Charlie’s Poems 8

                       A Limerick


There was a young cyclist named Joe

Was a glutton for blackberries you know;

          When he got on the scent

          To those bushes he went –

He’d show ‘em the way they should go!


Now this here young cyclist named Joe

Inside him the berries could stow

          Till you’d fear at first

          That he’d jolly soon burst

If he didn’t cease making them flow!


But a marvellous fellow was Joe

He always knew where they would grow

          And before you got there

          The bush was picked bare

And most of another, I trow.


But disaster was coming on Joe

His breath came laboriously slow:

          He packed himself tight –

          He ‘clocked out’ that night

And we buried him near where they grow.


So take heed all ye who would go

To try the same game as poor Joe

          In the fruit there’s a grub

          If it gets in your tub

You’ll hand in your checks and join Joe!

September 1925



Charlie’s Poems 7

The Ghost of Nant-y-Ffrith


Amidst wild Cambria’s mountains

          There is a quiet vale

Where scenes of sylvan splendour

          Can tempt one to regale;

But let all those who enter

          Leave ere twilight falls

Or he may see, despite his scorn

A fearful, hovering spectral form –

          His very heart enthrals.


A sounding in the forest

          Where thickest brambles grow

Is heard a heavy breathing

          Laborious and slow;

It chills one’s heart to hear it –

          It makes one tremble so –

To see that face so white and bent

Upon the blackberry bush intent

          In summer or in snow.


You’ll see that he is picking

          Blackberries by the score

He heeds not who is watching –

          He searches near the floor;

He eats them all, this ghost does

          For grubs he cares no more;

He’s happy, now, is ghostly Joe

That blackberries he’ll ever stow

          In his ever open door.


But watcher, take a warning,

          This shuddering spectre grim

Was once a living human,

Handsome, strong and slim:

His friends showed him the insect

          That shortened so his days

But Joe never took the helping snub

All he said was ‘sensible grub’

And kept on with his craze.


To all whose way leads through the glen,     

          I’d warn them not to linger

If they do they’ll surely feel

          That chilly, ghostly finger

Inviting them to taste the fruit

          Grown in this quiet vale:

But don’t do so, or you’ll join Joe

To help him run his gruesome show

          For ever in the dale.

                                                                                September 1925


Charlie’s Poems 6

Blackberry Joe                        6 Poems written about Blackberry Joe


Beneath a bright September sun

          On a sweet September day

The morning dew was falling

          And all the world seemed gay;

A happy cycling party

          Towards the hills did steer –

We little dream’t the tragedy

          That loomed so near.


We stormed blunt Moel Famau

By rough, hard-going ways

With golden gorse and bracken

          The moorlands were ablaze;

The view there from the summit

          Did amply repay

Every dull and listless mile

          We rode that day.


After many wild adventures

          On slippery, skiddy grass

We crossed the Vale of Clwyd

          And through the wooded pass

Of Nant-y-Garth did travel

          To moorlands brown and red

(Dear Reader pause, and shed a tear

          For Joe……..He’s dead!)


Twas in the Pass of Nant-y-Ffrith,

          That wooded deep cut dale

That bites into the moorlands

          ‘Mid scenes that never stale

There in great profusion

          Grew the ghastly things

That to all thoughtless gluttons

          A sudden demise brings.


I falter as I tell you –

          My eyes start growing dim

I stand transfixed in terror

          Of the things that poisoned him

Poor Joe! This was his heaven –

He could not stand and wait

But rushed towards the bushes

          That held the tempting bait.


We tried our best to stay him –

          We pleaded hard to Joe

But he was fascinated –

          He would not let them go:

The big black shining berries

          That held the fatal grub

Went down the way they always do

          To fill his copious tub.


At length our Joe desisted,

          His face was deathly pale,

He fell into a stupor

In that peaceful vale

His great big baby eyes,

          Were bursting from his head…

He shuddered then lay strangely quiet,

          Poor Joe……He’s dead!


One day in sweet September,

          The sun was in the west,

With tear dimmed eyes we slowly laid

Our Joe to rest

And then carved his epitaph

That other ones might know

And take a timely warning

          From Blackberry Joe 


Alleged Epitaph on Supposed grave of ‘Blackberry Joe’


Reader pause and shed ye teare

Upon ye dust that crumbles here

And as thou readeth think of me

And shun ye blasted blackberry tree



Charlie’s Poems 5

The Vale of Ffestiniog


There’s a town above a river

There’s a vale where pine tree tops quiver

When the winter breezes shiver

                              In the Vale of Maentwrog.


See the creamy waters curling

Down the ravine, swiftly swirling

O’er the dripping rocks go hurling

                              To the Vale of Maentwrog.


Mountains to the sky ascending,

With the sky in the distance blending,

Steep brown roads from moors descending

                              Winding to Ffestiniog


Distant sea in sunset glamour;

Slowly dies the quarries clamour

Ringing pick and noisy hammer

                              Blaenau Ffestiniog


Mountain mists come slowly veiling;

In silken folds the day is failing

Twilight hillsides gently pale-ing

                              O’er the Vale of Maentwrog


Moonbeams slant across the river

Where the mountains stand for ever

In the Vale where pine tree tops quiver

When the winter breezes shiver

                              In the Vale of Maentwrog.

January 1926