Friday, 2 January 2015


Here's a new poem, it's not the final draft, I think it works but it not finished.

I realise today would have been your birthday.
It's early morning, the house is quiet,
I savour a silent cup of tea.
You would have been 96 – interrupting text flash.
My midwife daughter is asking the ether
if she is only one awake.
I call delighting in the sound of her voice.
She tells me of the birth of a boy,
so eager, as I understand it, to be in this world,
that he is three quarters out with the first contraction.

You used to say it's better to be early than late.
The last time you visited, you came by train,
the emphysema was closing it's clammy grip on your lungs.
We had to be at the station half an hour early,
you were all tension as I drove through the town traffic.
I felt you relax only once on the platform.

Will this new boy live a life like yours?
There are many worse examples to live by.
But your generation gave us so much,
just to let us live this privileged life.
What will we leave him? 

Sometimes I get to the stage where I can't see what needs to be done with a poem. I feel like that with this one and know that it's time for it to go into a drawer for a couple of weeks.
It seems fitting to leave you with Fairport Convention's cover of the Roundabout's Time Will Show the Wiser.


  1. Excellent poem and some wonderful emotion captured there boiling around .... the only thing that screamed at me straightaway? Second to last line .... bit didactic and the poem leads the reader to that conclusion without needing to be told : 'But your generation gave us so much/what will we leave him' is has much more power imo :)

    1. Hi Paul, I think you are on the money. I was not comfortable with the ending. It felt as if I was rehashing an idea I have used before. Thanks for your insights, Doubtless it will turn up at a Juncture 25 meeting.

  2. It's a very lovely poem. Quite personal and tells a lovely story. I love when poetry evokes an emotion in the reader. The picture is fitting too!

    1. Happy New Year MsMariah. I trust you had a good Christmas.
      Thanks for your kind words. I am very happy that the poem struck a chord. As I say it is not a finished poem but I'm working on it.
      The photo comes from Juncture 25's last reading of the year at Tiverton in Devon.

  3. This reminds me of U A Fanthorpe , a poet I really admire.