The Familiar Spooky House Story

It was ten minutes past the witching hour,
My wife lay in bed with me, reading a book.
When suddenly, she said, “I heard a noise.
Go and take a look.”

“I heard nothing,” I responded wearily,
The bed was nice and warm.
But still my wife persisted:
She looked at me with scorn.

I explained that the house was old,
And prone to a few creaks and groans.
And to an over-active imagination,
I’m sure it sounded like moans.

I started to tell her that maybe
the wind had violently slammed a door,
When we heard what sounded unmistakably like
a body being dragged across the floor.

She looked at me, I looked at her,
Neither of us climbed out of bed.
I located my wallet, found a coin.
“Let’s toss for it,” I said.

“It’s probably our cat, dragging things around.”
Hoping she’d be content with that.
I closed my eyes and started to drift,
When she said, “We haven’t got a cat.”

“Love, honour, obey and protect,” said my wife,
“Those were your vows when we wed.”
“Self-preservation, survival, endurance,” I replied.
“I’m going to stay in bed.”

Original poem Copyright © Mark A. McPherson 1989.
Revised poem Copyright © Mark A. McPherson 1995.
All rights reserved.

Just Because

Just because I’m black,
it doesn’t mean I smoke dope.
Or because I’m currently unemployed,
I lack all hope.
Or because I hate my mother,
all women are the same.
Or because my childhood was crap,
all women are to blame.

Just because I look at a woman,
I’m not thinking of rape and assault.
Just because I don’t want to talk,
doesn’t mean that you’re at fault.
Just because I like kids,
doesn’t mean I’ll have some of my Own.
Just because it’s Christmas,
doesn’t mean I’m going home.

Just because I’m male,
doesn’t mean I’ve never cried.
When someone you’ve known for many years
has said their last and died.
Just because I go to sleep tonight,
doesn’t mean in the morning I’ll wake.
Just because money’s offered,
doesn’t mean I’ll take.

Just because I have female friends,
doesn’t mean we are shacking up.
Just because I’m not smiling,
doesn’t mean I’m down on my luck.
Just because we don’t talk every day,
doesn’t mean you’re not my friend.
Just because we argued,
doesn’t mean that it’s the end.

Don’t care about the population at large,
Or person A or B or C.
Don’t compare me with anyone else,
Just compare me with me.

Copyright © Mark A. McPherson 1995.
All rights reserved.

The way it should be done?

I’ve been told that if you don’t discipline your kids,
They become unruly, and give you cause for alarm.
The most widely uttered phrase from people who were hit?
“It never did me any harm…”

And what if I had kids, somewhere down the line,
And they started playing up in the street?
I’d soon get tired of being patient,
I’d have to resort to “beat.”

It’s been said you can’t reason with children,
They have to learn to toe the line.
But consider the danger as you dish out the slaps
that they might grow to hate you, in time.

People have told me, “You know nothing,
Wait till you have kids of your own.”
But these people weren’t always parents,
In the beginning, did they get on the phone

to ask their friends with kids
how it should be done?
More likely, they didn’t think it out,
But tried to emulate their mum.

I’ve talked about this many times over the years,
Children are not property, you’re not The Boss.
Carry on exerting harsh physical force,
And they may leave, and you’ll regret the loss.

You’ve got people following a generational trend,
Throughout their childhood, the die was cast.
But to progress, we should look to the future,
Not continue to get stuck in the past.

Copyright © Mark A. McPherson 1995.
All rights reserved.

The Black Experience

I look at people using tanning creams
To get a complexion like mine.
Who say we should remember whose country it is,
And taught to toe the line.

At whites who rap about life in the ghetto.
And take centre stage alone.
Who embrace Reggae, Soul and the Blues,
And take it for their own.

I look at the black mother in Tottenham
Kids all trailing behind her.
I look at racist violence in London’s East End,
My skin a constant reminder.

I’m aware of people saying one thing to me
And another behind my back:
“Going out with girls of various colours…
Forgetting that he is black.”

People moaning about ethnic groups
Getting something that they lack.
But they’re not prejudiced in any way, ‘cos
“Some of my best friends are black.”

Blacks are muggers, rapists and crooks,
Portrayed in a negative light.
Killing and starvation in African states,
Who cares about their plight?

I observe people who say stick to your own,
Interbreeding will dilute the race.
To combat racism, we’ve got to mix, and yeah,
I rest my case.

Copyright © Mark A. McPherson 1994.
All rights reserved.

Time to move on

She said she didn’t care if
I was knocked down by a car.
And that out of all her offspring,
I was the most hated by far.

She said that mixing with whites
had fucked up my brain.
And that she would’ve had all girls
if she could live her life again.

