Into the Past by Vivi Steels

Posted on October 21, 2016 at 4:35 AM

Into The Past


The Auckland Guest House green and cream

Set within my childhood dream,

Rope-swing falls from towering tree,

Lawn, coloured mallets, balls and croquet.

Miss Sammy, half-Persian, half-Siamese,

Loves a cuddle, loves strong cheese.


Bess, black Labrador with solemn face

Waddles in dining room from place to place

For titbits, gravy, crumbs of cake.

She waddles out still on the make.


Room is airy, walls slope away.

I wonder what we’ll do today?

Garden, breakfast, piano, beach then swim.

My Dad is funny; I play with him

Amongst the waves, silvery-blue and winking,

My rubber ring and his arms stop me sinking.


Ice cream call – Split or 99?

I don’t mind – the one without sand is mine!

We eat our picnic on the beach

Sandwiches, pasties, fresh ripe peach.

My arms are brown, legs are too,

Dad is red, swimming trunks blue.


We wander back to the Lovell’s house

To wash and dress to be ready for tea.

Or is it dinner? My dress feels fussy

After shorts and tee-shirt by the sea.


Evening falls soft as dust.

We all dress up, the show’s a must.

We send a box round finally,

The guests cough up – it’s for charity.


Bedtime comes, the stars appear.

It’s bath, then bed –

Hope we come here next year.


© Vivien Steels

Published in REFLECTIONS: A COLLECTION OF POETRY (Forward Poetry Anthology) – January 2012


Our favourite holidays were spent in Bexhill-on-Sea at the Auckland Guest House run by Mr and Mrs Lovell. We had many happy family holidays there in the 1960s with my mother and father and my sister, Alison.  I wrote this poem about one holiday there in 1961, which refers to Miss Sammy, the half-Persian, half-Siamese cat I loved, whose photograph is below.




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