Thursday, 18 July 2019

I was so in love

"Indeed ; why should I not admit it? -in that moment, my heart was breaking"- Kazuo Ishiguro - The Remains of the Day

Nineteen, I was so in love
Always welcome in her home
He parents happy I came there
In their lounge was my own chair

We'd go for walks, spoon of course
Hold hands deep in the woods
I carved our names on tree's trunk
Loving her like being drunk

Went on holday with her
At invite from her parents
Close to the sea much to do
One last treat before her adieu

It broke my heart, I was lost
I only ever thought of her
She'd said "Should try others out"
I wanted to scream and shout

That was the end of our affair
Oh so many years ago
Then one day when I was old
Message came, who could have told?

So we wrote of this and that
In love and such confidence
She's now died, I've shed my tears
Thus it was in our last years

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Wednesday, 17 July 2019

Breathing her scent

There's comfort in breathng the scent of your wife
As you wake on a summers morn

If work has gone badly and you hurry home
Walk in the door and you feel reborn

The first thing she does is a hug and sweet kiss
As her eyes light, sees you are worn

There's nothing like having castle of your own
Her one look and I'm not forlorn

How important it is to trust each other
Told me baby's soon to be born

We couldn't keep smiles from both our proud faces
Soon son will rise on a new dawn

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Sunday, 14 July 2019

It's your birthday

She ran along the road in her bare feet
One vagrant child of many running free
Pulls coats and dresses begging "S'il vous plait"
If the gendarmes were not about that day

Most men would merely flick her aside
Or ignore her as if she was not there
Ladies could not be predictable
Even those whose fur costs were of sable

One clearly loved all children as she turned
Gave her a trinket fastened to her dress
Girl's grimy face beamed with a radiant smile
So lady chatted for a little while

She could see much more than others there
Wished she had more trinkets she could give her
But just smiled then turned round to walk away
Turned back "Keep it, pretend it's your birthday"

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Saturday, 13 July 2019

My world alone

Where has my life gone?
I'm but a bathering old fool
Doddering about aimlessly
In my world alone

With my wrinkled face
Thinking back to days long gone
Balding skullcap, lines galore
Now just a disgrace

Wife died years ago
Sons and daughters just who knows where?
Look inscrutable to passers by
Why angry? "Dunno!"

Recall velvet days
Boy of fifteen far to go
On the prowl chasing skirts
Listened to their ways

Where has my life gone?
It has been lived that's for sure
Pity I can't have second go
This time really shone

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Wednesday, 10 July 2019

Waiting for the rain

We were waiting for the rain
Well Jimmy my husband was
Staring at the dry paddocks
But his face was full of pain

This happened every year
For sun we get a'plenty
Rain comes in winter we hope
Else there'll be many a tear

The dog knows there's something up
Hiding any place he can
Master's not a happy man
Waiting for his "Come on pup!"

While I watch what words I say
As Jim sits there whittling wood
Then gets up, quietly says
I must give the stock some hay

"Need a hand?" I said to him
He nodded grinning just a bit
We load the trailer, so I drive
He cuts the bales, face quite grim

There's a band of cloud out west
A slight chance that we'll have rain
We cut the bales, spread the feed
So stock rush up up for their feast

We've got enough to last a bit
As we complete today's task
And exhausted we take a rest
He looks worried, I admit

In bed that night cuddled up
Heard the first drops of rain fall
Then how it came pouring down
As I heard a bark from pup

I got up to let him in
Rain fell heavy on the roof
So then I went back to bed
Jim looked at me with a grin

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Sunday, 7 July 2019

Job for you up north

"Job for you up north" Boss said, "Give you time to wind up here, find accommodation, expenses paid. Salary will be lifted two grades while you're there but we don't pay overtime. Talk it over with your wife, let me now tomorrow, Okay?"

Wife had already told me she was pregnant but I knew her answer "Yes, do it!" But could she cope with two kids already and me miles away? She said she could see the advantages and she had her sister living close who would help.

So I said "Yes". With a hirecar provided I worked 150 miles from home coming back most weekends reporting to the office. I chose a hotel, expenses paid to make it easy.

Up each morning to check the contractors on building sites, pouring concrete and constructing various structures in town as well as viisting other sites within a 100 mile radius.I spent time in the hotel each evening with locals and visitors like myself chatting at mealtimes or propping up the bar. Each morning before work I'd go for a run to keep fit.

One morning after my run the hotel owner's wife met me as I came back before work. "I'm glad you're back" she said "Your wife's gone to hospital to have the baby!"

I gulped with surprise, baby was coming far earlier than expected. I thanked her and rang my sister in law to check. "Everything is OK" she said, "Baby's being born now!"

