(more) C’est la vie

11 of 12 in the ‘My very best’ series

I got to thinking
Life’s too short
for anything else
save that I ought
to do and think
and be about
and nothing else
there is no doubt

Cos tomorrow is
another day
and what is past
and come what may
For today I am
and that’s a fact
precious little
can detract

It’s what it is
a treasure and
a life worth living
hand in hand
The present tense
the ‘c’est la vie’
is all that should
be here daily


Photo – Sally Croucher

[C’est la vie’ was first posted to Jemverse in February 2016]


Stepped on a crack

10 of 12 in the ‘My very best’ series

Stepped on a crack in the pavement of life
And heard something chasing me
Turned and saw the bears of the night
Bricked it, suddenly

Ran so hard I thought I would die
But the bears were still hot on my trail
Panicked, I thought of a way to be free
But thought it would probably fail

Knew it was the only thing left to do
So I leapt for the space in between
And behind me I watched the bears disappear
As I fell to the ground breathlessly

Turned my head to the earth to cry
But a strong hand reached out for mine
Led me away from the cracks in the road
Showed me the narrow line 

Said it was hard to follow sometimes
But promised to always be there
Smiled and said to follow him
Led me away from the bears


Photo – Jempics [‘Shibboleth (aka ‘The Crack) – an installation by Doris Salcedo in Tate Modern’s turbine hall (2007)]

I first penned ‘Stepped on a Crack‘ in 1985 but first posted to Jemverse in August 2014

Never (ever) whatever

8 of 12 in the ‘My very best’ series

Whatever you do, Whatever you take
Whatever you see, Whatever you make
Whatever you carry, Whatever you use
Whatever you give, Whatever you lose
Whatever you love, Whatever you cherish
Whatever you hold, Whatever you perish
Whatever you tarnish, Whatever you clean
Whatever you muster, Whatever you glean
Whatever you think, Whatever you feel
Whatever you break, Whatever you heal
You are, as am I, not simply whatever
But really quite special, so never say never


Photo – Emily Rose Croucher

[Never whatever was first posted in November 2016]

(a return to) Something interesting

5 of 12 in the ‘My very best’ series

Show me a colour, one that describes me
Look at my face – the colour behind my eyes
It cries for the sun and pines away on these rainy days
Curled in a ball and shivering,
It longs for a blue that paints the skies

I have a paintbox here somewhere; it has a bright palette
One I have used many times, mixing over and over
as old and dusty colours
lend their way to young ones bright and new
Blending easily with the marks I have made

There’s one hiding there with a hint of something interesting
I think it’s the one you need; something of the extra mile
Like the spreading rings of raindrops
as they fall to puddles
But there again, perhaps I am imagining things

Come closer. I’ll show you a colour – one that describes me.
Is it blue or a yellow or an autumn gold? Is it mellow green
or amber, or purple or silver or any one of the
hundred thousand colours you have seen? No. It is every one of these
spreading like raindrop rings on water


Something Interesting‘ has been reposted many times since I first penned the words back in 2001. First time on Jemverse was in May 2014.


3 of 12 in the ‘My very best’ series

In the sand we saw footprints that led to the sun
and we followed them true for a while
but then a distraction called from one side
so we scurried away with a smile

But the smile of distraction soon turned to a frown
and could never hold us for long
as we realised its shallow deception
and grew tired of its welcoming song

So we knew then the footprints were where we should be
to follow them on to the Son
for the truth, when it hit us was evident then
as the place where life was begun


Photo – Jempics

‘Footprints’ was first written back in July 1996 but hasn’t been published anywhere until now

Droplets falling

the droplet falling
rippled to
concentric rings
fading to whimsy
save to the
next repetition
from which
tiring never fades


Photo – Jempics

Back to Jem’s new hat

Penultimate (11 of 12) in the ‘About Brighton’ series

Wandered round in Brighton
brought a brand new hat
Blue to match my sunglasses
Sylish (that’s a fact)
Felt much like a rock star
walking round the place
with lovely Brighton people
and a smile upon my face
It only cost a tenner
but it’s not about the price
For Jem’s new hat is perfect
and it’s really rather nice


Series photo is from the front cover of a first edition of the book by Anthony Dale (1951)

Jem’s new hat‘ was first posted in July 2018

Clarity V

Cathartic this wide expanse of beach
tide low under deep blue sky
just the tonic that I needed
as I wandered slowly by

Splashed winter boots in cold water
found a bright red shell
dragged my toe through the wet sand
with words I'll never tell

Felt the sun warm on my neck
wiped away the tear
replacing that with new found joy
as things became quite clear


Photo – Jempics

Tri-tanka XVI (Lucidity)

With lucidity
lightbulb moments came to me
from left field this week
Caught me unaware but filled
the hole which had been growing

With lucidity
fulfilment left me complete
with realisation
And relaxed into happy
the proverbial clouds parted

With lucidity
the sunshine returned again
and with spring in step
I was dancing in my mind
Some decisions born of that


Photo – Jempics

[Tanka is a Japanese poetic non-rhyming poem with a syllabic sequence of 5-7-5-7-7. ‘Tri-tanka is a derivative of Jemverse making, returned to periodically as part of an ongoing series]

Waiting III

Sat in the hospital waiting room
there with Sal for moral support
on a very cold winters' morning
('cos it's the right thing and I ought)

Here for an eyesight inspection
post-op (trust everything's good)
'cos we're not as young as we were
and things don't work quite as they should

But we're in a good place for the checking
all thanks to the NHS
whose care and attention and treatment
is nothing short of the best


Photo – stock from NHS.gov.uk

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