2020 Vision

I think we can see clearly now,
With 20:20 vision,
This year did not shape up too well,
Our progress hit remission.

Virus! Economic strain!
It’s been a real stinker,
And makes you wonder what comes next,
Heading into winter.

Still, there were some positives,
We recognised the truth,
The NHS is brilliant,
And we’re the living proof!

To all those medics saving lives.
The doctors, carers, nurses;
I’d like to send my heartfelt thanks
Within these rhyming verses.

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Blanket Coverage

A rhyme is like a comfort blanket,
Safe and soft and warm,
Wrapped around you like a dream,
Whilst verses slowly form.

A way back into childhood,
When lives were less involved,
When everything fell into place,
And cadences resolved.

In our complicated lives,
We need to find some time,
To snuggle up in poetry
And lie back in a rhyme

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Blinking Facemasks

Excuse me,
But I have to ask,
Are you smiling
Beneath your mask?

It’s hard to tell
Just what you’re thinking,
So how about we
Smile by blinking?

A little blink,
Plus a raised eyebrow
Means “hello mate
How are you now?”

A longer blink
Or maybe two,
Could mean “I have
Missed seeing you”.

Three short blinks,
And a little bow,
Gives a courteous smile
That’s quite highbrow.

But don’t mix up
A happy blink
With a furtive
Cheeky wink.

For winking
At a complete stranger
Could generate
Some blinking danger.

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Back to work day

My last day on furlough,
So, with trepidation,
I pack my computer
Then head for the station.

These one hundred days
At home, in the garden,
With chocolate and wine
As my arteries harden.

Mixed feelings have I
Of this time spent at home,
My journeys restricted
To dreaming alone.

Back in the real world,
Where all things will change,
I nervously view this
As frighteningly strange.

We must all move forward,
I’m forced to admit,
But I rather liked furlough,
At least, most of it.

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The New Normal

One metre plus,
Plus what? you may ask,
Well, extra hand washing
And wearing your mask.

Three feet in old money,
Plus two or three inches,
So tighten your mask
Round your nose till it pinches.

These big plastic screens
Are become the norm,
When you visit the pub
Go online for a form!

Whilst outside looks fine
For your own entertaining,
You best stay at home
If it looks like it’s raining.

Don’t face any strangers,
Their droplets may travel,
So keep at right angles
As guidelines unravel.

And don’t burst your bubbles,
This spreading must stop.
Six mates is best,
Or your bubble may pop.

At first we all thought,
This would soon go away,
But it looks like “new normal”
Is now here to stay.

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A Tale of Midsummer

Midsummer’s Eve,
In the strangest of years.
When nightmarish creatures
Became our worst fears.

Threatened by demons,
Who flew through the air,
Locked in our towers
And filled with despair

We trusted our kingdom
To do the right thing
But nervously worried
Of what that might bring.

We missed all the magic
Of friends in hard times,
When sharing a hug became
One of life’s crimes.

We clapped for the Carers,
Our own fairy folk,
Whilst damming the asses,
Who thought it a joke.

Gargoyles and pixies were
Flouting the rules,
As darkness descended
On all of our schools.

What a tale we will tell,
On next Midsummer’s Eve,
Of this time in our lives
We can hardly believe.

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Garden Party Invitation

We’re having a party!
Here are the plans,
Please bring a towel
For washing your hands.

We will be outside,
But you can use the loo,
Just don’t touch the woodwork,
Or door handles too.

No hugging or kissing,
You’re not in my bubble,
But if you get desperate,
There’s cushions to cuddle.

We’ll sit well apart,
I don’t mean to be rude,
But it’s probably safer
To bring your own food.

Typical, isn’t it?
Sunshine for weeks,
But now we can meet up,
It’s raining in sheets.

Still, this is progress,
And I’m longing to see,
My nearest and dearest
Up close in 3D.

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The Soller Train

On the Island of Mallorca,
There’s this perfect little train
That takes you out of Palma,
And then brings you back again.

Through the Tramuntana mountains
To the famous Soller bay,
It’s a marvellous adventure
For an hour or so each way.

Those polished shiny carriages
Attracting admiration,
From the tourists as they take a seat
For their perambulation.

And then we’re off! Through Palma’s streets
Trundling past the cars
Waving at the locals
Sat outside the Tapas bars.

At first it’s rather urban,
Passing factories and yards,
There’s little indication of the
Wonders on the cards.

But as we pass the picnic grounds,
The landscape starts to change,
Almond trees and a fresher breeze,
Blows down the mountain range.

In the village of Bunyola,
The train slows to a stop,
For here, a hundred years ago
They’d load their market crop.

Then we’re into darkness,
As a tunnel greets the train,
Black as night, then approaching light,
Then sunshine once again.

We stop again, just for the view,
High above the bay,
The driver has a cigarette,
And then we’re on our way.

Now the train is getting faster,
Rolling down the mountain side
We switchback in a tunnel,
Like a rollercoaster ride.

Past the backs of houses,
With their orange groves and vines,
And down into the station,
Past the locomotion lines.

So now the journey’s over,
But our memories remain,
Of clear blue skies and mountain highs
Onboard this little train.

And one day soon, I promise you,
We’ll board an aeroplane,
Then come back to Mallorca
and we’ll do this all again.

Watch a video of this poem here.

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Herd Mentality

“Two wrongs, they do not make a right!”
My grandma used to say,
I think that this is good advice
For all of us today.

Just because there’s someone else,
Out there breaking rules,
Doesn’t mean it’s safer
For us all to act like fools.

Let’s not act like lemmings,
Who just follow everyone,
But show some social common sense
And switch our brains back on.

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I Should be..

I should be on my holidays,
I should be by the sea.
I should be out sunbathing,
That’s where I now should be.

I should be choosing where to eat
As the sun goes down,
I should be putting on my shoes
And heading into town.

I should be dancing on the beach
With sangria in hand,
Then going for an evening swim
And listening to a band.

I should be doing all these things,
I should be, so should you!
Instead we’re grounded here at home,
Deciding what to do.

I could be putting up that shelf,
Or learning something new,
I could be in the garden, as there’s
So much there to do.

Instead, I’m on the ipad,
And I’m checking on the flights,
For when all this is over,
We’re away for 14 nights.

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The Lanes

You just can’t beat a country lane,
Especially in the sun,
The perfect place to stretch your legs
Or set off for a run.

“You never know what’s waiting,
round the corner”, People say,
Then a stunning view appears on cue,
and takes your breath away.

The hedgerows full of busy bees,
And blue forget-me-nots!
Whilst benches found along the way
Make perfect picnic spots.

A flock of lambs are playing,
In fields along the hedge,
Beyond stone walls, where nature crawls
Up to the tarmac edge.

Divert down dusty foot paths,
Clamber over stiles,
Meet dead ends, round muddy bends,
And walk those extra miles.

Encounter long lost villages,
And country house estates,
Admire those pretty gardens
And the colour of their gates

The Lanes all lead to somewhere,
And nowhere far away,
In truth, just round the corner,
You can lose yourself all day.

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My Secret Garden

In my dreams I have a garden,
Filled with scented flowers
With fountains and a waterfall,
Where I can sit for hours.

Sunny glades and grottos
That inspire me every day,
A beautiful enormous lawn,
Where children come and play.

Yet sadly, this is just a dream,
No garden do I own,
My home is in a block of flats,
I live here all alone.

But then I had this cunning plan,
And please, I ask, don’t laugh,
I’ve built my own small garden
In the bathroom, in my bath.

I ordered in the compost,
And filled it to the brim
Then planted four geraniums,
And popped a palm tree in.

I added water features
By connecting up the taps,
Into a kitchen colander
With pebbles in the gaps.

I’ve left the plug hole open,
So the water drains away,
And used the shower fixture,
so it rains a bit each day.

And Oh, I cannot tell you,
What a picture! What a view,
There’s nothing else quite like it
When I’m sitting on the loo.

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The Dandy Lion

Roaring round the garden,
Dressed in his Sunday best,
Popping up in lovely lawns
And spreading out when pressed.

A splash of yellow sunshine,
Wildly roaming free,
A diuretic detox, for a
Sweeter garden pee !

Time-telling childhood blow-balls,
Torpedo on a stem,
Nice with ice and burdock
(That refreshing little gem).

A mascot for the army,
Resilient and strong.
A source of golden nectar,
For the bees all summer long.

A weedy lion for the quacks,
To take all pains away,
But most of all, a sign that it’s a
Blue sky sort of day.

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Staying Home

Home is where the heart is,
And where we all must stay,
However hard this sounds to you,
Look on it this way:
 
The sun has started shining,
We see the flowers grow,
Our mornings seem much brighter,
And warmer winds now blow.
 
As Spring replaces Winter,
And day defeats the night,
The Earth will keep revolving
And the World will be alright

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Being Here

Racing blindly round the bend,
Jumping forward to the end,
Skimming over boring text,
Chasing after what comes next.

The fresh allure of pastures new,
Promising a better view,
The greener grass, not far away,
Inviting us to come and stay.

We never look before we leap,
Landing somewhere way too deep,
Fast-forwarding to what comes next,
Missing out on life’s subtext.

Life shouldn’t be a constant race,
Let’s vote today for slower pace,
And take some time to figure out,
What being here is all about.

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Alfred’s Great Adventure

Alfred was a Polar Bear,
Who lived on Arctic ice,
And liked to spend his evenings
Underneath the Northern Lights.

