Hi All

We’re rushing through the year - careering into May like little souls possessed.

Inbetween all this hurtling, loads and loads of you had time to write poems about your mums or grandmas.  It was quite a job coming up with the winning poets as I would have liked to have chosen half a dozen or more but at least you are able to read the pick of the bunch on this blog.

I promised my own poem on Mother and here it is:


We used to be two different people

You were you and I was me

Through time we are gradually merging

It began when I opened my mouth

and heard your voice

Your words

Directed not at me but at my own child

‘Why? Because I said so, that’s why’

‘I never spoke to my mother like that’

‘I’ll treat you like an adult when you start acting like one’

Until today

I looked into the mirror

And saw your face

Smiling back at me

The winning poet for Barnet Borough Times is Melanie Newland with her poem Being Mum:


Being Mum

by  Melanie Newland

The light was dim but still she sat

sewing name tags into coats and hats.

And though tired out she was still able

to set the plates for the breakfast table.

Lunch in boxes, clothes washed and pressed

all ready to get the children dressed.

A kiss goodbye, they'd gone in seconds

no time to lose, as hoovering beckoned.

The after school activities,

sports days and nativities

And when she thought they'd flown the nest

a student loan to add to debt.

To watch them grow and make their way

into the world would send her grey.

But though the worry was never done

she'd always cherish being "mum".


JD Milaric is the winning poet for Harrow with The Best Club in the World.


Whether you are a grandma or grandpa

A granny or granddad, nana or papa

Or you’ve been called a silly sounding

Name, which they have been using

Since when they were first talking

Whatever it is, for sure, you’re truly blessed

When that little boy or girl

Calls you, as you know that you’re in the best

Club in the world

When he or she calls you one of those

Names, then your love for them knows

No bounds

No joining fee or annual subscriptions

Health criteria or age restrictions

Apply to members - just apply yourself with,

All of the love in the world that you can give

To that little girl or boy

So that you can enjoy

A lifetime’s membership of which is, surely

The best club in the world for any family

I’m a papa and it’s true, take it from me

It was a close run thing because Rose Wilson was a very close runner-up with her delightful poem, The Young Mother.

The Young Mother by Rose Wilson

Not every modern miss would choose to be a single mother. 

Young Mattie though, quite selflessly, longs to adopt another

Doll or teddy bear into a brood diverse and sweet.

Whose playful, naughty antics help make her life complete.

There’s no need to raid the piggy bank for outings to the park.

It’s an imaginary picnic for this canny matriarch.

Floppy Poppy, so unladylike she will not sit up straight

With the tea set out before her dives nose first into the plate.

Home schooling brings its challenges, she often has to scold

That truant draught excluder snake who slinks off when it’s cold.

Of all the siblings one alone has learned to call her “Mummy”.

But only on the pressing of a button in its tummy.

Woolly brained Mutton Geoff, poor lamb, who sadly lost both ears

Won’t do a thing he’s told since an encounter with the shears.

Cute Sindy’s jaw is broken – Barbie pushed her off a stool!

Yet her smile remains intact, an inspiration to us all.

The infants all refuse to walk on tootsies small and bare.

So cradled in protective arms they’re carried everywhere.

Mattie couldn’t love them any more if they were hers by birth

And despite their imperfections is the proudest mum on Earth.

Until friends call to play outside, while they wait at the door

She grabs her shoes and coat and drops her cherubs to the floor


I googled your name and nothing came up

No accounts of heroics or any such stuff

So I've wrote this little poem to sum you up

A short little woman her hair up in a. bun

Who loved to see us kids having fun

Golders Green Park and Southend on Sea

Still bring those happy memories back to me

Worked so hard for her living

Washing up in many a cafe

Returning exhausted with sweets in her pockets for us

Embarrassing at times I mean who screams on a merry-go-round

Or introduces a rather large me as her wee daughter

No matter how many times bad news knocked at her door

She bounced back up to carry on as before

No medals given her here on earth

Peace and rest I hope she's been granted now

A queen in her new world

Sparkling and bright

Waiting to welcome her wee ones when the time is right!



The Willow Tree in Waterlow Park

By Ian Bloom


When I was small, people were tall,

But the willow was taller still.

We'd go to the park, mother and me,

Where I'd happily play at her knee.

Then I'd climb that tree, hide in its branches.

Mum was the cowboy, I, the Indian chief

High above her, a tiny Swaying Bull.

The years slipped by. I moved away.

