The Half Marathon Runner (Doug May)

The Half Marathon Runner (Doug May)
Bristol 21st. Sept. 2014 - 13.1 miles.

Half a Marathon - I’ve done it before,
I’m trying again to better my score,
It’s not about winning or glory or wealth,
Nor really a trip to rack up my health.

Just like a convoy heading for port,
The journey is long - conditions are fraught,
The battle with hurt I have to fight through,
Encouraged by words from some of the crew.

Some stragglers I’m passing exhausted their fuel,
A pity for them, but the voyage is cruel,
Can’t stop to help them I must carry on,
Plodding and heaving and pounding along.

Leaving the debris and carnage behind,
I’m pressing on - I’ve made up my mind,
My rate of knots is slightly below,
But still hope to make it sans tugs or a tow.

The bunting is out - I’ve made it alright,
Though running repairs will take me all night,
Sponsors have paid and Veterans will say;
“Well done `Old Timer` You `cracked` it today”.

Joe Earl (Oct.2014)

Inspired by Doug May

A Prayer for Seamen

O`h Lord  above send down a dove

With wings as sharp as razors

To cut the throats of them thar blokes

What sells bad beer to Sailors.




Farewell now our shell back friend

A good watch kept `till the very end

One last voyage from cares that are

Then rest in peace - across the Bar.


A bouquet of flowers in the shape of an anchor with the above inscription

was sent to the funeral of Dougie Davidson MBE.

PHILIP ZEC cartoon.

PHILIP ZEC cartoon.

Zec's cartoons were an immediate success with the readers. Zec, who was Jewish felt passionately about the need to defeat Hitler, produced a series of powerful cartoons on the war. When Hitler heard about these attacks on his regime, he added Zec's name to the Nazi Black List of people to be executed after Britain's defeat.

Zec sometimes upset the British government with his cartoons. On 5th March, 1942, the Daily Mirror published a cartoon on the government's decision to increase the price of petrol. The cartoon showed a torpedoed sailor with an oil-smeared face lying on a raft. Zec's message was "Don't waste petrol. It costs lives."

Winston Churchill believed that the cartoon suggested that the sailor's life had been put at stake to enhance the profits of the petrol companies. In the House of Commons, Herbert Morrison the Home Secretary, called it a "wicked cartoon" and Ernest Bevan the Minister of Labour, argued that Zec's work was lowering the morale of the armed forces and the general public.

Churchill arranged for MI5 to investigate Zec's background, and although they reported back that he held left-wing opinions, there was no evidence of him being involved in subversive activities. The government considered closing down the Daily Mirror but eventually decided to let the newspaper off with a severe reprimand.




 In War and peace they plied their trade,

Over the angry seas ,

Remember them as here you stand,

Beneath these placid trees.


Inscription on the Merchant Navy Memorial, Welsh Back Bristol.





If you have been to sea..............

If you have been to sea at some time and you fancy joining our MERCHANT NAVY ASSOCIATION we meet at the Royal British Legion Club in Whitchurch every second Wednesday of the month from about midday when the bar opens.



He’s buried by the green house - on his grave are flowers`,

A family pet was Charlie, the memories are ours,

No more lead hanging down, by the kitchen door,

Or metal bowl of water, biding on the floor.


No more friendly greeting, wagging of the tail,

Or barking at the Postman, delivering the mail,

No more grinding jaw, gnawing bones of pork,

Or spinning in delight, at mention of a walk.


No more resting nose, gently on my knee,

Or limpid shining eyes, gazing up at me,

No more pleasant games, playing with a ball,

Or bounding back toward us, answering his call,


No more wet and smelly, after being in the rain,

Or the look of triumph, when he chased the cat again,

No more country strolls, sniffing round for hours,

He’s buried by the greenhouse now, underneath the flowers.



About twelve months the doctor said,

In one year’s time you will be dead,

The brutal truth was thus revealed,

My lifetime partners fate was sealed.


The cancer has a certain hold,

Too late now it was not foretold,

This deadly crab had within it’s grip,

A dreadful vision of the fatal trip.


As I implored to the skies above,

I beg of you please save my love,

But now began that awful terror,

The fact has dawned - there is no error.


So it was the nightmare labour,

Each day now was one to savour,

My darling was so brave and bold,

The poignant hand of mine to hold.


What use now my puny strength?

