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Death has taken some good friends from my sight,
Above all, John Jones and Dr Hilmi.
The latter hailed from Kurdistan, the site
Of his birth Sulaymaniyah, to me
A place exotic. A fine scientist,
He was part of the Kurdish government
In northern Iraq. John too is much missed,
His undying faith and his merriment.
A college friend with whom I had lost touch,
I messaged on facebook. In answer he
Deleted his account! I think weird such
Behavior, when directed at me!
True friends are surely worth their weight in gold.
New ones will come to complement the old.
I once rented a room on the top floor
Of a house on Arundel Gardens, close
To the famed Portobello Road. I saw
Spring come that year, knowing highs and some lows.
Nineteenth-century homes of the wealthy,
Painted white, or cream, or in pastel shades,
Graced nearby streets, their design praiseworthy.
Some have seen robberies or other raids.
Named after a 1763
Battle, off Panama, Portobello
Farm then gave its name to the road we see
Today, of London's streets the most mellow.
Reggae music is never far away,
Brightening even the most dreary day.
I was happy to grow up in Lincoln,
Within sight of its ancient Cathedral.
I am happy that I there saw the sun,
And then studied things theological.
My mother's artworks inspired me, although
Not 'til later did I begin painting.
The books I read at home inspired me so.
I hope I'll not in study be lacking.
Singing in church and loco-spotting two
Passions, only one of which I retain.
My friends were mainly older people, through
Whom my life did so very much gain.
I thought you the heart of the universe!
My vistas have grown, as I show in verse.
The Chinese have landed on the dark side
Of the moon, fifty years after the first
Steps of Neil Armstrong. Will this turn the tide,
And mean man's absence may now be reversed?
Aged ten, I remember "Just one small step"
And salute all those who made it happen.
I think the moon landings changed our percep-
Tions of what can be, and made them sharpen.
NASA also has a spacecraft on Mars,
And smallish probes zooming through outer space.
The distances are vast, the air is sparse.
We humans are coming to know our place!
Only a few men have seen the earth rise,
Let's not forget them when we scan the skies.
Like freight services in Lincoln of old,
Mandatory or Conditional,
As they were known, some stories must be told.
Others are quite probably optional!
Freightliners traversed the avoiding line,
Bound perhaps for Harwich or Felixstowe.
Multi-colored car trains could look so fine,
And artistic ideas did bestow.
At Saint Mark's each Saturday afternoon
Loco-hauled oil-trains sometimes rumbled through.
Robin Sisson, from us taken so soon,
Gave me good advice on what I should do.
The diesel era I experienced.
It is sure that it me much influenced.