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 King's Orphans

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.