Time And Tide
Half a century since we bought our house,
Which was standing all forlorn;
Love's young dreamers came along,
And a happy home re-born.
Nature blessed us with two fine boys,
And our wishes all came true;
Both lovingly raised to manhood,
Then to seek out pastures new.
Darby and Joan left in residence,
Bond even stronger now;
Golden years spent together,
Three decades did God allow.
The good lady is now in a nursing home,
It seems a bell will toll;
Sans mother and her children,
The old home has lost its soul.
What was once a house of laughter,
Sadly now a place to mourn;
But new young dreamers will come along,
And a happy home re-born.
This is not a tale of sadness,
It's the world since time began;
Dear reader heed the old advice,
Gather rose-buds while you can.
Harry Hayes (2013)
Some poems can be difficult to read. Others not so difficult. Harry Hayes' work falls firmly, and proudly, into the easy-to-read category.
"I've never been a fan of the 'high falutin' stuff," says octogenarian Harry, "Probably because I couldn't write the same." Indeed, such is Harry's commitment to keeping things simple he would probably take umbrage at being called an octogenarian: 'Just say I'm 80-something - more people will understand that!' his likely reply.
It may not be 'high falutin' stuff but Harry's work is humorous, uplifting and touching in equal measure and his easy-to-read writing style means his poems are accessible to all.
Amazingly, Harry - a Warringtonian born and bred who currently resides in Grappenhall - didn't write his first poem until the age of 77.
"I'm a pretty ancient but newish author," says Harry, "My poems arise from my experience in the university of life including a childhood spent in near poverty, 30 years in the police force and 53 years of marriage."
Three of Harry's poems can be found in the Poetry section of All Things Warrington: 'The Tide Will Turn', a humorous poem that explains why being picked last for football and other life events isn't always a bad thing; 'Sadness Is Wasted Happiness', an uplifting poem about the power of positive thinking; and 'Time And Tide' (above) a touching tribute to Harry's late wife Audrey that talks about how empty the family home is without her by his side.
Although at the time of writing I have never met Harry, I recently discovered he is my first cousin, twice removed (Harry's grandparents James Hayes and Elizabeth Rowson were also my grandad's grandparents) and he has passed on many fascinating snippets of family history to me.
One of his more recent emails said "make the most of us oldies while you can". Thanks to his poetry, I think it's fair to say it isn't just me benefitting from Harry's insight, knowledge and counsel - it's the Warrington public at large.
For more Warrington poetry visit the poetry section of All Things Warrington.