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Sunday, 30 September 2012

"Old Charlie"

My old sarong's faded
But my Viet Cong pyjamas
Are still going strong

Old Charlie ~ he always was
Damn near indestructible 

Copyright © Res JFB 30th September 2012

"Gandhara Buddha"

 Gandhara Buddha
On a lucky red necklace
His hand on my heart

Gandhara Buddha
His hand resting on my chest
His smile in my heart

Gandhara Buddha
Hanging around my neck
His wisdom in my heart


Copyright © Res JFB 30th September 2012
Thanks to Dr Gabi Greve San
For the inspiration

Saturday, 29 September 2012

"Bugis Street"

Old Bugis Street was quite a sight
With acetylene lamps burning bright
Tables and chairs from end to end
Where you could meet and greet a friend

And order food from any stall
Those cooks all at your beck and call
Sharks Fin Soup, Thousand Year Eggs
And strange things done to chicken legs

Nasi Goreng, satay, saffron rice
Octopus and Tiger Prawns so nice
Tiger beer and Anchor too
San Miguel, now there's a brew

So when all the bars of Singapore
Switched off their lights and locked the door
You could still eat and drink all night
And Bugis Street set my heart alight

There were Lady-boys and Chinese Whores
And sailors in from foreign shores
Bush pilots resting from their flights
And soldiers resting from their fights

Rubber tappers from Malaya way
Tin miners down in town to stay
And spotless children playing tic-tac-toe
And winning - watch your money go

There'd be smugglers resting from the sea
And traders in from far Araby
Ginseng dealers trading fair
You'd find all sorts of commerce there

Gun runners just in from the isles
Soldiers from the rank and files
Young ladies from the Embassies
Doing just about what they please

Pirates, pimps and taxi drivers
Royal Marines and pearl divers
All the flotsam of a great sea port
Gathered there to take their sport

Family and friends would come and meet
Right there in what was Bugis Street
Bulldozed now - and it don't seem right
For Bugis Street was my delight

Words Copyright © Res JFB 29th September 2012
Photographs borrowed from the web. If they offend any copyright
contact me and I shall remove them

Friday, 28 September 2012

"Singapore Annie"

“Singapore Annie”

Singapore Annie
Was eighty if a day
And a hard life
Had written it's story
Upon her raddled face

She'd graciously sit
And accept a drink
From guys on Bugis Street
Among the beautiful

And the smart
Spotless kids
Who'd clean one's shoes
Or play tic-tac-toe
For money
And always 
Eventually win!

Annie earned her way
By hailing Mercedes taxis.
She wanted her special friends
To ride home in style.
And the drivers and her friends
Paid her a commission

When she knew you well
She'd coyly slide the hem
Of her cheongsam
Up her aged leg
And show a tattoo
A Highland Soldier
Painted upon her thigh.

Then from her handbag
She'd carefully take
A letter, much mended
With sticky stamp borders
It was dated long before
World War Two.

Then she'd ask one
To read the letter to her.
She'd sit with the glitter
Of tears
In her ancient eyes
As one read the words
Of a Soldier
Long dead.

Who had
Been enamoured 
Of her beauty
And obviously
Loved her dearly

Who says that
An Old Whore
Has no heart?

Copyright © Res JFB 28th September 2012

Thursday, 27 September 2012

"Young Eyes"

Goddess grant nothing
Will sully that look of trust
In her sweet young eyes

Copyright © Res JFB 27th September 2012
Photo:- Sikh Tailor's Daughter. Brunei Town, early -- mid '60's.

"Cool Breeze"

Cool breeze
Brings autumn to my room
The Goddess smiles

Copyright © Res JFB 27th September 2012

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

"My Honoured House Guests"

People run through rain
The dogs and I warm and dry
My honoured house guests

Copyright © Res JFB 26th September 2012

These are Cody (top) and Jake (bottom) belonging to my son and daughter-in-law. 
They have come to stay for their holidays.

My poor son and bride
They only get to go to Egypt
I get the doggies

"Cool Breath of My Skin"


Cool breath on my skin
Autumn steals into my room
The curtains tremble

Copyright © Res JFB 26th September 2012

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

"Who Am I?"

I have noticed
Over the years
Whatever you wake up with
Whatever state of health
Or mind
Whatever advantages
You may have
Whatever shortcomings
These are the tools
Unequal though they be
With which you
Must face the day.

Whatever day you wake up to
Fine or foul
Hot or cold
Peace or war
Pain or gain
Or tribulation
Captivity or
This is YOUR day

It's how you handle it
That determines
Who you are
Not whether you
Win or lose
But if you tried
If you did the
Decent thing
If you helped
Instead of hindered
If  you praised
Rather than cursed
If you loved
Rather than hated
Did your best
And not your worst!

If you have seen
Every member
Of your species
As Sister or Brother
And Race as just
The icing on the cake
Little variations
That make Brother
And Sister
To each other
Not different

Who am I?
I'm just one of the crowd
Who am I?
I'm just one of US!

Res giving a talk on Trees to some School Kids
Copyright © Res JFB 16th March 2008

"The Pale Hands of the Goddess"

The lily opens
The pale Hands of the Goddess
Holding a Golden Heart

Copyright © Res JFB 25th September 2012

Monday, 24 September 2012

"Lao Tzu"

Confucius he say
"Given a few more years
Of life to finish my study
Of the Book of Changes
And I may be free from great errors!"

