Sunday, 31 July 2016

Rainy day blues

It is chilly outside
As I watch the birds feeding
It is still raining

On the distant hills
Sheep shelter under a tree
Cuddled together

The clothes line wobbles
Water spills from gutters
No use worrying

Once were enemies 
The cat and dog look outside
Waiting for action 

Kids are so quiet
At least they are safe inside
Busy with iPads

No need to worry
Grass needs no watering
I doze in this chair

Image found at

Saturday, 30 July 2016

The caretaker

The whole family was there
With flower girl
And page boy
Running around 
All waiting for the new bride

Nervous embarrassed groom 
In the front pew
Best man checking
If he has the ring
The priest waiting patiently

The limousine finally comes
Bridesmaids waiting
Groom gets a nudge
Guests twist around
As the bride walks up the aisle

The men stand there waiting
Priest is nodding
Best man checking
That the ring's still there
Now the bride lifts her veil

Congregation is singing
Promises made
Bride is smiling
Service is finished
Her white train now sweeps the floor

The couple pose for snaps
Plus the family
Even the priest
Is thrust in the shot
Unfettered parents look pleased

Caretaker looks through fence grill
Sighs a big sigh
At all the mess
He has to clean up
Before the Sunday service 

Image found at

A good example

Atalanta was a girl in ancient Greece who had a miserable childhood with a father that wanted a son, was abandoned by him and brought up by bears, fought centaurs and boars and chose to excel at sport.

You would imagine that Atalanta would be pretty uncouth, as smelly as a bear and not the most desirable of girlfriends having been raised up this way; but not so. For some reason possibly to get hold of the franchise to exploit this maiden her father accepts her back and encourages her to the extent of laying down the rules for suitors to her hand. 

To win this hairy, smelly, uncouth maiden, suitors would have to beat her in a foot race. Losers she decides would indeed be that by losing their lives as some apparently did. However one young man Hippomenes with a great desire for Atalanta despite her odoriferous background wants to win her but sees how unlikely that is seeks Aphrodite’s help. She gives him three golden apples to tempt Atalanta with. He will  throw them down as they race to entice her to pick them up which is what you do if you have been raised by smelly bears, abandoned then reconciled with your very rich father who only wanted a son and now is being unbearably cruel to all suitors regardless of their looks or potential…or so the story goes.

They start running and clearly she is leading as of course she would be as he is toting three golden apples which must be very heavy. How he does this I can’t imagine as in ancient Greece competitors ran naked however whether he drops one or manages to throw it so she can see it despite her concentrating on her running, I don’t know; but my guess is that someone in the crowd of onlookers tells her what is going on and she glances round and despite her father being as rich as Midas; she chases after it and picks it up. So Hippomenes grabs the lead and slightly less encumbered with only two balls left sees her catching up again. So throws another gold ball possibly on a turn in the track so she goes chasing after the second gold ball heading in the opposite direction while he steams ahead again. This happens once more and she is the one that is now lumbered with balls and he wins the race and the hairy, smelly maiden for himself. Everybody rejoices and he marries Atalanta and even more unlikely stories are told about them later on.

So how about Hippomenes and Atalanta you ask? Well, getting a good look at him after the race she realizes that perhaps such a resourceful chap wouldn’t be a bad husband after all so they get wed but in their eagerness completely forget to thank the gods for their help by which nothing could happen in those days. Zeus and Aphrodite are furious but luckily recognizing the couples love for each other they are placed in a constellation in the sky for all time. If you believe all that you must be on drugs too! 

Note: This is not a good story for children. Not because the characters are running around naked with people watching them but because this event may have been the start of cheating at sport for gain, albeit abetted by those in control of the sports people’s lives. Does this sound familiar?

N.B. I published a version of this story several years ago but as the Olympic Games start this week I thought it could do with an airing.