And after she’d said all those things,
She’d say it was “The heat of the moment – she hadn’t meant it.”
Well that’s ok, that makes it all better,
Now I can just pretend I dreamt it.

When I moved out, she cried crocodile tears,
And told me I was selfish and ungrateful.
And that she had given me everything, and when
“Sorrow” didn’t work, she turned to “Hateful.”

When family members asked why I wasn’t there for Christmas,
And why the rift between my mother and I was so wide,
I told them, and they listened without really listening,
My mother had already told them her side.

Because she was my mother, I was supposed to take all of this,
Grit my teeth and bear it.
Don’t try passing me the badge of acceptance:
I’ll just refuse to wear it.

I’ve agonised over the years, cried many tears,
Slap spiritual plasters to the wounds, and smooth on.
And I’ve talked to people, wrote many words,
Now it’s time to move on.

Copyright © Mark A. McPherson 1995.
All rights reserved.

Unbroken Circle

Behind closed doors a man beats his wife,
Alcohol makes him unstable.
Sounds of broken glass and flesh on flesh,
Children cowering under the table.

The police have seen this situation before,
Domestic violence is seen every day.
“Don’t bother put on the siren, Bob,
Let’s get a curry along the way.”

Man let off with a warning.
And told to keep the peace.
“Because we don’t want to bother you again Sir,
and I’m sure you don’t want to bother the police.”

And not once during all this,
Does the man stop to think.
He’s not really an alcoholic,
He just likes a quiet drink.

Apologizing once the drink wears off,
He swears it will never happen again.
Until the next time he has a can:
Inflicting abuse and pain.

Behind closed doors a man beats his wife,
Alcohol makes him forget.
Violent behaviour coming full circle,
And so, the scene is set.

Copyright © Mark A. McPherson 1995.
All rights reserved.

Only the guilty will mind

We’ll take away your right to silence,
The innocent have nothing to hide.
It’s only the Anarchist Subversive Protesters
Who are saying that democracy has died.

We don’t want you travelling from place to place,
Humans weren’t meant to roam.
Travellers should be steering well clear of trouble,
Safely tucked up at home.

And speaking of homes, we’ll criminalize squatting,
Public support for this grows steadily stronger.
Because anarchists who squat are providing the rot
That makes the housing queue longer.

We’re giving the police sweeping new powers,
They need them not later, but sooner.
The police already have powers to beat, maim and abuse?
Propaganda and malicious rumour.

We’ll outlaw raves and illegal gatherings,
Because youngsters and parties means drugs.
Which in turn breeds an unruly yob culture,
And an unruly yob culture breeds thugs.

Soon you’ll have to work for your giro,
The government says it’s only fair.
Unemployed folk penalized for not chasing jobs,
That don’t exist, and just aren’t there.

We’re going to introduce a national identity card,
Only the guilty will mind.
Carrying this will be a voluntary matter,
But you’ll have no choice, I think you’ll find.

We’re taking away your right to protest about all of these things,
Law-abiders will be seen and not heard.
The government is acting in your best interests.

Copyright © Mark A. McPherson 1994.
All rights reserved.

Then Again

She said that if I upped and left her,
If I dared walk out of her life.
She’d sit down and write a letter.
And then she’d use the knife.

She said she loved me, knew it was blackmail,
But I’d soon learn to love and forgive her.
And that she knew I couldn’t live with myself
If I left, and found her floating up the river.

So there I was, indecisive,
Torn between the Devil, and the deep blue sea.
Do I stay with this woman, grudgingly,
Or leave, and wait and see?

Thought about if I left, and she killed herself,
What would I tell her family and friends?:
“I’m sorry but she was in need of help,
I left, and this is how it ends..

Thought about being forced against my will,
And how it would not work.
“You’ve got your own life to get on with
and if you stay, you’re a jerk.”

Suddenly, I knew what I had to do,
A decision had been made.
I’d spent hours worrying about what to do,
And in the end…

I stayed.

Copyright © Mark A. McPherson 1995.
All rights reserved.

If Only…

I knew a girl who tried to kill herself.
“The whole world’s against me,” she said.
So she sat in the bath, locked the door,
Slit her wrists and bled.

So you’ve thought about killing yourself,
What have you got to gain?
Get back at the people who’ve hurt you,
Make them feel some pain.

So as your coffin is lowered, and people
have thrown in a lump of dirt or two,
They’ll suddenly wish that they hadn’t been
So horrible and brutal to you.

They’ll wish that they had talked to you more,
You felt you were talking to the wall.
After you’re gone, they’ll realize
They didn’t know you at all.

They’ll wonder what drove you to such despair,
What made you pick up that knife.
What made you sit in the bath one day
and calmly take your own life.

