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Hockley Living A Year In Poetry

The poems of Iris Jean Thomson


Thoughts of January

Everyone thinks they have the best mum in the world, well sorry you are all wrong, because I do! With a mum like mine you always know that she is there and that is all you need to know. I am so proud of her at 80 years of age for so many reasons, just one is that my mum was inspired to write twelve poems, one for each month of the year, so I could place them in my monthly magazine which the local community could then enjoy. Well the year has passed and my mum has stopped writing her poems, however we can still all enjoy them in this booklet. Thank you mum for your lust for life and reaching into all of our hearts.

I always feel a sense of excitement at the start of a New Year A new beginning, a time to forget the mistakes of yesterday A time for new hopes, new challenges, a time to face ones fear Yet where would I start and what should I do, will my dreams be many or will they be few? Pick up my watercolours, start painting again, resume my piano lessons and play a refrain Perhaps a new hairdo, that should suffice, high lights all over, oh! that would be nice Shed a few pounds, walk three miles each day, or will other things always get in the way And so my thoughts went round and round, until the answer at last I found New Year was not only all about ME, so outside I went, other things to see It was one of those calm tranquil days, which often happens at the beginning of January When nothing stirs, the sky the colour of lead, Halcyon Days I once heard said The fields lay silent and sombre, I could see green young shoots above the earth I smiled, Mother Nature preparing for new birth, Oak and Ash standing shyly in their naked state As though waiting with bated breath, for the bitter north winds to seal their fate And then would follow the first fall of snow, oh where would all those small creatures go And so it was as I walked along listening to the Robin sing a new song Tiny bulbs appearing through the soil, it must have been a long hard toil Snowdrops in clusters, heads bowed in prayer, Crocuses brightly dressed in gardens everywhere The Winter Cherry adorned in bridal white, on such a grey day what a beautiful sight Reluctantly I retraced my steps for now I could see, just what the New Year meant to me Words suddenly sprung to mind, the origin I had to find I knew they had come from the Creator above, so please accept them with my love BEHOLD I AM MAKING ALL THINGS NEW.

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Love is?

Love is a ‘Many-Splendored Thing’ In the morning mist two lovers kissed and the world stood still Do you remember humming the tune, or even seeing the film? In those days romance was alive; couples tied the knot and lovingly said “I will” Can you recall the excitement of your very first date? Should one arrive on time or perhaps a little late? Life takes on a new meaning and the world becomes a nicer place A warm glow inside, a smile upon your face Love is the most powerful emotion; the Bible tells us love never fails And we all know love makes the world go round, it’s like a precious stone waiting to be found Yes love has many facets, see a mother as she tenderly touches her baby’s cheek The love of a nurse as she cares for the old and the weak The faithful dog as he sits at his master’s side A father admonishing his son, his love trying so hard to hide Remembering too, Gods love for us, the price he had to pay So let us share a ‘Special Love’ upon this Valentine’s Day.

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t thoughts My constanThee are of

Beautiful March

We always think of March as the beginning of spring When we can throw off all those winter blues Shed our thick woollies and boots and put on lighter shoes Alas, strong winds and flurries of snow Make us ask, will winter ever go? Then suddenly the days grow longer The weak winter sun grows warmer and stronger Wordsworth’s daffodils still swaying in the breeze Carpets of blue bells, violets, primroses in clusters shortly to open beneath the trees Red tulips standing tall like sentinels along the drive of a stately home Or mixed among the wall flowers in the garden of a cottage all alone Birds chattering in the hawthorn hedge, their nests to prepare The song thrush who sings her song twice over, wanting all to share Surely our steps must lighter be, when all around such beauty we see A famous poet once wrote “The world is full of a number of things, I think we should all be as happy as kings” Mother’s Day is a day we all enjoy, it makes no difference if we are a girl or boy We show our love for all they have done, their care, devotion and plenty of fun A day to feel happy, a day to feel sad, we may have lost our mother we may have lost our dad So let us remember one another as one big family For don’t you think that was the way God intended it to be

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Who is this man called Jesus? Who is this man called Jesus? I heard someone ask today These words they seemed to trouble me As I closed my eyes to pray Yes, who is this man called Jesus? Who died upon that tree? And is it true he really cares For a sinner such as me? God became man by virgin birth Destined to reign over all the earth A tiny babe, born in a manger Could he love me, a total stranger? He lived his life helping others Healing the sick, the lame to walk The blind to see, yet still I asked How can it be? They nailed him to that cruel cross And there he died for all the lost His blood he shed upon the ground That sinners like me could be found In sorrow I whispered, I need to know From your cross does forgiveness flow? Dear Jesus please, I have to see That you really, truly do love me I looked up in the bright blue sky A fluffy white cloud went scudding by A baby smiled as I touched his hand A honey bee hovered by a flower to land The answer was there for me to see This is the man called Jesus And he truly has forgiven me.

