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I saw the flicker of your flame and instantly was drawn
Drawn to seek your comfort as my love for you was born
Born from curiosity to bask within your glow
The glow that would destroy my life, yet how was I to know
To know how you’d seduce me and then hold me as your slave
A slave who’s at your mercy as you watch me beg and crave
A craving that’s insatiable, that makes me feel ashamed
But like a moth, I’m drawn once more, to perish in your flame

copyright S. Stone 2017

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Pale young boys of tender years, sent underground each day,
To breathe the dust and risk their lives before they slipped away.
And womenfolk who worked like dogs from early morn till night,
With blackened face and haunted eyes that stared from pools of white.
Then ‘black by day and red by night’ was how our land was seen,
Where once grew fields of golden corn and pastures lush and green,
Transformed into a world of fire with heaps of slack and spoil,
By men who often paid the price with burdened lives of toil.
No accolades or words of praise, just meagre pay at best,
And scars they wore with dignity, like medals on their chest

copyright S Stone 2017

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