Stories

the stories that need telling fall clumsily

on trails where tributes lie in winding lanes

on cobbled streets of needle-darkened alleys

in shop doorways where sad stories lurch in pain

the stories to remember stumble onwards

resistance plied while truths they serve to give

truths that need the hearing and the telling

giving voice to thoughts of those who barely live


the stories that need telling cause much grieving

these stories they are mourned while others dance

on bloodied, bended knees scarred stories whimper

begging, fighting, pleading, one more chance

the stories we’ve forgotten haunt our dreamscapes

filling us with fear that those we love could be

a story on the corner there but for graces

someone’s child or parent, you or me


the stories sprawled on walls are unenchanting

apoetic in their prose and permanence

these monuments that matter, disassembled

the humblest stories lost to prominence

unhinged of wing they travel like their namesake

foiled phoenix burnt to ashes must reform

soul stories scattered, littered, on rough pavements

barred temples to the place where freedom’s born


the stories in retelling at the tables

where gathered poets present and from past

conserve the memories among the negatives

cave paintings whitewashed over sketched in last

hid among the amulets and tombstones

walking tourist trails or calvary

wounded hearts still beating where they perish

amid stories where condemned fought to be free


a cross upon the cobbles falls embarrassed

that liberty was won by their blood spilled

to keep the stories living, rising ever

that changed the route by courage and by will

the stories that need telling need new focus

perspective in the telling here and now

to those who write the stories worth the telling

the fallen, inglorious, tell us how


their stories find a purpose in narration

where nations find their dignity and poise

old stories sung, retold, with hush and reverence

need new stories magnified by many with one voice

the stories of the rising and the fallen

the stories of the families who yet weep

the stories of the falling mid the rising

such stories thus preserved that we may sleep

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