Some Poems, and other writings

Here follows - mainly as a platform to support them - a selection of stuff that I have written down. They are presented in something like chronological order - that is to say, in the order in which they were written. These have not necessarily anything to do with wildlife, but may have something to do with life...


A Sea Shandy


If ever that you chance afloat,

This warning take by me;

Watch out for crew-less carrot ships

Whilst you are all at sea.

For ploughing through the restless waves,

A carrot, red as fire;

Two beetroots and a banana skin,

And an old deposed town-crier.

‘Belay there, me hearties!” shouts the mate,

A leader in the stew;

To half a dozen craven steers,

And a Birmingham bus-crew.

Against the ever rising seas,

The paddles gamely turned;

Till all they caught the boat alight,

And half the crew were burned.

So if ever you may chance to sail,

Perhaps, with luck, you’ll sight;

An unmanned flaming carrot boat,

Drifting through the night.

(Circa 1965)


an unestleschery auction


“Who will come bidding for these biddables?” shot the white-looking auctioneer to the congregabled crowd.

“Who’ll give me for this here whathavewe?” he shout, going all bloody all in his face.

“I will!” hollered a weedy looking caracher, from up the back, as it were.

“I’ll give thee so-much for that there what-soever have you.” he added.

The auctionbloke wacked a wicked-looking hammer on to the defenceless wood, crying “sold!’ in the process.

The caracher gave him so-much for the whatsoever, and that was a grey mistakes for why wants a weedy-looking caracher a wicked-looking hammer and a defeaseable lumber of wood?”


Some time in the 1960s


Tarzan's finishing touch


“Aaaaaaagh~” shouted Tartan, situated up aloft in the branches of a handy tree.

“AAAaaaagh~’ shouted he again, but louder.


Far below, in Africa, (darkest) the baddies heard the fearful cry.

“Heard you that tearful cry?” asked Augustus, who was poaching at the time.


“That certainly sounds to me like Tartan, situated up aloft in the blankets of a sandy tree.

And it was.

“Shiver me timbers and strike a kite!” sayed Harold, who left the sea years ago to become a cold firewood manufactory and a poached ego; both of which happened.

“I do believe you is roight, August.”


Meanwhile, Tarman, who let it be known had spotted the baddues a-poaching, was justaboat to let out another meaningless “AAAaaaaaaaaghh!” but longer; when along came a memory of the noisy basement sortie, and therefore ended this story once and for hell.

Another time in the 1960s

Joseph, he is his father's son

(but his father is dead now)


One fine damp, moonless day; Joseph’s father met his long lost son.


“Goodeven, son.” said Joseph's old father.

“Goodeven to you, old father.” said Joseph.

“How is it good to see you again, son, boy, after all these years you’ve been away at sea.”

(Little was it in Joseph’s father’s mind that his son hadn’t been away at sea all those years)

“Little is it in your mind that I haven’t been away at sea all these years!” exclaimed Joseph. 

“You’re right, little is it in my mind.” said the old father, dying noisily of shock.

Yet more time in the 60's


After the Wedding


Why the night so silent,

After the evening before?

Why the noisy dream-tumbled half-sleep?

And the wildly spinning thoughts of morning?

The persistent vision of a roomful of people,

Dim roomful of vague outlines;

Surrounding two - outstanding two -

Blinding individuals.

one a face of the present, and of the past,

A teacher of dancing;

Yet not a dancing teacher:

Showing not how, but WHY.

The other, a face of the future,

Not of her future alone,

But of another,

Yet to come.

So, the ideas were said,

or given,

or felt,

or seen.

And the silence - to recapture;

The dreams - to arrange;

And the thoughts - to entertain.

2nd May 1971 (early morning)


 Dog Morning


A dog joined me one wet morning,

On delivery, round about eight;

Sniffing round all the soaked gardens,

Getting shut behind more than one gate.

We walked, and we talked about nothing,

- there was nothing much needed to say;

But ‘twas good just to have a companion,

On an otherwise mis’rable day.

And at least the rain had stopped falling,

- not that the sun put in time;

But it made for more pleasant-still walking,

For me and this dog-friend of mine.

