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Some time ago my late mother wrote a poem and when she gave it to me I said something totally banal like “Thank you, it’s very nice”. It struck me then as very simple and sentimental; which only goes to show what a pompous prat I was. It is simple and it is sentimental, but it is more than that, it’s honest and it evokes a world that whilst it still exists grows ever more remote. Perhaps, along with the ‘quiet places’, this is what we are losing.

Forget Not All These

Forget not the country
With its pink and white blossom
Dancing a tune to the wind.
The duck-pond, the brook,
Yellow catkins like Christmas-tree streamers.
Pale clumps of primroses,
Shy violets under the hedge.
Tiny house sparrows
Darting under the eaves.
Frisky lambs, the quiet cows,
Friendly people and peace.
Forget not our long, country lanes
Winding past fields
Of long, golden corn;
Hedges of bright, red poppies,
Foxgloves and honeysuckle.
Strong horses with white, hairy feet
Ploughing the land
In long, straight furrows.
Beautiful butterflies winging their way
Through leafy trees and
Flowers of every hue.
The tawny owl,
Hooting all through the night.
Squirrel with his big, bushy tail,
Storing nuts in the old, hollow tree.
The leaping frog,
Badgers, you are lucky to see.
Sly fox looking for things that are not his,
Wood pigeon, whom all farmers hate.
Forget not our woods
With tall, stately trees.
Bluebells ringing their bells
In silent tune with the wind.
Wild cowslips making a carpet of gold.
Birds of every kind chirping and singing
All through the day.
Under the hedges clutches of pheasants
Nest peacefully and hope they are not seen.
Carpet of buttercups, as gold as the sun.
Tiny, white daises so peaceful and bright.
Pink dog-rose growing in confusion
All through the woods.
Forget not all of these.

By Dorothy Covins. 1976.

Sea Horse

Waves Crashing
Tide Lashing
Swirly Sea
Yes, He
The Horse Running Free

Mane of blue
Swirly eyes
Sea of magic
Horse of surprise

A horse of many wonders
Cantering across the shore
Until the break of dawn
He gallops more and more

So long until tonight
Until we meet again
I’ll love you forever
You make my heart alight

When I think of you
I feel as though I’m flying
You’re my pearl, my gem
Oh horse of many wonders
How lonely you must be
Do you have any other friends
Or just me?

Blue horse of magic
Canters back into the sea
And disappears into the horizon
To forever run free.

By Zoe Screti (Aged 10 years)


The spiky shadow of an elm fingers the pages of his Hemmingway notebook,
His pen moves in time to the song of a bird,
While the summer-scented breeze caresses his cheek;
Tears dribbling down the side of his nose, beads of rage, telling the emotive tale
Of a life in words, episodes of anecdotal candour or just a chronicle of slander?
Stories enhanced with each telling,
Are captured in ink; committed to paper for posterity's pleasure.
Actually, no – not for the entertainment of his progeny,
More of an ovation for those who passed this way before; so as
To do justice to their memory, lest we forget
Who they were, how they made our lives whole.
He closes his eyes and sets off once more
In search of meaning; the anchor that mocked his life and will loose him in death.
Rewriting the past, if only he could,
Erase the crimped outline of experience and colour in the void;
Leave a hard-hearted word unspoken; yet
Untie the tongue to say what should have been said.
There would be no regrets, no mistakes, no need for clemency;
But the memory is not the mother of invention.
Memoirs hold up a mirror to his past
And reflect the brittle, merciless truth that cannot, must not, be made over.
He writes from the core, with modest licence;
Lighting the road ahead, turning his back on the path he has travelled before
And will walk again and again before the end.

By Simon Pigden


Watching eyes that saw me into manhood
Now bear witness: I admit a debt that I can never pay.
With lantern high, your compass took my bearing
And yet, you let me find my own sweet way.
Upon my oath, blinded was my insight;
I glimpsed the truth, but did not dwell to see,
The dreams denied, the imaginings made forfeit
All so you could shine your light on me.
Demand that I repair the hurt I caused you;
Believe that now I fully comprehend:
The price you paid that I might follow in your footsteps
As father to your beloved grandchildren.

By Simon Pigden

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