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Marilyn Shepperson

Black Rat

A black rat arrived at London Docks
Scurried ashore with its companion
Met with a grey rat and had a fight
Died on the quayside, but the companion
Left the black rat for the grey
And entered unseen the great city
But by the end of the week
A lot of people regretted his coming
The plague of the Black Death had arrived

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Still Waters / Early Morning

Fishing boats still tied up
By dripping weed laden ropes
To a barnacle covered jetty
A heron steps grandly among the shallows
As jackdaws squabble among the rocks
While against the sheltering wall
Of the old boat house
A family of ducks sleeps on
And as no ripple disturbs the still surface
So that all that's above, can be seen below
But only as dark shadows.

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Presumed Innocent

A young child kneels in a corner
The bloom of a perect white rose in her hands
Head down, she gazes in wonder
A picture of pure innocence
My heart wept to see her there
But not with joy or love
Because I know the world, she will be facing
When she grows up
But then she lifted her head
Those eyes were deep and haunted
Perhaps therefore, she knows already
And that is why she is so sad
Her innocence has been destroyed

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You passed the time

We talked together for hours and hours
And put the world to rights
We walked along to my home together
And together, spent the night
When I awoke the following morn
To find that you had gone
Was I surprised, no, not I
I felt relieved; I didn't cry
You had used me
And I had used you
With no loss on either side
It was a fair exchange
Will I try to find you again
I don't think so, for you see
When we met, my fleeting friend
I was drunk and in need of temporary company

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Lost Chance

It's not that late, but it is winter
And already dark outside
I wander out and looking up
Spy the first star of the evening
They say that star is magical
It can grant your hearts' desire
Any wish; it will be yours
Yet for what, should I wish
I can't help but wonder
I go inside to sit and ponder
Yet the list just keeps getting longer
Eventually I do make up my mind
And go outside to make my wish
But now the sky is full of starlight
Where now that first star of the night.

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Dark Soul

I'll be there for you at evening
When the westering sun can wester no more
Or in the depths of darkest night
When the owl hoots in the wood
Or when the red sun is rising
But before it is above the hills
Yet I won't be there when it has risen
Or in the middle of the day
Nor in the warmth of afternoon
Lest the sun steal my life away
You can trust me with your body
You can trust me with your soul
But don't trust me with your sanity
Unless you're willing to ride with me
To and from gates of Hell

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The Highwaymen

In their tricorn hats and black masks
With silver buckes on their shoes
A sharp cutlass by their sides
On a fine, strong horse
And brandishing a pair of pistols
They must have cut quite a figure
With the well known cry of
' Stand and deliver
Your money or your life'
There were many highwaymen
Highway women as well
Who lived the lonely, dangerous life
Of robbery and extortion
Holding up private and mail coaches
Or lone travellers
On Hounslow Heath, on the way
To and from, London
Dick Turpin, Jack London
To name but two
Of the many that ended their short lives

[...] Read more

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The Wolf Pack

Some hunt at dusk
Some hunt at dawn
We hunt at any time
At our Alpha's howl
We all join in
A prolonged, mournful sound
Then we rise, stretch and scratch
And howl some more
To discover whereabouts
The other packs are running
The caribou are on the move
Tired from their journey
Off we lope at a steady pace
Now's the time for feasting
But first to catch our prey
Noses high, we sniff the wind
For the scent of that sweating meal
Our luck is in, for here they come
We did not have far to run
We watch, we wait, patient now

[...] Read more

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