Sunday, 11 May 2014

3rd Molesey Band, Surrey, United Kingdom

For today, I give you two poems for two lovely children and their very proud parents...

This one's for Thomas for his first time with the 3rd Molesey Marching Band. It's not a new poem but it is most appropriate.

My Very First Drum

Grandad said
He knew where to find
An empty pepper tin
To make me a drum
Thomas, ready for action
My very first drum
So we climbed
And we climbed
The wooden stairs
Right up to the attic
A very large room

Grandad said
"It’s the granary, Tom
Where the salted bacon’s kept
Where the ham is kept as well
It’s all stored here
On great big hooks
Hanging and ready
To be hauled downstairs
For dinner or lunch
Made by your Mum or Gran"

Grandad found
The empty tin
Up on the shelf
Where he’d put it himself
In the corner of the room
In great excitement I took off the lid
And my nose took off as well
I sneezed and sneezed
Grandad chuckled and wheezed
Well, it was the pepper tin

Grandad and I polished
Until the tin sparkled and shone
We made a hole in the top
And the bottom
Then we threaded some string
Clean through the holes
And there it was
A beautiful thing
All shiny and bright
My very first drum

And (yes, I know one should never start a sentence with an 'and') this one (which is new) is for Amelia for her first time with the 3rd Molesey Marching Band.

Amelia, in action
See The Bugler

See the bugler standing proud
Hear the notes
Hear the echoed sounds
As the brass resounds
Leading the floats
Filling the air clear and loud

See Amelia in scarf and gloves
Ready to take her cue
Ready  for her refrain
To fill the air once again
As her eyes take in the view
Of the marching band she loves

See the bugler marching on
Hear the beat
Hear the rhythmic thrums
As the boom of the drums
And the brass compete
When the cymbals crash as one

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

2014 A-Z Reflections

I Love the "Blogging from A to Z April Challenge"!

That sentence stands on its own.  Truth in 10 words if one counts 'A' and 'Z' as words.  

I've only done the Challenge twice but I'm in love.  I firmly believe that it's because of the companionship and camaraderie which we share with others across all genres - all Bloggers supporting all Bloggers.  It doesn't get much better than that!

To all the wonderful Admins who kept the spirit alive in so many more ways than I ever thought possible - kudos.  It would take this entire post to thank you all and to say how much each of you has meant to me personally, so to you all, please accept my humble and profound thanks.  

For all the new friends I've met and for all of the 'old' friends who visited, I so appreciate your support. Although I am not going to mention everyone, there is one person who must receive my highest accolade. That person is Alex Cavanaugh.  Alex, I remain amazed at everything you do.  Thank you so much for being a constant visitor.  Your comments were always insightful and I looked forward to them with great anticipation and expectation.

I have to share how I was personally impacted by the Challenge.  I decided that the photographs I used to illustrate my poems would be taken by either myself or a family member.  There was only one photo in all 26 posts which wasn't.  This brings me to the highlight of the month which occurred through the simple use of one of my niece's photographs.  The photograph was of a satsuma peel which you can see here and which I believed perfectly illustrated my fun but serious poem which I've included here.  It's called Dear Addict but isn't quite what it seems.

Dear Addict

I think of you
Punch to the midriff
I think of you
My arms go weak
I think of you
My heart starts laughing
My blood gurgles too
As it recognises
My essence
The essence of you

My fingers tingle
As do my toes
My face starts to spasm
And wrinkles my nose
My cheeks join in
Reaching up to my eyes
Which twinkle and sparkle
Like stars in night skies

I say to myself
There’s a problem here
How can it be
That I hold him so dear?

Then once again
I think of you
Punch to the midriff
My knees touch the floor
Legs which can walk for miles
Don’t make the door

So I say to myself
There’s a problem here
How can it be
That I need him near?

