NOW THAT I AM OLDER by Faymarie Morris

Faye’s response to the ‘Now’ Trigger. The next one is of course ‘then’.
Now that I am older and my world is slowing down
And my life is mainly governed by how to get around,
I can look back to another time, when I was young
And the days were always endless and packed full of fun.
Computers weren’t invented then, mobile phones or texting.
I played for hours out of doors, no time for resting,
Until the sun was going down or tummy was rumbling.
No rain or snow or sun or blow, or mother grumbling.
Summer-time went on forever. I was never bored.
Things to see, find and do. Building dens, making swords.
Skipping up and down the lanes or fishing in the stream,
Collecting frog spawn, sticklebacks. Life was one long dream.
And even in the darkness of a long midwinter’s night
I’d still be outside with my friends, underneath the lights.
Freedom should be each child’s right, to live life to the full,
Learning how to improvise and never being dull.
But it isn’t like that any more, kids can’t be free
To play for hours and hours on end, wherever they please.
There’s danger round each corner, lurking in the shallows.
Hiding in the undergrowth. Prowling through the shadows.
We never saw it coming. When did it come to this?
Did it happen overnight or bit by little bit?
What if it was always there and parents never knew
Or chose to just ignore it, like adults sometimes do?
But this is how it always was, back then, in the day.
The many dangers I encountered, just out at play.
Like standing by the railway tracks with steam trains chugging past,
Waving at the people as they went by, in a flash.
I still grew up and lived and thrived and wanted for nought
And ate the things I shouldn’t have. Sometimes I know I fought
To try my best to understand the workings of the world
And how to grow into myself, while the cosmos unfurled.
And nature was my best friend, it helped me to survive
The miles and miles I trudged to school, when I was just five.
Birds were always singing whether skies were grey or blue
When every precious moment was filled with things to do.
By Faymarie Morris

CLICKETY-CLICK by Michael Healy


I was 66 just yesterday

Some say what a fine old age,

Others say it all depends on your own life’s page

You are as old as you feel, I am being told

In that case 66 is not too old


I got out of bed with a spring in my step

And down the stairs I bounded

My wife, as a treat, wanted to go on a trip

To take me to a new Garden Centre

And so, I thought, at 66, that sounds quite enough adventure.


When we arrived (for we had been lost)

I climbed from the car and smiled

I will just take my walking stick, I declared

leaving my scooter in the boot for later

It will be easier that way for my needs to be catered.


But as we wandered down long beds of flowers

And lines of new gardening tools

My decision, I knew, to use just my stick, was indeed that of a fool

My legs did shake and my back did ache

And my eyes insisted I stay awake!

I suddenly found a surprising new interest,

In the conservatory garden furniture

Not that I bothered the salesman there,

I just wanted to find a comfortable chair!

To ease the cares my body now felt


This left my wife free to wander the lanes

And me the chance to ease my pains

Fairly soon I was joined in my lonely corner

By another man trying a chair

He smiled as he sat with a look of lost cares


‘Nice furniture’ I remarked to him

He smiled ‘Oh, I just needed a chair for a rest’

It was then I decided, accept the age and condition that you are in,

With wonky legs and a foggy head

Don’t be 22 when there’s such pleasure in being 66!

                                                                                                                       Michael Healy

Release by Michael Healy




Each alveolus in my lungs

Is soaking clean air from the sun.

For just one hour I had been free

After that heavy door closed on me.

Gone the smell of prison air

Like the graveyard mists, who cares?

Outside the walls the chestnuts thrive

Extension of branches prove they’re alive

Withstanding the porcupine needle flashes

From thunderous skies the lightening crashes.

Never again will I work in this den

For me my action is decided then

I am going off home to feed my free hens!

Retirement at last!

I smile. I shiver.

by Michael Healy

THE PORCUPINE by David Graham

THE PORCUPINE.                                                                                                      

‘Good Lord’! he exclaimed from his chair by the patio doors.

‘What’s that, my dear’? I asked from the comfort of my Parker Knoll.

‘It can’t be!’ he exclaimed slowly donning his glasses.


Engage him in small talk, I reminded myself. Don’t let him descend into droll.

‘What’s that, my dear’? I asked engagingly and lowered my needlework screen.

Is it that pretty green woodpecker again, dear’? I asked brightly and reached for a blue threaded spool.

‘Is that what you have just seen?

Or is it perhaps next door’s tortoiseshell cat again, dear’? I added and muttered, ‘The dirty little swine’.


‘It’s neither of those things you suggest, mother’, he said, without turning at that.


‘I am not your mother, dear’, I gently corrected, ‘I am your wife, Flo.

And if it is not the green woodpecker, dear, nor next door’s tortoiseshell cat.

Do tell me what you have seen out there that has excited you so?’


‘Well’, he quipped without turning,

‘If you believe you are my wife’s mother Flo. That is fine.

Nevertheless, I think your daughter needs warning,

That what I can see through these doors, is actually a large porcupine’.


Oh dear, I recalled with misgivings,

That his mind would deceive his eyes.

He would slowly begin to misconstrue things

And be apt to fantasise.


Gracious me, what should I do now? I wondered in alarm

And shivered as my eyes grew misty with tears.

‘Well! This really will not do, Flo!’

The words worked like a charm.

‘What is required now is action, you know.

You must make sure that he comes to no harm.’


‘A porcupine, did you say, my dear’? I asked

laying aside the needlework I had hoped to complete.

‘Just give me a moment, my dear and I will join you’, I said

whilst the Parker Knoll raised me to my feet.


‘Now then’, I said when I reached him to address his outlandish claim

‘Where was this porcupine seen, dear’? I asked with ill concealed scepticism

And leant on my new Zimmer frame.


‘Don’t think I don’t know that you are humouring me’, he scoffed with mild derision.

‘I have not gone gaga, just yet. Mark you.

Mere minutes ago I was watching that confounded pigeon

When blow me, if a porcupine didn’t suddenly hove into view!

It came from beneath next door’s extension

And has sauntered on down to the church.


Now, if you will follow my index to the graveyard

And look to the right of that horse chestnut tree

Confirming that I am not ga ga, will not be hard

Once you describe to me what you can see.


With ill-feigned interest, I followed his indexed line

‘Do you mean, dear’, I asked, ‘where the earth is still fresh and neat?

Good Lord!’ I exclaimed, ‘You are right. Dear! I see it! It is a very large porcupine!

Oh dear, dear’, I added softly, ‘I’m afraid it is eating your mother’s new wreath’.