Why can’t a woman be more like a man?

Sorry Girls, I just had to write this one.....only kidding though!

Why can’t women be more understanding?
When they know we’re not set-up like them?
Can’t they understand we’re wired up different?
When will they realise…oh when, when, when!

Why do they moan when we thumb through a car mag?
Or settle on down with a beer to watch sport
Does the hooving need doing at that very moment?
So come on girls….make us a bite!

Why do they like to do so much shopping?
Trying on cloths for hours on end
When we need something, we just go and buy it
Or order on line, and just get it sent

Why don’t they give us a bit more sympathy?
When we go down with that dreaded man-flu
Its not that were weedy, or just like complaining
So just mop our brow, and make us a brew

So come on girls, be more understanding
Don’t treat us like some awful disease
Deep down you know you really love us
‘Cos we’re simple, straightforward and easy to please.


In my children’s eyes I can see 
Both the future and the past looking at me

That enthusiasm of youth, no one can ever stifle 
The hope that comes from innocence, in this never ending cycle

No sign of any failure here, with all this youthful vision 
Just endless days of pleasure, not burdened with derision

Enjoy it for a while my boys, and make progress while you can 
For tomorrow is a mystery, just waiting to be had

The Old Man's Allotment

A day on the allotment is never a wasted day!

My Allotment
I’ve got m’iself an allotment 
‘Cos I like to grow m’i own 
Eat five a day, that’s what they say 
Better hurry up and get some seeds sown

We’re all old pals at the allotment 
Swapping produce to keep us all fed 
We gather together in all sorts of weather 
When it rains, we sit n'talk in the shed

As a child, I listened to m'i mother
When she said "eat up all y'r greens"
The temperature's rising, better get  more planted
Along with the sprouts and the peas 

I’m going on down to m’i allotment 
‘Cos I’m worried about m’i spuds 
No sign of them yet, not a leaf or a shoot 
On account of the rain and the floods

Time to sow more seeds at the allotment 
Put some canes up to support all the beans 
Beetroot and peas are bound to taste sweet 
Along with the sprouts and the greens

I’m spending more time at the allotment 
Now the sun has come out full blast 
I’ve done all m’i sowing, m’i seeds are all growing 
And m’i spuds are now sprouting at last

Now all’s not just right at the allotment 
With an influx of those dreaded moles 
I’ve done all I can to get rid of the pests
Now just need to repair all the holes

I spend so much time at m’i allotment 
People think it’s a love affair 
But I’m only keen on growing m’i veg 
Not women with long blond hair

I’m going every day to m’i allotment 
With m’i tools, ready for the next task 
Then I sit on m’i seat, in the sun and the heat 
What more can any man ask!

The Button Pusher

Have you ever been kept on hold on the phone while waiting to speak to someone in one of those large faceless organisations?…...I have, and look what happened

I’m in this queue, getting nowhere at all
On the phone, pressing buttons when asked
I only want to query my last phone bill
Oh how long will this torment last

That music, and then a computer voice
Assuring my turn will come soon
This machine doesn’t understand I need a human voice
It just keeps playing that damned tune

Ten minutes pass and I’m wondering what to do
Make some tea, or just read a book?
As I’m told again that my custom is important
I could do the crossword if I get stuck

More options, more buttons and then a real voice
Trouble is I don’t know what he’s saying
But in sheer desperation, I dare not let him go
After waiting half an hour, I’m just praying

Praying he’ll understand exactly what I need
As I sit here quietly going mad
I’m tempted to try and put him on hold
Would a naughty trick like that be so bad?

Then he promises to ring me back
And I say yes please, with a cheer
Now he’ll understand what its like to be on hold
As I tear my hair out sitting here.

Early Morning Dreams

Everyone tells me I should write a love poem.....something romantic....so here goes!

I lay and watch you sleeping
The morning light on your hair
Dreaming away, sleeping softly
Breathing slowly, without a care

Your smooth skin so soft and tender
Your soft skin touching me
Your face, like the sun’s gentle rising
Such a pleasant sight to see

Your hand reaches out instinctive
Holding on gently to mine
Your breath so warm and fragrant
Then that gentle kiss...that’s just fine.

I wonder just what you are dreaming
As you lay in your gentle sleep
Are they about our happy times
Do they come from somewhere deep

You stir and then wake for a moment
Then snuggle on down once more
Your body is warm and inviting
Just making me want you more

When I was a young Lad

You know you are getting old, when you start thinking about things like this!

