Where possible, Martin likes to introduce poetry into his writing to allow a different dimension to the drama and the characters. Below are four poems used in some of his plays.
 
‘Always with us, Always will’

From the original production of the play ‘Where is the Life?’.

When Don, a retired theatre and stage manager passes away, his lifelong friend Colin addresses the funeral congregation with a poem which epitomised the man and what he meant to all his theatre friends.
Written by Martin P Roche
 
No limelight for this friend of ours
A silent work horse many hours
With skill and time that had no price,
With knowing gaze and sound advice.
Who gently then and with no fuss,
Was one of them … but one of us.
Behind the scenes with calming voice,
Our valued help, our wisest choice.
And then if chaos did descend
The one on whom all could depend
Would gently stroll from out the throng
While we continued with our song.
And with few words and knowing smile,
Would stand and ponder for a while
Unrushed, unfazed and with no fear;
A confidence you could almost hear.
And then when order was resumed
Performers who were all consumed,
With steps and lines and where to go
Would carry on and never know:
That silently, our quiet friend
Ensured we’d made it to the end.
Retreating to his treasured space
That wooden stool, his quiet place,
To watch then from beside the stage
With our applause his only wage.
And memories of that friend we made
Will not allow our smile to fade
When thinking of the joy he gave
To all that passed across His stage.
The friend we miss and always will;
The boots that no one-man could fill.
And so until another age
When we meet upon that different stage
And then once more he will instruct
On how to paint and to construct,
The grandest sets on heavens stage;
A job well-done his only wage.
For our good friend was, is now and still
Always with us, always will.
 
‘Think of me’

From the original production of the play ‘Where is the Life?’.

Following the death of Alan, Tom quotes Shakespeare to the funeral congregation to emphasise how important 'The Bard' was in their lives.

But it still isn't enough to capture the legacy of the man and how he could, should, be remembered. So he recites this piece to try and capture the nature of his friend.
Written by Martin P Roche
 
Think not of me on what just passed, but what has gone before
Think of me in a thousand smiles ... and then a thousand more
Think of me in ways that show that we were more than friends
Think of me with faith that proves, death is not the end.
 

Think of the joy that we have shared, the hopes that lit our way
Think of all that we achieved which made each worthwhile day
Think of the things we sometimes said that later we’d regret
Think of the strength in all of us, which helped us to forget.  

Think of how you shaped my life and made me who I am
Think of values, lessons taught: the measure of the man
Think of all the simple things we never had to say
Think of friendship that we shared, yet still as strong today.

Think of places that we went, of all the things we’ve seen
Think of happy and of sad, of every fulfilled dream
Think of hardships overcome, of how we found a way
For simply thinking of me proves I am just a thought away.
 
‘Twelve Abreast’

From the play ‘The King’s Orphans’.

When William goes away to fight in the First World War, the girl he leaves behind (Maude) is unable to express to those around her the enormity of what his absence will mean to her; moreover, what William and millions of others are about to do for their country and in their name. So she turns to poetry to make sense of her emotions and her love.
Written by Martin P Roche
 
Twelve abreast they marched the streets, the day they left the town
The band competed with our cheers that echoed all around
The biting wind upon my face, excused the flowing tears
All spoke loud of King and right, too proud to voice our fears.
 
Twelve abreast they wove through town, festooned with flags and pride
Squabbles and petty arguments were gladly set aside
For we were there for unity as they marched to catch the tide
No one spoke of war or death, though both gnawed deep inside. 
 
Twelve abreast they past the school, the factory then the mill
Each had come from one of them; I longed that they were still
A part of one or all of them, to keep them in our stead
No one spoke of why they went, none dared think of them dead. 
 
Twelve a breast they left as boys, in weeks they would be men
Not knowing what would happen, if we would meet again
All knew their reason was to fight, defend for all our sakes
No one spoke of their return, reunited at their wakes. 

Twelve abreast were brothers, workers, husbands, sons and friends
With one hope, one prayer one wish: to come home at the end
I beat through crowds to make sure that I kept sight of his face
Dear God when twelve abreast return, don’t let his be the space.
 
'The Truth'

From the play 'The King's Orphan.'

When Maude finally realises that William is not coming back, the play ends with this piece.
Written by Martin P Roche
 
It now seems true what people say
An empty space can fill your day
And then with silence will consume
The sanctuary sought in every room.
For loss has ways, or so they say
To pause the time that makes the day
And make each longing, longer still
Against our hopes, against our will.
And empty words, well-meaning said
To comfort the living about the dead,
With promises “… pain will go away”
That “… grief subsides with every day.”
Not knowing really how I feel
How I cope, how I deal,
The effort needed to conceal
To fix a smile and not reveal;
That other death so well I hide
The one that’s hidden deep inside.
The one that happened that same day
The one that took my soul away.
And yet within this darkness tide
That overwhelms the place I hide
A spark of light grows brighter yet
A spark that that won’t let me forget;
It holds reflections, voices bright
That tell the story of the light.
The light of memories, times before
Hidden just behind a door
That readily opens with no fuss
Revealing not just me, but us.
Immersed in joy and laughter yet
Which no matter what, I can’t forget,
Proving even though you’re gone
Your spirit lives ever on.
Inside my soul, my mind my heart;
So that I know we’re not apart.
The one I love who went away;
The one I think of very day.
Who’s with me now, but deep inside
And proves there is no need to hide.
For once an orphan without a thing
No silver spoon, no wedding ring
Will make this soul for ever sing
And now and always, be my King.