Saturday, 27 February 2016

Our secret affair

We'd crossed the boundary
You blush scarlet no more
When I dare to kiss you
You do not jump
Nervously when we touch
Our secret affair

But it was not enough
Those long walks in the park
Dreams of another life
Still rang no bells
We were so blind in love
They found out of course

So one day I could tell
Misty eyes told of tears
His threats to run riot
I feared for you
We will not meet again
Except from afar

True love is hard to find
It lasts but a second
I so miss your sweet lips
Your auburn hair
That special glance for me
I'll not forget you

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The guilty man

There still in my eyes
Are seeds sown by Morpheus
Now bathed with sunshine

In the cool shower
I hose myself down to wake
It's a fine morning

Stones in my heart gone
Troubles sprayed from the crevices
Who could ask for more?

I'm lying of course
That short squirt of refreshment
Is but so short lived

For I am still me
Reeling to the fiery pit
Past still holds my hand

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Heigh Ho!

A frog he would a wooing go
Heigh Ho! says Rowley
A frog he would a wooing go
Whether his mother would let him or no
With a rowley, powley, gammon and spinach
Heigh Ho! says Anthony Rowley

Rowley Powley was a favorite cheap pudding of suet pastry covered with jam known by us a a Jam Roly Poly that filled us up.

     My mind it wanders
     Back to my distant childhood
     Constantly hungry

     Had words enough though
     Childhood rhymes to fill us up
     Despite rationing

     Sunday meal the best
     Dad carving the small roast joint
     And Suet pudding

Georgie Porgie pudding and pie
Kissed the girls and made them cry
When the boys came out to play
Georgie Porgie ran away

Note Georgie Porgie was George Villiers who was lover of Anne of Austria, Queen of France wife to Louis X111. He also had a close  relationship with James 1 of England that upset the British nobility and Parliament with his political scheming.

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Thursday, 25 February 2016

The hired help

Anna watched the hired help from her window as he chopped up the logs for her father.

He had stripped to the waist and she gulped with admiration as he steadily worked through the stack of timber.

"Anna" her mother called, "Go, take that young man a drink as it is sweltering hot out there."

"Do I have to Mum?" she wailed, secretly pleased she had been asked as the sound of him cleaving the wood continued.

She had a grin on her face as she thought of the word cleave as she took the drink out to him, which not only meant to cut up timber but also to desire or cling to someone.

He looked up as she approached and put down his ax, yes I'd like to cling to that she thought.

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Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Marriage of Inconvenience

A marriage of inconvenience
Not theirs by choice
He was one of eight
Why don't you get a wife?
What a strange question
He was playing the field
Having a ball
The time of his life

She came from a poor family
Too many kids
Dad dead. Mum bitter
Begging at the poor house
So as not to starve
The highlight of her life
Visit loving Auntie
Must wed to escape

He had a job, did extra work
Eldest son not wed
Time you left home son
We've found a girl for you
Doubtful but thought why not?
Shyly she thought, escape
Innocent though she was
So the angels wept

She was a martyr without love
Unaware of life
Her tears shed alone
Two children did she bear
But no son for his pride
No love in this family
War broke out so he went
She then coped alone

Thus shame was her companion
Often the girls were told
Your Dad gets home soon
They feared his heavy tread
He knew not what to say to them
So they hid from his sight
Hands over ears at night 
Their childhood nightmares

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I was told of this family many years ago from the Depression years, all the members have now passed on and it showed that by escaping poverty matters are often made worse by the compromises that are made.

You belong to me

Our last kiss tonight
It's hateful when I must leave
I touch your soft skin

You close your green eyes
I marvel at your sweet lips
Ready and eager

You belong to me
Still resting limp in my arms
Glad we will wed soon

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Sunday, 21 February 2016

Since you have gone

Sorrow swims in my tears
Eggs fall from my broken basket
I am like a sheep sheared
Since you have gone

I feel like chasing you
Orpheus and Eurydice
For I am missing you so much
Now you're not here

I keep memories of you
Sorting through those sweet remains
Photos, perfume, a lock of hair
Which is not wise

Pilgrims suffer of course
My sorrow has a jagged edge
It hurts so much without you
Future unknown

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Deep in our hearts

The volume is turned right up
Their rap music is raging
My wife looks at me pleadingly
Yearning for that blessed day
When they finally leave home
Eyes say exactly what we feel
Will we ever be finally free?
But we are are lying of course
It is our attack of the grumps
For they are now growing up
When they came into the world
Those two sweet little children
That made our family so complete
They were our sunshine and joy
One born in crispy Winter time
The other at the start of Spring
Their names written on paper
But inscribed deep in our hearts
In truth we were like this too
There's a phrase "All things will pass"
Still I wouldn't mind quite as much
But both like heavy metal bands

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Wednesday, 17 February 2016

The old cookbook

My temper was frayed much like the pages of a much loved well read, frequently used book.

I wonder whether books think this way too for I am reminded of one that had been in the family for many years.

It was the Country Woman's cookbook dating back fifty years of more that my wife had picked up in a second hand bookshop so many years ago and was often given to new brides for tips on the basics in the culinary arts.

