May 2017 poems

May 2017

Here are the May entries in our new year-long competition. This month’s theme was Home & Away

Little friends

This year I had a nest box
Fixed it to the fence
At first it was ignored
Then interest was intense.

Inspected by a Great Tit
Who eyed it up and down
The opening caused a problem
So another to be found.

Next there came a Jenny Wren
Who had a close look
A wooden box was not her ‘thing’
She promptly ‘slung her hook’.

At last arrived two Blue Tits
Agile, brisk and bold
They seemed to like the little box
The residence was sold.

The home it suited well
For soon they built a nest
Of lichen, moss and feathers
They hardly took a rest.

Fourteen days passed by
The oaks provided food,
They searched and searched for caterpillars
To feed their little brood.

A further twenty days went by
With constant ‘toing and froing’
When little heads popped out the box
To the big wide World we’re going.

– Corvus Wood

Blue Tit painting – by Corvus Wood


Take me to Paris

I popped the question in Hastings
On a Swan Lake pedalo,
She smiled with wry agreement
And one particular proviso.
“Take me to Paris” she said.
So in France we were wed.

We’d never been abroad before,
We barely knew a word,
We’d point and nod at menus,
Either awkward or absurd.
“Je suis Paris” she said
When in France we were wed.

The hotel was shabby bijou,
Our room a drape-filled garret,
But to newly-weds a palace
Of eider and of claret.
“Make love in Paris” she said
When in France we were wed.

Honeymooners young and naïve,
Everything was AMAZING,
Blissful in our innocence
We wandered, gawping, gazing.
“Let’s walk Paris” she said
When in France we were wed.

Here we found our Louvre love,
We strolled beside the Seine.
From Eiffel’s giant metal spike,
We owned the city frame.
“J’adore Paris” she said
When in France we were wed.

Now forty-four years later,
Our children grown so soon,
We sat by Hastings Swan Lake
To plan a second honeymoon.
“Take me to Paris” she said,
So to France we will head.

A few hours on the train
To our rose-tinted destination,
Paris holds our youthful hearts,
A nostalgic assignation.

The years fall away and there’s a new smile
In the eyes of my wonderful wife,
Our continental rendez vous:
“La vie est belle,
It’s a beautiful life.”


Charcoal by SJL

To a Cockchafer

Billy Witch, Billy Witch,
Where’d you spend the night?
In lovely Quarry Wood,
Trapped by a great light!
What did you find there, my Mitchamador?
Several kith ‘n’ kin and moths galore!

To a bench

A seat is such a simple object,
And that’s all well and good.
But it becomes a thing of beauty,
When it’s placed in Quarry Wood!

– Paul Johnson

(Click here for the Tales from Quarry Wood Moth Spotting event and here for the new benches.)

Lost in Leyton

Crouchers Farm—A21—M25—A2
Nearly there — now it’s dark
Oh no! Should have turned there
– Now I’m lost in Leyton!

Nowhere to stop, parked cars
Narrow streets, mean little shops
Turn left — should be right
Look at the map, nowhere to stop
– Oh God, still lost in Leyton!

Calm down, think straight
Grange Park Street—seen that twice before!
Round again—left again—right again
STOP — look at map — Ah! Now I see
– But, still a bit lost in Leyton!

Up this road, under the bridge
Keep going straight, cross roads, traffic lights
LOOK — the Bakers Arms!
I know where I am…
– Now I’m not lost in Leyton!

Lea Bridge Road, Markmanor Avenue
“Hello Sharon”
Thank God — I’VE ARRIVED!

– Diane Stainsby

Home haiku

Senses reassure,
Corners hold no surprises,
A warmth in knowing.

Away haiku

Unfamiliar sights,
New and fresh wide-eyed delights,
Stories to discover.

– C. King

Film Night

Lovely evening in the hall,
With Lorna, Jill and all.
Several glasses of wine,
Made us feel fine,
And the Seven Samurai,
Kept our spirits high.

The story line insightful,
With humour, quite delightful.
Cinematography simply brilliant,
Birdsong sound through it.
It was well worth leaving home,
To watch in glorious monochrome!

But we were cheated,
While being seated.
For they cut an hour
From our Kurosawa
And we lost a quarter
Of the Japanese slaughter.

I know Lorna didn’t mind
With her numb behind,
And her senses balking,
At my constant squawking.
So, she didn’t want to stay,
For some extra sword play.

But the evening was fun,
From the Rising Sun,
And we anticipate more,
With bullets galore,
As we enjoy a theme dinner
Watching McQueen and Yul Bryner!

– Paul Johnson

Poet’s block

Write a poem Lorna decreed
So I started to wonder what people might read
Shakespearean sonnet or Betjeman comic
Wordsworth’s daffs or something sardonic.
I started to write but with limited time
There was no way I could make it all rhyme
So, I put down my pen in some despair
And just submitted the nonsense that was there!

– John Spall 

June 2017 poems
April 2017 poems