Two Bridges

When in flight over Shoreham
a hundred years ago
two bridges you would see
'cross the river down below
The Norfolk and the railway
but no footbridge crossing yet
for the town and all its people
had that pleasure still to get

©Jemverse

Photo – from a postcard in the author’s collection

[This picture dates to before 1921 when a new footbridge was opened spanning the river to the bottom left where a group of people can been seen. Shoreham airport (from which the aeroplane here probably came) opened in June 1911, just eight years after the Wright brothers first ever manned flight in December 1903. Strictly speaking, Shoreham had three bridges when the picture was taken, but the third – the old toll bridge – is to the north and out of shot]

One for Pops

On Father's Day in twenty-two
my glass I raise remembering you
as though it's now 'most fifty years
there's still a smile and still some tears
so here's to you on Father's Day
you're still my Pops in every day

©Jemverse

Photo – John Alan Croucher (my Pops) 10/5/34 – 19/2/74

Born to the sun VI

Born to the sun and born to a beach
which I'm going to now 'cos it's in easy reach
and today is my birthday and I'm sixty-three
so a day in the sun makes good sense to me
I'll be there with the Beans so it will be the best
for good conversation, some laughs and the rest
and this evening much later to Brighton we'll go
for a meal and some beers to conclude the show

©Jemverse

Photo – Jempics

The Buck

At the Buckingham Arms with my Bro for a beer
Our local, our pub - we both love it here
Conversation will flow and we'll have a good time
with a chat and a game over beer or a wine
It's our mindfulness tonic for mental health's sake
so we'll waste not a moment this pleasure to take

©Jemverse

Photo – Jempics

Tarmount Shepherds

Now where people park their cars
on tarmac for some shopping
once stood an open field where
you'd oft see sheep a-hopping
A shepherd's hut stood to the south
close to its southern border
fenced in with wooden latticework
to keep the sheep in order
On Tarmount Lane in Shoreham town
the shepherd's field you'd see
for many years with grazing
for the sheep that wandered free

©Jemverse

Photo – from a postcard in the author’s collection

[This picture, taken from the top of St Mary de Haura’s church tower, shows an early 20th century view of Shoreham looking east towards the chemical works on the beach and the harbour entrance. You can see the shepherd’s hut and field in the bottom left hand corner. It’s now a car-park.]

Ferry cross the Adur

On the corner of East Street the Ferry Rigg
keeps history alive with its name
though the vista to South with a century past
will never now quite be the same
For once cross the Adur the ferryman pulled
his oars for the people to cross
from the beach to the town for business and such
with a gain to the past and our loss

©Jemverse

Photo – from the author’s postcard collection

[Until a footbridge was constructed across the river Adur in Shoreham in 1910, the only passage from the beach to the town was via the ferry men. The original footbridge was replaced with a new one called ‘The Adur Ferry Bridge’ in 2013. The new bridge retraces the route of the original ferryman rowboat service across the river. The ‘Ferry Ring’ is a pub.]

Small chap waddling

A little chap waddled by the lakeside today
whilst I was eating my lunch
his gait had a purpose as he tucked his head down
which was evident there with a hunch
For just out of shot in the shade of the trees
a mother goose watched with an eye
as her offspring fought bravely to catch her back up
whilst the world there at large wandered by

©Jemverse

Photo – Jempics

By the Thames of an evening

Spent an evening at Richmond
by the Thames in the sun
with good company there
when the working was done
Took a while to walk down there
but now we are here
it's a great place for eating
at our ease with a beer
And after a while
the Thames path we will do
for a slow wander back
to the hotel at Kew

©Jemverse

Photo – the Thames, Richmond, Surrey – Jempics

Sussex Trails

These hills, these ways, these wildflower trails
so many times traversed
and yet in absence, no regret
as evidenced by verse
For here I'm in my element
my heartstrings pulled to smile
whenever I'm on Sussex trails
for mile on wondrous mile

©Jemverse

Photo – Jempics

Dodoitsu for Saturday rain

Concluding ‘The syllabic series 22’ from Jemverse (7 of 7)

Not that it ever left us
always there behind the grey
biding time for its return
drying up the rain

©Jemverse

[Dodoitsu is a non-rhyming Japanese poetic form with a syllabic sequence of 7 – 7 – 7 – 5]

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