Sheila Jacob has had her poems published in a number of U.K.magazines. She recently self-published a short collection of poems which form a memorial to her father. She time-travels a lot, pen in hand, between Wrexham 2019  and I950’s Birmingham.

Photo by George Becker on Pexels.com
Pencil Box Dreams
 
They were made to last,
those toffee-coloured 
wooden oblongs
with fitted lids 
that slid open and shut.
 
New boxes had a shiny
first-form stiffness.                                                        
By the third year,
they wore a lived-in look,
begged to be emptied
before the lids jammed.
 
One autumn term
I uncovered
three HB pencils,
a leadless stub,
pencil shavings,
two  6-inch rulers,
half a set-square,
someone else’s 
protractor, a stale
fruit gum, a chewed
white eraser, a grey
ink eraser(which didn’t 
work on biro)
a pink bus ticket
and three blue
Quink cartridges.
 
Pressed too hard
into the body
of your pen,
ink would splodge
like kisses
over box-lids compass-etched
with teenage dreams.
 
The Yardbirds.The Walker Brothers.
I Love Scott.
Photo by Lisa Fotios on Pexels.com
Holiday In Trefriw
 
We’ve heard the Crafnant
since daybreak.
It’s chimed across pebbles,
gurgled under the bridge 
beside the Woollen Mill
and now, it won’t leave us.
 
We’re learning its tune,
transcribing it to memory
while we explore 
beneath wooden rafters:
stand in sudden stillness,
before a small window.
 
A small window
stained with poppy red
and summer-sky blue,
its figures so graceful,
and translucent
we wonder
 
if water rose up
from the nearby river,
held Mary and her Child
in its flowing mantle
and set them, smiling,
into their warm stone niche.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Photo by Linda Prebreza on Pexels.com
A Kiss In The Ointment
 
It came in a small round tin Mum stored
in the kitchen. When the tin was empty,
she bought another from the local chemist.
He always winked at me, knew I was eager
but clumsy, tripped over skipping ropes
in the school playground and crash-landed.
 
A teacher staunched surface blood, wiped
away loose gravel with damp cotton wool
and stuck a big Elastoplast on both knees.
My tears wouldn’t dry until I arrived home
and Mom reached for the tin of Germolene,
unscrewed the lid. I started to feel better
 
as I sniffed the gooey antiseptic pinkness.
Mum slid some onto her forefinger, blobbed
and smoothed and let it sink into scraged skin.
It stung before it soothed with a rich aroma 
that lasted all day and echoed Mum’s words.
There, there, don’t cry, it’s only a little scratch.