We could only talk and muse at length,

Onward went the dwindling days,

The evil bent on it’s withering ways.


Unyielding pressure did something to me,

Blanked my brain I ceased to be,

A rational being that was afraid,

Into a shell where panic raged.


Mind in turmoil, dreams of death

Shall I join you, stop my breath?

No - others need me I should not falter,

Must don a mask and refuse to alter.


Christmas came - New Year went,

The black disease went on hell-bent,

Then came the day through want of trying,

Lay my loved one surely dying.


Upon the pillow - goodbyes said,

Was laid to rest her peaceful head,

Life goes on is what they say,

Give me time ……..I’ll find a way.


My good mate Reg.


There’s a brilliant game called badminton - I recommend you play,

It keeps you fit and healthy any given day,

You try to hit a shuttlecock with racquet very light,

It may be placed quite gently or smashed with all your might.


The fun part is the rally, plus gaining of the points,

Trying to foil opponents and their creaking joints,

There is cursing, there is laughter, in this wicked game,

Fantastic shots are possible but no two hits the same.


Frustration takes its toll when returns are easy lost,

Or contact with the net, to you and partners cost,

Perhaps an awful judgment leaving a line call,

Then finding to bewilderment it wasn`t out at all.


A jump smash is the fastest at many miles an hour,

A drop shot gently placed or forehand sent with power,

A block shot and a push shot, backhanders too of course,

Are sometimes thrust with poise or deceptive force.


The ladies and the gentlemen team up to whack the `bird`,

Performing acrobatics bordering on absurd,

It never is intentional to miss the thing in flight,

But o`h the satisfaction if you return it right.


Skills are varied wildly by players at the time,

Some of them like me, a little past their prime,

But the best and worst of them as evident by score,

Have one thing in common - they all return for more.



Our mate Reg is eighty - what you see you get,

He likes to joke and tease - poking fun and yet

Perhaps a little deaf, but well alive and ticking,

I reckon he will tell you, his bucket’s not for kicking.


Hes pretty good at badminton and keeping of the score,

Unless he overdoes it and ends up on the floor,

Otherwise consistent and always plays the same.

No matter if he won or lost - he just enjoys the game.


He can be very helpful - Ive often had a lift,

Doesnt worry easy - very seldom miffed,

We respect our Reg - not only for his wit,

But for winding-up the women and pulling legs a bit.


For they want to mother him and pat him on the head,

He just gives a leery grin and laughs along instead,

So heres to Reg`s birthday - heading for the ton,

He’s `The Man` to play with - loved by everyone.

15 March 1013



I could have called him Sabre, Rex or maybe King,
He was a German Sheppard - a regal name for him,
But no, I called him `Charlie`, he answered to his call,
Big and black and beautiful, the proudest dog of all.

He guarded home and family, till I came home from sea,
Devoted and so loyal, he nuzzled up to me,
Later on, in old age, his hips would give him pain,
Then taking of his tablets he’d up and run again.

Eventually they wouldn’t work, he flaked out on the lawn,
All night I kept him company, the pair of us forlorn,
It hurt too much to move him, we knew the end was nigh,
His love and comprehension looked me in the eye.

My pal, my friend, my trusted hound, I had to let you go,
That well remembered day - in May so long ago,
Nothing here on Earth, could make my sorrows drown,
That day I paid a local vet, to put old Charlie down.



The day is long, I’ll chance upon, a mate to share my woes,

I choose an Inn - a cheerful place where everybody goes,

A motley crew should gather here, they come from not so far,

But alas this day it’s lonely - lonely at the Bar.


No one to share my views with, or pass the oldest joke,

Insults flying here and there across like-minded folk,

To bandy words while quaffing - from the cider jar,

Where have my all muckers gone? - It’s lonely at the Bar.


I drink alone and think a bit, of where my pals can be,

None of them teetotal - for all have been to sea,

But never mind, the Barmaid’s here to rib this ancient Tar,

Maybe it’s not so lonely, awaiting at the Bar.

Joe Earl March 2012

( From an idea by Len Dibb Western)


My Son Steve and Me


Every man should have a son to carry on the line,

A Father would be lucky if he had a son like mine,

He did not want to go to sea - like his dear old Dad,

Fair enough he went his way - I could not blame the lad.


