Wednesday, 19 February 2020

Her kiss of delicacy

My wife died nearly ten years ago
As you'd imagine that hurt a lot
Fought her illness long as was her way
Everyone wept for many a day

We married long ago in Britain
When we were both aged twenty one
Independent strong minded both were
But we thought alike and did concur

She was an analytical chemist
Sang in choir and performed on stage
Loved the flicks so that pleased me too
Explored overseas, was good to do

Agreed that children should come along
And they did just that, one, two and three
I wanted girls, she wanted a boy
Boy came first then two girls to enjoy

Both of us wanted to see the world
So migrated to Australia then
Was the best thing we ever done
As though a lottery we had one

As the children grew and made their way
She then bought a bookshop just for fun
To take her mind off kids leaving home
As they too found partners of their own

With just me and her living alone
Both retired we travelled far and wide
Some years later cancer knocked her door
She fought hard but sadly lost the war

But what a life of triumph was hers
For she laughed and loved it to her fill
Our three children are her legacy
So miss her kiss of delicacy

Illustration is postcard of migrant passenger ship Fairstar which was the boat we emigrated on in 1966.

Saturday, 15 February 2020

Maisie in the park

I often sit in the park and feed the birds, tossing it to them squabbling for free pickings. I like to think their chirps are a thankyou.

Today I look at other visitors; joggers and mothers with babies. I don't wave or say hello to them or they me, we are part of the furniture like the seats and kiddie's corner, fountain, gardens and trees. Except Maisie; I am sure that is not her name, that is just what I call her. Wearing slovenly clothes she looks cross and holds an unbent coat hanger in one hand and drags her trolley in the other. The trolley is filled with bags half filled with an assortment of bottles and cans all of which can be redeemed for 10c a piece at the recycling centres. We have so little debris littering our parks and waterways as they are far too valuable! Even if you don't want the 10c, Maisie does and hundreds like her. There's an army of scavenger ants clearing the suburbs this way!

While sitting there Maisie nears the waste bin by me and using her improvised tool, fossicks for treasure in the garbage. I however notice her; she is dressed for the task. I don't think her friends would recognise her (if she had any friends!). Her hat shields her face and protects her from the sun and is held on by a chiffron scarf of doubtful cleanliness tied with a knot under her chin. Her clothes are ones opportunity shops would throw out. They are foul and her shoes are sneakers of a size that would probably fit me!

At first I would ignore her and she me. One day I noticed hiding behind her facade was a sweet face when her grimace was relaxed. In that moment I saw the real Maisie. I saw a girl thrilled at receiving her first kiss. I saw a blushing bride gazing into a young man's eyes and I saw happy tears on her face cradling her baby. I saw Maisie in a different light; doing so I got up off the bench, smiled at her and took a walk in the park.

Image found at

Wednesday, 12 February 2020

Young and Foolish

I remember those days when I was 'young and foolish'
'Falling in love' with every pretty girl in school
Mother said 'Don't let them pull the wool over your eyes'
After she saw me brooding for 'I was such a fool'

'Needless to say' one lass named Enid that was so cute
We always sat studying in the school's library
We chatted a lot about art and of other things
Then one day our fingers touched, not accidentally!

'This was my moment in the sun' we became good friends
When school bell did ring I walked her to the bus stop
Thought she was 'spitting image' of a famous film star
We're so fickle as foolish me 'let the bubble pop'

Years later I saw her 'quite by chance' in city far off
Our eyes met, we both smiled but said not one word that day
Mind you I was married then with kids one, two and three
The past 'water under the bridge' is all I can say

Image found at

Monday, 10 February 2020

I shed tears

My poor heart is broken
My eyes wept with grief
As I remember back all those years
I miss you so and I shed tears
I was desolate you gave no parting kiss
The sky was cloudy; me too
What on earth shall I do?

Image found at

Saturday, 8 February 2020

Sent upstairs

I woke with a start, I'd been dreaming
Back being that seven year old boy
So many years ago in wartime
Dad grew vegetables in the garden
We were hungry as food was rationed
Parents both at work we helped ourselves

I chewed on last crust from the bread bin
Mother worked at grocery shop in town
"Behave yourselves" she said when leaving
But that was never my brothers way
For he did eye my prize jealously
But I ate it up which made him cross

Our job was to start cooking the meal
That Mum had prepared much earlier
But we had been too busy playing
Or checking Dad's vegetable garden
Pity they were not ready to eat
That is when my brother checked the clock

Both open mouthed stared at each other
For Mum would be back home very soon
As we were supposed to light the gas
Food should be cooking when she arrived
We had eaten every scrap of food 
Delving in each corner of kitchen's realm

Onion and peas sandwich just for a start
Three last biscuits each from the tin
And cheesy breath from Dad's Camembert
Pungent not to teens untrained taste
Which improved our knowledge of food store
Part peeled green apple chucked in the waste

And so it was Ma did her head in
On seeing such an unholy mess
Worst of all was finding the poor cat
Miaowing sadly in the bread bin
Mum cried at seeing such a to do
And we were sent straight upstairs to bed

Image found at

This is a mostly true story of a memory of mine from WW2 when with both parents working two pre teens were left at home to manage with not unexpected results, we weren't fed until the next day!

Thursday, 6 February 2020

The revenant

What am I doing in this urban sprawl
A place of dirt and crowds and threat of crime
When parking a car it will cost the earth
With myriad strangers but friends are few
The key to happiness is just not here
Misfortune always shows as front page news
People talk in languages I'm not akin
Disaster always on everyones lips
So I'm off; close the book and pack my case
I have ranged so far and lost my roots
Oh to exit this claustrophobic place

It's time for me to don my hiking boots
To find the sweet scent of country life
To grow up like the mountain tops so high
Steams and rivers flowing to wide blue sea
Fluttering leafy trees wave just for me
Chairs on porches lush fruit on the vine
Please calm me with the stillness of your night
Then entice me with the fresh scent of dawn
Surprise me with pleasant views far and wide
You have proved your case there is room for me
My country town's waiting to be my bride 

Image found at

Wednesday, 5 February 2020

Bunch of bluebells

What is war like for children?
I'll tell you as I was there
When bombing, sinking and fighting
You'd think that would engender fear

Lived but an hour from London
Knew well when sad siren called
The drone of bombers overhead
You'd think that kids would be appalled

Our house at back led to woods
Through fields of ripening corn
Where us kids would live our lives
Planes overhead since we were born

We'd climb the trees and wade streams
Lived our lives in chosen world
What better to live our young lives
Than in the dank bomb shelter curled

Kids see though different eyes
As parents worry with the truth
The delight when back home we come
Forgetting their own days of youth

Recall the delight on Ma's face
At bunch of bluebells brought home
But now happy all in one place
Before nights fear of bombers drone

Image foiund at