Blackbird

A blackbird sat on the school fence
Watching the boys doing long jump.
“This is the way you do it,” he said,
And swooping down from his perch
Flew the whole length of the sand pit.

My new sister

My sister’s name is Lucy
And she’s only four months old,
She coos and gurgles all day long
And is quite as good as gold.

Now I’m her grown up brother,
I’m nearly two you see,
In all our games, in all we do,
Lucy will follow me!

November 1971

Baby

Believers in spells
We hardly speak of it,
And yet we know
Within your secret self
The baby grows
And daily lays his claim
To food and space, to air,
To life itself,
And to our life
Which until now we shared
In love and work
And peaceful happiness.

For these quiet years
When we like rivers flowed
Each into each,
Our separate streams to bind,
My thanks and love,
My joy and faithfulness.

And for this change
When we from two shall grow
Into a third,
And found its infant life
On work and faith,
Be you my heart
And daily comforter,
As I’ll your strength
And constant husband be.

30 July 1969

Under the cherry tree

Come under the cherry tree with me
To rest within its moving pools of shade
And listen to the passing summer wind
High in the leaves.

Nearby, within her cot,
The baby sleeps, dreaming of lives unlived
And faces not yet seen. Hers is the time
Of total innocence, of rosebud promise
And of quiet content. Yours is the time,
When after fears and pain, come flooding joy
And peace and renewed motherhood.

14th August 1976

Wild Strawberries

My favourite spot in the garden
Is where the strawberries grow,
Where the marguerites hang overhead
And the hungry blackbirds go.

There in the early morning,
When the grass is wet with dew,
I join the hungry blackbirds
And eat the strawberries too.

For Bessie – June 1980

Lost and Found

Granny bought me a lavender bag
Of pink with a white silk bow.
I lost my precious lavender bag
And they hunted high and low,
In every room, beneath the chairs,
Behind the pot plants on the stairs.

Among the slippers, shoes and toys,
Beneath the settle in the hall,
Between the books on every shelf,
Inside the clock against the wall,
In each dark corner, pink and round
My muslin bag could not be found.

They searched all day and half the night
And still they looked in vain,
On every path around the house
And up and down the lane,
Behind the hedge, along the track,
Among the flowerpots in the back.

The days went by, the bag was lost
And no more called to mind,
But then by chance in a tiny drawer,
My treasure did I find.
The joy they felt was clear to see,
But happiest of all was me!

For Bess

Oh, where is my Teddy?

Oh, where is my Teddy?
I can’t go to bed
If I haven’t got Teddy
To place by my head.

I don’t think I left him
Downstairs in the hall,
Or lost in the garden
Where the grass grows so tall.

I had him this morning
With me in the car,
I don’t think he fell out,
He can’t have gone far.

He’s not in the bathroom,
I did have a peep,
If I haven’t got Teddy
I can’t go to sleep.

I’ve searched in the kitchen
Where I know Teddy runs
When he’s looking for honey
Or sugary buns.

Will you please find my Teddy
And bring him to me,
I’m lonely without him
And he misses me.

Will you tell him it’s bedtime,
Mummy’s kissed me goodnight,
We said “God bless Daddy”
And turned out the light.

But I lie awake, waiting
Alone in the dark
And thinking of Teddy
With me in the park.

It’s cosy and warm
And I soon fall asleep,
I dream of green monsters
In blue oceans deep.

When I wake in the morning,
Beside me in bed
I find Teddy sleeping,
Just like Mummy said!

Helier lost his Teddy, and found it! April 1976