Park Bench Tales and other writings

Thoughts and writings reflecting the poet within and the activist


Ode to a Black Butterfly

Did Anyone

Did anyone ever tell you how beautiful you are

Did anyone ever tell you that smile is enchanting

Did anyone ever tell you about your pretty lips

Did anyone ever tell you how special you are when you blow a kiss

Did anyone ever tell you how special it is when you tell them you love them

Did anyone ever tell you how nicely you stroke your hair

Did anyone ever tell you your laugh is infectious

Did anyone ever tell you how beautiful you write

Did anyone ever tell you how much you pray to show care

Did anyone ever tell you how priceless you are

Did anyone ever tell you how precious you are to them

Did anyone ever tell you how they love that you love Him

Did anyone ever tell you how special you are in every way

Did anyone ever tell you how sexy you can be when brave

Because I am telling you now and I am shouting it out

I shall pray for you each day

Send messages every day with a kiss and an ‘I love you’

And I love everything about you

You know that I do

But still I have to shout out

Because you deserve this hug and a kiss every day of your life

You deserve a King who will tell you all these things every day

And I will be your King in every way

Copyright: David Hopcroft July 2019

1 Comment

The Devil’s Coat

‘Talk of the devil’ they say, and have been doing for over 2000 years

How do they know it is the devil anyway

For what if such a devil thinks you are the devil, what then?

Devil then am I, if devil you must speak of then do

Hate me if you must but I think that’s the devil in you

They walked the streets with their banners held high in the air

So many, young and old, men women and children to care

About a world that is slowly being destroyed and they despair

Your actions they see as evil and perhaps already beyond repair

It’s the devil in you we believe

A devil that wants to deceive

A devil trying hard to conceive


We struggled with issues that you did not wish to address

So you lock them in homes to cause further distress

Bind them and beat some, not that you confess

Broken minds and broken bodies. What an awful mess!

It’s the devil in you we believe

A devil that wants to deceive

A devil trying hard to conceive


They came seeking safety from the turmoil of war

Risked their lives to make the journey to this shore

If God’s will had been followed you would have helped more

Instead you incite hatred and try to pass another law

To keep them away that’s the devil in you

A devil that wants to deceive

A devil trying hard to conceive


You may answer that I am incorrect

That I am the devil for trying to protect

The refugees, the homeless and to seek respect

But you say that is the devil in my intellect

But I think the devil prefers to hate love

So the hate you have is the devil in you

A devil that wants to deceive

A devil trying hard to conceive


Copyright: David Hopcroft July 2019

This is one of a series of pieces, most are actually prose, where I look at a number of aspects of Christianity and other religions that have the idea of both a God and a Devil. I see the ‘devil’ as being a weakness in humanity, a result of free will, something that is within. The question really is why the devil is often presented and even perceived as being an external force? Does this reduce guilt in some way? I see hatred, in particular, as being an expression of that ‘devil’. Whilst the idea of anger and other emotions can be explained the deliberate acts that are regarded by most as evil cannot be explained in this way.


Grow old with me

Both Robert Browning and John Lennon wrote on this theme. I am not in their league, but put some of my thoughts together anyway.

