Rik Mayall – Marking his 60th Birthday

Through various twitter pages that I follow, it came to my attention that tomorrow Rik Mayall, a much missed comedian, would have turned 60.  Sadly he passed away at the age of 56 in 2014.  It came as a shock to many and many of us still can’t really believe he’s gone. What a legacy he has left behind!   I’m not going to ramble on.  I’m just going to pay tribute in the way I know how, through poetry:

Happy Birthday Rik

Happy birthday dear Rik
On this, your special day
Even though you are gone

Your work is here to stay

Happy birthday dear Rik
We miss you, it’s true

On a dull evening
You could turn the air blue!

Nobody knows why
They took you so soon
Because heaven needed laughter
We can only assume

One thing’s for certain
When we get to heaven’s door
We’ll be seeking you out

To entertain us some more

Jen Elvy

 

I fiirst became familiar with Rik’s work via Bottom, a show that can still make me laugh.  I then discovered shows such as the Young Ones and Filthy Rich and Catflap, and of course I love Drop Dead Fred.    There’s actually more of his work I still have to see and so I, like others, am thankful for modern technology for giving us so many ways we can still enjoy his shows.

The picture I’m sharing today can only be this one, from the show I loved as a teen….

bottom
Rik and Ade, aka Richie and Eddie. 
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Fairy Poems With a Purple Theme

First showcase in a while of my children’s poems.  I thought I’d share a couple I’ve writtten recently.

The first is about a fantasy setting and the starting point was a picture of a fairy door.

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The purple fairy door of inspiration

 

Here is the poem:

When you open the purple fairy door
You will come to a place you’ll want to explore
There’s so much to do to while away the hours
You can sit among the pretty purple flowers
You can speak to a fairy and make a wish
You can ask the elf chef to make your favourite dish
You can sing to the birds and they’ll sing back to you
There’s a magical mountain with a never ending view
When you come through you’ll want to stay all day
In the enchanted garden where the fairies play

Jen Elvy

The picture cue made the poem come quite easily but I had to shift a few rhymes around before I was happy with it.  I have to admit these poems have taken a bit of a back seat lately due to my nostalgic poems but I hope to keep up both kinds of poems.

My next poem is about a character rather than a setting.  Here is the picture that was the starting point:

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A purple fairy throne provides inspiration for a fictional character explored through poetry

And here is the poem:

The Fairy Queen

The fairy queen sits
On a purple throne of feathers
She sits out and guards
The kingdom in all weathers

She is bossy and bold
But gentle and kind
When you speak to her
Your manners you should mind

She has long dark hair
Filled with curls and waves
She has a few faithful workers
She doesn’t take slaves

If you feel like a visit
To her humble land
You can bring a spade
To find treasures in the sand

But leave them where you found them
For she will always know
If someone steals a treasure
Her jewels will start to glow …

I had fun creating this character through poetry and my imagination added more feathers to her throne.  That is the beauty of using pictures as a starting point. Your imagination takes over and you can end up quite far away from the scene you pictured.

I hope you have enjoyed today’s offerings.  As you know I love purple so it’s probably no coincidence that it made it’s way into both of these poems.

Jen xx

Snow – Appreciating the white stuff!

Hello everyone,

This is the first of a couple of blog posts today.   As you may be aware, our country has had a considerable amount of snow this week.  schools have shut due to hazardous road conditions and travel has been disrupted.  That’s what happens in this country. When it snows, things tend to grind to a halt.   In other countries, they are used to snow and carry on as normal.  However, despite the disruption, I do like a bit of snow.  It doesn’t seem to snow “properly” too often anymore, which makes me appreciate it all the more.  I do say though, it has caused me to miss two work days, losing me money and has meant that we haven’t used the car for several days and I had a very arduous walk to my son’s school on Tuesday with the youngest in the buggy.  For others it has been more traumatic, causing road accidents, among other things and if you have been affected in this way I wish you well and hope that my post isn’t going to sound too patronising or like I’m making light of serious issues.

The fact is, despite complications, our family have enjoyed the snow.  We have been sledging and the kids have had snowball fights.  Even my youngest has begun to enjoy it when he’s on foot.  By the time we have another snowfall he’ll be older and able to appreciate it more.  Thats the beauty of children, they see the excitement and not the negative. impacts.

So being a poet, I thought, I can’t let this snow pass me by without writing a poem.  Winter is a popular subject and many poems have been written about its beauty.   So here is my poem:

The World Can Wait

Snow is just wonderful
When you’ve no place to go
You can watch the world light up
In a creamy white glow
You can make snow angels
Or a snowman
Or a trip to go sledging
Might be the plan

But if there’s somewhere
You need to be
And you can’t just stay in
And drink warm tea
Snow can be a nuisance
Leaving a chaotic trail
It can cause so many issues
On the road and on the rail
You may have just had
A terrible day
And you just want the snow
To go away.

Stop for a while
And just sit back
Is my journey really
Worth so much slack?
Stay at home
And drink that tea
Make plans to have fun
With your family
Make the most of the snow
While it’s is here
For you probably won’t see it
Again this year!

Jen Elvy

I like the structure of the poem, dealing with the positive in the first verse, the negative in the second and then providing positive thoughts in the third verse. As I said, it is not meant to be patronising or dismissive, It’s just a suggestion to sit back and take stock and hopefully stay safe and warm without having to travel.

I started with brainstorming some rhyming words and then the first few lines came and it took off from there.

Let me know what you think.

I leave you with the snowy image of the dip I used to play in as a child at Camer park. I mentioned it in my previous blog post.IMG_2809

Many thanks for reading,

Jen xx

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

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