When I was a young lad, roads were all straight and long
The skies always blue, and we knew right from wrong
And those distant hills looked greener

Now I am older and look back at my life
It’s been pretty good, much pleasure, some strife
And I have fond memories to share

When I was a young lad, jobs were a plenty
People had respect….everyone was thrifty
And I had the confidence of youth

Now I look back…before computers or gameboys
Just football in the street….not a houseful of toys
And wonder where it all went wrong

When I was a young lad, all the girls were so pretty
They always dressed nice….they were gentle and witty
And there were good times a plenty

Now I look at the young girls today
With tatoos on their arm, and purple hair
And I think they looked better back then

When I was a young lad, I’d the world at my feet
We were told that technology was the new white heat
And I believed it all back then

Now I take note of different comments
I no longer work, and have time for my friends
And try to put something back for others

When I was a young lad, people were all so polite
We walked without fear…could go out every night
And I had enjoyment unbounded

Now I just wonder if the worlds’ a better place
Wonder what will become of the whole human race
And I’m glad I’m not a young lad today

People Watching

I was sitting in a station, waiting for a train and watching all the people coming and going. Just watching everyone made me wonder what they were doing there.

Sitting in the station on a hot afternoon
Watching all these people passing bye
Looking at them all, going on their way
No time to stop…nothing much to say

That young man with his bicycle
Running for his train
I wonder where he’s going
Hobbling with a sprain

The old tramp alone and begging
Carrying his backpack of life
Looking so sad and dishevelled
Fed up with all this strife

A mother with her baby
Screaming for all its worth
Both getting all hot and bothered
Looks like it’s screamed since birth

The young couple holding hands
Waiting for their train
Then one long lingering kiss
Before they part again

People just meeting… just passing through
Wonder where they’re going…wonder what they do
Some young, some old, some big, some small
Where are they going….nobody knows

Poor Rebecca Town

I came across this story about a grave in our town graveyard of a poor lady called Rebecca Town.
The inscription on the flat tabletop stone said that she died in her 43rd year, after having thirty children.
Only two of the children are mentioned by name on the gravestone, and they both died as infants. One can only assume that the other twenty-eight children must have either been stillborn or died soon after birth, although there are parish records of many of the children being baptised.
Rebecca herself was a twin, so its fair to assume that many of the births were multiple and there was possibly some medical problems with her pregnancies.
What a sad life of unbelievable misery this poor woman must have had.
The only one glint of happiness in this terrible story is that her husband, Benjamin Town, remarried after Rebecca's death, and went on to have two children with his second wife.

There’s a corner in Keighley Graveyard
Where a sad soul lays….not alone
Buried with her thirty poor children
Her memorial…just this lowly stone

What a tale of suffering endured by her
Bearing thirty children…none whom survived
Her life full of toil and childbirth
And not a single one thrived

Never able to see a child grow up
This continuing story of misery
Just one false hope on another
Then one by one she had to bury

To never hear the sound of her child
Having fun as they run and play
Just a continual test of trying again
For the hope of a child someday

Her life ending in notoriety
Stalked by death and disease throughout
Thirty children born in twenty-three years
Then at forty-three, her body worn out

And what now remains of her memory
Just this stone in a cold, damp corner
Not a flower or a word of kindness
And no one here to mourn her

Now I'm retired

I thought of this little ditty in a moment of madness….honest!

Now I’m retired, I’ll do what I like
Stay in bed all day, or stay out all night

Say what I think, not caring or thoughtful
And wear what I like, even if it’s awful

I won’t give a jot about what people think
Might even wear a tie in shocking pink

My friends must accept me for what I am
If they don’t, I don’t care…don’t give a damn

I’ll eat and drink without thought or care
And might grow a ponytail of long grey hair

I’ll say what I like, without thinking first
And get blind drunk, if I’m feeling a thirst

The Old Ways

I had this idea, after visiting the farm of someone I knew, during an outbreak of foot and mouth disease.
The farm was in a sad state, partly due to the need for changes in farming practices in recent years, which many farmers are now unable to cope with.
It seemed to me that many small farmers will in the future be no longer able to make a living off the land, as generations have done in the past.

