My true love has suspended me
With terylene rope from the apple tree
To try to make me crinkle-free:
I’m forty-one today…

Beneath green trees I take my ease,
Resting my poor tap-dancers knees,
Swaying with every summer’s breeze.
I’m forty-one today..

With hair up in an icy bun,
I lie there like some haughty nun,
Dreaming my dreams of naughty fun..
I’m forty-one today..

Dependant from a leafy sky,
In my uncertain sling I lie
Like some cruel spider’s menu’d fly..
I’m forty-one-one today..

Dead leaves and twigs invade my bed;
Giant apples menace overhead.
Though sailor-confined I’m not dead –
Just forty-one today..

Billingshurst 1992

Goodbye to Trains

Soon we will have lost

Our regular sightings

Of trains.


My mother appreciated them

With excited yells of

“A train, a train!”


But we thought

“Yes, yes, a train – so?”

Normal. Mundane.


But each day now

The building site grows;

Blocking, threatening, an actual pain.


Soon we shall no longer

See the 7.39

Flashing along the line,


Its dozen carriages

Making the rising sun

Flicker through the gaps.


I wish I’d been more appreciative

A train

Isn’t mundane

My mum was right

To let it excite her.