Wet paws

It was quite damp in Obi’s field
near Ashurst, Sunday last
the rain came down like stair rods
and the sky was overcast
the ground was rather sodden
more marshland than a field
the penalty for being
in the flat of Sussex Weald

There were puddles deep as rivers
round the bases of the tree
and I’m glad that we wore wellies
as the depth came to our knees
But we enjoyed the squelching
and Obi had his run
as up here at the Houndie House
we always have some fun


Photo – Jempics

Stopham Bridge III

In Sussex there’s a bridge
Built in fourteen twenty-two
now closing on six hundred years
since its fine stones were new
It spans the river Arun
near Stopham Village where
it’s provided here a crossing
for local folk to share

And it is I think my favourite place
in Sussex where I live
somewhere I’ll return to and
to it my homage give
For it brings me an exuberance
of pure unbridled joy
I’ve had the pleasure of repeating
ever since I was a boy


Photo – Stopham Bridge, Sussex, UK – Jempics

My southern hills

Last time I came along this way
it was chalk upon my feet
Clouds of dust cooked by the sun
in lovely summer heat

But what a change here now to see
now autumn rains have come
the dried out dip now water-filled
reflecting autumn sun

The chalk is now in muddy form
if you traverse the puddles
picking paths through undergrowth
lest you get in a muddle

But it’s still really lovely
so I’ll keep on walking here
be it in full sun or rain
on misty days or clear

For all these southern hills are mine
and are a part of me
so I will always visit them
in Sussex by the sea


Photo – Jempics

A lucky chap I am

Up on the six mile circuit
these hills retain their charm
bathed in an autumn sunshine
they bring a certain calm
And wandering by these hedgerows
with berries bright and red
this is the perfect place to be
o’er anywhere else instead
So I put best foot forward
and walked because I can
so conscious of the simple fact
a lucky chap I am


Photo – Mill Hill, Sussex (on the six mile loop) – Jempics

Little yellow seat II

I’m sitting on the yellow seat
Looking out to sea
It’s perfect in the sunshine
Although a tad windy

We came down here again today
So it seemed the thing to do
On such a lovely day as this
To see this lovely view

October now of course but that
Does not get in the way
As though the air is cooler
The sun still has a say

And though there are few words
I find sitting on this seat
Several some straight to mind
To make this view complete

Unspoken by the sunshine
And the blue sky and the sea
On this beach in Lancing
Where we just love to be


Photo – selfie in the yellow seat, Lancing beach, Sussex, UK – Jempics

Back for more

8 of 10 in the Jemverse ‘On the beach’ series

Not content with just a day
I’m back again for more
a repeat here of the yesterday
close to this fine sea shore
The sunshine just as warming
the sea just as sublime
on this beach at Lancing
which I regard as mine


Photo – Jempics

Rude not to

5 of 10 in the Jemverse ‘On the beach’ series

It’s still early but here
on the beach the warm sun
is rising and raring to go
So I’m here in my shorts
“Cos I felt that I ought
get in there and go with the flow

A wise choice I think
as the promise is good
that this day will be warmer than most
So it’s rude not to go
to the beach as you know
down here on the fine Sussex coast


Photo – Jempics

Because I can II

At the back end of August
with pause to regale
thoughts turned to the hills
and the much followed trail

So I put best foot forward
and headed out there
knowing it always
has much more to share

No selfishness here
it has so much to give
and for these Sussex hills
there’s reason to live

And not just to live
but a ‘je ne sais quoi’
for this is abundance
a ‘four to the bar’

Joie de vivre, enrichment
the making of man
so I’ll take advantage
right here as I can


Photo – the Sussex trail – Jempics

The hill, the view and breath taken

Walked through the woods
as it wended its way
uphill all the way to the Ring
The weather was kind
and we didn’t mind
as no waterproofs did we bring

The view from the top
of the Weald and beyond
breathtaking as it always is
and up here today
what more can we say
when faced with something like this?

We sat for a while
to take it all in
and then when we’d had our fill
Followed the track
as it took us right back
all the way home down the hill


Photo – Jem nearing the top of Chanctonbury Ring, West Sussex, UK – Gracey Croucher


On the hill above the flyover
where just five weeks ago
no cars were seen to travel
but now the traffic’s slow

People travelling home from work
in weather hot and dry
whilst high above them on the Downs
I watch as they crawl by

I think I know which I’d prefer
and I guess that they would too
but they’re down there and I’m up here
enjoying this fine view


Photo – Shoreham flyover, Adur valley estuary, from Mill Hill, Sussex, UK – Jempics

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