Hi All

It’s been another busy month sorting through all the entries for the competition.  I’m delighted how many poems I receive but always feel bad having to let people know if they haven’t been chosen at the month’s winning poet.  However, here’s a great opportunity for you to read some of the runner’s up as well as the winning poems.

To kick us off, as promised here’s my own poem on the subject of The Scenic Route:

Plan A by Judy Karbritz

When you were a schoolchild

If you had been given

A chart upon which

You could set out your life

Great deeds you’d have plotted

A best selling novel

Exploring new worlds

Or resolving world strife

Of course you’d be pretty

Or strikingly handsome

And healthy and rich

With a family to care

Your pleasures tumultuous

While riches came flooding

Success in all things

Never meeting despair

But what of the feeling

Of deep satisfaction

In giving your lover

A well-chosen gift

And would you have charted

When after a quarrel

The fun making up

And forgetting the rift

Would you have planned how

You met your partner

Maybe your car stalled

And made you run late

And would your strict blueprint

Have gently permitted

Your much loved child who

Was a glorious mistake

Perhaps a career change

From once what you yearned for

Think all that you’ve learnt from

The knocks on the way

Adventures unknown of

If you’d blindly followed

The high’s without lows

Written down in Plan A

The winning poem from the Barnet Borough Times is by Babs Lee who wrote:

The Scenic Route by Babs Lee


Do you remember that sun kissed day

We took a walk through meadows of hay

Where bright tulips and daffodils of gold

Swayed lightly under the green trees of old

The gravel laid path led to a shimmering stream

And a cascading waterfall where we held hands in a dream

Lean horses that grazed on a blade of grass

And a farmhouse built amongst natures past

That scenic route is still there

Unchanged in the soft warm air

And I will guide you through the maize

Fifty years on, from our young happy days.

So take my arm on this sun kissed day

And walk with me through meadows of hay

Where bright tulips and daffodils of gold

Sway lightly under the trees of old.

Shreya Tanna write the winning entry for the Harrow Times:

The Scenic Route ~ Shreya Tanna

Twisted grey ivy entwined around a tree,

The golden brown rain, crisp autumn leaves

Woodland creatures frolic and kiss,

Dancing upon the forest bed, nature’s beauteous abyss

The slender boughs of a tree waltz in the wind,

Swaying, twisting to Autumn's earthy hymn,

A droplet of rain forms ripples on the pond,

As God's living creations start to bond

The deep mauve hue of a single red rose ,

That a lover hands his wife with a kiss on her nose,

A delicate sniff of the beautiful flower,

A finger extended to caress the silver dew shower,

Silky soft petals, cool and smooth like a river,

A cool autumn breeze prompting a shiver,

Intertwined fingers over fallen fruit,

The allure behind the scenic route,

Soft pale fur of the rabbits that play,

A golden hue that seems to emanate,

A gorgeous array of screaming colour,

A cub watches the landscape by its mother,

As the magnificent red sun sets from above,

Illuminating a lake, the swans and dove,

No camera or iPhone could capture such a view,

The chestnut coloured earth of the scenic route.

Some of the notable runners-up were:

The Scenic Route by Ian Herne

So he says to me go round in everlasting circles,

Round the back doubles, up the highways and byways,

Off the beaten track, consider another gambit,

Get closure on this journey to Theydon Bois.

French for wood, you know. Heaven knows where

the wood is. Just a couple of birches and a road

newly tarred.

He said get yourself some breakdown policy,

You never know when you might get caught out,

With an empty tank, and no taxi rank in sight.

So give us a bell, trouble shared and that kind of

drivel. Faulty brakes can cause a swivel. Believe me

We've all been there. But in your case that is very


So you've got an A-Z, a GPS , an irritating aide memoire

for travelling amnesiacs, so read the signs and man up

when the hard shoulder gives you a cold shoulder

around Sidcup. Fill up the tank, take stock of your life suit.

Living life in a mist of confusion on the road with your

Hollies heavy load delusions,  don't turn on the radio to karaoke.

It is not, always, okey dokey for you, just another scenic route.


Will you join us on an expedition

My friend called me and said one day

We are going on a mountaineering trip

In a nearby hotel our group shall stay

I said, I had not done this before

I cannot climb as I was scared

She said this was for a charity

as a challenge, we should dare

So we packed our back packs to go

We were doing this for a reason, right

Setting on a journey for a good cause

Our group reached the hotel at night

Next morning we all set out to climb 

The mountains which were quite high 

We got out our gears and our ropes

Before I started I took a big sigh

We were astounded as we looked up

The beautiful scenery, and the view

The greenery and the serene look

At least for me was something new 

My friends and others were going up

For a while the climbing went alright

But I kept falling behind with them

My shoes kept slipping, rope too tight

They were calling for me to keep going

I was so scared but was trying my best

Suddenly I slipped and knocked myself

I sprained my ankle and needed to rest

My friend came to help, got me down 

Back to the hotel she wanted to send

I leaned on her and I dragged myself

I felt so sad at my expedition's end 

NEW ENGLAND IN THE FALL   by Josephine Harris

Rolling manicured fields,

Clapboard houses,

Horse Chestnuts,

Sumak red, yellow, golds,

Red bushes burning balls of fire,

Natures` bounty,

Riotious blends of colour – an artist`s palate,,

Life moves at a slow pace,

Far removed from the rat race,

Lakes glitter in gentle sun,

Clear sky, azure

New England`s beauty at its best,

Leaves gathering in their morning meet,

scattering their debris at your feet,

Halloween, spooky witches, trick or treat,

Time hovers

Nature prepares herself to sleep,

as Winter claws reach out to creep. 

