Youthful Years

We keep a few chooks – in our big back yard
It’s a great idea – and it’s not very hard
They are easy to care for – and they make great pets
Cause they do not require – a frequent visit to the vets
Now Sally is my favourite – cause she’ll sit on my lap
Let’s me give her scratch – and a pat on the back
Sally sits anywhere – even in my work hat
Where she once laid an egg – then on my head, it went splat
Chooks eat our food scraps – and all our left-over dregs
Which they then cleverly convert – into organic eggs
After a hen lays an egg – you’ll hear her celebrate
A loud cackling sound – one you’ll never mistake
Now my friend Sally – she is our only red hen
And each day she will wait – on her perch in the pen
When I sit down beside her – she’ll hop onto my knee
And we’ll talk about stuff – until it’s time for our tea
Now Sally often asks – can I have a rooster friend
I put it to her simply – it would send the neighbours round the bend
As at dawn when he’d crow – he would make such a din
Creating enemies with us all – as we tried to sleep in
But our chooks don’t complain – they know to keep quiet
They are always well fed – and get a good balanced diet
And once every day – they’re let out for a pick
Cause by eating green grass – it prevents them getting sick
But now don’t be mistaken – and now don’t be mislead
All our hens must behave – and get off early to bed
Because I once told a story – it’s one they all dread
Now they dare not disobey – or they’ll end up in a featherbed
© Daryl Barnes 2016



It was nineteen sixty six - when I got a Santa surprise

I was greeted with a ‘Hallmark’ bike - upon my early rise

This twenty six inch push bike - was all shiny and dark blue

Yellow was my brother Geoff’s - so he thanked Santa too


Holding onto the fence top rail - I started really slow

My toes they could not touch the ground - with the seat set way down low

But after a rather shaky start - soon I got the knack

Then up and down the many hills - rode for miles out the roads and back


My final year at Coleraine state - when I took my first paid job

Delivering daily papers - was a way to earn a bob

It was Terry Nepean’s old paper run - so he shown me all around

Who got what and on what day - and where each slot was found


Before school each morning - I would ride to 'Goodies' shop

On Saturdays I went as well - to orderly sort my lot

In sequence they were stacked - this soon became well known

They rode in front of the handle bars - the last paper being our own


The run took me one hour to do - without trying to go flat strap

Soon it all became routine - with weather extremes the only handicap

On hot mornings of midsummer - or in rain or when a frost

The pay per week a dollar fifty - no matter what the cost


Wet and sloping slippery pathways - could bring a boy undone

Losing balance and falling off - was not what I’d call fun

So concentration was on high - to avoid that nasty fate

Get hand or knee or elbow hurt - plus end up running late


But I never asked my father once - to drive me on my round

And I never stayed at home because - a storm was all around

I never found a lame excuse - or ever took a day off sick

And my parents never needed to - get me going with a pointy stick



Now forty years had passed on by – before I found myself again

Delivering papers after work – in the sun and wind and rain

To keep in shape I’d walk the streets – my hair no longer brown

A free paper for every house – fortnightly around this town



On foot this time no bike to ride – took an hour of the afternoon

At times I would be feeling great – and whistle myself a tune

Sometimes I’d reminisce – and think of things I used to do

Like delivering papers in Coleraine – on a bike shiny and dark blue


© Daryl Barnes 2016


When I was only ten years old – I got my first push bike
Living in the country side – I could go just where I like
Casual and laid back were folk – no never in a hurry
Safety was of least concern – parents had no need to worry
My brother and I would make a plan – then far and wide we’d roam
New locations we would visit – after dark we might get home
Ride to the top of every hill – down the other side freewheel
At times we’d almost lose control – and make a high pitched squeal
Loose gravel was our biggest threat – it could easily cause a spill
But negotiating such hazards would – deliver us a thrill
There were occasions it must be said – loss of balance caused a crash
Hands and knees and elbows too – were each prone to gravel rash
When we were kids we’d travel far – often try a different route
Sometimes dogs would come to chase – faster past that gate we’d scoot
We’d push those pedals hard and fast – the bike frame would vibrate
At great speed it was a blast – so what, if we got home late
© Daryl Barnes 2016





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