Portlands Alley a Poem

Updated on June 27, 2019
Nell Rose profile image

Nell loves Poetry and sees a story in every day living. Whether it be an alleyway or something much more magical.

Portlands Alley Marlow  We lived here through the alley at the top end. There was a pub directly to the right, but we were the next house, number 55 which is now a shop.
Portlands Alley Marlow We lived here through the alley at the top end. There was a pub directly to the right, but we were the next house, number 55 which is now a shop.

Portland Alley

Portland Alley is a small alleyway in the town of Marlow Buckinghamshire. Every time I walk through it I get transported back in time to when I was a small child. We lived next door to the alley and my brother and I played games, laughed and chased each other in the glory of childhood.

We were cowboys and Indians, superheroes and athletes. The magic of imagination swept us up and placed it in our memories forever.

As I was walking back from the park today, I took a short cut through the alley and once again the memories hit me.

And this poem popped straight into my head.


Kids eating ice cream 1960's
Kids eating ice cream 1960's

Old Friend

Hi, old friend remember me,

And all the things we did?

From skipping ropes to climbing trees

Playing football, dirty knees

Sucking on lollypops till our faces were red

Seemed like years from morning till bed.

Kids holding hands 1960's
Kids holding hands 1960's

Sunlight flickered soft on walls,

Bricks hot to the touch,

Dirt in our pores.

Crazy days of fights and squabbles

Kicking up dust and falling on cobbles.

Then making up, and laughing,

Friends once more.

Till it was time to go indoors.

Playing Cowboys and Indians back in the 60s
Playing Cowboys and Indians back in the 60s

A cowboy and Indian covered in dirt,

Hunger pangs and sweaty thirst.

Hear a voice, a mothers plea,

'Oh please hurry up its time for tea.'

Twilight shadows follow footsteps

And darkness peeks from red brick walls

The day is ending, night has fallen

It's just an alleyway once more.

Until Tomorrow.....

Then home to watch TV. Kids 1960's
Then home to watch TV. Kids 1960's

All photos free to use/Pixabay

Questions & Answers

    © 2019 Nell Rose

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      • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

        Nell Rose 

        7 weeks ago from England

        Thank you Mark for commenting.

      • Mark Tulin profile image

        Mark Tulin 

        7 weeks ago from Santa Barbara, California

        Great subject of a poem, and you handled it well with all your childhood allusions, Neil Rose.

      • Tim Truzy info4u profile image

        Tim Truzy 

        2 months ago from U.S.A.

        Yes, Nell, you are so right. Now, if we could just get them to do brain drying. Read your poem again, great work.

      • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

        Nell Rose 

        2 months ago from England

        Thanks Yves, yes all they do these days is stare at their mobile phones. Its rather like brainwashing, lol!

      • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

        Nell Rose 

        2 months ago from England

        Thanks Nithya, yes it was great fun! thank you

      • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

        Nell Rose 

        2 months ago from England

        Thank you so much Bronwen. I believe that whatever year it was, back then we had the freedom to roam, and were happy just playing.

      • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

        Nell Rose 

        2 months ago from England

        Thanks Shauna, yes I believe I read it! always great to see you here.

      • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

        Nell Rose 

        2 months ago from England

        Glad to know it brought back memories Tom, and always good to see you!

      • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

        Nell Rose 

        2 months ago from England

        Thanks Dora, amazing how those memories hit you when you are walking about.

      • savvydating profile image

        Yves 

        2 months ago

        Hi Nell.....What a pretty area to grow up in? Such a wonderful poem. It brings back memories I hadn't thought of in years.....my brother and I playing outside....looking for lizards. Eeeew. Yes. All those things you spoke of are really fun things to do when you're a kid. It's all about exploring outside and knowing you have a safe home to go back to once dawn arrives on the horizon.

        (I wonder if less kids explore outside nowadays, what with iPhones and all. Hmmm.)

      • Vellur profile image

        Nithya Venkat 

        2 months ago from Dubai

        Lovely poem about childhood memories. It seems like you had a lot of fun with your brother. Enjoyed reading your poem.

      • BlossomSB profile image

        Bronwen Scott-Branagan 

        2 months ago from Victoria, Australia

        Lovely memories from long ago in our lives. Well, actually the sixties was the time of making memories for my children, but I can remember how they were - and how I was some distance further back. A delightful poem.

      • bravewarrior profile image

        Shauna L Bowling 

        2 months ago from Central Florida

        Nell, this poem brings back memories of my childhood in the 1960's. Life was grand and imagination was our fuel. I love being a boomer. We're the last to really know what life is/was all about.

        Thanks for sharing your memories. I shared mine in an article I posted years ago, called "How I Became Bravewarrior".

        Imaginative children make for phenomenal writers!

      • Tom Cornett profile image

        Tom Cornett 

        2 months ago from Ohio

        Wonderful poem Nell. Took me back, gave me memories, images and made me smile. :)

      • MsDora profile image

        Dora Weithers 

        2 months ago from The Caribbean

        Sweet nostalgia. Reminds me of my play days with my cousins also in and near an alley. Thanks for sharing your memories in this lovely poem.

      • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

        Nell Rose 

        2 months ago from England

        Thanks Brenda, yes I know exactly what you mean! Mobile phones have a lot to answer for!

      • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

        Nell Rose 

        2 months ago from England

        Thanks Peg, yes hearing the birds tweeting going to sleep, moths and bats, bliss!

      • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

        Nell Rose 

        2 months ago from England

        Thanks Erik, good to hear from you.

      • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

        Nell Rose 

        2 months ago from England

        Hi Bobbi, thanks so much. That sounds liked fun catching fireflies!

      • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

        Nell Rose 

        2 months ago from England

        Thanks Tim, yes it really brought back memories.

      • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

        Nell Rose 

        2 months ago from England

        Hi Paula, always good to see you! wish you were on facebook we could chat!

      • Brenda Arledge profile image

        BRENDA ARLEDGE 

        2 months ago from Washington Court House

        Such a wonderful memory. I remember those days of childhood too.

        Too bad the children today do not get to know childhood in the same manner we shared.

        Great write.

      • PegCole17 profile image

        Peg Cole 

        2 months ago from Northeast of Dallas, Texas

        This is super sweet and nostalgic, remembering those days playing outdoors until dark. Loved the illustrations, too.

      • Ericdierker profile image

        Eric Dierker 

        2 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

        Very cool. My mom would have me drive her down alleys to the market. Trains show the backside. Thanks

      • PurvisBobbi44 profile image

        PurvisBobbi44 

        2 months ago from Florida

        Nell Rose, I enjoyed your poem and I can relate to playing outside until we caught fireflies to put in our jars during the hot summer months in the south.

        Memories sweetens our minds with days of joy spent with friends and cousins; and makes us smile that we can recall them anytime.

        Keep Sharing Your Poems,

        Bobbi Purvis

      • Tim Truzy info4u profile image

        Tim Truzy 

        2 months ago from U.S.A.

        Ah! Nell, nothing like walking through old times with a skilled writer such as yourself. You captured so many people's youth in your verse. Enjoyable, and I suppose time travel has been on our minds of late. Always a joy to read. Thanks. Admiration

      • fpherj48 profile image

        Paula 

        2 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

        Hi there Nell! Stopping by to say "Hello." What wonderful memories for you....sweet & happy. I love it! Peace, Paula

      • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

        Nell Rose 

        2 months ago from England

        Thanks Lorna, yes we were just over the wall with just the pub garden in between so she could always know where we were by looking out the top window. Thanks for reading.

      • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

        Nell Rose 

        2 months ago from England

        Hi Flourish, its funny isn't it how memories slap you in the face at certain times, lol!

      • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

        Nell Rose 

        2 months ago from England

        Thanks Chitrangada, memories are amazing, funny and sometimes sad too. Always good to 'see' you.

      • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

        Nell Rose 

        2 months ago from England

        Hi Jackie, sorry to hear you need more surgery? pm me on facebook. And yes the Queen and Phillip are amazing aren't they? Yes memories are funny thinggs. Hidden at the back of your mind until you walk somewhere and then whoomp!

      • Lorna Lamon profile image

        Lorna Lamon 

        2 months ago

        Such a wonderful trip down memory lane which reminded me of summer days spent with my brother, sister and cousins playing down by the river. I also remember my mum telling us to come home when we were hungry. Lovely nostalgic poem.

      • FlourishAnyway profile image

        FlourishAnyway 

        2 months ago from USA

        What a sweet remembrance of a simpler time! You captured the essence of childhood memories right here and made me recall my own early interactions with neighbor kids and siblings. We used to play imaginatively all day outside.

      • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

        Chitrangada Sharan 

        2 months ago from New Delhi, India

        Beautiful memories of childhood and wonderful poem. I can relate to those lovely times.

        Good selection of pictures and they give a feeling of nostalgia in black and white.

        Thanks for sharing this wonderful hub.

      • Jackie Lynnley profile image

        Jackie Lynnley 

        2 months ago from The Beautiful South

        Thanks for sharing this memory Nell. Nothing like the childhood ones and I enjoyed your poem very much, too.

        Killing days to my next big surgery and watching your Queen stories at Netflix. Just seems to calm me and I think she is a pretty amazing person. I guess she and Phillip worked everything out and have had a mostly great marriage for many years. Or so it seems.

      • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

        Nell Rose 

        2 months ago from England

        Hi Pamela, I think you are right. It definitely was better back then, so much safer. Thanks for reading.

      • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

        Nell Rose 

        2 months ago from England

        Thanks, Gypsy, yes this one definitely does. Thanks for reading.

      • Pamela99 profile image

        Pamela Oglesby 

        2 months ago from Sunny Florida

        The description of your childhood memories are just like mine, except we didn't get called in for tea. I love your poem because as I age I find Ia enjoy those memories more and more. I think life might have been better for children back then.

      • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

        Nell Rose 

        2 months ago from England

        Thanks Bill. Yes, its amazing how an alley, road or house can throw those memories straight into your face when you walk them.

      • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

        Gypsy Rose Lee 

        2 months ago from Daytona Beach, Florida

        That was absolutely delightful. There are places that will transport you back in time.

      • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

        Nell Rose 

        2 months ago from England

        Thanks Verlie, it was weird I was just walking up the alley and the words just popped into my head. Memory is a powerful thing.

      • billybuc profile image

        Bill Holland 

        2 months ago from Olympia, WA

        Those of us who were lucky enough to have similar memories are truly lucky.

      • snakeslane profile image

        Verlie Burroughs 

        2 months ago from Canada

        Nell, What a sweet reminiscence of your childhood (and the childhood era for many). It's neat that you still live so close that you can revisit your old alley way. Not many can do that. I love your rhyming couplets, simple verses to tell the story. The black and white photos capture the times, and the childhood vignettes perfectly.

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