In Memory

We Were Ten

We were Ten, both in age and number.

Lively lads without a care.

Hunting rabbits, between the stone walls.

of the cold northern hill.

William went first, when his tractor rolled.

He lived for an hour.

Screaming and clawing what once were his legs.

On the side of the cold northern hill.

Brian and Allen, they went down the old mine.

As we all had, before.

Coal damp, methane, call it what you will.

Beneath the cold northern hill.

Paul and Nigel lived for their bikes.

The newest, the best and the fastest.

They both died on the same day, a year apart.

On the road to the cold northern hill.

Tim moved away, first the the Army, like me.

Then Canada, Alberta.

He came home to die, to be with his mum.

On the flank of the cold northern hill.

Pat, Michael and Ken.

They all went to that match, in Bradford, you know, the big fire!

They`re all buried together, in the old Norman church.

At the top of the cold northern hill.

I am the last,

the last son, of the village,

that clings to the ridge.

But I can’t go there,

I won’t face those ghosts.

I have ghosts of my own, here!

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Three Hearts


The sun is shining and children play noisily in the park.

It isn’t fair.

Birds are singing, Thrush, Blackbird, Lark

It isn’t fair.

We huddle in the darkened room with a polaroid likeness of Our lifeless daughter.

Is that fair?

The wind blows, the tide changes as the world turns

Without care.

Night falls, cloudy, moonless,

Darker still, our despair.

“Chin up lad, she'll need you now!”

The midwife pats my back.

Her words fall on deafened ears,

still ringing from that dreadful crack,

Three hearts


In memoriam,  Johanna Roetz-Butterworth +22.Dec.1997

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2:00 A.M.


someone took the blue from the sky

and someone sucked the ocean dry

and there aren't enough tears to cry

so I had to steal tears from everyone else's eyes

I'm pretty sure my soul is dying like a lifeless flower

and I just stare at the clock waiting to get through another hour

you were always there but now you are gone

and I can't think of a reason to go on

I have your picture in a frame

as I try so hard to hide the pain

why should I have to live without you here anymore

can't I go back to when my life made sense before

back when you were here, alive and well

back when I wasn't trapped in this hell

it shouldn't be like this, it shouldn't be this way

you should be here with your family instead of buried in a grave

Author's Notes/Comments: 

In loving memory of my Uncle David

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This Ache

This gut-wrenching,

soul twisting,

heart breaking


is what's

left behind

in 9/11's wake.

This un-ending,




is with me

since then

and will

still be


These horrible,




have been

in my mind


the day

of the attacks.

These flowing,


never ceasing


shall fall

in my heart

for all

of my years.

Author's Notes/Comments: 

Written: 09/10/02

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I Am Numb...



too real

but I remain awake

I am numb

my limbs feel as stone

heavy as my heart



like a repeat of a day past

but in reverse

I am numb

fingers drag across

this tear moistened keyboard

Saddness streaks across

our blue skies

reflected in eyes

of grief and disbelief

I am numb

terrible pain fills me

emotional twisting of soul

dizzy-minded from views on

the screen

I pray their passing

was painless and quick,

that their families

find strength and comfort

I am numb

human reaction to ward away

devestation and confusuion

yet no protective covering

thick enough to deter this...

the only part of me that

moves freely now

are tears.

Author's Notes/Comments: 

Written:02-01-03 In Memory of the Lost Members Of the Columbia Space Shuttle

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In Memory Of You

I did not know you...

The office worker,


business person,

police officer,

rescue worker,









I did not know any of you,

but I grieved along

with your families

and a nation so bereaved.

I never saw any of your faces,

until they were on every



and magazine.

But I know you now-

and in your eyes

I have seen

every one of us.

For any one of us

could have been

in your place

that day.

I may not know

all of your names,

but I shall never

forget you.

In memory of you...

I shall never forget.

Author's Notes/Comments: 


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RIP ANNA:(7/14/1991-5/6/2007)

I hold the salty-soaked tissue in my hand

I squeeze it tighter, as if my hands alone will bring you back

But in the depths of my heart I know you're gone for good

and that no amount of tears will help

I wish that I could find the words that my heart screams to my head,

but somehow the words get scrambled on the way up

I've tried talking to you, but the harder I try, the more difficult it becomes

My soul is slipping, slipping away to be with you, in that better place.

Everyone misses you and your beautiful smile!

Author's Notes/Comments: 

My friend died in a car accident on the way back from prom... Almost the entire school was crying like babies.  Be as harsh as you please when critiquing me.

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Dear little brother

If I could change the hands of time

And carry you back to those days

In the endless sun that we shared

Laughter, life, love and tender youth

You know I would

If I could wash away your tears

And hold you forever so tight

That I too can taste bitter salt

As they fill your gentle blue eyes

You know I would

If I could chase away shadows

And banish those demons that hide

In the deep corners of your mind

If only I could keep you safe

You know I would

If I could cause all this pain to fade

And replace your deepest worries

Of long ago regrets, with thoughts

Of tenderness and forgiveness

You know I would

If I could walk this path with you

And place your hand in God's myself

As you take your place in heaven

Forever, dreaming of His love

You know I would

Author's Notes/Comments: 

To David, my brother, who passed away from  cancer. I miss you so much.

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If ever there was a special cat

My Meko -  San was much more than that

With bright orange stripes

And such catitude

His very steps he did so exude

Little man, I miss the love you gave

Such gentle ways, each unselfish wave

Of endless deep purrs

And great quiet strength

No cat can ever dare take your place

Silly cat hanging over my head

Tangling up the blankets in my bed

Waiting - to play hard

Wanting - to have fun

Loving me with those bright sweet golden eyes

Walking with soft silent silken paws

Hidden within a strong beating heart

Too soon did you leave.

Why did we part, dear?

Can I not scratch your chin one more time?

Big boy cat with the melodic song

You’ve been gone already far too long

So much I must say

Dear friend, Meko - San,

But all I can do is say goodbye

I know that you’re happy there above

And you know I miss your kitty love

Someday we will meet

On that Rainbow Bridge

To run, together, in green meadows

Author's Notes/Comments: 

In some ways, it is difficult to be the one that accepts so many unwanted cats. It is costly & heartbreaking. But, on the other hand, I have come to know & love so many of these lovely creatures. Meko - San was the only male in the household & a fine boy inded he was.

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