Lynda O’Neill was born and brought up in Portsmouth, where many of her poems are based. She started writing when she went to a creative writing class at a local arts centre twenty years ago and began to be published and placed in competitions two years later. Lynda writes mostly about childhood, school, war and package holidays, mixing pathos with humour whenever possible. Writing has given Lynda self expression – and many friends.
‘Very rural here’ we often say
as our Fiesta hurls itself round
the twist of country lanes
in Northington, or skirts the Test
in our quest for a sandwich in a pub
that can’t be called gastro.
Sometimes we can’t see the sun
in sunken lanes for the overhang of trees,
revel in short-lived coolness.
Roadside daffs or far-off bluebells
quiet me for a moment.
I read the hamlet and village names,
curious for their origins – The Candovers,
Sombornes, Worthys. I envy the residents
their thatched cottages, trim lawns,
though not their bus service.
In a pub garden over a pricey sandwich
and the second large glass of wine you
disapprove of, I wonder what the shrubs are,
examine closely the fragile blue plant
artfully planted by a garden designer.
Perhaps Gilbert saw it all those years ago
one sunny Hampshire morning,
recorded it in a small notebook.