He is a chip off my old block so I love him (not too much) ,

Perhaps I haven’t shown it - sometimes lacked a touch,

But proud of Him I’ve always been - I did the best I could,

Surely over all the years he grew and understood.


My Boy dealt with troubles throughout his youthful ride.

Triumphs and disasters taken in his stride,

I could boast for ages of the virtues of my son,

The vices I won’t mention - nor sins he did for fun,


“Less is more” a wise man said so I’ll finish this quite soon,

Suffice to say when Steve walks in - he brightens up the room.

Dad July 2012



I feel for the men who have been cheated

The ones that went through the war

They fought for the process of freedom

And saw all the blood and the gore

They are strapped with a measly old pension

Though they rarely complain

Their pleasure is down at the local

In out of the wind and the rain

Say “good day” to the Landlord

And just settle down with a jar

Tamp on a pipe of tobacco

Relax and smoke in the bar


Now those bloody Do-Gooders

Have ruined the peace of the old

By making them stop what they are doing

And go out for a smoke in the cold

I reckon for all them true smokers

That laid their life on the line

It's a case of selfish injustice

And law ahead of it’s time

The heroes of England like Nelson

Would turn and revolve in their tombs

If they heard of the rule of no smoking

And insult added to wounds..


(No smoking in pubs came in to effect

July 1st. 2007)



For sixty long years we have been ruled by our Queen,

A wonderful lady brave and serene,

A waterborne pageant to show our thanks,

Was held on the river with crowds on the banks.


A thousand or more underway at the start,

Pulling and paddling and proud to take part,

Foreshore hurrahs were often let rip,

To fabulous craft on the seven mile trip.


Bunting abundant white red and blue,

Ringing of church bells sounding out too,

Splendid the barge our queen was aboard,

On par with others so fondly restored.


To add to her jewels in the shape of tears,

A jubilee diamond to go with the cheers,

Firework displays, street parties galore,

Her subjects now wish her many years more.

Joe Earl    June 2012



Its not far to the mountains if distance made by crow,
Or the winding of the valley road snaking there below,
m lazing on our balcony looking to the east,
Soaking up the Spanish sun
troubled not the least.

An ideal spot for shellbacks recalling of the past,
Of life and love and glory days, most before the mast,
We sailed with our compatriots and harkened to the wise,
With convoy-hardened veterans, whose brothers lost their lives.

Youth, they say, is wasted upon the thrusting young,
I reckon not and no regrets while on the lower rung,
We romanced girls wherever, from Cuba to Japan,
Then bade farewell forever`goodbye fairy Anne.

I grin and drink my coffee, with a touch of brandy brew,
This long toothed pensioned seaman gazing at the view,
The goats and sheep go bongling past for their daily graze,
Reflections intermittent as I meet their ovine gaze.

So here in Andalucía, where the eagles soar,
A far cry from my tramping days and the breakers roar,
m thankful for the memories and happy to review,
Till I take a cooling shower then light the barbecue.



Amy (pink hair) and girl`s night out


(On my granddaughters Friday night )

Were getting ready - nice and slow

Almost there and time to go

Chatting on the mobile phone

Usual gang so not alone


Hair is sleek and shining too

Left wet towels in the loo

Make up nice and strappy top

Tartlet skirt and glow sticks rock


On the floor - boys around

Deejays club mix is the sound

Getting smoochy with the guys

Maybe give one - a surprise


Supping up the vodka ice

A couple of shots - very nice

Stilettos pinching starting blisters

Wicked fit boys - for us sisters


Dancing then `till night turns grey

Grab the purse and on the way

Hugs and kisses all around

Singing still now homeward bound


Farewell lads its been great fun

Got to go now - have to run

Do it all again next week

Working off our rebel streak


Make up nice and strappy top

Tartlet skirt and glow sticks rock.



Pictures of convoys in arctic conditions,

Hearing the `Last Post` and bugle renditions,

The anchor engraved on one of my rings,

These are a few of my favourite things.


Paintings by children that turn out like doodles,

Teaching them how with drawings of poodles,

`Wine Drinker Me` that Dean Martin sings,

These are a few of my favourite things.


Brilliant ideas that come on in flashes,

Mending my p.c. after it crashes,

Girls in bikinis in hot water springs,

These are a few of my favourite things.


When my horse falls, when my luck swings,

When I’m feeling sad,

I simply remember my favourite things,

And then I don’t feel so bad.



The Flying Dutchman.


I’ll not forget the fright from that November night,

When I saw the `Flying Dutchman` sailing past,

I will remember son, `till I’m sent to Kingdom Come,

The canvas on her yards and ancient mast.


She had a starboard list in a silver mist,

Dead silent was her passage overall,

The sails were full and blooming, an ashen light was looming,

No wind nor moon were thereabouts at all.


If you were asking me, I was privileged to see,

A ghostly apparition sent abroad,

You may raise an eyebrow hair, but I was surely there,

`An I’ll swear it on the bible of our Lord.



My favourite grandson Jake, yearned for a canine chum,

He pleaded with his dad and often asked his mum,

Eventually and happily there came that wondrous day

A puppy from a litter – a pet was here to stay.


They purchased bowl and basket, for it to snuggle down

And bought a pooper-scooper on the way from town

Then both impressed upon him, now he owned a mutt

He’s the one in charge of it so keep the front gate shut.


Jake listened to the lectures on what he had to do

Promised he would train it and find it bones to chew

Father bade “look after it” pointing with his fork

“Don’t forget” warned mother “you’ll take it for a walk”.


Even when they go away arrangements have been done

Granddad’s taking care of it – he can have some fun

Asked about the collar – what name should we engrave

“Why” said Jake just smiling – “I think I’ll call it Dave”.

Dave the dog!!

August 2002



There is a grace and beauty of a racehorse on the run,

The champions outstanding and galloping for fun,

Giving all and battling `till the race is won,

These mighty beasts have heart - names trip off the tongue.


The monster Barracuda, the ease of Never Say Die,

The silver Desert Orchid as he passed his rivals by,

Red Rum - a triple winner upon the National course,

My favourite Persian Punch a stubborn gutsy horse.


The spirit of Sea Biscuit, Arkle and Mill Reef,

The wonder of old Generous who beggared all belief,

The steeplechaser One man, the famous Golden Miller,

Dawn Run on the chases with Jonjo at the tiller.


Partnered by the jockeys - adding magic to the game,

Gordon Richards, Lester Piggot heading list of fame,

Followed by Dunwoody, Francome and McCoy,

Thornton, Tizzard, Murphy and Fallon since a boy.


Cheeky Frank Dettori, Carson of renown,

Riding out from places like Lambourn county town,

Where Mum was once a stable girl spreading youthful wings,

In among the characters that made the sport of Kings.




Concorde, Concorde, Bristols bird,

Her sonic boom no longer heard,

A pity though and sad for us,

Next best thing is a flying bus.


We marvelled at our speedy dart,

Assembled here in state of art,

Engines thrusting just sublime,

Scudding high before her time.


Born with dreams this super ride,

Built with vision flown with pride,

Far too young to be too old,

Shelved at peak not to be sold.


Many fans are saddened now,

Since our beauty took a bow,

We will remember - wont forget,

Our graceful, wondrous, worlds best jet.




The last of my booze is gone Chris, the cupboard is empty and dry,

I’ve given it up for now Chris, fighting a tear in my eye,

I’ll miss the fellows I drink with - they think I’m committing a sin,

I take no delight but I’ll put up a fight - `till the battle of weight I win.


Attending a gym to build muscles within, to stay all sober and dry ,

I’ll give it a go, I `spec that you know, I’d rather just curl up and die,

No grain or grape will pass my lips I think I’ve made it plain,

And just to add to misery my food intake restrain.


For I have my figure to think of - cider won’t enter my head,

Im going to turn the old tap on - drink gallons of water instead.

I’m sadder than Hell but I mean to do well - It’s not all bluff and talk,

I may have a moan but I’ll leave it alone - not even the sniff of a cork.


The miser has gold, the student has debts, but this sailor has no rum,

I’ll waste away in temperance mode looking all gaunt and glum,

I will not take of the nectar hooch - vodka, gin or beer…

Wine or Scottish whisky all stuff that gives me cheer.


And when my body’s perfection - all dried up like a prune,

Then I must think of absorbing a drink - will start to whistle a tune,

For I may visit a pub again, and top up my alcohol stores,

Plus tune in my ear for a mate that is near in case he says “What’s Yours”.

JOE  xxx Hic !



A boy came up to see his Dad and said ”I want to marry”

“Fair do’s” he says to him “your twenty four, why tarry”?

