The Gift II

I sat quiet of a morning with sunshine outside
here in the peace of this place
with the things I love most close by and at hand
feeling blessed to be given this grace

For that's what it is unequivocal there
a gift given gracefully free
to have and to hold and to use to its best
the life which is all about me

And I am its custodian so wisdom expects
no falter in duty or task
So I'll honour that grace and do as I'm bid
as that isn't a great deal to ask


Photo – Jempics


St Lawrence’s Lament

Deconsecrated hallowed walls to commercial gain
Shamefaced the stone walls weep
The ageing tower crenels kiss the sky
and now glazed windows
arch to residential pews

Adjacent still, forlorn the church school doors
etched into stone now hide
the jubilant voice of eager learning
faded into silent time
closed to commercial mind

Yet still an echo calls from  passing years
religion's words still cry
to this edifice, a monument to former days
saved from demolishment
from those now re-interred


Photo – Jempics

[St Lawrence’s church was built in the 15th century with 18th and 19th century additions. It was deconsecrated in the early 1960s and had become derelict until 2021 when it became part of the Ballymore led Brentford re-development project. As a part of the re-development, 850 bodies including the Commonwealth graves of two First World War heroes, victims of the 1642 civil war Battle of Brentford and builders of the Grand Union Canal in the 19th century were exhumed and re-interred in a Woking cemetery. The ex-church building has now been remodelled to provide luxury housing].

The hidden poem

There once was a poem, it lived in my head
where it churned and prospered and grew
Words came and went, stanzas they changed
Syntax coaxed old from the new

And unlike the ones that I write every day
this one shunned limelight and stayed
mysteriously there in the background
not yet to be up there, displayed

But then one proud day it appeared on the page
and encouraged my pen with its form
the one it had nurtured all of this time
waiting there in the wings to adorn

My Jemverse poetry blog with the rest
that I publish each day without fail
hoping to illicit from those who read
as another one here to regale


Photo – Jempics

Brentford Ait fading

There's an abandoned tug listing to port
moored up near Brentford Ait
it's been quite a while since anyone cared
so it's in quite a terrible state

There's a wolf on the bow so there was some intent
at a time for it boldly to go
perhaps plying for trade on Old Father Thames
on the water to go with the flow

But those days are gone long time now I fear
and the listing says more than words can
that this once proud lady now slips away
from the time she proudly began


Photo – Jempics

Brentford Ait is a four and half acre uninhabited island on the river Thames.

Old Father Thames and a slow evening

Spent a while with Old Father Thames
as it meandered slow to the sea
far to the east from where I was then
down in the Thames Estuary
As here I am bathed in late evening sun
in Brentford, West London this week
May's weather sees summer returning at last
evident here as I speak

For this evening the peace by the river is fine
almost quiet in a London-like way
slow with assurance now work's day is done
to show itself to me today
In a while I will wander back to the hotel
but for now with contentment complete
I'll sit here and watch as the river rolls by
satisfied and relaxed and replete


Photo – Kew Bridge, Brentford, West London – Jempics

The shifting sea

At the ebb of a tide I'll slink to the shore
and though nought to hide I'll be back for more
for this is my movement and what I am for
as I am the shifting sea

When winds they are blowing and barometer falls
my numbers will swell as angry it calls
and out there my whitecaps dance in the squalls
as I am the shifting sea

In all of the seasons be it frigid or heat
my inclemency matches the mood to be sweet
with my music and rhythm thrummed to the beat
as I am the shifting sea


Photo – Jempics

Night Words

In Brentford, West London beside Father Thames
three in the morning and still
a poet with pen writes lines in the night
to the scratch of proverbial quill

Words tend to flow at this time of night
for the mind is a curious thing
and sometimes when slumber seems eons away
the colour of rhyme will just sing

But cathartic the rhythm and flow of the song
to encourage and coax tiring eyes
as the writer completes the verse with a flair
it will often catch up by surprise

He reads back and smiles at the words on the page
which his pen has etched in the night
before downing his tools for slumber once more
dowsing to silence the light


Photo – Jempics

Start 10

10 of 12 in the ’12 months VI’ series

I have summer and sunshine here in my grasp
and I'm not letting go, so don't even ask
They're mine and neither is going away
so no fretting there as I start this display

For I am fair June and the summer is mine
so most of my days will be lovely and fine
And you will be warm and blissfully free
as you celebrate this, the summer with me


Photo – Jempics

Last Day #5

5 of 12 in the ‘Last Day 23’ series

And the last day of May
comes as June takes the stage
with a bow as summer returns
So good at long last to get a warm blast
of the sunshine as strongly it burns

So as May fades to silent
with its last curtain call
we applaud as it gave of its best
and brought us the sun for long days of fun
in exuberance of summer's zest


Photo – detail from Vincent Van Gogh’s ‘Sunflowers’ – Jempics

The sunflower is mine

I met Vincent in a painting
there was yellow everywhere
two men who loved the sunshine
for a synergy right there

Cathartic was the moment
though he's no longer here
but the colour in his painting
still brings to us good cheer

And being in that moment
with his life's work on the wall
projected light in motion
I with Vincent stood there tall


Photo – Emily Rose Croucher

[Van Gogh Alive is an interactive experience of Vincent’s life work in sound and motion which combines projected images of his paintings onto huge screens, ceilings and floors together with quotes from his letters and compatriots. There are animations and stills, extracts and full works all condensed into a 45-minute rolling programme showcasing his prolific 2,010 work repertoire created mostly during the last two years of his short 37-year life, The experience showcased in Brighton as a part of the 2023 Arts Festival].

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