I drove carefully back home letting others overtake me and arrived to see my wife and new baby girl in hospital. Both were well and were cleared to come home a few days later.

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The good old days

The finches chatted in the trees
Then flew to ground to pick up feed
Then up again, wind swirling round
I glanced at them, reading my mail 
Rarely sent this digital age
Makes oldies go off in a rage

Posties delivering less and less
Spam callers on home phones each day
Kitchen fridge piled with post-it notes
Filled with ready cooked frozen meals
Greasy home cooking rare sight now
No burnt knuckles or scalded brow

Why curb my needs to do it now
Wanting those old days back again
Don't spare me doing things myself
Just in case the power cuts off
Yes, Let's get water from a well
Get the night soil man call as well

Image found at www.

Please forgive my dark humour here as oldies do tend to yearn for the past while they forget the disadvantages of the good old days when some necessities were quite primitive!

My first love

Joan you were my first love
So many years ago
One day you just let go
No longer hand in glove

I wept, you broke my heart
But it did heal in time
Dating others was no crime
So I made a new start

Sixty years have flown by
Had wife and family
Living life happily
Now widower am I

Then came Facebook message
Do you want to be friends?
What thoughts the message sends
What can one envisage?

So we wrote lovingly
All those years did not cost
As our love was not lost
We could chat happily

Then your daughter messaged me
Tells me you too have died
There's more grief so I cried
No love now, I'm lonely

Who knows where you two've gone
Loving girls in my life
One first love, one my wife
So I sing love's sad song

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Wednesday, 3 July 2019

Boys are horrible

Boys are horrible and I should know
I caused havoc wherever I'd go
With a whipping stick in my right hand
I'd join my mates on the farmers land
We'd play hide and seek in the ripe corn
Acting the fool as we'd done since born

The war had been on for a few years
We played and laughed while mum's were in tears
Most kids dad's were overseas at war
She struggled to cope as we were poor
She had to work hard to make ends meet
So she served in a shop down the street

We kids went to school five days a week
I got bullied of course 'cos I was meek
Soon I was with a gaggle of friends
But we'd all meet up at the weekends
Sometimes there'd be a gap in the class
We'd pray for him, he was not the last

Summer we'd walk to school on fine days
Mum came too "It's good for us" she says
We had to be careful what we spent
She's worried where all the money went
Kids minds are ever on other things
Like hearing the songs Vera Lynn sings

We were mad keen on spotting the planes
Or hearing news on Army campaigns
Watching convoys with soldiers aboard
Tanks and trucks now being sent abroad
How we collected such useless things
Like fag cards and feathers from birds wings

In wartime you rarely had a thing
I still recall my mother did sing
She was frightened but hid it from us
With her smiling face we caught the bus
So the war went on we were not afraid
"Your Dad will be home next week" she said

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Note: This was the situation for many families inn WW2 in Britain however I was luckier as my father who worked in London did come most nights of the week because he was what was described as being in "Reserved Occupation" as he ensured the Electricity supply was maintained there. Most of my cousins dads were in active service in Britain or abroad, but almost nobody was well off with the rationing and shortages at that time.

Sunday, 30 June 2019

I awoke from my dream

I awoke from my dream
I was but a boy again
When all my muscles did work
Hanging from a tree branch
Balancing before I moved
Then jumped into the river

Darkness still, where is dawn?
Just where have all those years gone
Catch a glimpse of your sweet face
Recalling our wedding day
Glancing in each others eyes
Feel you near and I shiver

For it's true, you have gone
Frantic I hug the pillow
Hoping for the impossible
That I'll see you once again
Looking now in the mirror
As my body does quiver

Everything points to that
For I am an old man now
I so need to hold your hand
Then look into your green eyes
And kiss those sweet lips once more
Thank you; my constant giver

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The day did shine

The air was still, the day did shine
As summer sun beamed down on us
My veins throbbed and some shade I sought
I mowed the lawn, the pets looked on
I wonder where my wife has gone?

She's usually part of the team
But has taken off in the car
Probably to fill up the tank
Will be back soon I have no doubt
Pets have now disappeared from view

Back door opens here come the crew
Dog's tail wagging furiously
Creating quite a fuss, wife grins
"I went to get some ice cream
Come on in before it all melts"

The dog barked then jumped a rope
The cat looked on from the back door
I packed up, put mower away
Lucky me, words are not enough
Love my wife she's without a match

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Saturday, 29 June 2019

My hair fell out

First of all my hair fell out
My limbs felt wrong
Thought I had gout
I was so tired
Did not go out
Once exposed to gamma rays

Thought I was lucky lad
Six killed outright
Thought that was bad
But was dying,
Sadly, slowly
Once exposed to gamma rays

Didn't say goodbye to wife
Or little ones
Shut out of sight
It was that bad
Goodbye, goodbye
Once exposed to gamma rays