My Heart starts laughing
Shoots straight to the core
I’m surprised at you Darling
So I’ll tell you once more

There’s nothing that you

Will be able to do
So I hope that at last
You’ll listen and hear

The only thing wrong 
With you My Dear
Is the song in your heart 
Of your love for him
Your very own Love Song
Which sings to your soul
The very same Love Song 
Which sings to your Heart

You’re an addict My Dear
You’re an addict it’s true
You’re an addict I fear
That much holds true

The cure is a punch to the midriff 
Each time you think of him
A punch to the midriff 
When your arms go weak

I laugh at my heart
As I think of you
I'll take that punch to my midriff 
My arms can going weak
I even don’t mind 

If I don’t reach the door
As long as I’m with you
I can ask for no more

I was surprised and delighted when Emma, my niece, commented on that post but even more so when she told me that the subject of the photograph I'd used was actually made by Thomas, of my grand-nephew.  It was Thomas's Dancing Satsuma Peel.  Thomas has autism so he tends to see life a little differently from most other people.  Well, that comment by Emma triggered a most natural response from me and I immediately did a post on Autism and wrote a poem for Thomas.  Emma read the poem to Tom and he thoroughly enjoyed it.  That, out of all the high points of the Challenge was the absolute highlight for me.  

Thank you all once again for an outstanding experience.


I missed World Autism Day but living with someone who is autistic isn't only for one day, so this is for my nephew, Kyle and his wife, Emma who have the honour of having being chosen by God to share their life with their wonderful son, Thomas (who is autistic) and their daughter Amelia.  What this is doing for my family is teaching them how to think very differently from what is considered ‘normal’ in today’s world. 

They are, in a very real sense, getting a glimpse into how God views us.  From 1 Samuel 16:7 we get this gem on God’s choosing of David to be King over others who were viewed by the prophet Samuel as being acceptable to be king of Israel.

“But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him.  The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.

I used Thomas’s ‘Dancing Satsuma Peel’ in my poem for ‘D’ (Dear Addict) for the April A-Z Challenge to describe a punch to the midriff, not knowing it was, in fact Thomas's work.  However, this is a much better story. 

Emma, Thomas’s mother and my darling niece-in-law (if there is such a thing.  I think of her simply as my niece) wrote the following message on my Facebook page:

“Thomas's dancing Satsuma peel.  I would be honoured to just share the thoughts of an autistic child for just one day. They look at the world as the world is.  It's raining cats and dogs, while we "get" that it means it's raining really hard.  Why don't we just say that?  That freaks an autistic person out, but if it DID really rain cats and dogs it would totally freak us all out! I think that they are more in tune with life and it's us that have a skewed outlook that sadly makes us "normal".  Think outside the box, as autism parents we have to do this every day.  It's a pleasure to do so.

So, here it is; a special poem for Emma, Kyle, Amelia and most particularly for my precious nephew, Thomas...

Satsuma Man

When you look at me
What do you see?
Do you know what I am?
No, I’m not eggs and ham

I can see it for real
It’s the torn off peel
You say as you widely grin
From an orange or mandarin

No, No, No
Look low
Say I
And then again look high

Look left
Past the crevice and cleft
Look right
For a wonderful sight

Keep moving your eyes
Watch it fall and then rise
Soon you’ll say, ‘Why, Yes I can’
It’s the Dancing Satsuma Man

It’s the Dancing Satsuma Man
Dancing as only he can
Arms and legs open wide
His head thrown back in pride

What a moment, what fun
See him dance; see him run
It’s the little peel man
The Dancing Satsuma Man

Sunday, 4 May 2014

Going Dark

Summer Coffee - South Africa Style
To all my Online Friends

Here is a video to ponder:

I'm taking the message seriously...


I love this reminder so I bid you farewell for the day
As I take myself off now to live my life my way!
I'm leaving my phone and my laptop beside
On my bedside table as I now go outside
Perhaps I'll do something, perhaps I'll just sit
To enjoy feeling grass on bare feet for a little bit
Perhaps I'll take in sights and sounds of a bird
Understand how wonderful life is when lived in life not in word
It's not that you're not important, you are
But I need to live life, not view it from afar
So, My Dear Online Friends, I'll pop back again soon
To let you know what's been happening under my sun and moon
I'm now going to live and love life in all its majesty
Not hoping and wishing and living it vicariously
Now as I bid you all a very fond 'adieu'
I hope I may meet you and we can chat 'un peu'
But not on a laptop or over a phone
Over coffee or tea and in person, not alone