Sitting with knees within easy reach                  

I see myself as a 7 year old                      

Licking them and enjoying the ‘me’ smell.                

Big toes didn’t escape the licking and sucking either.           

Amazing what a 7 year old likes. 


She likes to stand on her head with feet splayed up against a       

brick wall.                             

Doing handstands and walking down the wall until her body        .

resembles a crab.

She walks on her hands, feet  high in the air, balancing          

Precariously, wobbling but not falling down.

Circus acrobat, that was me.


She skips until she trips over the furiously fast turning of the


Her companions sing ‘On the mountain stands a lady, who she

is I do not know. All she wants is gold and silver. All she wants

is a nice young man.’

This is the cue for the rope to be turned faster with the words

‘Does she love him? Yes, No…

She loves to skip


She plays outdoors all day,

Swings on a tyre hung from a branch of an oak tree across a


Builds a bonfire, roasts potatoes which taste of burnt soot on

Bonfire night.

Tumbles down the cut hay bales in the field beyond, using them

as slides.

Rides bareback wild ponies on the heath, clinging tenaciously

To their manes.

Nicks porridge oats from home to feed them.


Plays on the building site opposite her garden.

Gets stuck in the piles of fresh concrete.

Leaves her wellingtons behind.

Wades in ponds to catch frogspawn and other creatures.

Wanders miles from home across fields.

Gets totally lost.


Out from dawn until dusk.

Back home by 8 pm at latest.

Meals never mentioned.

She is a country child, eats from the hedgerows

Wild strawberries, blackberries, crab apples.

Anything remotely resembling food, grabbed and gobbled down.


That was some childhood.

Free as a bird.

She soared into the teenage years.

Unfettered by rules and regulations.

Health and Safety non-existent in her untroubled youth.


By Tina Shaw

Highly commended in The Bucks Mills Poetry Magazine,

5th edition, 2019


Fairy piper take us by the hand,

To wander through an enchanted land

Where wisteria hangs in haunting tunes,

And marigold sings the song of newborn moons


Gypsophelia’s note, delicate as fairy wings,

Nicotiana’s song in moon light lingers,

Petunia’s chimes delight noonday breeze,

Salvia’s strings echo through timeless trees.


Rose concerto fills the scented air,

Orchid’s tones touch the heart of lady fair,

Fuchsia ballet completes the summer ball,

A glimpse of paradise has been seen by all.


By Jo Gander

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