Category Archives: Poetry

Mostly fourth form nonsense – thanks for humouring me

Steel City Siren

Steel City Siren
Known as Barbara, Babs or B
Oracle of wisdom
Advice is guaranteed
Social media angel
And Twitter Royalty
The Steel City Siren
Known as Barbara, Babs or B
Retired but not retiring
With a spirit that is free
Closely bonded friendships
And a loving family
That Steel City Siren
Known as Barbara, Babs or B
Let’s raise a toast
Even if it’s only Rosie-Lea
To the Steel City Siren
Barbara
…Babs
…B

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Alfred Sydney

I remember my grandfather
Though he died when I was young
A great tall hulk of a man
He was six or six foot one
He scared me with his silence
And the tremors in his hands
Though his face conveyed kindness
And his toffees were in demand
I remember my grandfather
Though he died when I was young
He worked for London Transport
Got a gold watch for his service
40 years of sufferance
In that citadel of the cheerless
And all that while his secret
Was the service of the fearless
I remember my grandfather
Though he died when I was young
In younger days he volunteered
And travelled to the east
I can’t begin the understand
The dangers
That he faced
Dressed in summer clothing
He suffered from frostbite
His toes all took to gangrene
And were removed to save his life
I remember my grandfather
Though he died when I was young
From thereon in he spent his life
In short strides from necessity
In order to stay balanced
Though some looked on with incredulity
I remember my grandfather
Though he died when I was young
My grandfather was damaged
By the horrors that he faced
Though he survived
There is no doubt
His soul had been defaced
Now I look back
On this good man
Who in life gave me such fear
And realise the debt I owe
To one so brave and true
He survived the war
And what is more
He lived a long life through
He raised two sons
Grandchildren too
I’m here to show that true
And I look back on this good man
I remember my grandfather
Though he died when I was young

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Helen of Caerdydd

Is this the smile on the face that launched a thousand ships from Cardiff Bay
The kindness of one true friend
The fun-filled, sweet-natured cariad of Glamorgan
Whose presence in your life is a godsend
Is this the naughty niceness of a freeform spirit
The very flower of the Valleys’ dawn
The mentor, tireless tower of tenacity
The blooming beauty from the hand of Welsh gods drawn

For my good friend Helen – a great support & great fun too!

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Streams

Impatient
Excited
Naive
Mind-shift
Frustrated
Hopeful
Self-belief
Plunge
Borrowing
Ambition
Plans
Strategy
Friends
Family
Smiles

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Sweet Dreams

Some of my earliest memories are of clutching treasure in my small hand (10p or perhaps as much as 50p) and setting out on the massive adventure of a trip to Martin the Newsagent which must have been less than ¼ of a mile but seemed to me at my tender age like Scott’s pursuit of the Antarctic (but without the warm woollen mittens).
We would walk through our 1960’s estate to the parade of shops until the magical newsagent came into view and I would step across the threshold to view the beautiful racks of magazines, the neatly stacked stationery but, most importantly of all, the glass framed display of penny sweets. There I would stand and stare in wonder and indecision practicing my rudimentary maths and calculating what permutation of glorious confectionery would maximise my pecuniary limit of the day.
I would salivate as my eyes moved from item to item – recognition triggering my taste buds into recollection of the distinctly individual flavours:

There were Cola Cubes
Smarties in tubes
Black Jacks
& Caramacs
Pear Drops
& Lollipops
Drumsticks
Licorice licks
Pink foam shrimps
& Little black imps
Coconut ice
White chocolate mice
Bazooka Joe & Anglo Bubbly
Milky Bar & Curly Wurly
Dolly Mixtures & Jelly Tots
Vanilla Fudge & Edinburgh Rock
Giant Gob Stoppers
Jelly Beans
Candy Cigarettes
Peppermint Creams
Flying Saucers & Red Boot Laces
And hundreds more sweets to fill our faces
The shop staff would patiently stand by as this most demanding mental task of choice took place – money changed hands and we would step out into the sunshine clutching a white paper bag of sugary delights.
…by the time we reached home that bag would be severely depleted.

I’d like to give a special mention to Tiffin – a confectionery favourite of a good friend and I’d like to pay tribute to two favourite sweet shops still going today:
Cloughs Sweet Shop http://www.cloughssweetshop.co.uk/
Bah Humbugs http://www.bahhumbugs.com/

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Wonders of the World

None of us will ever see all of the wonders of the World in our lifetimes. Not the so-called 7 Wonders of the World but all the wonders:
Every crystal stream and waterfall
Every craggy peak and valley floor
Every drop of rain and each snowfall
Every baby born to parent’s awe
Every chuckle every burst of laughter
Every springtime flower and petal’s show
Every moorland heath bedecked in heather
Every moonlit lake’s reflecting glow
Every smile
Every joyous moment
Every leaping fish and diving bird
Every country mile
Every honeycomb fragment
Every flock of sheep and cattle herd
Every single earthly feature
Every single living creature
So let’s not grieve that we won’t see them all but celebrate those sights and wonders that we are privileged to witness in our time!

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Daytripping

September sunshine on mist covered meadows
Dew still lying on the grass
Weary morning travellers shake off their slumbers
Gazing at the scenes flying past
Each preparing for the day ahead
Adopting different ways to pass the time
The train ploughs on to its destination
Thundering down the line

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