the view from here

the view from here
has changed

the meadows
where we ran
so wild and free
all gone

replaced by houses
stacked in rows
all neatly lawned
and edged

no trace remains
of childhood days
spent playing there

a world
of pure imagination
(at least ’til time for tea)

the cows moved on
to other fields
the children grew
and ventured forth
the future comes
and takes us all

the view from here
has changed


daisy chain

5-img_3604long gone warm summer days
on the village green
grass prickling my chubby bare legs
reaching for yet more daisies
for a chain that could reach the sky
one after another added to the endless length
and all that mattered was the careful task
make a hole
thread it through
make another
thread it through
until the sound of the bell
rung by the chosen child
clang clang clang proudly rung
and back into the cool shade of the classroom


flush of fever
with cheeks on fire
eyelashes tear-wet
as she looks up
time rolls back
to past times
when dreaded tooth
pushed through tiny gum
and weary mum
held and rocked
and stroked hot skin
soothed and sang
with calpol and cuddles
and carried her off to bed

in my pocket

I keep you
tucked up
in my pocket
to pull out
when I need you
in this bubble
of my childhood home
all those years
before I knew you
in the knowledge
I soon will reclaim
my place
in your arms

snippets of ancient memories

in my pushchair, under a red
hooded raincover
feeling safe and dry

on the back of mum’s bike
watching vertical lines pass by
on some kind of underpass
a trip to the library maybe

less pleasant glimpse of crying
on the sofa as the cat
who had gone blind
stumbled round and round
crashing into things
making me sob with sadness

that sofa which seemed
so big with my short legs
that stuck out straight
not bent at knees
the edge too far away

those knees, constantly scraped
from my regular stumbles
and mum saying “lift up your feet!”

Childhood Days

days of endless summer
freedom of the fields
hiding in the tall grass
until the farmer made hay
days of scrambling out of bed
as soon as we woke
“I’m going out to play!”
yelled out, assuming someone heard
in my memory it never rained
and no one fell or cried
just sunshine, playtime
imaginations running riot
we rode bikes up and down
as far as permitted, no further
we splashed in the stream
wellies on, trousers muddy
gave the local cows names
each one recognised and greeted
and when it wasn’t summer
we crunched through autumn leaves
puffing our breath like steam trains
or stomped through snow so high
and built so many snowmen
it never snows like that anymore
days so distant now but fresh
as yesterday if I just close my eyes
and remember


[I felt the need for a lighter poem after my splurges of spilled words. I was inspired by Jeremy Nathan Marks on The Sand County who posted a poem called On the street where you live – thanks Jeremy for the inspiration for a lighter poem :)]

Fairy Elephant

Blue, the fairy elephant
clomps about wishing to be dainty
and size 8 or something
with tiny feet and delicate toes

It’s not that she’s massive
just fairly averagely normal
(size 14 if you must know)
but she’s nothing near elegant

Attempts to dance like
a ballerina ended in collapse on the floor
broken vases and dented pride
heavy landings and loud crashes

She used to try to flit about
like a fairy princess all pretty and light
but it only ended in disaster
such an ungraceful child

So now she just accepts it
she’ll never be a fairy princess
she’ll never be a ballerina
she’ll never be dainty and pretty

Instead she spins out dancing words
and weaves them into elegant phrases
which float and caress and delicately land
and gently tip-toe here