Glass and steel

Bush and grass;
Nomadic units.
Mud and thatch;
A season’s shelter.
Timber, wattle and daub;
A whole community.
Stone and flint and brick,
Lots of brick and stone;
Built to last;
A permanence:
Solidity, reliability
Cities and government
Confirmation of continuity
Substance, dependability.

Cold steel;
Reflective, shiny
Outward gloss;
And glass
All revealing
Transparent glass.
Windows to the outside
Portals to the inside.
Transparency and truth
Everyone can see;

 Words , poem and photo copyright Englepip©

The last few decades have seen a new architecture throughout the world. There is a change in style and feeling and I wanted to express how our architecture says a lot about us socially. This is a picture of Basingstoke, once a small market town evolving into a commercial hub – the place where Burberrys were invented in a small retailers; where Eli Lilly and Smiths industries and Lansing Bagnall led the way; where the Automobile Association still is based in what was until recently the tallest building between Hampshire and America; where the bank note printers De La Rue still has its headquarters on the edge of town. But as we move away from industry and manufacturing, – this is on the edge of the Uk’s silicon valley – to ethernet and internet and the need to face each other and work together physically, so architecture has changed. From solid stone with a ‘built to last’ feel, we have moved to glass and steel. Does it represent the unforgivingness of the working environment today? Does the transparency of glass mean that – yes we can see you are not hiding things but that you are being watched all the time? Does the brittleness of glass reflect the ease with which our individual worlds can be smashed and broken?


Daily Prompt: Stormtroopers


_1580289Warriors of destruction 
Galactic Empire soldiers
Darth Vader's ground troops 
Legions of terror.

Swiftly deployed 
To crush opposition
Elite mixed forces, 
Of aliens, humans clones 

Trained to be loyal 
Numbered in white armour
Dangerous to encounter
Against the thinking of the free.

Opposition to the Jedi.
Acting on orders
Without individualism
None of them free.

May we thwart their purpose
Use intellect against them
And let the force be with us
To win; to be free.


There is a currently an exhibition of Star Wars in our local museum. 900 people attended on the opening day and queued from the early morning to get in. I have enjoyed the Star Wars movies though I am not an avid fan. The words above sum up how I have interpreted my impression of the stormtroopers. Please correct me if you think I am wrong. 🙂

Words and photo copyright Englepip©

via Daily Prompt: Thwart

Jane Austen


The bronze lady in the hat stands in

Frozen motion at the top of town

Diminutive but stern she looks left

But there are no horses bearing down

Her wonder at the quiet of the street

And the clean appearance of the stone

No mud and straw beneath her feet

Where she is bound in bronze forever.

Jane what have you in your grasp?

Does your book speak of Pride and Prejudice

Or is it Sensibility you clasp

Tight under your arm in the breeze?


This is your local town of Basingstoke

Where you sometimes visited to dance

And met with distinguished country folk

To be seen but also mark their ways

So you could write of insights to the lives

Of all the landed gentry roundabout

Their sons, their daughters and their wives

As though in fiction but so near to truth.

Who’d have thought two centuries later

You would reappear among these streets

A heroine, no female writer greater

And stare at all of us who admire you.

Who knows what observations you are making

Of the people as they talk and walk and pass

Are you creating fiction and note-taking

For a novel that is new but bound in bronze?


In July 2017, a bronze statue of Jane Austen by sculptor Adam Roud, was unveiled in the town square in Basingstoke to mark two hundred years since her death. Jane Austen, lived in Steventon, a village just out of Basingstoke. The sculpture is a beautiful piece and it looks to me as if she is about to cross the road. Of course now the Top of the Town is all pedestrianised. It is off the beaten track of the main shopping centre but the local pub and some of buildings still remain, although the ground level frontages look modern now. But as with so many places in the UK, if you look above these, you can see the architecture of the past.  The church at Steventon is still there, a pretty little place inside and some of the family are buried in the graveyard, however their original house is no longer there. Jane later moved with her family to Chawton and it is there you can visit the museum about her life.

Pride and Prejudice has to be one of my favourite books now, although I did not appreciate it when I had to study it at school. It is so full of biting humour and caricatures of type. As a parson’s daughter, Jane must have met with many different people and her books demonstrate this.

Words and photo copyright Englepip©

via Daily Prompt: Grasp