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Richard Hayes

About this Christian Poet:
I am a Christian leader running a church in North Liverpool. I am also a Personnel Manager in a big hospital. Married with 3 children, all also Christians.

"A Short Cut To Happiness" is one section of a six part longer poem investigating the inner tensions experienced by a young man on the edge of entering into a relationship. Set in modern day Liverpool it aims to capture something of the present ailments of society and the place. An example of free verse style—my previous contributions to Utmost have been metric and rhymed.

A Shortcut to Happiness

Walking to the pier head,
Where the dirty pontoons
Grated on their moorings
And the river flowed fast and furiously,
enough to kill the unwary.

He thought of Uncle Charlie.

        Charlie, told them all each year,
        (With the help of drambuie)
        powerful memories of him and Gladys
        dancing their way across the river
        On the "Daffodil"* with, sisters, brothers, soldiers
        In the swirl of VE Day celebrations,
        Under a night of brilliant rockets,
        Gallant promises,
        To the blasting horns of troop ships
        Linked up for miles.

        When he was a boy, his mother said
        You could cut the atmosphere at Charlie's:
        Neither gave an inch, one stubborn
        Charlie storming at the least thing out of place
        Slamming doors and grumbling.

        Gladys killed her own affection
        Until they took her to the home in Crosby
        Then she cried a little.

By the Alantic convoy memorial
He leant upon the balustrade
Letting the iron chains give to his body:
Gazing at the plastic bottles on the tide
Bobbing in suspension—always changing direction.

Where had it all gone wrong,
Why should a man and woman
Strike each other into shards?

He would choose wisely if he chose at all.

  * Mersey Ferryboat

Copyright©2004 by Richard Hayes