Timed Theft

These words will not be my sick complaint,
not my dull litany of low-dulled pains –
neither bellows of my half-swallowed fears,
no sand man damming floods of tears:

Instead I will lift prizes that others miss,
those wasted seconds which they dismiss.
This is my crime spree, my timely dance,
I snatch, a poacher, trapping every chance.

Join me, in theft, even you, the still-fixed,
let us steal time before no time exists.
Please hold the the torch high, it shakes in my grip,
aim the weak beam at that prize which I seek.

See there, in the shadows, a life’s remains,
a lost loot of time – which is mine to gain.
I will take such disposals, all so discarded,
and burn it with verse, now herein, recorded.

These words are the ticks of my observed tongue,
all that remains of our days that have run:
I reduce the weight of my loathsome disease
by stealing the life that others leave.

Three Thousand

Three thousand children,
some missing,
wishing to be schooled,
but, still waiting:
in shallow-rooted fields,
no siblings;
those long lost,
arm-locked into fear.
No formal lessons for any of them,
no sit-scraped classmates
for these other faces:
Hunger, forever, their learning:
Juvenile lives marked, tested,
almost buried
in this foreign field.


Our closest have lives
to live and enjoy –
delayed redundancy
in our sick bed-employ –

Carers – co-sufferers –
careers un-chosen –
tend the disconnected –
the mumblers and frozen –

Altered – shameful –
re-written contracts –
No wedded-bliss
when we ill cannot act –

Wives – husbands –
family – relatives old –
air-brushed awareness
As age takes hold –

My prop – my chained-helper –
Engaged far too cheap –
Her offset disbursement –
being too tired to weep

When care is passed on –
hear my atheist-prayer –
I ask her forgiveness
for our marriage – unfair



Binner wheeled to departure gates:
An ‘offensive act’, booking those flights.
Hug-locked, brow-racked, scorching fears:
Final-flighted, scare-fared tears.
One-way ticketed, for one of those few,
To meet the Swiss doctor who will ‘do’.

Binner reduced, when failing to hang,
Takes assurance when death’s knell rang.
Last supped-meal, over pressed white cloth:
Closest friends, quit disciplined voice;
Swallowed wine, over swallowed tears,
Binner consumes all their fears.

The clinic, managed, comfortable, slow,
Would allow him, on the last turn, a ‘no’.
Law, even there, needs proof of intent,
Questioning to reckon if death is meant.
Our last lain bed is not often chosen,
Its use not usually the thing be-known.

Binner to Debbie, in planned dub-voice,
Clarity is this, one last act, his choice.


Gone from the clinic, pushed solid-boxed,
Remnants of his self, rolled coroner-locked.

What we leave behind never remains,
What we seek to leave is minimal pain.
Difficulty in death is not for the dying;
That awkward state is for those left crying.
Should we leave wakes of tear-run floods,
For those we lived with, by spilling our blood?

Bravery is found in the judgement of others,
Strained heart broke, by his out-living mother.
Autumn pulls Binner down with its fall,
He pre-supposed well, cheating winter’s cruel call.

How to Die: Simon’s Choice: www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b070jm26 via @bbciplayer

“thank you @MikeBellWrites for a beautiful poem about the remarkable Simon Binner https://t.co/xPHhP8ybuK@Minnow_Films#simonschoice “

— Rowan Deacon (@RowanDeacon) February 13, 2016