The sea from safe distance


The mischievous sea
with the high winds last night
is tossing and turning
and a fabulous sight

I’d not want to be out there
in the chop and the churn
But I’ll stand on the shore
for some lessons to learn

I’ll watch as its movement
is quickening there
from relative safety
though always aware

For these tantrums I’ve seen
many times through the years
the stuff of some thrills
but also some tears

Respectful I’ll wave
as the waves ignore me
unpredictable and
from safe distance, the sea


C’est la vie


I got to thinking
Life’s too short
for anything else
save that I ought
to do and think
and be about
and nothing else
there is no doubt

Cos tomorrow is
another day
and what is past
and come what may
For today I am
and that’s a fact
precious little
can detract

It’s what it is
a treasure and
a life worth living
hand in hand
The present tense
the ‘c’est la vie’
is all that should
be here daily


The woods and the wind


Up in Stanmer woods
on the ridge of the hill
we are sheltered within
where it’s chilly but still
There’s winter in here
with the mud and the grey
but perfect for walking
on this February day

We can hear the wind rustling
in the trees all around
But we can’t really feel it
just hear the sound
So we’ll walk here a while
let the dogs wander free
before driving back home
for a nice cup of tea




The beauty of a sunset
seen from a speeding train
Enough to make me turn and stare
in wonder yet again
Out there on horizon
Beneath landscape’s darkened line
the golden ending of a day
Spectacularly fine


The dichotomy of the old and new


I’m pretty sure that this was not
the hill of nursery rhyme
when a certain grande old duke
decided now would be good time
to march ten thousand up and and down
but it’s nice to think ‘maybe’
that this was in fact the very hill
from that time in history

Standing here this morning though
there’s dichotomy at hand
as old and new together meet
in silence hand in hand
Clifford’s Tower atop the hill
from Henry the third’s time
overlooks a car park which
to me seems like a crime

The meeting of the old and new
inevitable these days
but surely with some foresight
could be done in better ways?
Having said that York has managed
to retain much of the past
Evident as I wander here
and hope that it will last


The Grande Olde Duke of York
He had ten thousand men
he marched then up to the top of the hill
then he marched them down again

Built between 1245 and 1262 by order of King Henry III,  York’s ‘Clifford’s Tower’ (aka The Great Tower) was built on the site of an original motte and bailey from William the Conqueror’s time. It was originally surrounded by a moat fed from the river Foss. The moat no longer exists but the grassed motte has long retained its traditional identity as ‘the eye of York’ from the days when the land was owned by the Crown. It  was sold to York City Council in 1988 for the princely sum of £1.

Winter II

Newark North Gate station 21.1.13 2

It was cold, there was ice
there was white all around
and the puddles had frozen
right there on the ground
Breath was all cloud-like
with mittens and scarves
Dressed up warm for the knife-edge
the northern wind carves
But there was also a brightness
as sunshine it shone
And with its warmth ever growing
the white was soon gone


Simply a sixpence


I once had a sixpence
that was shiny and new
and was full of the joy
of the good it would do
But its devaluation
over time was intense
as now it is worth
just over two pence

Back then it could get me
a brand new toy car
or a big bag of sweets
from my favourite jar
But now there is nothing
that alone it can buy
An indictment to life
so sad I could cry

But putting time to one side
for the moment at least
there is plenty besides
on which we can feast
For that memory brings back
a smile for the years
Days of innocence shared
with laughter and tears

And though the sixpence
won’t purchase anything now
It’s intrinsic value
is greater somehow
For its memory holds treasure
making me a rich man
in more ways than money
ever did or still can


Photo from

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