Ubi Sunt

As a boy these docks, this harbour
was a playground for adventure
fascination for a mystery
with no interest in debenture
Freedom then to roam and play
in summers with no ending
gave birth to a long love affair
with Sussex there befriending

But that was a long time ago
and though docklands here remain
the yearning for adventure
I have long learned to refrain
Transitory was that time
yet still there's vestige here
with sun-bleached memories of my youth
rekindled by the year

The harbour may have changed yet I
am still that boy at heart
and though six decades since have passed
we're scarcely now apart
Yes transitory the passing
yet somehow just the same
as every time I pass I hear
the calling of my name

©Jemverse

Photo – Shoreham Harbour from the ‘Albert Dock’, Sussex, UK – Jempics

An ‘Ubi Sunt’ is a verse form in which the poem or its stanzas begin with the Latin words “…Ubi Sunt…” (Where are…) or their equivalent in another language, and which has as a principal theme the transitory nature of things.

This Jemverse ‘Ubi Sunt’ is dedicated to Frank Hubeny and ‘Another Fearless Year’ (aka Linda Kruschker) from whom the inspiration to write it came.

Tie-dye in the sunshine

Yesterday in the sunshine
On my day of birth I saw
Some flowers in the garden
Which deserve (at least) encore

Tie-dye in the sunshine
A halcyon memory there
Absolutely gorgeous
Which I’m happy here to share

©Jemverse

 

The Shilling

I remember when I was a lad
how much a shilling gave
were I to spend it, even though
I was encouraged then to save

And so it was in West George Street
in Glasgow, Sunday night
The Shilling Brewing Co I found
built on an old bank site

And though it cost a little more
the beer there that I had
gave memory of the pleasure felt
with a shilling as a lad

©Jemverse

 

The Shilling Brewing Co was founded in 2016 and occupies the premises of a former Royal Bank of Scotland site. The old bank vault doors remain in the basement when the ladies and gents toilets are now.

A shilling was a unit of English currency before decimalisation in 1968. It was worth 12 old pennies or around 5 pence in today’s money. Back in the day you could get a lot with a shilling; but nowadays you can get virtually nothing with a 5 pence piece!

 

Decades

Born in the fifties, baby boom years
A child of the sixties, scuffed knees and tears

A teen in the seventies, met Sal, fell in love
and at the end of the decade, wed the above

Brought a house in the eighties, two offspring we saw
and then in the nineties, along came two more

Watched the i2k clock at the Millennium turn
and nothing stopped working, we were quite pleased to learn

A new century turned and into the noughties
as we left a decade behind and entered our forties

Twenty-ten came and went, the best years of our lives
then we found we were fifty, well what a surprise

And now as the teenies are nearing an end
we are looking at pensions on which to depend

But the twenties will follow when we’ll be retired
so perhaps we’ll go backwards and become more inspired

We have decades more to look forward to yet
with more pleasure to come the older we get

©Jemverse

 

Pictures II

Do you have a picture
one close to your heart
Capturing a moment
from which you cannot part?
Perhaps it looks like mine
though I have many, truth be told
Ones I will keep with me
Until I’m very old

They capture special moments
and I feel them every one
Some started many years ago
and some have just begun
Yet all of them are precious
and completely part of me
Pictures bringing substance
to a treasured memory

©Jemverse

 

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