Then he told him who it was -”young Jane from out the valley”

I’m sorry Son it can’t be done - for her Mother when I kissed her..…

Bewitched me long and led me on - you see young Jane’s your Sister”

Broken hearted he departed cursing his old Dad,

`Till one day he returned to say “I am a lucky lad,

I’ve found a girl I’d like to wed - it’s Joan from ancient boyhood”

His Father looking pale and drawn to his feet he slowly stood,

It’s time to wed” he sagely said - “you must be twenty seven,

But my wicked youth and awful truth I really must explain”

He told him of Joan’s Mother - his voice in earnest pain,

On he went but the upshot was - I expect that you may gather,

The sequel was of course, he was her secret Father,

Sure stricken now his shocked son fled and tried his grief to smother,

He couldnt stop and blurted out the story to his Mother.

Oh Mama dear my love life’s doomed to slaughter

For if I choose another wife ‘tis probably his daughter,”

“Cheer up” she said - “You marry who you’d rather

For I as well the truth will tell - Your Dad is not your Father”



BAMSE (Pronounced `Bum- sa`)


BAMSE    (Pronounced `Bum- sa`)   1937 - 1944


There’s many a dog that went to sea but one of fine renown,

Was a hound that sailed with Norske Marine based at Montrose town,

He was a huge St.Bernard, who fought in world war two,

Owned by Captain Hafto who signed him on as crew.


Bamse was a great dog, braver more than most,

Serving on a minesweeper fearless at his post,

Wearing his tin-helmet he growled at German planes,

Standing by the oerlikon among the shot and flames.


Word spread of his devotion and indifference under fire,

His exploits and adventures in those days so dire,

He saved a man from drowning, barking an alarm,

Jumping in the water then grabbing hold an arm.


He often caught a bus while roaming round alone,

Looking like he owned the place steaming on his own,

Calling in a Public House he’d shove the cat aside,

Slurping then a brew that someone else supplied.


He visited the local shops idling for a snack,

Children would adore him and ride upon his back,

He sometimes played in goal, when fooling on the grass,

But guardian of the gangway, he’d let no stranger pass.


He padded round the pubs before the night curfew,

Escorting back to duty his often rowdy crew,

One night he met a robber threatening human life,

So pushed him in the dock for brandishing a knife.


More than just a mascot and fighting seaman too,

He was a morale booster, tangible and true,

A statue of brave Bamse, stands at the waterside,

One tribute to a man’s best friend, remembered here with pride.





He’s buried in the sand dunes now - a brave sea dog of war,

A statue to this famous hound stands on the Montrose shore,

No more the old minesweeper where Bamse served time on,

Or standing on the fox`le head when sailing to and from.


No more the special helmet he wore to face the Hun,

Or snarling at the enemy while standing by the gun,

No more escort duty when rounding up his crew.

Or stopping gangway entry, apart from those he knew.


No more devoted children riding on his back,

Or padding round the local shops mooching for a snack,

No more giant paw marks, six foot up the wall

Or slurping from a bowl, on his own pub crawl.


No more the large fish dinners he relished every time,

Or indifference to explosions when blowing off a mine,

No more control of seamen when getting out of hand,

Just a wartime grave - a memory in the sand.


The pier on fire on 28 July 2008


Come on friendly tide and wash away,

The blackened embers from the day,

When Weston pier sent to the sky,

Shooting flames and smoke on high.


Mangled wreckage now remains,

In bent and twisted metal frames,

All ashes left of seaside leisure,

Upon our pier used for pleasure.


Still and all, there’s lots to see,

Donkey rides and B&B,

Castles in the sand to build,

Chips are hot and cider chilled.


May local jokes abound,

Especially one, going round,

Twinning towns on greeting card,

Burnham’s on there, also Chard


Later on we’ll have once more,

Better than the days of yore,

A landmark fitting seaside fame,

At Weston - super-Mare again.

(After burning down 2008).




This island rock stands alone,

Empty buildings no ones home,

Pity then the awful waste,

Like a lady too darn chaste.


Come my friends court her dearly,

Build esteem, bedeck her clearly,

Nurture her shell glow and shine,

Beauty growing most sublime.


Such a phoenix from the ashes,

All embracing to the masses,

Along her pier, beloved, waiting,

Westons jewel scintillating.



This ancient rock still proudly stands,

Mid`st ebb and flow by Weston Sands,

In it’s heyday host to steamers,

Calling here decked out with streamers.


Entertainment – high spring tides,

Victorian evenings, lots besides,

Now my friends this is the story,

We`d like it back to former glory.


Connected to the land by pier,

`Tis been unused for many a year,

Except for answering mayday`s flare,

Brave men launching lifeboats there.


Let us too respond to calls,

Encourage life around it`s walls,

Give it heart and pulse anew,

Then stroll the pier – it`s good for you.



I step out every morning down a country lane,

Spy the little birds, the moor hens and the crane,

Perhaps a climbing squirrel or lazy grazing horse,

While ambling round the village on my observant course.


I often spot a seagull gliding low across the land,

This takes me back across the years – seamen understand,

I may recall of earlier times when down the River Plate,

Or when I was a Tanker man sailing off Kuwait,


Steaming down to Rio and Recife on the way,

Surfing Roaring Forties and round to Botany Bay,

Suzy San in Kobe where I spent some time,

Warmer climes of weather `an crossing of the line.


I think of all those ladies that were so cute to me,

Departing sad but keen to go when I returned to sea,

I sit down for a breather, and watch the Mum's school run,

Thrusting buttocks pushing prams, to this old man it's fun.


I arrive back home again my walking voyage over,

Day dreaming of my early days as a seamen rover,

But still I have that feeling – that latent, blatant urge,

To sail away to sea again, the landlocked air to purge.


(Thoughts from my brother John while out walking.)




 Mondays child will be a mugger,
Tuesdays child will maim another,
Wednesdays child will take to drugs,
Thursdays child will join the thugs,
Fridays child goes on the game,
Saturdays child will pimp the same,
The child that’s born on the Sabbath day
Well `blow me down` it turns out gay.



As I wait beneath the trees,

Softly kissed by gentle breeze,

Pigeons, gulls and swans abound,

While our veterans gather round


By waters edge - just sublime,

Then recalling fraught war time,

Assembled here for all to see,

For those that fought at Normandy.


Lucky us this summers day

We do remember - let us pray.

At the Merchant Navy Association Monument   6th. June





We are gathered here today - they say,

All waiting for the wedding,

Clean white shirts and ironed skirts,

Up the aisle we’re heading.


Nervous Groom making room,

Best Man stood there blowing,

The Bride is here never fear,

All in white and glowing.


Something new, something blue,

And a hidden garter,

He looks cute in a sombre suit,

Never looking smarter.


The oaths are said as the Vicar read,

Rings slipped on the fingers,

No more a Miss, she takes a kiss,

From the Groom - who lingers.


Down the aisle with a brilliant smile,

The parents are just beaming,

Strolling out, all about,

Through the church door streaming.


Now stood mute for a photo shoot,

Confetti showered over,

Holding pose with a big red rose,

Our Bride and Casanova.


The same holds sway in every way,

For many young folks marriage,

They look swell, we wish them well,

Sent off in a horse drawn carriage.


St.Lawrence Gap


We splashed about in turquoise seas

On golden sands we browned our knees

Glimpsed the turtles break for air

Pastel shades everywhere

Now and then perhaps some rain

Fell until the blue skies came

Tinkling sound of metal drum

A little taste of local rum

Hearing bits of Bajan song

Nothing hurting nothing wrong

Resting `neath our tamarind tree

Happy there - you and me

Golden isle in perfect bliss

Loving you - my girl Chris.




I wish I could retire - I’m getting old and weary now,

My bones tell me to give it up - its time to take a bow.

Yes, I have reached the top rung, of my working ladder,

There are many ways I feel it, and one of thems my bladder.


The winters seem to last so long, they add to stress and strain,

And I’m a little less prepared, to fight the gales again.

How I long to go fishing, in the twilight of my years,

I’m sure no one will miss me or shed those salty tears.


Alas I cannot go just yet- I haven’t earned my pension,

A few more years an` a month or two, I must stand the tension.

I can’t wait until my time comes to chase hobbies with a passion,

Leave all those ships behind me and ignore the Bristol fashion.


All those craft I sailed in - all the places been,

Round the world a few times - all the places seen,

Let them be just fond memories to recall with idle pleasure,

While dozing in my armchair- and practising my leisure.


