Last Day #3

3 of 12 in the ‘Last day 23’ series

Gracious! March has been and gone
and summer time has started
the clocks now changed to BST
now winter has departed
And as a child of summer, me
I'm jolly chuffed with that
as I can now look forward to
some warmer days in fact


Photo – Sally Croucher


Unconditional (reprise)

Concluding the ‘My very best’ series (12 of 12)

I don’t ask for much in life
I settle for the least
A bed to sleep in, warm at night
And now and then a feast
A little exercise most days
In the garden, out the back
Some water there to quench my thirst
And perhaps. sometimes. a snack

Yet in return for these small things
I’ll be a life-long friend
Always there to welcome you
On me you can depend
For I am faithful to the last
Ever by your side
I’ll be a true companion
In whom you can confide

I’m always pleased to see you
Whenever that might be
No matter how you’re feeling
For that’s part of being me
For I am dog you understand
A canine through and through
Unequivocally there to be
A special friend for you


Photo – Obi Wan Kinobi – March 2023 – Jempics

Unconditional‘ was first posted to Jemverse in January 2015

[Today concludes the ‘My very best’ series – a selection of 12 of the many thousands of poems I’ve written to date in my 50+ years as a poet. There are many more I could have picked so perhaps there’ll be a ‘My very best II’ at some point. Who knows? One thing  is certain; I’ll not stop writing!]

(more) C’est la vie

11 of 12 in the ‘My very best’ series

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


Photo – Sally Croucher

[C’est la vie’ was first posted to Jemverse in February 2016]

Stepped on a crack

10 of 12 in the ‘My very best’ series

Stepped on a crack in the pavement of life
And heard something chasing me
Turned and saw the bears of the night
Bricked it, suddenly

Ran so hard I thought I would die
But the bears were still hot on my trail
Panicked, I thought of a way to be free
But thought it would probably fail

Knew it was the only thing left to do
So I leapt for the space in between
And behind me I watched the bears disappear
As I fell to the ground breathlessly

Turned my head to the earth to cry
But a strong hand reached out for mine
Led me away from the cracks in the road
Showed me the narrow line 

Said it was hard to follow sometimes
But promised to always be there
Smiled and said to follow him
Led me away from the bears


Photo – Jempics [‘Shibboleth (aka ‘The Crack) – an installation by Doris Salcedo in Tate Modern’s turbine hall (2007)]

I first penned ‘Stepped on a Crack‘ in 1985 but first posted to Jemverse in August 2014

Percy Penguin (again)

9 of 12 in the ‘My very best’ series

I once knew a penguin called Percy
He was a good friend of mine
He lived in a hole in the garden
And came out when it was fine

When the sun shone bright in the sky overhead
He came out of his hole in the ground
And we’d chase each other in the garden
Around and around and around

I knew him for one whole summer
He was the best penguin I knew
He was kind, he was thoughtful and loving
In those months that I knew him so few

We had oh so much fun in the garden
And he once came inside for some tea
But stuffed so much fish in his tummy
There was none on the plate left for me

But as Winter’s cold fingers began calling
He came to me with a tear in his eye
And said he must soon now be going
It was the saddest ever goodbye

And so, on one Autumn morning
He left his hole in the ground
And with just a wave of his flipper
He left me without a sound

I cried for a week thereafter
I missed Percy Penguin so much
But although he’d be gone all winter
I knew he’s still keep in touch

In March he sent me a postcard
To see how I was getting on
He said he was looking forward to summer
I can’t wait for the summer to come

It’s now April and the Spring is upon us
I've cleared out Percy’s hole in the ground
For soon I shall be with my penguin
Chasing round and around and around


Photo – Jempics

[I first wrote ‘Percy Penguin‘ in 1987 when Emily Rose, our first, was born. It was first posted to Jemverse in May 2014]