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The Perfect Day

The sun was just rising as I jumped out of bed And I smiled as I thought of the day ahead I’d planned it so long, The Perfect Day I really hadn’t the time to pray The day would begin with a long long soak, Did I really say that, it must be a joke, Then I’d go for a walk , find a quite shady nook While away the hours and read a good book This day was for ME and only ME And this was the way it was going to be I’d worked so hard it seemed only fair That the day was for ME and not to share Oh dear, the phone is ringing, who can it be? The children to mind, ‘only two hours you say’ ‘mmm’ oh well that’s not long in a Perfect Day A knock at the door, Mrs Browns had a fall Could I pop round she’s in the hall Oh and on the way, there’s shopping she’ll need And don’t forget the cat needs a feed Mr Smith feels very low Just pop in and say hello The hours of my day were dwindling fast Surely it wasn’t too much to ask Oh well my Perfect Day was not to be For GOD had other plans for me If I’d only prayed at the start of day I would have heard what he had to say The sun is setting I go to bed I close my eyes and start to pray And thank God for a Perfect Day.

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Flame in June June is one of those months we all look forward to The beginning of summer, when there is so much to see and do Also its the month of my birthday, so its extra special for me This year I’m off to a stately home with my family for afternoon tea June with its long warm days are what we enjoy the most To relax in the garden or perhaps a trip to the coast A train ride to London, to see the Trooping the Colour A glimpse of the Queen, as we stand with hundreds of others Pushing our way to the edge of the crowd Where we smile and wave and feel so proud Then of course there’s Father’s Day A time to enjoy, a time for play

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This morning I’m walking past fields, bright yellow with rape The air filled with that heady scent, you either love or hate Walking down a lane, white laced with cow parsley I remember the Junes of my childhood and how everything has changed vastly The days were always sunny and hot We would play outside with our whip and top Mothers would chat over the garden gate Making sure we would not be home too late The exquisite scents of old fashioned flowers The white rambling rose clinging to the garden bowers Broom, Irises, Sweet Peas, the Dorothy Perkins small pink rose Oh how the scents delighted my nose What beauty God has given us to see and best of all its entirely free So let us face each day with a smile and not a frown For surely June is the Jewel in the Crown

July Thoughts I always love the sense of excitement as we approach July School term over exams a thing of the past Children walk happily home, holidays have come at last Mothers busy packing cases, making sure there is nothing they have forgot After such a cold Spring, please let the weather be hot Families rushing to catch the fast train Or happily crowding in the car for a rush to the airport to catch a plane How blessed children are, if they only knew for children of yesterday holidays were few

Walking past gardens ablaze with summer flowers Refreshed from recent copious showers I reflect on my childhood as a little East End girl Standing on Wanstead Park Station with a bucket and spade in my hand The journey in a steam train, a day at Southend To paddle in the sea and play in the sand The enchantment of “Peter Pan’s Playground”, The pier we must try and walk Eating cockles from little saucers, while mums just sit contentedly with others for a talk As a teenager starting work I was shy and full of dread I look back and remember with fondness the words mother said “The world is your oyster, don’t stand behind a closed door, Step out and see what life holds for you then God will give you more”.

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Golden August How quickly the months come and go Summer weather has finally arrived So many outside jobs to do Where to start, I do not know Golden cornfields ready for harvest Golden beaches, golden limbed children building sandcastles, please may theirs be the best Golden marrigolds, meadows carpeted with golden buttercup Honey bees hovering, sweet nectar to suck I heard a cuckoo sing this morning so clear and bold “Soon his tune will change to cackoo” I once was told The wood pidgeon sings “Take two cows Taffy” My Girl Guide captain said as we sat around the camp fire Oh what joyful days they were, what more could one desire

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My greatest pleasure, when I was young was cycling with my friend through the tiny village of Abridge, over the bridge and on to Epping for lunch Then into the forest, in the cool to open our sandwiches and have a good munch On through country villages down shady twisting lanes Everywhere dappled in sunlight, the leaves stirring in the breeze making patterns on the road, as we cycled through the trees What a shame we have no more hay stacks, Flinging our cycles on the ground The remains of our lunch, would soon be found Resting our backs against the stack Breathing the sweet smell of hay there was nothing more, that we could lack Then on to Thaxted for afternoon tea, a short rest, bikes turned round, the long journey home, My friend, my cycle and me.