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Thursday, 27 June 2019

In the Bric-a-brac shop

I saw her first in the Bric-a-brac shop
Behind counter reading a magazine
She was quite cute sucking a lollipop
Guess she was probably still but a teen

I asked her where the old postcards were kept
She looked up stared at me with eyes of green
Her hair all dishevelled as though windswept
With the most beautiful face I've ever seen

She started to point in the direction
But paused as her eyes and mine did conjoin
We both were filled with mutual attraction
She woke; pointing to room that did adjoin

I smiled, then thanked her and made my way there
So spend an hour searching every box
Found few but my mind was on an affair
As I thought of her flicking her locks

Put her magazine down when I turned up
"Found some?" she then asked trying not to blush
A sweet smile for me she did develop
I paid, with smug face from shop did rush

Image found at www.

Wednesday, 26 June 2019

How many miles

How many miles did we walk in our time?
Sometimes even the weather was sublime
As woods we searched and by waters we sat
Waiting patiently just like a cat
Searching for rare birds to just say hello
Like owls on dark night with moon all aglow

Quite often we'd walk on a deserted beach
To see sea birds their new fledgelings did teach
Getting them to dive and fish for themselves
Scratching and searching in sand they did delve
So we would sit with our backs to a rock
Stay there quiet lest all the birds fly amok

In our mid winter we would try our luck
To look for our own Australian Shelduck
Who loved the wetlands and flooded fields
He'd stake his claim and for nothing would yield
For if we came close he'd keep his distance
Would protest with quacks his sole resistance

Best of all was forest off beaten track
For native wild creatures it did not lack
We walked right in to the Eucalypt wood
And sat right down as we knew that we should
Listening to forest noises around
Echidna walked up, sniffed, then homeward bound

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Sunday, 23 June 2019

Restless all night

Was restless all night
Wakeful, listening, anxious
As winds howled with fright
The mountains looked down
Over the neighbourhood trees
While pale moon did frown
Just why was I not sleepy?
For normally I drift off
It seems so creepy

I must get some air
Hold on! There's a cake to bake
Oh brain, that's not fair!
So out to the kitchen
Cups of flour and sugar now
To feed hungry kin
Fear not, all goes well
Excepting they said to me
"You're tired we can tell!"

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Saturday, 22 June 2019

My wife was always sad

My wife was always sad
The day Summer solstice came
For her it spelled it out
That another year would end too soon

Summer meant so much to her
Memories from so far back
Her life changed as the day grew short
For another year would end too soon

She loved the beach and sea
On the sand with kids and dogs
But when the days cooled right down
Sign another year would end too soon

Worst of all winter came
Rained poured down and frosts did bite
Then came snow that blocked all the roads
Yet another year would end too soon

Snow did melt and trees grew leaves
Spring brought back smile on her face
She started planning holidays
For another year had come around

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Wednesday, 19 June 2019

My father-in-law

When I first met my girl's father
He was gruff as he sized me up
Nodded at me and turned aside
Suggesting that I should behave
What had I let myself into?
Did he think that I was depraved?

In fact he was an individual
Had a wife and two teenage girls
Whose needs seem to mystify him
So spent most of his time outdoors
In his garden which was a dellight
Spent his time there 'til fall of night

His garden had lawn and fruit trees
And a mass of flowers and insects too
Birds, singing, nesting calling it home
Then to produce their vegetables
Had council allotment quite close by
With veggies irrisistable

Each evening and all of weekend
Spent his time tending all the plants
Or sat smoking his hand made fags
My girl told me she come that way
Grab a carrot and eat it up 
After school nearly every day

They came to Australia when retired
To be close to their family
A small house and garden they chose
So that he could still garden on
On visits we would still receive
Grown veggies his talent not gone

Image found at

Perhaps I should explain that in Britain families with small gardens or enthusiastic gardeners could recive permission to plant vegetables on council land which would be allocated to them. You were permitted a garden shed to keep tools and other equipment in (best kept locked). They were very popular and still exist today.  Quite often you would see the whole family working there or sitting down watching their Dad or Mum working there or even being allowed a small portion of their plot to have a kids garden themselves! These plots were extremely useful in wartime!