This family farm is still there
But no longer the same
Hit by this scourge in farming
This disease no one dare name

This birthplace of the chosen few
With people, once happy with their lot
Now only have faces full of worry
Still trying to put back the clock

Machines once clean and working
Now left in a field to rot
Fences blown down, needing mending
A roof with all the slates blown off

Fields full of cattle, now empty
Where has all this now gone
Should we have farmed to intensive
How can this all be undone

Good memories of those happier times
Haymaking under cloudless skies
Those good times gone forever
Judging by how the land now lies

That pride which was once in farming
Now gone…and gone forever
People once proud and hardworking
Who would not give in….no never

All their plans for the next generation
Carrying traditions on of the past
Was it all meant to end in failure
Was it never meant to last

Could we have stopped this happening
Or was the dye always cast
Should we have stuck to the old ways
Can we return to the past

Only one thing remains unchanging
The dog in the yard, still barking
But no one is left there to listen
They’ve all gone away, disheartened

Father and Son

I wrote this piece after spending time with one of my sons, who was helping me with a particular problem on my computer. As we were working together, I thought about the age gap between our generations...and wondered how he saw me as an older person.
[the original idea for this came from a poem I read which was written by someone anonymously,so I can't take credit for the original idea]

My son, my son
Tell me what do you see
What do you see
When you’re looking at me

This strong man, still useful
With help still at hand
Or an old man, stooping slightly
His life mainly spent

This man somewhat thoughtful
With advice still to give
Or an old man knowing nothing
Of how the young live

This father, missing his children
Yet happy with his lot
Or an old man with just memories
Who’s trying to put back the clock

This caring man, still caring
With some experience of life
Or a man who’s just a nuisance
And who’s only goal is strife

This virile man, still thriving
Afraid of no one at all
Or a man just frail and hesitant
Who can only stand and call

This father who’s still watching
And still has some help to give
Or a man who’s just a problem
And loosing the will to live

My son, dearest son
Is this what you see
Is this what you see
When you’re looking at me

Thoughts while waiting

I recently had to attend the out-patients department of our Hospital, and while waiting to see the doctor the following thoughts went through my mind

I’m in this place that no one likes
The hospital waiting room
It’s all very nice, clean and tidy too
But is filled with this aura of gloom

We all sit there not daring to ask
What the person in front is ailing
We just look around in all directions
And then for a change, at the ceiling

The nurses are all kind and helpful
And provide us with all our needs
But do they look behind our face
With all those unspoken fears

I look at the young lad sat next to me
Wondering what his complaint is
Then a casual comment between us
And I know his concerns are the same

I watch the next patient going in
His face full of fear and daunting
Watch him again as he come back out
And I’m left with this sense of haunting

This Jigsaw of Life

I was recently recovering from an operation, and reduced to completing jigsaws to try and stave off boredom...this is when I thought of this one.

This jigsaw called life is a wonderful thing
Just keep moving the pieces till they finally fit in

You start with a framework around all the sides
Then hope that life’s journey will follow this prize

Just think of a picture of how things should be
Then arrange all the pieces for all to see

Move pieces around if things don’t look right
Then all is clearer as you see the light

Look back at life’s passage as memories fades
Did it follow the pattern of the picture you made

One Dying Thought

I came back from a holiday in New Zealand where we had been out to sea watching Sperm Whales.
When we got home, one of the first things I saw was a programme about countries recommencing whale hunting after years when all whales had been left to breed and increase their numbers.

Yesterday I came up to take a breath
I saw the boats and faces all smiling
The sea was warm, the sun in the west
And I sensed that they all liked me

For just a sight of this surfacing whale
Amazed them all, as they looked at me
And then they saw my submerging tail
Just watching, not believing what they see

Today I came up for another breath
And saw different people watching me
The last thing on my mind was my imminent death
Heard the gun bang, then felt the pain

Felt myself thrashing around & around
Saw all the water, the colour of blood
Heard all the seabirds, their numbers abound
Wondered what they’ll hunt, when we’re all dead

My City

I recently went to the city where I was born, and was dismayed at what has happened to it during the last decades.
As I went on guided tour of the Town Hall, I was struck by the proud heritage that this city had, founded on the now long gone wool industry. Walking around the streets, it seemed a different place now…a city in decline and decay.

