Brought up as a child in the war years,

I longed to see distant countries.

Beyond the shores of this small island

 What could await me in the world?


Lands where the sun shone warm

From high up in blue cloudless skies? –

Mountains, whose peaks tore

To shreds those soft billowing clouds?


How I longed for those beaches where

The soft sand would caress my toes;

Where the salty waves would break

In endless streams over golden beaches.


I pondered about languages and cultures

Which were different from my own

Where I could step from adolescence

Into adulthood - perhaps unnoticed?


Oh for freedom and independence

That would sublimely initiate me

Into that world where I could be

My own identifiable person.


I would be enthroned in this world

Where my choices would be my own –

Not the guided and supervised choices

Made for me by my loving parents.


Oh, but those far distant green pastures

Are often not what we think they are.

With liberty there comes the feeling

Of, perhaps, becoming too detached to cope.


I think that we are like young birds who,

Knowing that they must take that first flight,

Tentatively gaze at what they must face below.

'Will our small feathered wings support us?'


   Then we say 'J u m p' . . . and it is done.


Copyright on all my poems

first flight Reflective Index Secondary Schools




By Josie Whitehead

People Poems Pastures Green Fledgling The Death Sentence Day of the Exam

'Pastures Green' was published in 2010.  Friends of mine said that it was so important that children went to university  in order to bridge the gap between being a teenager at home and being an adult.  You do not need to go to university for this reason.  Gaining good, useful skills, that everyone needs, will find you work anywhere in the world and we are importing these skills from other countries to a large extent at the moment.  Thank goodness our Government is doing something about it right now. I have good secretarial skills as well as experience and was able to get work anywhere in the world.  I travelled to Canada (Vancouver) with these skills and also my teaching qualifications and experience, and there was no problem in finding work and trying out my pastures new.  It is so important that young people learn to be independent.  Josie