Beeching’s Blunder II

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Caught the train as usual
but travelled back in time
The years slipped by like miles
along the Horsham line
The steeped and cut embankment
rebuilt and clear again
As clattering past the Shoreham points
sped my old steam train

The by-pass it had vanished
as the trackbed took its place
And I passed through Bramber station
with a sense of pride and grace
The tree-lined cutting past the castle
Steyning station’s smoke-clad bridge
Then up the line to Henfield
along the Adur valley ridge

My train slowed into ‘Beechings’
Henfield’s ironic testament
to the axing of a way of life
by a sixties government
The Cat and Canary station pub
Afforded interlude
Not pausing there for half a pint
Would have been a little rude

Then back through the Adur flood plains
my trip through time took me
Unfettered views across the valley
to the hills and out to sea
Thought, in sixty years this landscape
will not be recognised
And people passing through today
would be dumbfounded and surprised

It was a journey of nostalgia
the years now lost in time
the passing of the age of steam
along the Horsham line
And as twenty-fifteen brought me back
Across some sixty years
The memory of that long-lost time
Brought with it several tears

©Jemverse

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Following a report written by Dr Richard Beeching for the UK Government in 1965, around 5000 miles of track and 2,363 stations of branchline railway in the UK were axed. A way of life ended and the lifeline to hundreds of villages was cut off forever. All in the name of progress. Now, over 50 years later, many of the axed line routes have since reopened as footpaths and bridleways. One of these covers the length of what was once the Horsham and Guildford branch-line in Sussex. Its route remains but many of its stations have since been lost to commerce and time, the landscape ever changing. ‘Beechings’ in Henfield (for example) was once a thriving station and goods yard but is now a housing estate.

Sets the sun

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Sets the sun o’er golden evening
Summer’s soft call now
the heat of day slip-slides away
Cooling now, my brow

Golden painted water glistens
and seagulls on the wing
hover lazy, almost sleeping
as evening songbirds sing

This is the stuff that dreams are made of
Contented smiles attest
All I could hope for, and I’m here
A man who’s truly blessed

©Jemverse

At the eve II

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At the eve of this day
I will lie back in lavender
and there will be evening sunshine
and a deep breath of contentment
and there I will find a smile

At the eve of this day
I will think as a rainbow
and there will be colours of summer
and the comfort of a captured smile
and there I will find a song

At the eve of this day
I will settle to the embers
and there will be woodsmoke rising
and its humid perfume in the air
and there I will find feeling

At the eve of this day
I will embrace each of these pleasures
and there will be flotsam on the breeze
and the knowledge that all is well
and there I will find me

©Jemverse

Soliloquy

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May’s almost passed
will soon be June
Midsummer’s day
will be here soon
My month of birth
a summer’s child
in fifty-nine
the sunshine smiled

So bring again
the sultry days
of naked toes
and warming haze
of lapping waves
down on the beach
the beach-hut there
in easy reach

Long days of sunshine
clear blues skies
sweet lavender
and butterflies
This time of year
my apogee
revered in this
soliloquy

©Jemverse

The shy one

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At the bottom of the garden
is a pond where lives a toad
But he won’t come out and say hello
However much I goad

I’ve tried speaking in low whispers
or just waiting patiently
But although I hear him croaking
he never visits me

Once I saw some bubbles
to the water’s surface rise
So with bated breath I waited
and hoped for a surprise

But toad he is a shy one
He likes to keep his privacy
So I’ll keep watching just in case
but otherwise I’ll leave him be

©Jemverse

Cute

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“Hello” the lamb said loudly
as I was walking by
“I’d like it if you took some pics”
“Come on please, don’t be shy”

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“Hey Pops” I heard my puppy say
“Come take a look at me”
“I’m sitting on a little stool”
“Come take a pic of me”

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“Hi” the brown cow said
from deep within the herd
“If you don’t take a pic of me”
“It would be quite absurd”

I’m a sucker when it comes
to moments like all these
The ones that make you all say ‘Awww’
And bring you to your knees

I’m just pleased I had a camera
which, with the words I write
capture here today another
lovely life insight

©Jemverse

Freedom

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I have many chanced by meetings
When walking Sussex Weald
But there’s little interaction
with rabbits in a field
I have no problem here of course
It’s nice to see them there
Minding their own business
without concern or care

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Something I can replicate
when walking South Downs trail
a feeling of contentment with
a freedom to regale
The ability to laugh out loud
with the joy of being there
like the rabbits in the field
without concern or care

©Jemverse

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