Tag Archives: youth

The summer of ’76


the sun licked their steamy skin
as they primped in skimpy bikinis
sipping cider, slurping icecream
which dripped, sliding down their thighs
while I
said goodbye to my love

they disguised their innocence
beneath promiscuous hippydom
prodding intimate hot-spots
slyly faking orgasm
while I
said goodbye to my love

young skin defined Britain
bubble-gum tunes and lyrics
floated through open windows
that still evening
when I
deserted my love

all  of us were young
every forever would end
next month or maybe next year
to be replaced or renewed
but I
could never replace my love


©Jane Paterson Basil



Seen through your eyes you appear flawed; pimples
swell to fill the face
and the nose distorts to an odd shape,
unlike those pert sculptures deftly displayed by your friends.

Yesterday, the top looked just like
the pricey one you circled in a magazine.
Now all you see is a cheap copy,
but a little better than everything else you possess
so you throw a coat over it,
hoping last week’s indelible makeup stain doesn’t show;
fearing that boys may notice your flabby roll,

and out you go,
wishing you were anybody but yourself,
or at least that you were beautiful.

You don’t see anything but what the mirror shows you,
as you walk down the road
practicing and failing at invisibility,
you miss the group of boys whose eyes
silently admire your countenance.
You don’t even see the one you dream of
as he steps out in your direction
then falters, convinced that you will turn away in disdain.

When Mrs Jones says you look pretty
you believe she speaks out of pity.

The old lady at number eight lives alone.
Since her sister died she keeps her mind busy
watching the street from her window.

She sees the boys kicking the pavement
flicking tissue balls to relieve their boredom,
talking small,
she senses the quiet breeze,
feels it whip out a concentrated whirlwind
exciting young masculinity,
and turns, catching the cause,
taking in your hair, your faraway expression,
your convincing indifference,
as you look her way.

You mistake an old lady’s wistful glance
for one of dislike;
while she remembers tea dances
wrecked by a stammer, a stumbling gait,
ugly plum coloured blushes that curtailed romance
and wishes she
had recognised and capitalised on her youth
as you seem to,

but after all, she thinks,
you are beautiful.

Written for The Daily Post Prompt #Youth

©Jane Paterson Basil


Oh You.

(So named because the only vowels in this poem are O and U)

Embed from Getty Images

how you bloom

your youth
not lost

your good
looks not flown

no hurts
worry you now

no low words
groom you for doom

no low thoughts
pull you down

no drugs
now confound

how you bloom

your humour
so grown

good boldly
surrounds you

your soul
glows gold


my son

my wondrous son

© Jane Paterson Basil

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Twenty-Five.”

Maybe this is greedy – I have already used the Daily post’s writing prompt once today, but I suddenly felt inspired to write a post leaving out two vowels. So This post should really be called “Twenty-Four”.


you hid your growth for so long
shimmying on childhood’s holy ground
no proof of lost boyhood showing
now with cloth of smoke you shroud your youth

truth folds within you, hiding in your lost soul
your surly thoughts poison your mind
now, forging unborn horror, you go
down low, down into thick, sticky mud-slick dirt

if I could find within your blind-fold mind
your pot of gold, willingly I would burnish it
I would throw your surly untruths, told to you by fools
into oblivion to rot; to blot out your hurt.

© Jane Paterson Basil