Ocean Waves

The other day I was busy videoing myself reciting one of my poems, my eldest grandson Daniel, who is only just eight, asked what I was doing. After I had explained he said, “I am going to write a poem”, and set about getting a pen and paper.  After about ten minutes he came back into the room and recited this poem, I know that every grand parent thinks that their grand children are special and that the sun shines out of every oriface, but the fact that he produced this poem in such a matter of fact way blew me away, I think it is brilliant, I think he is brilliant.

Ocean Waves

Waves, waves wonderful waves,

Waves, waves crashing on each other like dominoes.

Waves as big as mountains.

Waves, waves magical waves softly plashing near me.

Waves, waves, salty waves,

Waves saltier than salt.



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An Accident

A slip, a mistake,

A sharp intake of breath through clenched white teeth as flesh is sliced by steel

The clean sharp pain slowly begins to drain into a deep dark ache, as warm red sticky stuff oozes through calloused fingers.

With fist tightly clenched the clinical white bandage is slowly drenched with the crimson reminder of my mistake.

Then, sitting patiently I watch as this stranger, this nurse, tentatively, tenderly, tends to my wound like a lover.

Occasionally soft brown eyes glance upward to see if I flinch as stitch by stitch her needle mends me inch by inch.

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The Faaaaaall

My friend Paul watched me fall as I bounced from branch to branch like a human pin ball.

Who was more scared him or me when I tumbled from that tree.

Impact, as my body hit the ground with a dull, muffled sound,

Gravel, dirt and blood pressed into my face as I felt my breath race away like an Equinoctial wind.

Through bleary eyes I see my friends crying, am I hurt so bad.

Panic, unable to breath, is this how it feels to drown,

Oh, then the feeling of cool air fills my lungs, then pain seers then stinging tears erupt from me like a circus clown.

Paul’s arm of friendship now caringly, comfortingly, cosseting me home.

Safe now, Dettol dabbed on warm cotton wool, whimpering vows to my mother never more to roam.

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Parrot’s Drumble a.k.a. Finney Wood

 It strikes me that as a boy we definitely lived in a more innocent time. Parents were more inclined to give their children a freer hand to explore and play further afield, certainly more than I gave to my children. Is it that as a society we have poisoned our perception of what is safe after hearing horrific stories graphically illustrated in the media, or is it simply evolutionary, where each generation learns or try’s  to be safer than the last. These thoughts occurred to me as I took a stroll with my family and down memory lane to what as a boy I knew as ‘Finney Wood’ but is now known by it’s correct name of ‘Parrot’s Drumble’.

Between the ages of 9 and 15 I spent a lot of time exploring the local countryside, during the summer holidays I would spent many a happy hour ‘Down the Woods’ with my mates, I got to know these woods like the back of my hand. We would spend complete days there, armed with a rope to make a swing, a few rounds of cold toast wrapped in discarded bread paper, and a bottle of cold tea in a milk bottle, Bear Grylls eat your heart out. It was while returning from one of these sorties, buoyed by my prowess as a successful tree climber, that I decided to clamber up a tree, after seeing a bird disappear in a hole high up in the trunk. I remember one of my friends Paul Stevenson ‘Jock’ saying,”Don’t fall Geoff” and me saying, ” I’ve not broken anything yet”, famous last words. I can clearly remember testing a dubious looking branch that seemed OK, and I can clearly remember the snapping sound as it broke under my full weight. I recall trying to hold on to the twigs and branches as I fell before hitting the ground with a sickening thud, the result was a broken wrist, it could have easily  been my neck. The experience stays with me even now some 55years on, along with other close shaves, is it these life experiences stored in our memory banks that we use to protect our children from putting themselves into perilous situations. There are two ways of learning, the smart way is to learn from others mistakes  the more common way is to pay no heed to their mistakes and learn from your own, your A&E department at the local hospital will probably back this theory up.

Have fun but stay safe.

Posted in days out, Falling, Family, friend, grandchildren, gravity, happy days, Life Experiences, memories, pain, Talke Pits, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

An Angels Whisper

As I tip-toe towards another birthday I have heard today of the sad loss of Terry McLawrence a man who when I was younger was a good friend, one of the lads. I didn’t know he had passed away and I missed his funeral, I didn’t have chance to pay my respects, I’m sorry  Macca.


An Angel whispered in my ear,

Have no fear it’s time to go,

Follow me to join the stars, twinkling in the black velvet night,

Then let your soft and gentle light caress the ones you love so dear,

to let them know that all is well,

As another chapter unfolds to tell of not an end,

But a glorious new beginning.

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I’m a Saggar Makers Bottom Knocker (Translation)

Hello there mate, have you heard,

I’ve got myself a job.

It’s down at the Potbank,

I’ll be working with your Bob.

He’s a Saggar Maker down there,

He’s earning a pretty Shilling,

He’s got me a job as a Saggar Makers Bottom Knocker,

I’m going to make a killing.

My Father could have got me fixed up,

on the face at ‘Hanley Deep’.

But I told him politely to bugger off,

as all my digits I’d like to keep.

And no big chunks of shiney coal landing on my head,

I just want to go to work and come back home,

Not go to work and end up dead.

I know it’s a dusty place to work,

and you can get a ‘Potbank cough’,

But the there’s the girls who work in ‘The Pots’,

Play my cards right I might cop off.

So I’ll see you a week on Friday,

because I’m working a week in hand.

Then we’ll celebrate proper, me getting this job,

and drink enough ale until we can’t stand.



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I’m a Saggar Makers Bottom Knocker ( in a Potteries dialect )

Aye up siree dust ere,

I’ve got me sen a job.

It’s dine at th’Potbonk,

Are’l be workin wi yower Bob.

Ay’s a Saggar Meeker dine theer,

an ay’s earnin a pretty shilling.

Ay’s got me a job, a Saggar Meekers Bottom Knocker,

Are’m gooin mack a killing.

Me Fayther could have got me fixed up,

on the face dine ‘Anley Dape’.

But I tade him politely to bugger off,

as ‘o’ me digits I’d like kape.

And no big chunks ‘o’ shiney coal landing on me yed.

Ar just won’t go work ‘n’ come back wom,

Not go work and end up jed.

Ar know its a dusty place to work,

an thee cust get a Potbonk cough.

But then there’s the wenches who work in the Pots,

Plee me cards rate ar mit cop off.

So ar’l say thee a wick on Fridee,

cuz ar’m working a wick in hand.

Then wale celebrate proper, me getting this job,

drink enough ale till we conner stand.


Posted in friend, happy days, Mining, Potbank, Pottery Workers, Slang poetry, Stoke-on-Trent UK, the potteries, Tradition | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments