' Failure will never overtake me if my determination to succeed is strong enough'
Og Mandino (1923-1996)
Conrad Von Buhre de Gilbert.
My grandfather, who encouraged me to write.
A Sketch by his brother, Artist Adrian Bury, from his book,
'Just a Momment,Time'.

Writing - Words on a Page


In the hall of the house where my grandmother and grandfather lived, and where I was born, stood an old grandfather clock. The clock was brought to life by my uncle Conrad, by the installation of a double pendulum in order to make it balance and work. It ticked its way through my childhood and became a focal point, for me, in the encouragement of words on the page.

My grandfather left poems and pieces of writing behind the small wooden door on the floor of the inner heart of the clock, in a space accessible by me. On the days he knew I would visit, the key was left in the lock and I would excitedly open the door, take out the folded notepaper and scurry to a quiet corner of the house. This was usually under the kitchen table where a long chenille tablecloth hid me from prying eyes. The arrangement was that I would leave poems for him under a loose floorboard in his study, a spare room in the house, quite bare expect for an old desk where a pot of quills, ink, and a note pad were placed. This was the beginning of my interest and excitement with words on a page.

The Haunted Clock

For overall there hung the cloud of fear
the mystery and the spirit daunted
twas plain it whispered in the ear
this clock is haunted

There was a dull thud and a hideous yell
as the clock pealed forth the strokes of twelve
the door in the panelling was opening wide
to reveal in terror the spectre inside

There was a muffled sound as I levelled my gun
the spectre vanished as the clock struck one
my mouth opened and I shrieked with delight
as the hoot of an owl did herald daylight.

The Response 

If I ever saw a ghost
I would offer it some toast
I would tell it to sit down
and hope it was a clown.
GH (first poem aged 6/7)