One night whilst he was snoozing,
After quite a day,
The ice sheet he was sleeping on,
Snapped and broke away.

Poor Alfred didn’t know it,
For he was fast asleep,
But on he floated through the night,
Above the oceans deep.

At last Alfred was woken,
By the sunshine in his eyes,
He raised a lazy eyelid,
Then stood up in surprise.

He could see a palm tree,
On a beach of golden sand,
And a group of complete strangers
All with iphones in their hand.

Yes, they made him welcome,
It was nice to feel the sun,
He liked to go out surfing,
And he had a lot of fun.

But soon, he missed his snowy home,
He longed to be back there.
At times he thought, this isn’t me,
I am a Polar Bear.

Next day when Nordic Cruises,
Sailed into the bay,
Alfred took his chance and he 
Became a stow-a-way.

He had to stay well-hidden
For twenty days and nights,
But then he heard the captain say
“Behold, the Northern lights!”

Alfred leapt up full of joy,
He raced off on his own,
It was nice to have adventures,
But much nicer to be home.   

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Stormageddon

Gusty Gertie blew into town,
Knocking all of our houses down,
She smashed the new Town Hall to bits,
Leaving just a pile of sticks.

A hoarding just blew down the street,
It knocked the news crew off their feet,
It’s like some classic movie scene,
Surreal, a dream, not real I mean.

A lorry slides across the road,
The diesel station will explode.
Bits of trees fly through the air,
A washing line, some underwear.

People run for basement safety,
Despite foundations looking shaky,
Some are fleeing in their cars,
Whilst others hide in downtown bars.

Then nothing. Everything goes still,
No one moves, or breathes, until
We know the worst of it has gone
And peace returns,
And life moves on.

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Lighthouse poem

Fair weather friends,
where are you now,
has rain washed you away?
So much for all
those welcome smiles,
is all that I can say.

Life can get
uncomfortable,
and storms can rage around,
but friends, they are
an anchor,
and a fog horn warning sound.

So when your ship
hits stormy seas,
and you need my support,
I’ll still be here,
And have no fear,
I’ll help you in to port.

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9am on the beach

The roar of the waves,
as they break on the beach,
not yet drowned out,
by the clatter and screech,
of girls in bikinis,
in Instagram poses,
and dads rubbing sun cream
on foreheads and noses.
A sunbow of parasols,
will be displayed,
as lots of hot bodies,
set up in the shade.
The sand freshly raked,
and the sun loungers neat,
waiting for tourists
to put up their feet.

Oh the peace on the beach,
at the start of the day,
before all the tourists
get in the way.

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My Bin is NOT a number!

My bin has a new number,
It wasn’t there before,
It’s down to our new neighbours’,
Who moved in right next door.

My bin don’t want no number,
It’s downcast, and depressed,
It doesn’t really want to feel
A bin like all the rest.

They stuck that number on him,
without checking first you see,
It’s like they’re sort of saying
Don’t you mix your bins with me!

My bin is so brow beaten,
labelled number 2,
And all the world now knows it,
‘Cos it’s stuck on there with glue.

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Natural High

We went to find the big outdoors,
A plan we’d had for weeks,
To head off on a great escape,
And climb the highest peaks.

Our rucksacks were so heavy,
With coats piled up on top,
Woolly hats and picnic mats,
And drinks for when we’d stop.

First we crossed the stepping stones,
Squelching in the clay,
Wearing hoods, then through the woods,
We were on our way.

We climbed up through a steep ravine,
Our legs were feeling weak,
Past the mill, then higher still,
We climbed towards the peak.

And as we reached the very top,
Relieved that we were there,
Nothing else above us,
Surrounded by the air.

The city was a distant speck,
A million miles away,
All the World below us,
We were mountain kings that day.

And In that moment, on the peak,
Neither of us had to speak,
For on that mountain in the sky,
We had found our Natural High.

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River Cycle

Above the highest mountain,
The storm clouds are all spent,
And rain drops gather in the lake
To start the long descent.

The waters reach their tipping point,
Their off! They are released,
Pouring down the mountain side,
The power now unleashed.

Rocks are tossed out of the way,
To form a river bed,
Racing ever downwards,
As the edges start to spread.

They slither into villages,
And laps against our walls,
jumping over stepping stones
creating waterfalls.

Resting in the village pond,
Half way through the race,
Warming in the sunshine, before
Picking up the pace.

Flowing through a lovely view,
Some water creeps away,
Captured by our reservoirs,
Saved for another day.

But then, at last, a coastal view,
The sea within their reach,
They dive under the promenade,
And head off down the beach.

Here the river meets the sea,
But no rest for the rain,
The clouds soak up the water drops
To start off once again.

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