Oh what has gone wrong with my city?
The vibrant city of my birth
Where proud old mills once bustled with trade
Now stand empty, with no voices heard

What has happened to our civic pride?
In our once clean and tidy town
Those satanic mills may once have looked black
But there was never this litter around

We mourn the passing of this bygone age
From that era of work and tradition
Will it ever regain it’s strength
Has it still got the will and volition?

What’s happened to our great woollen trade?
Once the envy of all, worldwide
That backbone of our once proud past
Gone with the rest of civic pride

Shops that once bursting with goods a plenty
Mills full of memories of work they once had
Now standing idle, neglected and decayed
Leaving me with feelings so sad

Getting Older

As we get older, I suppose we all think back to our younger days….good days !....or were they?

It’s not much fun getting older
As you watch the young girls pass you bye
They used to give you that wistful look
Now they don’t notice you, or reply

It’s not much fun getting older
Making noises when you stand or sit down
You’re now something of an embarrassment
As people just look at you and frown

It’s not much fun getting older
When hair starts to sprout from your ears
And you spend half your time peeing
‘Cause your prostate is showing it’s years

It’s not much fun getting older
When the memory begins to fail
You can’t remember why you’ve gone up the stairs
You just hang on for grim death to the rail

It’s not much fun getting older
When the doctor prescribes a pill
You must watch what you eat, in case you get fat
And then pray that you’ll never get ill

It’s not much fun getting older
When you now have to limit the drink
You keep thinking back to those younger days
Ten pints, and then sick down the sink

It’s not much fun getting older
When the children have all left home
You rattle around in a big empty house
Just you and the wife, on your own

But some things are fun when you’re older
With more time to spend with each other
More time for your hobbies and interests
New experiences to share with one another

Yes it’s definitely more fun when you’re older
To stay in bed in the morning
And not have to worry about going to work
Or get up when you’re still yawning

Childhood Memories

New Royd Gate Cottage

I recently went back to the cottage, where I was born, after not having been there for many years. The cottage was in a poor state having not been inhabited for many years…and my thoughts went back to growing up there as a small child

Memories come back as I walk down the lane
Past the cottage where I was born
It’s now just a ruin without windows or roof
With the path to the door so well worn

This cottage not lived in for many a year
With no sign of the love that was there
Just left as a dark and silent old place
In desperate need of some care

No sign of the well at the end of the lane
Where my father would go every morning
To carry our water back home to the house
If it hadn’t dried up without warning

That hearth for the fire now empty and cold
Which my mother would make up daily
With the wind whistling down that old chimney
How quickly that moment’s a memory

I wish you could see things through my eyes now
As I look at this ruin of today
And hear those long lost magical sounds
Of that child long ago at play

The Decline Of The Male

I read an article in the newspaper recently about scientists being able, within a few years, to produce a baby by cloaning.
This involves mixing cells from a women’s body with her own egg, and therefore producing a baby which would be genetically identical to the mother, without the need for a man’s sperm.
It made me think about what sort of a world we are creating…a world eventually where the male is no longer needed?

It’s thought by the year two thousand and ten
The world will no longer have need for us men

No longer will women have need for our sperm
To provide for that child for which some yearn

No need to remember that first tender kiss
All those magic moments now to be missed

That discreet glance and the little black dress
No more simple things, those pleasures of the flesh

The end of the courtship, the romance, the chase
Just a trip to the cloan shop, and a two minute wait

No more discreet meetings with your illicit lover
Just a ride to the clinic, and out pops another

The end of the moonlight, the roses and romance
No need anymore to go to that dance

And what if they miss the company of men
They can go buy an artificial one instead

A world where all children will look like their mother
No one is different….we all look like each other

So what of this world devoid of us men
Will it be better or worse….or just dull

A empty life this, without any men
Let’s hope we see sense before two thousand and ten

Willow Tree

I saw a willow tree recently by a riverside, and was touched by it’s beauty as it stood there with it’s branches touching the water.
It seemed so graceful and gave me a timeless feeling.
O willow tree, weeping willow tree
What grace your beauty casts
Your branches caressing the water’s edge
Would but this vision could last

You stand there and sway in the sighing breeze
Giving shade from the mid day sun
What secrets have you seen and kept to yourself
Tell me a few….tell me just one

Who was it planted you in years gone bye
Or did you just sprout here by chance
Would they have guessed this scene you create
With the shadow you cast on the land

Yet one day you will die and fall for good
Or get chopped down just to burn
Making way for this myth that some call progress
Will we as a nation never learn

Blood and Flowers at Monte Cassino

I recently visited the British War Grave site at Monte Cassino in Italy, and felt a great deal of sadness there, for such a waste of so many young people’s lives.
About four thousand graves are there, following on from a long battle in 1943/4 by allied forces to retake a Monastery on a mountain top overlooking the grave site.
Everything today is very peaceful, neat and tidy, with little evidence of the bloody battle which had taken place all those years ago……even the Monastery which had been totally destroyed at the time, has now been completely rebuilt.

