Meopham Part 3 – Camer and Meopham Green

My challenge yesterday was to write a poem about Meopham Green in years gone by but the big challenge with this one was that I was going back further than my living years.  Therefore,  it was important to get it right.  I saw some lovely photographs in the book I borrowed from my mum, Meopham Historical Society’s Meopham Changing Places.   In this book, there was some really interesting  information, more than enough to compose a poem about Meopham Green’s history.   Yesterday when I tried, I was actually quite unsuccessful in making it all flow, so I left it for the night and this morning, I started again and this is what I came up with:

If I had a time machine
Guess where I’d go
I’d visit the Meopham Green
From many years ago
There were several shops
You could buy bread and meat
Or visit the tea room
For a cuppa and something sweet
You could watch a game of cricket
Being played on the green
Or relax on the grass
And admire a beautiful scene
An ancient windmill, standing proud
Towers above it all
And in the pub along the road
A nice fresh pint might call
You might even see the horse bus
That takes you into town
But I’d stay right there and enjoy the view
That’s the jewel in Meopham’s crown

Jen Elvy 

I don’t specify the exact year I travel back to because I want people to travel back in their memories to the Green they used to know.  They would certainly see the windmill and a few more shops lining the green and would almost certainly see a cricket match taking place and, as suggested, If they choose to go back to the beginning of the twentieth century, they can see the horse and cart that served as a bus into town.   Meopham Green today is just as idyllic as it was back then, just boasting fewer shops and more private housing.  It is still a beautiful scene all year round and a defining feature of the village.

Meopham Green
A postcard from the Tony Larkin Collection Found on discovergravesham.co.uk

Last night, I did have to leave this poem for a while but I had every intention of coming back to it.  I just find a little break from a poem that is not coming easily often helps you gain new perspective when you come back to it.   And fortunately for me it worked!

However in the meantime, I decided to revisit my own memories of the village.

Camer Park – a constant in my life.  It has always been there.  As a child I played, as a teenager, I took walks with my friends, or alone, and as an adult I returned a few times until finally it was time to let my own children see it’s magic.  There have been quite a few changes over the years and there are a few poems I could probably write about my many memories but this poem revisits my childhood:

Camer Park

An idyllic green space
I have always adored
So much to do
Many places to explore
The play area used to be
Up by the woods
Could I make it that far?
Of course I could
On the way up was a little tree
I used to call my den
Somewhat messier now
Than it was back then
As we approached
The swings and the slide
The anticipation
Would build up inside
A wonderful time
I’d spend in this space
The widest grin
Upon my face
In the woods
I’d run down the crater
An image that would give
My mum nightmares later
I’d collect sticks
And have such fun
Then back up the crater
I would run
We’d head home
Suitably tired out
That’s what childhood
Is all about

Jen Elvy

This poem came so much easier, and flowed so much more.  I find it such a joy to share my childhood memories and whilst “in the zone” this just came to me.  Very short lines but hopefully very effective. If you knew the Camer I knew, perhaps you can picture it now?  Again, I have no photographs but can see it quite clearly.  The little den, the swings, the slide. I’d play for ages! Camer has something for everyone and to this day it attracts people of all ages.

Camer-Park
Camer Park  – Photographs don’t often do this place justice but here is a pretty one!

I hope you have enjoyed the poems I’ve shared today. I will be back with more soon.

Thanks for reading,

Jen xx

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Sad Poems

A couple of my recent poems for you today, both with a sad theme. The first marks the fourteenth anniversary of my Dad’s passing. I always wanted to mark this day in my own way. I never felt the need to visit his memorial plaque and I’m not much of a candle person, so now I write poetry it really feels like the right way to mark the occoasion.

There are so many things I’d share with him if he were here today and this poem highlights my sadness that another year has passed without him:

Another Year

Another year where I call your name
But you won’t be able to answer
Another year where I see your face and hear your voice
But only in my heart
Another year with so much to tell you,
Buy you can’t be hear to listen
Another year with so many questions
And no answers
Another year wanting to feel normal
But feeling so very sad
Another year without you in my life
But you are in my heart always

Jen Elvy

 

I hope this poem speaks to you if you have lost someone close. It is very hard knowing that you can’t share with them the things that you want to and that so much goes unanswered.  And anniversaries are very hard.  My advice is mark them in the way that feels right for you.