Your death will be on their conscience forever,
It’s their fault you did this, believe.
But by the time they realize this,
It’ll be too late to grieve.

I knew a girl who tried to kill herself.
“No-one understands me,” she said.
So she sat in the bath, locked the door,
Slit her wrists.

Now she’s dead.

Copyright © Mark A. McPherson 1993.
All rights reserved

Our Manifesto

My party is composed of honest citizens,
Concerned with law and order.
Unlike most of the immigrants who
Consistently cross our border.

We believe in quality accommodation for all,
And that means taking care of our own.
You can’t give homes to every foreign national.
Charity begins at home.

We’d give people cash settlements to go
To the place in which they were ethnically born.
Then we’d get to work sorting out the country,
Because the fabric of British’s been torn.

We’re not prejudiced in our organization,
But you’d have to be a little bit crazy,
To employ somebody who’s just not British.
All foreigners are lazy.

We’d take a tougher stance on crime,
Longer sentences for those locked away.
Recent evidence shows that sex offenders
Tend to be bisexual, lesbian or gay.

Some might say we’re Pro-British,
And in favour of ethnic de-selection.
But it’s all a lie, so here, just sign
And vote for us in the next election.

There’s no black in the Union Jack,
And that’s plain for all to see.
This publication was produced by
The national headquarters of the BNP.

Copyright © Mark A. McPherson 1994.
All rights reserved.

The child in me

Sometimes I feel like skipping in the street,
And saying, “good day” to everyone I meet.
Or wear odd socks upon my feet.
And buy a drum that I could beat.

Sometimes I want to break into a run,
And buy a Yo-yo, and have some fun.
Fly to the moon, go past the sun,
At stuck up people, stick out my tongue.

I want to roll on the ground and scream,
Relieve some stress, blow off some steam.
I want a chocolate flake ice-cream.
Make shapes out of the clouds and dream.

I want to ride a bike made for two,
Stick someone to their chair with glue.
Jump out at people and yell “boo.”
Climb a tree and enjoy the view.

Dress up in clothes much too big,
Buy some Smarties and dance a jig.
Swipe some brandy and take a swig,
Get a shovel, to Australia I’ll dig.

Watching birds up in the sky,
Flap my arms, maybe I’ll fly.
Lie on the floor, have a gentle cry,
Brush my teeth with coloured dye.

Get someone to put a plaster on my knee,
And make me a cup of milky tea.
“An adult should behave sensibly,”
Oh well, it’s just the child in me.

Copyright © Mark A. McPherson 1995.
All rights reserved.


Dear Deidre,

My story goes back to a month ago,
I clearly remember the day.
My wife came in, said, “Pour yourself a drink,
and sit down, I’ve got something to say.”

She said she’d been sleeping with my brother,
And it had been going on for a couple of years.
I was in shock at this astounding news,
I couldn’t control the tears.

She said that I’d become too boring,
I no longer knew how to have fun.
She hadn’t meant to hurt me,
She was sorry for what she’d done.

She was taking the kids and moving out,
And leaving me on my own.
She was going to live with my brother,
They were going to set up home.

So Deidre, as I sit here brooding,
And playing with my wedding band,
Should I forget about this whole sad mess,
Or eat the bodies, as I planned?

Copyright © Mark A. McPherson 1995.
All rights reserved.


  1. Gabriella

    Hey Mark,
    I quite like ‘The child in Me’ since I can relate to it. Tired of daily routines and all I want to do is sing and plant flowers in my own secret garden and have animal charmers as my best friend.
    I’m from Indonesia btw, the city of Jakarta. A place too metropolitan for me.
    I was searching for a poem similar to ‘The arrow and the song’ something light and hopeful. I forgot how I ended up here, but I clicked so many links and here I am.
    I have to say, your rhymes are of good quality, I enjoyed it all.
    Tell me what inspired you? Do you have any recommendations of classic poems that you enjoy reading? I’d appreciate it if you would like to share a few. I’ve just recently taken an interest in poetries, mostly children’s poetry for now. It all started when I downloaded Librivox, an audio book app, there was a book containing collections of poems children liked. It took me away to a moment when I was a child. It reminded me of how I used to be and I miss it.

    Sorry for blabbering away but I’ll be keeping your blog on my reading list for sure.

    Warm regards,

    • markamcpherson

      Hi Gabriella,
      Thanks for your comments.
      As for what inspires me….. The world around me.
      A lot of people are so busy talking, they forget to listen – and observe the world around them.
      All I can really say with regard to poetry is read EVERYTHING.
      Take care,

  2. Esther

    Hie Mark
    I love these poetry’s especially Just because, The way it should be and Unbroken circle .Yeah some of the made me laugh as well . Hopefully l will relate some of them with our day today life.
    We done!!!!Mark


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s