Hello dearest father and mother
Come sit by my grave for a rest
It’s been a long journey from England
And I know you’ve been doing your best

Plant a few flowers at my graveside
In respect you came to this place
It’s clear that you hated to come here
I can see from the look on your face

Everyone cheered when I left home
But I’ll bet their not cheering now
All these young lives just wasted for nothing
Now people just come here and bow

I’m sorry I never came home again
That was never my intention at all
I just climbed up the mountain, when ordered to
And perished on that Monastery wall

Thousands of us marched together
Knowing many were about to be lost
We were following orders….that’s all we were told
Some orders !…..just count up the cost

Look around at all of these gravestones
Four thousands, all ages and casts
None of them wanted to be here
Not one live was worth being lost

So what was this fighting all meant for
A few worthless acres of land
Our blood shed on Italy’s dry soil
When we only came to give them a hand

But what did this venture teach us
Would we do it all over again
Will millions more still have to perish
For a fight so utterly insane

And now I must stay here forever
While you go and get on with your life
Take these memories home to my children
Say goodbye to my dear loving wife

Yes, my greatest regret is about her
That I’ll never see her again
And the sight of my two lovely children
How can we ever explain

So now it is time for you going
Don’t worry….I’m only here sleeping
Yet I still don’t know why this all happened
But please, no more sadness or weeping

Memories of Martha Ellen

Some time ago while doing some research at the local Reference Library, I came across an old dusty box file which had been deposited there by the family of a lady called Martha Ellen Bancroft, after her death. The box was full of lots of little things which this lady had obviously treasured throughout her life not just photographs and letters, but some personal items such as glasses and nail scissors. I began to build up a picture in my mind, while going through the contents, of what this lady must have been like, and how she led her life. I felt a little sad that this lady’s whole life now seemed to be represented by just a box full of old papers left to gather dust on a shelf in the Library, and was moved to write a poem about this experience.Anyway, on with the story….I recently sent this poem to a local magazine, which has a family history section, and was lucky enough to have it published, and that was the end of the story as far as I was concerned…..but then out of the blue I was contacted by a lady from Cowling near Skipton, who recognised the person who the poem was written about and sent me more information about this lady and her family.Martha Ellen Bancroft was a single lady who lived all her life in Cowling, and who with her other maiden sisters had worshipped at at Ickornshaw Methodist Chapel, and when it closed in 1985, the remaining members transfered to St Andrews Methodist Church Cowling.In memory of the sisters, the Church later named their meeting room as “The Bancroft Room”.The Local History Group meet monthly in The Bancroft Room at St Andrew's, and at their last meeting they read out my poem to the audience, some of whom had known Martha Ellen….. I wish I could have been there to read it out in person !!

[The photograph at the top shows Marth Ellen, second from right, as a child at what is believed to be a Whit Walk in Cowling]

Here’s the poem.

It was just a box of old papers

Left for all to see

What was hidden there waiting

Had it been left for me

So many pictures to look at

Scraps of paper, nothing else

Momentoes of some happy times

Memories now, nothing left

Her life, just a bundle of papers

Laid bare to be viewed by all

Was it a life full of interest

Or just a sorry tale

So many items to look at

So many thoughts left unsaid

Was she this quite gentle soul

Or lively and outgoing instead

All these items…..treasured memories

Made happy times, I’ll bet

Did this lady live her life

With such a gregarious set

Pictures of that bonny babe

Holding her mother’s hand

And later in life….a maiden lady

Abroad in a foreign land

How strange it feels, just looking

Invading her private life

These photos of her twilight years

Why was she never a wife

So what was her life made up of

Would she have changed if she could

Or was she content with the way it was spent

Did she live life to the full

And who will remember her passing

This maiden lady, so kind

Is she just a box of old papers

Not a second thought in one’s mind