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These ODDS & BODS poems tell parts of my life story.
I hope you enjoy them.

This one was printed in the Halifax Evening Courier

when I was still at school


The Christmas Tree
is standing there
without a bauble
looking bare
We cannot have the
Pretty lights
With power cuts
T’would not be right
So why not give
Our trimmings gay
From Christmas past
To cheer the day
Fluorescent paint would
Make them bright
To light our tree
throughout the night

Do you remember Cyril Fletcher´s spot on the Esther Rantzen show?

I wrote this one but never got it read out.

It´s all based on fact too

ODD ODE 1975

This is the tale of Tricia who tried a five minute walk in only two
So up the hill she bravely pottered on heels on which she always tottered
Arriving at the bus stop worn, cried ‘oh heck me bus is gorn!’
And standing with expression dour began the wait of half an hour
Four buses passed but what a day, for they all went the other way
At last a green one came in view, ‘A forty-niner, that’ll do’
So on she leapt and paid her fare and took a seat beside the stair

When getting off her niece she spied ‘It’s Heather, oy, come ‘ere’ she cried
‘I haven’t seen you for so long, do tell me how you’re getting on’
and so they talked as minutes passed until she said ‘Must go’ at last
On reaching home so very late the explanation had to wait
‘Ere, where’ve you been?’ her mother said ‘Tea’s in the oven, hard as lead!’

As Tricia opened the oven door she looked aghast at what she saw
For staring her right in the eye there sat a crozzled shepherd’s pie
‘Ooh wot a sight, it does look nasty, I think I’ll make myself a pasty’
And out came taties, onion, meat, to make herself a tasty treat

But making pies with ruffpuff pastry, you really shouldn’t be too hasty
And so it was much later on that she declared ‘I think it’s done’
But though her cooking was complete it tired her so she couldn’t eat it
The moral is, to miss the fuss, make sure that you don’t miss the bus

August 1990 on holiday in Arnside, a lovely little spot

at the top of Morecambe Bay


Wood pigeons call at crack of dawn, to take our walk in early morn
We see the bunnies as they play and deer, before they leap away

We tread the paths we know and love as birds dart through the trees above
Sheep are grazing and pheasants call and we, together, share it all

From the pier we watch as the bore pushes the waves upon the shore
Faster it comes, bringing along fish for heron to feed upon

We walk together hand in hand through our special enchanted land
The sun is warm and sky is blue and it’s so good to be with you

In 1992 I attended an "access to university course"

My last English literature exam didn´t go too well at the time,

although I´m happy to say that I got a good mark in the end.



Trapped, in the recesses of my mind
Like a dream, half remembered

Taunting me
Haunting me

A few days after I wrote EXAM BLOCK I went out into the garden

and realised that things weren´t as bad as I had thought.


Hands in earth, growing, creating
Soil in fingernails, comforting

Lysimachia punctata, alchemilla mollis
Lovely Latin titles linger on my lips

I know them,
Remember them

They grow
I flower

This was my reaction to a very cold day in Yorkshire in 1993


Chill fingers caress gnarled arms
Showers of petal tears cascade
Through cold night

Crowning glory tousled
Nose nipped

Burgeoning breath of Spring
Tardy tantalizer?

Tony & I had a great 5 week holiday in Alcudia, Majorca, 1999

The tour reps wrote a poem for everyone - this was our reply


Thanks for your poem,
it made our day
Now it’s our turn to have a say
We really do not want to go
But since we must, then you should know

We think your team
beats all the rest
You’ve made our holiday the best
Attention, care and friendship too,
What more could we have
asked of you

On many days we’ve had such fun
Playing beach games in the sun
And when it’s grey,
no need to hide
You’ve found us lots to do inside

The mystery trip it was a pleasure
Our Golden Years guide
is a treasure
He made us laugh, he was a Wow
He didn’t give a “Buger” how

Our hostess every day at four
Gives us coffee, tea and more
Quizzes, bingo, line dancing too
Is there anything this gal can’t do?

A thank you too, the Airtours pair
No matter what,
you’re always there
Solving problems with a smile
Being cheerful all the while

So Happy Christmas and
New Year too
From all of us to all of you
Thank you for a lovely time
From the Golden Years gang, 99

We have always been great fans of the BBC programme Working Lunch

and I dashed this off one day.

I still don´t know if they ever received it!