My second poem is about my struggles with finding a permanent job. At the moment I’m a supply teacher and that brings it’s own rewards and it’s flexible. But finances dictate that I must find something permanent soon.   Yet interviews are so hard.  I so want employers to see the best side of me but I get nervous and don’t come across as confident and then they end up employing someone else. And I don’t resent that.  I just wish that sometimes they would look beyond the nerves and see a bit of the real me.  These people have our future in their hands. They are the gatekeepers to a better, more comfortable life.  And so my message is this:

The Gatekeeper

Always at the door
Always saying no
Always there with negativity
When I’ve got no place to go
Always choosing faces
That fit the bill the most
And seemingly preferring those
Who have the ability to boast
Look a little harder
Further than the rest
You may see someone that
Could well be the best
Remember on the other side
Of your important day
Is just a humble someone
Who is trying to pay their way

Jen Elvy

Thanks for taking the time to read and, as usual all feedback and thoughts are welcome.

Jen xx

 

Meopham Nostalgia Part 2 – Memories of the Rec

Encouraged by the last Meopham poem I wrote, I decided to write another one.  A fellow blogger who I very much respect suggested that there was a potential series of poems there and I definitely want to build up my nostalgia poem collection.

The poem today is about one of my favourite parks I used to visit as a child, Judson’s Recreation Ground, named after local businessman, Frank Judson, who donated the land in 1949.  It was known simply to me as “The Rec.”  Looking back I am surprised that we don’t have any photos of the park considering we visited so frequently.  We don’t actually have a lot of photographs of any of us taken at the park.  I guess not a lot of people carried cameras back then.  Plus, like my own children, I doubt very much if we stood still for long.  I actually have quite a few pictures and videos of my boys at various playgrounds.   Great inventions, smart phones!

However I can picture it so clearly in my mind and I was pleased when my husband said that the following poem built a picture of the park in his mind.  I hope it does the same for you too: (and if anyone happens to have any photographs of Judson’s Recreation Ground in the 80s, please feel free to share)

Ode to the Rec

I used to love “the Rec” as a child
I’d play for ages running free and wild
Although no photos I can find
I can see it so clearly in my mind
My mum never once would complain
As I went on the slide again and again
Those blue steps and the metal slide
Would bring to my face a grin so wide
The climbing frame in the shape of a dome
Would send me to a world of my very own
The wooden roundabout was so much fun
To make it go fast you’d have to run
Once there were two tunnels but they went away
It would’ve been great for them to stay
A small grassy hill provided much joy
Whether you were a girl or a boy
And when your legs needed a rest
A push on the swing was just the best
The equipment has changed, but the park has stayed
For a new generation, more memories to be made

Jen Elvy

Hope you enjoyed it. Would love to know what you think.  More poems to share soon,

Jen xx

Growing up in Meopham – Nostalgia

I’ve been really into my history and nostalgia lately and I’ve been thinking a lot about the village in which I grew up – Meopham in Kent. Meopham is a large village boasting lots of lushious greenery and a windmill, among other things.  I have been reading about the history of the village and I hope to continue my research. I love, in particularly, reading about people’s personal memories.   I thought I’d have a go at writing a poem about my own memories of growing up in Meopham.

But where to begin? I lived there for 22 years.  I still live nearby with my hubby and the boys so we’ve made many memories as a family, visiting my mum,  visiting the windmill with our eldest and the library to name but a few.

My focus for this poem though, is my childhood.  I have so much more to say so hopefully there will be many more poems on this subject but here is my first poem about growing up in Meopham:

I spent my younger years in Meopham
I went to the primary school
The infant School was down the road
The juniors had a pool
We used to walk up to the windmill
And buy sweets from the shop
Or walk to the post office on The Street
And buy some panda pop
I’d often be found at Camer Park
Playing on a log
Or walking around the fields behind the church
With my mum and our little dog
We lived right by the church
We could clearly hear the bells ring
On a summers evening, in the warm air
They really seemed to sing
I loved my years in Meopham
I’m glad I still live near
The sights and the sounds of my childhood
I will always hold so dear

Jen Elvy

As I said, this is just the start of my memories. There are so many more but I’m so pleased with the outcome and really want to write more poems about my memories and history.  I posted this poem on a local facebook page and got an overwhelming response. I loved that I made people reflect on their own memories of the village and so if you are reading this, thank you so much for your lovely responses.

