We have been featuring creative writing contributions on our website in recent months.  Our poetry lead, Barbara Meredith, has worked with local poets to bring together a collection of reflective poetry produced during the last few months of lockdown.  The poems also reflect on responses to the global pandemic as we adjust to a new world of socially distant behaviours and uncharted futures.

In Junes we featured contributions are two poems, “Time” by Trevor Hardy, one of the founding members of Shoreham Wordfest, and “The Sound Swells” by Mary Murphy.

The sound swells

The sound swells as the church bells of St Mary’s ring,

From up a steep and spiral stair, the eight bells rung by many hands

The ringers of the bell ring band use hand stroke to coax the peals to bring the notes to all the folk

Across the air and watery waves, my soul is settled by the singing, my ears tune into bird song mingling with the chimes, that ring in everybody’s ears throughout nine hundred and seventeen years of time

The water laps and pulses in the river, the seagulls keen, the sparrows cheep, the blackbirds peep, the curlews call, the starlings dance and swoop and fall

The leaves rustle on trees whose branches bow and sway, from winds blown and seaside breeze,

Pushing shingle on the beach, shushing on the eternal incoming and outgoing tides where the kite surfer rides

The grass blades whisper, the flower petals rustle as they turn toward the rising sun, then fold again when day is done

All day long while I’m awake then all night long as I lay sleeping, this melody, this rich and blessed aural tapestry weaves its way in and out again

Bringing with it soft refrain, a certainty, a comfort found in that deep sound of bells that ring upon the hour, their lilting pealing from the tower

Mary Murphy


Seconds to minutes

And hours into days;

The gleam of the Moon

And the Sun's golden rays;

Through weeks, months and years

The clocks tick and chime

As they show, the World over,

The passing of Time!

Dandelions; sun dials;

The clock in the hall;

A wrist-watch; Big Ben;

Clocks great and clocks small.

They all show how Time

Is unwilling to stay -

And how quickly Tomorrow

Turns into Today!

Trevor Harvey

(copyright Trevor Harvey. First published in POEMS ABOUT SEASONS, chosen by Brian Moses, Wayland 2015)


We’re all watching Captain Tom

We’re all backing Captain Tom 

Take it easy and you’ll get there 

100 laps is just a start 

Captain Tom forever in our hearts 

Take it easy not so far to go 

We’re with you every step Captain Tom

You’re really made the news 

And now we want to know how much to give 

And thanks to you many more will live 

Please keep on walking 

Walking every day 

Our grateful thanks we send 

You got there in the end 

Tony Roberts

Margaret Roberts “This is a tribute to Captain Tom - I have adapted David Bowie's Space Oddity ( Ground control to Major Tom etc) Ideally recorded by a local musician for ITunes and sold for local hospitals.”

Tales for Troubled Times (1) - Flattery

Flattery gets you nowhere, they say

But I would put it another way

If you're willing to pander to princes and kings

You can wheedle your way in

Here's how to begin.


Follow the plot of a fairy-tale story

Many tell truths that are older than History,

And hold human truths about human behaviour,

Even when animals act as the saviour.


We'll take "Puss in Boots"- Remember that one?

The dead miller's will to his waiting three sons.

Who got the cat? I think you'll remember…

Yes, the youngest of course and he was offended.

What use is a cat? Not much from the loot!

He lifted his foot to show cat the boot.


But the cat sleekly purred,

Just give me a while -

I'll see you ‘n me are upwardly mobile.

Now get me some boots; black leather is best

And a matching tote bag, then I’ll do the rest.

A man of your wisdom and looks, Cat averred

Will surely rise high. I give you my word.

The rest of the story you know...it came true.

The "Marquis of Carabas" believed in Cat's flattery

And rose to the role I described to you latterly...

He got to the TOP; in the end became Prince

And the title itself was enough to convince

The poor in the fields; the rich man at his door

That the lad should be King; how Cat he did purr.

Cat was made Vizir and Holder of Purse;

Strategy Planner, behind scenes, of course!

A true puppet master, you've seen them before,

Quite often, look quickly: they use the back door.


King published a handbook on "Upward Mobility"

The chattering classes knew who wrote it really…

At dinner parties in Islington North,

They bemoaned lost freedoms while necking old port;

"The ballot is secret," "Just as well" several thought.


But before we nod sagely, consider this, too.

They got to the Top,

Did I? or did you?

Morag Charlwood, April 2020 

Tales for Troubled Times (2) - Humorous Dispositions

Said the Optimist to the Pessimist

I perceive in you some gloom

Said the Pessimist to the Optimist

We're on our way to Doom.

Depends on how you see these things,

The Optimist then quoth.

Well! I see

You have the full glass

And I have less than half.

Depends on disposition, that;

Now yours is melancholic

Whilst I'm disposed to sanguine thoughts

And see life as a frolic.

Live for the day,

That's what I say...NO!

Think unto tomorrow

And what we've wreaked, us Humankind,

To bring our planet’s sorrow.

Come. Tempus Fugit, Life's too short,

Let's quaff another pint, Old Sport.

The moral of this tale is


Who's wrong? Who's right?

Please let me know.

Morag Charlwood April 2020