She seemed unwell in Waitrose.
Her trolly veered off to the right.
A little old lady struggling
With a pain that gave her a fright.

Between the steaks and oysters
Which she never could afford
Near the eggs and soups in cans
She whispered a prayer to our lord.

She sat on a seat and waited
Imagining her last breath,
But when the pain abated
She felt she had just escaped death.

“Are you alright madam?”
Asked the manager passing by.
“Of course I am young man
But I thought i was going to die.

I’ll sit myself down a few minutes.
Thank you for your concern.
It’s amazing watching people
The amount that you can learn.

I’m always praying for others
And today I prayed for myself,
But now I’ll make my confession.
I just nicked a cake from your shelf!

I won’t go into details,
But I ate it near yogurts and cream.
I’m not quite the sweet old lady
That to many I may seem.

This morning I called in at Tescos.
From there I stole a peach.
I’m partial to their red salmon,
But the tin was out of reach!

My coat has this large pocket
For hiding many a treat.
I’m always getting away with things
Especially things to eat.

Tomorrow I’d planned on Sainsburys
To see what I can find.
I haven’t been there for a while
I’m getting way behind.

It was only indigestion
That drove me to confess
So now I WILL stop stealing
It could land me in a mess.

So that’s all over now dear
But please don’t call the law.
The food in jail is lower class.
I’ve tried it there before!”



Confident but not conceited.
Peaceful, but not defeated.
To be loving, but not possessive.
To be angry but not aggressive.
To like laughter that is not mocking.
To share humour that is not shocking.
To be generous but not insolvent.
To care truly with right involvement.
To live bravely but not be dominent.
To be noticed but not prominent.
To be loved by the right lover.
To know all we can discover.
To be happy but not complacent.
To end this poem without displacement.
To write poetry that is well read.
To be alive and not dead.
To be alive!


While the children play in the sunshine,
People stroll and converse.
There are chairs and tables where some dine.
As I sit here writing verse.

The occasional smoker lights up
And cars pass in the street.
A Yorkshire terrier pup
Under a chair is fast asleep.

It’s Friday eve in the sun.
Buildings rise to the sky.
The country may be undone.
How many of us know why?

No alien landing here now
Would see anything wrong.
There’s no welcome anyhow.
Each sings their own song.

Our economy may shrink
But fountains gleam in the light.
Let’s all go out for a drink!
Everything will be alright.

At Canary Wharf 2011.


Did you raise my face to the sun
To show me a glittering fountain?
Did I paddle and seem to have fun
When the hill seemed like a mountain.
Did you keep me in your sight
As I walked on the edge of a wall?
Did you feel a spasm of fright
Afraid that I might fall?

When my feet trod grass so green
And the sky above seemed immense
Did you try to keep me clean
And use lots of common sense?
You must have held my hand
And pushed the pram with your other.
Did you help me to understand
Why my new sister wasn’t a brother.

When the slow walk home was long
And the sunny road seemed endless
Did you often sing a song
Yet sometimes seem so friendless.
Your life given to us children
At times was fulfilling
Showing us a world that you
Seemed to find so thrilling.

Sometimes with an empty purse
You sat in a park content.
You were married for better or worse.
I know now what that meant.
With the dimming of the light
And the fading of the day.
You read to us at night
Then softly went away.

Now as I sit near a fountain
Of cascading water I know
How very much you loved us.
All that long time ago.


How bitter sweet the things unshared
When for company prepared
At St Martins, Ludgate Hill
The pianist does with music fill.
A place of beauty, panelled dark,
Dismissing loneliness so stark.
Destroying sad morbid fears
Brass gleaming on the chandeliers.

And if one yearning after truth
Will sing a hymn to swell the roof
And leave behind a coin as token
For the silence that was broken,
Having gazed on paintings fine,
The gallery and cross divine.
Will pray her thanks for the grace
That brought her to the holy place?