Friday, 30 September 2016

Talk not of days

I am so old now 
but I still remember Kathleen
and her sweet kisses

My eyes fill with tears
falling like autumn leaves
as I recall her

Crushed now underfoot
in the forest of despair
by time's ceaseless march

It was teenage love
when all spring's joy blossoms out
belying time's round

She left me of course
I rushed to Pandoras side
to be given hope

I'm sure she nodded
but fables play with men's minds
they talk not of days

Now autumn leaves fall
sweet Kate waves to me again
all these years later

I wave back at her
laughing and crying at fate
as we kiss once more

This is a true poem of two teenagers whose lives took separate paths only to find each other again both widowed in their seventies. Although the poem is in haiku format it should be read as a narrative because I even think now in 17 syllable sentences when I write!

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What my uncle told me

I had an uncle many years ago in England that was a carpenter working on building construction and like most young and able men at that time he was encouraged to join the Army at the start of the Second World War.

He was a single man and owned a motorbike and his life was opening up for him as Britain slowly emerged from the years of the depression hoping for better times to come.

It wasn't long before he was called up to take active service and was enrolled in the Royal Army Service Corps and having some knowledge of driving he became a driver of an army truck.

In my early childhood days I was encouraged to write to him as he served in North Africa, Italy and finally Austria while he responded faithfully giving me reasons why he couldn't send me bullets at souvenirs!

He told me after he had returned safely of his abhorrence of war and the ugly side of service and explained that despite many attempts to get him to accept a higher rank he remained a private thoughout the war.

The reason he said was that he never wanted to be in a position where he might send another human being to his death; luckily he survived the conflict to tell me that himself.

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Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Kindly and smiling

On way home from school
Liked how he gave us candy
Kindly and smiling

Waving each morning
Seeming to be so noirmal
To all of us kids

And just who could tell 
From his outward appearance
He was lighthearted

Then the dramatics
Cops came round to arrest him
What a fuss there was

Kindly and smiling
Liked how he gave us candy
On way home from school

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Wind waving the drapes

It was fortunate
That the day my owner died
She was feeding me

Changing my water
Filling my bowl with some seeds
While chirping her way

I looked down at her
Then to the open window
Wind waving the drapes

Fluttering my wings
Cautiously I made my way
Whistling with wild hope

I looked back at her
Sleeping now there in her cage
She would never leave

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Sunday, 25 September 2016


I am so old now
But take my capsules each night
And dream of the past

And so remember
Those former halcyon days
And our walled garden

Busy bees working
Pollen sticking to their backs
Thanks for the nectar

On this hottest day
Invasion of kakydids
Come to say hello

On scorched driveway
Our active children hopping
Over the chalk marks

Wife tapping the gourd
Nearly ready for picking
I'll not intervene

Take toddler to shops
Oops! Now she is shoplifting
Candy in her hand

That's my crooked mind
Spreading memories again
Of long ago past

I'm back home again
Having an afternoon nap
Still dreaming of you

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Saturday, 24 September 2016

Mermaids breath

I've no feet of clay 
Just sand between my toes
What simple pleasures

Others have all gone
The moon is my companion
And a pair of gulls

I can relax now
Far from the lies of the world
Away from my cares

I rest on the shore
Night's cover eases my mind
Worries are all fixed

Asleep on the beach
Woken by a mermaids breath
Angels singing songs

Dare I snatch a kiss?
No, they will just box my ears
Laughing swim away

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This poem was published back in 2013 and may be new for most

I wake up screaming

I wake up screaming only then
Do the ashes of the past
Drift slowly away

My heart's now thumping in my chest
Just what, where, and when was this
And why are you here?

Slowly it all comes back to me
I am free and rinsed clean
Was found not guilty

Funny that after all this time
Having got out of this mess
You still stir the pot

Will you never leave me alone?
Submitting me to all this pain
I only shot once

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Treasure Island

                                The virgins grave

The island of Savai'i is part of the independent state of Samoa (formerly Western Samoa) in the south Pacific Ocean where there is an extensive lava field  caused by a lava flow following a series of earthquakes  beytween 1905-1911.

