An empty chair

They said “One year”,
he said “Two months”,
I said nothing
my heart struck dumb.

He said “Not to worry,
it all will be alright”,
her angry tears spoke volumes
so she hid them in the night.

He said “I’m not afraid”
as he dried her swollen eyes,
He wanted “affairs in order”
hearing this, again she cried.

I sit in the Autumn sun
where he sat with coffee and pipe,
I see nothing but an empty chair
and slow tears against I fight.

Then low from the leaves
I hear his voice that calms my brow;
He says “Not to fear death,
but fear not living, now”.

© Copyright D. Archer October 2011 

Frank takes a chance

I am going to the supermarket
to meet my future wife;
maybe we’ll meet in the frozen section
or when we reach for the same bag of rice.

I am going to smile at people
and speak to those
who speak back;

Frank, I am ging to look forward
and everyday take a chance.


© Copyright D. Archer October 2011

A friend who died recently believed in reincarnation, he lost his first wife and son in childbirth and thought he would never love again. He often spoke how he would like to return as typewriter that he may spend his days writing love letters to his wife.

He also believed that the universe combined to put his second wife in the supermarket at the exact time of day when he ran out of milk. They spoke about the last bottle on the shelf and they never stopped talking until he passed away recently. 


On passing

Tell her that you love her;
never stop looking.
Your friendship meant everything,
my leaving means nothing.

© Copyright D. Archer October 2011

This is not really a poem although it could be.  These were the instructions written to me from my friend shortly before he passed away. It inspired me to write my own poem, Cenotaph. His body may be gone but his spirit is elsewhere making people smile.


He stood above
all my other friends;

He stood beside me
when I nearly reached
my end;

He stood peerless
in his efforts,
always trying;

I stand under
his favourite tree
and I can’t stop crying.

© Copyright D. Archer October 2011

Oh that these words were mine

Once again I find myself cutting and pasting from the internet. If I should write anything as wonderful inspiring as this I could die a happy man.

W.H. Auden: Stop all the Clocks

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead,
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

This was Franks favourite poem. However he did not want it to be his eulogy. Instead, I rose from my pew and said the words of his favourite Goon, the immortal Spike Milligan “I told you I was Ill”, I sat down and laughed for I knew he was sat next to me, holding my hand, telling me it was either going to rain or get dark tomorrow and just like either of these universal truths he would always be my friend. I am sure he whispered “Count your blessings, not your possessions”

Colleagues and relatives were moved to a mixture of both tears of joy and utter, inconsolable sorrow. Anyone who knew Frank (and I am blessed to say I was but one), knew this was the only way he wanted to say goodbye.

Frank believed if you knew this poem you truly knew the person for whom you were grieving.


The Time Telling

He always gave,
others pious took;
he never judged,
he was loved.

I smoke a lot,
he did not;
He saw March
but April not.

Good people pass
Bad people stay
I miss him
every single day.

© Copyright D. Archer October 2011

It is 1.30am in England, I am listening to Chet Baker and thinking about Frank. Words fail me. I miss him.

A poem for Frank


Your favourite number was twelve
fish gave you diarrhoea
you made me laugh
until my sides hurt,
God how I wish you were still here.

I wrote this not long after hearing of his passing, Frank never dwelt on the negative and so I spent the afternoon looking at photographs, laughing, smiling then bursting into fits of uncontrollable despair.

In memory of Frank

I lost a friend this week whom for every mathematical formulae he derived pondered the possibility of its ultimate corruption.

He was a true visionary who made regular financial contributions to his local donkey sanctuary. It was a donkey that carried him away from his parents farm when they were taken to Auschwitz.

Before he began work every morning he said a prayer for the people who made his pencil and for the trees that made his paper.

He had lots of favourite sayings and here is to name but a few:

“Do not be afraid of dying, be afraid of not living”.

“If you do not pray for the donkey that helped build your house how can you expect anyone to pray for you”.

He is sadly missed.