September of Yesterdays It is with delight that I remember Those warm lazy days of golden September When the sun was mellow, the sky misty and hazy Gardens of Cosmo and Michealmas Daisy The exquisite smell of an autumn morn When country folk rose at dawn To breathe the freshness of the air No scent on earth could compare Hedges sparkling with dew covered webs Brown speckled spiders, waiting to be fed Blackberries, Honeysuckle, Rose Hip and Sloe In a short while they all would go Poppies dancing in corn so bright Farmers harvesting from daybreak till night Then into the woods, I would wander To stand and gaze and there to ponder Red, yellow, russet brown and gold The artists stroke I did behold For in each tree I could clearly see The wonders of God’s Tapestry

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An October Walk

The sky had darkened as I left the field and entered the lane, pulling my coat warmly round me, I quickened my steps to beat the rain. Earlier a pale sun had peeped shyly from behind a cloud, warmly caressing my cheek before tantalisingly slipping back, as though playing hide and seek. It had been so quiet walking in Hockley Woods, early morning doggie walkers, had long since gone all I could hear was the robin’s sweet song. The snap of a twig where the squirrel fed, the rustle of leaves from the trees overhead, reluctant to shed their summer dress, they wanted to look their very best. For very soon they would be stark and bare, beside the green holly, it just wasn’t fair. And so I continued on my way, all of creation on display, the chaffinch pecking beneath the hornbeam, was that a woodpecker? Or was it a dream The crunch of the leaves under my feet, I needed to find where the paths would meet, a time to stand a time to stare, a time to reflect, a time to care. Was I concerned by my neighbour’s plight, or did I pass by like a ship in the night and so I stood sad and bemused, how like life and which would I choose. I followed the fragrance of the brier rose, entwined with the blackberry lying low I was sure that this was the way to go. It would twist and turn, I would stumble and fall, but at the end I would stand up tall. For the hand that would guide me, would be steadfast and strong and he would be with me my whole life long. And so tears mingled with rain, I came to the end of Gusted Hall Lane. My little dog waiting for his bone. I soon would reach my haven, my home

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November

It was dark, bleak and gloomy One of those days, most of us dread When we find it so hard to get out of bed I could hear the rain beating hard against my window And as I looked outside my spirit sank For everywhere was wet and dank Gusty winds toss autumn leaves Twisting and turning forever downward until they fell gently on the sodden carpet below and so too my thoughts took a downward leap to where they lay in a broken heap As I looked out on that grey wet day I felt the need to gently pray November surely the saddest of months. Young lives lost, that were held so dear Will we have time to shed a tear? And yet dear Lord, you give us hope I will not sit around and mope My thoughts they will not unhappy be For through the clouds the sun I see Briskly I walked with my little dog In sheer delight, I began to jog Up in the sky an early moon Surely it was awake too soon? Across the fields the farm lay still And so I continued up the hill Cottages with lights so bright To lighten up the coming night The afternoon was near its end When suddenly around the bend My little church ablaze with light I stood in awe at that beautiful sight All at once the bells were ringing And from inside the people singing With joy in my heart I headed for home Knowing now that I was not alone When life goes wrong and we strive awhile “He” will carry us that extra mile

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My Childhood Christmas

There was no man in my Christmas Just my mother, my nana, my brother and me You see when I was four my father died of an illness called T.B. Times were hard and when the money was spent, back to work my mother went But she was determined as you will see, our Christmases’ would happy be Home from work she would rush, puddings and cakes to make We would all have a stir, then into the oven to bake Delicious smells pervaded the house, we all felt so hungry even the mouse Then round the table we would go, making our Christmas cards Drawing robins, churches with steeples and plenty of snow There are chains to make, my mother said, thin strips of paper, blue, yellow and red Then into the garden, holly boughs to break, logs to stack by the side of the grate Yes this is what Christmas had to be for my mother, my nana, my brother and me Christmas Eve came at last, a trip to town on a train so fast To gaze in shop windows sparkling and bright, but soon they would be blacked out for the night No guns would bang, the sirens would cease, and all the world would be at peace Christmas morn awake at dawn, a lumpy pillowcase full of toys A walk to church with the girls and boys But of all the rest I think the best, was Christmas afternoon, We would pull our chairs around the fire, watching the flames go higher and higher Warming our hands, cheeks aglow, chestnuts roasting in the grate below Nana dozing in her chair, my mother cracking nuts for us all to share A book for my brother, a doll for me, Yes this was our Christmas it had to be For my mother, my nana, my brother and me

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Poems written by Iris Jean Thomson


A Year in Poetry  

A collection of poems written by my mother which she shared monthly in my community colour magazine that are inspiring and spiritual.

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