My Second Book of Poems

 used the pseudonym of Gabrielle Sands as I did not want o be identified at the time. I used this name when I

two poems of mine were published by Scope in their East Anglian magazine-'Classified' and 'A right to a Life'.I



Gabrielle Sands is a pseudonym I chose to disguise somewhat, my own identity, as it is easier to write under less personal conditions. Also one feels less inhibited about the choice of topics and ideas in ones works.

"The Edge of Winter" is my very first poetry collection. It is full of graphic images and true stories, chosen for their entertaining and informative qualities.

From a very early age I have written music compositions, and am now attempting to put some on computer for all to hear. These, together with a biographic novel and children's stories, will hopefully be available in the not too distant future. I had the privilege of having some of my early music played on Television and Radio during the formative days of the Wingfield Music Club. The club was established during the early l950s by Herbert Lyon and his wife Lilian. They saw the need to give disabled children and adults a chance to learn music; also enabling them to experience music's therapeutic effect on their lives. This club proved so popular that it is now formed into the Wingfield Music Trust for the physically disabled. Indeed, the early days of my life were very exciting days for me.

I wish to convey my thanks to Scope for helping me to purchase a computer on which I can now present my works in publishable form. Barbara, a Scope social worker, put in a lot of effort to raise the appropriate funds from various charities. Among them was the Scope group, Invalids at home and the Catalyst Charity.

I would like to give a special thanks to Scofield Chiropractic Clinic for helping me keep progressing in my present state of health. I hope that I can continue, no matter how slowly, to produce works of interest. Medical doctors have also been wonderful when I have needed life saving treatment early in my life. During my latter teen years, a very generous Osteopath, a Mr. Jones from my local Missionary Hall, gave me relaxing electric light bulb treatment. Gentle electric pulses were stroked over my whole body, relaxing my stiff muscles; this treatment helped me to pass my Comptometer exam. A Comptometer is a form of computer for complex mathematical calculations.

Thanks also goes to Jane and her daughter Josephine, and other friends, who have helped and encouraged me over the years at various stages in my life. Also to my family, especially my wonderful parents and brother, who have always been supportive in all I do. My school George Gascoigne, my Head master Mr. James Dixon, and Trinity college of Music, helped a great deal in moulding me into what I am now. Also I found having a religious faith helped me to cope with the injustices I inevitably met with during the progressive journey of growing up.

                                                                Introduction                                                    .

A love of wild life and nature, together with family life, is depicted in my poems, music, and pictures. Before I go any further I would like to quote the words of a great poet of Nature;

                                                           "Primroses by the river's brim,

                                                           A yellow Primrose was to him,

                                                              And it was nothing more,"

I am trying to put my thoughts on paper, and show that there is more to the "Primroses" of this world. We just see things as they are. Each specimen of nature definitely holds in the mind of each and everyone of us, a wonder and mystery within it's own creation. These maze of thoughts must be written down; perhaps gaining the immortality that their perpetrators cannot. Just as a painter uses paints and brushes to bring life to an ordinary every day object, so too can the writer and poet with pen and ink. After all, the Creator's power is first in the "word" and then in the pen, writing down warnings and instructions for mankind. His Word, the Scriptures, are his "drawing boards" for life; the pen has always proved mightier than the sword. It is also good when someone appreciates what another has written, and mulls over the contents of his or her writings.

In the poem Eden, I have attempted to capture the "truth", the reality of the deception, and the betrayal, in that paradisiac garden, together with the sacrifice Christ made in taking Adam's place as the perfect man who did not succumb to the tempter's whiles. Christ regained for all of mankind the hope of Everlasting Life which Adam lost. You will see the tempter in the tree, and the serpent whom he spoke through, on the ground. Eve is looking astonished (in cartoon form) with the forbidden fruit in her hand. Jesus is there, at the same time, symbolically taking Adam's place. He is offering the tree of life to the oblivious woman, who represents today's populace.

Eve was not as guilty as her husband, because he knew the true consequences of his actions, as he had direct contact with his maker; Eve did not have the privilege of talking directly with God. The resulting crime of Adam is that he did not protect his family. This is reminiscent of many husbands today, who beat and torture their wives and children. If they were like Christ they would be gentle in their dealings with them. In this poem I also demonstrate the power of womankind over her menfolk. Even if this story were a myth, the teachings behind it are just as poignant.

In "December", I am attempting to convey the message of the ability for mankind to enjoy himself and hide his vulnerability in festivals. The irony here is that Christ was not born in December, as most people now recognise. He was born sometime three months prior in Autumn, a more friendly season for people to register a birth and travel for the Roman Census, that was being held at the time of Jesus's birth. Also, shepherds are not found in the fields with their sheep in mid-winter. The festival of 'Christmastide' is much to do with mankind renewing his energies, and his making new resolutions for the new year ahead.

My other poems speak for themselves, especially the one "Classified", which is a true story of the bullying of a little girl by a man who did wrestling in his spare time. This poem, like Eden shows again the vulnerability of womankind in the form of a little girl.