BBC TV March 2001

I’m going on hols
so I should be glad
But I’ll tell you why I’m feeling sad
While I’m away I’ll miss my fix
Of bulls and bears and other tricks
The cutting edge of Adrian Chiles
So down to earth
he needs no wiles
For stocks and shares
and so much more
There’s none to beat
our Adam Shaw
I’ll miss WL because, for me
It’s the best there is on my tv.

I loved the new flavour yogurt and hoped they might "reward" me with a crate full!

In the end, the flavour was withdrawn. Ah well!

Aug 2001

I’m a chocoholic slimmer
and I’m jumping with delight
‘Cos I’ve found a treat
that I CAN have –
it’s chocolate Mullerlight
it’s chocolatey and yummy
– 98% fat free
there isn’t any other,
Mullerlight’s the one for me.

This doesn´t need any more details.

9/11 2001

How could He let it happen, how could He just look on?
Now part of New York’s flattened and many loved ones gone
The church attempts to comfort all those who pray and cry
But many are bewildered and ask the Father “Why?”

Remember when God made us, He also set us free
Take away that freedom and we’re puppets, you and me
For God is truth itself and a promise He can’t break
He can’t keep “stepping in” even though His heart must ache

God mourns His sons and daughters who suffered on that day
The pain He must be feeling – just God alone can say
He shares your grief and sorrow, please don’t add to His pain
Turn to Him now and let Him bring comfort once again

Just a drive, but what beautiful countryside England has.


Green fields dissected
by dry stone walls
Embankments with purple aglow
Reservoirs brimming
with latest rainfall
This is the country I know

Rowan trees heavy
with berries red
Trees shine with myriad green
Sights of the countryside
fill my head
The loveliest land I’ve seen

I was going in for an examination really!

May 07

I have to go in hospital
It’s not a lot of fun
To have an operation
Performed upon my bum
So there will be no emails
For a little while
Till I can sit in comfort
And send them with a smile

Some friends in Spain support a donkey charity and asked me to write something that could be framed and raffled. I enjoyed this one - recognise the tune?


Little donkey, trudging daily on the dusty road
Working hard, you suffer so much with your heavy load

We’ll make your burden light, Let us help. We will help
And make your future bright. Let us help. We will help

Little donkey, sad and hurting, left alone to die
All you seek is loving kindness. We can hear you cry

We’ll give you love each day, Let us care. We will care
Chase all your fears away, Let us care. We will care

In the Bible, famous donkey, chosen by the One
Left His mark upon your back to honour what you’d done

We won’t forget your past, Let us save. We will save
We’ll bring you joy to last, Let us save. We will save

El Refugio del Burrito now has rescued you
You will have a lovely life with all your dreams come true

Join in the happy song, Happy day. Every day
Good home where you belong, Happy day. Every day

We are glad that we could help – it isn’t hard to do
Hope that others come along to save some more like you

My friend George was commissioned to write the music - he asked me to write the words for a new Singapore school song

School song
October 2007

Such noble history
And loyal humble pride
Where do all these things meet
Within the oceans wide?

At Anchor Green,
at Anchor Green
Where we aspire to grow and lead
At Anchor Green, at Anchor Green
The compass points to all we need
For our respect, integrity, compassion, excellence
Where all our hopes
And all our dreams
Fulfil at Anchor Green

We show compassion and respect
To everyone we know
And strive to do our very best
As we excel and grow

At Anchor Green, at Anchor Green
The compass points to all we need
For our respect, integrity, compassion, excellence
Where all our hopes
And all our dreams
Fulfil at Anchor Green

These values stay when we set sail
To serve the world outside
With love, respect and courage
We shall be our Nation’s pride

At Anchor Green, at Anchor Green
The compass points to all we need
For our respect, integrity, compassion, excellence
Where all our hopes
And all our dreams
Fulfil at Anchor Green

I go to Skipton library often and have really good friends there.


Good books and music, movies too
And so much more for me to do

The internet – an hour a day
To send my emails far away

Advice on where or what or who
If I am not sure what to do

Find mags and papers there to read
And all the reference you could need

But best of all the lovely staff
All ready with a smile and laugh

A friendly face if I’ve been down
Whenever I’ve come into town

A listening ear and time to spare
Each time that I’ve had news to share

A summer joy for all to share
A vase of sweet peas waiting there

This poem simply cannot say
How much you always “make my day”

But I hope it shows in some small part
The deep affection in my heart

Thank you!

These are some poems I wrote for my friend Brian Warwick regarding the way that the old and young can help each other.



We may wear weird clothing and love tea and biscuits, but what could we say also of you?
With weirder clobber and peculiar hairdos and junk food – come on now, it´s true!
The things that we say now may be a bit funny, when we think of our youth long ago
We just want to help you and to feel that we´re useful to share all the things that we know

You´re really old fogies, but smell nice, so that´s good, with your grey hair and granny skirts new
You´re easy to persuade when we want something special and you´re useful to have around too
When we´re stuck with homework, you are there to help us, you don´t nag us like mum and dad might
We know that you love us, that you´ll put up with us, even when we all look quite a sight!

To the grandmas and granddads I say don´t forget what it felt like to be just sixteen
To teenagers please just imagine how life will be when you are an “ancient has-been”
Let´s remember that we can all learn from each other – we each have our part in the play
There are so many things we can share with each other to make our lives better each day

Let the young give their strength, their technical know-how, their fearless approach to this life
Let the old give their time, and their knowledge and wisdom, to cope with the troubles and strife

For the young move so fast, and the old move so slow, but together as one they may find
By combining their talents and pooling resources, a better life for all mankind



The credit crisis hits us all

no matter if we´re great or small

But rich or poor what you should do

in all things, to yourself be true

Though times are hard you must be fair

Do what is right and pay your share

What cost if you find in the end

you saved some cash, but lost a friend

An even greater price will be

if you lose your integrity

I wrote this one for my friend Ruth,
for her daughter Susan to send to her husband Jason
who is serving in Afghanistan


My dearest one I want to say

While you are there so far away

My love and prayers are there with you

In every single thing you do

They´re with you when you wake each day

To walk with you along the way

And in the heat of battle too

My love and prayers are there with you

My love surrounds you in the fight

And holds you gently through the night

And every day I say my prayer

God keeps you always in His care

My darling one I miss you so

But soon you will be home I know

You´ll come triumphant through the door

And we´ll be one just as before

I wrote this one for my friend´s son

Your presence at our wedding will really make our day
But there is something special that we would like to say
“No Presents” please we´re asking if you would be so kind
For when we fly we´d hate to have to leave them all behind
The cash would help us build our place when we´re in pastures new
And then our home in Spain will always bring us thoughts of you


Today we´re obsessed with a perfect life
Use monkey glands or go under the knife
A nip and tuck here or a lift and jab there
Will make us look younger without any care
But life should be what you feel from within
Contentment and joy are what you should win
More years in your life may just bring you more fears
Do the best now – add more life to your years

We were parked next to this nice man on the ferry to UK.


Maserati man, you drove alone,  going on holiday or heading home
Your face is nice but full of care, I’d like to put some smiles on there
We hardly spoke, don’t know your name, but felt a connection all the same
So I’m saying a prayer just for you, God Bless and keep you in all you do

Good old (wet) UK

We’re back, it’s raining, what a surprise
It’s 14 degrees with mucky grey skies
No sun or mossies, just cold and wet
It must get better - but do you wanna bet?
It’s chucking down and it’s getting worse
My writing now is just soggy verse
But there is a bright side to be seen
The car is soaked but it’s nice and clean


This poem was in response to hearing about people who actually have the cheek to specify what you may or may not buy them for their children etc.

Gift giving

You expect a gift and then I find
You want to specify just what kind
You have a girl but no gifts of pink
Sexist? Come on! Do you really think
That wearing a colour as a child
Will send its future prospects wild
A hand-made item is full of care
Created with love for all to share
So what if you don´t think it´s on trend
Accept it graciously as a friend
Then you even have the nerve to say
Your “approved outlets” or “cash this way”
Are you bothered if I´m not able?
You want a gift with a “good” label
Well, here´s my gift that is beyond price
Some heartfelt thoughts of honest advice
Don´t deprive your child of simple joys
Don´t get so paranoid over toys
The greatest gift a parent can give
Is to teach a child just how to live
With love coming first and money last
(Did your parents do so bad in the past?)
How to accept with a smiling face
An unwanted gift – now that is Grace
And gifts are fleeting, but you will find
The greatest gift is a heart that is kind

The Sentinella is a great little free magazine in Spain.  I entered this for a competition. 
p.s. I won!


