Last Post: 2015 Valedictory Poem

Happy New Year, everyone! Best wishes for a healthy, happy and peaceful 2016!

2015 Valedictory Poem

31st. December, 2015:

another year glued to our TV screen.

A quarter past eight, less than 4 hours to go,

Two twenty minutes plus packed with tales of woe,

sprinkling in from time to time and there and here,

quirky items we can bring ourselves to cheer.

And it’s, “Ring out the Old! Ring in the New!

Misery for the many, riches for the few.”


Earthquakes in Nepal, outbreaks of Ebola,

desert sands expanding, shrinking regions polar,

See the waves of refugees who cross the Med.:

thousands make the journey, hundreds wash up dead.

Ruins which were cities, war zones everywhere,

we sit and tut tut from the comfort of armchair.

And it’s, “Ring out the Old! Ring in the New!

Misery for the many, riches for the few.”


For back in Jan., how soon it lost its sheen,

yet like Christmas trees, our hopes are evergreen.

Though rivers burst their banks and stormy winds blow,

New Year’s Eve amnesia blocks how much we owe

and in a fog of wine, champagne fizz and beer,

we manage to suspend disbelief and fear.

And it’s, “Ring out the Old! Ring in the New!

Misery for the many, riches for the few.”


Could next year be different? Is there glimpse of hope?

One thing is for certain. There’s no lack of scope.

We have to hold our governments to account,

make them keep the pledges made before the count,

think future generations, plan the longer term.

Give it to them straight and see the buggers squirm.

No more, “Ring out the Old! Ring in the New!

Misery for the many, riches for the few.”


Anno Domini: A Walk down Memory Lane

Anno Domini: A Walk down Memory Lane

We used to bounce along these woodland routes,

an hour snatched in lunchtime pause,

for keeping fit or just because

the springtime sun was shining. Now in boots


and double-wrapped, near bubble-wrapped, we tramp,

a modest, gentle, walking pace,

consistent with our ageing grace,

and Goretex®-clad, thus keeping out the damp.


Where once quick shower was grabbed before next meeting

with spirits high and cheeks bright flushed,

we change our boots and won’t be rushed,

lick our lips as thoughts now turn to eating.


We’ll sip a beer and ponder on fled youth.

We’ve walked a way down memory lane,

seen flashbacks of young selves again

and reconcile our present selves to truth.

Christmas Eva, Christmas Rhos.

Christmas Eva, Christmas Rhos

The north was Venice, awash and lashed by

Abigail, Barney, Clodagh and Desmond,

bringing street rivers surging past house boats

anchored by flimsy threads of brick and mortar

in garden moats, where astonished ducks

bobbed contentedly alongside the human misery.

Further south, we glimpsed it on the news,

read it third hand each day, felt compassion,

felt relief to have experienced only unseasonal mildness and

blustery winds, made mental note of nearest stream.


In the park, primroses peeked out bold,

multicoloured heads, blinking to awake so soon from beds

when snowdrop pedicel should dangle fragile bell

and crocus cup its saffron stigmas in blanket bursts of

lilacs, yellows, whites and purples.

Then this!

Where olives, laurels, greys and avocados

should stretch in unchallenged uniformity,

in their midst a mirage rose, a single glowing bush:

pink chiffon flowers; candyfloss wisps; a blushing

bridesmaid’s cheeks, suffused with embarrassed pleasure;

soft, satin sheen of ballet shoes; prawn-gorged, flamingo heads;

glints of Rosé d’Anjou; coral jewels bedecking

premature, prima donna Christmas rhododendron freak.



Incey Wincey’s cobweb’s decked with dew drops.

Holly berries glisten in the sun

Winter corn shoots hint at next year’s wheat crops.

Last year’s race is very nearly run.


A bullfinch couple, perching, raid the feeder,

shedding sunflower kernels on the snow,

whilst grey squirrel, that pesky little bleeder,

stuffs his cheeks and dominates the show.


Meanwhile, the robin preens his ruddy breast plate,

from stroppy blackbird filches fallen grain.

He knows that solstice short days will not wait,

and senses there may be the threat of rain.


The last of Nature’s rubies cling to apple.

Willow herbs still have a seed or two.

The wizened leaves on trees, too few to dapple;

yet Winter sun, too feeble, can’t peek through.


I trace the patterns on the snow imprinted,

ephemeral, and by morning gone.

Though sadly at Life’s transience this has hinted,

these memories recall that sun once shone.

Christmas is coming: I Take the 25th. Amendment

Christmas is Coming: I Take the 25th. Amendment*

Christmas approaches, with all that that means:

street lights and parties; nativity scenes

with Joseph and Mary and shepherds and kings

whose unstable shelter in hurricane swings

and baby in crib, no crying he makes.

No-one would hear him beneath those snowflakes.


Christmas is nearing. Office parties are rife.

Next day will you still have a job and a wife?

You’ve vague recollections,… your boss and some joke

involving dry ice, martinis and smoke.

You’re pretty sure in good part it was taken,

but it’s those clips of him which may save your bacon.


Yes, Christmas is coming, great time for the young.

They’ve no furry mouths and aren’t overhung.

They haven’t been trampled and elbowed by crowds

sending their selfies as files to i-clouds

and getting stressed out finding the perfect gift,

prior to the squabbles and family rift.


Christmas is on us. Greetings cards still to write,

a fir tree to source, bring home while it’s light,

then pick up the turkey on Christmas Eve morn,

one that was well-treated, free range, fed with corn,

one that died happy knowing it would be

an integral part of our festivity.


Yes, Christmas is Santas and sleigh bells and snow

and huddling together whilst winter winds blow.

For our kiddies this magic much more would be worth

if we could but conjure some real Peace on Earth.

So, here we all are, on Advent, Day 3.**

For or against it? “Bah, humbug!”? Not me.**


Here’s Christmas with its pudding and its parkin,

shepherds flocking westward to angels harkin’.

Persian kings migrating, the world’s gone mad,

neonate oblivious, poor wee lad.

Little does he know of awful things to come.

All he wants is suckling cuddles with his mum.


* In the USA, this is the amendment which allows the Vice-president to become President should necessity arise.

** Modify accordingly!