Park Bench Tales and other writings

Thoughts and writings reflecting the poet within and the activist

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Where the hammock lady lies

Where the hammock lady lies

Darkness in the oaken hammock dropping;

Soft silent shadows slip in slowly from the west.

Fiery sun dips her head and dies again,

Seeds drifting slowly through the air now come to rest.

Oak holds hard night’s bleak blackness overhead,

While gentle moon behind scudding clouds hides her face.

Steel magnolia casts her branches wide ,

Wishful widows quickly spin wondrous captive lace .

Bleached bones within the oyster midden held.

Shifting sounds of the closing night can oft deceive;

Forests binding spirit souls from the past,

Shapes drifting ‘twixt moss-laden trunks await their leave.

Crumbling stumps form circles within the glade,

Pine-boarded creaking cracker shack lies part in ruin.

Old owl calls warnings from Hackberry Bluff,

Red fox sniffs the night-time air; ‘Something is brewing’

Flickering wick of lantern clings to light.

The small room where the hammock lady free from strife

Lies not in sleep but in her land of dreams;

Time suspended where her spirit world comes to life.

Faithful lover drifts through the bolted door.

Ne’er alone in life and now at night she smiles again

Her world protected by swamp angel nets

She feels the kiss that sets the captured heart aflame.

She walks again within the citrus groves,

Sweet scented orange blossoms fill the morning air .

Death a world apart, life a world within ;

Hands reach out to clasp, each still knows the other’s care .

Dawn and Red Bird calls out loud ‘Day has come’

In an empty shack there’s a space for those who grieve .

Within the mound life seems so still, at rest,

Yet waiting for the lover who can still believe.

David Hopcroft March 2007

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The Missing Card

The Missing Card

The year comes to a close and anxiously I now await

Letters from friends that I knew from bygone days

Words that are full of cheer we never mention fate

An annual reminder that friendship never strays

Now the line of cards upon the mantle shelf has a space

As each year passes that space marks a sadness

Memories come flooding back I can still see your face

Hear the laughter and recall the mirth that was our madness

The excitement of our youth in love freely expressed

Sadness now seems to vanish like the early morning mist

I celebrate those years when our freedom was undressed

You changed my life in that moment when we first kissed

Copyright: David Hopcroft January 2022


Perfect Poetry

Picture the perfect punctuated poem

A piece so prized and precious

A pearl enclosed within a shell

Sentences slowly strung together with comfort from each clause

Its meaning slowly strangled by a comma splice

Meaning mausoleum-frozen within a coffin of parentheses

Interpretation imprisoned by exclamation marks

Stuttering to overcome indented semi-colon lists

Give thanks to poets shunning rules to play with risks

I will keep my fragments fame-framed for eternity

Poke fun with more than my share of split infinitives

To let me laugh each time I hear the shrillness of the voice

That used apostrophes like a literary umbilical cord

The words I write are free to wander and to flow

If lips meet to kiss the moment shall not be underscored

Love will not imprisoned be within innumerable quotes

Questions are only to be raised when I so choose

And will not be tainted by a crooked mark

I shall mix my tenses as I please as I pass through time

And when I complete these lines

There shall be only one citation

Stating simply

This work is



No period

David Hopcroft 2011


What if?

What if? A question of health

Away from love and crazy poems this is a more serious piece relating to health

It is safe here for you under your shell

That you have carefully constructed for yourself

Was it to keep yourself in

Perhaps to keep others out

Maybe a little or all of both

What if the walls you have made

Were of concrete so solid and firm

What if they were lined with steel

What if there were no windows

What if there were no doors

What if you never got out

What if you lived and died there

What if you did not

What if it were not like this

How would you feel

If those walls were paper thin

If the roof blew off with the wind

If the doors could never be shut

If the windows were always open

What then

How would you feel

Would you try to crawl into yourself

Would you try to burrow under the floor

How would you feel

Naked and exposed

Bared mind but not body

A threat of revealing yourself

What if there were love

What if that love could be found

Would you still hide

In yourself underground

What if you took a step out

What if you went for a walk on your own

What if the path you took

Appeared to have no end

What if the sky overhead

Always seemed to be black

What then

What if you had a sense

That you were not quite alone

What if you turned and saw

An outstretched hand

What if you refused

What if you ran away

What if the sun were to shine

What if the skies had all turned blue

What if you were to walk again

What if the path had an end

What if the end were in you

What if you turned and saw

The outstretched hand was still there

What if it were not

What if you found a friend

What if they really cared

What if you really felt

There was a life to be shared

What if you still turned to run away

What if you found those bricks

Would you rebuild that steel wall

Would you find the door you could lock

Would you close the shutters forever

What if you did not

Copyright: David Hopcroft June 2019


I don’t think I am complicated just a little crazy

I woke up late this morning
Got out of bed and started snoring
I was wide awake with sleep in my eyes
Put my arms in my trousers and zipped up my ties
I had to bend down to blow my toes
Straightened up to put my shoes on my nose
Into the bathroom, up to the sink
Filled it up to the top with transparent black ink
I put some toothpaste in my ears
Then shaved my teeth
And drank the soap
I scraped the toothbrush over my beard
It was smooth as a hedgehog, just as I feared

