The Executive and the Tramp.


Helen Ducal. 1986.




Both about the same age.

Both trapped.

One in,

One out.


One on the treadmill.

One had stopped.


The pinstriped suit

The glanced watch ticking

The briefcase gripped

Heading for the homeward train.


The mac and string

The newspaper bedding

The stoop that says,

What’s the hurry?


The second shave or unshaven

The crispness or the crumpled

Who is to say, who is the lucky one?


Both trapped

One in,

One out.




The trouble with being dead.


Helen Ducal. 1986.



The trouble with being dead,

is obvious.

You can’t answer back.

People can say things

And you can’t answer back.

They may be true,

 But they sound even truer,

 when you can’t answer back.

To solve this problem

Invest in words

BEFORE you die.

Write letters to unknown lovers

Lead a double life

Be discovered

But not until you’re safely gone.

At least then when the tabloids say:

“Would you believe it?”

“Who would have thought?”

You can roam the great beyond

In peace, with a smile .

In the knowledge that

Even now you’re gone,

 You’re still in control,

Answering back with style!



By Helen Ducal 2009


When X can mean No

the opposite to ‘tick’.

How come it can mean yes, a kiss,

marks the spot, has

something to do with factors?

Crossed out, take care,

train approaching, branded,

a children’s game.

Excommunicated, exonerated,

why the ‘e’? Superfluous, surely.

Religion on a tilt, carrying.

Hopscotch, noughts and…crosses.

Angry, annoyed, no kisses there, or maybe.

Crossroads, change of direction.

O you naughty child,

kiss it better.

Cross contamination-impure.

Cross breed, hybrid, mutant.

exquisite, excruciating…ah that X.

Took a while but cannot be ignored.

 X rated.

When kisses go wrong…




One Response to “Poetry”
  1. helenducal says:

    Please note this was written in 1986. The ‘Have it all’ / ‘Dallas’ era.
    It was then I started to search for a way of life…something in between.
    It took a while but I have it now. 🙂

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