Though when David was young, I'd return

So he could romp in Sydney's space.*

Now I was the cowboy and he, the chief.

Only if he was shielded by leaves

Did the old willow and I quietly weep

For my missing mum. I hope she's at ease.


*Sir Sydney Waterlow bought and, in 1889, gifted

the small park in Highgate Village to the LCC as

a "garden for the gardenless". Waterlow Park is

now maintained by the London Borough of Camden.


Mother by Don Reuben

A pretty little lady

Always smiling

Hair well groomed

Neatly clad 

Colours well coordinated

Skin as smooth as a baby

Full of goodness and purity

Kind and gentle

Trustworthy in all her dealings

Helpful to friends and family

Would not do anything wrong

Good moral conscience

Loved by most 

Cares about people 

A humble soul

A woman with dignity 

Generous to those in need

Good religious values

Worth more than gold

That's my mother

Granny by Michael Gerstein:

Her wrinkled hands held a photo frame.

The  gold wood honoured his handsome face.

below, in pencil, he had put,

“With love”, and signed his name.

In oval sepia he smiled in uniformed grace.

Hunched in her nostalgic room

she sat in a wine, velvet armchair,

with memories that float away like a balloon;

alone, with no one to share.

Light from an unwashed window filtered down

and danced with dust;

but dancing light cannot show

how hard her loss,

and how unjust.

He gave her the photo before the War;

love and friendship both had found.

But her treasured love she would have to store

till he got back safe and sound.  

Her cracked lips touched this one memento

in heart breaking anguish!

Dear God, where is her compensation!

The War stole her love, like a thief;

her whole life crushed by a brutal nation!

Why did she stay in this place  

despite her bitterness and hate?

And she knew as she gazed at his kindly face,

it was somewhere deep in her heart

that she kept her love and best mate.

In Praise Of A Very Special Grandmother Written Over Fifty Years After Her Death In 1969

by Patricia Tausz 

My grandmother though small in stature had a heart of gold

She lived until she was almost eighty-seven years old

Dressed always in black she looked elegant and smart:

I really loved her with all my heart.

She arrived in England when I was barely three

I was as fond of her as she was of me

So many skills she brought to us living in our flat

‘With people of all walks of life she enjoyed a chat’

She loved to cook, to knit and to sew

Had the patience of Job when I had a go

Only at weekends with us en famille would she eat:

On Friday afternoons a chocolate éclair would she buy me as a treat.

She enriched my life by teaching me French when I was seven

When in her company I felt I was in heaven,

In our family life she never interfered

By one and all I learned she was revered.

Though she had seen joy and tragedy in her long life

I had been told she had been an exemplary mother and doctor's wife

But to me for twenty-two years I knew her as Granny, the lady with a heart of gold

Proudly living to the ripe age of almost eighty-seven years old.


What is a Mother? by Howard Lambe

What is a mother?

She is the heart and soul of the family

The giver and maker of life

It is to her we turn in times of strife

A fountain of wisdom when things get tough

The rock to rest on when life is rough

The secrets of motherhood are in her remit

The joy of her children she will readily admit

Love and affection are her tools of the trade

A calming voice when tempers are frayed

Patience and tolerance are her natural gift

If someone is low their spirits she will lift

Tiressley she runs the home through good times and bad

Accepting all the responsibilities if there is no dad  

Working all hours without complaint

To her family she is next to a saint

Regardles of what some might say

Her family come first come what may

When seeking advice she is our first call

As without her there can be no family at all


The Mothers and Grandmothers

by Shanaz Hosany


To the women,

Who have,

Embraced life,

And given life,


Without the

Mothers and Grandmothers,

Our hearts will,

Not beat,


To the women,

Half of the world,


Due to,


These women,

Who I want to be,

And will be in the future:

The Mothers and Grandmothers.


T'S A KIND OF MAGIC - by Richard Adam

Your kitchen was your castle.
Scrumptious salmon cutlets, rich meatballs in thick gravy,
Hot fresh succulent chicken with cauli on Sunday for lunch.
You knew exactly how long to brew my tea.
You never left my childhood bedside table through measles,and whooping cough,
You drove me wherever I wished to go,
Bought me books and always took my side against others.
Sent me socks and money when I was at University.
Looked after devotedly your blonde hair and your Mother, my Gran
And your dad and our beloved pug who worshipped you.
You heart broke when your sister Joyce passed away.
She loved you , you were with her till her final days.

