Patrick Ladbrooke

Patrick Ladbrooke Poems

I remember nights of roaring surf,
The long rods nodding with the pull,
Watching in the hiss and glare of pressure lamps,
Waiting with my father, for the fish to run.

There is a five bar gate,
white, by a woodland track
where, half a century back,
we talked till evening late.

On the trailing edge of winter, pale light led me
To the cut, where alder and bowed willow stand
Reflected in the greys and browns of long waiting,
While winter burdened boats slack at their ropes.

Tall the abbey tower,
Now with no bell to call
Through a perfect arch to nowhere,
But a crumbling abbey wall.

Ahead, in rain, the morning surges
With brake lights on the dual carriageway;
Around a slight curve traffic crushes
Yellow blinking to the outside lane.

No black is blacker than the darkest night,
Without star or moon,
Or guiding light,
Of love.

A stranger he will be
The sailor home from sea,
To child left in the womb
An infant now he's home.

When I last walked down this lane
I was just a boy
Short trousered and muddy kneed.
The puddles were much deeper then

Orange lines of sodium
Beckon through the mist,
Lanes flowing, slowing,
Climbing up to Saddleworth.

I tread the leaves,
Which rustling, fly;
Life's steps I've gladly taken
Blackened lie,


I thought the grass was greener,
On the far side of the hill,
I searched in vain,
Found only pain,

Swinging sixties

From boy to man
And a string of girls


From a distant wood, a boy,
I gathered bluebells by the armful.

Saturday evenings,
With resin'd hair and blistered toes
I chased a girl
Who triple salco'ed in a tutu.


That dear old friend
Once, crisp and timely
as a metronome, now
Shouts in my ears each night



I love to write a list
1. And prioritise.

Smiling from their cosy nest,
two puppies rise and fall with her every breath,
bursting to escape, they taunt
' You'd like to feel our peachy warmth? '

Old men on a shelter bench,
With newspapers and sticks,
Each day the same as yesterday,
The morning tide, the ships;

When autumn came, the sea would swell
With the harvest to deliver,
And the air was filled with herring smell,
From quays along the river.

Thompson took the crease;
with broken pallet plank in hand,
tapped at the cracked concrete.
Smith bowled, right arm over dustbin

Patrick Ladbrooke Biography

I began to discover literature, including poetry just 3 years ago at the age of 57, after spending my whole career as a chemist. I have written some short stories and poems since, some of which have been published, but only in places that will publish anything. It's a hobby really (he says, wishing he could make a success of it!) . Thanks for dropping by, Patrick)

The Best Poem Of Patrick Ladbrooke

The Bond

I remember nights of roaring surf,
The long rods nodding with the pull,
Watching in the hiss and glare of pressure lamps,
Waiting with my father, for the fish to run.

And run they did, made lines sing in the wind,
Smooth muscled silver-green flanked cod,
Gorged plump on shrimp shoaled in the scour.
We cradled them from breaker’s undertow,
Our sea soaked clothes raw in the cold of night,
To marvel as they glistened on the sand.
Next day, served on our plates,
They tasted like they’d swum from seas of heaven.

But time has stolen him away from me,
And I have lost the heart, for fishing was our bond,
Yet still I look out on the starry, surf filled, fishless nights
To think of how it was;
Just waiting for the moon to light a seaward path,
And wishing it could take me back to then.

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