My Dad loved living in Meopham and so I like to think he would enjoy reading this if he were here today.

Thank you for reading,

Jen xx

Just to give you an idea of the beautiful village in which I grew up, here is a picture of  Meopham Green, taken from Wikipedia:

And if you’d like to read more about Meopham and it’s history, here is a link to the Wikipedia page:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meopham

My Nearest and Dearest

Another great long gap between posts! Can only blame a busy work schedule and a whizzing mind that wouldn’t slow down to a poetry writing sort of speed. Yes it’s true! I know I’ve often said you can write poetry when you are in a less than positive head space but I just haven’t quite been in the frame of mind, and if that’s ignoring my own advice then I’m sorry!

But I’m back now and I have a few poems to share with you. The first of which is one I wrote recently when I fired up my old laptop from 10 years ago. This laptop is mostly retired now bit comes out now and again. It was given as a gift form my husband, who was then my boyfriend. This poem tells the story:

There was a Christmas not so long ago,

Where the ground was green with no sign of snow

When my man gave a gift from the kindness of his heart

So much generosity I don’t know where to start.

Perhaps I should start with a few months before

When at work he had laptops displayed by the door

I looked at one, I wanted one, but it couldn’t be

We already had two computers, why should I need three?

But a laptop I wanted, that much was true

Dan said “wait til New Year, we’ll see what we can do,”

That was enough to put me off track,

But little did I know what he’d planned behind my back

So when he’d bought me my special surprise

It was well and truly hidden from my prying eyes

He dropped lots of hints, none of which I got

And probably half of them I soon forgot .

So that Christmas Day I couldn’t believe my eyes

He’d bought me a pink laptop as a surprise!

I was slightly confused at the first look

When on the box, it said “notebook”

But I was delighted with my new toy

For three years it was my pride and joy

Until it started being really slow

Technology moves on as we all know

But it will always hold a special place in my heart

My first laptop and I will never part.

Jen Elvy

And so I was overwhelmed with Dan’s generosity as I still am to this day. I didn’t need a laptop but as a wannabe writer I lusted after one so it meant a lot that Dan put my happiness first. He always has been thoughtful and generous xxx

Now we turn to our youngest son and a poem I wrote a month or so back just before he was due to have his two year check:

Time goes so fast

And I’m thinking how the heck

Is it time already

For your two year check?

You’re quite different from your brother

That much is plain to see

While he’s a lot like his daddy

You seem to take after me

You don’t have many words yet

But you’re doing okay

If you’re anything like your mummy

Then soon you’ll have too much to say!

We filled in a questionnaire

About the things you can do

It seems that they expect you to be

A genius at two!

Yet children are so different

They do things in their own time

There isn’t a formula to it

No reason or no rhyme

You make us laugh everyday

With all the funny things you do

So no matter what they say today

Remember we’re proud of you

Jen Elvy

Now I come at the two year check from two angles. As a professional and as a mummy. I know that it is their duty to check the milestones to check for serious developmental issues etc but with the whole questionnaire thing it does seem like another attempt to institutionalise very young children who are all very individual in their character and development. I’m a great believer in stages rather than ages. Toddlers have not read the books. They don’t know when they should walk or talk or be able to sleep through the night. We are very proud of our younger so. He has not been as verbal as our oldest very quickly became at two, but he is progressing and will get there. I am considering writing a little diary or blog about his journey towards being verbal for any parents going through the same thing. Let me know if you’d be interested in reading such a blog. Would be great to have feedback.

And now to our oldest. Our little boy who turned 6 on Saturday. Here is his poem:

My darling little first born

Today you’re six years old

You’ve grown to be so sweet

With a heart of pure gold

We will never forget the day

When we first met you

We can say without a doubt

You made our dreams come true

As a bubba you were giggly

And never unhappy for long

As long as you had cuddles

You couldn’t go far wrong

As a toddler you were cheeky

And flags were your big thing

And before you went to sleep

You liked Mummy to sing

As a preschooler you thrived

And started to make friends

And discovered that Star Wars toys

Are fun that never ends.

