we played out on streets
full of laughter and joy
sun high in the sky
playing games long forgotten
tig, kerbie, hide and seek
we had no cares or worries
life was simple, a pleasure
till the pop man came round
his smoky old wagon
slowly crawling onto our road
for a second everyone stopped, looked
and then the streets swarmed
with children running home
desperate to get the empty pop bottles
and get the 1p back on them
so they could get more pop
and another sugar rush
to get them through the afternoon


The Valley becomes our playground, our home. We go down there everyday after school, at weekends, every spare minute we have we play down the Valley. We play war games, hide and seek, anything we can just so we can be down the Valley. I get to know every inch of the Valley, all the trails, trees and embankments. I can still remember it now as it was when I was a kid. It’s changed now, all filled in just a big grass field. The Valley was special and still is. I wish I could play there one more time.

seconds

Posted: September 4, 2019 in poetry, Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , ,

making the most of every second
before they float away on the breeze
following the path over the moors
gone before you have time to breath
on the breeze of a autumn day
life is short, time is fleeting
make the most of every second
before you realise you’ve missed them
and you can never catch them again


He lives over the road from me. He’s different to me, different to everyone. I turn from the victim to the bully. All my bad experiences come out in unprovoked verbal abuse directed at him. For no other reason than I can, he’s an easy target and doesn’t or won’t fight back. I call him names, names I don’t understand the meaning of at the time but deep down I know they are hurtful, wrong, but I still say them to him, attack him with them. It makes me feel powerful at the time to find someone weaker than me, different to me and different to others someone I can attack and hurt and who doesn’t fight back and who is more different to others than I am. It’s wrong but I do it. If I could go back I would not do it. I would be his friend or avoid him altogether but I would not attack him and harm him as I did back then.


It’s September and even in a world of uncertainty I feel calm and relaxed. Maybe it’s because the warm summer months have now gone and there is a cool, refreshing breeze in the air that makes it easier for me to breath and run that does it? Or it could be the changing of the seasons from bright colours to more subdued but still majestic ones that makes it easier on my eyes that makes me feel calmer? I love September and seeing all the changes around me as children go back to school, my cats fur starts growing longer in preparation for winter and different foods appear in the markets marking the time when we have to start storing food for winter incase we are snowed in. one of my passions is running over the moors and it’s here that I really notice the difference. The colours change from purple swathes of heather to greens and browns making it seem harsh and bleak but I find it magical as these colours sweep before me endlessly rolling over the moors. September and autumn bring longer nights too so we have less time to do what we want to do in the day and while this can be limiting it makes me more productive as I know I can’t leave things till later to do as the later might not be enough time. i understand why people don’t like September and autumn because of the changes but I love being on my own on the moors surrounded by the bleakness of the South Pennine moors, away from people and society and all the problems they can bring. To me it’s truly getting away from it, no phone signal here, and knowing that one wrong move can leave me alone and exposed to the elements with little hope of being found. It gives me a sense of adventure I don’t find with spring and summer when you see someone at every turn and you feel safe. Yes bring on the rain and mud and the solitary experience of being at one with nature that autumn brings for me. Have a great September and autumn everyone.


Paul is my first friend on Holmewood. We play in the street and on the green, have fun. Paul moves to Cornwall. I never see him again. Malcolm is my next friend. There’s a group of us all playing and having fun. One day I go to Malcolm’s house. His sister looks at me and tells me to leave. She gives no reason. I don’t know why, don’t understand. Maybe she knows something I don’t. I never see Malcolm again.

Chris is my next friend. He’s older than us and the leader of our gang. We play down the valley, jumping over streams, hide and seek, crawling in tunnels, running on trails. I’m enjoying life, having fun with friends, playing with no worries, no fears, no regrets.

More new friends on Holmewood. Paul, Colin and Peter. It’s the summer of 1973. We play football all day and all night. I’m me, I’m free. I’m enjoying life. Food, friends, freedom. Everything I want and need right now. Life is perfect.


We move again. Not far. To Holmewood council estate. It’s a big house with 3 bedrooms and gardens front and back. I like this house. I feel safe here, happy. It’s a new start for all of us. New jobs for mum and dad, new school for me, my sister has moved out. I fly a kite with my dad on the field near my house. I’m having fun.


we all wore the same clothes
had the same hairstyles
ate the same food
said the same things
at the same time
no one was different
our identity was collective
personalities identical
if one was punished
we was all punished
then the police came
rescued us all from
our insular world
and left us in a
world we didn’t know
we had to learn
to be ourselves
develop our own
personalities and identities
learn to be individuals
we had to learn
what it meant to be human
it was hard work
but we did it
created new lives
became new people, the people
we should have been
from the beginning


it’s a cold but sunny morning. Mum has left me on my own at school for the first time. I’m alone. Teachers and children run around, shouting and screaming. I’m lost. I know where I am but not what I’m supposed to do. I walk to the playground and the bullies see their chance and attack me, kicking me to the floor. I’m surrounded by them, all looking down at me. No one comes to help me, no teachers or children. I’m truly alone now in a mass of people. They call me names, mummies boy, softy, they keep coming. Then the beating starts, more kicks and still no one helps me. The bell goes for the start of lessons and I’m alone, lying on a cold, tarmac playground, looking up at a clear, blue sky. Everyone has gone inside, teachers, children, bullies. I get up, brush the dirt off my legs and go inside to my lesson. They knew I was different. I didn’t know I was. I never tell anyone about the bullying, I never forget it though.


my home is a shipping container
metal, long, dark
i’m told it’s temporary
however long temporary is
small and cramped
it has a door and
window at one end
too hot in summer
too cold in winter
people fight outside
i stay in and
read a book,
play board games,
listen to the radio
on the TV everyone
has cars, houses
X-boxes, computers and TV’s
somewhere to live
somewhere to call home
i would be happy
with a bed to myself
in a room of my own
i don’t want much
but the little i
want seems far away
at least right now