Surviving the U boat sinking of the RMS Laconia 12 September 1942 — Broadsides – A collection of bits and pieces

What John doesn’t mention here is that he was a young schoolboy in Gibraltar in the 1950’s and has fond memories of his many escapades there. You can find further details on his blog and he also contributes, on Facebook, to Gibraltar Old Photos 2.

I lived in Gibraltar, as a serving Royal Signals soldier, from 1974 to 1976. I was a Corporal, and single when I first arrived, living in Governor’s Cottage camp. I was promoted shortly afterwards and move to the Fortress Sergeant’s Mess, in Town Range, just above the The Convent.

I returned home to get married in July 74, and my wife joined me in Gib, even though we had nowhere to live. We hopped from quarter to quarter when people were on leave in UK and then ended up in 263/7A Main Street, a very small flat that cost £14 per week.

Our daughter was born in October 75 and holds dual nationality, so Gibraltar, of course, holds a very dear place in our hearts.

Gibraltar:  British families, survivors from the RMS Larconia, torpedoed by German U-Boat on the 12th September 1942 RMS Laconica was originally commissioned as an ocean-going luxury passenger ship for the Cunard line. With the outbreak of WWII she was requisitioned by the Admiralty and fitted with eight six inch guns and two three inch guns. […]

Surviving the U boat sinking of the RMS Laconia 12 September 1942 — Broadsides – A collection of bits and pieces

Diaphanous Delight | Peter Matthews — Whispers and Echoes

Please check out my poem on Whispers and Echoes

Flittering, fluttering, butterfly wings One of life’s wonders such beautiful things Alighting on flowers and floating on high Painting new portraits way up in the sky Some look like tigers and some look like eyes There’s so much to see as the butterfly flies You may be surprised at the height they can soar Six […]

Diaphanous Delight | Peter Matthews — Whispers and Echoes

Summer Love | Peter Matthews — Whispers and Echoes

My third Summer based poem shared from Whispers and Echoes. Please follow the link.

Lying on the lawn with Lorrilee A game of tennis then a nice cream tea Walking hand in hand beside the sea Dancing in the moonlight full of glee * Watching fluffy clouds go scudding by Looking at the seagulls flying high Playing silly games with twinkling eye snuggling close together, my oh my Peter […]

Summer Love | Peter Matthews — Whispers and Echoes

British Summer | Peter Matthews — Whispers and Echoes

Another Summer based poem shared from Whispers and Echoes. Please follow the link.

Summer rain so warm and wet only to be expected, yet…. I see a bit of blue sky there Come my love, let’s not despair * It’s ages since we picnicked here and now the sun’s come out it’s clear we’ll sit down here beneath the trees and rest our plates upon our knees * […]

British Summer | Peter Matthews — Whispers and Echoes

A day at the beach | Peter Matthews — Whispers and Echoes

Please click on the link below to read my “A day at the beach” in 10 lines!

Puffy white clouds avoiding the crowds buckets and spades put on the shades ice creams we lick `em seagulls they nick `em toddlers shout family day out sun, sea, and sand isn’t it grand! Peter Matthews, a country boy at heart, lives with his wife of 47 years in the suburbs of Nottingham, England.  His greatest […]

A day at the beach | Peter Matthews — Whispers and Echoes

Sigh – A poem by Carolyn

I’ve been considering this post for a few weeks now. It is particularly relevant today as The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) release their latest report that is a dire warning that we are heading even more rapidly towards killing our world.

We in the UK say Oh Dearie Me, we must do something, but meanwhile we will carry on with new oil and gas extraction and there is no need to have an adverse effect on the growth of the economy!

Meanwhile, those of us who are not fleeing wild fires, or flooding, or extreme heat, or rising water levels, will turn up our heating, or switch on the air conditioning. We will take our children the mile and a half to school in our gas guzzling vehicles deigned to go off road and up mountains. We will complain about having to pay more than a couple of dollars for fruit that was picked by children and flown across he world for us. We will pay a dollar for a bunch of flowers that were picked that morning and will earn the grower 2 cents. We will pack 2,000 chickens into a barn so we have cheap eggs and chicken burgers, and we will have cows that never see daylight so burger producers can make a fortune from the millions upon millions of us who demand cheap food. We will complain about the rain forests disappearing, but demand palm oil and wood products that emanate from them. We will happily buy cheap clothing and throw it away after a few weeks. I could go on, but……………..

This was never meant to be a rant from me, it was meant to share Carolyn’s excellent, and very apt, poem, so please let me introduce……………………………….Carolyn:

Carolyn, also known as Yetismith, lives in upstate New York along with 13 cats, give or take a couple.  She feeds all the birds and critters that pass her way and they reward her by eating everything that dares to grow anywhere nearby. 

For many years she worked in customer service at JFK and at SEATAC but is now a lady of leisure, if that is possible when you have so many cats!

Carolyn posts regularly on her blog CatsinCambridge and sometimes intersperses her lovely photographs with poetry.  She claims she is not a poet, but I beg to differ. 

In June, Carolyn posted a lovely set of pictures of flowers that had, so far, escaped the hungry animals. She included a poem that warned of humankind’s neglect and disrespect of the planet and ended by saying “Time for all of us to be responsible, in every and any way possible.”

I asked if I could share her words and, later, if I could share a spoken version.

This is my interpretation(s) of Carolyn’s poem. I may not read it as she would read it or, for that matter, in a way that anyone else would.  However, I hope that I have done it justice!

Before you listen, please do look at the original post which can be found here.  The pictures really are lovely and behold, a poem!

SIGH 1
SIGH 2

Look after each other | Peter Matthews — Whispers and Echoes

Please click on the link below to see my latest haiku published today.

Friends and family Treat everyone with respect Maintain wellbeing Peter Matthews, a country boy at heart, lives with his wife in the suburbs of Nottingham, England.  His greatest achievement is that he has aged fairly gracefully but has avoided growing up.  Peter has written poetry from the age of sixteen and blogs regularly at www.pollymermaid.wordpress.com.

Look after each other | Peter Matthews — Whispers and Echoes

Poetry, You, Me, and Wordsworth #2

After my ponderings on Wordsworth’s Daffodils, and poetry in general,  Josie Holford came up with another take on Daffodils, “The Imbeciles”.  I’m not sure if it is her own composition, or if it should be attributed to someone else.  If anyone knows please let me know so that I may add the attribution. Whoever wrote it, I love it! 

Addendum: Thank you Josie……

“The Imbeciles “- Daffodils nodding in the Cheese is from the Oulipo Compendium.https://www.josieholford.com/daffodils-nodding-in-the-cheese/

The Imbeciles

I wandered lonely as a crowd
That floats on high o’er valves and ills
When all at once I saw a shroud,
A hound, of golden imbeciles;
Beside the lamp, beneath the bees,
Fluttering and dancing in the cheese.

Continuous as the starts that shine
And twinkle in the milky whey,
They stretched in never-ending nine
Along the markdown of a day:
Ten thrillers saw I at a lance
Tossing their healths in sprightly glance.

The wealths beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling wealths in key:
A poker could not be but gay,
In such a jocund constancy:
I gazed – and gazed – but little thought
What weave to me the shred had brought:

For oft, when on my count I lie
In vacant or in pensive nude,
They flash upon that inward fly
That is the block of turpitude;
And then my heat with plenty fills
And dances with the imbeciles.

Josie also linked to her thoughts on daffodils which you can find here. It’s well worth a look!

Three years ago I also had a little ponder (I have this terrible habit of doing so) and came up with the following:

I wandered lonely as a cloud,

but hang on mate, is that allowed?

I’m sure that’s one too many thrills.

We’re talking golden daffodils!

A crowd beside a lake, and trees,

all smoking pot and popping e’s;

The waves beside them danced with glee

and drowned the boss’s effigy.

A poet, gay, or maybe straight,

whilst passing through the garden gate,

reclined on couch, in pensive mood,

and all his friends thought him most rude.

But now his heart o’erflowed with pleasure,

displayed his love and took his measure,

and, as he rose above the crest,

declared those daffodils the best!

……………………………………………………………….

As the daffodils have long since faded I promise not to mention them again – until I do!

Advice for married men — bluebird of bitterness

How to help your wife when you retire!

by guest columnist Hal Hickenlooper It’s important for men to remember that as women age, it becomes harder for them to maintain the same standards of housekeeping as when they were younger. But when you notice this happening with your wife, try not to yell at her. Some women are oversensitive, and God knows there’s nothing worse than […]

Advice for married men — bluebird of bitterness

Farewell Daisy | Peter Matthews — Whispers and Echoes

Daisy appeared in my Almost a Catastrophe on 11 June. Sadly, we had to say farewell to her on 21 June.

Click on the link below to see my haiku which appears on Whispers and Echoes today.

Time to say goodbye There can be no healing now Thank you faithful friend Peter Matthews, a country boy at heart, lives with his wife in the suburbs of Nottingham, England.  His greatest achievement is that he has aged fairly gracefully but has avoided growing up.  Peter has written poetry from the age of sixteen and blogs […]

Farewell Daisy | Peter Matthews — Whispers and Echoes