The Weed and the Worm

emirat-towerGo build your cities fine and build them high.
Roll out your concrete blanket over the hills.
Push up commercial temples to the sky,
The great God progress granted you the skills.

Go build your plastic palaces of fun,
And fling your space ships out to the stars,
Until the last triumphant race is won
And all the earth is disfigured by your scars.

weedBut man, be ruled by caution as you go;
For if you leave alive one tiny seed,
A drop of rain, and place for it to grow,
You will not notice such a puny weed.

You will not notice how the rising breeze
Begins to stir the surface of the sand.
Or how the gentle kissing of the seas
Begins the slow erosion of the land.

So when you see the first cracks appear
To herald the destruction of your dream.
Remember, as you crouch beneath your fear,
The worm, in patient vigil reigns supreme.

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Note to Patrick. What’s mine is mine. Just remember, my plagiarism detector is always switched to the “ON” mode. . . . just saying.

Posted in Poetry Bit | 2 Comments

Winter Dawn [My version]

Dedicated to Betsy.

winter-morn
I well remember watching, as I stood there all alone,
The first red scars of dawn that burned across the heavens arc
And rolled in silent rivers down the frozen hills beneath,
To fill the vale with crimson mists that swirled there in the dark.

Then slowly, as the winter sun’s great orb began to show,
The countryside was lit by such a glorious display
Of colours, rich and rare, the like of which I had never known,
That filled my heart with wonder as I watched the awakening day.

The river, suddenly arrested by some icy hand,
Like some gigantic ribbon, spun from frozen Burgundy
Lay still, and held it’s mirror to the morning stars above,
That stretched like rows of glittering beads across an endless sea.

The woods, caught unaware with branches raised in frosty prayer
Burst into flames of orange, gold, and red.
Each tiny cobweb hung with flashing jewels of burning fire
Supported by some miracle from every slender thread.

And in that moment, as I stood and watched, the earth stood still
For one brief moment of time, when on that special day
All nature came together by some strange and random chance
To form, by it’s conjunction, such a glorious display.

And then from far away, the first shrill piping song arose,
The first small bird began its frenzied searching through the air.
The spell was broken, and the Earth began to spin again,
And I had seen the hand of my God, in that still moment there.

— Pontillius Antonius, aka Keith

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There are a lot of poems on the Internet called “Winter Dawn”, some good, some bad. I know mine doesn’t follow The Wordsworth Rules, but I think it’s rather good. Well, If I don’t say it’s good, who will? One day I will polish it up a bit. This is just the beta edition!

I was inspired by “Silver” by Walter-de-la-Mare. I was given a book of his poetry called “Peacock Pie” when I was a child, and that particular poem has always been my favourite.

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Posted in Poetry Bit | 4 Comments

Two RAK’s today

I was the recipient of not one, but two RAK’s (Random Act of Kindness) today! See Betsys page and all will become clear.

I had arranged to meet someone in a cafe in town today at 11am to discuss plans for his new webpage. I went to my local bus stop at 10am to be in plenty of time for the meet.

Old-manI cannot walk very far now, about 150yds before the pain kicks in, and not having a car anymore I have to rely on buses or taxis (too expensive anyway). I stood at that bus stop for 55 mins, which is ridiculous considering that the buses run every 15 minutes on weekdays. I was freezing cold because the wind-chill factor was ‘minus-something-degrees C’ and there was no shelter (it had been vandalised several times by the kids, so the bus company had removed it).

At 10:55am I thought there is no way I shall get there in time now so I might as well go back home and get warm. Then a thought struck me “Today isn’t a weekday, it’s Saturday” The bus company only run a limited service today. One bus every hour, and none on Sundays, yet Saturday is the busiest day in the town when people who work all week go shopping!

But I digress. I turned to go when a car pulled up, “Going into town, mate?” a voice said. “Yes” I replied. “Hop in then, I’ll give you a lift”, which he did, right into the town centre. I knew him by sight, but we had never met before. I thanked him very much and I just managed to catch my friend as he was leaving the cafe, having given up on me. After we had discussed plans for his new webpage I went into the local supermarket to get a few items. When I came out carrying two bags of groceries and it suddenly dawned on me: how was I going to get home? Ah well, nothing for it but to phone the local taxi company.

