Poppies (1914 – 2019)

a poppy seed flies in the wind
and landing lightly on the earth
lies waiting for sun’s energy
to germinate and give it birth

a droplet falls from rainy skies
weak sunlight warming with its rays
until in spring new growth begins
it’s bloom sublime on summer days

blood red a field of poppies shine
each one a hundred others yield
these symbols ever in our hearts
for all who die on Flanders field


Voyage Revisited

Having reached three score years and ten (and passed it) I like to think that this particular poem reflects what living a life means for many people.



Light and Dark

When casting off we have no fears,
with youth and strength well fortified,
inside we’re older than our years
with dreams as yet to be denied.

Flags flying we set sail at speed,
horizons beckon far ahead,
of compasses we have no need,
forgetting all our parents said.

Foul winds may blow us far off course,
yet breasting powerful waves with zest,
no time to stop or feel remorse,
we tell ourselves it’s for the best.

We hit the doldrums now and then,
time hanging heavy on our hands.
Such stagnant doleful days are when
we feel no other understands.

But then a fresh new breeze will start,
and ease us forward carefully,
as gladly we again take heart,
and launch ourselves against life’s sea.

Yet over time strength fades away
until at last there is no more
and inwardly we spend our days
just drifting to that unknown shore.

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Remembering Grenfell 2 years on

ScreenHunter_600 Jun. 19 14.33

On 14 June 2017, a fire broke out in the 24-storey Grenfell Tower block of flats in North Kensington, West London at 00.54 am BST; it caused 72 deaths, including those of two victims who later died in hospital. More than 70 others were injured and 223 people escaped.

Remembering Grenfell

where escape routes were none

where there was nowhere to run

where the flames lit the sky

where they prayed not to die


how they screamed while we cried

how come so many died

how come nowhere to turn

how come ‘jump or you’ll burn’


what a loss for those living

what they feel – unforgiving

what horrors they saw

what hell can hurt more


who fought against flames

who’s still searching for names

who still digs where fire laid them

who was it betrayed them


why were people not heard

when they passed on the word

where those dangers might lie

– who turned a blind eye?

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