A re-post in response to Sidey’s challenge



Endless, Infinite, singular shape

known throughout ages that silently creep

Thousands of circles of pillars of stone,

shrouded in mystery, function unknown,

reflecting the roundness of the full moon,

or the sun at the dawn, or at sunset, or noon.

Imaginary Earth lines, circling the globe,

visioned as worn like an all covering robe.

Latitude lines, chiefly Equator,

Tropic of Capricorn, tropic of Cancer,

Longitude lines over all earth are found,

 Marking the hours, as the earth turns around.

Geographers’ concepts, though simply ideas,

empower navigation by men of the seas.

Circles of air, stirred up in the heat,

catch up the debris and dust from the street,

whirl them around about, making them fly,

for children to chase while they laugh merrily.

Pulleys and wheels, all kinds of sizes,

and belts to take power to driven devices,

circles of steel, toothed round the rim,

can multiply force at the engineer’s whim.

And while the stone circles were being erected

Euclidic theorems were being projected.

Radius, diameter, segment and chord

were studied in ways we can only applaud,

with nothing to use but the power of the mind –

two-pi-R, pi-R-squared, and thoughts of that kind.

 Crowning achievement, the wonderful wheel

made man’s mobility suddenly real.

Thanks be to God for the power to think

and to marshall our thoughts as they all interlink.

©JAE 2011


Filed under Poetry


Another response to Sidey’s theme “Women”

This time a working woman!



She operates the check out

of the Sunday-busy Supermarket store

her mind in total neutral

as the steady stream of shoppers starts to pour.

Mechanical her movements

with dexterity and skill,

as with habit formed precision

she snake-strikes at the buttons on the till.


 She’s usually expressionless,

but sometimes, if you meet her  eyes, she’ll smile

Sometimes she looks so worried,

but who knows what are her concerns and her trials.

While half her mind is working

as an unthinking machine,

the rest is free to wander

through her family and friends, her hopes and dreams.


 While half the world is resting,

her labour, unrelenting, holds her bound.

While others can be quiet,

her own life is filled with restlessness and sound.

Perhaps she’d rather be there,

or perhaps she’d rather not-

It is difficult to see

how Sunday work could be her chosen lot.


So whose idea was it

to obliterate the quietness and the calm?

To attack the last occasion

that gave a chance to fill our souls with balm?

And those who seek the silence

are refugees indeed,

Compelled to seek fulfillment

within the very souls where springs the need.

copyright JAE


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Housewife, home maker

In response to Sidey’s weekend theme, “Women”  a repost of a previous poem.  I chose to do this because the current government here have just  declared their dislike and contempt for  women who choose to give of their whole lives to care for their families, bringing them up in security and safety. Any state benefit they might have received are now stopped.


O woman, undervalue not your hidden state

Who cook and clean and care from dawn to evening’s late

A life of childbirth’s pain, and childrens’ joy and tears

Does more to build a world that’s free of war and  fears

Than all the glamour of your more commercial peers

copyright  JAE


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Let it be hushed.

This is not my poem.  It is in a book (out of print) entitled “The Poems of David Raikes”,which was published, posthumously,  in the 1950s.  David Raikes was an RAF pilot who died in Italy, seven days before the war ended there.   I heard the news that the remains of this bomber crew have been found, and I felt that this was something I could do to remember them as their remains are to be buried in an Italian war cemetery.  (My own uncle was also a bomber pilot, and was lost over the channel,  or  the North Sea, which is why this poem speaks to me so strongly.)



by David Raikes (d.21.4.1945)

Let it be hushed; let the deep ocean close
Upon these dead. Others may laud their parts,
Raise monuments of marble in their names.
But we who flew with them and laughed with them,
We other crews who, living side by side,
In outward contacts slowly came to know
Their inmost parts, would rather leave untouched
The wound we healed, the love we buried there.

These men knew moments you have never known,
Nor ever will; we knew those moments too,
And talked of them in whispers late at night;
Such confidence was born of danger shared.
We shared their targets, too; but we came back.
Lightly we talked of it. We packed their kit,
Divided up such common useful things
As cigarettes and chocolate, rations stored
Against a rainy day that never came.

‘And they cast lots among them!’ Someone said,
‘It was a pity that he wore his watch;
It was a good one, twenty pounds he said
He paid for it in Egypt. Now, let’s see,
Who’s on tonight. Ah, Taffy – you’ve a good one!
You’d better leave it with me.’ And we laughed.

Cold were we? Cold at heart. You get that way.
Sometimes we knew what happened; how they crashed.
It was not always on the other side.
One pranged upon the runway, dipped a wing,
The navigator bought it, and the gunner.
The other two got out, a little shaken.

Bob crashed when doing an air test, just low flying
– At least they think it was, they couldn’t say.
The plane was burning fiercely when they found it;
One man thrown clear, still living, but he died
On way to hospital. The loss was ours, –
Because I shared an aeroplane with Bob.

We had to get another D for dog.
And some did not come back. We never knew
Whether they lived – at first just overdue,
Till minutes changed to hours, and still no news.
One went to bed; but roused by later crews,
Asked ‘Were they back yet?’ and being answered ‘No’,
Went back to sleep.

One’s waking eyes sought out the empty beds,
And ‘Damn’, you said, ‘another kit to pack’;
I never liked that part, you never knew
What privacies your sorting might lay bare.
I always tried to leave my kit arranged
In decent tidiness. You never knew.
But that is past. The healing river flows
And washes clean the wound with passing years.
We grieve not now. There was a time for tears,
When Death stood by us, and we dared not weep.
Let the seas close above them, and the dissolving deep.


(Eternal rest give unto them, O Lord,

And let perpetual light shine upon them,

May they rest in peace.   Amen.



Filed under Poetry

I was there

I was there



I was there!

When the man

at the top –

the steward –

shouted “all in favour

show your hands”

And all

raised their arms

looking sideways

at the others

whom they  were told

were their brothers

afraid to disagree

and be classed

as blacklegs.


 I was there!

When, to work,

one had first

to join the Union,

(a “closed shop”),

and be told

he was in the Family,

The brother

of those he did not know.

 No father, no mother,

only brothers.

Family first!

Vote with the Family

holding up our arms

in public

(whatever we thought,

however we felt)

where our brothers

could see us.


 I was there!


under training,

not in the Family

but wondering whether,

some day,

I, too,

would have to join.

No option!

No freedom

for conscience!

The decisions

to work or strike

taken by the steward –

no chance

to disagree

only do

what the Family does:

as the steward commands.


 I am here!


and, I hope, wiser.


to have been freed,

during my life,

and because of my life,

from ties

to such families.

Free to follow

my conscience,

Free to speak

my mind

Free of bullying,

Truly liberated.

 ©JAE 2013


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(Sidey’s challenge)



and wine

(from the vine)



because both incline

to make

the world

look so divine

(when taken

with eine kleine


that it seems

not just fine

not just superfine

but hyperfine.

But wine

fills my brain

with pain

yet sunshine

fills my mind

with light.


©JAE 2013


Filed under Poetry



(Sidey’s weekend theme)

“Manners makyth Man”

Once bespake the Bard.

manners make life easy,

but they can be very hard!

©JAE 2013


Filed under Poetry