From England's Green and Pleasant Land

Hello,

My earlier poems relate to my experience of having had major heart surgery.

'The Doctor Said' is about the fact that I had only given up smoking four days before my operation (stupid me!), and I was told by the doctor that I would get a chest infection.

'The Surgeon' is pretty self explanatory, in that I had only met him once, a couple of months before the operation, and yet here he was about to perform major surgery on me!

'Cough Pillow' is about the small, firm pillow made of cloth and paper that was given to me on my first night in the Intensive Care Unit, following surgery, that was supposed to help support my chest when I coughed (very, very painful!)

'Puckered Scar' is about my feelings on the first visit to my General Practitioner a few weeks after surgery, when I was still emotionally as well as physically scarred.

'Who Cares?' is a poem written for and about three friends, all important, but whom I love and care about in different ways.

'Pyrford' is a poem about some of my memories of when I started nurse training at The Rowley Bristow Orthopaedic Hospital, Pyrford, Surrey the day before my 17th birthday in 1970.

'Sylvia's Grave' is a poem about the American poet Sylvia Plath
(1932-1963), whose headstone in Heptonstall, West Yorkshire was frequently damaged by feminists, who blamed her husband, Ted Hughes (Poet Laureate/Order of Merit) for her suicide, after his adultery, despite the fact that she had attempted suicide before she even met Hughes.
The inscription which reads 'In memory Sylvia Plath Hughes' would be damaged by having the name 'Hughes' removed.
In 1998 shortly before his death, Hughes published 'Birthday Letters' a book of poems about his relationship with Plath.

'Leave it to the Yanks' is intended to be tongue-in-cheek, not malicious, although I must admit that I was hoping to cause a certain amount of controversy when I published this poem.
I was therefore surprised at the positive response I received for it.
It gained 28 votes for the Daily Poetry Contest (for those in doubt, I didn't cast a single vote for this poem myself) and a number of positive feedbacks, all from Americans!
I did receive one (?) negative feedback, which made me smile, from someone who hoped that 'I would feel better in the morning'! and another saying that it was 'crude and not funny' but I won't be losing any sleep over these!

'Princess Di' is simply a poem about my thoughts and feelings on the death of Diana, Princess of Wales in 1997.
As you might gather, I wasn't a fan.

'The Kind Man Smiled' is a child's-eye view of arriving at the Nazi concentration camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau.
I don't claim that the conversation or actions between the man, the mother and the child is historically accurate or true, but there must at times, have been a certain amount of trust between the new arrivals at the camp and the guards, in order to prevent panic, as the new arrivals were coerced into going into the 'showers' to be gassed.
For detailed information please visit the official website at
www.auschwitz-muzeum.oswiecim.pl

'Trailer Trash' was inspired by the American television programme 'The Jerry Springer Show'

'Hong Kong Handover 1997' I first visited Hong Kong in 1986, and fell in love with the place. Visited again in 1996, the year before the handover.
Visited again in 2004 and 2007. Ten years after the handover and little appeared to have changed, at least not to the casual visitor like me. Streets were still named after Royalty and former Governors, signs were still in English as well as Chinese. Statues of former 'Empire builders' were still standing. The streets were still crowded, the 'Star' ferries still crossed Victoria harbour, and the trams still rattled through Wan Chai.

'Dolly' was the name of my old red Volkswagen Camper Van. A bit of a rust-bucket, but I loved her.

'An Ungentlemanly Act - Falkland Islands 1982' is the first of a trilogy of poems to commemorate the Falklands War, which was fought between Great Britain and Argentina, after Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands (an overseas territory of the United Kingdom) in April 1982.

'Sir Galahad - Falklands War 1982' was inspired by the story of
Simon Weston, a Welsh Guardsman who suffered horrific 46% burns when Argentinian planes bombed the unarmed troopship Sir Galahad.
The story of that day is vividly told in his biography 'Walking Tall'
He is co-founder of the charity 'Weston Spirit' which aims to help disadvantaged young people. He was awarded the OBE in 1992 for his charity work.

'Tumbledown -Falklands War 1982' is a poem based on the biography of Robert Lawrence MC, who as a young Lieutenant in the Scots Guards, was awarded the Military Cross for his leadership under fire and courage in the face of the enemy. He was severely wounded by a high-velocity bullet to the head during the battle for Tumbledown Mountain, but miraculously survived.

'Rule Britannia!' Just a bit of fun, not to be taken seriously, but don't you dare say that I'm from the U.K.

'Cromwell Street' In 1994 a number of bodies of young women were discovered buried in the garden and beneath the cellar of number
25, Cromwell Street, a quiet, rather run down street near the centre of the Cathedral City of Gloucester. They were all victims of husband and wife serial killers, Fred and Rose West.
Fred West was charged with the murder of 12 young women, but committed suicide in prison before coming to trial.
Rose West was found guilty of murdering 10 of the victims and is currently serving a term of life imprisonment.
The house became known as 'The House of Horrors'
It has now been demolished.

'Thoughts On The Death Of Lee' In memory of my friend Lee Sutcliffe.

'break.ingthes.choolrul,es' Just a bit of fun!

'Old Man' Written with respect for those forgotten heroes of World War II.
I think that this is probably my best poem, so far.

'Dreaming of a Lamborghini' Oh well, I can dream!

'Paris - Musee d'Orsay' is the first in a trilogy of poems inspired by a visit to Paris in August 2006.

'Paris - Eiffel Tower' Some facts that might interest you:
Built in 1889, the Eiffel Tower is 324 metres high, it has 1,665 steps, 2.5 million rivets, 50 tonnes of paint needed to decorate it, and it has 20,000 light-bulbs.

'Paris - Pigalle to Montmartre' According to the guidebook, the Musee de l'Erotisme is a 'sexy' little museum, a showcase of some 2,000 objects of desire on 7 floors. Attractive, funny or startling, these authentic works come from all over the world.
Crowning the heights of Montmartre, the white neo-Gothic building of the Sacre-Coeur basilica was built in memory of the Franco-Prussian war of 1870.

'Falling Asleep On The Motorway' This happened on the N1 Boulogne to Paris road in France on 6th August 2006.

'Why Is The Photograph Blurred?' I wanted to create a poem with an air of mystery about it, a bit of a ghost story. This is it.

'The Coffee Shop' A poem for 'Toastie'

'Portmeirion' This poem was inspired by the colourful village of Portmeirion, built between 1925-1976 by the architect
Clough Williams-Ellis on the coast of North Wales.
Portmeirion was the setting in 1966, for the cult television series
'The Prisoner' starring Patrick McGoohan as 'Number 6'

'The Searchers' This poem was inspired by several visits I've made to Harvington Hall in Worcestershire, an Elizabethan moated Manor House, which has the largest number of 'Priest Holes' of any house in England, built to conceal Catholic Priests during the 16th century, when it was high treason for a Catholic Priest to be in England.

'Pitcairn' In 1789, following a voyage to, and lengthy stay in Tahiti, Fletcher Christian led what was to become the most famous mutiny in history, when he forcibly took over command of HMS Bounty from it's Captain, William Bligh. The mutineers eventually settled on remote Pitcairn Island after burning The Bounty. In 2004 six men from the island, including direct descendants of Fletcher Christian were found guilty of rape and sexual abuse of several of Pitcairn's women and young girls, over a period of many years.


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