At last, I was starting to cheer up!

- so glad of such fine company;

Till the dog found a new kind of pursuit,

Well, a bone’s more important than me.

28th June 1974 at 8.30 am (while delivering the mail)


Trips Up and Down


We ate, some honey and bread,

And drank some grotty coffee;

Parked on the edge of a lane,

One hundred yards off the road to Coventry.

The weather till then had been dismal,

And we’d taken the wrong road, twice;

But the poppies were painting the fields red,

WE were bright, and it was nice.



Hey - I just wanted to say

That half-hour after you’d hugged me a friendly goodbye,

I saw me reflected in the train window —


Now! THAT’S a change from a month ago,

When nobody really said goodbye,

And my first real chance to smile

Was a week later, when you said Hallo!


On a Birmingham to London train, 30th June 1974


Drop Down






Just occasionally, i

But that’s no good -

It’s only further,






July 1974




And why not,

Carry a banner,



4th July 1974 8am


Heart and Head


I wonder what would happen,

if instead;

I do what my heart says,

instead of my head.

6th July 1974 8am




Sometimes, when we’ve been sitting quiet and close and calm,

You’ve seemed to enjoy pulling just a single hair from my arm.


Luckily, it’ll be a long time before my arm’s quite bald;

Because there’re quite a lot of hairs left to be pulled.


But please keep trying.

And there’s always the other arm.

15th July 1974 9pm





The noise of 2000 CC's of aircraft-fuelled racing machines

Together with a non-hi-fi P.A. system and a crowd of excited speedway spectators

Does not, to me, suggest the possibility of receiving anything....

Except noise


Yet that noise was replaced -

Suddenly, totally,

By something of such power yet of such subtlety

That words failed -

and tears formed.


29th July 1974



How do I know what I think

till I see what I say ? (E.M. FORSTER?)



How can I say what I feel

Till I know what I think?


Should I say what I think

When I know how I feel?

4th August 1974

Time Shift


Will You walk with me again, when You have time?


Will You still want to hold my hand, when You have time?


Or will Your time always be so different from mine?

8th August 1974 (8am)




If only people realized just how fragile people can be.

Even by words, sometimes they can be smashed.

The wrong words, too many words, or too few words;

Can smash people.

Very often, the only thing that can put them together again

Is love.

14th August 1974




Conditioned — trained to be nice to people... however you feel!

Today, I don’t want to wish anybody a “good morning”.

People are only saying it to me, anyway — they aren’t wishing it.

So, she asks me, so nicely and with such a cheerful smile, a simple question

It might be for the time or anything


But I don’t want to answer -

I don’t need to answer!

I don’t have to answer!

Yet it’s a bloody effort trying at least not to smile ‘cheerfully’,

As I do.



So how do I make it clear?

When I don’t say ‘good morning’,

It’s because I don’t wish it.

And when I do,

It’s because I mean it.


People can make of these moods what they like.

I won’t loose anything by being ‘nasty’.

Christ! I didn’t gain anything by being ‘nice’.


16th August 1974


Death of Feeling


Once, surprisingly not even very long ago,

I could, at times, feel very upset at news reports of one man -

Or even 30,000 men being killed unnecessarily.

It upset me that such things could happen.


Now I read poetic newspaper descriptions of ‘Crimson Turkish Sabres

Cleaving the air’

To blast the guts out of any Greek Cypriots, or Turkish, who happen to be

on the ground.


That doesn’t upset me. I don’t care about them or the fact that another few people have been blown to pieces by an Ulster car-bomb.

It’s now only me that I care about,

and maybe the couple of people who care about me.

16th August 1974




Now, it seems, at last there’s a person who’ll come along,

And pick up the pieces, because she wants to;

Without being paid.

I wonder. When the pieces are put in a box; will she also

come along and visit them?

‘Cos there won’t be enough of them left to be put together again.

17th August 1974


I Believed You


I believed You

when You said that I

could overcome the Me;

I used it for a day or two,

it worked, so that PEOPLE could see.

but, It seems that I was not strong enough,

to achieve what We hoped might be;

for already the I is fading away,

the people are going—

and me.

