Favourite Season

Turn, Turn, Turn

Favourite Season?

No contest – Autumn

Here’s one aspect, but there are plenty of others:

Come Autumn with your winds and rains,
And falling leaves that block the drains,
With pungent swirls of bonfire smoke,
That hurt my eyes and make me choke,
With chilly morns and lengthening nights
Dark afternoons and early lights
Come Autumn, though you’re dank and cold
And make me realise I’m old,
Come swiftly, Autumn, I don’t fool:
That’s when my kids go back to school!
Another look at Autumn


Chutney Time

Onions, pale globes spread in the sun,
Branches weighted with apples, bend to the grass.
Autumn haunts me, heavy with nostalgia.

It’s chutney time again,
The kitchen thick with simmering goo,
Spicy and pungent.
Time of memory and mellow fruitfulness,
The turn of the leaves
Spinning down to the dank earth
In the last long rays of autumn sun
To be gathered and garnered
Hunted and hoarded
Till the basket is full, pushed down and overflowing.

I could live without Spring, urgent, thrusting, restive,
An itch in the brain that will not go away.
I could survive without Summer.
The reality never quite living up to its promise,
Never quite enough sun, ice-cream, happiness to go round.
I wouldn’t miss Winter; icicles, jingle bells, Christmas toys
Are just a tad overdone once you pass ten.
But Autumn – that’s different, the crown of the changing year
Mature and mellow, brisk and bright, fruitful and fulfilling

Children’s voices echo in the playground,
School books are resurrected

Plans are made, resolutions –
“This year I’ll learn Russian, knit myself a jumper
And redecorate the spare room.”
Of course, I don’t do any of these.
But such is the spell of Autumn
For a second I really believe I might.

Least favourite?

That’s easy, too. Summer
What? Someone who doesn’t like Summer?

If Summer comes can Fall be far behind?

The sun beats down from a brazen sky.
The grass is parched the beck is dry.
For the life of me I can’t think why
Folk say “What wonderful weather!”

Lying still you can’t help sweating,
Kiddies wingeing, babies fretting,
Amidst it all, what is the betting
You’ll hear “What wonderful weather!”

Suffocating in the heat,
Nursing sweaty swollen feet,
I dream of rain and snow and sleet
What I’d call wonderful weather!

I cannot think when I am weltering
In pools of sweat, I’m stifled, sweltering
The flys and wasps go helter-skeltering
They think it’s wonderful weather.

It isn’t that I hate the sun,
But burning like a current bun
Cooked too long and overdone
Is hardly my idea of fun
Oh how I hate this weather!


Three Figures

Ice maiden
Cool and still, she shines with promise
Deceptive, treacherous leading the unwary into a snare, a trap heading for a fall.
Ice Maiden growing into Snow Queen in a silvery glittering palace. Chill and deadly.

Water Sprite
Bubbling, alive vibrant, streams dash over stones
Pour down waterfalls, pool into smooth lakes.
But the stillness may not last.
Urge on by stormy weather, water turns to torrent
Flood and tsunami destroying all in its path.

Steam Goddess
Hiss and roar of pistons
Clank of machinery
Liquid bubbles, becomes vapour.
Seems soft and flimsy but powerful
Driving force making shaping building
The fabric of life.


Ghost Writers

“Great to see such a good turnout on a filthy night like this,” said the creative writing tutor. “Without more ado I’ll introduce our first speaker on Ghosts and Writing Ms Marcia Killington Webley.” “Hi, there,” the smart young woman began, “As y’can guess, I’m from across the pond. Born in New York, college in Boston. Now, y’all have seen books by famous people, pop stars, athletes, footballers and such. Have you ever thought how someone so busy can find time to write their life story? D’you know what they do? They get someone like yours truly to give a helping hand. Sometimes we get an acknowledgement with ‘as told to…’ on the cover, mostly it’s just the cash, But remember Doctor Johnson said ‘no one but a fool ever wrote except for money’ Well, folks, that’s me.”

She went on to talk about famous people she had worked with and how they treated a ghostwriter. At the end of the talk the tutor invited questions.No-one could think of any.

The second speaker was Margaret Bosworth, a pleasant middle-aged woman with greying hair and glasses. “How many of you read “Woman’s Own?” she asked, “Woman’s Weekly? The Lady?” Several hands went up. “I write short stories for these, some of them about ghosts. I’ve also had factual pieces in “Paranormal Quarterly” and “A Guide to Haunted Houses in Essex”.I’d like to read you one of my latest stories…”

Her audience settled down to enjoy the tale. When Margaret had finished there were the usual questions about where she got her ideas and whether she wrote on a computer screen or in a notebook and the best way for a would-be writer to get into print.

The third speaker was entirely different; she was quietly dressed in a long brown ankle-length outfit. She gave no introduction, just assumed her audience were familiar with her work. “There are some ghosts appearing in my tales, of course, as there are in those of my sisters. With the surroundings of our home it could hardly be otherwise. The ghost of Catherine is an important part of my best-known story. In fact without her the tale would lose much of its force.” At this point she began a lengthy extract from Wuthering Heights. It sent shivers down the spines of her audience. She ended by asking “Do ghosts exist outside a writer’s imagination?” Suddenly a clock struck twelve, even though it was nowhere near midnight. “I regret I must take my leave, thank you for listening.” With that the ghost of Emily Bronte walked out of the room through the wall. No trace was found on the outside of the building just a solid wall on the second floor. She had certainly answered her own question.

Poet ar work


Twitter is for twits

Twittering is what birds do
And I am not a bird.
Tweeting and re-tweeting
To me sound quite absurd.
There’s  talk of tweets “gone viral”
So someone reads this rot?
I can’t think what they see in it;
Maybe I’m just a clot.
I really don’t like texting
Pray  don’t send me a tweet
An email or a letter
Is somehow more complete.
You can state a clear opinion
And know just where you’re at
But one  who writes in tweets and bites
Must really be a twat.







I came across this piece about getting old, inspired, obviously by “When I am old I shall wear purple.”

Once you get to a “certain age” you can do what you want, behave more or less how you like. And it’s lovely! I don’t have to answer to anyone. Like the poem I can “wear purple with a red hat that doesn’t go and doesn’t suit me” and do all sorts of things I wanted to do when I was younger but didn’t dare to.

Old ladies are either sweet little old dears or indomitable feisty old women, the sort who can get away with anything. I don’t quite know which category I belong to. A bit of both, probably. I read somewhere about an old lady who travelled round eastern Europe in the days of the USSR with only her bus pass as identification, No one dared to challenge her. Either they thought she was someone very important that they ought to recognise and they’d get into trouble if they said anything or more likely they thought she’s just a silly harmless old woman why not let her alone. Surprising what silly harmless old women can get up to.

There was that woman – a retired headmistress I think – can’t remember her name – who just decided one day that she was going to cycle round the world. I don’t think she’d even done much cycling. She only had an ordinary sort of bike, nothing special and I doubt if she was able to maintain it. I bet she couldn’t even mend a puncture. But that’s one of the joys of being a little old lady: people do things for you. I don’t just mean giving up their seats on the bus, other things too. They help you, pick you up if you fall over and escort you across the road. If a young lad falls off his bike, people just think “what a daft beggar, he should look where he’s going”. If an old lady does the same they help her, offer to take her home or give her a cup of tea.

Old ladies – or rather old women – can get away with wearing what they like. What I like is something I feel comfortable in. Something that has a bit of give in it, like Lycra. One of the best things about Lycra is that it dries easily and you don’t have to iron it. I’ve done with ironing now. I did my share when the kids were little and we had five of us going out to work and school and all having to look reasonably smart, so there was always a pile of shirts and blouses to be ironed. It wasn’t that I hated ironing, I mean if I had the radio on it could be pleasant enough, but someone always came in half way through a play and I’d not get to hear the end. Very frustrating that. And of course that was before we had this “listen again” thingy where you can hear a radio or television program on the computer at a time to suit yourself. That was in the old days,  B.C. before computers. Hard to imagine it now. No PCs, no mobile phones, no i-pads or i-pods and no Kindles. If you wanted to read in the train or in the park or even in bed you had to cart around a big thick book. I remember at school the kids had enormous bags of books to lug around. I’m sure it wasn’t good for posture.

Now I am old and can wear Lycra, am I an old lady or an old woman? To call someone an “old woman” used to be an insult – especially if you said it to a bloke. “Don’t be such an old woman, Bill, fussing about getting the cards posted in time for Christmas”. Now “old lady” goes with adjectives like “little” – the late queen mother would qualify as a “little old lady” I don’t think Maggie Thatcher would.

Little old ladies get addressed as “dear” or in this part of the world as “luv”. I don’t mind. In English we haven’t got a suitable form of address for an adult person whose name you don’t know. Yes, for a man you can use “Sir” but there isn’t really any equivalent for a woman. “Madam” is either too formal or taking the piss. “Mrs” isn’t really suitable either. About Lycra – it’s stretchy. It doesn’t matter how floppy or bulgy you get it will usually stretch to fit and if it does make you look a bit like an elephant, does it really matter? Warm too and you can have several layers one on top of another and as it gets warmer or colder you can add to them or take some off and of course, the best thing of all it dries quickly, you can wash it, hang it up and wear it the next day, or even later the same day if you’re not too fussy about being a bit damp. Also since it is more or less universal. You can wear it anywhere and it doesn’t look any more out of place at a formal gathering than at a casual party. I suppose what I really mean is that it looks equally inappropriate wherever you go. So what? I am old and I can do what I want and I rejoice in my freedom.

All sorts of eccentricities are allowable for old women. I can address people I don’t know without seeming threatening or as though I am making a pass at them. Despite some of the stories in the papers old women are almost immune from physical attacks. I mean what’s the point of attacking someone who hasn’t got anything worth stealing? What’s the point of making sexual advances to someone not particularly sexually alluring any more? So if there are any attackers of old women you can be sure that they are mad and they will be objects of disgust and dislike by the general public. If two young men – or nowadays even two young women – get into a fight onlookers will hesitate to interfere; if a man attacks an old woman they will rush to her rescue – at least I would hope so! Yes there are some definite advantages to being old.