Friday, July 13, 2007


Back in the late 1960s winters were still cold, every Christmas was white and ice and snow was commonplace. We lived in Cheam and when I was three, I think, we all went down to Nonsuch Park. I was dressed in my favourite little pale blue coat and we picked huge plates of ice from the pond and threw them back in.

Only when I threw in my giant icy slab I didn't let go and threw myself into the pond, as well. So, one of my earliest memories is of me looking up through frozen waters at my family on the edge of the pond.

When I was 12, our holiday boat was approaching a lock on the Thames and my task was to kick the fender things off the side. I slipped and plunged into the river. I was a rubbish swimmer, still am, and I floundered around a bit and mixed treading water with a sort of doggy-paddle to try to float and reach the ring my brother had chucked after me.

I drifted a bit and floundered some more, then relaxed and let my legs down, only to find that the water barely came up to my waist.

Flipping 'eck readers, I'm taking the plunge, here is a ropey poem. Whatever next?

28 Kingfishers

We saw twenty-eight Kingfishers.
He saw four times seven days of
pubescent ingrates, full of Spanish gloating.
It was an historic holiday,
the first for five years,
Elvis dead, the Ashes won.
He thought it a flop, and probably
wished I’d drowned,
when they fished me from the Thames,
Grandpa’s watch ruined,
more rust passed down Daddy’s line.
I wonder if he’s still alive.
I wonder if he knows she’s dead.
But, I barely think of him,
barely remember him.
I prefer to recall that
we saw twenty-eight Kingfishers.

No comments: