Sunday, 31 May 2015

Thomas - at 17 Months Old

On Skype I see my nephew grow
His tousled blonde hair – golden snow
He's told his auntie is 'on line'
He stares but does not speak this time.

At seventeen months, he weighs in strong
Though some infections trot along.
He toughens up – becomes immune
Resilient Thomas perks up soon!

He's now a handful, apt to stray
He drives his mini truck all day!
And though he stands up on two feet
And sways – he sits down on his seat!

However, now I have been told
He's broken out of silent mould:
Words one and two are “cat” and “car”;
As an orator he won't go far!

But at the crèche with kids and toys
He'll learn to filter words from noise
At this age “play” is where it's at
Perhaps that's where he saw the cat?

(c) Poet in the woods 2015

Thursday, 28 May 2015

The 1958 World Fair

Brussels, proud to play the host
Road tunnels and huge car parks made
Whirlybirds flew from the Coast
As Zaventem's opening was delayed.

Over 40 million came
To contemplate inventions new
Crowd management a daily strain
A frequent question: “Where's the loo?”

Splendid gardens, neatly tended
Chairlifts to admire the view
Bars and cafés well attended
Balls and nightlife catered to.

Participant countries: forty-four
The Belgian Congo still intact
Against the backcloth of Cold War
US and Soviets back-to-back!

The advent of the credit card,
Holograms and Tupperware
King Baudouin, still unmarried, starred
As Vogue photographers were there...

Did you know some kids were born
And several died upon the site?
This Post-war Fair brought brighter dawn
With optimism at its height.

The Atomium was Belgium's gift
A quite surreal place to meet
It boasted the world's fastest lift
And took you up a hundred feet!

(c) Poet in the woods 2015

Opened: 17th April, 1958 6 months = over 41 million visitors!

Friday, 22 May 2015

Haute Cuisine

The Atomium in glass and steel
Strange building in surreal land
Nine spheres with futuristic feel
Designed by Watekeym's firm hand.

It represents, so we are told,
A giant iron molecule
41 million tickets sold
Emblem still of Fifties cool!

In '58 the fastest lift
Took visitors from far and wide
For a journey inside Belgium's gift
A brief but quite amazing ride.

The panorama at the top
With trendy restaurant inside
Is a special once-a-lifetime spot
Deserving of this Nation's pride!

(c) Poet in the woods 2015

Monday, 18 May 2015

Hanging on!

How can one cope? Life's one big stress!
Huge learning curve; we cannot guess
What challenges will come our way
Standing still is NOT the way!

We try to keep up – it is hard
Worldwide disasters hit us hard
Immigrants in sinking boats:
A European summit votes ...

The world's gone mad; old values die
Each one for himself; we try
To think of others, make life fair
But the lure of money's always there.

We live beyond our means indeed
Financial gain our only creed
The values that we all once held
Like venerable oaks are felled!

(c) Poet in the woods 2015

Friday, 15 May 2015


They don't tell you how hard it will be
To find your way around
The links and pathways of I.T.
Whose intricacies astound.

The mouse goes mad, new screens appear
Although my touch is light
I hesitate, reflect and stare
Then they vanish out of sight.

My “photo album” I can't find
Home Banking can't be done
New messages pop up and “chime”
I'm challenged and feel dumb.

Of course it's progress of a sort
But my learning curve is slow
Without a teacher I am fraught
Do others find it so?

(c) Poet in the woods 2015

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

The New Arrival!

My computer, faithful, shows its age
It's going through a dying phase
As new programmes come on line
It cannot cope, or takes its time

To read the latest high tech file;
Smart attachments cramp its style
Its inner workings creak and groan;
For several months now I have known

It's past its best and though it tries
I forecast sadly its demise.
Faced with blocked screens, I re-boot
Alzheimers has attacked its root!

Decision time! It has to go
Now that its fastest speed is “slow”.
My work companion is wiped clean
A brand new laptop comes on stream.

No manual for me to read
So it's trial and error at my speed
My fingers soon will get the knack
With patience I'll be back on track!

