The cruel decline of a brilliant husband of a poet.


The cruel decline of a brilliant husband of a poet

(A fictional tale of a fictional meeting)

by John Yeo

Quite a good bus service here in Huddersfield,

The bus station was busy but empty,

It was a chilly day in town with a sharp wind. 

I sat waiting next to a gent in a raincoat, 

He puffed on his pipe and looked content.

Suddenly he turned to me and said,

“I was a boy in this area, it’s changed”.

I murmured a response and nodded.


 The wind picked up, then I asked my friend,

“What time is the next bus due to arrive?”

“I’m not too sure, Mary will know,” he replied.

“There was a huge gasometer down the road,

Near the grammar school that I attended.

My name is James, they called me Jim at school”

The cruel wind was blowing mercilessly,

A bus arrived, already full, so Jim and I sat still.


A kindly lady bustled along, “There you are Harold!

I’ve looked everywhere for you, the driver is waiting, 

The car is here”, She looked at me and smiled.

“I hope he has not been any trouble, I’m Mary”.

My friend looked at me, “Thank you for listening”

Pulled his raincoat collar up against the cruel wind.

~~Of change~~ “Mary I’m coming love,

I was Prime Minister, once you know”.


I sat stunned as realisation dawned,

My mind raced over the conversation

I would like to have had before his resignation

And cruel mental decline from Alzheimer’s disease.

How he kept us out of the Vietnam war,

Awarded The Beatles an MBE

During a very long week in politics

Foreseeing the “white heat of technology”.

My companion had been none other than,

James Harold Wilson, Baron Wilson of Rielvaux.


©️ Written by John Yeo~ All rights reserved.

This is a poem I wrote several years ago based on a real life Prime Minister of the UK from 1964 to 1970. 1974 and 1976

He sensationally resigned shortly after his 60th birthday. It has been suggested he was in the early stages of Altzheimers disease when he resigned and some recent tests seem to bear this out.

He died in 1995 aged 79 of colon cancer and Altzheimers disease.

He was buried in St Mary’s in the  Isles of Scilly.

His wife Mary Wilson was an accomplished published poet.

Mary Wilson’s poem on Harold’s death….

My love you have stumbled slowly

On the quiet way to death

And you lie where the wind blows strongly

With a salty spray on its breath.

For this men of the island bore you

Down paths where the branches meet

And the only sounds were the crunching grind

Of the gravel beneath their feet

And the sighing slide of the ebbing tide

On the beach where the breakers meet

Lady Mary Wilson lived to be 102 passing away on 7th June 2018 in London and her ashes are buried in St Mary’s in the Isle of Scilly.



This is a response to a Flash Fiction prompt from ‘Putting My Feet In the Dirt’, Writing Prompts hosted by ‘M’.
Which can be found by following the link below..


September Writing Prompts


by John Yeo

    ‘Sarah I have to go away for a while, over the enchanted mountains, through the mystical valleys. I am desperately searching for the key to my lost vitality and inspiration.’  

  The magician had a tear in his eye as he uttered these words to his beautiful daughter.

    ‘Why Father, everything has been fine and we are happily living here in a state of eternal bliss. What are you searching for?’

   ‘I am conscious of the difference in my abilities now, to when I first became a new, sparkling, go-ahead magician, able to work my magic in any situation. My state of mind is slowing and I fear for my magical abilities. I need to search for potions that will bring back my youth and speed of thought.’

  ‘Father, surely aging is a natural process and we live to increase our knowledge through experience. Aging is a good thing that allows us to experience new frontiers naturally.’

   The magician stopped and smiled at the logic behind this reply. ‘My darling daughter, you have grasped something that is not apparent to many people. I know of mystical elixirs that can nourish the aging person and reinvigorate the weakest cells in our aging brains. I will travel many miles and confront many demons along the lifespan of my travels to obtain the solution to my declining mental prowess.’

 ‘Father, I have heard there is no known cure here for the slow degeneration of mental powers caused by the dreadful creeping palsy of the brain that often comes with old age. I sadly wish you well and I hope you find your magic in time to restore your powers.’

© Written by John Yeo