Stafford U3A 
The University of the Third Age 

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  • We listen to and discuss writings by each member on a topic chosen previously. We are always amazed by the diversity shown in the pieces, all under the same heading but ranging through poetry, fiction and fact. The members attending all enjoy the meetings and find them both stimulating and rewarding.

The Changing Year

Tiny green shoots push up through bare earth
Nature's sleep's over, signs of new birth
Of bulbs:
The winter lying dormant, now awakening
With trepidation;
First seeking, then growing, now flourishing.

Snowdrops - tiny ballerinas - emerge, nodding in the breeze.
Carpets of daffodils, golden, dance 'mong fresh-leafed trees.
It's Spring!
Breathe in the air
Start living!
No more slush, no more ice;
Hark, hear those birds singing!

Give way
The short, drab day,
The long, cold night
To sunshine - to natural light;
To brightness, to colour, to warmer days;
To chorus of birds - in celebration, in joy, and in praise.

Days draw out now, Summer draws nigh
Heat haze, sun-shades, temperatures high.
Ocean blue, golden sands, incoming tides,
Puffy white clouds chase across wide blue skies.

And all too soon, it is Autumn - the leaves of trees turning
To vibrant, rich hues; reds, and golds - fires ablaze, burning.
Dawn now brings mists, the night, a promise of frost.
The year is almost over. It is Winter. The season's not lost.

The Railway Station

The hub of the town and near the park
Of that there is no doubt
It brings the people in, and greedily sucks them out
Where do they go? It's hard to tell
An ever moving stream each one on life's purpose bent
A microcosm of the world today
Where lines of people wait for trains
The platform fills - the train glides in
The train glides out and leaves the emptiness behind
Time does not stand still for soon the platform fills again
Just ask one traveller the purpose of the rush, his guarded smile
Feels he is already on the train and tells you nothing of his quest
And soon the darkness falls and all is still
Until the new day dawns and the pattern starts again

Autumn Leaves

A rusty crown
the autumn gold just gone
ground steeped in rustling leaves
a whirlwind sweeps them up
makes them dance
parade their fading colours
in a last ballet show
until the skies open
and rain beats through the crown
sending their last companions down
wet and limp
they mulch
with reason
not in grief
Just settling for the dreamy season.

The group celebrates Mary's 90th Birthday. Mary has been a member of the group since its inception in 2006 and is one of its most imaginative and prolific writers.
Early Memories

First Day

No hurried down cornflakes and then out to play
No, it's scratchy new tunic and stiff new blazer today

The start of a new chapter but I'm only four
"Please Mum another minute before you open the door"

"Come on, stop dawdling, hurry up,
Oh for heaven's ake sweety - put down that cup"

Then seeing my tears about to flow
Gently taking my hand and whispering, 'Come on let's go'

Rounding the corner a crocodile file
Of mothers and children but no crocodile smile

Tasting the fear as silence descends
The door slowly opens on all these new friends

A smiling face beckons please come this way
It's the start of your future - a very special day

Mum bend down and I breathe in her smell
Her kiss tastes of tears - Oh, she's scared as well!

Her longest day over Mum waits at the gate
Then the door flies open - "Hey Mum, that was great"


On a night like this my love
Let us stand, high on the hills,
Kissed one another by the swirling rush of wind;
Caressed by the fingers of night reaching
From the folded clouds of sky.
And we'll walk, run, sing through
The bustle of twig crackled, heather stabbed dusk

On a night like this my love
We'll leap for the moon and bleed
In the sun sinking hollows of shadow dimples;
Stroked by a bush of freckle spun gorse
Thrusting against madness.
As we wave, fist shake, greet
The silence of rabbit jumped, deer running night.

On a night like this my love
We shall dream on the tide shores
Of silver spun moonbeam, crystal held embryos
Hovering in ocean wept sorrows,
Breeze flung by bitterness.
Then we'll laugh, cry and share
Our life as we search for the mysteries of love


The smile that lights the face on meeting
The warmth of the voice on greeting
Someone on whom you can rely
to stand beside you through life's lows and highs
that's friendship.
To indulge your foibles without judgement
to treat a confidence as sacrosant
Steadfast in their loyalty to the bitter end
one who takes pleasure in having you for a friend
now that's friendship.

Last modified: April 05 2018 15:32:11.