Poems 2018

I am pleased that I have two poems included in the St Giles Hospice Charity Poem collection:


On the theme “makes life worthwhile”
Much Ado About Nothing
Fresh, crisp, laundered sheets, at the end of a tiring day.
A sudden kiss, when, there is nothing more to say.
That first early morning cup of tea,
An unbuckled belt, when it all hangs free.
Door held open as you enter the shop,
Champagne cork, when it goes pop,
Bright smile from a stranger at the side of the road,
Crossword puzzle when you crack the code.
Vacuumed house shorn of all dust,
Catching that train- but only just.
All bills paid, with money to spare
Laughing till it hurts, as if there’s no-one there,
A song that takes you back, to the moment when,
That film that you can watch again, and again.
My favourite chair when I sink right in,
Lottery numbers which at last say “win”.
Palm pressed on palm, fingers wrapped tight,
A gentle squeeze, – it will be alright.

Gary Longden


On the theme “ I want to be remembered”


For that best- selling novel
That Nobel Peace prize
For being the first human to walk on Mars
That welcome- home parade,
O what a size!

For that song which everyone knows, and sings the words to
For having a face that everyone knew
For that bridge which brought people closer together
Handling with ease inclement weather

Leaving sporting records, which will remain unbroken
Making great speeches, wise and outspoken

Yet as I stir from my reverie,
The bright daylight is what I see
I did what I could, with what I had,
Where I was, good and bad
Largely unnoticed, the world turns on
Oblivious, unknowing, that I have gone.
So, I don’t become weighed down with everyday stuff
I know that I did it – that is enough.

Gary Longden

On Moving House
Convulsed, it gasped its last memories
Exhausted, wringing out what remained
Prone, barely breathing

I wanted there to be more
But there was no more

Nearly a quarter of a century left no trace
Just a faded familiarity
Not even a distant echo of what once was

There was just me
Once five, now one

Then none.

We are mates
We see each other twice a week
Sometimes more
But when we meet
We are sure, about each other,
We are like brothers
We have a chat, about this and that
Together we pull birds
As we have our words
They flock to us, well him, actually
I think that I owe it to him, to speak absolutely factually
We strut our stuff
We walk with a swagger
Sometimes I let him toddle, until he staggers
But he likes it best, so do I, I confess
When our faces are together , so very tightly pressed
The grannies, the schoolgirls, and all the yummy mummies
They bill and coo and stroke his soft tummy
He doesn’t say much, well nothing in fact
But between us we have an unspoken pact
He understands, he knows, he doesn’t have to talk
He just wants to be held high as we carry on our walk
Moving in perfect synchronicity, for all the word to see
Him and me, in perfect formation
Enjoying together our leisurely perambulation
I look out for him and him for me
I let him go when he wants to wriggle free
But when he needs me , he grabs my leg tight
To pick him up, to let him know it will be alright
He enjoys my foolish childish games
He points, and I tell him all the names
I try to teach him all I know
He expects his pooh cleaned from down below
When he reaches for his mum, I don’t mind
He’s just on loan, and love is blind
When I let him slip and blood was splattered
He didn’t hold a grudge, it was as if it hadn’t mattered
Apart from us, he just wants to know
That I will be around
Gone but I won’t go
When he needs a bottle , or a play or feed
I will be around with what he needs
He is his own man, I know I have to share
I know I am not the only person there
But when I call around, and his arms reach to me
It’s like I am the only one the little man can see
We cuddle we squeeze we kiss we smile we hug
He gurgles he pokes we tumble on the rug
When he is older he wont remember this time
When nothing could part us
When all was simply fine
He has taught me to appreciate, when it is just him and me
The joys of just togetherness, of simplicity.

My Town
My town is like your town
C & A has gone away, John Collier’s window
Once the one to watch, now a thousand yard stare
From front and behind
There is nothing there
My town is where
Woollies pick n mix lured a generation of young fingers, fresh faces
Ratners was crap, its demise was heralded
After it had been unceremoniously Geralded
Not available now from BHS
Bed linen lamps, little brothers socks and vests
Not available at Comet, mums tumble drier
Not available from Rumblows a deep fat frier
Staples is stationary, Toys R us crushed by the folly
Of not foreseeing the supermarket trolley

The New Look in my High Street
Is a shuttered shop front
Don’t just book it Thomas Cook it
If you fancy going nowhere
Mothercare doesn’t, anymore
Soap wiped windows, empty store

Amazon knows no Borders
While betting shops throw loaded dice
Temples to empty avarice

My town is like your town
Its closing down.


Lager, lager foaming bright
From the beer taps of the night
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy awful chemistry

In what distant vat or vault
Steeped the essence of thy malt?
What unnatural process led
To the whiteness of thy head?

What the sugars? What the yeast?
And when fermentation ceased
From what market research came
The inauthentic German name?

What dread flavour, what aroma
How much will induce a coma?
How does calling lager ice
Begin to justify the price?

When the bars rolled down their shutters
And the drunks spewed in the gutters
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made Medoc make thee?

Lager, lager foaming bright
From the beer taps of the night
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy awful chemistry


You deserted us, for You Tube illusions and an easy life
Made by others
You lined the pockets of our tormentors to make them strong
And us weak
You let others do the fighting for you
While you rest, and are fed.
The women who bore you, the old men who taught you
Look on, in despair
As our girls are preyed upon, and the fields lie unplanted
Those too sick to move plead for our aggressors’ compassion
In the absence of yours
Our dignity, our beliefs are not worth your struggle
Leaving those least able, to do the most.
Our future disappears over the horizon
As you leave us condemned to live the past.
If you had built fences rather than try to scale them
If you had bravely faced the enemy – as you faced the sea
We would be together now, pride intact.
Instead you beg for yourselves there
While the old, the sick, young mothers and children
Lie abandoned here in fear.



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2 Responses to Poems 2018

  1. jaynestanton says:

    Great news, Gary! I can identify with many of the ‘little things’ in Much Ado…

  2. garylongden says:

    Thank you. I know the poems are a little pat and light- but they are designed to be uplifting vignettes.

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