Writing 101: Day 15 “Beach Dreams”

Beach Dreams festival cancelled? Surely that can’t be right?

We were only sent the running order just the other night.

And we’ve been preparing for it now for weeks, we’re pretty nearly there

The instruments are ready and we’re sorted what we’ll wear.

Who’s to blame for that decision at this eleventh hour?

Who’s got the right to cancel, who’s even got that power?

Oh them! That bunch of charlatans, you’re serious I think

That really is disastrous and it’s going to cause a stink.

All the people who were coming will be very, very sad

And  the bands who’ve been rehearsing will be livid, if not mad

So, do you know what we’re going to do, despite what has been said?

We’re going to boycott that decision – Beach Dreams is going ahead!

… … … … …



JUNE 20, 2014
Writing 101, Day Fifteen: Your Voice Will Find You
You’re told that an event that’s dear to your heart — an annual fair, festival, or conference — will be cancelled forever (or taken over by an evil organization). Write about it. For your twist, read your piece aloud, multiple times. Hone that voice of yours!

The Beach Dreams community festival in Shoreham-By-Sea, West Sussex (UK) is now in its 15th year. Originally a one-off family event to showcase a community samba band formed specifically for the occasion and the brainchild of a very special vicar, Father Marcus Ronchetti, the festival has gone from strength to strength and, even though Father Marcus has moved on, the true spirit of what Beach Dreams set out to do lives on. It’s a lot different to those early days but retains its family feel. Held annually over a weekend in June, the festival now attracts thousands of people from all over Sussex and provides a showcase for unsigned local bands. Beach Dreams – run by the community for the community.

Fortunately, what the poem suggests is fictitious; this hasn’t happened and hopefully never will.



Writing 101: day 14 – “Page 29”

First word that I came to

On page twenty-nine

Was one that is quite tricky

To weave into any line

For the book that I had nearest to hand

Was the Oxford Dictionary

Rather wished I had instead

Picked up on ‘airy-fairy’!

But no, I’ll stick with what I’ve got

And find a way somehow

Of getting the word ‘ajuga’ in

To what I’m writing now

It is a plant quite like the bugle

In shape I think, not sound

And so ‘ajuga’ is now within these lines

The first and last one that I found.

… … … …



Today’s ‘Writing 101’ challenge is headed “To whom it may concern”:

Pick up the nearest book and flip to page 29. What’s the first word that jumps off the page? Use this word as your springboard for inspiration. If you need a boost, Google the word and see what images appear, and then go from there.

And I get the word ‘ajuga’! Brilliant!


Writing 101: Day 13 – “Flower”

Found a freedom in the day that the flower opened its fragrance to me

Saw at once the depths of its pleasure confirmed unequivocally

Spent a while with the breezes of seldom, paused at the bridge of relief

Smiled as the waters released their freedom absolutely to me

Wondered at the dream that had led me to them, refused to submit to the day

But knew for certain the moment was ending as movement began where I lay

Sleep, its dove-cote doors of slumber relinquished its hold once again

And I found myself back in the land of the living as the sun hastened in a new day.

… … …




Writing 101: day 12 “Having a chat”

Father God I’m sitting here and it’s twenty-five to eight

We have time to kill this morning and not much fear of being late

The children have had their breakfast and, as seems to be the rule

Are watching something naff on tele before off they go to school

And I’m thinking in this moment I should spend some time and pray

Give you all the things that fill my each and every day

But I don’t know how to start it, sounds dreadful, yes, I know

What to say to you my Father before on my way I go

So I guess I’ll sit here for a while and talk about my life

My home, my work, my family, my leisure time, my wife

For I know that when my children tell me about their day

Some little thing that’s happened in their own and special way

I am inclined to listen, dropping anything I do

And it really must, I reckon be just the same with you

So here I am, your child, telling you about my day

Just asking you to listen in my own and special way

It would be so easy just to mention all the naff things in this world

Because we’re really spoilt for choice as the daily news unfurls

But those would just be empty words filling up a space

They wouldn’t really mean much with no compassion, care or grace

And really, if I’m honest, sometimes it’s hard I find

To talk about these distant things with worries on my mind

So I think it’s more important to bring these things to you

As they’ll have a bigger impact on what I say and do

I want to thank you God for listening, for being there a while

For that feeling of contentment, for that endearing smile

It’s all I need to keep me, safe throughout this day

Knowing that you’re always there in all I do and say

You’re there in every single thought, there in every whim

Protecting and upholding me, keeping me from sin

And yes I mess it up sometimes, I’m fallible I know

But I know that you have saved me by this warming inner glow

It’s good to have these little chats, thanks for listening again

It’s good to know you’re there for me and that you’re always just the same

Time to go now, catch the train, take Holly off to school

Face the day that’s up ahead, the norm it seems, the rule

But this morning there is something else deep down there inside

Something to keep me smiling instead of trying to hide.

…  …  …  …

©Jemverse (October 2001)



Writing 101: day 11 – “Lawn View”

Lawn view was its name, rambling by nature

Five floors and five bedrooms to boot

Croquet lawns opposite, tennis courts too

Open fires and chimneys and soot

Apple trees in the garden, climbing ones too

A pantry and stone cobbled floors

Secret passage in the attic, hiding places galore

Dark corners and Victorian doors.

Too cold in the winter, ice inside and out

No warmth save the drawing room fire

Short trouser shivers, cold naked knees

Bedtimes were dreadful and dire.

But a haven in summer when school was out

The verandah in sunshine haze

Those halcyon years smiled upon now

As I remember those precious days.




Tear trickled

I heard a lemur chorus
On a hot summer’s afternoon
And a tear trickled
I watched a golden sunset
Disappear on the ebb of a tide
And a tear tricked
I watched a June full moon hide
Behind ethereal night-time clouds
And a tear tricked
I heard a twelve-bar in the key of G
And, as my spine tingled,
A tear trickled
Emotion triggered by beauty
Intoxicates me
Leaves me craving
Encapsulates me
And brings me back for more



Momentum carried me forward

Into the heat of the day

To a warmth that June belonged to

Out of the coolness of May

It was the summer that I had longed for

And its comfort was a tangible thing

A presence to cherish and hold onto

Bringing smiles and a reason to sing

©Jemverse (June 2014)


Writing 101:Day 10 – “Willow”

Picnics under the willow tree

Check blanket on the ground

Lemon curd sandwiches and chocolate cake

And sunshine all around

Just a short walk to that special place

Park at the end of the lane

Long held as a precious memory

To recall again and again





Writing 101: day 9 – The Joke



It’d been another long week, I was tired and fed up

Of going to work and coming home in the dark

So enough was enough, I took a half day

Perfect weather for a walk in the park


Strangely enough I was thinking the same

And, still smirking a bit at the joke

I said I would meet him at the end of the road

It would be good, I thought, for the bloke


Hand in hand as we wandered the leafy green

She said she’d heard a great joke earlier on

Said I could do with some cheering up

Asked her to tell it as we ambled along


He smiled at first and then chuckled a bit

And soon he was laughing out loud

And I smiled along with him despite all the looks

We were getting from a gathering crowd

Old woman

I could hear laughter from somewhere

Getting closer, I thought, as I purled and knitted away

Must finish this jumper for little Tom

A gift for his special birthday


I don’t know what it was that tickled me so

But I had the giggles so much that it hurt

And catching it seemed because even though

It was she who had told me, she smirked


We were approaching an old lady on a bench on the path

Who was knitting something right there

But when he glanced up in his mirth and saw what it was

His giggles turned to tears of despair

Old woman

I could see the man laughing, he seemed happy, I thought

But as the couple approached all that changed

For his laughs turned to tears as he glanced at me

“My goodness” I thought, “He’s deranged”


It was the little red jumper that was the final straw

That’s when the tears of mirth came

This really had been the most perfect release

We must do this and come here again.


©Jemverse (12 June 2014)


Writing 101 day 8: Death to adverbs (“Sit in the sea”)

Think I’ll go sit in the sea

Let the waves wash over me

One of the best places to be

When I am feeling like this

Think I’ll go play in the sand

Build something with my own hand

A castle that’s splendid and grand

Where I will then live in bliss

Think I will let go and fly

Up with the seagulls on high

But then I will awake by and by

With a caress from the breeze and a kiss




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