As the years pass and we start to think of years ahead

Tell me then would you grow old with me

Or should I be simply another casualty of age

To be forgotten when the years slow me down

Leaving the question that has to be asked

Do I wish to grow old on my own

Do I wish to grow old all alone

As the body is reduced to naught but skin and bone

And I await my Maker to take me home

Am I really alone

There is still life in this old skull a brain that is active

Still the desire to do His will that is attractive

They say that the best is yet to be

But the present is the issue that does concern me

If we cannot change now then the future looks bleak

A world existing by delaying of decision

How then can the best be still to come

Change is a struggle a challenge and my plea

Will you come grow old with me

Help make the change we wish to see

Will you come and pray by my side

Or wait until I float out on an ebbing tide

To seek late in years to build something better

A church of people wanting to love

Not a church built of brick such is not an answer

As I seek to know more of Him and of his care

Would you grow old with me or just stand and stare

Another silver-haired man wandering down a road

Would you grow old with these old bones

Courage to grow old with me this and every day

Attraction can so quickly come and pass away

The last of life may call and take from me

The flesh that I carried but not the spirit of my soul

Would you grow old with me and when flesh is gone

Would the spirit be enough for memory

Would you grow old with me until day is done

Does God bless the aged or just the young

Do you have the faith to grow old with me

Copyright: David Hopcroft July 2019


Refugees and Slaves

The Treatment of Refugees and Slaves

When Sarah and Abraham fled to save Lot

A child who was a nephew and whose parents were lost

They were not alone for their journey to escape

From a strange ruling that demanded sacrifice

Of children in the belief this would end a famine

Others also made an escape to save their children

Yet when this story is often recalled

Do we miss the point that here were a group

Fleeing from the terrors of outdated belief

Fleeing not just for safety but for their lives

Fleeing in particular to save their children

Today we also see the efforts of those trying to flee

From oppression, torture, rape, random killing

From genocide, destruction, slavery and much more

Whilst Abraham’s small group were to be granted

A safe haven so their children could be raised in peace

Today the children may find the journey rather different

Some will die trying to swim across a border

That divides two nations, one saying you are not welcome here

Some will be caught and kept in special cages

To sleep upon a concrete floor

Others may be abused by their captors

Thousands of years have passed by

The message no longer

‘Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself’


‘Go back where you came from’

An interesting interpretation from a leader

Who proclaims himself a ‘Christian’

Yet others who proclaim the same

Remain silent as if they think his name

Is that of a new god

The bible is littered with stories of a people

Who faced oppression and often held in captivity

Were forced to labour against their will

Their lives used to build empires for others

Considered expendable when age decreed

We celebrate the escape from this slavery

A journey across a divided sea

A new beginning for a people after many generations

A leader we now see with respect and revere

Yet the same slavery repeated

As the Babylonian empire began

Fast forward three thousand years

When black Africans were captured and sold

Shipped overseas to labour on plantations

Others sold to satisfy the desires of their masters

Any attempt to escape meant a beating even death

We are told this was all in a past

But what they really mean

Is that the slaves of today

Are often unseen

Slaves can be kept overseas

Working for little pay

Still bound to a master

Still working where a factory fire

Can leave incinerated bodies

Scattered upon a floor

But does anybody really care any more

What if these slaves try to escape

Are they welcomed at the gate

Or discretely refused

By mountains of red tape

As a leader now proclaims

Fewer and fewer will be allowed to escape

And if they do

We’ll find a detention centre for you

Stop you in your track

Send you back

I have lived my life as the struggle continues

Lives lost like those of Doctor King

Congresswomen now struggling to bring change

To return a country to a faith

In a power that is higher than a president

Young black lives still needlessly lost

To those where hate has been instilled

If God is love then we must use our faith

To build upon a solid foundation

One that welcomes those in need

One that rescues children from seas

One that frees children from cages

One that does not look the other way

One that speaks out against genocide

One that faces the oppressor

One that gives a roof to the homeless on the street

This I pray for

That we shall reject a society built on greed

That we reject not helping refugees

That we reject trying to cage children

That we reject the views of those who hate

Sometimes my prayer is upon my knees

At others prayer must be out on the street

A willingness to serve in protest

As so many prophets did in the past

The message however must be carried overseas

To deal with all the causes that lead to refugees

To speak out against oppression

To stop the sale of arms to maim and kill

To end the use of our military support for dictators

To promote equality not a search for greed

To help end famine

To end disease

All these and more need to be in prayers and in action

Only then can we start to proclaim

Our treatment of refugees

Is as God would have wished

So why not stand up now

And shout that your journey has begun

Copyright: David Hopcroft July 2019


Winds of Change

Reed beds gently swaying out on the marsh 
Young growth, weak in stem, sprouting from the old 
Stalks of years past rot where winter was harsh 
Root below held firm far beneath the cold

Through green rushes whispers are softly heard 
Spirits of the old times moving in the leaves 
The Shaman floats along just like a bird 
And druid drums are beating overseas

Fine grains of sand from the beach on the move 
March up the estuary of Afon Ffraw 
Ghosts from ancient tombs with a point to prove 
Surging with the tide comes the Viking prow

Upon Atlantic waves there rides the storm 
Wiccan whispers come from the Blessed Isles 
Bearing the torch of a new pagan dawn 
Passed by survivors of the Burning Trials

Ghostly forms walk on Abermo mud flats 
Bran and Manawyddan , the sons of Llyr 
Some see Satan’s forms in their horny hats 
Others seeking visions will have no fear