Image found at

Friday, 29 July 2016

Her dreamy look

It was her sparkling eyes
The way she flicked her hair
That sweet look on her face
But this, her dreamy look
Was sadly not for me
But my older brother

She always smiled at me
When she came home with him
After a date at night
How I wanted to kiss
Those rosy lips of hers
Meant for just one other

Someone did see me glance
So sad and mournful like
"One day it will be you
You'll find a nice girl
But now you're only twelve"
Wise words from our mother

Image found at

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Nutty Slack

Everything seemed to be rationed in Britain during the Second World War and even more so afterwards for the country was nearly bankrupt after the previous six years fighting.

Even coal was too as it was the main heat source for millions of people to warm their homes with open fires in the living rooms whilst at night you sought comfort in bed with a warm hot water bottle.

Coal was needed in many industries and only so much could be allocated for home use except for the variety named “Nutty slack” which was small nuggets of poor quality coal and useless coal dust.

So in our house our open fires were fueled with this very smoky fuel that was a pain to get alight and subject to the vagaries of the weather if an errant breeze over the chimney caused a downdraft and puff a cloud of smoke into the living room caused everyone to cough and choke.

The remedy was to hold a sheet of newspaper in front of the fire to prevent that happening and for the embers to suck air from the room to maintain ignition and encourage the coals to burn.

Often to add to the fun the paper would catch fire too causing my father to drop it quickly and stamp on it to put it out while we hid behind a chair!

Image found at

Laughing in the rain

I quite like this world
The sun's warmth on my face
Laughing in the rain
These are things I can rely on

But there’s much to hate
Children orphaned from wars                              
Seas clogged with debris                          
And politicians who just don’t care                      

I love the Coral Sea                        
Cute Koalas in trees
But hate filthy coalmines
And slaughter of precious species

For we are losing
Our grip on precious Earth
Walking in circles
Putting developers in charge

Do I then accept?
There are those that don’t care
That can’t see ahead
To our final devastation

I am an old man
What heritage is this?
That my grandchildren
Receive a world destroyed by greed

Image found at

Sunday, 24 July 2016

In my granddaddy's garden

I recall it now
In my granddaddy's garden
O so long ago

I had to go round
As he was ill in his bed
To tidy it up

It didn't need it
Yes the weeds had taken over
But was beautiful

The burdock had come
While his peonies had died
Dwindling away

Insects were whirring
Hummingbirds were darting
Sucking the nectar

All making patterns
Hovering over the plants
Just as they wanted

The garden had changed
Nothing could stem the wild growth
Softening the view

No work was needed
As I laid in the tall grass
That would be my loss

“Are you pulling weeds?”
I heard granddaddy call
I nodded and lied

Image found at

Saturday, 23 July 2016

The call of the sea

The call of the sea
The pull of the tide
The scent of the briny water
Long before we reached the shore

We'd voted as one
For a trip to the coast
Four of us packed in the car
Off for a spin this fine day

Who is first to see
Will give a great cheer                                           
Look there it is over there                                      
As we approach the small town                           

The sand in our toes                                              
Arguing seabirds                                                    
As they look for free pickings                               
So then we give them our scraps                        

Then breathe it right in
Salt smell of the sea
With the tide now at its full
Our toes take a tiny dip

We’re under its spell                                              
Race over the sand                                                
There’s no joy is quite like this                             
First to splash in the water                                    

I’m there to explore
To find what I can
Seashells and pebbles
Among branches and driftwood

We’ve scoffed all our food
Drunk all our drink
As the sun sinks sadly down
Dissolving into the sea

So then we pack up
Wend our way back home
Giving the sea one last wave
Of course she gives us one too

Image found at

A sigh of relief

Finally she finished
She breathed a sigh of relief
Painting her toenails

It was an ordeal
After breaking her right arm
A few weeks ago

She was satisfied
And sat back to admire them
Wiggling them around

It was a new color
She had used Orange Blossom
To match her red hair

Image found at

Friday, 22 July 2016

He sat beside her

Her eyes glanced shyly at him
Fingers playing with her hair
As he glanced at her
He'd loved her so much

