Hi Everyone

The latest competitions in the Harrow and Barnet Borough Times have now been judged and what a joyful task it was.  The two winners are Michael Gerstein from Barnet and Kusum Hars from Harrow. 

Here’s your opportunity to not only see their poems but also a few of the entries.  I hope you enjoy them and perhaps enter our next competition.

That is to write about A Cardboard Box.  I need entries by the 31st August of no more than twenty lines - you can email them to me at jewishpoetrysociety@yahoo.com.


In another land at another time
I see from the window of my mind
the first few drops of rain falling from the sky
the first shower of the season
after long time being dry

The smell of fresh earth as
the parched ground welcomes the rain
with open arms
as a mother welcomes her long lost child

The birds chirp, the peacocks dance,
the young and old lift up their faces to
receive the first kiss of rain

Children soak and dance in the rain
at the same time enjoying buckets of ripened mangoes.
Oh yes! The smell of fresh earth in another land at another time
brings back memories when I look through the window of my mind

NOSTALGIC  MEMORIES by Michael Gerstein

Along a misty corridor

Through a vast gilded hall

Live memories on the edge of recall

Remember: on the radio, Glenn Miller, ITMA, Vera Lynn

On the sideboard, decanters of brandy, scotch and gin

Smoke filled rooms from cigars

The soothing smell of leather seated cars

The weekend visits to our families

The weddings, school friend’s birthday parties

Hot summers in the school playing fields

Help with lunch; podding peas and potato peels

The bric-a-brac in a high Victorian living room

Sunlight streaming  through to disperse the gloom

The fogs, the snows were hard, although

Through misty time they have their own mystique

The garden, with bridge and fish filled lake

The crowded house, the nursery... it was great

The sinister noise of sirens that began World War Two

Sounds strange, but I have nostalgia for that too

REMINISCENCES by Patricia J Tausz

Joining in the sing-along makes me feel old

I'm remembering the times of yesterday

When people went out panning for gold

And the skiffle groups did play

The times of my youth have passed by

Now amongst the older generation together with my mother I sit

Thinking about those times makes me want to cry

The memories come back bit by bit

I think of the times when things were cheap

But fresh meat was always in short supply

But the memories of yesterday I reap

Buckets of tears I just cry and cry

I look back at my middle years

There's so much I've left behind

But now I feel the flowing of happy tears

Being old is only a state of mind

Yes being old is only a state of mind

Take time to look back at the good and also the bad

And then pleasure I'll surely find

I'll become happy instead of sad

NOSTALGIA by Barbara Spiers

The wedding is over and everyone's gone

The bride and the groom, the fun and the song.

The flowers have wilted, the tables are bare

Bottles and glasses lie everywhere.

Where's my little boy with his ball and his bat?

The shy little girl with the fancy-dress hat?

Old Father Time has whisked them away

He teaches us all to live for the day.

Nostalgia will always mock at our joy

The beautiful girl and the handsome boy.

On with the future!  The past cast aside

Seen through the present where we must abide.

So refill your glasses - may the future be long

Pick some more flowers and sing a new song.


After sixty years married, my hubby Benn passed away, and I'm in bits.
My brain is numb.  I'm trying to imagine where all the pieces fit  

Yes, I have memories.  Tattered love letters, revered by  us.
Eating chips from newspapers .  Holding hands. The  Seventy Three bus.
East End girl  meets Luton lad and  many milk trains later,  We wed.
Honeymoon  in Bournemouth. Mapping  out our life ahead

But not the dying bit.  Six months since the funeral.. My brain is still asleep.

I'm in  a Singing For Pleasure Group. Only then I allow myself to weep.
Slowly I'm  pushing back the barriers, letting flashbacks filter through
Caring people hug and kiss me  and whisper,  " How are you?"   
Now, often to boost morale, when sadness creeps up on  me
I remember pals meeting weekly  with determined constancy.
We played  cards,  Hilarious. Picture the scene .  Who sits where

The girls are  picky. . Bit draughty here. Too hot there.  
Deal,  already!.  What's the hold up?  Get your pennies  out,
A figure  hitches up his trousers.  Cardsharp Henry's about

Benn takes scores. Likes a bet or three. So  he knows the gen
Making the most of sudden  promotion, flourishes his  pen.
Everyone happy?  Girls, comfy?  Who deals?   Remember,  first Jack
Serious stuff going on here.   Stern looks. No gossiping. Get the sack  
"It's up to you Benjy.  Why the hold-up.?    Macht Schnell

Benn from The Odd Couple mouths. "Henry, go to hell"

Cynthia, Betty and me, giggle and warble a Broadway  ditty
The boys shrug  shoulders   Who are they kidding?  They  feel pretty.
Fellas start  moaning .  "What a din.  Girls, shut up and deal"
Power drunk over a game of cards. Call that man appeal?
Henry  looks smarmy.  Action stations.   His way is clear
Will we  let him win ?   Not this evening.  No bloody fear.!
Henry looks excited.  Don't trust him. Panic  spreads
"Gotcha....  Treasure..., Kalookie."    In denial ,we shake our heads
Grumpy  Benn, who likes a bet or three, allows Henry to take a bow
Someone's got to  be the best"  He crows. We'll  let  it go, for now
"Another game my friends?" I could play, not dance all night"

"Henry, you're taking the mick " we groan, with a hint of girlie spite.
Does he care?  Not a lot.   Let's take a well earned  break 
Spats forgotten.  Cynthia sashays in with tea and cheesecake   .  

