that curves...


Like a dying stream,

the notes and coins...


Under rocks,

in decaying vegetation,...


I must believe that death will not come this way,...


You say there’s nothing broken.

Nothing you can see...


Over enemy lines.

The time is here,...


You offered me this leaf

for fun...

Machu Picchu

​Feet appear and reappear beneath my knees,

inching forward through the pass...

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Machu Picchu



You are under my skin

like a drug...

Matt the Cat

I lost my cat last night.

My dearest mate, who disappears for hours...


He stares from the page,

not at the viewer but beyond...


His head pounds, the walls dance.

Can he hear the felling of timbers?...

Next Time

So this is what wisdom is for.

To know which things...


Sharks, dolphins and gannets are gathering.

The winter feast. Not long to wait...

Proper Ways

With three hundred men

he took the country...


These people; they won’t recall

the gun grey skies, those steel covered...

Second Time Around

The second time around

she is more than just a woman...

The Moment

There is silence.

For a brief moment...

The Test

That cloak you’re wearing,

you think it keeps you warm...


The grit and grind of plough through soil,

the sweat and thud of horse and hoof,...

Wine Bar

So now it’s over.

We sit with our wine...

Winter Garden

Centuries live and die

but the gnarled oak stands...

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    Nine Eleven

     Like smouldering torches the towers

     stand blackened against the sky

     then floor by floor,

     almost majestically,

     collapse to the ground.


     No use praying to your God

     that those you love are still alive.

      It was God that pierced them.

      'Allahu Akbar';

      God is Great they shout

      as they fly a mass

      of tortured bodies

      through the sky.

      Death is the point of life.


      And it's God that throws dice

      to discover who lives.

      A man returns the birthday shirt,

      a gift from his mother.

      If he'd liked it, he'd be at his desk

      no longer here to say thank you.

      That day, across the ocean,

      a book is launched.

      How to be single, cook badly

      but get away with it.

      Flippancy personified.


      It's a wine bar party,

      mini-speeches made, copies sold.

      Great being single.

      You don't have to phone

      to say you'll be late and

      can cook any way you want.


      Beside the towers they grieve,

      yearning for the call

      that the one they love is just late.

      But in this randomized world,

      luck strewn like straw in the wind,

      the call never comes.

Michael R Chapman
~ master of none ~
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