Grampy

A poem about my Grandfather – “Grampy” – written for and performed at the Nottingham Poetry Festival, at the Crosswords Sue Ryder open mic night. I’ve attached the recording below on YouTube, with another poem from last night too. I’d love it if you checked it out 😀

Grampy died when I was young.
Young enough to remember,
but not old enough to know him.

He was a baker by trade, always
bringing oven-warm buns,
the three minute walk back to
his front door.

He’d served in North Africa
in the Second World War.
This utterly fascinated me,
the reality of war.
The notion of “service”. The grit.
But we never spoke of it.

The closest we came was him buying me
“Commando” magazine from the newsagents,
next to the bakers. Those pocket booklets of
heroism, jingoism. Derring do. Reality
safely sanitised into periodic pieces
where the good guys always win.

I never really cared for them –
I preferred when he
bought me “Buster” comics –
but I never told him that.
He thought I’d like them,
so he bought them for me.
Maybe he wanted to say more.
I wanted him to say more.
But he never did.

The cancer
ate through him
In those final days.
A Brylcreem skeleton.
A shadow of sallow skin,
sunk in his favourite chair.
Unable to manage even that
short walk to the newsagents,
now knocked through into the
bakery, selling undertaxed coffee.

No more Commando magazines.
No more unspoken words.

Question, or Nominate?

I attended a friend’s poetry book launch last night, and on the bus home I read of the passing of William G Stewart, a former TV producer and presenter in the UK. He hosted a quiz show, 15-to-1, for many years, in a famously unfussy, non-demonstrative style. I found myself strangely moved by his death, and compelled to write a poem about it, perhaps because of how television – and quiz shows in particular – have changed in the last few years. To me, he is a lost link to a different time.

William Gladstone Stewart,
Or to me just William G;
A remnant from a bygone age
Of simpler TV.

No flannel between questions,
No inconsequential padding.
Just quizzing for the purist
Within a geography teacher’s cladding.

No cheesy catchphrase churned out,
No tearing people down.
A host with quiet dignity,
No need to play the clown.

You reached the final round
Scored the maximum throughout.
From fifteen, to one, your time is done;
Your lights have all gone out.

RIP William G xxx

 

williamg

Autobiographical Haiku

To save my reason,
I write verses as a gift,
But must work for coin

 

I wrote this for secret keeper’s weekly challenge, based on 5 prompt words – gift coin verse work reason. This isn’t the best haiku I’ve ever written, but I am strangely proud of it, chiefly because it describes me so perfectly, using every one of the prompt words in one haiku.

http://thesecretkeeper.net/2015/11/23/weekly-writing-prompt-12/

Hope you enjoy it too 🙂

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flickr.com/photos/jenumfamily/5530372083

Weekly Haiku Challenge – “Give” & “Future”

A trio of haiku in response to Ronovan’s latest weekly challenge: “Give” and “Future”. I need to put a big disclaimer against that last one as being fictional! https://ronovanwrites.wordpress.com/2015/06/29/ronovanwrites-weekly-haiku-poetry-prompt-challenge-51-future-give/

Political
Too much give and take
(Mostly take). Country bankrupt.
Where is youth’s future?

Pastoral
Cherish seed with love,
Fertile soil and water.
Harvest the future.

Personal
Meeting with your mum:
A vision of your future
Gives me the horrors!

challenge51