I chose the title "Edge of Winter" for this poetry collection, because in all these poems Nature's 'harsh edge', together with a humorous side of life, reveals itself in some shape or form. Also the lyrical build up of the words and sentences hope to convey the pace of winter's edge.

                               Janet Marie Cattier





1. December.

2. Mid Winter.

3. Winter Sunset.

4. Meadow View

5. Sunrise and the Gannets.

6. The Voice of the Sea.

7. Classified.

8. De la Vie!

9. The Maori Wasp.

10. Weeping Willow.

11. Eden.

12. Sunset.

14. Spring.

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       It is a beautiful morning,

            Sun is shining bright,

      A walk over the meadow

           Would blissful be,

Beautiful colours of

                Winter hues,

Clear crisp blue skies

             to see.


                Mid  Winter

                Frost grips the branches

          of the snow bound trees,

     Showing winter is truly here.

Garden ponds are frozen over;

Home to the hibernating pond life, 

Protecting them once again,

From another freezing season.


The river winding blissfully,

     Boats sailing silently, alongside

The impressive embedded houses

                   Full of people en parle,

             Getting ready for the feast

                        of Christmastide,

                       Although our Lord was born

                       In Autumn tide.

             Only a week to go!

                  Will the winter snow? and

             From the frosty atmosphere flow,

                Giving the first white Christmas

                  An ethereal misty unreal

                                      Ghostly glow? -

                  Will glad tidings truly be

                                        with all mankind?



                                                                  Grass feels crisp underfoot,

                                                                  Crackling with every step.

                                                                  Hedge hogs now lie sleeping,

                                                                  Under the roadside hedges.

                                                                  Most birds have migrated,

                                                                 Their cries are now few;

                                                                 The starlings, sparrow,

                                                                 And water wagtails

                                                                 Have stayed behind too.

               Thick ice is covering

          The brook and boggy meadow,

     Showing midwinter is here.

Children are tobogganing

Down the snow white slopes,

Slipping and sliding noisily

Avoiding snowball fights.

Fathers standing silently,

Watching their child's plight.

Stray dogs chasing ardently

The odd bold daring cat,

Whose curiosity is now dissatisfied!

So much fuss and bother

For so much trouble in

Climbing slippery slopes

Only to slide down again!


   Winter Sunset


Red skies on the horizon,

Night time is nearing,

Blue ebbing lines in between -

Adding to the intrinsic

Brilliance of the blues

And bright pinks

Of the midwinter hues,

Leaving wonder in the minds

Of evening sightseers,

Wondering what tomorrow


The day before left,

forever, behind.


                                                                         The views across the meadows are

                                                                             Picturesque and splendorous.

                                                                          The nearby river winds blissfully

                                                                       Through the undulating snow bound

                                                                                  Picture book countryside.

                                                                        Throughout the long hot summer

                                                                          The wildlife was plentiful,

                                                                         Basking in the sultry simmering heat.

The cock robin shows off his bright red breast,

To all who care to take notice of him.

He is now king of the bird kingdom,

Now that the majority have migrated

To far off and distant lands.

Children are playing happily

In the wide expansive fields,

Which are now so heavily laden

With the over night fall of snow.

Snowmen are now appearing

Everywhere those children play.

Mothers with their toddlers breath in

The fresh crisp meadow air,

Leaving fathers to cook the Sunday joint.

The sun is now shining comfortably

And will soon melt the snow,

Bringing out the children

Who will change their snow balls

For a black and white football!


Meadow View



Sunrise and the Gannets


The Gannets cry out loudly,

    Over the cliff tops high,

Settling in the wind currents,

     Sailing with a sigh.

    They look heavenwards,

For the island's rare brilliant sunset.

    On New Zealand's Cape Island,

Basking in the New dawn, fish they net.

    Two days before their long flight,


Appetites they assuage,.

   Also making mating bonds for life.

All this, to us, seems so strange.

   All this, to us, seems so strange.

Earth is a fortunate planet.

A beautiful planet since the dawn

of creation. All over the Earth the sun

rises in different locations, adding variety and 

interest for the many races that inhabit the

planet Earth's surface.

The Moari warriors of New Zealand chant,

 welcoming New Years day

as the sun rises over the horizon.

Sea birds wait for the sun to rise

every year, on that special day

on Gannet Island. The sun shows

a brilliant yellow rising from the cliff tops

of New Zealand's Cape Island:

The birds spend two days eating,

eating, eating, and eating, gauging all the fish

that they can manage to fill themselves with, making the

most of that very special day. 

This must be where the name greedy Gannet comes from!

These birds also form a mating bond for life.


The Voice of the Sea

The sea cries out in a loud voice.

It's cries are like those of a man,

Moaning and broken because of the burdens

Carried through the years of time;

On a seared and tarnished conscience,

Which is weighing, Oh so heavily,

On it's cruel drooping expansive shoulders.

Spitting fire and water unindulgently,

It's cries are shrouded in illusive

Effusing incongruous sprays of mist,

Which are forever rising into the facetious

Surprised faces of the brothers of mankind,

Shrouding them in a cloud-like shale.

Come Spring, the bluebells and primroses

Fill the heavy laden flowering woods,

Which flourish round the sea's ample stone studded shore.

A calmer and less woeful a voice now calls,

From out of the strange and mysterious ocean,

Showing it is still capable of the many colours,

Which come from the ever changing swinging moods

That plagues it's competitive winter counterpart.

The sea and mankind are often soul partners in crime,

Frequently lending pirates a helping hand,

Hiding and shielding these ardent criminals,

Through the tired and transcendent changing decades,

Allowing them total unrelenting freedom.







        True story of a cerebral palsey victim.

Janet's Dilemma.

Written during the year 1996. age 51 years.


I am now classified as an invalid. Not Certified!

It is not that I do not want to come out, but;

My body says no, it cannot mix with crowds.

It is getting older, and my head is sore and bad.

It is sad that it is so full of noise. The less worried

and stressed I am, the better I function. After all,

when I was five I was taken out of a rough school

and put into Hale End Road physically disabled school,

picked up by bus and brought home

          at four in the afternoon.

I now have help from various sources.

Various things they do to keep me living.

I have a help in the home;

I had a male helper last week!


Protection from the world!

It jumps on the back of the weak,

Tearing at them with their bare hands,

Making their lives empty and bleak.

Bullied all my life,

So much so that I’ve had to make a haven,

To escape from the wicked;

My very soul they have craven.

I hide in my upstairs haven,

Away from any awful din -

Verbal or otherwise!

The world I once knew,

Has been brought down to size.

I can rest, write, or pray,

Watch TV or speak on hearing

Phone. Another peaceful day!

From the age of 10 years,

I went to a missionary Hall and Bible study.

Brownies, Girl Guides, Church and Wingfield

Music Club. They all carried on a while.

This was my interesting style.

A doctor had told my mother a few years before; "While she's young, do not

stop her from doing

anything. She will be all right by 21!"

My nerves from 12 years old got very bad,

I could not easily socialize,

which was very sad.

I carried on going to the Missionary Hall.

My mother took me, I was glad,

Walking to Lea Bridge Road from

our little terraced house in Richmond Road,

Walthamstow, E.l7. The meetings were

held in a disused shop near Markhouse Rd. end.

We often heard the peel of church bells from

St. Saviour's Church, opposite my dad's favourite cycle shop,

(Lipscombes, it was called), on a Sunday morning,

going to the "Hall".

My guide captain once became upset when I

left at l6, because she said they

could not have anyone with speech problems,

taking a small group, even though my turn had come.

A grammar school girl had just joined, not qualified, and

took my place. The story of my life, always second best!

Not now, I say, because indoors I stay!

Doing something others will never do.

aiming to become some sort of writer. Music

written on computer, I also pursue.

At 18, I underwent water baptism.

It had taken all this time to make me wise,

I could not hear in Missionary Hall,

Nervous at the same time.

Hours I sat with everything flowing

right over my deaf head.

Not telling others, though I expect

they understood. It was me who suffered silently.

I did once call on that guide captain, who lived in Boundary

Road, Walthamstow, and preached to her from my very own bible!

How happy I was, that God had shown her that

given the chance, I COULD INSTRUCT AND SPEAK.

After all he had chosen Moses to speak to Egypt,

with brother Aaron second in command. Moses

was slow of speech like me, and very qualified

in experience.

My ears had been damaged by either birth, measles,

or by the Lennox Rd. bully, Mr. Smith, whom everybody

intensely disliked. We were only sitting on a wall, that

wasn't his,chatting happily. Because he thought we

were rude to him,- somebody had called out

"Smutty" to him, which was his loathsome nickname-

he told us off, grabbed hold of me

and whacked me round both ears;

knocking me out

into the middle of Queens Rd,

which was at the top of my road,

Richmond Rd., and joined onto the adjacent Lennox Rd.

where George Gascoigne Central School was situated.

George Gascoigne later became an experimental

Comprehensive: at least it was this

by the time I attended it in the middle l950s.

Richmond Rd. had an allotment

opposite a row of terrace houses,

Mine was number 25,

and Queens Rd. Park could be seen in the distance

over the allotments.

After a while, I came too, picked myself up and struggled

home like a wounded dog,

never to be the same again.


That man was never prosecuted,

The proprietors of the Off-license opposite,

were too scared of the bully to testify.

The police would not take notice of my friends.

There were nine or them including

twins, Carol and Christine,

who always stood by me!

Double-click to edit text, or drag to move.

Double-click to edit text, or drag to move.

Double-click to edit text, or drag to move.


Summer has receded, Autumns presence is felt,

Leaves are falling into the Edge of Winter's belt,

Tightening around it's narrow waist,

Waiting for the Transition into Spring's edge,

Like a Bridal gown in a shop window,

Patiently waiting for a potential bride,

Who is likely to enter and purchase

The alluring white gown with pride.

This wedding dress comes hand in hand with

A floral hand held flower display,

Grown in a greenhouse in an artificial Spring;

Pre-grown during the Edge of Winter,

Ready by the time Winter's Edge ends.