Now you are at school

Learning so much every day

And growing more independent

In every little way.

Each day you come home

With a picture you’ve created

It’s clear in the detail

That you have concentrated.

You’re growing so fast my darling

I wasn’t prepared for that

And often I find my mind wandering back

To the little baby in the pink hat

Jen Elvy

The poem tells you the story really, but I want to explain that when he was born we hadn’t yet given the doctors clothes for him and so our first memory of him was being handed this gorgeous little boy wrapped in a green blanket wearing a pink hat! We really wish we’d taken it home now! But that moment meeting him for the first time is one of those moments I’ll never forget. Xxx

That concludes today’s poetry round up but I will be back very soon, I promise!

Thanks for reading

Jen

Let’s talk Purple!

purple

Hi all,

Long time no post! Life is hectic right now and I’ve been applying for jobs.  Once again I want to say I feel the need to set aside an evening for poetry.  It will be so much easier when I have a regular job with regular days.

Anyway, on to today’s topic.  As you know, I am a keen user of Pinterest and as well as several Pins to inspire me for children’s poetry, I am also gathering quite a collection of pins for the colour, purple.  I just love purple, It’s just one of those vibrant colours that has a psychological effect immediately.   My purple pictures are inspiring.   They calm my mind.  So I thought it was time to write a poem about purple.   It’s harder than you think to write a poem about a colour.  I found it hard as I had so many pics to choose from but I decided to talk about my experiences with purple.

Here is the poem, I hope you like:

Purple

 I just love purple so much
It puts my soul at ease
To imagine a purple sky
And purple leaves on trees

I smile when I think of
The purple on my wedding day
My new husband’s silk tie
The flowers in my bouquet

My first brush with purple
Was when I was sixteen years old
With a soft purple jumper
To warm me when I was cold

And purple nail varnish
Which I thought was really cool
But the teacher had words to say

When I wore it one day at school
I’ve worn purple coats
And a flowing purple skirt too
But I’ve never worn a purple dress
That’s something I’d love to do

I have a pair of purple tights
That I have yet to wear
I just need something to match them
But for now I just know they are there

I just love the colour purple
It totally calms my mind
I think it’s plain to see
That more purple things I have to find

Jen Elvy

 

I had bad writers block half way through writing this and I wasn’t too happy with my first effort but after a rewrite of the final verses,  I feel much better about it.  It has given me such satisfaction to finally finish it as I think the fact that in my mind I knew it wasn’t quite done has stopped me producing much more poetry.  I hope you can relate if you like the colour purple and if you have any colour poems I’d love to read them.

Thanks for stopping by,

Jen xx

 

 

Us and Them

I wrote this poem some time ago and want to share it with you today. I have been a bit hesitant about publishing it as I have so many supportive people in my life and I don’t want it to sound like the poem is about them as it isn’t. It refers to the sniping on the public forums and those who openly judge choices that other parents make and maybe try and make them feel bad about those choices.

Today I give you

Us and Them

The us and them factor
Is sadly nothing new

The mums who don’t work
And the mums who do

The mums who, when weaning
Like to spoon feed

The mums who feel that baby led
Is what babies need

The mums whose babies sleep through
The mums whose babies don’t

The mums who”ll give their baby a dummy
And the mums who won’t

The mums who give the bottle
The mums who give the breast

The mums who want to do it all
The mums who just want rest

Why does there have to be
Such a divide?

Why can’t we support each other
Whatever we decide?

It is inevitable that on many matters
We will all hold different views

But we all want the best for our little ones
Whichever path we choose

Jen Elvy

I was inspired to post this recently when I heard on social media of an actress who was shamed for having a date night with her hubby, despite the fact that she left the baby with close family.  And I’ve seen some sniping on recent forums about choices connected with baby sleep.  We all do what is best for our children and we all know our own children too.  What works for one baby may not work for another and that often applies to children with the same parents too.

Here’s to supporting other parents and being there for them when they need guidance.

Jen xxx