So now I’m growing feeble and a little past my prime,

I`ll be a golden oldie and forget the passing time,

I`m tired of hanging round, and toiling down the docks,

All hours working down there a`watching of the clocks,


No more sitting at anchor riding out the tide,

I`d much prefer my local bar with a cider by my side,

And in-tow with my darling, with no worries in the world,

When I strike my flag from the masthead, and stow it neatly furled.


I`ll be free to see the grand kids - and hand them back again,

Or perhaps go south on holiday - aboard an aeroplane.

I`spose I should keep healthy and lose a little weight,

For the day I cross my Rubicon - its not too long to wait.

Feb. 1999



Grab this life while you may son - go abroad, see what you can

For this world quickly changes, as you grow into a man,


So many things you’d best do - while fit and in your prime

Take things at the flood young lad, ahead of Father Time,


Don’t wait until your older - and reap the mental pain

Of lamenting wasted youth, and wanting time again.




Sometimes a ship’s at anchor riding in a lee,

Sometimes a ship’s just steaming – clear and running free,

Sometimes a ship’s in dry dock a`mending of her plates,

Sometimes a ship’s near hove-to, in a gale across the Straits.


Well that’s the way my love-life, mirrors in a fashion,

Sometimes quiet and cosy, past a night of passion,

Sometimes it’s a chasing thrill when the evening’s going well,

Sometimes recuperating and relaxing for a spell,

Sometimes there’s an argument when eyeing up another,

Then I find an even keel and go and visit Mother!



How often have I started out, no verses in my head?

Perhaps while eating breakfast or buttering my bread,

When something will occur to me, though maybe lacking glamour,

So toil to set the rhyme out, and probably the grammar

Consulting of the dictionary, try to sort the tenses,

Shape it all about a bit - appeal it to the senses.


But now and then while boozing,

Words don’t need such choosing

My poem then - so refined

Sits perfect healthy in my mind…


But then next day it comes to nought,

I `ve disremembered every thought…

When I’m sober.



There is a point of reason – any time of season,

To think about or write a bit of verse,

I may rhyme a bird of feather

With a bank of yellow heather

Lo an unseen hand just changes tack……….

Other bards may grace waving fields of corn

I would rather tall ships, sailing round the Horn

They write of mighty oaks or spreading chestnut trees

My mind is of tea-clippers, scudding in the breeze.

They picture golden daffodils – I fully understand

While couplets come to me, of seascapes far from land.

They imbue their flowered pages – sketch the babbling brook

While seamen and the oceans, deck my weathered book.

Since Noah rode the flood – I reckon true in part

The sea is in the blood – if a Mariner at heart.




I’m on a train it’s clacking away

Bearing me on holiday

Let the railway take the strain

On the way to an aeroplane

At the airport checking in

Get rid of case and all within

Ambling round the duty-free

Buying goods that’s right for me

Crossword done with favourite pen

Waiting to board a DC ten

Watching screens for boarding gate

The plane is there - not too late

One by one we climb aboard

Eager now for flight abroad

Hurtling along at take-off speed

Expect a drink the travellers need

Soaring away and into the air

Leaving behind the troubles and care

Settling down for a nine hour flight

Among the stars in the night

Stewardess with cheery grin

Serving me a double gin

Digging in to airline tucker

Not much there, wait `till supper

T.V. movie - another brandy

Booze allowance comes in handy

Walk about to ease the cramps

Dozing when they dim the lamps

Landing now as day is dawning

Advance the clocks - all are yawning

Clear there customs to Goas`s soil

Shed some clothes and begin to boil

The weather now is really hot

Not all cold like England’s got

Climb upon a rickety bus

Little room for all of us

Safely there in hotel’s cool

Shortly then in the swimming pool

A long old journey but `Holy Cow`

Can’t you see -I’m happy now?

Dec. 2010

O.K. It wasn’t a DC 10 and it wasn’t on time etc. but this was scribbled by my imagination while on the train from Reading to Gatwick.


A Beach at Goa


When you walk the streets of Goa - in this warm and pleasant land

You must treat the tracks with caution - take life in you hands

For there are no proper pavements or straightened line of trees

Just mostly reddish mud and cows roam where they please.


The traffic is just crazy with little `rule of road`

From the three-wheeled auto rickshaws and the lorries dodgy load

To taxi’s and the omnibus and pigs that shoot across

The families on one scooter adding mayhem to chaos.


