A few bits and pieces I've written over the years. More to be added as they evolve!

 

 

I Like

(written when I was nine years old!)

 

I like the feel of velvet,

the smoothness of a table top.

I like the smell of polish,

the smell of early morning dew,

the taste of hot, steaming curry

and the freshness of tomatoes.

 

I like the sound of birds.

I like to see the blossom fluttering

in the breeze,

the faces of excited animals

and the look of oil paintings.

 

 

 

 

Dyce, Scotland 1916

(included in the Oxfam poetry competition winners anthology)

 

Sometimes I talk to the boulders,

standing here,

covered in their dust,

hair matted as if hewn from one.

I apologise as I slam the pickaxe into them,

glimpsing for a moment their petrified eyes.

It reminds me why I'm here.

 

I stood immobile while they dressed me.

 

'Get into that uniform and onto the train,

you and your kind are off to the Front.'

 

I walk, head bowed, to my carriage.

Which of them could really shoot

a passive man?

 

Uproar. Protests.

A change of plan.

 

Thrown in prison,

some days I sew mailbags

as I try to stitch my life together.

Others I hack away at the rigid blocks in the quarry,

shunned, ridiculed, misunderstood.

 

With cracked hands but strong heart

I cling to my beliefs.

I cannot take another's life,

but what of mine

should this godforsaken war ever end?

 

I break the stones but remain myself,

as yet,

unbroken.

 

 

 

 

The Day Tammy Gooding Ate Far Too Much Pudding

(Written for BBC Hereford & Worcester presenter Tammy Gooding, who challenged me to write something about her love of food!)

 

 

One day Tammy Gooding ate far too much pudding, exploded and shot to the moon.

She found she was stuck up there, wondering if....she might jump on a passing balloon.

 

Balloons, she found out after waiting some time, never manage to fly up that high.

'Please, help me get down!' she cried out to her cats, who could see her way up in the sky.

 

Now, both of her cats were the cleverest kind and they started to draw up a plan.

'Quite soon Tammy Gooding will want tea and cake, we must save her as fast as we can.'

 

The first thing they made was a giant red swing out of bits which they found in the shed.

Elastic from some of young Tammy's old pants and the wood from a four-poster bed.

 

They ran to the park and fixed it with care to a branch of the tallest oak tree.

The birds flapped and squawked as they went up and up, but they only swung out to the sea.

 

Back up on the moon, poor Tammy cried out, 'Is there anything here I can eat?'

She took a large bite from the moon underneath. It was creamy and tasty and sweet.

 

Back down on the earth both her cats rolled their eyes. 'We must try much harder this time.'

They crafted a ladder from fence posts and string and then carefully started to climb.

 

They clambered past chimneys and treetops as well. They laughed at the blackbirds out loud.

They kept going up 'til the ladder ran out, but had only just climbed through a cloud.

 

Watching it all, Tammy gave a huge sigh as she saw them both slide to the ground.

She took some more bites of the creamy, sweet moon - quite the tastiest thing she had found.

 

Now the cats they looked up and they saw a big hole in the moon where it ought not to be.

'Good grief, Tammy Gooding, you mustn't do that! The moon shouldn't be eaten for tea.'

 

So they both spent a night and a day in their loft. There was banging and crashing about.

The neighbours complained, but the cats didn't stop, even when they all started to shout.

 

'Just what are you doing, you silly young things? That is far too much noise for two cats.

Go out in the garden where cats should be found and try chasing a mouse or some rats.'

 

The church clock struck twelve and the stars twinkled bright as they strode down the stairs and outdoors.

They pulled close behind them a rocket of steel on some rope which they'd wound round their paws.

 

They climbed in the capsule and fastened their belts, started the engine and soon,

past chimneys and treetops, blackbirds and clouds, they sped on their way to the moon.

 

'Get in, Tammy, do and we'll go home for tea,' they both shouted as loud as they could.

Then they sprinkled some compost from home on the moon, not quite sure it would do any good.

 

That night, as they all sat outside on the porch, gazing up at the moon in the sky,

they agreed they were pleased to be home.....and then feasted on wonderful, creamy moon pie.