August 1974


Group Therapy


How deathly quiet the place is,

And so morbid are the faces,

All sat in a circle round the room.


But the atmosphere is broken,

Though as yet no word is spoken,

When a stomach rumbles like a sonic boom.

Ingrebourne Centre 1975


Somewhere in between


When I look at all the words written down then typed out –

at this sort of time –

It's very clear that most of them were written at one end of life.

Not the earlier end or even yet the late end,

Because life is not a length of time –

Rather state of being

With a high end and a low end and a something in between

Or a somewhere in between.


At least, in between – wherever it is – I can look at the words

And see not where I've come from,

But something of what it was like being there.

That's frightening.

4th April 1975


Epitath on an non-existant headstone


When I am dead

Don’t wish to lie

A rotting corpse

Concealed from sky

Just ashes blowing in the wind

and nothing to show

where I have bin



Fantasy on the possibility of the fall of Mau's tail


Peruse, mog Mau, thine appendage, TAIL,

With which thou – aimless – air do flail.


Not knowing, or so ’twould seem,

Clear use of , or e’n what ‘twould mean;


If while twirling unprotected,

Thy tail should fall off – disconnected!


And though to you of use unclear,

To most cats tails are very dear.


For re-tail can be most expensive,

Enough to make mogs apprehensive.


And, reflect on poor Eeyore’s fate….

When re-nailed on – it just hung straight!


So reconsider, feline Mau,

Use wisely and respect thy tail.


Flail with felling – don’t abuse it;

Thou’lt surely miss it, if thou lose it.

7.30-9.30   23rd April 1976


Leigh Beck - A view from a sea wall


The land crouches behind the sea-wall.

On the sea-ward side, its primitive ancestor bubbles

In short-lived respite from the waves.


Wintering wild geese and wild-duck proclaim their meagre territory,

Where, in warmer months, butterflies sailed

Over sea-lavender and purslane.


Concrete fronts the grassy banks where men – in summer –

Walked and sat and watched the ply of the ocean-traffic

While below, behind them, furtive sedge-birds reared their young in reed-filled dykes.


Now white-topped waves, wind and tide borne, caress the ramparts.

The land crouches behind the sea-wall.

31st July 1976


March Dawn


The moon long set,

The sun not risen,

In leafless trees by darkness hidden;

The Blackbird flutes his morning song…..

The day is come.

April 1978


On the Death of Jum


No more among the flowers to hide

Well-tended foliage pushed aside

Ears erect for the motor's purr

Her master's return – and more food for sure


No more upon the car to leap

Her wondrous master thus to greet

To wait and jump upon his head

Then sidle softly around his leg


There on the kitchen floor were laid

Saucered morsels that mice would raid

All excess food – poor pampered cat

From overeating she grew too fat.


No more those supplemental meals

From mornings stalking through the fields

A swift claw-snatch at passing flies

Or seeking the slow-worm where he lies


And then at master's feet to lay

The prized remains of mornings prey

A sparrow brown or beetle black

Or pink prize-dahlia from out the back


Not to hear again her mistress' yells

When pungent odour crime foretells

Or again her master's hand to scar

When punished for paw-marks on polished car


For now her nine long lives are run

Her master does what must be done

In a cardboard box to the vet she's taken

He returns home, and feels quite shaken


And quietly some tears he sheds

His throat is tight, and his eyes are red

Just fourteen tins of Kit-e-Kat

Remain to remind of the dear old cat

6th July 1978




Dying leaves sighing

last farewells as wind-borne clouds

shade the fading sun.


Autumn leaves –

The final whispering

Before lights out.


Hear now

The last whispers

Of red-brown autumn leaves

As wind-borne clouds occlude the sun.


Grey clouds hurry by,

Dead leaves fly; and the wind cries

‘The sun is falling’.

16th September 1978


Kissing Gates


“They really are kissing gates,

 you know,” I said

- then kissed her on her cheek.

She laughed and said the snow was warm,

And put her hand upon my cheek...

The warmth went

To my heart


(12th January 2003, Thorndon Park)

24th December 2005


Lunching on a Volcano


From lunching on a volcano to approaching a hairpin bend,

The EFOG trip to Sicily was a hoot from start to end.