The boys have passed.  My thought are over the top. spooky 

 Because I can plainly hear  Henry  shout  "Gotcha...Treasure...Kalookie"

NOSTALGIA TOO by Jeffery A Edmunds

Before I bring my nostalgia in,

I’ll scrub it clean,

Make it presentable, stick jokes

on it, rearrange it, expand it

With circumstances embroider it

My nostalgia will be the best,

I will get it off my chest

Place it in a context of sunny days

and sneaky ways with teachers and

siblings, parents, night-time goblins

With a sigh, my nostalgia will fly

It will paint a chocolate box

picture of the past

It will tweak your memories, lift

the curtain, however uncertain

My nostalgia will meet up with yours

It will run its course

of common memories, alternative

histories, poetic mysteries, minor

victories. A life of stories

NOSTALGIA by Ian Herne

I did so love my sherbet lemons,

My mint imperials, my Maynard's wine gums,

Fingers of fudge.

One finger of fudge is all you need to give yourself a treat.

One day is all you need to give your life some meat.

My Jubbly and my Mivvi days

Were rather kind of spivvy.

When you need a lot of chocolate on your biscuit join our club

When returning from the privy.

The pick-up a Penguin gave me

Can never be replaced.

Or even the sensation of giving away my last Rollo

will not fill the hole left by the penultimate Polo.

These morsels from my past life,

Sweet meats from my youth,

Take a break, take a Kit Kat

Will not repair my sweet tooth.

So goodbye to jelly beans, farewell to dental caries,

As I go to work on an egg and drink a pint a milk a day

I'll remember the calories of only the finest dairy milk chocolate

to add to this nostalgic sound bite, today.

NOSTALGIA by Elliott Lever

I am here and was there

My memories carry with me everywhere

Emotions passing like sparking lights 

Escaping from mere candlelight 

The eyes sees and hearts do feel

Holding now and forever 

A vision, your vision speaks to me 

Seeking an elysium and a tea 

With wonders and wildness

Smiling through shimmering stars

Tethered to the dreaming until we part

Dreams flying through the night 

Catching them through clouds until light

Tethered to the dreaming until morning

Nostalgia now and until forever comes. 

NOSTALGIA by David Shamash

It is amazing what people have Nostalgia for:

Many old men still  have nostalgia for the period they were in HM forces in World War 2.

although they were likely to have been in mortal danger and be forced to kill the enemy.

They were bossed about like children.

If  you are late in the army you can be sent to a kind of prison where you have to do lots of physical exercise.

One would sleep in tents or in uncomfortable barracks.

People who were civilians in London would talk with pleasure about sleeping in shelters at night or being evacuated to the countryside.

Many people who were evacuated were removed from their Parents at an early age and were looked after by strangers.

War is terrible but people probably look on the comradeship with nostalgia which one does not have in peace time.

CASTAWAY by Derek Barretto

Hole where my heart used to be

So cold now like a penguin trapped on an ice floe

Pining, mateless castaway avian image of me

We both dream, both face our foe;

Solitude a long, slow lingering death

Strange parallel lives, partners in grief

Cine-camera cannot capture our last breath

Taut-muscled athletes running: finish line a welcome relief

This is not the end bird-friend

New cycle begins, old self has died

Nature nourishes, new alter-egos blend

Frustration, anger, loss, unseen scars mollified

Seedlings of hope throb in our breast

Defy the cruel frosts of early Spring

Never looking back, we climb that crest

Love-in-a mist the gifts she brings

Penguin, where will you go?

Our fates unravel, fast as a patchwork cloth

Wisdom whispers go with the flow

You must swim the furious waves, the tidal froth

THE GOOD OLD DAYS by Theresa Lavelle   They call them the good old days!   Yes certainly some memories are lovely - like  The first time we got electricity and the first time it was switched on.    I was ten years old and doing my homework by the light of an oil lamp, so you can imagine the sheer thrill of it. The time we got our first wireless. When we could take down the blackout curtains When we were allowed a half pound of butter EACH. When crisps first came out.   The joy of going to a concert or the pictures. That was sheer magic. Going to the circus.   I went with my neighbour and she bought her son and me a sixpenny ice cream wafer each. I don’t remember much about the circus but I will never forget that ice cream. Up til then I had only had penny wafers. The time I saved my pennies til I had four pence.  I cycled to the shop and bought sweets with my four pence intending to share them with my sister, but that day we had an argument so I ate them all myself. I must still feel guilty about that as I remember it so vividly. The times I climbed into the big oak tree and hid, to avoid doing the washing up. Yes - they were good days , but many not so good days. Cycling four miles to school in the freezing winter Having excruciatingly painful chilblains. Being called four eyes because I wore glasses.   Being so sad because I had no mother. She died of blood poisoning when I was seven months old. I had a cousin who looked after us sometimes. She locked me in the shed once, and poured water in my ears when she washed my hair. I remember - as a teenager -  having to do the housework and the baking and washing the clothes in a tin bath,  using a  scrubbing board.   It was very hard work. Sometimes I had to milk the cow. Usually my brother did the milking and I would listen outside the cowhouse as he sang every song under the sun. That was the only time he sang.   Nostalgic times indeed.  


Memories come in many forms

Scent, sight, sound and more,

But I remember most of all

Voices I still adore.

The pride heard in my father's voice

When he spoke of his two boys

The sage advice my mother gave

Her sweet voice brought me joy.

The hullabaloo my children made,

Though trying at the time,

I hear again with memory's ears

And now it seems sublime.

My gorgeous dog's loud barking,

That I tried in vain to hush,

I must admit in retrospect

It gives me quite a rush.

The symphony of a thousand,

We saw at the Albert Hall

That wonderful work by Mahler

A thrill that I still recall.

But the caring words of my darling wife

Re-echo, on and on,

Making me feel her love for me,

Although my angel's gone.