Pam Jeanetta Bird-Gaines

Parallel Time; Thoughts on Harold Hitchcock's Painting, 'Thundersley, 1929'; Stickleback Brook;

1900s Tarpots Cross Roads







Just for a while the traffic stops,
Tall Elms, so graceful, fill the space
where no trees are; hedges fringe the way –
Roads soften, cart tracks take their place.

As thoughts slip through a photograph
Crossroads early on summer’s day
Two men, unwary, in their world
Stop, then continue on their way.

They have the time to stand and stare,
Seeming to return our gaze
Through lens of time – to here and now
What would they make of us, these days?

Nose to bumper Sadlers Farm
(‘tis a short cart ride down country lane)
Foul-mouthed rant in traffic queue
So different then; so quiet, so sane.

Same cross roads, wide and jammed with cars,
Fumes hang in heat-haze in the air
We hurry, hurry, and for what?
We make no time to stand and stare.

Faster, faster, our lives become
Rushing roads; slaves to ‘device’
Life is short. The seasons turn
Progress? Perhaps, but at what price?

Take the time to pause, and look,
See misty hills, smell summer rain
Before we, too, are photographs –
We shall not pass this way again.

Pam Jeanetta Bird-Gaines
4th August 2021


From a back garden near Little Tarpots, 1929
Harold Hitchcock



Herald the gentle dawn over the lowering hills –
The Sun breaks through.
In mossy chiaroscuro woods
All will renew.

Life’s rhythm moves from darkness to dazzling light
Sun-lit paths beckon – which to choose?
Birds fly in peace, all wakens
Green woods comfort and inspire: leaves shoot.

The harmony of nature moves in rhythms of her own.
Here, we fret and struggle as we seek a truth to leaven
Above will always be Everlasting Arms
All is apprenticeship under heaven.



Cottage and Brook near St. Mary’s Church


Small hands – jam jars – falling in
Just past the bridge where cleft is deep
Swinging on rope from towering trees
Jumping the shallows, climbing the steep

Sparkling water over stones
Carefree child : places to go
Makes the secret brook her own
Weaves her tales of long ago

On rising land the old Church stands
In churchyard; clock tolling the hours
Children play in morning sun
Sad adults tend the graves with flowers

Idling at the cottage gate
Miss Richardson dreams all alone
Now years have passed, and time is late
Where did my tomorrows go?

High, the raised pathway to the creek
Dry earth, well trod, above the marsh
Where once the barges turned, made fast
Smell of saltings on summer breeze.

Rough path where dark-clad boatmen live
Clutter of houseboats; another world
Supplies from Aggie’s musty store
Deep dark mystery to a child.

From wooden jetty, swim in creek
Carters and Bettanys watch the child
Teach me where  strong currents pull
Make sure I’m safe, ‘don’t go too deep!’

Small hands – jam jars – falling in
A golden childhood of yesteryear
I walk through mist, and see a sail
Not gone while remembered – and held dear.

15th March 2022


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