People and places of Middleton
Portrait advert



Where have you gone inside your mind?
your memories mixed and tossed and thrown,
You smile but what's my name?
What's your name?
Who are the photos?
Oh one is Mam and Dad.
But why don't they come?
Have I been bad?
I cannot help, I see your pain and tell you they are busy, but they are long dead.
And you my dear Mother are like a helpless child.
Dementia is the cruelest thing, our roles reversed, you looked after me now I must look after you.


In a field in France the old man stood before the stark white cross.
He came each year to pay respects to the friend that he'd held dear. John was the brother he'd never had , they'd met on starting school.
At nineteen they had marched off to war, heads held high, proud to fight.
John never got to twenty, he died there on the Somme.
The horrors and screams of young men still echoed in the old mans ears, and his eyes still saw the awful cost as the river ran with blood.


She looked down at the wrinkled old hands,the knobbly mis-shapen fingers and sighed.
Once these hands had been slim and elegant, she'd shaped and varnished the long nails with pride.
When she'd met her true love he had kissed those slender hands.
It was these hands he had taken in the church, the slim finger he had placed the gold ring upon.
Later it was these hands that had stroked the cheeks of their new born child.
These hands that had ruffled tousled heads,dried tears, wiped fevered brows and finally led them on their way.
These hands that had cleaned and scrubbed, patched and sewn. These hands that had been wrung with worry and grasped with joy.
It was these hands that had first started to age, these hands that first told her she was not as young as she felt.
But it was these hands that stroked the cheeks of her grandchildren.
It was these hands, these old hands that soothed the wrinkled brow of the man she loved.
These hands that still held his through good times and bad. These hands held a lifetime of memories, she smiled, on the whole life had been good.


When did we become the 'moaners' who never understand?
When did we become the 'oldies' who don't figure in their plan?
When did the shrugs and grunts replace the hugs and smiles?
When did they become ashamed of what we say and what we wear?
It's not cool to need your parents but is the love no longer there?
A tidy room, a little respect is not a lot to ask,
But to the teenage child, it seems a pointless task.
Just tell yourself you're not alone, it's a roller coaster ride,
This time will pass and you will all come out on the other side.


"One moment left so get yourselves ready"!
"Fix your gun and bayonet steady"!
"Yes in a moment your time is due".
The sergeant shouts his orders through.
And what to everyone has that last moment meant?
As to their graves the young men went.

Back to top of page

Back to Hobbies page