When first arriving at Stanstead, someone's luggage was overweight,

A quick transfer to the two guys' bags, and we soon put matters straight.

Then a slight problem with liquids put us in a stir;

But again, a transfer to a luggage-hold bag; and two hours later - in the air.


The landing at Palermo and picking up the car;

The night-time drive to Capo d'

Orlando, was bizarre.

The weirdness of Uffici - that strange place on the way;

Before we hit the Autostrada - the multi-tunnelled motorway.


Then a midnight call to our villa host, and the greeting that we got;

With plenty of chatting and oranges - but of sleep, well, not a lot.

But we got up to the sunshine - broke-fast on the patio;

And our host of the night came round early and bright, for another long hello.


We drove to the Park of Nebrodi, turned east instead of west;

Ended way up on an unmade road, where our drivers were put to the test.


We walked up near the snow-line; wined at Christmas on the beach;

Rode the hydrofoil to the Aeolian Isles, where the crater was in reach.

We walked to the Valley of Monsters, missed the setting of the sun;

But whatever we did, whether right or wrong - most of it was fun.


We excursioned out to Mt. Etna; were driven through the clouds;

And although a bit touristy, we didn't mind the crowds.

We walked around in the snow-fields, had panini in a bar;

And at 6000 feet on Sicilian roads, were glad it wasn't our car.


We celebrated New Year as the locals do, with weird-fish for the fare.

In a 30 Euro restaurant, and we made the locals stare;

Singing Auld Lang Syne at Greenwich-mean time - much to the local's concern -

They though we'd got the hour wrong - but the mistake was obviously ther'n!


And on the last day's drive to Palermo, drove to Tusa on the way -

Yet another siesta'd restaurant, so we didn't bother to stay.

And like filling the car near the airport, with the cash-card that got jammed,

We were lucky to get back for our check-in, with the car not getting rammed.


But most of what happened in Sicily was memorable fun;

And the anti-Christmas holiday was pleasure to everyone.


And all the hair-pin villages, and the narrow-streeted towns;

All the closed up restaurants and Sicilian drivers' frowns;

All the non-existent teapots, they didn't drive us round the bend.

No, the EFOG trip to Sicily was a hoot from start to end.



Our Nature


Get out there; enjoy it...

It's our street, our world, our nature


11th February 2012


Meeting with a Fox


In the dark, November street

We meet.

He stares

I wonder.

He makes for the shadows

I make for the station


9th November 2017


Easter Greetings


Happy Easter – eat a bunny


Some will say “Oooh!”, but I think it’s funny.


And they are very tasty!


30th April 2018


Drinking Equality

In the pub, the woman orders a pint

I, a half of shandy – heavy on the lemonade

The bar-girl asks - if I am driving…

1st June 2018


Sounds of a lost love


On Sunday mornings, back in years past long ago,

I would lie in bed and listen to the music

Of the church bells

From the small church down the road.

While she would run, and swim, and then return.

There was brightness in those mornings

And in me.


Now, the only bells I hear are the mourning ones,

Tolled to announce a funeral in the graveyard

Behind my house.

There is no music in those sounds,

and there is no brightness in these mornings.

and none in me.


23rd February 2019




She talks to herself out loud...

So do they.


But they’re on their phones...

She’s on her own.

1st March 2019


Someone to Talk to


When I said that I felt alone,


my friend gave me some advice:


“Whenever I feel alone, I have always got someone to talk to.”


“Who’s that?”, I asked.


“Myself!”, he replied…


He is lucky that he has someone to talk to.



Blackbird versus Doorbell


In the tree a blackbird sing,

And just then the doorbell rings.


I shall wait for the blackbird to have its say,

And the caller can just go away.

 19th March 2020


On seeing my neighbour's pampas ruined


They've pulled the pampas to pieces,

Those rumbustious sparrers...

Torn at the feathery plumes

Torn them to tatters!


Now those pesky sparrers are pecking at the pear tree.

Breaking up the buds, flipping away the flowers.

Greedy little guzzlers...

Go away! Get back to your gutters.


29th March 2020