Never (ever) whatever

8 of 12 in the ‘My very best’ series

Whatever you do, Whatever you take
Whatever you see, Whatever you make
Whatever you carry, Whatever you use
Whatever you give, Whatever you lose
Whatever you love, Whatever you cherish
Whatever you hold, Whatever you perish
Whatever you tarnish, Whatever you clean
Whatever you muster, Whatever you glean
Whatever you think, Whatever you feel
Whatever you break, Whatever you heal
You are, as am I, not simply whatever
But really quite special, so never say never


Photo – Emily Rose Croucher

[Never whatever was first posted in November 2016]

(more) Music

7 of 12 in the ‘My very best’ series

Lurking fog and drizzle falling
the sea a greyish green
Waves like monstrous ogres rising 
tossed by winds unseen

Alone on dampened shingle
taste of salt upon my lips
Braced to ocean’s vigour
gazing out to windward ships

I am the only audience
for this winter serenade
A symphony composed for one
perfect and uniquely made

This cacophony splendid
sounds cherished as my own
To me triumphant music
with cymbal crash and moan

Rhythm dragged across the shingle
drumbeat on the wooden groyne
Turns the staid and older man
back to the winsome boy

Enraptured there I listen 
as the music builds and plays
My heart a-flutter, eyes for tears
a glorious malaise

And as the white surf slips away
tumultuous applauds
Along with cries ‘Encore! Encore!’
I hanker after more.


Photo – Jempics

[Music was first penned back in the late 1980s (I don’t have a precise date); first added to Jemverse in May 2014 and then reposted in August 2019 and again today]

(going back to) Lancing Beach

6 of 12 in the ‘My Very Best’ series

Lightest of breeze, Sea in the air
Sounds of children playing down there
Green on the shingle, Cabbage White
Occasional bird in lazy flight
Blue of the sky, blue of the sea
White wispy clouds, soft buzzing bee
Shimmering distantly Worthing pier
Sometimes hazy, sometimes clear
Moored on horizon, fishing boats
Whilst nearer in shore swimmers float
Out to the east is Brighton’s sprawl
High in the air a seagull’s call
Perfect now the weather’s fine
Lancing Beach in summertime


Photo – Jempics

[Lancing Beach has been posted and re-written several times over the years but first appeared on Jemverse in June 2014]

(a return to) Something interesting

5 of 12 in the ‘My very best’ series

Show me a colour, one that describes me
Look at my face – the colour behind my eyes
It cries for the sun and pines away on these rainy days
Curled in a ball and shivering,
It longs for a blue that paints the skies

I have a paintbox here somewhere; it has a bright palette
One I have used many times, mixing over and over
as old and dusty colours
lend their way to young ones bright and new
Blending easily with the marks I have made

There’s one hiding there with a hint of something interesting
I think it’s the one you need; something of the extra mile
Like the spreading rings of raindrops
as they fall to puddles
But there again, perhaps I am imagining things

Come closer. I’ll show you a colour – one that describes me.
Is it blue or a yellow or an autumn gold? Is it mellow green
or amber, or purple or silver or any one of the
hundred thousand colours you have seen? No. It is every one of these
spreading like raindrop rings on water


Something Interesting‘ has been reposted many times since I first penned the words back in 2001. First time on Jemverse was in May 2014.

Watching (revisited again)

4 of 12 in the ‘My very best’ series

I watched the sea, it did me proud
I smiled at it and laughed out loud
The waves they roared, I roared right back
As I wasn’t having any of that
Alone on the stone with sun and spray
On a fine and perfect Springtime day
On the shoreline with the crashing sounds
That filled the air and shook the ground
I shouted loud, could not be heard
Save by a high fly seagull bird
Green and blue the waters came
Crashed and turned and crashed again
Alone I stood and marvelled still
At those impressive seascape hills


Photo – Jempics

Watching‘ was written in 1989, first published in May 2014 and reposted in April 2019.

Previous Older Entries

%d bloggers like this: