Time’s Detritus

Photo: WHB … In a Devon Farmyard – 2004

Once upon a time
In a pool and mired in grime,
I found a body, floating high.
A desolate place to die.

A basin for a tomb;
Blue plastic for a shroud.
A watery necropolis
For beauty now anonymous.

Abandoned, left to rot,
That was to be her lot.
Discarded and bereft,
Beauty the sands of time had left.

She’s found a resting place
Without sacrament or grace.
Long ago loved but now
The victim of a broken vow.

This unseemly end
My heart did rend.
‘The detritus of time’
Will end my rhyme.

Poem: WHB

Thoughts On A Morning Mist


‘A Sussex Morning’ … Photo: WHB – October 2017   ©


The morning mist that masks my view
Slowly lifts its damask shroud
Then memory comes to lift my mood
Bringing to mind that distant scene
Reminding of what my life has been

For then, before I lost, I’d loved,
And she has meant the world to me
In spring and summer life was good
Till autumn brought its golden glow
Gnarled time revealing what I now know.

That when those masking clouds descend
Proffering winter’s icy blasts
Our world which once held such delights
Tells me that now the time is here
To set aside despair and fear

That what we had and valued most
Was all worthwhile and counted more
Than all the pains which followed on
For life renews itself in hope
And those who follow, they will cope.


“The Screaming Lady of the Haunted Gallery”.


My Photograph – taken in the grounds of Hampton Court Palace in 2002

At Hampton Court Palace
One grey Autumn day,
Whilst strolling alone
I wandered astray,
Discovered this phantom,
Too shy to display.

Shroud for a lady,
Hide her away.
No one must see her
Lest somebody say,
She’s only a failure,
She’s long had her day.

But now she is hidden
And no one can see,
Then no one will question
Just who she might be.
They’ll just go on thinking
Perhaps she’s a he.

The fact she is ghostly,
Clothed in a Shroud,
Might give them a hint
That she’s not been allowed
To be seen out in public,
Detached from the crowd.

For in summer when tickets
Are hard to come by,
That’s when they’ll release her
Sustaining the lie.
Produce her in costume
When darkness is nigh.

Then this ‘Screaming Lady’,
As a spirit will glide,
In her Haunted Gallery,
Make-up applied.
Bemoaning, bewailing –
A Queen mortified.

So that’s it for the winter,
Don’t leave her on show.
Come wind and come tempest,
Come rain or come snow,
This tourist attraction’s
The best that I know.

That rival in Scotland,
The fishy old coward,
In a straight contest,
Its legacy soured,
It cannot compare
With our Catherine Howard.


The Grey Lady of Hampton Court

NOTES . . .


Henry VIII’s home at Hampton Court Palace is said to house several distinguished ghosts.


Lady Catherine Howard, Henry’s 5th wife, was accused of adultery and is said to have been dragged to her death, at the age of only 20, through the corridors of the Palace. Her ghost has become known as “The Screaming Lady of the Haunted Gallery”.


Anne Boleyn, Henry’s 2nd wife, who, accused of adultery and incest, was, like Catherine after her, beheaded.   At Hampton Court she is seen wearing a blue dress. She has been described as walking slowly, with a sad countenance.


Dame Sybil Penn, a servant to 4 monarchs, died at the Palace in the 1500s of smallpox, but ever since her tomb was disturbed in 1829, she is said to haunt the Palace as “The Lady in Grey”.


An article containing the above photograph, can be read by clicking on this link to:  Hampton Court’s Lady In Grey