Today features something quite rare for Jemverse – a repost. But I’ve an ulterior motive, because this is the result of a collaboration with Nadine Jordan of Sacramento for The Neighbourhood’s ‘Cities’ project. It was published on ‘The Public Blogger‘ on 26 July. Mine are the first, third and final stanzas…

[NB – in case you wonder from the title pic below…I’m originally from Bristol!]

The Neighborhood

poetry stage


from Limerick Ireland
Translation by Goitse



CONTRASTS a poetry duet

by Jeremey J Croucher of Jemverse, Sussex UK
& Nadine Jordan Sacramento via Montreal

There’s no metaphor here
and no hidden meaning
This picture you see
Isn’t sly or concealing
It’s not trying to hide
with devious intent
or deceive and
beguile to your detriment

All the tall buildings
Hiding the sky; boldly
Enclosed under the clouds
People are kneeling and feeling proud
Screams of “Black lives matter”
“Blue lives matter” “All lives matter”
I do know that city life matters
The cold cement of my surroundings
Makes for a quiet, unmoving peace

So what do you see
in this green open space
Is it somewhere you feel
that could satisfy grace?
Or does it conjure up something
that instead mystifies
about which you ate
puzzled and have long agonized

The magical wonder of urban life


View original post 98 more words

Counting the days II

I’m not past my prime
yet sometimes I feel
it takes longer these days
to recover and heal

And I know that the sun
should help me feel well
But sometimes it seems
very much the hard sell

So I think what I need
is a break well away
A bit of a rest and
a nice holiday

And as luck would have it
that’s happening soon
A week’s cruise to Greece
that we booked back in June

Just four weeks away
so we’re counting the days
as we both need a rest
from this pesky malaise


Photo – The Acropolis, Athens, Greece (where we’ll be again on 16th August) – Jempics

Contrasts, a big pond and an affinity

As a rule you will find me
surrounded by green
I’m often the nicest place
you’ll have seen

The winter skies are
blue/grey and bright
The reflection of snow
glimmers by night

I am generally quiet
where peace has a place
I encourage contentment
A feeling of grace

The bustling city noise
brings me alive
People quickly moving
trying to thrive

My buildings are ancient
have seen many years
They capture emotion
of trials and cheers

The Bistros, the clubs
and the music joints
I have so many
I’ll not disappoint

The fragrance in my
environs you’ll find
will foster a spirit
that brings peace of mind

The smog and emissions
fill up the air
But for me it brings comfort
that here I share

And most who live here
will be known by a name
To my rural surroundings
attest and acclaim

Lovers to most
and friends to a few
My urban life, fame
and always anew

©Jem Croucher & Nadine Jordan, 2017

Photos – (top): Shoreham-by-Sea, Sussex, UK [from a postcard owned by the author], (bottom): Marysville, California, USA [from a postcard owned by Cardcow Vintage Postcards]

Contrasts, a big pond & and affinity is a collaboration between Jem Croucher (@ Jemverse) and Nadine Jordan of Marysville, California inspired by the Neighbourhood, created by the Public Blogger.

Allotment III

It’s June and the allotment
is looking like you wouldn’t believe
Far more than I think we hoped for
and more than we could conceive

It’s amazing the effect that the sunshine
mixed with a downpour can do
That, and a touch of elbow grease
from the efforts of you know who

And already we’re seeing in just a few weeks
the fruits of our labours right here
It’s really very encouraging
with a great big helping of cheer


Photo – herbs, lavender, squash and beans on our allotment – Jempics



Something that I love to do
whenever I get the chance
is go rummaging in a charity shop
by design or happenstance
Some days I’ll just have a browse
as it’s a good way to unwind
but most times I’ll make a purchase
when a treasure I will find

It could be an ageing postcard
or a record or a book
or just a little trinket
that’s worth a second look
But it’s always therapeutic
as what some folk give away
passes pleasure on to someone else
to brighten up their day


Photo – Jempics. A postcard of Shoreham Beach, Sussex purchase in a Shoreham flea market for £3,50 on Saturday 4 February 2017. Postmarked ‘Shoreham S.O. 17 August 1909’. Message on rear to a Miss Maud Peacock of St James Road, London says ‘…Dear Maud. We are at Shoreham, Weather is lovely. From Will…’

This ‘Shoreham Beach’ (aka ‘Bungalow Town’) no longer exists per se. It began back in the 1870’s when, on a deserted shingle spit shielding the mouth of the Adur river from the sea, a fisherman decided to make a home for himself from disused railway carriages. Others copied him, including Marie Loftus, a music-hall star, who invited her show business friends to see the ingenious home she’d made. Her railway carriage homestead was decked out with wooden cladding to make it look like a traditional bungalow. Others followed including another music-hall star, Will Evans, who, with Francis Lyndhurst, a stage designer) formed the ‘Sunny Side Film Company’ to make short comedy films at the old fort at the eastern end of the beach.

As the film industry boomed, the settlement grew and became known as ‘Bungalow Town’. Many were formed from old railway carriages but most were transformed to include gables, wings and balconies. And, as you can see from this postcard, many were very close to the sea itself. More and more joined the community and, even though the film industry died with a disastrous fire at the main studios in the 1920’s, Bungalow Town established itself as a permanent settlement.

Then, in 1940 with the threat of invasion,  the War Department gave the bungalow-owners 48 hours to leave, and went on to blast away the majority of their homes. Soon much of the territory, overgrown and deserted, was back to where it had been before Marie Loftus discovered it. Only a few ex-railway carriage homesteads and the parish church remained.

All was not lost though as, after the war, drawn (as the first music-hall people had been) to the light and air of the beach, new brick-built bungalows began to spring up.  Bungalow Town was reborn and, although the ‘aka’ name remains, is now differentiated from the neighbouring Shoreham-by-Sea by the name ‘Shoreham Beach’. The most seaward plots are further back from the sea itself these days but a few of the original ‘railway carriage’ homes still remain, hidden beneath unassuming exteriors.



I walked this way so many times
the route I made my own
Knew everything about it
from where I worked to home
Yet, walking there this morning
there’ve been changes over time
Not least of which the view I see
on the Brighton city line

For now instead of open sky
from the churchyard on the hill
Brighton’s i-360 tower
looms omnipresent still
It’s really a monstrosity
(though some would disagree)
A spike upon the skyline
in Brighton by the sea


Photo – the ‘spike’ of Brighton’s i-360 tower looms between the trees seen from St Nicholas churchyard – Jempics. The ‘British Airways i-360’ is a 162-metre (531 ft) observation tower on the seafront of Brighton, near to the remains of the West Pier. It opened for business in August 2016.



I’ve come to the conclusion
that weekends are too short
So there’s a simple message there
and lawmakers really ought
to consider very seriously
turning two days into more
As adding just a couple
would be well worth waiting for


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