(c) Poet in the woods 2015

Monday, 11 May 2015

Talbot House - Poperinge

Flanders – one hundred years ago
Slaughter on a massive scale
Bogged down in mud, morale was low
The Great War left a poignant trail.

In muddy trenches traumatized
Horror, noise and death too near
A few days' respite was much prized:
A deep sleep and a taste of beer!

In Poperinge, outside Ypres
Beyond the reach of German gun
Soldiers could relax and meet
Old comrades, chill out and have fun.

Soon as “Little Paris” known
Munitions centre, army Corps
Here booze was drunk, wild oats were sown
But neither crossed Toc H's door!

The Army rented “Talbot House”
Named for a soldier dead too soon
Good humour reigned – one could not grouse
Hot tea at all times was a boon.

A sleeping place for many men
In the hop barn at the back
Writing paper and a pen
Time to smoke, sing or just chat.

A chapel up the creaky stairs
Where men could go and meditate
Here Tubby Clayton offered prayers;
In wartime fear does not abate.

Newspapers – scarce on the front line -
Found ready readers; men would leave
Short messages which they would sign
For friend or brother to retrieve.

A common sharing, ranks outside
This “home from home” left memories deep
Post war the brewer stepped aside
Now tourists find a place to sleep.

(c) Poet in the woods 2015

Saturday, 9 May 2015


Red carpet on the boulevard!
Our flagship M & S works hard
To re-enter Brussels with panache
The suspense is killing us – we dash

To Toison d'Or and join the queue;
In little groups we are let through
To stroll round this iconic store
The Food Hall beckons – let's explore!

Scones, tea biscuits, marmalade
Cheeses do a roaring trade
Free samples offered while we wait
Ten tills working at full spate!

Clothing, lingerie, sleepwear
All our favourites are there -
An Aladdin's cave of tried and true;
I'll be coming back, won't you?

(c) Poet in the woods 2015

Marks and Spencer re-opened in Brussels
on 7th May, 2015

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

The Coffee Break

The café's nearly empty – awash with lonely chairs
Music tracks of long ago now echo in my ears
The barmaid chalks the 'plat du jour' upon a greasy board
An old man, wizened, wearing black, looks vacant, even bored.

The street outside is busy, people saunter past
I gaze out of the window – the sky is overcast.
Where are these people going, on a Monday at midday?
A group of teenage schoolgirls form a chattering display.

Sleek silver trams called “Boas”, snake across the square
A truck and trailer block the road – the motorists despair!
A light breeze turns the brand new leaves into a living screen
The trees outside the town hall show full fifty shades of green.

The music beckons once again fond memories from the past
I sip my coffee and I muse how time goes by too fast...

(c) Poet in the woods 2015

Monday, 4 May 2015

Princess Charlotte, Liz, Diana

Source of excitement for the Press
May 2nd was the date
When an adorable princess
Was born to Wills and Kate.

Fourth in line now to the throne
And the hope of this fine nation
The royal child's name was unknown
Which caused great consternation.

Obliged to hold our breath and wait
For the couple to decide
How Prince George would his sister fête
The choice was open wide.

“Alice” seemed to top the poll
In the royals' wonderland
What was their dynastic goal?
Such decisions must be planned...

The secret's out at last, my friends
It's Charlotte, Liz, Diana
Methinks this name will start new trends
In no uncertain manner!

(c) Poet in the woods 2015

Saturday, 2 May 2015

The Patter of Tiny Thomas

Time passes and the wee lad grows
He holds on tightly; in the throes
Of learning how to walk alone
It's bewildering this new unknown.

Meanwhile, he tries another skill
The joy of making sounds – a thrill!
He hears around him verbal noise
And wants to chatter, like all boys.

Mum and Dad do all they can
To articulate so little man
Can repeat and imitate a word
Alas, no breakthrough has occurred.

He babbles happily all day
But in what language? Who can say?
On the verge of talking, he's a hoot
With cheeky smile and gobbledygook!

(c) Poet in the woods 2015