41

The suit I’d purchased for twenty-five quid
all I could afford at the time
just after my twentieth birthday
my life waiting there on the line

The tie was one of my fathers’
as were the shoes on my feet
His passing was five years too early
to see his son’s wedding complete

Now forty-one years have surrendered
themselves to the life we have led
since that day way back in seventy-nine
when Sally and Jeremy wed

And our love it grows ever stronger
kindred soulmates we are both as one
our life just one big adventure
since that day when it was begun

©Jemverse

Sal & Jem’s wedding day – 7th July 1979 [Photo: Josse Davis – Jem’s best man]

Mother’s Day 2020


My mother didn’t make it
to see my sixty years
when she passed away in May last year
amongst the smiles and tears
That saddened me (of course it did)
but it’s other times I miss
like the joy of giving flowers
on Mother’s Days like this
Yet the solace that I take away
from all the days I’ve cried
is the ever joyful knowledge
that she’s by my Father’s side

 

So on this Mothering Sunday
here’s to my Mum and Dad
from your eldest son the promise
that I’m joyful here, not sad
And though I’m now an orphan
in all I and do and think and say
as you walk there with the angels
I know you’re with me every day

©Jemverse

Photo – Jempics

19 February 1974

The knock at the door
I remember it well
though forty-six years have now passed
The vicar right there
with something to share
for a slap in the face that would last

It was anger I felt
with a fist in the air
that my father had left in that way
And I heard not a sound
from that hole in the ground
as I stood on that February day

It’s a picture I have
that years never fade
A boy of fifteen there bereft
Not a word of a lie
quite unable to cry
in spite of the void that was left

But thankfully time
the healer of ills
has mellowed the anger to love
And the man of those years
can now shed the tears
as he thinks of his father above

The slap in the face
has turned to a hug
lingering, precious and mine
and though there’s still sadness
there’s also a gladness
with his memory shared at this time

©Jemverse

Photo – Jempics

[In loving memory of my father – John Alan Croucher – 10/5/34 to 19/2/74]

42 Valentines

Forty-two and counting
Valentines I’ve sent
every one of them sincere
and full of sentiment
Forty-two to the same love
my soulmate true and through
a love that’s shared and deepened
the more years we accrue
Forty-two with every word
each February fourteen passing
meant and sealed with promise
for a love that’s everlasting

©Jemverse

Image – @valentinesdaypk (Twitter)

After the small hours

After the small hours we awaken
and with Wolfgang to Alcampo
Parking in our usual space, he leads the way
for he knows this place well
with coffee and conversation and
dog biscuits in a bowl by the bar
We break fasting later, laugh
and smile and cry and hug
before charity shop browsing
to part with small coppers
An old book for me, green glass for Sal
and a cute little piggy bank
with a cork stop nose I was
told not to buy but still did
This is Sunday loveliness spent
with extended family filling
moments to fill a life and cherish

©Jemverse

Photo – Jempics

[‘Wolfgang’ is my daughter and partner’s 1-year old Patterdale Terrier; ‘Alcampo’ is a gastropub in North Brighton, East Sussex, UK; the piggy bank pig I was told not to buy but still did now has pride of place in my music/writing/games room]

A Sussex view (revisited)

6 of 10 in the Jemverse ‘Sussex’ series

Sun sets on a winter sea
Golden ‘cross wet sand
as we go walking at low tide
as lovers, hand in hand

Obi’s here of course with us
trotting at our feet
His paws wet in the water
and enjoying this fine treat

And though there’s chill upon the air
there’s warmth within the sun
as it sinks beneath the Western sea
now the daytime is all done

By and by we’ll head back home
but for now a lingering stare
across the golden water
as the light, it fades out there

For this is Sussex by the sea
and these view they are our own
Never ceasing to bring wonder
Here in Shoreham, we call home

©Jemverse

Photo – Jempics

Jemverse originally posted ‘A Sussex View’ on 2 February 2019

40

Forty years ago today
I put my white suit on
The one I bought for twenty quid
in Jayson’s Menswear from
And the only tie I think I had
was a black one from my Dad
and a pair of his old shoes
I’d kept since I was just a lad

My best man Josse was with me
and he did his best I think
to help me look presentable
albeit with a wink
And then when we were ready
we walked down Ashby Road
to meet up with the others
from our single room abode

I was just over twenty
but in my heart I really knew
that love had spoken loud
and clear – this was the thing to do
So Sal and I were married
on the seventh of July
And today we celebrate the fact
of forty years gone by

A ruby anniversary
but far more precious is than that
the love that both of us still share
undeniably a fact
So these words are for my soulmate
repeated here anew
Three words I said both then and now
the adage “I love you”

©Jemverse

Photo – Jem & Sal on their wedding day; Saturday 7 July 1979, Loughborough

July

11 of 12 in the Jemverse series ’12 months II’

In seventy-nine
Forty Julys back
two kindred spirits wed
A fledgling love
grown stronger since
and deeper it’s been said

So this series
now at eleven
to my soulmate here I give
These simple words
true from my heart
for the life we share and live

©Jemverse

Jem & Sal on their wedding day: 7 July 1979 [photo – James Newbold]

Forty-one valentines

This year, this
Valentines, this day
to you, my soulmate
here I’ll say
Though forty years
and one year longer
My love for you
is ever stronger

We grow together
you and me
A partnership
eternally
So here’s to forty
more, my dear
My friend, my soulmate
Ever here.

©Jemverse

Photo – Jempics

Fields of Lavender

We walked in fields of lavender
on the sixth day of July
On a summer evening
beneath a clear blue sky
Lordington near Chichester
high on Sussex hills
to watch the setting of the sun
A cure to cure all ills

A setting here for lovers
romancing with a smile
on this our anniversary
(We stayed for quite a while)
The sun sank low, the fragrance grew
as we sat and watched the scene
here amongst the lavender
my soulmate Sal and me

©Jemverse

Photo – Jempics – Lordington lavender farm, near Chichester, West Sussex, UK. The farm opens for a small number of paying guests on July evenings each year. The chance to walk in and watch the sun set over the lavender fields with a glass of wine. Perfect for our 39th wedding anniversary this year.

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