‘Selection’ poem continued.

” For looks are not everything, darling one

And nor is the distance they have come.

They may be rich, but are they kind?

That is the thing you need to find.”

“To choose the one you mean to stay

At your side both night and day

Each has been asked to try to woo

With a single gift – now, it’s up to you.”

The princess had portraits of many men

And whittled them down to only ten.

Now to see what they had brought

And to remember what she’d been taught.

The first brought with him a trunk of gold

But the princess thought him far too old.

The second ofered her chocolates sweet

But she didn’t want anything to eat.

The third talked much about his land

In a language she did not understand.

The fourth came in with a sneeze and a cough

She began to feel she’d had enough.


The Pigeon and the Mouse (part 1)

A garden table spread with seed, somewhere wood pigeons come to feed-

First one, then two , then three, then four. There really isn’t room for more!

But Piggy Pigeon will not share. he’ll chase them all away from there.

Alone, he gobbles up his fill, head bobbing as he pecks, until

A little mouse with beady eye is hiding in the bush nearby.

He scuttles forward, grabs a seed and runs away, a daring deed!

The pigeon’s wings shake in surprise as if he can’t believe his eyes.

He pauses, waits, then bows his head-eyes focussed on the food instead

Of witnessing the swift approach of tiny rodent -to encroach

On his domain, his morning feast, this time to stay awhile, at least

To nibble while the greedy bird continues, as if he’s not heard

The mouse arrive – but soon he stops and flaps his wings and the mouse hops

Away to hide, but only ’till he hopes the pigeon’s had his fill.

Windows -verse.

Too soon, one’s eyes begin to fail as old age starts to take its toll

And drops are needed, moistening these precious windows of the soul.

For sight is not all that’s conveyed; the tears in eyes can signal pain

While laughter causes them to shine, and blinking means something to gain.

A closed eye can be tired or bored. A downcast eye can say “I’m shy.”

Some eyes demand more light, some less, but all have times when they must cry.

For, like a casement, they reveal the inner workings of the heart

And, open to the world, can show all mankind’s not so far apart.

Chocolate spread

There’s a real tasty spread that I eat,

Made of chocolate and nuts, very sweet,

But the radio ad,

Makes me angry and mad

For the nuts are called noots, such a treat!

Are there no hazelnuts in the spread?

Was it always nootella, they said?

Do they think it is posh

To pronounce this fine nosh-

So it’s noots, not NUTella, we’re fed!

Poetry from Childhood

As I was writing my memoir I began to consider the influence of the books my father read to us as a child. From three years old I was aware of poetry, at least, the verses by   A A Milne and Robert Louis Stevenson, although before researching them I forgot which author wrote which verse!

Realising that Stevenson lived from 1850-1894 and Milne from 1882 – 1956 made me recognise how old fashioned their writing was and how very middle class. Stevenson, especially, had the British Colonial attitude that would be frowned on today but serves as a lesson of how times change and that we should not judge the actions of people in History by the understanding of the present. Both writers had children in their poems who had nannies or nursemaids and, whereas Stevenson wrote of fairies, Milne anthropomorphised animals. Remember ” The dormouse and the Doctor?” How could anyone resist the language in that little poem?

Of course Stevenson’s most famous poem is ” From a Railway Carriage” and most of his more Victorian verses are ignored. ” A child should always say what’s true, and speak when he is spoken to, and behave mannerly at table: at least as far as he is able.”

I suppose as my father was born in 1910 it is no surprise that these were the authors he introduced us to and maybe they instilled in me the love of words that has stayed with me all my life.


Remembering Ron

The world has lost one of a kind, a man who could not help but care.

Now hope, in time, that we will find the truth in songs he longed to share.

A minstrel with a gift for words, a poet generous and wise,

A prophet, who our feelings stirred. He saw the world through loving eyes.

Each song a warning or a sign, each note appealing to be heard

When wit and wisdom both combine, a rich legacy deserved.


For Ron Trueman Border, a unique folk singer.



There was an old lady from Ealing whose ideas were very revealing

She stayed up at night in order to write about everything she was feeling.

The pandemic made her so worried she felt it was time that she hurried

To finish her tale so she wouldn’t fail to ensure that her words were not buried.


Then and Now. Verse

Waking in the morning, sad, I find I have to fight

This creeping, grinding feeling that stays with me ’till night.

The way I strive to get a grip is make a little list

There must be something I can do to blow away the mist

Of disappointment and of dread that colours all my days,

That clouds my thinking, dampens hopes and leaves me with a haze

Of doubt and desperation that prevents me moving on

Some small successes would ensure that all my fears are gone.

But tick of time and tasks complete serve only to contrast

The sluggishness of present life with an eventful past.

When every morning I would wake eager to greet the day

And fill the time with purpose, balancing work and play

But now each step I take’s a pain, each thought a heavy load,

Each window looks on darkness – I cannot see the road

To happiness, achievement: I stagger blindly on

Awake, asleep and waiting for these sad times to be gone.



Wildlife in my garden.(verse)

Their house fell down, but near the gate, we have a feeding station

set up purely for the birds – a breakfast-time creation.

A ground feeder atop a bush, with many different sections

holds seeds and porridge, bread and nuts. Oh, what a great selection!

Alas. it’s not just feathered friends, woodpigeons, sparrows, gulls

who come to feed on all the treats, but such a bounty pulls

in Cyril Squirrel, eager eyed, who chases them away

and feasts on nuts, or buries them to find another day.


Earth Day verse

Why do we call you Mother Earth? What force was it that once gave birth

to everything that moves or grows, each sound, each action – no-one knows.

Do we deserve this wondrous sphere? Is it our task to tend and care

for fish that swim, the birds that fly, the trees that reach up to the sky?

Is this, our home, a great design or has it just evolved in time?

The earth is here for all to use and yet this planet we abuse.

We dig out coal and gold and tin, use oceans like a rubbish bin

cut down the trees, pollute the air and wonder why no life is there.

Oh, Mother Earth, your children stray – please let us find another way

to value all the gifts you give and teach us all the way to live.