Garden II

I have a parcel of land
out the back where I live
Which comes alive in the summer
when it’s superlative

But in winter it’s neglected
and gets quite overgrown
Too cold to sit out there
and the grass stays un-mown

I’ll still take a picture though
every once in a while
‘Cos even though I’m not out there
it still brings a smile

©Jemverse

The last breath

One tiny splash of summer colour clings
Alone and fragile there
Abandoned by warmth it sadly sings
With its last breath to share

©Jemverse

Gone

For five and forty years
It stood there proud and tall
It’s leafy branches spreading wide
and sheltering us all
First thing we saw each morning
when throwing curtains wide
There across the way from us
The big tree just outside

Birds built their nests within its crown
and came back every year
And scampering along its branches
the squirrels brought us cheer
Even when in summertime
the bees filled us with alarm
They swarmed and buzzed about a bit
but never did us harm

But when springtime came around this year
few leaves upon it grew
And when the yellow signs went up
I think we sort of knew
Disease had settled deep inside
and it had become unwell
So yesterday a truck arrived
with men equipped to fell

Now all that’s left is sawdust
and a stump where once it stood
Our tree is sadly there no more
as it has gone for good
We shed a tear when it came down
a sad passing for our street
But that is not where this all ends
And the story’s incomplete

For we’re promised that come wintertime
a new sapling will appear
To take its place and grow up tall
and once again bring cheer
Meantime we have photographs
to bring pleasure and remember
As we look forward to new planting
Which will happen in December

©Jemverse

Beeching’s Blunder II

Caught the train as usual
but travelled back in time
The years slipped by like miles
along the Horsham line
The steeped and cut embankment
rebuilt and clear again
As clattering past the Shoreham points
sped my old steam train

The by-pass it had vanished
as the trackbed took its place
And I passed through Bramber station
with a sense of pride and grace
The tree-lined cutting past the castle
Steyning station’s smoke-clad bridge
Then up the line to Henfield
along the Adur valley ridge

My train slowed into ‘Beechings’
Henfield’s ironic testament
to the axing of a way of life
by a sixties government
The Cat and Canary station pub
Afforded interlude
Not pausing there for half a pint
Would have been a little rude

Then back through the Adur flood plains
my trip through time took me
Unfettered views across the valley
to the hills and out to sea
Thought, in sixty years this landscape
will not be recognised
And people passing through today
would be dumbfounded and surprised

It was a journey of nostalgia
the years now lost in time
the passing of the age of steam
along the Horsham line
And as twenty-fifteen brought me back
Across some sixty years
The memory of that long-lost time
Brought with it several tears

©Jemverse

 

Following a report written by Dr Richard Beeching for the UK Government in 1965, around 5000 miles of track and 2,363 stations of branchline railway in the UK were axed. A way of life ended and the lifeline to hundreds of villages was cut off forever. All in the name of progress. Now, over 50 years later, many of the axed line routes have since reopened as footpaths and bridleways. One of these covers the length of what was once the Horsham and Guildford branch-line in Sussex. Its route remains but many of its stations have since been lost to commerce and time, the landscape ever changing. ‘Beechings’ in Henfield (for example) was once a thriving station and goods yard but is now a housing estate.

Obscurity

Fading now into his

dark-cornered obscurity

A shadow of a man

sits down and vainly waits

Holding out a dirty hand

to a world that passes by

Convenience is to ignore

his stark and empty plate

 

©Jemverse

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