In those days the Samoan Islands were colonies (or dependencies) of Germany and the United States although a number of European nations traded there. Robert Louis Stevenson the renowned author "Kidnapped, Treasure Island and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde" amongst other writings took his extended family there thinking that it would be a good place to live as he suffered from tuberculosis eventually dying there in 1894.

When the lava flow resulting from the earthquakes had solidified it was discovered that in one devastated area near Saleaula that the lava had avoided but surrounded one grave of a young girl from the village. It is now a tourist attraction to walk on that same lava field probably quaking in your shoes to see it for yourself.

My wife and I visited the islands in 1985 and considered it to be one of the best holidays we ever had also visiting Robert Louis Stevenson's former home there on the more populated island of Upulu just a few kilometres from the capital Apia.

                             Vailima, just outside Apia on Upolu

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Friday, 23 September 2016

Slippery snake

I'm winding round a flagpole 
Like a slippery snake
I'll bite those who touch me
Just for old times sake

I could be a kinder chap
If you would look at me
Just as Eve in the garden
Who through me could not see

So Adam ate the apple
It stuck right in his throat
Humans do make a mess
Even put me on the boat

Flagpoles are not your friends
For enemies they make
Many have no bread to eat
Yet others eat rich cake

This is of course a parody of how well humanity has coped since creation. Adam and Eve dissatisfied in Eden fared no better when free as even evil was taken with Noah on the ark in the form of the snake. That is my pattern of madness for you with a bit more thrown in for good measure as the snake recounts what has happened!

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Thursday, 22 September 2016

The Outback

In Australia the vast desert areas inland are called coloquilly "The Outback" which takes up much of the country with all the major settlements clinging to the coast line in states that were established separately as British colonies until they united into one country in 1901. This inland is sometimes called the dead centre although that is far from true as even the desert areas support a variety of wildlife with birds, marsupials, reptiles and insects who make this most inhospitable area home as water can be found particularly from the condensation on plants at night.

It is home too for many native Aboriginal tribes who developed separately and still use their unique languages who used to trade (or stole) items including women with each other to ensure that inbreeding did not take place. Another outback inhabitant is the camel who though not native to Australia was brouight over from India in the late 1800's together with local handlers known as Afghans. These were used as beasts of burden that could endure the harsh climate until proper roads and railways were built in the 20th century. Many camels still survive and roam free and at Alice Springs the town in the centre of the continent they still have a camel cup carnival where races are held just as in the Middle East.

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Wednesday, 21 September 2016

The proposal

I looked at you
You looked at me
The grave consequences
Of this our love

With firm resolve
I said those words
The heated discussion
with your father

You smiled at me
And you said yes
What he'd say when he found
You're up the duff

Despite the stress
His jarring voice
And irritable look
He laughed it off with an
Infectious grin

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Monday, 19 September 2016

Autumn winds

Changes are happening
Sun now starts sinking
Autumn winds now whisper in my life
Then winter cuts with its sharp knife
Chilling me to the bone
Now that I'm all alone

Sweet was the springtime
Summer a heady wine
How glorious were those days of ours
As we whiled away those happy hours
The sun knows does she not?
That you'll never be forgot

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Saturday, 17 September 2016

Collecting Flowers

I saw her first many years ago
With a basket on her arm
Collecting flowers so she said
But I was the one that she picked

Springtime when we were both young
With a grin on both our faces
She was flicking her blonde hair
And me trying to be so smart

Smite me down if I tell a lie
But before long we were writhing
In the straw around a haystack
Was she a champion kisser

Her dad caught us of course
In his guise as a concerned father
Said it was deplorable behaviour
With me shaking in my boots

Try to be a bit more discreet
He said with a grin on his face
Being a dyed in the wool country man
There was no fire in his voice

Been married now for thirty years
Watched my daughters like a hawk
But they all chose their own partners
Much like their Ma I suppose

