Together

We all went up to Bignor Hill
the six of us as one
It wasn’t actually raining
but there wasn’t any sun
Yet none of us we cared one jot
as this was perfect weather
for a long walk in the countryside
the six of us together

©Jemverse

Photo – The Croucher tackle the ‘Bignor Hill Circle’ – June 2020 – Jempics

Simply back

Simply back together again
the six of us once more
was absolutely all that
we’ve been really waiting for

‘Normal’ is a word that I
think has lost its meaning
at least now here in context
and the way the world is leaning

But the chance to re-unite
our family – six as one
brought us all a joy which
is second here to none

©Jemverse

Photo- all six Crouchers re-united at Hut 101 – Jempics

Virtual hugs

What I wouldn’t give
for an actual real-life hug
but that’s not to be so when
we meet we smile and shrug
throw wide our arms as always
for a virtual one that’s best
under these cruel circumstances
Covid’s given us to test

But the social gatherings we have
at a distance in the sun
are things we all revel in
and enjoyed by everyone
So with every opportunity
afforded we will meet
and though the hugs are absent
just being there’s a treat

©Jemverse

Photo – virtual hugs at the beach hut – Jempics

Back to the beach hut

Got back to the beach hut
it’s been quite a while
so it’s good to be back
at the place with a smile
The wind was quite blowy
but the sunshine was out
and because of the wind
there was no-one about

The horizon was clear
on a sea of deep green
with white horses out there
the best we have seen
So good to be back here
we missed you so much
We couldn’t come sooner
but we’ve kept in touch

And we’ll make up for that now
for you’ve so much to teach
so much so in evidence
down here at the beach
And we’ll start with today
as it’s wonderful here
our beach hut in Lancing
which we hold so dear

©Jemverse

Photo – Us at our Beach Hut, Father’s Day 2020 – Bezza Croucher

Affirmation

Spent the day with family and Wolf
out in the bright summer sun
with social distancing observed as you do
for good conversation and fun

It almost felt normal and was for one thing
as we couldn’t get close for a hug
but even for that we’ve developed a thing
which we smile as we do with a shrug

The chance to just sit and natter away
and play with the Wolf for a while
is enough for us here, affirmation of life
to embrace as we do with a smile

©Jemverse

Photo – Jem with Wolfgang (‘Wolf’) not seen for 3 months – Bezza Croucher

Of shillings and treasure

I watched the shilling spinning
it was mine in no small measure
Enough to buy two Matchbox cars
to hold and keep and treasure
The fingers twisted blithely
as they caught and spun again
but I saw no abandon
found no one there to blame

For today was like a birthday
though mine was months away
when my uncle gave a shilling
on that special Saturday
And the Matchbox cars I purchased
for a purpose there to measure
are with me still as both I’ve held
and kept close as a treasure

©Jemverse

Photo – Jempics

19 February 1974

The knock at the door
I remember it well
though forty-six years have now passed
The vicar right there
with something to share
for a slap in the face that would last

It was anger I felt
with a fist in the air
that my father had left in that way
And I heard not a sound
from that hole in the ground
as I stood on that February day

It’s a picture I have
that years never fade
A boy of fifteen there bereft
Not a word of a lie
quite unable to cry
in spite of the void that was left

But thankfully time
the healer of ills
has mellowed the anger to love
And the man of those years
can now shed the tears
as he thinks of his father above

The slap in the face
has turned to a hug
lingering, precious and mine
and though there’s still sadness
there’s also a gladness
with his memory shared at this time

©Jemverse

Photo – Jempics

[In loving memory of my father – John Alan Croucher – 10/5/34 to 19/2/74]

Thoughts of walking

My brother sent a text
reminding me to book
some dates in May when
we’ll take another look
and with a best foot forward
and packs and beating heart
we’ll head into the Sussex hills
another walk to start

These are for days of talking
and taking in the view
of muddying our boots
and the walking things we do
These are for camaraderie
and sheltering from the rain
and walking with my brother
in the Sussex hills again

©Jemverse

Photo – Jempics

Tottington Wood

To Tottington Wood
in the mud and the rain
resolute and determined
we seven we came
And with best foot forward
we entered the trees
squelching through mud
which came up to our knees

The rain was incessant
and got in everywhere
but we all had fun
and didn’t much care
Because we are the Crouchers
for ever and ever
with fun times and frolics
as family together

©Jemverse

Photo – Emily Rose Croucher

Days gone by (Auld Lang Syne)

And so these few words
at the end of ten years
to wrap up a decade
of laughter and tears

We’re all ten years older
with the wisdom that brings
and we all must have seen
many wonderful things

Some which have brought us
joy and some gladness
and others some grief
and immeasurable sadness

And yet here we all are
as the twenty-teens end
looking forward as one
as family and friend

To another new decade
with all that is fine
as we all raise our voices
to the ‘auld lang syne’

©Jemverse

Photo – Jempics

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