What do I like best about the “little mag”?
Well of course it's because it fits in my bag
But then I like the editorial part
And the jokes that bring happiness to my heart
The adverts are good because they lead the way
To lots of opportunities every day
A new tapas bar or a shop full of gear
Or a service I need that now is so near
There´s news and information right there for you
Foodie facts, wildlife, local area too
Countries, wordplay, tons more and I’m glad
It´s packed in a mag that will fit in my bag
There´s so much I like that I simply can´t choose
So maybe the competition I lose
But I´m still a winner each month for you see
Sentinella is the little mag for me

I just rediscovered this little "poetic exchange" that I had online one day .....
Facebook Chat

Sniff sniff, sob sob, cry cry cry
No prob – just making a cheese and onion pie
Eek got no cheddar, giving gouda a go
Will it work?  I´ll let you know
Thanks for inspiration but the gouda´s in the pot
Never mind what it tastes like – at least it will be hot
OH is the chef, but just for a treat
I thought I would make us something to eat
The filling is ready, I´m chilling the pastry
And doing a “Floyd” Cor, this red wine is tasty!
“It´s wonderful” my OH said, what praise to come my way
You never know, I might just cook another meal – one day



Did you know there´s an angel on Facebook?

And he came to my rescue today

I´d been struggling for weeks with my telly

Now he´s made all the stress go away

I´d made some enquiries in general

But the costs made me shiver and shake

But then came this wonderful angel
and all of my problems did take
He guided me little by little
Instructing each step of the way
And now I am watching the programs
“God Bless you” is all I can say
So if you have problems with tv
and you´re missing the progs in UK
Just contact my own special angel
He´s the one to show you the way

The answers are all there to see
Richard Payne – you´re my special angel
A million thanks here – from me


I really love my bottle with minions hid in soap
They laugh at me and chatter, they’re such a brilliant joke
But now I am so sad and it’s a calamity
My little minion friends will no longer talk to me
I miss their chat and laughter, as they did in the past
Please tell me Minion masters, how long should they last?

In Spain for Winter, my observations:

I find it such a laugh that I can be seen
Riding through traffic lights when they’re not at green
I can undertake, overtake, weave in and out
I can scare drivers silly and not hear them shout
The paseo sign says ‘no cyclists allowed’
So what! “Get out of my way you walking crowd”
The signs tell me ‘20’ but let me just show
If I feel like it just how fast I can go
When my dog needs a walk I go off for a ride
His lead on my handlebars, I drag him on side
If a zebra crossing should come into view
I’ll just carry on and not care about you
I’ll ride on the pavement and go where I like
‘No Entry’ ‘One Way’ don’t apply to my bike
I’m so well protected, the law’s on my side
I do as I please when I go for my ride
I can use the roads and the bicycle way
But never a single centimo I pay
If I knock you over or cause you to crash
No insurance, no problem – and also no cash
To drive any car you must first pass the test
Medical, theory, practical and then the rest –
Pay insurance and road tax and then ITV(MOT)
Amazing that none of this applies to me

March 2016

You are on holiday but remember I am not
And living here eats up most of the pension I have got
I’m really glad to share it and happy that you are here
But please don’t take advantage of the friendship I hold dear
I’m sure you’d never mean to, and yes, you are my guest
But think of all the extra work and offer me a rest
Just take me for a cuppa or even for a meal
Or buy a few provisions, then how happy I would feel
Then we will truly share a lovely time, both you and I
And I’ll look forward to the next time, when we say goodbye

It really is so simple, it’s too easy to be true
I have it, I don’t need it, so why not give it to you?
You don’t have it but you need it, the answer’s clear to see
I’ll show I care and I will share, a gift to you from me
It doesn’t matter what ‘it’ is, in giving I believe

I’ll know the joy that it is better to give than to receive

for a very dear friend  March 2016


Be true to yourself, for your own highest good
Say what you believe, not what you think that you should
Too often we say what the other wants to hear
but it leads to confusion if we are not clear

We think that the other must know how we feel
but how can they know truth if our words just conceal
our deepest emotions, that we really should share
So we must give to ourselves the first loving care

No-one wants to hurt others or cause any pain
But if you’re still being hurt again and again
It’s time to be lovingly honest and true

And being true to yourself is the best thing to do

Trying to enjoy a siesta on holiday in Spain .....

The Prat on the Prom

There’s a silly woman
who sings on the front
I’d like to call her a real
stupid person
She’s actually singing
400 metres away
But she’s put paid
to my siesta today
She can’t sing for toffee
and her music’s too loud
She’s the fastest way
to diminish a crowd
“Do you have a request”
she’s been heard to say
YES! Bugger off, Scarper,

Scram, GO AWAY


This post first appeared on THE GIFT POETRY, please read the originial post: here

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