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

First IV

4 of 12 in the Jemverse ’12 months III’ series

December is here and as the first arrives
I am content for Christmas
to make its annual entrance
November’s too early or course
But this year there were ads in October
which borders on a step too far.
Yet today with a house full of adults remembering childhood
dusty boxes from dark attics
open to reveal their treasures
And sparkle brings glow as festive spirit blossoms into joy

©Jemverse

Photo – Shoreham’s Christmas sheep – Jempics

After the small hours

After the small hours we awaken
and with Wolfgang to Alcampo
Parking in our usual space, he leads the way
for he knows this place well
with coffee and conversation and
dog biscuits in a bowl by the bar
We break fasting later, laugh
and smile and cry and hug
before charity shop browsing
to part with small coppers
An old book for me, green glass for Sal
and a cute little piggy bank
with a cork stop nose I was
told not to buy but still did
This is Sunday loveliness spent
with extended family filling
moments to fill a life and cherish

©Jemverse

Photo – Jempics

[‘Wolfgang’ is my daughter and partner’s 1-year old Patterdale Terrier; ‘Alcampo’ is a gastropub in North Brighton, East Sussex, UK; the piggy bank pig I was told not to buy but still did now has pride of place in my music/writing/games room]

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