Last Day

Last day looms on first day’s eve
Twenty fourteen breathes its last
The year of five and fifty summers
Slips away and fades now fast

But though it leaves with things I’ve lost
I leave it with plenty gained
That wisdom born and seated deep
Gives yearning still retained

Now with the sunrise of a new year’s dawn
I sit quietly here in candle flames
Reflection fades and hope renews
As one year goes and one remains



2014 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 5,500 times in 2014. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 5 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Message in a bottle

Hidden in diminutive walls a message
Came to me on Yuletide day
It bore humility with a smile
With words I cannot say

Words filled deep with sentiment from
A loving daughters’ heart
Words said to her father that
No verse could e’er impart

That message now as enrichment held
As treasure for the year
And as the dawn of twenty fifteen looms
Is bound to bring me cheer



Pretty head smile, there when I wake
There in the sunshine and rain
Waves from the hilltops, waves from the sea
Hastens me homeward again

Pretty head smile, my refuge, my calm
Many facets to my life she brings
There when I’m happy, there when I’m sad
Like music her sweet voice it sings

Pretty head smile, my solace, my gain
For a man who has little to give
A love offered freely, seeking nought in return
My freedom, my reason to live

Pretty head smile, never failing to be
There whenever I turn
To encourage and hearten, inspire and uplift
More than I ever deserve

Pretty head smile, there just for me
Without you I am nothing at all
You make me complete in every which way
There to catch me whenever I fall

Pretty head smile, my lover and some
My treasure, the love of my life
My perfect companion, my soulmate and more
My very best friend and my wife.



Jemverse the blog began in April
Twenty fourteen, on a whim
And three hundred postings later
Continues daily with a grin

The writings though, they started
Forty years ago it seems
But several thousand poems later
I’m still daily writing reams

So here’s to the next 300 posts
The life in words I hope they’ll bring
Jemverse continues daily
For there’s still a song to sing


[Today – 28 December 2014 – marks my 300th posting on Jemverse]

The Hallelujah cupboard

In the corner of our dining room
Unassuming, standing there
Is an old brown, two-door cupboard
With a secret for to share

At this time of year particularly
If you stepped inside our home
You’d be party to this secret
As its wonder is made known

For it is a ‘Hallelujah Cupboard’
Open wide its doors
And you’ll see exactly what I mean
(Spontaneous applauds)

Handel’s Hallelujah chorus
That glorious refrain
Spontaneity demands we sing
As it’s opened every day



Railway Gardens

Beside the line at Shoreham
As “Railway Gardens” it is known
A copse of trees and bushes
Now sadly overgrown

Part of me wants to do something
Tidy all the weeds
Bring back with pride its ‘garden’ name
Sew some fresh new seeds

But Southern Railways, they don’t care
It’s just another strip of land
Beside a railway line in Shoreham
And they’ve nothing for it planned

Little known fact though is that once
For a signalman living there
This was his living pride and joy
Tended long with care

It’s saving grace is that come summer
His legacy then begun
Lives on as bushes spring to life
And flower still in the sun


For many years, the main line at Shoreham-by Sea, was tended for by a signalman operating from a signal box standing proud on the north side of the line at the western end of platform 1. Across the road from the gates, opened and closed manually by hand every time a train passed through, was a small strip of land between the line and the west-facing Queens Place. Bordered on its southern side by a raised narrow pavement between two ancient flint-stone walls, this little strip of land was lovingly cultivated and tended by successive signalmen into a garden complete with footpath, flowering shrubbery and tree-screens hiding it from the stepped railway bank; a perfect haven for railway workers and public alike.

There’s not been a signalman ‘per se’ at Shoreham since the ‘Beeching’ branch line closures of the middle 1960s. The signalbox itself survived until 1988 but, like its demise, the ‘Railway Gardens’ have similarly fallen by the wayside as a forgotten relic of the past.

The gardens are still there though, accessed from behind a very overgrown mulberry bush at the western end. Although barely recognisable now, one can still make out the pathway in the brambles and weeds. And, in the spring, clumps of tulips and daffodils and crocuses show clearly its wended way back to the now blocked-off signalmen’s entrance at its eastern end. When summer comes it springs back to life providing a splash of colour as the hardy perennial flowering shrubs bounce back to life. But it really needs a human hand to bring it back to its former glory.

A ring around Christmas

Went for a walk on Christmas Eve
Up to the Ring in the sun
Squelchy mud underfoot, chill in the air
But we still had plenty of fun

Nine miles in a circle from Ring to Ring
Up hills and across Sussex field
Chanctonbury as always affording us
A wonderful view of the Weald

A Ring around Christmas has to be done
It’s a family thing every year
Good for the spirit and good for the soul
And sure to bring plenty of cheer


Old Star

Old Star Ale and Cider House
From Shoreham’s dusky past
A Lotus IPA I’ll have
Though it may not be my last

Four good friends together
Christmas greetings to regale
A yuletide raising of a glass
With Old Star crafted ale



First day of the holidays
And I’m going back to work
‘What!” I hear you cry, dismayed
You must think I’m a berk

But all is well I’ll have you know
Just going to same station
Then heading off the other way
For some browsing and libation

Browsing books this morning
And then this afternoon
To Mum’s for chat and coffee
And some Christmas wishes true

One last present then to purchase
As I haven’t found the time
But an absolute necessity
For what I have in mind

Then time in Old Star Ale House
With some good friends of mine
A perfect end to perfect day
So close to Christmas time


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