Wing-ed forms fly from trees at Fairy Glen 
Fairy-tales come alive where sunlight shines 
Old Saxon gods are waking on the fen 
Spirits deep within stir for future times

Gaia deep beneath stirs the soul once more 
Nature faiths arise from each well and spring 
New winds of change are blowing from the shore 
Now hearken to the challenge that they bring

© David Hopcroft March 2002


A Question of Seeking

Today we like to claim we are seeking our path

That we are trying to find some meaning in life

Maybe a search for some supposed hidden self

Perhaps just seeking a partner to love

For some just an old question about a deity

Does a deity exist and if so then in what form

If there is no deity can life still have meaning

For each of us we choose the path we shall take

Suppose that at the end of a path is the dream

As you walk do you question why you never get closer

What does life mean if a dream is to be realized

If you buy a lottery ticket then you are left only with hope

Dreams are no different if they become the recurring dream

We can write a thousand words about our dream

A pointless exercise unless they are seen and heard

What do we seek and why do we seek

If I believe then my values will determine the path

I believe we are all of equal value upon this earth

Each with the potential to love, hate, or destroy

That only one of these has a value, that is love

I believe that the beauty of nature is no accident

That we have a responsibility to care for such beauty

I believe the earth is a gift and that we are a part of that gift

So my seeking is also a search for the source of the gift

The path taken is slowly becoming better defined

Love must succeed over hate if we are to have peace

Equality in actions and not just words upon paper

All God’s creatures to be cared for in showing such love

A planet to cherish as a gift not treat like disposable waste

Sharing not greed to be the way we treat each other

A rejection of war as He has taught us the path is for peace

Speaking out boldly for change or else nothing can change

How might I seek after all of these years

When so much seems to be a chase after earthly riches

Could I find love that was founded on something deeper

Where do I escape from ritual that has so little attraction

All showmanship for an audience who are content without action

There are groups whose work supports parts of my belief

Yet I seek a whole and way of life where each action has meaning

So I went back to my youth when I sought in small chapels

Where faith was shared with a few but was reflected in their lives

We were bound in our prayers as we expressed our wishes

Not for fame and fortune but simply to do God’s will

To observe from the prayer that most precious request

That the kingdom of heaven should come upon earth

Now I share in that prayer and a path forms once more

A rocky road perhaps but I have faith in my guide

Life changes so quickly when you find you are not alone

Faith in Him will surely bring us to our home

Copyright: David Hopcroft July 2019


God’s Creatures

I wonder at times why, when the Creator was at work

Did he not consider the problems of giving humanity free will

For at times so it seems humanity has gone berserk

For when it comes to God’s creatures there is a desire to kill

I can understand that we evolved as gathers and hunters

Then became pastoralists but what happened next

With such wanton destruction I am left somewhat vexed

The problem is that without free will maybe there would be no hate

But if you remove emotions then would love vanish too

Would we all become robots with the same thought

But we do have free will and we have to have some debate

Before the planet is destroyed and naught is left to rue

Perhaps starting by exposing the lies we are taught

The first is the suggestion humanity has some right

To destroy all else and pretend the benefit is for all

Forests vanishing for coal leaving the blight

Land ruined and poisoned leaving only the pall

Chemicals washing through soil to remove and destroy

Those microbes that once nourished each crop

Now sprayed to kill those creatures we used to enjoy

A countryside like a factory floor to fill the shop

Oceans where whales once swam further and were free

Being killed with the lie it is for the benefit of research

If all of God’s creatures deserve the same respect as me

Then surely they too must have a place in God’s church

Should His creatures really be kept in zoos and caged

Why do I feel that all this just leaves me enraged

If all the beauty of God’s creatures is to vanish without trace

What does this really say about the human race

To destroy His creatures to me seems the greatest sin

Since the destruction will eventually end a world we live in

If we have the power to decide which shall live and which die

Does that mean we should use it, and if so, then just why?

I watch helplessly it seems as coral vanishes from seas

As turtles ensnared by plastic are so cruelly tortured and killed

Lions and elephants slaughtered so that the hunter is pleased

Is all of this needless killing really what God has willed?

