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November 2, 2016



and Winston called

en-route to the river,

a morning welcome

to deliver.

That Golden Retriever

from across the way –

a trusted pal became

from the first day.


and Penny came by

every now and then-

the name we christened,

a very cute pea-hen,

who visited from

Harcourt Arboretum

at Nunenham Courtenay,

looking for a crumb.


And next door’s cat-

a fluffy ‘black and white’,

in her magnificence

appeared at daylight.

Our Siamese boys

always the first to see

her prompt arrival,

would then alert me.


and our ageing Setter,

when turning grey,

lived out his life

in the best way,

with daily walks

along Sandford Lock-

a place we still re-visit

when taking stock,


of the dreaming spires

and seats of learning,

and autumns bliss,

when leaves were turning.

Though short lived was

to be our stay-

A place in our hearts,

Oxford, to this day.


A life lived through animals

who came and went.

Everyone a gift

from heaven sent.

The joy of nostalgia-

that two-edged sword.

A constant reminder

life shouldn’t be ignored.







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October 1, 2016



Oh weekdays

when I have to face

groundhog day –

that same rat-race.


Oh weekends

when I become a chauffeur,

ferrying son

and impatient daughter.


Oh weekdays

when dear Monday arrives,

and I find stimulation

on which the brain survives.


Oh weekends

when I become handyman,

fixing plumbing jobs

the best way I can.


Oh weekdays

when I return to my chair,

sifting through emails

which become a blur.


Oh weekends

when I yearn to relax

and put my feet up

and play my sax!


Oh weekdays

when chaos starts up

The new MD decides

this old dog, swapped for a pup!


Oh weekends

now I need the family most,

they’re out doing ‘their thing’ –

no sign of Sunday Roast!


Oh weekdays

that were once salvation,

now an unsure future

heading for starvation.


Oh weekends, weekends

now I’ve faced the facts;

and on weekdays too

I’m belting out that sax.


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August 16, 2016



I’ll take this hour God granted me –

Three-fifty on the clock.

A call of nature awakened me.

So quiet the house, just a tick-tock.


I’ll take this moment every time

For ‘now’ is all that’s real.

The family safe and sleeping;

this time is mine to steal.


Though not for long my solitude,

as behind me gently creeps,

one who’s on my wavelength,

with four paws, a vigil keeps.


One who no-one else can see,

but one who’s at my core.

Who gently tempts me back to bed,

to rest my mind once more.




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Well more or less

we’re both alright.

I could say more,

but then why spite


the other half

of this great fraction,

when 50/50

the main attraction.


I love this man

so much it hurts,

although I hate

ironing his shirts.


Not something that

the young ones do

for their dear men,

who love them true.


But for us, tradition

carried on.

Old habits formed

are never gone.


When ‘Come for Tea’

meant ‘Silver Service’,

And Blue Peter starred

dear  Peter Purves.


And slow to change;

our ways that work.

A small price to pay –

ironing that shirt!


And heaven forbid the day

that’s superseded,

when the shirt I’ve ironed

no longer needed!




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June 30, 2016



A name from birth

so much disliked.

A growth inhibitor;

the thorn that spiked.


A name from birth

not of ones choosing,

and therein lies

a life of losing.


A name from birth;

a crippling shackle.

The first words said,

one has to tackle.


A name from birth

so cruelly given,

by one half mad,

post-natally driven.


A name from birth;

a real non-starter.

A nickname sought,

by one much smarter.


A name from birth

on a certificate shown,

until changed by deed poll.

or a marital scroll.


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May 13, 2016



In vivid green

with turquoise hue

appeared a kingfisher

out of the blue.


So moved was I,

the sight I shared,

as it came nearer

into view.


‘If that’s a kingfisher,

I’m Brad Pitt’,

said the protagonist

by my side.


‘Ornathology not

your strong point, dear’.

So in silence

we continued the ride!



In vivid fear

of my next remark

in case this time

I spotted a lark,


so moving as it

ascended the sky,

with plumes of grey,

so sleek and dark.


My protagonist

now buried his head

in the centre fold

of The Times.


Thinking.’God help me –

how long must I endure,

this old bird

and her potty rhymes.’  



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Bruised and battered

through rough and tumble.

A knee full of cinders,

heard Mother grumble.


Out all day long

swinging from trees.

In all kinds of weathers –

sunshine and freeze.


Before ‘Health & Safety’

back in the day,

down on the farm

hiding in, bales of hay.


And up for a prank

playing tip-latch.

Whilst quick slight of hand

needed for Jacks.


Many a glass-alley

lost down a grid;

all part of life

when as a kid


nothing too problematic

stuck in the mind –

everyone an inventor

of a simplistic kind.


Just mauling about,

but never a threat.

Playing back-street footy

in the rain, soaking wet.


Feeling safe as houses,

everyone’s door open wide.

Nothing worth stealing

was there inside.


A thre’penny bit or a tanner

given weekly from birth.

Paper money, a fortune

if ten bob, one was worth.


Legs, the best form of transport-

a stick aiding the hike,

or a real tour-de-force

if one posh, with a bike.


How far we have come,

Great-Grandparents recall,

reflecting on their lives,

now we have it all.


No wonder they frown

and think us spoilt to bits,

The best teachers are they,

with wise words from their lips.














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April 14, 2016



They lost me for a while.

My life-style somewhat lacking;

their heads racking with self- blaming guilt.

For the monster they had built – no-one they knew.

No clue to why, but they stood by.


They lost me to adolescence.

A cop-out term, which found me slacking.

when tracking freedom’s sweet footpath anew.

Headstrong through wild winds, I heard their cry,

No clue to why, but they stood by.


They lost me for a while.

Their wilful child, born with adventure

running through the veins- no room for brains,

just seeking the unknown, atonement ever closer by.

No clue to why, but they stood by.


They lost me for a while.

Exhausting was that extra mile, that took it’s toll,

on two who’d done their best, and now sought rest.

He turned the key, but she said ‘Oh No’, with a sigh.

No clue to why, but she stood by.


They lost me for a while.

But we made up with a smile – our differences

accepted and then forever compartmentalised.

My dreams and aspirations made of different stuff.

No clue to why, but they stood by.


They lost me for a while.

Now I’ve lost them and shed a tear, but the drumbeat

of my back –up Band, ever constant in my ear.

No point to wonder why, the past with hindsight wets the eye..

for it’s my turn now, to do, the standing by.




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I forgot she hummed of nicotine.

I forgot how high the stakes.

My body ached to see her,

but my mind put on the brakes.


I worried for her well being.

I worried about her cough.

But she was hooked for life,

and told me to bugger off !




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March 25, 2016



So much sense from Mother’s tongue;

how right she was all along.

Too late, alas to tell her so,

her wisdom melted with the snow.


So much love in Mother’s eyes;

such loyalty without compromise.

Too late alas to say, I love you too.

Not enough to wonder if she knew.


So much laughter in Mother’s voice;

when tears subsided, little choice.

Too late alas to understand,

the task of being my right hand.


So much care in Mother’s actions;

time for herself – just minute fractions.

Too late, alas to thank her now!

She was my rock, to her I bow. 





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