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'Beginnings & Endings'
January 2010

07 May 2012



The stillness of the heart

Calms the spirit

The love of life finds true innovation

In the beginning, I knew not

The end has just begun.


Josie Lawson





We bumped into each other festooned with

Haversack, kitbag and side-pack.


He, a big lad with a grin that nothing could dispel,


King Neptune was the boss.

No one could have a grin that wide in the

Atlantic Ocean, his domain.


For three whole days the grin was missing

and he was not alone


'Land Ho!' A shout, and if by magic

Dick's happy grin reappeared.


It grew even wider

at the generosity of South African folk,

of food of every description.


Another ship and Jim and I took

control of his money as he was

wont to visit the canteen too often between

Semolina and sausages of dubious origin

on the menu at every meal.



Dick was happy here.

He could swim, eat English type food

and doze in the midday heat

and not do as mad dogs and Englishmen are said to do.


Another ship, he and five of his friends

are volunteered for coal heaving.

His smile started to disappear until the words

'fore and aft galleys' were mentioned.

His intuition proved absolutely right.

Ginger cake and tea by the pint.



Miles and miles of Iraqi desert

and Dick's cheerful smile beneath his

Crashhat never faltered.

News and Gossip imparted with a happy smile,

He was the mail delivery man.



Italy suited him.

Spaghetti, wine, beautiful women,

fresh fruit growing on trees...


Just north of Bologna,

in an assault boat,

on a river over-looked by a German machine gun post,

Dick Watling died.

Footnote: This is about a Lad from Barking, one of my 'Band of Brothers', from when I first met him.


Maurice Wilsher

Newham Writers Workshop



Beginnings and Endings

You asked me out more than once, brought me chocolates and flowers when I agreed. Our first date was dinner and the movie "50 First Dates".

You made me laugh, kept things light and breezy
We had great wonderful times and never a cross word.

We traveled far and wide - had new one of a kind experiences.  We shared out bodies but not our minds, we never spoke of love or exchanged endearments...  at times you filled me up and then I was again alone, empty.


When you needed comfort, you pushed me away,When I showed I cared you closed the door.
You message on the phone said you needed a break, why and from what or whom I still wonder.


Sharon Ehlinger Porcari



'Till the End of Time'


There is a quote, 'till the end of time.'


Is this not a paradox in the understanding as to the meaning of the word 'time'?


'Time' surely means the continued process of existence.  With past, present and future thought as a whole, can 'time' end?


Time is used or wasted.  All entities in creation have an allotted portion of time to exist, maybe a few hours for a Mayfly; for a sun, hundreds of billions of years.


History is remembered in time.


Time is the rhythmic patterns of memory.


Maggie Palmer






This year is passing through December

Final days

Once vibrant trees, limbs frail with tremor

Parting ways


Frozen lakes, fixed in an icy gaze


Not reacting to the distant suns rays

Just thinking


Skeletal fingers, to life still clinging

Fuddled skies

From this year to the next, it's winging

Old and wise


The hoary fields, shrouded in white

Time and space

Waiting for the eternal night

Resting place


Ashley Jordan




How treacherous the winds that blow

to bury us once more in snow
the slippery slopes that speak of ice
are covered now to entice,
and I that spoke so carelessly
that winter comes but sparingly
will take the words and bury them
beneath the snow that spells mayhem.

For transport stuck upon the roads

and lorries stranded with full loads
schools that can no longer cope
leaving teen-agers with full scope,
commuters stranded by the mile
slowly wending through the pile
to them I must apologise
"No fuss" was just a compromise.




This morning I looked

snow covered the ground
not the grey of London
white lay around,
a beautiful sight
that covered the trees
so still and so soft
not the sign of a breeze.

The first snow of winter

the beginning to me
takes my mind back
to childhood memory,
hands, red and frozen
eyes, shining with mirth
Snow! was adventure
explorers from earth.

I still love the feel

of snow in my hand
melting and thawing
the feeling is grand,
the beginning and ending
when snow turns to slush
winter has been and gone
without any fuss.

Sally Flood



Beginnings & Endings

I have to hem a skirt,

which is too long.
Where is the beginning?
Where is the end?
They are two seams.
One will be the beginning,
second seem
is in the middle
and the ending
is at the beginning.
It's a circle.

Marie Neumann





Remember how quickly loving turns to regret

And the things we found exiting we try to forget

Remember why that warmth turned so cold

Now we avoid the one we couldn't wait to hold

Remember that great passion is like a raging fire

It is only kept alight by that heat of desire

Remember great pleasures are never meant to last

So enjoy them all you can before they're quickly past




Jim White


I n The Light Of


Barbed wire on the beaches

Shrapnel in the streets

Blackout curtains at the windows

Keeping in the light


Down the air raid shelter

Huddled under the stairs

Hiding like rats in a cellar

A candle for a light


A screaming sound then silence

The bomb exerts its force

Destroying an entire street

In one flash of light


The A.R.P. stands watching

Alert and on patrol

For a second they do nothing

Blinded by the light


With calloused hands they dug

To free the injured folk

As firemen aimed there hoses high

To douse the blazing light


Many didn't make it

And many tears were shed

Prayers were said to guide them

In God's eternal light


Upon the news of the surrender

Fireworks lit the sky

Bonfires burned and beacons blazed

In defiant light


No air raid warning sounded

Folk slept safe in bed

And new horizons beckoned

With the dawning of the light


Jan Hedger



A Scene from Tuscany


New Year in Tuscany

Moody and magnificent

Full of contradictions

Hints of spring

Yet awhile away

A taste of sunshine

Exuding gentle warmth.

A stark reminder

The cold air bites

‘Hey! Its winter

And I’m still here!’

Cloaked in mist

And low lying cloud

The hills rest

In their private space

Gathering strength

For the summer ahead.

Rain falls, replenishing

Feeding the earth

Passive in its waiting

For germination

As the Poplar’s,

Stand tall, all seeing

Sentinels of the land

Ever watching

The drama unfold

Of a New Year

In Tuscany.


Jan Hedger



Flowing for All


Arising from grandiose mountains, the

Babbling brook begins its tremulous way

Cascading over smooth, rounded pebbles

Down the steep ravine in a clear ribbon

Encapsulating the picture book scene

Foraging its way, deep below ground

Gushing into the open with renewed joy

Hop, hopping over lichen covered rocks

Into a winding, widening, crystal stream

Juicily nurturing the burgeoning plants

Kicking its heels over tripping rapids

Landing safe to continue its journey

Meandering through spreading plains

No time to rest in its friend, the lake

Onward to join its lover, becoming one

Paddling feet teasing in dappled shallows

Quenching, deepening and broadening; the

River marches on, towards its ultimate goal

Swishing, swashing, lapping its guiding banks

Trout slithering from tickling, trailing fingers

Under bridges, around bends, a medley of

Vessels cut through the reflection of glass

Washing its way with true majesty; spreading

Xxx in the air as it bursts from the estuary, into

Yonder sea, brimming over with success, and

Zeal as it dances in harmony with the waves


Jan Hedger




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