Found by the sun

Went for a walk in the park and the sun
found me with a smile
exuded in a wide sunbeam
stayed with me for a while

Watched it as it settled at
the end of a long day
The sunbeams caught me squinting
and I waved at them as they
settled in the slumber that the
westward evening sky
had laid for it in waiting
as I wandered slowly by


Photo – sunbeams at sunshine slumber time, Buckingham Park, Shoreham – Jempics

Cuckmere Haven

Down at Cuckmere Haven
where the Ouse flows to the sea
the view from high on Haven Brow
is caught spectacularly
As up here with my camera
I pause to take a snap
The view as a reminder
that I am a lucky chap

For this is Sussex by the sea
beauty at its best
Close by and on my doorstep
by whim or by behest


Photo – Cuckmere Haven from Haven Brow (the first of the ‘Seven Sisters’ chalk cliffs), East Sussex, UK – Jempics

Sunshine IV

Sometimes those sunshine moments
catch you unaware
when beams of warmth come calling
and find you waiting there
And you are in your element
as summer calls your name
The dulcet sound you’ve longed for
returns with life again


Photo – the poet’s dog “Obi-wan Kinobi’ found by sunshine – Jempics

Seagulls passing

Sitting in the sunshine
by the river at high tide
A seagull came and perched
on the railings by my side
We had a little chat
as it seemed the thing to do
Passing a few pleasantries
before away he flew

And I stayed a while and pondered
of how fortunate was I
to live in such a lovely place
with seagulls passing by


Photo – Jempics

Achievement and Pride

We’ve walked a hundred miles
my brother Dave and me
The South Downs Way from Winchester
to Eastbourne by the sea
And when we reached the signpost
at the end we both agreed
that the feeling of achievement
was very good indeed

We’ve puffed and we have panted
up some really big, steep hills
But the views have been rewarding
with amazement yes, and thrills
And the fact that we have done this
over ten days as a guide
turns the word ‘achievement’
into one that’s tinged with pride


Photo – Dave & Jem Croucher at the end of the South Downs Way at ‘The Kiosk’ on Eastbourne Promenade – Jempics

Day Five (Alfriston to Eastbourne)

And just when we needed the sunshine
there it was just like a friend
to enrich us and encourage
and spur us to the end

Warm and bright and wholesome
with reflections on the sea
as we crossed the Seven Sisters
my brother Dave and me

And as we neared Eastbourne
as all good friends just should
it stayed as our companion
as we always hoped it would


Over five days, starting on Tuesday 2 May, my brother and I walked the second half of the South Downs Way – from Washington in West Sussex to Eastbourne in East Sussex. Day five was from Alfriston to Eastbourne.

Photo – three of the ‘Seven Sisters’ from the top of ‘Rough Brow’  – Jempics. The ‘Seven Sisters’ (Haven, Short, Rough, Brass, Flagstaff, Flat and Baily’s Brows) are a series of high chalk cliffs bordering the English Channel in Sussex and part of the long distance ‘South Downs Way’. An eighth ‘sister’ is currently forming – ‘West Hill Brow’ – as a result of coastal erosion.

Hope you’ve enjoyed this little capture of the ‘South Downs Way’ as much as my brother Dave and I have enjoyed walking it. We’re dedicating all eleven poems to Peter Owen-Jones, another lover of Sussex and presenter of the BBC documentary ‘South Downs: England’s Mountains Green’

And here are the links to the other ten poems in the series and reflecting all 100 miles of the South Downs Way from Winchester to Eastbourne:

Day Four (Rodmell to Alfriston)

Arriving here at Alfriston
we found the Smugglers Inne
A sixteenth century ale house
for the sale of beer and gin
And although it’s not imposing
many secrets here it hides
for behind its small exterior
more than twenty rooms inside

And more than forty doors
with six staircases to boot
All there to fool the Customs Men
when hiding all the loot
For us though there was purpose
which provided lots of cheer
A welcome stopping point to rest
and have a well-earned beer


Over five days, starting on Tuesday 2 May, my brother and I walked the second half of the South Downs Way – from Washington in West Sussex to Eastbourne in East Sussex. Day four was from Rodmell to Alfriston.

The Smugglers Inne at Alfriston has late 16th century origins and was originally called ‘The Crossstone Beerhouse’. In the early 19th century it was home to one Stanton Collins, the leader of the Alfriston gang of smugglers, who extensively remodelled its interior to provide hiding places and boltholes from the Customs Men. It has 21 rooms, 48 doors and 6 staircases. Photo – Jempics.

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