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Idiotic concept

Badass politics
Happy to encourage
Drilling the Great Australian Bight
For fossil fuel oil

Idiotic concept
In drilling the Earth's core
"With all necessary protection"
In a whale sanctuary

Then there's the fish stocks
Nurtured for years
Our valued King George Whiting
Strictly harvested

This murderous concept
May end the whales singing
And all controlled fishing here
Offering us disaster

Be spellbound by dolphins
These waters need protection
From such foolish whimsy
With our steely resolve

There is a proposal for oil companies to drill for oil in the Great Australian Bight which is a conservation area for Southern Right Whales as well as carefully controlled fishing grounds for Tuna and King George Whiting and many other species of fish, penguins, seals and sealions, sea grasses etc. We remember the Gulf of Mexico disaster of 2010.

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Friday, 16 September 2016

They do not know me

They call me by my name
But they do not know me
They see me everyday
I chat with the barista

Katie the waitress
Gives me a wide grin
Ellen's dark eyes lower
As she takes my order

I call them by their names
Know nothing about them
There is one with tattoos
One is a single mum

The boss comes for a chat
Talks all about Italy
Politics and the past
Remembers my wife

I've finished the crossword
It's time for me to go
Goodbye Robin they say
See you tomorrow

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Thursday, 15 September 2016

So that's OK

I know you will say I shouldn't have but I went back to Ackender Wood last week.

Do you remember all those years ago when we were teenagers and I had a crush on you...well I thought I was in love with you.

At the weekends we used to go for long walks together holding hands and cuddling together with no-one else to see us among the trees.

The whisper of the pines and the scent of wild flowers is just the same and brought it all back; the way you smiled at me and me touching you so tenderly.

Just then I saw the tree under which we sat what seems a lifetime ago and I carved our initials in the bark inside a wobbly heart so that our love would be recorded for ever.

Well we have grown up and gone our separate ways and so has the tree as you can barely make out the inscription R x J but it is still there alright so thats OK.

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Wednesday, 14 September 2016

After they have gone

Marriage is like that
The softness of being loved
Not wanting to part

See them look your way
Remembering former days
Those twinkling eyes

Keeping a grave face
The the children misbehave
Instead of laughing

Needing to be firm
When making decisions
Never uncertain

Heated discussions
Then cuddling up together
All now forgiven

Then crying alone
In the now huge empty bed
After they have gone

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I love you for that

I want to thank you 
For that look in your eyes
Meant just for me

For words you whisper
When we're snuggled up alone
So cosy and warm

The way you touch me
Gentle as a summer breeze
At the break of day

Then when gardening
You toil with just happiness
Flowers and you bloom

I hear you singing
Like a lark soaring skyward
Your sunshine is mine

When you hold my hand
We are but just one person
I love you for that

I want to thank you
For that look in your eyes
Meant just for me

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Sunday, 11 September 2016

Genie's Lamp

Rubbing the genie's lamp
I'm preparing my list
Long as the alphabet
Do I really want wealth
No, lets be serious
A kindest to neighbors
A hush to the bombing
Ending the world crying
Smooth jagged discontent
Sanitation for all
Proper homes for the poor
Now what am I missing?
Yes, cheese and chocolate
For those that crave it

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Saturday, 10 September 2016

The night forest

Now that I am here
I lean against oak tree
Listen to whispers

This is a wild world
The birds having a gossip
The stream tinkles on

A wild cry is heard
Furry creatures quarreling
Love will have its way

Snap of a branch
The undergrowth is stirring
With one shriek of pain

Old foes meet again
Territorial dispute
To talk it over

Perching now stock still
Owl's eyes follow me around
Old doubting Thomas

Looks me up and down
Checks my authenticity
To be there at night

Gets ready to tilt
Into his swooping attack mode
To drive me away

Brushes against my hat
A scream like a Banshee tells me
I am unwelcome

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O Littlehampton

O Littlehampton
Seaside memories of youth
Long sandy beaches

Funfair and short pier
By the river Arun's flow
Ferry to West Beach

Putting greens and girls
Screaming at the waters edge
With me ogling on

Plenty of pubs there
Long queues of day trippers
Coach to take them home

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Friday, 9 September 2016

I climbed the mountains

I climbed the mountains
I sailed the seas
I searched the forests
Yet none did they please

