This town of mine

Someone sent a photograph
of how it used to be
Shoreham when I was a lad
Evoked a memory

Walking home from school each day
climbing up the wall
Jumping on the old bomb there
never once to fall

The den up in the manor
on the edge of Buckingham Park
where we’d hide and read our comics
and stay ’til it got dark

The sea defences on the beach
near to the harbour’s arm
Ignored our parents’ warning
though we never came to harm

The ruined house in Kingston Lane
its air-raid shelters gave
us reason for adventures
in the dark just like a cave

So many memories I have
of times now gone before
when Shoreham was a different place
this town on Sussex shore

But something nurtured way back then
has stood the test of time
As I’m still here and call this home
This lovely town of mine

©Jemverse

 

Halcyon Days – tanka

Woodsmoke lingers here
on the days dying embers
fragrant on the air
It permeates my being
The whimsy of halcyon days

©Jemverse

Day 2 of 7 in the Jemverse ‘Five Lines’ event – a tanka a day for 7 days.

A tanka is a five-line non-rhyming poem of Japanese origin dating back almost 1200 years. Using simile, metaphor and personification, the five lines must follow a syllabic sequence of 5, 7, 5, 7, 7.

The boy and the bindweed

Walking out at lunchtime
I saw down at my feet
something from my boyhood
and a memory was piqued
Bindweed on the way to school
white flowers on the way
Picked and popped at passers’ by
on every summer’s day

They grew there in abundance
and though trajectory was short
we didn’t really mind as
they gave merriment and sport
And yes, I know that they will irritate
gardeners nowadays
But then, in all my innocence
they were fun in lots of ways

©Jemverse

Simply a sixpence

I once had a sixpence
that was shiny and new
and was full of the joy
of the good it would do
But its devaluation
over time was intense
as now it is worth
just over two pence

Back then it could get me
a brand new toy car
or a big bag of sweets
from my favourite jar
But now there is nothing
that alone it can buy
An indictment to life
so sad I could cry

But putting time to one side
for the moment at least
there is plenty besides
on which we can feast
For that memory brings back
a smile for the years
Days of innocence shared
with laughter and tears

And though the sixpence
won’t purchase anything now
It’s intrinsic value
is greater somehow
For its memory holds treasure
making me a rich man
in more ways than money
ever did or still can

©Jemverse

The whimsy of treasured memories

Closeted in the cupboards of minds
and kept for a rainy day
memories of the halcyon times
Dreams are filed away

Days from childhood, days from youth
retained to often share
many things taken save for these
All kept and treasured there

A sacrosanct trove of happiness
as the years pass swiftly by
brought out and dusted down when we
with whimsy breathe a sigh

©Jemverse

Conkers

I’d turn back time
(If only I could)
For I’ve a bag full of conkers
which I found in the wood
Recalling the days
of muddied scuffed knees
Long days in the sunshine
and the climbing of trees

‘Borrowing’ a skewer
from the kitchen drawer
when stringed conkers in pocket
was what life was for
We threw sticks to the branches
to see what would fall
and the thrill of the find
was just part of it all

The ‘fallers’ were rare
but we searched just the same
Always out in the woods
when the autumn time came
But that art has been lost
for today on the ground
There were hundreds of conkers
just lying around

And the only boy there
was the one in my mind
As it re-lived the days
that time tries to find
I-phones replace conkers
Imagination consumed
And simple pleasures like this
could well now be doomed

Yet all is not lost
For the conkers remain
for collecting by me
every year just the same
As now they are used
to keep spiders away
And as happy reminders
of a halcyon day

©Jemverse

Fields of long summers

In fields of long summers
explored as a child
Seeking out blackberries
which grew in the wild
Enjoying adventures
in grass baked by the sun
Those were the days
filled with laughter and fun

Those fields of long summers
are explored by me still
For although I’ve grown older
I’ve not yet had my fill
The adventures have changed
in grass baked by the sun
But I’m still having days
filled with laughter and fun

And in fields of long summers
I expect to remain
Returning to them
again and again
With more adventures to come
in grass baked by the sun
And in old age have days
filled with laughter and fun

©Jemverse

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