So quickly she looked away                 
Lest he think she wanted him                  
But that was the truth                                 
Right through her childhood                           

That was their own hidden realm             
Holding hands on the way to school      
That warm loving touch                        
So many years ago                                  

Now that they had met again                    
She didn’t know what to say                     
All these years later                                    
Her heart in her mouth                              
He came over and then spoke                 
“Do you remember me?” he asked             
The train rattled on                                     
He sat beside her                                        

She nodded “Of course I do”
Their hands were almost touching
He felt her fingers
While she closed her eyes

She whispered “I’m married now”
His hand was now holding hers
“Yes I feel the ring”
He turned, their eyes met

She felt so frightened at first
But then it became routine
Commuters chatting 
With their dark secret

Each morning they caught that train
On the way to the city
Just two friends talking
No one noticed them

1. Image found at

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Perhaps tomorrow

I had no idea
How both my parents voted
When I was little
Nor am I aware
As they never discussed it
That they did either

But my wife and I
Knew full well how we would vote
We respected that
Never did we miss
Any election on offer
Why give up that right?

I'm still not happy
For it is one thing to vote
But what's the return?
Our elected member
Should represent all of us
Not gain privilege

Siding with business
And those big corporations
To feather his nest
Thinking they've fooled us
Promising much but failing 
To represent me

A wonderful thing
Is universal suffrage
We suffer a lot
With our only hope
That a great leader will come
...perhaps tomorrow

Image found at www.abcnews.go.gom

Sunday, 17 July 2016

At the first crack of dawn

Before first crack of dawn
My best chum (dog of course)
Poked his wet nose on mine
For we have simple rules                          
While I’m busy at work                               
He’ll stay and mind the house                 
But on every weekend                                     
We must go for a long walk                       
As well as the usual                                               
Slick and quick ones around                    
The ‘burbs night and morning                  
Dogs are so fair that way
So I unlocked the garage
We got into the car
Paws and thumbs were numb
As is was still so cool
And as luck would have it
Roads were not wet or slick
We left the city's thrum
Dawn's sun sparked up ahead
And found the forest green
To succumb to her charms
Now breathing easier
Worries crumbled away
Dog’s tongue lolled out of mouth
All troubles left behind
Those irksome neighbors cats
Numbed from his canine mind
We were in paradise
At the first crack of dawn

Image found at

Holding hands

How easily I am distracted
From whatever that I do
By the cute flick of her hair
Even the way that she walks
The subtle glance of her eyes
And the waft of her perfume
That now fills the office air

My mind’s never on my work
Others seem untroubled by
This girl with such a frame
I think she really is the best
But clearly just does not care
I’m not in her sights at all
She doesn’t even know my name

I’ll ignore her, which is best                                                          
She’s not the one for me                                                               
How could I ever measure up                                                       
Then one day she’s at my desk
Asks me to help her on a job
“I thought you didn’t like me”
She says ”You’re so wrong, silly pup”

I’m the one that’s now envied                                                      
Cos she and I are dating                                                               
And getting the jealous stares                                                      
How good to leave the office                                                        
She holds my hand so tightly                                                                   
Reluctant to let me go
Love now frees us of all cares    

Image found at 
This poem was written and originally published early in 2015 elsewhere has now since been amended and lengthened here today.

She was a marvel

She was a marvel
So sweet and lusciuos
So much like the meals she cooked
That was her forté
Much more than a game

Beautiful big girl                                                      
Cute plump round buttocks                              
A voice like a parakeet                                           
When in the kitchen                                                      
Flicking her blonde hair                                     

Yes she was the chef                                          
Me, I kept well clear                                            
Sitting at the front counter                                     
We met much later                                                  
Two lonely people                                                

Was a game at first                                                 
Nagging each other                                                          
About our jobs in the hotel                                     
Were both on the shelf                                        
And knew it was right                                        

Then we made love                                           
That turned things around                               
We’d start our own restaurant                    
So thumbed our noses 
And started afresh 