We say men and women are equal regardless of colour and creed

Yet we pretend that to kill all of God’s creatures is no evil deed

If free will allows humanity to be so cruel

Then love needs to counter else we all play the fool

Copyright: David Hopcroft July 2019



an early attempt at the mystical


Shifting through the images formed in the moving sand

Flowing like a stream along a wind-swept beach

Forms that are ever-changing pass before your eyes

Playing out your role whilst harbouring the energy

Ever shifting, ever changing, always being free

Look for a memory that’s past

Change to a future to be known

Grasp now as form is cast

Hold it to be your own.

Like the rolling waves with many heads that speed upon the sea

A multitude of forms, white-crested heads each of which you see

Cerridwen in all her ways, shape-shifter of the olden ways

Feeling as you watch that you may be stranded on the beach

Yet each drop of water slowly seeps back to the sea

See the child with the spade

Building castles from the sand

Remember days when you played

Quickly, grasp that hand.

Drifting like the clouds in every shape and form

Speeding through the air, painting pictures in the sky

Peaceful pillows if you wish, or blackening for storm

Moving with your mind, leading as they fly

Swirling figures that give meaning for your life

Dreams are floating in the air

Grasp them if you wish

Hold the promise if you care

Before it vanishes in mist.

Shifting slowly like the earth, the force beneath the crust

Pressures that are building quietly beneath the feet

Rising to new mountains, slowly forming dust

Lava flowing down the slope, sculpting as it goes

Sediments that are compressed into future rocks

Shift of the pattern of your ways

Before the bones are petrified

Heal the wounds of former days

Before the gulf’s too wide.

Elements that change, always shifting form

Nebulae are forming from the gaseous storm

Forces of a universe, always waiting to be born

Starry crowns we see may no longer shine

New light yet to reach us for a future time.

Feel the warmth come from above

The radiance upon the skin

Its time to renew childhood love

Born again, we may begin.

David Hopcroft November 1999

Celtic Mist at Aberffraw


A Farewell Uninvited

A Farewell Uninvited

Please let my soul be more than words for you

Please listen to my beating heart

Then tell me that it’s true

The words that we once shared

Remind me that you cared

Then you went home

And left we with my heartache all alone

You told me that we could still talk

But I can’t make love to you on a telephone

Why did you go ?

I cried a lonely dream

When you were no longer by my side

I kept telling you I had no feelings

Now you know I lied

I want you back and in my arms

I want to hold you deep inside

I know I said I’d never cry

And please don’t say you’re mad at me

I can’t help myself now you’ve gone

I can’t kiss you when we’re parted by the sea

Although we knew it could not last

I cannot set you free

The memory of making out then making love

Did you really know how I felt each day ?

A memory that will not fade

Even when I try to make it go away

You left me to a cold, cold bed

I keep looking at the space where you once lay

I had my dreams, you had your plans

Why couldn’t they collide ?

I wanted everything from you

Why couldn’t you decide ?

So I’m asking now if you’ll come back

I promise not to hide

The lonesome thoughts that haunt me now

The words I write each day

Cannot fill that place within my soul

Or make me laugh again

Come back, come back, make love with me

I want the moistness of your pen.

I want to press my breast to you

And feel your tongue once more

Please don’t let this be the journey’s end

I want to search your soul again

Don’t say I’m stupid or ask when

Just please come back to me.

David Hopcroft February 2011



If I should seek, yet not awake,

Some journey through an endless sleep

Then all may be lost, should I forsake

The search for future memories I’d keep

If I should look in haste, yet never see

Your face as clear as any summer sky

My eyes clouded with a mist that shrouds the plea

For that honesty and trust my heart would not deny

Could I listen to music and not recognize the tune

As if all I heard were only background noise

Perhaps the melody has arrived too soon

Yet if my ear is tuned I might find joys

What if I reach out, and you’re no longer there

Have I dreamed your presence through this night?

If I might touch your hand, feel the care,

Then take you, hold you close and tight

Were I to call out softly would I find you waiting there

Waiting and listening intently for this plea

Could such words find a home within your heart

Would you then call back ‘I will come lie with thee’

Is that your scent that drifts upon the air

Drawing me to the warmth of those open arms

Would you cross the oceans with your care

Offering all to me with your charms

Where warmth is the gesture and the plea

Hope springs to life in thoughts of future years

Such vision that is cast across the sea

I seek before the dream shall turn to tears

Copyright: David Hopcroft July 2019