The taxi pulled up outside the supermarket door and I was surprised to see that the lady driving it was who I used to go with to the theatre and cinema a long time ago. She took me home and said “No charge, it’s on the house”, Her treat, now wasn’t that nice?

My faith in humanity was restored.

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Posted in Getting old | 3 Comments

Coffee morning

CoffeeI had a letter from the local Electricity company last week saying that the power would be off today from 9am to 3pm. while they did some necessary maintenance.

I didn’t much like the idea of staying in today with no heating or even the ability to cook and make a cup up tea. Everything in this house relies on electricity to work. So I went along to St Mary’s Church Coffee Morning until 4pm (chucking out time!) to keep warm. Then back home to tea.

When I arrived at the church I found the vicar was making tea and coffee on his own, and there was a queue of several people waiting. I waited until he had dealt with them and I asked “Where are the ladies that usually run this?” he replied that one had phoned in sick and the other lady just hadn’t turned up. So I said “Would you like me to help? You do the serving and I’ll collect the dirty cups and do the washing up, and top up the biscuit plates?” “Oh would you? That would be a great help. Thank you my son!”

“My son?” I am at least 45 years older than him! Anyway I took my coat off and got stuck in. It was the first time I had been on the opposite side of the counter, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Normally I sit with a coffee on my own, watching and listening, but today everybody just wanted to chat. I think it was because they had never seen a man washing up and collecting the dirty cups before. Ha.

Then when I finally returned home later I discovered that the electric hadn’t been turned off, and there was another letter in the post box stating that “due to unforeseen circumstances the outage had been cancelled for today”, and that it was now on for tomorrow (Friday) instead!

“I don’t believe it!” – Victor Meldrew, ‘One Foot in the Grave’

Posted in Uncategorized | 9 Comments

RAK week

This week is ‘Random Act of Kindness’ week. The idea is that you do something to help a person or persons in need.

homelessMy opportunity to help someone came on Wednesday this week. I saw a homeless man sitting outside Costas Coffee shop wrapped in a tatty blanket with a notice saying ‘Homeless and Hungry’. I have seen this person before in various places around the town in the past, but like everybody else, I never stop. Shameful, I know.

Today was different. I went into Costas and bought a sandwich pack and a coffee. I took them out and gave them to him. He was so grateful, he immediately ate the sandwiches like he was starving (he probably was) and downed the coffee, thanking me so much. He told me that nobody had stopped to even speak to him except to throw a few coins at his feet.

The picture is not of him, it’s a library picture. I didn’t think he would like to have his picture taken and put on the Net. Well you never know, the Fuzz might be looking for him!

Posted in Uncategorized | 12 Comments

Waste of time?

I went to my local watering hole last night, namely “The Lord Nelson”, for a pint and to meet a fellow blogger. We discussed the state of the world and the Internet, and the conversation got around to our respective blogs.

“I don’t understand why I don’t get as many hits and comments now” I said, “At one time a few years back I was averaging about 15 comments and about double that in hits to the site, but now it’s dropped to just one or two hits and comments. Why do you think that is?”

“I know the problem. Haven’t you noticed that my blog has gone?” he continued, “I realised that nobody was interested any more, some times I didn’t get any hits for some of my posts, so I closed it down, it was just a waste of time! I think there are now so many other diversions on the net; like Facebook, Myspace, Chatrooms, Twitter, etc, etc., people just haven’t got time to read blogs now.”

I replied, “Well I realise that, but I try to make my blog as interesting and varied as I can; sometimes joking, sometimes serious. Now, being serious, am I doing it wrong? Give me your honest opinion”.

Then came the shocker. I didn’t know whether to be offended or not, but he was honest. He said “Well, seeing as you asked, I’m afraid that your blog is boring and you always seem to be a bit negative about things. I think you should post more pictures of cuddly puppy dogs and kittens, then you will get loads of hits from the ladies!” (Was he joking I wonder?)

It’s worth a try. What do you think of these lovable kittens then?


Dinky-23

My cat Dinky, not so playful now, well she is 7 years old. That would be the equivalent of 49 of our years. All she wants now is a plateful of tuna, ham or chicken and sleep!

