A South London Heaven

Across the football pitch
on this side of the rails
is wild fennel and long grass:
a jungle for snails.
There’s a wild damson tree,
hawthorn and crab apples,
where we lie, you and me,
below leafy dapples.
In summer there’s sunshine,
in winter there’s snow;
I love spring and autumn,
when trees bloom and glow.

Kim m. Russell, 2017

Images found on Pinterest and Flickr

My response to Imaginary Garden with Real Toads Celebrating Children’s Poetry – Dreaming with Stacie

Stacie wishes us all a Happy National Poetry Month and says that she would like to shine a light on children’s poetry because, along with music, it is what first sparked a fire in her to read, write and eventually pursue a lifelong career in the arts.

Stacie says that she always thought of poetry as a rainbow of not just colours but feelings, places and people. Today, as she reads poems, she still feels and experiences them, hears and imagines them in her mind, tastes their words on her tongue and feels their rhythms in her chest. As a mother, she loves sharing classic poems with her children, as well as poems from contemporary poets.

Which is why she is challenging us to write – or speak – or act! – or sing! – a poem that harkens back to our childhood imaginations. It may be of any theme or form we choose, but it must be as creative as possible.

I chose to write a kind of skipping rhyme about a place near the council maisonettes where we used to live when I was a child.

38 thoughts on “A South London Heaven

  1. This is such a beautiful nature inspired poem, Kim – and it brings images of a particularly English childhood that seems so beautiful. (Yes, I’m that American dreaming of the English countryside type of heaven!) I’ve lately been watching a BBC program that just became available here – Escape to the Country – and your descriptions of the wild hawthorn & fennel grass are spot on! Love “leafy dapple” too. Also love your ending, as the idea of trees glowing is such a magical one. Thanks for participating in my prompt! Happy April -Stacie

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Stacie! I also enjoy ‘Escape to the Country’ although the properties are all out of our price range, not that I want to move as I love where we live. Thanks for the prompt!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. When I was little, I thought snails were made into the old-fashioned sweets my grandparents enjoyed, old English humbugs, and I refused to try one!


    1. It was a big field to us but a small playing field to the cricketers, rugby teams and footballers who played on it. It was at the back of three blocks of council-owned maisonettes and was flanked by two very insalubrious alleyways (where we chased a flasher and were accosted by a man on a bike) and a railway line with a footbridge. We were always warned not to go near the railway line but that was where we found heaven!


  2. I also liked South London, it’s a bit more peaceful and slow. Your poem sets the stage for that. Sort of like the South U.S. We stayed south, in the Vauxhall area, south still of the Borough Market in London. We also stayed in the St. John’s Wood area, old Beatle stomping ground, and liked that. Quite often we walked past Paul McCartney’s London home on the way to the tube. In the south, I like Greenwich and the Vauxhall City Animal Farm. Our stays were extended ones as our daughter and family lived there for five years, 2000 to 2015, working for BP there. She took SIL and two of our grandkids.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My great grandfather owned a pub on Borough High Street before the war.It’s not there any more – I think it was bombed. My grandparents helped out behind the bar and when my mother was a baby, they left her upstairs with a dog and if she cried the dog came down to fetch someone from the bar!


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