March 2017 poems

March 2017

Here are the first entries in our new year-long competition…

On submitting a poem…

Lorna warned me, “Alan, do keep it clean!”
I thought, nay, I pondered, “What does she mean?”
Should I put my poem in a washing machine?
Or hand wash it and scrub it, although I’m not all that keen?
Maybe take it to Sidley for a thorough dry-clean?
Or to a Chinese laundry, if you chow what I mein?
But in the end I thought STUFF IT, the light I have seen…
So here is my poem, fit for a queen:
* An epigrammatic Japanese verse form of three short washing lines

– Alan Collins

What’s there? (A poem about Scotland)

Hues of purple and green,
Far views, big sky.
In the highlands and glens,
Deer run, eagles fly.

Moody castles and brochs,
Standing circles of stone,
Remnants of those
Who once called this home.

Ancient mountains and rocks
Where the mist drifts and curls,
Falling waters, still lochs,
A part of me
And my girls.

– Sue Nebbiolo

ARDVRECK CASTLE, LOCH ASSYNT – photo by Sue Nebbiolo

The terrible winter of 2016/17

Did it snow? It did not.
Did it frost? Not a lot.
Did it rain? Barely a spit.
Did it storm? Well, a bit.
Did it hail? Hardly a tonne.
Did it fog? Yes, there was some.
Did it gale? A gust or two.
Did it thunder? Not that I knew.

Did the schools close? Did the trains stop?
Was Crowhurst stranded? Did we panic shop?
We.    Did.    Not.

Now the primroses are peeping,
The bluebells are creeping,
The dawn chorus is cheeping,
The frog spawn is heaping,
The hedgehogs are unsleeping,
And snowboarders are weeping.

Is it safe to say?
Safer day by day…
Spring is on its way.

– M. Fish

A day in the life of a Quarry Wood work party

Mistle Thrush’s song floats across still water,
Sunbeams filter through emerald canopy,
Scents of Wild Garlic pervade every quarter,
Our woodland reserve, sweet tranquillity.

Elvish Cups glow scarlet on mulch and dead wood,
Our Ladies stand tall, silver and green,
Fungi, Fauna and Flora, all that is good,
Create a slice of heaven, calm and serene.

WHY IS PAUL UP THAT TREE? Yells Jill with a frown.
Health and safety clearly states he’ll break his silly crown!
Fionn, mind where you’re going, those wasps look damn cross!
NO! Don’t step on Lorna, she’s snapping the moss!

Hell’s Bells, where’s that saw? There’s a bush in my face.
Ian tug on that rope, this log’s out of place!
Where’s Jill with her Billhook? The Ivy’s a pain,
And Will’s gone and got stuck in the pond again!

Oh great! Paul tripped over Lorna, photographing Bells Blue,
To land in a scrape full of fresh Badger poo!
But when the party is over and the work is all done,
Our reserve’s looking glorious, bravo everyone!

– Paul Johnson

Every morning I look in the mirror

This isn’t the face I used to wear,
It hasn’t been for a while.
And every morning in the mirror
I only recognise the smile.

I’m not the shape I used to be,
I can’t believe my eyes.
Every morning in the shower
Extra me is a surprise.

Supple skin used to ping right back,
All silky smooth velour.
Now every morning when I dress
My skin doesn’t fit anymore.

My bouncy hair, my luscious mane,
I cherished every tress.
Now every morning when I brush
I’m brushing less and less.

Make no mistake, I’ve no regrets,
I walk with joy and pride.
Every morning I look in the mirror
And I still feel twenty inside.

– Eva Merril

Shameless promotion from the Arty Farty Chair

Looking for a film in Japanese
I suddenly had a great wheeze,
Why not show the Samurai Seven?
We’ll all end up in Seventh Heaven.

– Mr J. Spall

Writers’ block

They asked me to write a poem
But I can’t find a way to get going
So I’ll put my pen down
And not make a sound
Tilll words in my head start a’flowing

– Bruce Cripps

A curious foliage

The primrose is a delicate fella,
Petals soft and round, pale and yella.
But a bit of me now truly believes
There’s been a mistake – it’s got the wrong leaves.

No smoothness or shine, they’re all wrinkles and ridges,
Not velveteen green, more like kale and cabbages.
Of course there’s a reason for nature’s device
To compare and contrast what’s nasty and nice.

But for me now the primrose is never without
That lingering smell of stale sauerkraut.

– C. King

Poetry call

Yes… it’s a bread bin.

Come One ‘n’ All – now is the time
To write something quite sublime
For my lovely pal Lorna
Has set up Poetry Corner –
Let’s fill that bread bin with rhyme!

– Paul Johnson

April 2017 poems
Full list of poems