I spoke foreign tongues
And ate their foods
Their rivers I swam
But still my heart broods

Something still calls me
From far away
Just what it is 
I just cannot say

But then I recalled
A seer once said
"Do travel the world
Your mind must be fed"

"Though far you may go
Remember this
Your heart will crave for
Your mothers first kiss"

Just what he had meant
I never knew
Until that one day
It came out of the blue

England's green pastures
Oak forests deep
My country of birth
Now caused me to weep

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Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Secret Trysts

I laughed to myself as we
Hugged and kissed each other
In the dark dank passageway
It was not the only time
That we had taken the risk
They said it was forbidden
Her and me clinched together
Oh what a feeling that was

Families quite unaware
Luckily our paths at crossed
Our eyes met and that was that
An opportunity seized
Enabling us to meet for
A few moments of freedom
Secret trysts, stolen kisses
We were both only seven

This poem tells of two young kids meeting for a kiss after school and being only seven each line of the poem contains only seven syllables. (Later: Oops I have realized I used Clinch rather than Cinch...whatever! I prefer my word.)

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Passion's Dart

It was her bright eyes of course
Twinkling like the evening stars
That pierced me with passion's dart
That stole away my poor heart

Her voice like a sirens call
Whispering sweet love divine
Mists they rose and all was clear
Each word she spoke was so dear

Long ago she beckoned me
Beside her I now lay down
My head safe upon her breast
Cuddled in cared not for rest

But she's gone now from my side
So I must dream all alone
Whispering trees say not where
Mindless of my deep despair

Such is life's every bloom
That sadly fades as love cools 
The heat that once drove us on
Tears like petals now have gone

Those days have now long past
How sweet my memories are
But oft I wake with a start
As I recall passion's dart

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Saturday, 3 September 2016

O to be a child again

In the distant past
O to be a child again
(Not the milky stage!)

Changing shape each year
Never getting tired playing
Sunshine or in rain

Feet squishing mud
Knocking on Dad's pumpkin
Growing in garden

Streets almost empty
Seeing sheep fly in clouds
Finding a bird's nest

First ride in a car
Cutting myself with a penknife
Scratching name in bricks

Too busy to write
In diary when outside called
Coming home dirty

Hoping for a theme 
That would suit boys not just girls
Writing an essay

Looking at sweet Sue
Who smiled at me in class
She had long blonde plaits

Wish I could go back
Remembering what shaped me
Before I grew up

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Sting of a bee

Ink from a cuttlefish
Sting of a bee
Romance is over
Between you and me

Silence is mutable
Words are a threat
Sun's not shining
You've flown from the net

Sparkle has now all gone
Snow flakes they fall
Your threats not veiled
Grief now casts its pall

Tapestry woven
Precise you've schemed
Love's flown away
All's not what it seemed

This ignorant lover
Made such a mess
Lightness to dark
I'll miss your caress

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Words, words speak
Such evil intentions
Don't touch me

Give, give now
Come closer to me
Whisper thoughts

Float, float high
Away on the breeze
Just feel me

Look, look see
Truth is in our eyes
Not in words

Stop, stop now
Just who can I trust
Is it you?

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Friday, 2 September 2016

How about the blue one?

He had put on his dark blue suit
And was still tying his striped tie
Meanwhile she stared in the mirror
Wondering what on earth to wear
She could just see his reflection
He didn't really want to go
With his hungry eyes on her
Meaning he'd get less not more of her
She was so glad she had found him

"So what do you think" she then asked
Pointing to the gowns on the bed
"How about the blue one?" he asked
"To match your tie, why not the red?"
Her eyes twinkled in the mirror
"A red tie makes me look angry
So no one else will dance with me
And I'll be the wallflower" he moaned
She laughed, it just didn't matter

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