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BANJO BAY……episode 15


The little town of Banjo Bay sits proudly in the cove,

Welcoming her sons home from their toil,

Her harbour filled with laughter, her streets bedecked with love,

A place for growing up and growing old.

Bert the Flirt takes off his shirt and hangs it in the tree

Thinking of the ecstasy to come,

As she who lies beneath unties her corset eagerly ,

Loosening the laces one by one.

Katy Lovatt is her name, a spinster of this parish,

Strong, and lean from years of honest toil,

Who, at the age of 35 has given up on marriage,

Content to be a tiller of the soil.

Many suitors came and went throughout her younger days 

But none could light the fire in Katie’s heart,

But he will do, her gigolo, too proud to change his ways,

Too fancy free for love to make a start.

Katie doesn’t crave for much, simple are her needs,

The pleasures of the flesh are all she asks,

And every Friday evening neath the ancient apple tree

Bert the Flirt proves equal to the task.

They will not be discovered for the land is Katie’s now,

From father to the child the farm has passed,

But with no child to walk with her behind the trusty plough

Katie now will surely be the last.

……………………………………………..

Bert the Flirt pulls on his shirt and sits beneath the tree

To watch the lights go down in Banjo Bay,

Then, gazing down at Katie, a-smiling in her sleep

The world about him seems to fade away.

He sees himself, a handsome chap, a ladies man they say,

And many knotches has he gladly carved,

But truly he must be the saddest man in Banjo Bay

With ne’er a wife to grace his lonely hearth.

If truth be known, the push and shove has lost it’s charm for Bert,

He hankers for a settled, simple life,

His carefree days are over now, no longer will he flirt,

The day has come when he must choose a wife.

And who better than his Katie, whose body he adores,

Who turns the skirt whenever she prefers,

Together they could move the earth as oft they have before,

Who cares for love with lust as fierce as hers.

The evening star shines down upon the streets of Banjo Bay

As Bert the Flirt falls down upon one knee,

And there upon a golden swathe of sweetly perfumed hay,

His life he gives for all eternity.

Katie, quick to answer yes, is haunted now by doubt

For Bert has reaped his share of failed romance,

She wonders, Will he ever change? Can he settle down?

But desperation bids her take a chance.

………………………………………..

And so the two are married as the townsfolk gather round,

The Jolly Sailor Inn packed to the rafters,

A voyage made in haste, they whisper , sure to run aground,

No hope, they say, of happy ever after.

No more the ancient apple tree, but now the oaken ‘stead

Bears witness to the moving of the earth,

Till soon upon the cotton sheets where passion’s fire is fed,

The issue of their lust is given birth.

The seasons turn and life goes on for Katie and her man,

And with each year another child is born,

More milk to feed the little ones, more meat to fill the pan,

More wood upon the fire to keep them warm.

Tide on tide roll in along the shores of Banjo Bay,

As Katie toils to keep the family fed,

Bert is left at home to rear the children day on day

And only sleep employs their oaken ‘stead.

Cooking, cleaning, darning socks, washing dirty clothes,

Sowing, reaping, milking, dawn till dusk,

The pleasures of the flesh are quenched, the spark no longer glows,

The children thrive as all small children must.

……………………………………………..

And so it goes, the years roll by, the children fly the nest,

More time have they to ponder on their life,

Satisfied that all will say they did their very best,

A faithful husband and a treasured wife.

But time has left its mark on Katie, life has left it’s scars,

Her back now bent from hours behind the plough,

Her auburn locks, once bountiful, now shine like silver stars

And fall around the furrows on her brow.

Her husband, now a shadow of the man who hung his shirt

Among the branches of the apple tree,

The passing years have gathered like a shroud around poor Bert,

No more the handsome gigolo is he.

Their job is done, their children gone, life is all but spent,

And some would say they did more than enough,

Hand in hand beside the hearth, now just the two of them,

They who fell in lust now fall in love.

He thinks her never lovelier than how she looks tonight,

And she thinks him the handsomest of men,

And so it is they wander now in evening’s fading light

To lie beneath the apple tree again.

A marriage walked without true love can seem a lonely mile

When pleasures of the flesh no more attend,

Passions, irresistible, may warm us for a while

But love hard won burns brighter in the end.

Cath Turner….July 2017


Welcome to the world my child, I hear your anguished cries, 

And share the apprehension I see mirrored in your eyes. 

Your needs are pure and simple, no unrequired demands, 

Unconsciously you place your trust in life’s unyielding hands. 

Your book of life has opened, its pages clean and white, 

Just waiting for the hand of time to take its pen and write. 

But soon you’ll be its author, each chapter your design, 

And hopefully you’ll write it well and savour every line. 

So welcome to the world my child, I hope it treats you well, 

And though you never chose to write, the story’s yours to tell.

Copyright S. Stone July 2017

Down in a green and shady bed,

A modest violet grew

Its stalk was bent, it hung its head

As if to hide from view.

And yet it was a lovely flower,

Its color bright and fair;

It might have graced a rosy bower,

Instead of hiding there. 

Yet thus it was content to bloom,

Its modest tints arrayed;

And there diffused a sweet perfume,

Within the silent shade. 