Posted in cat-astrophic, Cats, Pubs | 5 Comments

Party Political Broodcast

This is funny, but so true!

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Get free goodies here!

special-offerSorry, not for you. Just for me, and about 10,000 more people.

Amongst the usual pile of junk mail was a very eye catching garden centre catalogue, with some really attractive looking colour photos of plants that seemed worthy of winning a gold medal at the Chelsea Flower Show. It was the special offer on the front cover that looked too good to be true, and was, as I found out by reading carefully through the small print.

Now this is a perfectly legal scam to get you to spend money with them. They are not actually breaking the law, just being a bit devious, as I found out by reading thoroughly.

The first thing you see on the front are two self adhesive scratch cards that reveal two numbers. You then turn to page 2 to compare your numbers with the list of numbers there. Jackpot! You have the two numbers correct, it’s your lucky day – not! On this page they show some fantastic prizes in the shape of expensive work tools; a power drill, a sander and a jig-saw. Above all these it proclaims:

45-PIECE TOOL SET
100% FREE*!

Didn’t Charles Clore (The multi-millionaire) once say “There’s no such thing as a free lunch”?

How can something be 100% free? Either its free or it’s not! It’s like saying “Get you free gift here!”. I was under the impression that all gifts are free; that’s the general idea. Take note of the asterisk after the word FREE, I did, and it took me a while to find the reference to it on another page.

*If you order from the premium range of B***** garden products now, you will receive wonderful welcome gift.

You are invited to put your two winning numbers (which everybody else also has.) into a post-paid envelope with you big order for “garden products”.

I did say there were two numbers. The second winning number is for a flat screen TV.

Does your silver tool set stamp have one of these 3 flatscreen codes? You are also in the running for a fantastic Sony flatscreen TV free when you reply within 14 days.

Just a minute, “. .you are in the running. . ? I take this to mean all the numbers are put into a hat and one is drawn out? I bet there is only one TV to win anyway.

I haven’t named the Garden Centre concerned in order to protect the guilty. If you would like me to reveal their name in order to protect the innocent from unwittingly falling for this scam, then send me a cheque for £50 which I will donate to a charity of my choice. Please make it payable to “Keith Smiths Holiday Fund”.

Well? What are you waiting for? If they can work a flanker, then so can I.

Posted in Con-Men, Garden, Only partly true!, Unbelievable | 3 Comments

The Suez War

British-army-Port SaidThis year marks the 59th anniversary of the Suez War, or Crisis as the politicians preferred to call it. To me it looked and felt like an all out-war.

I know, I was there as a young sprog of 19 in the British Army with no proper training or experience of war. I was barely out of basic training when I, and the rest of the platoon were shipped out to fight an experienced Arab army when the poo hit the fan.

The Suez Crisis, also named Tripartite Aggression, was an invasion of Egypt in late 1956 by Israel, followed by Britain and France. The aims were to regain Western control of the Suez Canal and to remove Egyptian president Nasser from power. It was only years later with the advent of the Internet I found out what really happened to involve us and the French. I wont go into it here because it is well documented on the Net. If you are interested enough then go there to get some background information.

This post is about my own experience of that time, and to be honest I was quite frightened for most of it, and with good reason at one point. If a certain Arab sniper hadn’t been such a lousy shot I wouldn’t be here now writing this. In the background of the photograph above are the blocks of flats that were in the path of the British parachutists’ advance from Gamil Airfield. It was from there that I nearly went to Hell with a hole in the head!

It was by pure chance I found that picture on the Net while I was looking for something else. As soon as I saw it I recognised the road and the flats and it sent a shiver down my spine. I had to have a double whisky to calm down, the memory of what happened there had long since faded away; then suddenly it all came flooding back. That picture must have been taken before we got there because the maintenance truck, with me in it, was just behind that column of tanks going into Port Said.
Click here to read the complete post > >

Posted in Armed Forces, History | 5 Comments

Folk night at the pub


I am a big fan of folk music, especially Irish music. I took this video several years ago at a local pub and posted it on my old blog (now gone).

Another fan of the group, who now lives in Canada, (sensible man!) emailed me yesterday asking if he could have a copy. I said I would put it on my blog and he could download it from here.

I thought other people in Bloggyland who like this sort of music would like to see and listen to it.

Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments