Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Food For Thought, Perhaps

What does your letterbox eat?

Mine used to survive
on a sparse diet of envelopes.
It was healthy.

Now, it gets force-fed with flyers
from local fast food places
or supermarkets,
which it spews at once
onto my doormat,
as unpalatable...

And catalogues? They're
enough to give any door indigestion
as it tries to swallow their feast
of expensive purse-tempting pages.

But the menu alternates on lean days
with thin, pleading, plastic sacks
which expect a throw away
generation to feed unwanted items
to this charity, or that good cause.

So while I and my letterbox
are bombarded with ”Buy, buy, buy!”
the plastic bags keep coming.

I think I'll link this to Poetry Pantry... for some reason, all the Toads chose to ignore it last Monday...

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Rictameter Rules

IGWRT's mini-challenge for Sunday is to write a nine line rictameter. The first 5 lines are very similar to a cinquain and  the pattern of syllables per line goes like this:  2,4,6,8,10,8,6,4,2.    The first and last lines must be the same.

by tradition
a day for radio
to subsume the senses
and ease into wind-down of the weekend
before the mind need remember
the next week's beginning -
heading towards

Monday, May 13, 2013

Prelude Part ll


Eleven Plus Examination; first milestone passed and signposts pointed to 'no-choice' choices - 
"Possible combinations of English: French: German: Latin?"
"Plus Greek?"
"Art: Needlework: Cookery?"
"Plus Shorthand and Typing?"
"Maths: Biology: Science: Physics: History: Geography?"
"Yes, yes, yes."
But only if The Arts were not first choice;  a 'no-choice' choice in action, curtailed by timetable restrictions and too few teachers, or too few hours in a day.


Life had come in six year slices;
first, a war torn, well populated family life:
second, a solitary, introverted world at school:
third, a dawn of self awareness, confidence
and growing realization of the enormity
of how much knowledge was on offer.

From  eighteen on, as if twelve years’ worth
of three-term-times-each had not been enough,
came another five-times-three at art college:
annual, pie chart segments, interspersed 
with dribs and drabs of holiday buffers
linking the rushing train of life and learning.

But the points changed
and sent me along a branch line -
to marriage, and children,
not the capital city of a teaching career.

Now whistle stop memories
halt at my brain station
as scenery blurs outside time’s window.
The engine followed its track to Now,
but  the train still holds fast to the rails…
Destination? Learning;  always changing.

This is the follow on from last Wednesday's Real Toad's challenge to write a prelude. :)

Wednesday, May 8, 2013


The lifeblood of the classroom passed into my veins, that Easter Term in 1946. Chalk-dust, copybooks, inkwells, had scents which linked the chain of school days about my neck. They hung heavy, at the start. So much was new, as home became secondary and Teacher was the centre of the universe to the clusters of pupil-planets in orbit about her each day.

A gold star sat on a turned page when lessons went well… until knowing how, why, what, became an ongoing addiction… Where might this lead, if acquiring knowledge, passing exams, winning scholarships, meant  finishing the race to adulthood ahead of the crowd?

Written for IGWRT's, and it so happens a holiday snap of my great-niece and great-nephew fits the bill - sort of!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Real Toads

IGWRT's Kerry asks about a favourite poem. Although I have come across many more erudite examples of a poet's art, if I'm to be totally honest, I have to take you all back to one of my earliest childhood memories, in order to share mine.

It's called 'The Littlest One' by Marion St John Webb, and long, long before I went to school to read it for myself, it could reduce me to tears as an Aunt or a cousin read it aloud. It was right at the beginning in the book of the same name, which probably means it got read more often that those on later pages, but to this day, it remains top of my list.

The Littlest One

I'm sittin' on the doorstep,
and I'm eating bread and jam,
and I isn't crying really,
though I 'speks you think I am.

I'm feelin' rather lonely,
and I don't know what to do,
'cos there's no one here to play with
and I've broke my hoop in two.

I can hear the child'en playing,
but they sez they don't want me
'cos my legs are rather little,
an' I run so slow, you see.

So I'm sittin' on the doorstep
and I'm eating bread and jam,
and I isn't crying really,
though it feels as if I am.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013


Written for Poetry Jam

A Thought

Soak in silence brains which have been
And otherwise afflicted by too much noise
Killing the power of rational thought.

An Afterthought