Posts tagged ‘Sussex’

January 20, 2023

Redwood gone

by Jem Croucher
In October red I paused beneath
its lofty heights in wonder
at the absolute magnificence
of this redwood tree asunder

So imagine my dismay today
to find that storms with thunder
and a lightning strike reduced it
to a stump and piles of lumber

Yes, there's like still there but
its pride is lost for good
a sad, contrite reminder
of a once proud tall redwood

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January 7, 2023

Beeching’s Blunder III

by Jem Croucher
Forlorn now this iron leads to nowhere
save to a shortsighted whim
synonymous to abandoned towns
where Beeching's blunder echos still

Yet testament still here they lie
as memory fades with brittle truth reminder
tracking to long lost connections
and a politician's gain

January 4, 2023

Puzzlegate

by Jem Croucher
Framed by aging iron posts
the ancient steps behind
the padlocked gate lead nowhere
(least no place I could find)

Mysterious the setting
with the undergrowth and tree
left me puzzled and a-wondering
at what it all could mean

January 3, 2023

Coddiwomple

by Jem Croucher

No. 4 in the ‘Colloquy’ series

We coddiwompled in the mud
up at Barcombe Mills
all eight of us together
amidst the Sussex hills

The rain held off but underfoot
the mud was thick and wet
but we all had the best of times
so never cause to fret

December 2, 2022

Wander for the day

by Jem Croucher
Planned a walk, it was quite far
but the views would be spectacular
so there was little here to mar
our wander for the day

Yes, we'll be out for several hours
so hoping for some sun not showers
to claim the day and make it ours
in every single way

November 19, 2022

Bringing Smiles

by Jem Croucher

[#16 in the ‘Past to Present’ series from Jemverse]

One hundred sixteen years ago
'Old B' he wrote some lines
and sent them to Molteno
in those now long distant times
I can't quite read his writing
but I know so well the scene
on the postcard that he used
as it is a place I've been

November 9, 2022

Walking

by Jem Croucher
Seven Sisters, South Downs Way
high up on Short Brow
looking back to Cuckmere Haven
the sun before me now
Perfect walks were made for this 
and breathing deep the air
I laughed aloud with thankfulness
for simply being there

November 8, 2022

Pillbox Pond

by Jem Croucher
Across Springfield by Skyglade
above the Amos brook
the pillbox by the millpond
was worth a second look
Nestled underneath the trees
its brickwork overgrown
a peaceful life from brutal years
for seven decades known

November 7, 2022

October Snooze

by Jem Croucher
Down from fourteen acre pond
in the valley by the Ouse
I sat and had a sandwich
and a sherbert and a snooze
And yes, it's late October
but you'd never credit that
as the warmth in this fine meadow
feels like summer for a fact
There's no-one else around me
save for sheep in the next field
so I'm quite within my element
in the heart of Sussex Weald

November 6, 2022

Sunday sedoka (breathe)

by Jem Croucher
For a long moment
I forgot to breathe as I
for mesmerising moments
gazed at the picture
from Mother Nature's palette
as autumn gold she painted

November 5, 2022

Time for a wander

by Jem Croucher
It's been a while since I wandered out in the land
that Sussex affords in its landscape so grand
so today in my boots with my compass in hand
I ventured out there again

The sunshine was warm in an Autumn blue sky
with occasional clouds floating lazily by
so with inclemency low and good weather high
I ventured out there again

October 31, 2022

Goose Display

by Jem Croucher
Heard them first a-honking, a crescendo from the West
before the 'V' right overhead, formation at its best
A goose display of perfect flight for us there in the field
as we walked Obi in the rain deep in the Sussex Weald
And it was quite magnificent, it made us laugh aloud
full of the joie de vivre that sings and make the heart feel proud

October 24, 2022

In the autumn now

by Jem Croucher
October shadow, Obi's field
in the heart of Sussex Weald
barely was the warmth concealed
in the autumn now

Walked a mile around the place
felt again familiar grace
with the sunshine on my face
in the autumn now

October 18, 2022

This Sussex I admire

by Jem Croucher
Ah, these temperate moments
when, up on the South Downs Way
I look up to the paths I've trod
on a fine autumnal day

October 17, 2022

What we dogs are about

by Jem Croucher
On a bright day in September when out for a walk
with my G-pa and G-ma for a sniff and a talk
they showed me the sights, the river and such
but I have to say now, can't remember that much

September 27, 2022

Mapping the past

by Jem Croucher

No. 15 in the ‘Past to Present’ series from Jemverse

Found an old map in Emmaus
worn and dusty and old
thought to myself 'I'm having that'
went out of the shop with it sold

Familiar but different
there are things long gone away
a past the history books have claimed
from our quaint yesterday

