Father And Son

On Christmas Day after
the excitement of presents
Dad lies on the living room floor
on his side, head on hand as
baby brother leans backwards
and forwards rocking to and fro
on his chubby bottom against
Dad’s stomach, absorbed in his
new playskool toy with a
rolling barrel, levers to push.

He thumps on one lever, laughs
at its loud tinging noise, stares
in fascination as the barrel rolls
and rings, thumps the lever again,
murmurs excitedly to himself.

Dad watches as baby brother
plays, grinning broadly at this
intent little fellow, so engrossed
in his fabulous new toy.

Father And Son


Three year old cousin
sat with his Dad on the
living room couch, both
enthralled by the TV
show “Top Gear”.   Wow !!
Cars sped crazily through
treacherous terrain, around
lengthy test tracks with
deafening noises in
clouds of dust and smoke.

Back at the studio a
beautiful glorious masterpiece
of mechanical genius rolled
slowly on stage, a latest
model, magnificent mighty
…… Lamborghini !!!

Dad and son stared and
exclaimed at this amazing
apparition on the screen !!

Rushing to his bedroom the
three year old scrabbled
through dozens of tiny cars
carpeting his bedroom floor.

Back in the living room he
joyfully showed his father
a tiny model of that same
made his father proud !



Along the front of my flat
flourishes a little garden
with prolific displays of
leaves and flowers on rose
bushes and a lone hebe.
At their feet alyssum and
lobelia cover bare soil with
their leaves and tiny flowers.

Tall straggling cornflower plants
were removed as they died off.
Only those that finished later
were left with their bright
blue flowers still lingering
on by the front door, gradually
dropping petals and seeds to
fill the garden with blue
flowers another day.

In the warm misty morning
rain a goldfinch perches
on withering stems drooping
down to the ground, pecking
out seeds from their faded
dead flower heads.

There go my blue cornflowers !


The Doormat

The pristine back porch has
been hosed down along with
the flat’s outer walls. Cobwebs
and bird poo, dust flicked
up by rain, moss spreading up
from the path, all were removed
by the hose’s fierce blast, and
divots of mud and grass from
the teenager’s golf practice
on the back lawn next door.

The back door and its doorstep
and frame are all newly painted
after the hose washed away
many flakes of their paint
along with all other debris.

On this pristine porch floor
with gleaming surface in the
early morning sun, all cleared
of leaves and cobwebs lies
the clean doormat…. criss
crossed by shining snail trails !poetry

The Doormat

A Low Maintenance Home

Outside on the driveway hosing
murky windows, scrubbing them
with the yard broom I see
a flaw in my little flat chosen
for its low maintenance exterior
for my retirement. I want no
more maintenance and renovation.

Inside all is well papered and
painted. Outside brick walls and
metal window frames meet my
needs for a relaxed old age.

I hose dirt off the front door, the
back door, their steps and frames.
Alas paint flakes flow off also.

My low maintenance home sees
me t the paint shop buying paint,
brush, sandpaper, masking tape,
all for back and front doors.

I would watch out for this
pitfall when I next move house
but I am not moving house
again unless disaster strikes.

A Low Maintenance Home

February 29

On New Year’s day
Mum brings out this
year’s new calendars.

We both go to school now
we know how calendars work
we look for birthdays on one
calendar. We find Claire’s
birthday in January, Dad’s
and Auntie Maureen’s
birthdays in February.

Our little brother’s birthday
is not there !  He was born on
29 February last year, he will
be one on 29 February this year.
We can not find 29 on February
on the new 2017 calendar.

Mum and Dad say no February
has 29 days every fourth year only
and will do it next time in 2020.
Chloe is not  to write “29” on
February on the kitchen calendar.

“That does not make sense !” insists
Chloe. Later she quietly writes
“29” in bright lime green felt tip
pen on February on our bedroom
calendar from school.

She also writes “29”
on February in Nana’s
calendar. Nana does
not seem to mind.

February 29

Personal Stationery

On Christmas Day
the excited five year
old received her very
own personal stationery
with flowers and elves
on toadstools along the
bottom of the pages and
the back of the envelopes.

Her seven year old sister
writes on her own notepaper
and envelopes with fairies
on to Grandma and Grandad
living a few hours away, to
uncle and aunt in the big city.

Previously the five year old
wrote on Mum’s notepaper
to the fairies, to Grandma
and Grandad. She told Mum
what she wanted to say, then
copied the words Mum wrote.

Both sisters wrote to Santa
before Christmas with their
requests. They asked him too
to look out for  the Tabby Hunter
who strolled off one Sunday
morning five months ago
and never returned. The
fairies have not seen her.

Still the five year old has
her own personal stationery
to write many more letters
to family and to fairies.




Personal Stationery

Car Seats

Dad removed the girls’
car seats, laid them on the
driveway, fixed a frame
for a baby capsule behind
the front seats ready for
the new family member
due to arrive soon.

On the long back seat of
the seven seater van he
fixed the girls’ car seats
then they all climbed into
the van and drove off to
the vast mega hardware
store to buy hedge plants.

“You’re sucking your thumbs !”
called Dad. The girls aghast
stared at each other in shock !

When behind the front seats their
own seats faced backwards, out of
sight of their parents’ sharp eyes.

Now in the back of the van they
faced forwards !  The rear vision
mirror exposed thumb suckers to
their parents’  alert gaze !

Big school girls should only
suck their thumbs in bed at
night as they go to sleep.

Car Seats

At The Beach

Across the sand sprawls
the narrow river from its
winding course to the sea.
Salt laden sea winds buffet
a cluster of cottages in the
shelter of ragged ageing
macrocarpa trees.

We enjoyed several summers
in the end one. Boards cracked
and warped by sun and wind
shed flakes of paint in every
wind blast, rust crumbs flew
from the corrugated iron roof.

Inside, chipped painted hardboard
lined the walls, chips peeled off
the linoleum’s hessian backing.
Above the kitchen bench shelves
held mismatched cups, glasses, plates.
Below the drawers held equally
worn cutlery and utensils.
Sagging beds and bunks with
thin battered pillows lay under
thin worn blankets and a
film of windblown sand.

At low tide we dug on the
beach for cockles*, at high tide
we caught small fish  from the dinghy.
We climbed trees, followed tracks
found caves under rocky overhangs.

At nights we slept soundly
to the sound of wind, waves
and the rattling of dusty sand.

*cockles: known in some countries as “clams”.

At The Beach


The weather does not read
or follow the local forecast.
In heavy rain my umbrella
keeps my upper half dry
while my shoes and trouser
legs become wringing wet.

Today’s forecast was for cloudy
skies when I got up early to
catch one of our little city’s
few buses in time for my
errands in town. As I left
to catch the bus the skies
blackened letting loose a
mighty torrential deluge.

Still needing to get to town
with no sign of rain or
darkness abating, along with
all other stranded souls I
called a taxi which finally
arrived and charged more
than the free bus ride
granted by my pensioner card.
And still it rained.

The weather has offered
no refund. I am the one
left carefully adjusting
my pensioner budget.