Please God,bring my Mum back into the kitchen
To create perfect steaks and full flavoured cups of tea.
Mum, you really are
A special kind of magic to me.

Kusum Hars

She hurried to the station accompanied by an old man

Today she was meeting the person who had given her birth

She was anxious, for years she had imagined this day

What would she look like, will she be able to recognise her

Or that person her 'mum' recognise her in return

How would she know her mum, will she be able to hug her.

She remembered the day she left her and her siblings

And just took the youngest, a baby still, with her.

Nothing was explained to her, she was just eight, and was told

Mum is going away for a while to rest in her father's house.

So she bade her farewell not realising she will never be back.

Every time she searched for her mum in faces of strangers

But alas never found her until this day fifteen years later.

The train had arrived, the crowd at the station was thinning

The restroom was empty except for two ladies huddled in a corner.

As soon as she entered they  looked up, one a tall grey haired lady

Looked at her and then hesitating and almost in whispers

Addressed her by her pet name. She could not contain herself

Tears flowed from her eyes and with it all the grief of all the years

She hugged her mum for the first time in years.

TO MY MOTHER , ON MOTHER'S DAY, 1989 Peter Collins

What can, I say my mother dear

That hasn't been said in yesteryear,

You're always there to give your love,

Your radiance shines like the sun above.

Whenever I'm sad or shed a tear,

I always know that you are near,

Your good advice, your common sense,

Relieves the pressures when I am tense,

You're always positive in all that you do,

Dear mother, I wish that I was like you.

It's nearly two years since we lost Dad,

The saddest times we've ever had,

We still can't believe that he's not here,

To spread a smile, to raise a cheer,

But you have the strength and I hope it will last,

To make a bright future, and still think of the past,

Of the good times that were shared by all,

Through winter, spring, summer and fall,

I wish you good health and happiness, you're like no other,

I couldn't ever wish for a better mother!

       TO MY MOTHER AGED 90 (2005) by Peter Collins

At times like these it's difficult to say,

How much you mean to me,

You look so well, no one could tell

That you're not how you seem to be.

You always have a smile on your face,

You always stand the test,

You are so positive in every way,

You simply are the best!

And as we reach another year

 And it's Mother's Day again,

I know without a shadow of doubt,

That I'm the luckiest of men.

To have a mother like no other,

So loving and caring, it's true,

I'll know that you'll live for many more years,

I could never love anyone like you!

My Mum  by Jeff Edmunds

It’s difficult not to be sentimental about you, Mum…

You were strong when strength was needed

You were soft and gentle when for painful cuts and

bruises you interceded

You always had something to give me when I was hungry

You soothed me when I got angry

You sat with me by my sick bed

You comforted me until my nightmares fled

You had stories and smiles

You had sad songs that went on a while

You had faith in my ability

You gave me independence, but always corrected me

You answered my strangest questions

You distracted me in my turmoil with nice suggestions

Above all, mum, you were exactly who you needed to be

My loving mum…

Forty Winks by Ian Herne

She'd  seen it all from her window on the street.

Nothing amazed her although she claimed it did.

Forty winks were her words, forty winks is what she said.

She called it forty winks and to me it was her sleep,

her catnap without a cat.  It made her perky in the


She led a long life, loved by everyone. Mama, Granma.

Hair, silky smooth and white floss mop atop a face

so bright and full of fun. Never angry, never cruel. An example

to us all who talked to her on how to live. Not casting

aspersions. 1975 was an awful year. She died just before

the cat.

And I recall her fondly buying me little racing cars in

Woolworths with pension money that should have been

buying weekly provisions and a jar of honey. It was a time

of bacon counters and cheese, cut with piano wire, and

Liptons tea and sculleries and larders with shelves made

of love.

And like all Mothers in the Blitz

She sang the songs of all the hits

From Vera Lynn to Amazing Grace

As sinister bombs left their permanent trace.

Hope you enjoyed this selection.  Think you could do better?  Next month’s subject is Queen - royalty, rock group or drag …. it’s up to you.

Have a good month

Judy Karbritz

Readers who submit articles must agree to our terms of use. The content is the sole responsibility of the contributor and is unmoderated. But we will react if anything that breaks the rules comes to our attention. If you wish to complain about this article, contact us here

Readers who submit articles must agree to our terms of use. The content is the sole responsibility of the contributor and is unmoderated. But we will react if anything that breaks the rules comes to our attention. If you wish to complain about this article, contact us here