let your smile open my eyes to the whole world
let your voice echo in my soul day and night
let your lips awake my taste buds to sweetness
let your hands awaken my body to sensation
let me feel the warmth of your body next to mine

so will you all of my senses awaken
give me my sense of sight
that I might see
the colours in a rainbow’s arc
give me my sense of hearing
that I might hear
the  last sweet song of birds
before the dark
give me my sense of touch
that I might feel the comfort  
of a hand reaching out to me
give me  my sense of taste
that I might enjoy the tartness of wine
and the sweetness of honey from the bee
give me my sense of smell that I might smell
the morn’s  fresh air so fresh and clean

and - above all - give me  
a sense of thankfulness
that I might appreciate
all that those senses mean
old poem of mine
Both in darkness and in daylight
both in warmth and in cold
the nightmares of years past
clasp my heart in a stranglehold
all of the loved ones
taken before their time
too many graves
too many flowers fading
too many shadows
too many of my dreams
dark shading
who I have too long outlived
know that I am angry
and bitter
to my dreams
and hold me
and tell me
that such bitterness
at your leaving
for as long as I may live
you will
Look at me now
Once I dreamed
Once I bloomed with youth
Once I felt
Left with the memories of
What once I was
The spotlight pins down
My memories but
The limelight fails to cast its spell
feeling my age !!!
(for Miss Hacker  the sole Teacher at Maxey C of E School c. 1957)

We slowly shaped the slanting letters
in between the feint ruled guiding lines
until they were solidly etched upon the page
solid as the tine-worn dinner forks
we struggled to hold
in fingers chilblained red and blue with cold
the scratchy nibs smudged ink between each finger
there, where the mingled smells of chalk and ink and dust
in unholy alliance lingered
she would stop and stand quietly
beside us, behind us, 4711 Eau de Cologne
her presence betrayed
as we sat in awe of her quiet voice
‘though never afraid
merely somehow aware of
her simply being always there
inviting the chosen few to become
Ink Monitors, Milk Monitors
that word now conjures up images
of large lizards clasping rocks in foreign lands
dishing out ink and milk
that mingling smell and
staining of our chapped dry hands
as we sat with the words
“eleven plus”  sharp in every mind
ability and perseverance
left nervously behind
would we be bound for
Secondary School  (failure)
or Grammar School (success)
no real choice
only the shattering realisation of pass or failure letters
and of disappointment in
her quiet, yet resonant, voice
testing times when your future depended upon passing the dreaded "Eleven Plus" Exam
When I think of
of gentleness
of all that is,
to a woman,
good, steadfast
honest and true
before my mind’s eye
comes a clear, bright
of You
In that small over-heated compartment
she touched his face tenderly
looked into his eyes, those deep-set dark eyes
that she saw even in sleep
and saw in his smile the promise of love
that she knew that she would forever keep
there in her heart, all through the moments, hours
days, weeks, months, stretching into years
that they might be apart

In that small, icy compartment
she blew on fingers numb and cold
struggling, eyes blurred
finding it difficult to hold the rain-smudged page
from which his name, that one beloved name
leaped out at her to blur her eyes
to fuel her sadness and her inner rage

In that crowded compartment
static amid the autumned trees of green and gold
his stiff fingers struggled to form the words
the all-important signature
from the black ink that sluggishly flowed

In that empty compartment
the headlines barely visible in the dim evening light
the crumpled newspaper lay
“Hostilities have ceased
on this the eleventh moment
of the eleventh hour
of the eleventh day
inspired by travelling in an old fashioned railway carriage and remembering the day that WWI ended
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