Image found at 

Saturday, 16 July 2016

Among my souvenirs

The day our eyes met
When first we held hands
The stroll in the park
You were such a treat
Among my souvenirs

That precious first kiss
Alone in the dark
Moon shined in your eyes
How our hearts did beat
Among the shadows

The day we were wed
You really were mine
Touching each other
Our union complete
Among well wishers

Joy with our first child
The tears that were shed
How proud we all were
She was so petite
Among relatives

So much we have done
And travelled afar
Our kids have all grown
The world they did meet
Among their high hopes

How the years have passed
Alone once again
What a life we had
Our journey complete
Among my memories

Image found at

Friday, 15 July 2016

Her eyes still alert

He kissed her goodbye
She hated seeing him go
Each morning to work

As that other life                            
At his office worried her
Just who did he see?

Was he a good man
Sometimes he had to work late
Or was he lying?

Did he flirt with girls?                                             
Perhaps taking them to lunch
With her home alone

She loathed not knowing
That worry ate inside her
For he gave no hint

So she went to town
Hoping to see him lunchtime
Going to the shops

He was so surprised
And they went to the café
Her eyes still alert

Watching girls pass by
Each one seemed so flirtatious
Was it her or not?

She lost him of course
She questioned every move
Trust had flown away

Image found at

Thursday, 14 July 2016

Auntie Em

Louisa's Auntie Em (which was the family's nickname for her) had died and she had been her only visitor in the nursing home even though she hadn’t recognised or spoken a word to her for many months.

Lou’s family had all gone now she was by herself and sadly paid her last visit to sort through any belongings that still were there after the funeral.

There was absolutely nothing apart from her clothes and some meaningless knick-knacks and a couple of books all of which had been hurriedly packed for Lou to dispose of.

She was about to take the lot to the bin when one the books fell from the top of the pile and fell face open onto the floor.

As she picked it up she noticed an inscription inside the cover “Best wishes to Maureen and a happy meeting in Oxford April 1995 Catherine” then Lou immediately burst into tears.

Only twenty years ago Em had been in England and met the author who signed a book for her and just last week Lou had been accepted to study at Oxford next year but now she couldn’t talk to Auntie Em all about it. 

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Now that you have gone

I walk the same beach
Still drink coffee at the cafe
Where we used to go

But I walk alone
Don't share a cake anymore
Now that you have gone

Bed is cold at night
I can’t hear you breathe
Sleeping peacefully

The stars still sparkle
But I do not see your eyes
Or your cheeky grin

As the fresh day dawns
You don’t nudge me in the ribs
For a cup of tea

Sun still shines each day
For all but the lonely man
He grows cold alone

Chill wind sings sad songs
I put the heater on to warm me
As you are not here

Image found at                                                                                   

Never notice

Came home once to ear splitting laughter
The children from next door had come round
All four were playing cards on the floor
They were all fumbling cards awkwardly
But were laughing for all they were worth
Was the school holidays with no homework
They wanted me to join in the game                  
So I tried to keep a deadpan face                       
As the girls hated playing “Old Maid”                  
So we changed it to “Go Fish” for a bit                
Then we played “Snap” until the cards bent        
My wife came in to see what was up
And to bring us drinks and refreshments                     
Soon it was time for them to go home            
How I remember those carefree days                
But sadly they have now passed us by              
Kids are always glued to their iPads
Never notice that I have come home

Image found at

Sunday, 10 July 2016

I love the forest

I love the forest
I have that irrational urge
To lose myself there

I want to frolic
Roll in the flowers blooming
Talk to the wild ones

I feel like a child
Bathing naked in the stream
On a bright morning

Any season will do
Hold my face up to rainfall
Bask in summer’s sun

How alive I am
When birds twitter their friendship
Filled with belonging

How I love autumn
Blanketed with fallen leaves
Such is rest for me

I love the forest
It’s my reason for living
There’s room there for me

Image found at