Two Poems

For fathers day John received a membership for a family tree website, which brought to mind some poems from his book of poetry. Johns poetry book is held by the British Poetry Library in London and is available on Amazon

Portrait in Sepia


He belongs to the world of D.H Lawrence

One of the sons and lovers of that age

And his coat is stiff with the history

Of Sunday best and that formal life

When milk was delivered by horse and cart

And the oil lamp’s glow at night

Was  the light by which a generation

Sweated the price of tomorrow’s affluence.


Though decimated by the carnage

Of a war, they battled to rid their progeny

Of the burden of yesterday’s coal fed

Revolution and fought for the right to walk the hills

Where the curlews swoop and cry.




My grandfather’s Davy lamp sits on my desk;

The small flickering light by which he won the coal

In the years before the dust got him.


He was my first death; motionless on his marriage bed;

Must say goodbye to your granddad, they pressed me

Though when I submitted no one I knew was there


He lives beside me in this ancient lamp with

His number engraved on the base.  I pick it up

And feel the weight of it


……the years.



  1. Laurie Flynn

    Ver best of luck in finding the right publisher for your autobiography.

    And just to sy how deeply touched I was by your two poems, the memory of your grandad and his Davy lamp and the scandal of the dust.

    Best wishes, Laurie Flynn from Edinburgh

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