We have an expression in Australia that when something or someone goes missing that they have gone "Walkabout" which is an aboriginal term for one member of the tribe going off on their own to do their own thing in this vast country of ours.

Almost every home had a copy of this book and it would be supplemented by an assortment of recipes either cut out of the newspaper or magazines or even written in pencil and stuffed between the pages much like a turkey when stuffed too.

So I was looking for and couldn't find one particular recipe that was man friendly and flexible in it's interpretation as we do tend to take short cuts but sadly it was no longer on the bookshelf as it too had gone walkabout.

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Rusty barked

Engulfed with sad tears
A grimace on her sweet face
She knew he had gone

Silly argument
Had been the root cause of this
Now she was alone

How would she manage
Who would look after her now
There was no answer

The rent was now due
Fearful thoughts now came to mind
With nowhere to live

Her dog Rusty barked
He wanted his morning walk
Perhaps he could help

A morning breeze blew
The bracing walk did her good
People smiled at her

I could do this job
Looking at the notice board
In the village shop

Rusty cocked his head
Then he woofed his approval
As she made the call

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Fisherman's Daughter

I loved the rolling chalk downs
With the comfort of lush grass,
Sheep bleating and other sounds
Birdsong aplenty with larks rising
Sky high in faraway grounds.

I rarely ventured so far as the sea.
It was a foreign land of flinty folk,
Drenched with spume from the sea 
Where even their brittle tongue
Was not as ours and hard on me.

From my drab life I was sent there
And bore their rough speech and looks
For which I did not much care
Fashioned by the inclement weather
The seas stinging salt spray hard to bear

But there was something for me
The rough cry of nesting gulls
The pulsating beat of the sea
Barnacles resisting the sea’s pulls
Pebbles burnished by tides and…thee

The wind howled, and the salt spray
Stung the eyes so that vision was a blur.
All this, yet I wanted to stay
For the fisherman’s daughter. For her
Charms with my heart did play

She stood full square with a grin on her face
Beckoning tendrils of hair in disarray
One hand on hip and creel held in place
With fresh caught fish to sell on the quay
She looked at me and I took back a pace

No fish ever was so eager to be caught
A full bosomed wench with feet bare and brown
“What’s the catch?” I asked as I ought
“Me” she replied “Father will throw in a gown
When you take me; which he has bought.”

There were enough strong sons for him.
Daughters were the catch they could not sell
Considered unlucky at sea and weak of limb
So for us a seaside church tolled out its bell
Celebrations lasted until the light was dim

“Take her,” her father said “And treat her right.”
“I’ll be kind” I said. So we settled there
In our tiny house we fitted in snug tight
And quickly my wife did children bear
Truly this really was love at first sight.

Yes, I loved the place of my birth
And the birds in the sky winging,
But there is nothing on this earth
To match the sound of my wife singing
And children laughing for all they are worth

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This poem from a few years ago is a favorite of mine and has been published before just in case it rings a few bells!

Saturday, 13 February 2016

My Country Town

What am doing in this urban sprawl?
Place of dirt and crowds and threat of crime
Where to park a car will cost a fine
Myriad strangers but friends are few
The key to happiness is just not there
Doom and misfortune as front page news
Disaster always on everyone's lips
Languages spoken that I am not akin
I'm no match, close this book, pack my case
I'm going from this claustrophobic place
I have ranged too far and lost my roots
It's time for me to don my hiking boots
To find that sweet smell of country life
The living growing mountain tops so high
Streams and rivers flowing to wide blue sea
Leafy trees fluttering wave just for me
Chairs on porches, lush fruit on the vine
Thrill me will the stillness of your night
And hit me with your fresh scent of dawn
Wrap me with pleasant scenes far and wide
You have proved your case there's room for me
My country town is waiting for me toright

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The night enfolds me

The night enfolds me
I hear the screech of an owl
Searching for his prey

Darkness is my friend
No on sees this face of mine
Now battered with age

Once I was a man
Nay even I was a youth
My life before me

Pretty  maidens come
Surely you like sporting men
Do you not see me?

Dance my pretty, dance
How sweet are the memories
How bitter the pill

Those times have now gone
Cold wind whistles through grey hair
My eyes are so dim

The night enfolds me
I hear the screech of the owl
Searching for his prey

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Wednesday, 10 February 2016

My secret self

Like most kids I loved to draw which as a child in WW2 that consisted of tanks and planes and ships and guns and bombs going off because that was our world back then.

However when that mess was all over so did my drawing change and the natural world dominated my mind with birds and trees and mountains high and lions roaring and crocodiles snapping  and snakes slithering for all to see.

Later I was encouraged by an art teacher to reach for the skies and devout my life to art which is much harder to do when you need food to eat and a roof over your head as so many penniless Impressionist artists found leaving for others to make a fortune out of their work.

I did manage to get a job in an architects office and spent my whole time drawing straight lines indicating houses  and shops and other buildings to be built and gradually worked my way up and journeyed to the end of the earth in Australia to design industrial buildings and railways stations and even a church on the side.

Luckily my secret self continued to draw freely by joining life drawing groups which was a favorite activity after I had retired.

Our eyes are wonderful and to be able to use our hands and fingers to illustrate what we see is one of the oldest and most beautiful attributes mankind has.

Image of sketch by the author

Jilted Lover

Fortune dangles like a thread
You're just out of reach for me
Perhaps it's the look on my face

Stand up straight you can do it
Difficult with my backbone
I'm much like a ribber doll

Much easier to do zilch
I will wend my weary way
In this abject misery

So I will cheapen myself
And lie down like a doormat
So you can walk over me

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Now you have gone

I am but a puppet
There is no life left in me
The wind blows and I sway
I care not that the sea rages
Or rain falls on my face
That I laugh no more
Now you have gone

Where is your sunny smile?
I no longer breathe in your scent
Or walk the woods with you
I hear not your song of love
No music in my heart
Nor that beating drum
Now you have gone

There is no hand to hold
No sweet lips for me to kiss
Nor can I lay my head
Between those softest breasts
Days of love have now passed
For I feel nothing
Now you have gone

Am I not still a man
Just where is that person now
Am I real without you?
You're not here to pull my strings
For you were my life
I am desolate
Now you have gone

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Saturday, 6 February 2016

The fantasy of love

My wife was not an early riser
I could not believe my bleary eyes
For she stood there by the window

Sun was shooing mists of night away
Chop, chop she said let's go for a walk
That thought had never crossed my mind

My unwritten law in this home of ours
Is agree on matters such as this
Servicing the car is left to me

We hiked to the peak above the bay
To see what we could spy this fine day
Far down below at the boating ramp

And there beyond to those distant shores
Where fierce dragons lurked and goblins teased
Such were the silly games we played

Morning's air was somehow fresher here
The drone of insects now abuzz
Bucks and does stood in woodland glades

My wife was radiant as ever seen
Sun warmed up as we retraced our steps
Such a morning could not be matched

For life's a jig-saw that is so true
Each piece important as the others
But finding love beats all the rest

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On Brighton beach

My mind goes far back
Memory of those times past
Fifties in England

Youth in post war years
How the sun shone on us then
Some rain fell as well

Summer holiday
Carrying our suitcases
Tired from the train trip

Finding our new digs
Check for fleas and germs hiding
Long walk to beach

Those girls on the prom
Singing, swinging, swaying skirts
Holiday fever

We chatted them up
Their retorts like sharp scissors
That sure took the cake

I recall just one
Enveloped by cockney lass
Was a great kisser

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Did I ever dream

She sighed dreamily
As I whispered words of love
Nibbling her sweet ear

Spring has such great charm
Saint Valentine loves to find
Sweethearts at this time

Was it her dark eyes
Or sweet turned up nose
For which I first fell

Did I ever dream
She'd put her warm hand in mine
Snuggled up alone

As I breathed her in
She then whispered back at me
I do love you so

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Wednesday, 3 February 2016

The Opal ring

It was her birthday and he'd been busy all week and still he hadn't bought anything and was meeting her after work so it was lunchtime or never.

Joel trawled through the arcades and speciality shops but could still not make up his mind between jewelry, perfume or a watch or anything really that would put a smile on her face and that special look in her eyes.

"May I be of assistance sir?" the elegant shop assistant said as Joel wandered around yet another boutique shop.

Joel looked at her and plunged right in desperately, "It's my girlfriend's birthday and I just can't make up my mind", he said shyly.

Let me walk you round and show you a few things" she sad reassuringly as she proceeded to present him with possibilities after tactfully extracting his budget for the purchase.

Finally after deciding that there was now plenty to choose from, the assistant then said "I do have this opal ring which I would love my boyfriend to give me", Joel looked at the girl then at the ring, nodded and said quietly, "I'll have to charge it" and pulled his credit card from his pocket book.

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Days of tearful love

Walked her to the bus
At school many years ago
She was my first girl

All those days long past
We used to hide in the park
Kiss in a shaded nook

I'd found another
We teenagers are like that
I chose to breakup

It was difficult
Tears like stars ran down her cheeks
We just had to part

I was expecting
Abrasive words condemnation
But not one word came

I'm an old man now
Bent unsteady on my feet
But still think of her

Walked her to the bus
At school many years ago
She was my first girl

Love entwined

I've lost my identity
I'm no longer who I was
Just where has that boy gone?

Just where is that little lad?
Wading through the cold water
Catching fish in a stream

Who shyly turned in the class?
To look at the girl in pink
Who pokes her tongue at me

Then hold hands much later
At the flicks right at the back
To grab a kiss unseen

Who nervously walked the aisle
To wed a beautiful bride
Eyes so blind but for her

Just where is that young father?
Who cried at his children's birth
And felt himself made whole

Then went around the wide world
To find them a better life
Working in the sun's heat

Who saw all the kids leave home?
Fulfilling their hopes and dreams
As love entwined them all

What is his identity?
Now that the years have rolled by
Children he's your father

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