Proper Trains

Yes they were dirty, yes they were smelly – but they were magnificent!

TPOTG Steam Train Red frame 01jpg

Aye, we had proper trains then
That bellowed out smoke and steam,
And to stand on the plate, driving one of them beasts,
It were every little boy’s dream.

Water filled boilers by coal furnaces fired,
So the pistons and rods could be driven,
Those mighty engines, chuffing and puffing,
Setting giant wheels into their rhythm.

Masterpieces forged out of iron and steel,
Reflections of that industrial age,
Not soulless and sanitised, regulated creations,
That now have become all the rage.

Them carriage doors you had to slam shut,
Never designed to keep out the weather,
And windows you needed to pull right up
With a strap that were made out of leather.

And heaven forbid if them windows weren’t tight
As the train went into a tunnel,
Then you’d be coughing and spluttering and cursing the smoke
Belching out of the hot sooty funnel.

Each journey were an adventure, I suppose you could say,
Today’s stainless steel and glass just can’t compete,
As you sat there rocking from side to side,
In your deeply sprung, strange smelling seat.

And the joy of trainspotting as we gathered together
Chatting in eager anticipation,
Platform tickets in hand, with our pens and our books,
Waiting at some main line station.

All trains carried numbers, but it were them that were named
That we were all so anxious to see,
And if they had blinkers fixed to their sides,
Well, it were like we were in ecstasy.

The City of London, Lady Macbeth,
Sir John Moore and Sir Galahad,
The Red Knight, Camelot and Union Castle
Some of the names that them proud engines had.

But them days are gone, that age of steam,
Now it’s all diesel and electric,
But I’ll never forget them glorious monsters,
Hissing steam and looking majestic.



Far better to question than to simply believe,
For a questioning mind is so hard to deceive.

TPOTG Echoes 02 jpg

We are losing our voices, becoming just echoes
Of propaganda that we so naively accept,
It’s a much easier choice
To join with the herd’s voice;
At questioning we’re no longer adept.

And if we do question, then we are condemned,
As ‘liberal’ intolerance raises its voice;
Some kind of ‘ist’ we’ll be named,
Then derided and shamed;
Another opinion not an acceptable choice.

Too apathetic, too distracted, we just simply agree,
Instead of challenging we’d rather bury our head;
In this age of information
There’s a knowledge starvation,
It’s by media opinions and views that we’re led.

We can no longer speak freely about what we believe,
Any independent thinking is thwarted.
Like so many sheep in a fold
By political correctness controlled,
We are gagged as the truth gets distorted.

Our children’s thought patterns cloned to fit an agenda,
How to think is no longer something we teach,
And as today’s generation grow
Perhaps they’ll never know
The true meaning of freedom of speech.


Scales – There’s No Justice!

Standing on the scales can be a real mood changer!

TPOTG Scales 02

It’s a daily ritual
That so many perform.
To stand on the scales,
“Oh weight, please conform!”
We’ve set ourselves goals,
We just want to weigh less,
If we can’t lose those pounds
It just adds to the stress.

So it is with some trepidation
That I strip to the raw,
Ponder the scales,
Waiting there on the floor.
To weigh or not to weigh?
Now that is the question,
Should I leave it ‘til tomorrow,
Maybe use some discretion.

“What say you, scales,
Are you a friend or a foe?”
Until I weigh myself
I’ll just never know;
“Please digital display
Show the numbers I need,
I want to lose weight;
I need to recede”.

Stop! Think back to yesterday,
What did I eat?
Oh god, I had cheesecake,
But I needed a treat,
For the rest of the day
I think I was good,
Eating only the food
That I knew that I should.

That cheesecake now
Plays on my mind,
Better not weigh myself,
Yes, that would be kind,
If my weight’s gone up
A bitter pill to swallow,
Best leave this weighing thing
Until tomorrow!



Take Not the Hand…

What if I could not write….?


Take not the hand
Away from me
That writes my verse,
That sets me free.
Cloud not my senses
Nor steal my mind,
Take not my eyes
Don’t leave me blind.
Name the price,
I’ll pay the sum,
Just leave me whole
For years to come,
So I can write
My poetry
And go on serving
A mind set free.


The Prickly Pear

Have the bees been playing tricks on me…?

I went to see my apple tree
And what did I find there?
Not my favourite Granny Smith,
But instead a prickly pear.
Now I’ve never heard of this before,
A most unusual situation.
Must be the result of a freak of nature,
An error in cross pollination.

So I rang the Cross Pollination Institute,
To ask them about my pear,
But they were out cross pollinating,
So I got no answers there.
It must be the bees who had got confused,
So I know where I must go,
A bee keeper lived at the end of the lane,
The last cottage in the row.

But the bee keeper couldn’t help me,
Yesterday he’d been badly stung,
And off he’d been whisked to hospital
After the ambulance had been rung.
It was certainly proving quite difficult
To find out about my prickly pear,
I know! I could try the library;
I should find the answer there.

Down the hill and across the bridge,
The library was next to the church with the spire
But when I got there, oh what a shock,
The library building was engulfed in fire!
Fire engines parked along the street,
There were firemen and hoses galore;
I was feeling really frustrated now,
Under my breath, I nearly swore.

Then I remembered the interweb,
Google it, come on, I should have known!
But would you believe it, my router was down,
A connection appears to have blown.
So on went the kettle, I needed a cuppa,
To help me try and recuperate;
Finding out about my prickly pear
For the time being, would have to wait.

Then one last idea came into my head,
I could use mobile communication.
A photo taken and shared on line,
I could ask for some information.
So off I went with my phone in hand,
No way was I going to be beaten,
But when I arrived back at my apple tree,
By the birds, the pear had been eaten!


Have You Killed a Rhino Today?

The slaughter of rhinos in South Africa carries on unabated.
When poachers or traffickers are caught they should get the same treatment,
but no doubt somebody will bang on about their human rights……

The world is obsessed with human rights,
But don’t rhinos have their rights too?
And shouldn’t some people lose their human rights,
By the things that they choose to do?


So tell me have you killed a rhino today,
Have you added to the score?
Have you hacked off its horn with a machete blade,
And are now hiding from the law?

Have you left a rhino to bleed in the dust,
Lying helpless and all alone,
Ensuring it has the most painful of deaths,
Just so its horn you are able to own?

Have you made plenty plenty dollars today,
By killing this magnificent beast?
Have you sold its horn to black marketers,
And on blood money been able to feast?

What will you do when you’ve killed the last one?
Exterminated by your human greed;
So for your human rights why should we give a damn?
I know all the justice you need.

If you’ve been responsible in anyway
For a rhino being brutally slaughtered,
Then in a less “civilised” world we would find you a tree,
Where you could be hung, then drawn, then quartered.

Then you would know just what it was like
To suffer great pain as you die.
So I’ll ask again if you’ve killed a rhino today,
If you have, can you please tell me why?



I am so lucky that I can now smell the jasmine


It’s the start of my day,
With my dog at my side,
As I walk through the garden
There’s a smile I can’t hide
As I’m wrapped in the smell,
As I pass through my gate,
Of the jasmine’s perfume,
That lies there in wait
To attract me and the bees,
So we can both take our pleasure,
The bees hard at work,
Me, hard at leisure.

The scent heavy in the air,
As night becomes day,
Before the morning breeze
Carries the fragrance away.
And as I pause by the gate,
Close by where the jasmine rest,
And indulge myself
In what nature does best,
I think of earlier times,
Of how my days used to begin,
When I was too busy to pause
And smell the jasmine.