The most fearsome of predators, the most helpless of prey,
resting together in the heat of the day,
an unbelievable scene – never witnessed before
which seems to defy,
Nature’s own law.
A young lioness away from her pride,
with a baby oryx asleep by her side,
’neath the African sky in the shade of a tree,
this unusual pair find
The one-month-old calf is clearly content,
enjoying the company of one whose intent
is usually to hunt . . . and then to feed,
on those of its kind and
Yet here, it lies safe in a gentle embrace,
Nature’s opposites face-to-face,
a tiny oryx in a lioness’s paws,
what a confusion of
This lioness shows such genuine care
as the calf nuzzles in and she licks his fur,
her huge jaws so powerful, yet so tender too,
nudging him softly –
as mothers do.
With spindly legs wobbling, it gets to its feet
and plays with her ear as if it’s a teat,
’til slowly she moves and walks proudly along,
the calf by her side . . . the meek
and the strong.
Whatever the reason for this to be so,
maybe it’s a blessing to help man to know
that nothing and no-one need be set apart,
if the presence of love is
there in our heart.
Man would inherit such richness of life,
banishing war, banishing strife,
joining with others to cherish the Earth,
her beauty, her wonders . . .
and his own worth.
For the love of our Maker unites everything
from men to the creatures and birds on the wing,
it is part of our being – it lives in our soul
and deems everything equal,
each part of the Whole.
No malice is needed towards anyone,
world peace could be gained if hatred was gone,
suffering would end as man’s greed ceased to be,
for with due respect shown,
all could live free.
For what greater joy than a clearness of mind,
leaving uncertainty far, far behind,
knowing no anger, nor quickness of word,
as love for all others is
Each country, each nation, each village and town,
each being, each person, each creature around,
finding contentment whilst moving along
life’s pathway together – the meek
with the strong.
This is a Paperback with 158 pages containing poems on various subjects. Some tell stories and tales while others share memories of far-off days. These are interspersed with nature poems, again on varying themes.
The average length of these poems is four pages, some being less, with one tale covering ten pages and another twelve. One of the nature poems also covers twelve pages.
Included in this book are six coloured pictures relating to six different poems. These are to be found on various pages, while on the inner back page there are coloured hearts in the rainbow colours.
I have always loved the countryside with the many varied creatures, trees and flowers. I was very fortunate in that from an early age, my brother and I were encouraged to learn about the great outdoors. To me it has always been a wonderful place, a magical place. As a child I enjoyed the woodlands, fields and hillsides where we could play, together with the sparkling streams and meadows.
I found the birds and animals fascinating, from sparrows and robins to swallows and skylarks, from tadpoles and frogs to caterpillars, butterflies and grasshoppers, from the rabbits in the fields to the squirrels in the treetops. They were . . . and still are, very special to me.
I hope, when you have a quiet moment, that with an open mind you too will enjoy the following Stories, Tales and Memories.
So please relax and join with me in the innocent escapism of a Story from the unknown, or the excitement of an interesting Tale. Perhaps the Memories I have shared with you will bring back happy times from your own past . . . and the Nature poems bring you upliftment.
Sincerely, Valerie A. Lancaster
Here is a mixture of Stories, Tales and Memories, all written in verse, together with Nature poems scattered in between. This is a ‘sister-book’ to “Butterfly Days”.
The fictional stories and tales cover different parts of the world and are about a mixture of peoples from past civilizations and different cultures. The memories come from times long gone while the nature poems speak of the beauty of the natural world.
This book has been put together in the hope of bringing the wonder of Nature, the joy of past Memories, the excitement of a Tale and the magic of a Story, alive to those who can find a quiet moment to sit and enjoy them.
Just a Tale from Across the Heath
Just Stories from the Wilderness . . . The Desert
Just Refreshing Memories
Just Seeing Beyond the Waterfall
Just Stories from Egypt . . . The High Priestess
Just Tales from the Countryside
Just the Realm of the Unicorn
Just Memories from Childhood – The Secret Hill
Just a Story of Truth . . . Talking Peace, Mahatma Gandhi
Just the Flow of the Seasons: Arrival of Winter, Coming
of Spring, Onset of Summer, Beginning of Autumn
Just Special Memories
Just a Tale of the Sea
Just Stories from Egypt . . . The Scented Garden
Just Magical Memories of Yesteryear
Just a Blending of All
Just Stories from the Past . . . The Roman Soldier
Just Beautiful Memories of Times Gone By
Just Moonlit Nights
Just Stories from Egypt . . . Kaa the Camel
Just a Tale from the Mind
Just Walking on a Rainbow
Just a Story from Africa . . . The Meek and the Strong
Just Making Memories
Just Stepping into a Woodland
Just Stories from Egypt . . . The Desert Wanderer
Just a Tale from the Past – More Childhood Adventures
Just Natural Memories
Just a Beautiful Lagoon (A Gentle Meditation)
Just Stories from Rome . . . Meeting a Passed Friend
Just Meaningful Memories
These days I’m loathe to call myself an avid reader. It feels too fast, too voracious, as if I must consume copious volumes at speed in order to claim the label as mine. It has, to my mind, become synonymous with modern consumerism; we mass-produce books as we do cars, food, clothing… It pushes us to read as fast as possible rather than to slow down and appreciate the beauty of the words in front of us.
That is not how reading should feel. A good book is a chance to journey away from our everyday life, to escape from our worries and let our minds rest awhile.
It’s hard sometimes to do that – to let everything drift into the distance so we can dwell within the world on the page – but Valerie A. Lancaster’s “Just Stories and Poems” grants a rare opportunity to do so.
Butterfly Days and Walking on a Rainbow are indeed sister-books in every sense. For whilst one can be known and loved without the other, seeing them side-by-side makes both their commonalities and uniqueness apparent. In each are stories and experiences, told in rhyme, of the wonder of the seasons, the sunrise, a walk in the woods. There’s magic, too, in the memories of childhood adventures and the lifetimes of those far away from us in place and time.
Each story has a heartbeat, slow and gentle, that captivates me until the story is told, and then carefully releases me so I can return to my reality, replenished.
Valerie Lancaster is a housewife with three children and five grandchildren. She has been married for fifty-one years to her husband Bern and they live in a small village just outside Southport in Lancashire. They both enjoy hiking together out in the countryside, through woodlands, along streams and across hillsides. In the past they have climbed all the highest peaks in England and in the Scottish Highlands, but now their walks are more low-level. Valerie loves Nature, with all her creatures and beautiful scenery.
She started receiving inspirational poems, stories and philosophy over twenty years ago and has had eleven small “Just Poems” books printed. “Just Walking on a Rainbow” is her third published paper-back and e-book and is the sister book to “Just Butterfly Days“.
Up until 2009 Valerie and her husband coached and ran Gymnastic Clubs for children. They did this for fifty years on a totally voluntary basis and in 2006, they were both amazed to each receive an MBE for their services to youth.