The Lure Of Autumn's Unexpected Warmth

by Patricia J Tausz

People were out in force, the sun was shining

People were shopping, people were al fresco wining and dining

Everywhere the conversation was flowing

It was to Golders Green where we were going

We were on our way to join the crowds

The sky was blue; it was warm - no sign of clouds

People in couples, single or even family groups

In places it looked like the mustering of troops.

Friends were busy: talking, chatting, and arguing: life was hectic

The high street in Golders Green appeared frenetic

Heavy traffic was crawling by, no place to park

The shops would be filled until well after dark

People sat outside - eating and drinking al fresco

The super markets even the local branch of Tesco

Filled with shoppers doing their daily, weekly shop

Queues formed at the bus stop

Throughout the entire day

Everyone had been busy enjoying: for some it was work, rest or play:

The unexpected autumn warmth had brought them all out of doors

A bumper day for restaurants and the little and large stores.

Mike Lawson wrote:

He is walking away, looking behind

Garbage on the streets, cars polluting and empty faces

People look right through him as if they were blind

He is aimlessly moving to all the wrong places

There is a tree in the distance to alleviate the pain.

Branches hover above the mess that humankind brought

Witnessing such destruction, natures humanistic stain

This use to be the scenic route

He is walking systematically, looking ahead

Clean streets, clean air and smiling faces

People seem full of joy, relaxed and kind

He knows he is heading towards beautiful places.

Trees populate the distance with a humble refrain

Like natures spirit that mankind has seemingly sought

Lapping up the joy of nature’s peaceful domain

And they took for granted the scenic route




The scenic route goes on forever

But look, my friends found framed

on a jig saw box - a house, a scene

They gathered us up and we went

looking to find this place out along

The scenic route, apace


There was a white church, a charming

walk through hilly fields, dense trees

A hamlet of thatched roofs, a nice café

and right along the pathway, proof!

We found the cottage and the scene

on the jig saw puzzle framed in green


There must be a word for it, but anyway

there it was, preserved in reality

The lady who lived there chatted from

her lovely garden. She had found her

little haven some six centuries old, a

living museum, snapped for a jig-saw


The bright day, the beauty, the discovery

came together on the scenic route


The Scenic Route by Howard Lambe

As the car in which we sat glided down the lane

My mind went back to years gone by

When we were young and felt the rain

On journeys that were much the same

The sun shone through the Daimler's windows

Touching our faces with it's warmness

Dancing on the the car's interior almost like falling snow

Lighting it up with a bright natural glow

We travelled on through woods and fields

Green and beautiful in their spring hues

Ever nearer our destination

Where we were expected,our presence due

On and on we silently drove 

Through picturesque towns and villages we went

Taking in the beauty of the countryside

A continueing richness, a treasure trove

I glanced across at the strained faces

Of my travelling companions quiet and taught

And as we approached the silent Cementry gates

Dad would have loved this route was my first thought

Kusum Hars

She was on her favourite chair rocking to and fro

Soaking in the warm sunshine streaming through the glass door

She had planned to give all her time in her old age

To this stage when she could  sit relax  and gaze

At the beautiful garden she had created from a wild maze

Without running around with chores to be finished on time

Free from worries and stresses of every kind.

Her journey of life was not always smooth but not a roller coaster

Nothing she couldn't handle with a strong intuitive mind

That is up until now............

She did not know what to do or say

All peace of mind had gone for her,  these days

Someone dear was in a mess and deciding the future

Which would destroy the happiness of all for sure.

She implored but they seemed not to understand

How  many worlds would be unhappy and land

Into a future full of sadness and grief by their actions.

Alas true, man proposes and God disposes,

Sitting on her favourite chair looking at the garden but thinking of her life

She seemed not to see the beauty but just sad days ahead full of strife.

THE SCENIC ROUTE    by Richard Adam

"You're looking for meaning where there's none." remarked my A level French lit teacher.
Christmas rain fell from white sky.
January 1992 covered school with snow and an electric heater sat in our classroom.
I started smoking, scoring nought for French homework.
I sat with another pupil in Old Hall on Quiz Night.
"Have you two no homes to go to?!," laughed a Physics teacher.
Summer exams ended. "You'll be lucky to get   grade D next year," snarled French teacher.
"Ratface, Big Ears" bullies told me.
A deserted Old Hall.
Sitting in the pouring rain.

Hope you enjoyed this small selection of the poems received and please enter next month when the subject is Remembrance or Poppies.

Keep warm