Then let me to the valley go

This pretty flower to see;

That I may also learn to grow

In sweet humility.

Copyright Jane Taylor

Don’t judge a book by its cover

Or a person by the skin

For though the cover is dusty and worn

A treasure trove hides within.

My hands are a little bit shaky,

I need glasses to help me see

And it seems that the world I have helped to shape

No longer listens to me.

An old person! Yes, that’s what I am,

I stumble and I forget,

But I still have a lot I can offer,

My time isn’t over just yet.

My shaking hand still rocks the cradle

And brushes away a tear,

My tired eyes still read the fairytale

While holding my little one near.

He smiles as he runs to my open arms

And for me that is more than enough

For a little child’s eyes never see the years

They only feel the love.

By Catherine Turner

    A madman lives quite near to me.

    He shouts and rants and raves,

    And everybody fears him

    For the way that he behaves.

    With matted hair across his face,

    His filthy rags awry,

    A glint of madness in his eyes,

    He screams at passers by.

    He shouts that we are evil,

    That the end is drawing near,

    And women scoop their children up

    And hurry off in fear.

    He tells us we’re all murderers,

    Who constantly wage war

    And so many of our leaders

    Are just rotten to the core.

    With bulging eyes and foaming mouth

    He screams into the air

    That we’re drowning in corruption

    And yet no one seems to care.

    Then his screaming turns to sobbing

    And the tears run down his face

    And he rambles incoherently

    Of how men fell from grace.

    How the rich can dress in splendour

    While the poor remain unshod.

    How mankind has turned from heaven

    And now, Money is their god.

    Again, he turns to anger

    And his fists beat at the air,

    How half the world is starving

    And the other half don’t care.

    How man destroys the habitat

    Of everything that lives.

    ‘The parasite supreme’

    Who always takes, but never gives.

    …………………………..

    I sat and watched the news last night

    From North, East, South and West.

    I thought about the madman’s words

    And put them to the test.

    Now I worry for MY sanity,

    For in so many ways

    I’m starting to believe so much

    Of what the madman says.

    Copyright John Marsh 2012

From the day that we are born we’re encouraged to conform

And to grow up in the way that we’re expected.

So we don’t step out of line and we never rock the boat

For we fear that if we do we’ll be rejected.

We hide our inner selves and put on a masquerade

And live our lives as others think we ought.

It all becomes a habit, from the time that we were born

That’s the only way that we were ever taught.

We accept what we are told and our minds are so controlled

Our freedom is the price that we are paying.

And the judgements that we make, the decisions that we take

Are a product of those games that we are playing.

Do we ever stop to ask if the things we’re taught are true,

Or are we just perpetuating lies?

Copying the people who copied someone else

And seeing things through other peoples eyes.

It seems an awful shame that we feel the need to fit

In a mould that other people have created.

It’s as if we live a lie from our birth until we die

To conform with what society’s dictated.

So teach your kids to think things through before they tow the line.

To question all they read or hear, and they’ll just grow up fine.

No need to play a part in life that isn’t really you.

Because it’s what you’ve grown up thinking you’re expected to

Strip away those false veneers that you have taken on.

Unfettered by convention now, the goose becomes a swan.

And only now we realise that it was such a sin.

The masquerade had ne’er displayed the beauty that’s within.

Copyright John Marsh 2012


Think of me when the morning sun, rising

as it has done for ages untold,

from the hills in the east, works its magic,

turns the sky and the bay to pure gold.

In that shimmering moment at daybreak

I have watched and my heart’s taken wing.

Transfixed by the beauty that morning

and sunlight on water can bring.

How fleeting that moment, how fleeting.

It is gone in the blink of an eye.

But it’s printed inside of my head now,

those hills and that sun and that sky.

So if ever you witness such beauty

with the sky and the sun and the sea

and the hills and the morning sun rising,

and it fills you with joy; think of me.

Think of me when the hedges awaken

and  the spring turns the browns into green,

and the countryside wakes from its slumber

and the signs of new life can be seen.

When the bluebells all carpet the woodland

and their perfume lies sweet on the air.

When the gorse adds its yellow to hillsides

that are green with new grass I’ll be there.

Where the burn tumbles out of the hillside

or the river flows down to the sea.

Or the loch, like a mirror, reflects clouds and sky

look around you for there I will be.

On a cold and damp day in the autumn

with a mist drifting in from the sea,

If you hear the sad call of a curlew

echo over the bay, think of me.

Think of me when you see a red sunset

settle over a blood red sea

and a white-breasted seagull is calling

the way that it once called to me.

And you see twilight’s shadows are stretching

ghostly fingers across the lawn

and the bats spread their wings and the nocturnal things

all take over the garden till dawn.

When the moon, rising up in the heavens,

bathes the sea and the sky and the land

In a silvery sheen, think how often I’ve seen

silver sky, silver sea, silver sand.

If you picture a beautiful garden,

nestled close to the side of the sea,

full of birdsong and flowers. I spent happy hours

in one such as this. Think of me.

Copyright John Marsh

This beautiful poem was written when John’s marriage broke

up and he went travelling and had to leave his home and garden 

by the bay in Scotland.