Women dressed in saris of brightly coloured thread

Strolling very upright with load upon their head

The labourer in a palm grove leaning on the spade

Vendors of the sugar cane sitting in the shade.


Aromas come from cafe’s of fish and curried rice

All mixed in with torrid heat and smell of local spice

Not so far off beaches with sand like golden flour

The pastel shades of sunset in the darkening hour.


The drunks that took the `fenny` lying by the ditch

Surrounded by mosquitoes vying for a pitch

Hippies are no trouble -just living on the cheap

Backpackers an` all with trainers on the feet


Travelling round the country - the buildings must be seen

Waterfalls and rice paddies in marvellous shades of green

The port of Marmagoa at the river’s mouth

And the single track of railway line running North and South.


The little kids act wistful and wheedle for buckshees

Sanitation non existent - go behind the trees

No one’s in a hurry it’s laid back Go`an time

Waiting very thirsty for a soda topped with lime.


Lots of goods awaiting in exotic market places

Assisted by the traders with cheerful smiling faces

They will be very friendly and put you at your ease

And give a `special price` to part you from rupees.


The sun is very kind, at our winter time of year

Not so the `Kingfisher` - it’s bloody awful beer

So when you come to India and leave the cold behind

I think you’ll love old Goa - just keep an open mind.




 Roses are red, violets are blue,

If I won the lottery, I’d share it with you.

At eight on a Saturday, I wait with pen poised,

Feeling a bit groggy after a drink with the boys.

But winning’s a dream - that’s yet to be seen,

`Co’s I can’t get the numbers together,

I’m rubbing my head - and it’s got to be said:

I could be scratching forever.

Yet I am so lucky - there’s no need to do,

You’re one in a million, and my prize is you.

I don’t crave to win money, - I know how it sounds,

But I’m richer than Kings with their gold and their crowns.

My chance is remote....... with the numbers - I miss

But I really don’t mind, for my jackpot is Chris.

I don’t need a scratch card and numbers two......

It would be quite dandy and come in so handy,

But frankly my Dear............I want You.

For you are the top prize, the bonus as well,

And I only love you - every week - can you tell?

You’re the end of a rainbow - my pot of gold,

So balls to the lottery, - my story is told.

My lamp is red - in our boudoir of blue,

My number’s come up, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU.


Much love Jackpot Joe. 1995




Now come on out fair currant bun,

You jewel of Majorca

I haven't browned my chubby tum -

or other things I oughta.

So please come out with your burning rays

to spread upon us - as we laze.

It's not for me - I'm only thinking

to raise a thirst to carry on drinking

But my darling Chris she should turn brown

In Can o' Pilchards our holiday town.

 May 1997 (Can Picofort).


Amy - A bit older now


Amy is my apple - the apple of my eye,

Her smile is like the brightest star that shines up in the sky,

She is blond and beautiful and has manners of a Queen,

A lovely voice for singing - and dances quite serene.

She has two younger sisters - so looks after them

By caring and by coddling, just like a mother hen.

She is great at reading, and is always very good,

And does what teacher tells her, just as a smart girl should,

But most of all she’s cuddly, as I especially know,

`Cos Amy’s nearly nine years old - and I’m her granddad Joe!




Ex patriots they scamper off they go to live in Spain.

For to escape the fog and cold depressing rain,

The house is sold with furniture and garage sales abound,

The car is filled with personal stuff as they steam from Plymouth Sound.


The Costa Blanca beckons them with a new life to the fore,

With a brand new villa waiting or apartment with pine door

But take heed my friends and listen before your all is lost

In case with heavy heart old son you must count up the cost.


The cloudless skies and burning sun in relentless way,

Remember youre an Englander do you want it every day?

Its a lazy life and so laid back on a pool side plastic chair,

Time to think of family and wish they too were there.


But its not to be, then you see your lifes been split asunder,

Time goes on in relaxing mode but still one has to wonder,

Of a normal day in a northern zone with seasons of the year,

Where the weekend days are different and all your friends are near.


A million brits are out there on the Blanca or the Sol,

For some the Spanish good life takes a weighty toll,

Its not my imagination for I came out to see.

And speak to many ex-pats an its what they told to me.


For plenty it is perfect Ive no call to shout,

But if youre set on moving, please have a shade of doubt,

For I came, I saw, I pondered, by the Mediterranean sea,

Found so many amigos would fly home with me.

Voya en casa manana