Yet another old memory…

Her perfume lingered in my nostrils
It reminded me of days long since gone
Of Mother making us treacle tart
And the way the sun always shone.

It didn’t of course, it was just childhood
And we like to think back to the good
Things like the sun always shining
And Mother’s delicious pud.

People then, had no central heating
In winter with fires, the house was cold still
And the water we took up to bed would freeze
Through the night on the windowsill.

Mother’s love was of course, unconditional
As was Dad’s till the day he died
And Mum dabbed on ‘Lily of the Valley’
As she stood by his coffin and cried.

So now, when a lady walks past me
Who is wearing that scent from those years
She’ll probably be a lady of advancing age
Who’s experienced those times and some tears.

And I will drift back to my childhood
But I’ll push out the parts that are bad
As I think of the fun and the love that I felt
I’ve no desire to look back and be sad.

©Joe Wilson – Yet another old memory…2015

When Mum darned our socks…

Thinking back yet again to my childhood
And the shoelace I couldn’t quite fasten
To the many ways Mum used to help me
With those little skills parents pass on.
Six children to love and she really did
She would though, she was our Mum
As well as soothing our often cut knees
She cooked all the food for our tum.
She’d darn our socks and wash our clothes
And iron things we don’t iron now
Then all of it would just disappear into drawers
As if done by magic somehow.
But Mum didn’t have it anyway easy
Dad died at just fifty-two
And Mum struggled on and raised us alone
But at night-time she cried, we all knew.
As the new day began there would be not a sign
Of the heartache her nights brought to her
She got on with the task of raising her brood
To her feelings she’d rarely refer.
Dad had grown vegetables to feed us
He grew dahlias for my mother, his love
They’ve both been long gone now from this place
Now they stroll hand in hand up above.

©Joe Wilson – When Mum darned our socks…2015

Riding a bike with my dad…

I’m thinking now of my childhood
Of Dinky toys and a bright shiny trike
I travelled for miles going nowhere
On that beautiful three-wheeled bike.
It even had a boot on the back
Like a bread bin between the wheels
That I used to fill with books and toys
Only opened to best friend’s appeals.
The bike was bright red and I loved it
I raced round on it every day
Until that time when I was just too big
And the bike was taken away.
I missed that old red tricycle
It had been my companion for a while
But the two-wheeled cycle that Dad got
Soon turned my lips up in a smile.
It was a second-hand bike and quite grown-up
Hand-painted the darkest maroon
And I rode it for miles, this time with my dad
But it’s fun-giving days went too soon.
My next bike was blue, and a racer
Derailleur gears numbered ten
I wanted to ride out again with my dad
But he’d cycled his last before then.
My dad rode a bike for the whole of his life
Yet he never reached fifty-three
When I’m on a bike now, cycling along
I think of him riding with me.

©Joe Wilson – Riding a bike with my dad…2015

Perhaps it was an illusion…

A child of the fifties, born in mid-forty-nine
We hoped for a future where all would be fine.
But many like me became angry young men
Things just weren’t so fine, it was like that back then.
The class system flourished, it was ever thus
Kids from estates discouraged from fuss.
The woollen school blazer was so heavy in the rain
Barathea too expensive, so much lighter again.
But the grammar school system saved so many of us kids
Success was on merit and we rose from the skids.
“You’re the top two percent who’ve got into these schools”
They delighted in telling us, the such snobbish fools.
And then it’s to work and a living to make
You give such a lot just for crumbs from the cake.
And surviving it all was a fight on your hands
The boss on your back with his pointless demands.
Men called for strikes which meant countless lost days
And wages reduced I recall through the haze.
The making of goods soon slipped into the past
Strike followed strike, it just couldn’t last.
But that was the then, and it can’t be retrieved
Ships, pits and steel in which folks all believed.
People took sides, but both sides were so wrong
Communities torn open that were previously strong.
A generation of workers were thrown on the dole
Made to feel worthless by those in control.
When crossing a picket line unsticks family glue
Through it the wives bore the brunt as they do.
Some men retrained to escape from such follies
Others just survived gathering supermart trollies.
And then we moved on into bright retrained days
Technology beckoned and computers amaze.
Learned how to programme them to do work for us
And all about memory and the serial bus.
Then we started to write and note it all down
And the hard looking back made us think with a frown.
It had not been so bad, as the anger suggests
Though life seems to be such a series of tests.
Part way we took turn to raise kids ourselves
Notes put to one side at the back of dark shelves.
With no one to teach us, we plodded that road
Our children, quite wondrous, sound paths they both strode.
Each has now married and set out for themselves
It’s past time to get back those notes off the shelves.
Sitting at the keyboard and pondering life
Casting one’s mind back to those days full of strife.
It could have been different, I think we all know
But protagonists have muscle that they do like to show.

©Joe Wilson – Perhaps it was just an illusion…2015

The choice…

Everywhere that he ever went
He always travelled in style
With supple leather and cocktail bar
He sat in the rear for mile upon mile.

He traded this, he traded that
Till finally he didn’t care
It was weapons he sold, they were deadly
To him in war, all things were fair.

And then one day he got the chance
To choose twixt loss or gain
Some men kidnapped his family
He had never felt such pain.

The ransom when it came was surprising
There was just one simple demand
Stop all of the sales of your weapons
Including those already planned.

For him the choice was so easy
He turned from the cocktail haze
Now he writes of love and of romance
With his family near, life finally pays.

©Joe Wilson – The choice…2015

Marching forwards in love and in life…(Acrostic)

Marching forwards in love and in life
As snowdrop and crocus cover Spring earth
Raw though the wind, as Winter still lingers
Chapping the faces exposed to its wrath.
Hope springs eternal as I sit by the hearth
Indoors the warmth of a nice open fire
Nicely chopped logs all stacked by a scuttle
Glorious flames up the chimney rise higher.

Flames soporific and soon I am sleeping
Out like a light from the heat of the fire
Running in dreams and thinking of roses
Wrapped in a beautiful paper display.
All for the lady who loves me forever
Roses the flowers from my heart every day
Dreams full of happy, and our lovely children
Slight sadness now as they make their own way.

It’s many years now and our love we have found
No more needs the blankets we laid on the ground.

Living a life with one who inspires you
Overly blessed like the Spring that now hails
Verdant the grass round the bench in the garden
Each night during Summers we tell lover’s tales.

And as we enter our twilight of living
Not for a second our passion shall wane
Drawn to each other, a one made from twain.

Isn’t it wondrous when love makes hearts bind
Never a doubt in your passion-filled mind.

Letters we’ve written of love for each other
Ink that was written, but not by a sage
Finally we slip into hot-chocolate evenings
Enjoying the warmth as we turn the next page.

©Joe Wilson – Marching forwards in love and in life…2015 (Acrostic)