For Mother

When evening light the garden fills
And shadows fall across the lawn
Beneath the oak,
Down the long path
With trug of windfalls
And a bunch of mint,
I see you coming,
Smiling, to greet us.

March 1993

Mummy trimmed my hair today

Mummy trimmed my hair today
And cut my baby curls away,
But from the pile she rescued one
Which shone pale golden like the sun.

1940 – 1945

Smith.je:

For Liberation day 2015. 70 years on.

Originally posted on I have a homing instinct for the stars:

Whenever I split logs, my boyhood years
Come rushing back, spring tide in fullest flood.
The acid smells of chestnut, birch and oak
Rebuild the wood stores at our end of town
And recreate the tar and sawdust fuel,
The heatless swirls of grey-green blinding smoke,
Incense to gods of darkness and of war.
At night we strove to see and wept to read
And when the morning came, we smelt of smoke.

Our books were our escape! Dumaresq Street
Was Ali Baba’s cave as, once each week,
We climbed the spiral staircase after school
In search of tales from Russia, India,
From Persia and the Golden Orient;
Row upon row of heavy leather books,
So many magic carpets for our flight
From shores of hunger and of hopelessness.

But life was more than reading. Summer days
Stretched endlessly with double summertime,
Each waking hour well filled with jobs to…

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Flights of Fancy

If flights of fancy all came true,
would I be me or you be you?
Best trust not fancy’s fickle flame,
Nor yield to wishing’s fruitless game.
As far as I’m concerned, I know
I much prefer the status quo!
You are my joy, my pride, my light,
To you my fancy takes its flight.

For Judy’s 50th birthday,
4 May 1995

Lucy’s Letter

I have written a note to the fairies
And put it outside near the tree,
I hope that they see it and read it
And perhaps write a few words to me.

I have asked them to come to my party
Though I fear they may not like the noise,
I think they’ll be timid and frightened
By the shouts of the girls and the boys.

So I’ve put them some food in the garden
And some teacups on Mummy’s best tray;
In the moonlight they’ll have their own party
And dance till the dawning of day.

I’ll try to keep watch from my window,
Perhaps on the lawn I shall see
Titania, the Queen of the Fairies,
And perhaps she will wave up at me.

For Lucy March 1977