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].


With Venus shining in the sky
for Galetea a sunset gleamed
and sixteenth century playwright vibes
descended to the place it seemed

the message loud and clear
spoken, signed and acted
whilst the crowd applauded here

And as dusk fell into nightfall
with shadows gathered long
the yield of epilogue spoke true
of love's all-conquering song


Photo – Jempics (the bright glow in the centre is Venus in the Western sky over Shoreham)

[Galatea is an epic tale of love, transformation and acceptance, written by John Lyly in the 1580s and adapted for the 21st century by Emma Frankland, an award-winning LGBTQIA theatre-maker and performer. Galatea premiered at the 2023 Brighton Festival on Shoreham recreation ground in the week ending 20th May]

Lavender Loveliness

We purchased some lavender
lots of it in pots
ready for planting
as we found the spots
Some went to the allotment
as encouragement for bees
spreading theirs pollen
the moment to seize
But the rest to our garden
now take pride of place
for more joie de vivre
and smiles on the face


Photo – Jempics


The week that's passed, I believe will be
the penultimate week I'm away
on business for the work that I do
hip hip hip, hooray!

I know that I won't miss this thing
these business trips and travel.
One less small inconvenience
I'll not need to unravel

And yes I've seen the country
on the journeys I have known
but, truth be told, I'd rather
stay comfortable at home

So now that this penultimate
week away I can now shun
it's one more item off the list
ticked and checked and done


Photo – the inside of Kings Cross station, London – Jempics

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