Sunday, 16 June 2019

Dearth of Dogwood

There's a dearth of Dogwood where I live
That tree whose blossoms have much to give
That outshines the stars to the trees mirth
It's the most flambuoyant tree on Earth

When flowering like a bride's garland
Quivering with delight with her man
As wedding bells ring for the couple
Those halcyon days being supple

Memories can be good and be bad
Marriage can fail which can be so sad
Bonds are cut, the streams water flows on
Love's granite crumbles in life's sad song

There's a dearth of Dogwood where I live
Rough is the weather with no take or give
We must adapt whether good or ill
To stay we must take that bitter pill

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Saturday, 15 June 2019

Chicken Kiev

I looked at my reflection in the stream
As child I played there now that's all a dream
Certain the swirling water knew me still
The young boy that waded there not yet ten
Nor yet tasted the dish of Chicken Kiev
So used to roast beef meals or Irish stews
Or fried eggs listening to the wars news

But I survived that terrible time intact
Well fitted by lifes instances in fact
Grateful too, finding sweet full lips on girl
To give me sweet kisses and children three
Who was a great cook to please me so much
At table and in bed lulled me to sleep
The best of wives gone, so sadly I weep

Image found at

Just as an aside the picture shows the river that ran through the town where I lived during and a few years after the war (WW2). I only discovered when married that my wife used to play there with her sister and no doubt keeping well clear us boys wading in the water! 

Friday, 14 June 2019

When Mummy was Boss

I woke up, I was four years old
We were at war, so I was told
Were bombed at night, shelter did seek
Daddy came home two days a week

Mummy was boss, did everything
Took us to school, sometimes did sing
Then off to work, most mums did then
All took bus home, number fourteen

Spoke to manager, he agreed
We'd go there after school, good deed
Then play in the boxes out the back
Sometimes even given a snack

The shop where she worked closed at five
Caught bus home at six did arrive
Switched on lights she then cooked a meal
Blackout blinds drawn, cosy did feel

Bombing started the war was real
Hid under table scared did feel
I could feel her shaking with fright
And sometimes we stayed there all night

Was better when Daddy was home
Once when doodlebugs did moan
Said we're safe if we heard them drone
Mum's head shook hated being alone

But she managed she was a star
Now twinkling at us from afar
For everyday she showed her love
Bet that is her shining above

Image found at www.GettyImages-3374....jpg

Wednesday, 12 June 2019

A bridge long ago

When I was young and brother same mind
We would play together, things to find
But got addicted to spotting trains
Check steam loco's number...took no brains

We'd cycle miles to reach the main line
Sit on a bridge to while away time
Waiting for express trains or stoppers
Wave at drivers with empty hoppers

We'd check the loco's numbers on lists
And mark guide in our grubby fists
Great when we saw engine very first time
Faces often spattered with soot and grime

But hunger struck us boys as sun set
Rode back home on roads did not fret
Traffic was light for there were few cars
Cycling one handed eating Mars bars

We often took back roads just for fun
Splashing through fords in setting sun
Rattling on timber bridges now long gone
Shortly after World War 2 was won

Miss those days shrouded in smoke and steam
When boys found own pastimes, what a dream
We weren't in front of a computer screen
But staring at express to Aberdeen

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Sunday, 9 June 2019

I've feet of clay

I've feet of clay and the bridge is too far
I'm stony broke, failed in life, crashed my car
It was an old model, hate myself now
Must buy a new one except I can't see how

There's something about me that needs a lift
Been kind of stupid for I drift
I'll make a new start and kill my malaise
Hold my hand dear; see the star-shine ablaze

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Saturday, 8 June 2019

When I was young

Many years ago when I was young
Outside to play was the greatest fun
Sun or rain it just didn't matter'
Far better than hear sister's natter
Best of all to play down by the creek
Wading there, shoes off not for the meek

With simple nets and jam-jars waiting
We scooped a fish up without baiting
Lucky if managed to catch just one
But we were here for the day's fun
When had our fill we shared out the catch
Each kid had jar to share out the batch

By this time clothes and shoes were quite wet
As no towel was brought; boys do not fret
We were scolded of course coming home
Boys don't take towels not even a comb
One fish I caught grew big, he went back
Before our cat thought he was a snack

Mum always moaned about our wet clothes
And muddy state of Bill's feet and nose
But Dad praised any fish we took home
He didn't care quite where we would roam
As kids and mud have long been best friends
However I washed up to make amends

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Wednesday, 5 June 2019

The damage we do

I feel so ashamed
Of my simple self
Using plastic bags
At how pleased we were
They were even free!

How long has it took
The damage to see
In seas and rivers
Waste heaps everywhere
Took more than their share

Why wrap fruit with peel
When you take it off
Why a plastic tray
And a plastic wrap
You must be a sap

Must be an answer
Recycle paper
Not tossing plastic
In oceans so deep
Just how can you sleep?

To see birds choking
Fish dying in shoals
Wastelands created
Cruelty so sad
It makes me so mad

Reuse paper bags
Refuse to buy from
Those stores that say 'No"
Use their mushroom bags
It will stop their nags

The damage we do
The harm that is done
The future that's lost
Yes! For you and me
Will hurt us you'll see!

Image found at -of-world-combined