So I went down to the kitchen to make some ice
Opened the oven, took out the dead mice
For breakfast.
Put a ham in the pot, and if not mistaken
Poured myself a cup of bacon
I had a hot dog complete with French custard
Tonight its blueberry pie with mustard

All at twice there was a knock at the floor
So I closed a window and looked out of the door
Opened the letter box, threw out the post
Turned around and bumped into a ghost
Took in the rat
Threw out the cat
And took the cow out of the milk bottle

Then I oiled the flowers
And watered the car
Polished the grass
And painted the tar

I put on my lead and went for a walk
Read the dog which had started to talk

Then I set off quickly to come back from school
I jumped on a bus to walk as a rule
I looked down to the floor to see the sky
Laughed; and sneezed a tear from my eye,
It was black as daylight

I arrived at the entrance at the back of the school
And closed it in front of me
I took out a register from under a stool
It said Year Seven, set three.
Throughout the lesson they had to talk
Because they had eaten the blackboard
And swallowed the chalk.
We sat behind the television
And watched a video

Then into the office to do the accounts
I paid myself with several amounts
Then the telephone stopped ringing
So I answered it.
“Goodbye”, I began, politely,
As I do in the mornings, every twice nightly.
I spoke to nobody, who replied ….
“John can’t come in.
His goldfish has died.
It got wet this morning, and when we looked closer,
It needed a warm so we popped it in toaster.”

At last I felt hungry and needed my lunch,
I ate a big plate, it went with a crunch.
Went up to the cook, said “I still need a bite.”
So she did.
And the teeth marks are still there at night.

In the afternoon I did not have a class.
So I cut the carpets
And vacuumed the grass.
Trimmed the windows
And cleaned the hedges
And put the dust on all the ledges.

At the end of the day I heard the bell
Ring silently.
It was time to go home.

I put the car in my briefcase and drove back carefully,
Knocking over several children,
Who had jumped on the pavement
To get in the way.

Until I got to someone else’s house
Where I locked the door
And walked in.

I jumped into the drier to take a spin
And threw my washing in the bin
I was still fresh as a daisy with feet like lead
So I descended the stairs to go up to bed.

How boring, if each day were the same…
Why, bless you all, I’d go insane !!

Copyright: David Hopcroft 2019

Actually written before retirement



from Days in Wales

The rays of a dazzling Springtime sun dance upon the silver seas
Bringing welcome warmth upon these western shores of Wales
Tides ebb and flow upon the estuary
Leaving their flotsam and jetsam piled ‘neath sandy hills

Within the square I hear the shrieks and shouts of children
Playing as they wait their journey to the school
Tin can kicked around
The football match is played with extra zest
Another goal !
On this pitch of tarmac Wales never lose.

We too shall play our special game
Where love’s the prize and where there is always time
To pause and reflect on the joy we can share together
When I am yours and you are mine

Young girls lean against the walls of Y Goran
Talking of the boyfriend of the night before
Watching the lads at play
Casting their eyes on the field.
Tonight, who will be the lucky one ?
Not Gwynfor or Mostyn
Eyes turn to one with a shock of black curly hair.
Dewi’s fate is sealed !

What forces bring two hearts together ?
What feelings act within us ?
The sprits guide and our hearts are turned
As through life we pass to meet some destiny.
We search as if seeking the bright star
In the blackness of the night sky.
It twinkles and our eyes are drawn towards it
Yet other stars may be just as bright
But this star
Captures our imagination
Our eyes follow its path as long hours pass
Until we feel as one

The door of the corner shop opens and the sign is put out
Hoping the children will buy just one more snack
Ready for those who are drifting to work.
A cat rushes across the street
Dodging and weaving between flying feet

Our lives can be as one
For as long as hearts are open
Weaving our own patterns to play upon emotion
Showing our devotion
The future now seems brighter than before

Far down the estuary there is the chugging of an engine
Fishermen still earn their living off the salt-sprayed shore
The night’s catch is hauled from the deck
Onto a quay by a small cottage
Hungry mouths will be fed tonight
With gifts of the Celtic seas

As the tide recedes we take a morning walk together
Until we reach the place where water ripples at our feet
With a soft morning breeze the sand slides idly by
Our lives flow on together.

Copyright: David Hopcroft

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Seduction 2: Almost the truth

(Warning: this post contains descriptions of a sexual nature)

Chance played its part

An encounter on a coach

She laughing with her friends

Me? Sandwiched between them

She might be forbidden fruit

Only she would know that

Banter, playfulness, laughing, whispering

My privacy undone as they sought out my pockets

I wanted to be part of their game

Half-hearted resisted until they insisted

She grasped one arm

Holding it between her firm legs

At first I struggle and pull

Then decide to relax

My fingers feel the softness of her skin

Which I gently try and stroke

I know not why

Her hold seems to relax and release

Was this agreement

I can continue to stroke and even to seek?

Her friends bored with the game

Chatted among themselves

Whilst I

Moved my hand to encounter soft cotton

Which I stroked

Until I felt a moistening

A trickle near the top of her leg

She turned and gave me a smile

Was this the enticement?

I sought the enchantment of what was covered

Then felt her delight

Holding me in

The journey over

We sought the night bus


Going on our separate ways

The encounter almost forgotten

When the bell to my apartment rang

She was there on the doorstep

With a smile said

‘I thought we should finish what we started’

Laid herself out upon the bed

Splayed her legs

This time there were no cotton panties

When she lifted her skirt

Pulled me down

A willing partner

Following instructions to discover

Every crevice and mound of her body


She held me

Legs crossed behind my back

Using her muscles

To draw life from within me

I succumbed to her desires

To become just another conquest

In the dreams

Of her chaotic life

Copyright: David Hopcroft May 2019

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Seduction: 1 The opening mind

Seduction 1 The opening mind

(Warning: This work does contains experiences with sex that some will feel uncomfortable with.)

If wishes of dreams portrayed the scenes of our desires

Then I could picture myself as all that she wants and admires

Even though something tells me the dream is easily lost

A fantasy of attraction that comes with that cost

Reality, so it turned out, arrived like a shot in the dark

Unplanned unrehearsed beginning with a remark

‘Would you like a lift home, it’s not really out of my way’

Like a fish not expecting the hook I took the bait right away

Our conversation pleasant, I thanked her for the ride

With little thought she had a motive fermenting inside

A risky crossing of boundaries for her age and position

Was my youthfulness ripe for the plundering of her mission?

Innocence in conversation

In this new situation

Until she placed a hand upon my knee

Did I mention she was forty and still free?

Her contemplation might be my temptation

As I glanced at the bosom that swelled out her blouse

Whilst something within me began to arouse

Her hand moving slowly up my thigh

Squeezing gently to see the reaction

Was I registering attraction?

There was no resistance as she passed over

The source of my arousal


By what she deemed to be acceptance

She slid open my zip

Reaching inside to grasp the firmness

A gentle pulling on the head

A clumsiness in my response

As I pawed inside her blouse

Feeling the shape held by her bra

Trying to reach inside to feel her nipples

Then her hand tugged at mine

Pulling away

Leaving anxiousness and uncertainty

Until she slid my hand beneath her skirt

Drawing aside for what was beneath

To let me play with her moistness

Using my fingers

To explore the depths of her love

What followed lacked grace and elegance

Desire not passion as we lay

On the grass by the car

Pulling pumping gasping clasping

Until she felt the spurt

Of my coming

I left to walk through the woods

Climb over the hill

With a guilt

That the pleasure

Had broken all the rules

A guilt that I would do it again

And again and again

David Hopcroft May 2019

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Rebels with a cause

Elders watched as the planet slowly lost life

As they too were slowly turning grey

Content to grow old and avoiding strife

Waiting for death to take them away


Spewing volumes politicians pontificate

Distorting the world outside where children die

Berating the science of those they choose to hate

Their greed betrays within whose bed they lie


One child stood to face the world alone

Challenging the right of those whose fate

Was measured only by what they own

A small voice saying ‘It is not too late’


A strike to say that she was not afraid

Of those whose eyes were blinded to reality

Who refused to see what had decayed

Or of those leaders veiled hostility


Her message spread around the world

Ridiculed by those who covered their ears

Her generation rose, banners unfurled

Hope marched forward without fears


Now the flames of the torch are alight

An earth to be saved, life with new meaning

Join with the young and embrace their might

She has shown us the way to end our dreaming


David Hopcroft May 2019