Just goes to show
What a Big-head
Confucious was!

Lao Tzu smiled
And whispered
"The beginning of all things
Lies still in the beyond,
In the form of ideas
Yet to become real"

We both smiled
And walked on
Arm in arm.
Playing Ping-pong
With ideas of Love

Xiao Gao Jiao, Little Longhorn,
Munched contentedly
On fresh grass and water chestnuts
I'd gathered for him
Kind brown eyes liquid
With loving wisdom
Too slow and deep
For me to understand.

"When will you get to the West
Master?" I asked.
"When can I expect to see you
Riding down Causwayhead in Penzance,
On your water buffalo?"

The Old Man smiled
Put a finger to his lips,
"Ah you Westerners," he said fondly,
"Better to live in wonder
Than just wondering!"

With a twinkle in his eye,
He squeezed my arm and said,
"Little Brother, if you thought less
And felt more, you'd know
I'm already there with you!"

The passage in italics made by Confucious is from his Analects
The passage in italics made by Lao Tzu is from the Book Of Changes. The I Ching

Copyright © Res JFB 29th February 2008


Elephant all dressed up
For a festival... Dreaming
Of the next sugar cane

Words Copyright © Res JFB 24th September 2012

Photo Copyright © Paul Nelson Esq 24th September 2012

Kathmandu Nepal


When you can HEAR
Your feet SWELLING
Over the hum of the computer

You know you've been 
Writing too many

Time to put
One's feet

Don't laugh
I'm not a

We Old 
South China Seas

Are entitled to
Wear a sarong
When the feeling takes us

These were my feet
When I was 
A younger man

Before oedema
And medications
Raised their ugly heads!

Copyright © Res JFB 24th September 2012

And these are the feet
Of an older man.
Still wearing the sarong though!

"Médecins Sans Frontières"

Taking care to where
It is needed most... Angels
Médecins Sans Frontières

Words Copyright © Res JFB 24th September 2012
Logo and Photograph Copyright © Medecins Sans Frontieres  September 2012

"Kuan Yin and Lao Tzu"

Give me wise men's words
And the Goddess of Mercy
What more could I need

Pulled by Kuan Yin's gentle hand
The voice of Lao Tzu calling

Words and top photo Copyright © Res JFB 24th September 2012


There are times when dogs
Are ready for anything
And times when they're NOT

Copyright © Res JFB 24th September 2012

Sunday, 23 September 2012

"Water Aid"

I have clean water
I give that others may drink
Free from fear

Words Copyright © Res JFB 23rd September 2012
Photo Copyright © WaterAid/Layton Thompson

"My Old Lathe"

Up in the attic
My old lathe now sits dreaming

Rocking Horse droppings
Collect on the attic floor
Woodworm's detritus

Copyright © Res JFB 23rd September 2012


Staining my front door
After 10 years non-smoking
Brown stained fingers again

Copyright © Res JFB 23rd September 2012

Saturday, 22 September 2012

"Star Crossed Lovers"

Star crossed lovers
A broken willow plate
Even the bamboos weep

Words and bottom picture Copyright © Res JFB 23rd September 2012

"Listening to Leonard" Tanka

Listening to Leonard
Five discs running back to back
Happy Birthday ~ Friend

I'm richer for knowing you
I've shared you joys and sorrows

You bought honey
And tears and shared them with us
And we have loved you

And certainly always will
Poet Laureate to us all


Copyright © Res JFB 22nd September 2012

"Dining With The God Of War"

Kuan Yü and I
Two old soldiers share a meal
Peace rains down on us

Copyright © Res JFB 22nd September 2012

"Bovine Love"

She rubs against me
Like an affectionate cat
Half a ton of love

Copyright © Res JFB 22nd September 2012

"Pluto Bear and Drackle"

Old dog dreams of youth
Resting there in the sunshine
Old goose stands his watch

Copyright © Res JFB 22nd September 2012


Do dogs know it's dogwood?
Or are they alakefic
Will any old stick do?

Copyright © Res JFB 22nd September 2012

Photo. Lobo, best boy's dog. Mother of Bonzo.

"Eastern Promise"

Hint of Sandalwood
My mind flies back to the East
Your soft sweet kisses

Copyright © Res JFB 22nd September 2012

Friday, 21 September 2012

"Ray and Ollie"

Ray and Ollie
Flying mane and feathers
And a two wheeled cart

Lower illustration Copyright © Caroline Binch
From the children's book "Since Dad Left"
Published by Frances Lincoln

Words and top photo Copyright © Res JFB 21st September 2012

"Weather Report"

There be squalls
Here in Penzance
Chasing each other
Across roof~tops
Of houses and cars

Dashing themselves
Into vapour
On all surfaces.
Death-sliding down
Roofs ~ over edges
Launders and gutters
Down~pipes overflowing

Making raging rivers
In miniature
Down the steep streets
Leading to the sea.
Causing little dams
Of rubbish to form
Behind the wheels
Of parked cars

Last nights take away
Making a dash
For freedom
To evade
The hungry gulls

School girls squeal
As each cold gust
Hits them
Too fashion conscious
To wear a coat
Or carry a 'brolly

Visibility closes down
As each squall hits
Opens again as sight
Follows the squall
Into the distance

And between each squall
Sunny spells shining
On the washed clean

The street cleaners
Will be happy
All the rubbish
Is at the bottom
Of the hill!

Copyright © Res JFB 18th January 2008