September 19, 2022

Peace found

by Jem Croucher
Had ten days last month for wonderful things
to all bring a joy and pull at heartstrings
Places to visit and things to see there
taking photos to later re-live and re-share
Ten days of staycation what more could I need
when living in Sussex for this life that I lead?
As Sussex has all the 'joie de vivre' I desire
with its people and places and things I admire
So whenever a moment affords this release
I'm happy in Sussex as at home I find peace

September 18, 2022

Two thousand years

by Jem Croucher
Two thousand years of weathering
this column's stub has seen
in situ still in Sussex where
in all that time it's been
A testament to Roman skill
and craftsmanship to see
that though but just a stub remains
it's here and long will be
So, looking up to Bignor Hill
this ancient land so fair
I stood to ponder that a while
and in that moment share

September 16, 2022

Stopham Bridge IV

by Jem Croucher
At Stopham Bridge, late summer
with cool waters down below
as the Arun slowly trickles
on a turning tide quite slow

Sitting on the decking of the
White Hart across the way
this view is quite breathtaking
on this peaceful summer day

September 3, 2022

Four spans across the Adur

by Jem Croucher

Part of the ‘Past to Present’ series from Jemverse

Four spans across the Adur
at its mouth at Shoreham town
on the road on into Lancing
at the foot of Sussex Down

Four spans of steel construction
admired for sixty years
'til Norfolk Bridge mark II's demise
'midst many local tears

July 10, 2022

The kissing gate

by Jem Croucher

Part of the ‘past to present’ series from Jemverse

Parallel to Oxen Avenue
the ancient trackway lay
from Mill Lane to Upper Shoreham
as a pedestrian way
Elm trees at its southern end
stood by the kissing gate
which though the trackway is still there
has long since met its fate

July 8, 2022

Of horses and lions

by Jem Croucher

Part of the ‘past to present’ series from Jemverse

When the Norfolk Bridge first opened
the High Constable had the key
for the old toll bridge in deference
in eighteen thirty-three
The Duke of Norfolk he was present
for a procession up the street
'neath both surmounting arches
and the horse and lion's seat
Designed by W Tierney Clarke
it was the first of three
to bear the name of 'Norfolk Bridge'
in Shoreham by the sea.

July 3, 2022

The Old Crab House

by Jem Croucher

Part of the ‘past to present’ series from Jemverse

Now long gone from the harbour
demolished years ago
the Old Crab Inn as once it was
is nestled there below
alongside the old shingle beach
beneath the tunnelled hill
at the bottom end of Gardener Road
for halcyon days to fill

July 2, 2022

Old Buckingham walls

by Jem Croucher

Part of the ‘past to present’ series from Jemverse

As a boy I used to play there
inside the burnt out walls
for hide n seek and other games
within its hallowed halls
once we ventured to the basement
down dark and dusty stair
oblivious to danger
with innocence to dare
But now all these years later
it is a block of flats
though with outer walls remaining
preserved and still intact

June 30, 2022

The last West Pier II

by Jem Croucher

Part of the ‘Past to Present’ series from Jemverse

I found it on the high tide line
after a night of fire
the Grand Old Lady of the sea
destroyed by spite and ire
Yet carried on an ebbing tide
along the coast to me
a memory of those boards I trod
now rescued from the sea
So though her grandeur is no more
complete her fall from grace
Brighton's West Pier always will
in history have her place

June 29, 2022

The Gut

by Jem Croucher

Part of the ‘Past to Present’ series from Jemverse

The beach Ted Bunker launched his
boat from sadly is no more
once called 'The Gut' its gutted now
no more a shingle shore
Filled in to make a car park
the beach where once we played
is another loss to history
and to the fishing trade

June 28, 2022

Bungalow Town

by Jem Croucher

Part of the ‘Past to Present’ series from Jemverse

Just east of the church on the foreshore
bungalows once on the beach
presented a vista of Shoreham
history has put out of reach
Popularised by early movies
actors built many homes there
salvaging old railway carriages
the carriage works then had to spare
Mary Loftus, a music hall favourite
Florrie Ford, Ernie Mayne, Marie Lloyd
all of the lovelies who flocked to the beach
making it hard to avoid

June 25, 2022

Malduppinne

by Jem Croucher

Part of the ‘Past to Present’ series from Jemverse

'Malduppinne' as it was first called
in thirteen forty-seven
by grant from John le Pottere
to his wife in his succession
Its purpose now long lost to time
a museum now it hosts
in the oldest secular building that
the town of Shoreham boasts
From 'Malduppinne' to 'Marlipins'
this build of Caen stone
with flint-knapped chequered walls remains
the oldest one still known