Personal poem

Past Times

The clerk and the dairymaid went to live in a terrace in grim Southall town

They had little money, but lived with his Mummy, two girls and a terrier, brown.

The garden was long, with a small wooden shed and a lilac tree I liked to climb

A thin, scruffy lawn and a vegetable patch and a top bunk I wanted as mine.

My sister was younger and timid, back then. I told her such stories for fun

About pirates and dragons and things that go bump in the night, although there were none.

The tales Father read were of Winnie the Pooh, Just So Stories, poems and more

Like The Tree that Sat Down and The Stream that Stood Still -with magic and witches galore.

Our Junior School was in Beaconsfield Road with the gasometer for a view

And a playground for girls and another for boys, something that, now, wouldn’t do!

And yet all that dreaming, the stories and games, the dressing up we did for fun

Left me a legacy I wouldn’t change – made the child the adult I’ve become.





Flower poem

I wrote a poem and took a picture on my phone but it doesn’t seem to have found its way to my computer.


I looked for you in a book of flowers

Your large petticoat-white blooms

Should merit a mention

I thought.

But all I found was a cousin

A neat shrub, not a climber.

Nowhere did it show

Your choking tendrils.

Your ‘Granny-jump -out -of- bed’ flowers

Were mocking me from the top of the wall.

I hope the shrubs you strangle

Will survive.

If I try to pull you won’t untangle

And I break branches of the plants that I admire.

I must twist your snake-like threads

From the lilac.

I can unwind them from the buddlia, in full bloom.

I can chop you at the root and see you shrivel

Making the green privet brown

And scruffy.

But next year you’ll be back, I know

With your sly companion Ivy – just to make

Gardening an effort rather than a pleasure

As I fill the bin.






One thing both of us have started to do is join a singing group. Don’t laugh. Neither of us have ever pretended to be musical but this is at the surgery and is supposed to be a different way of keeping healthy. As walking and other exercise seems to be getting harder and harder we thought we’d give it a try.

To our delight the songs are mostly folk songs and music show favourites so we know the tunes. It’s a good job because we don’t read music or have an ear for a pitch. There are nearly as many men as women so it sounds quite balanced.

I had a try at a poem for a competition but it isn’t good enough. It was supposed to be a Christmas poem for children. Here it is:

“Follow, follow, follow me.” The piper’s flute was shrill.

The children walked into the cave as if they had no will.

“Your parents pay me what they owe, I’ll set you free,” he said.

“But until then you’ll stay with me, this rocky floor your bed.”

“Please, piper, do not harm us,” called a little brown haired boy.

“Is there nothing we can do to bring our families joy?”

“Why, yes,” the piper smiled and winked,” Look further in the cave

You’ll find some Christmas presents there that Santa’s helpers gave.”

“I’ll make a promise to you now if you will help me choose

The gifts that fit the children who I pick – you cannot lose.”

He turned his head and pointed to a girl whose face was glum,

Her blue-grey eyes were full of tears. She cried, “I want my Mum.”

” That girl has been quite ill,” he said – but all you do is tease.”

” Let’s give her a new Teddy Bear. That one is sure to please.”

“That tall, thin boy is lonely, too. He can’t see very well.

That’s why he wears those spectacles. What present would you tell

Would make him happy, you decide? ” “A game I think will do

With robot men and racing cars and lots of music , too.”

“You get the idea,” piper said,” And that small, red-nosed lad

What could you give him that, for sure, would stop him feeling sad?”

“A friend” the boy said, seriously. “I’m sorry we were cruel.

Each one of us is different – Can we go back to school?”

“I never thought I’d hear you ask, but now you can return.

To care for others is a gift. You’ve not a lot to learn.

Of course I’ll take the children home-for that’s where they should be

And all should keep their promises. We’re one big family.

For Christmas love can last all year and for the times to come

And all the joy that we can give can spread to everyone.”











Now the last novel is on sale I need to find something else to write about. I thought of doing an autobiography until I realised I would have to censor it.

Should I brush up an old short story or look at magazines to find a competition? I need to get back to writing. “A Lesson for the Teacher” went very well at the launch and I have a number of outlets lined up for next week. When I find our launch photo I’ll put it on.

Losing things

What do you have that you couldn’t do without? I know nowadays a lot of people depend on their mobile phones. What happens if they lose them? I felt annoyed when I lost my diary but I had most of the information somewhere else in the house so it wasn’t a disaster.

What I do find is that when I try to remember something and it is only on my computer I wish I had written it down somewhere. We should not rely on electronic devices. Good old paper and pen is more reliable, except when you forget where you wrote something down. Oh to be more organised!

For my political comment today – would it be a disaster if house prices went down? I can’t follow all the reasoning behind the rival groups but I do know that houses are far too expensive in relation to earnings and that we need many more starter homes and flats for young people. Logic dictates that we could do with a reduction in the number of extra people entering the country, even if they do live in multiple accommodation.