Category Archives: Poetry

166. Leap and sing in all you do …

“She likes patterns.”

“She does?”

There is a general nodding, particularly from the distaff side of the class. “She wears a lot of patterns,” confirms one ten year old fashionista.

“And stripes,” adds another.

“And chunky jewellery.”

I write ‘patterns and stripes’ on the white board and the class won’t let me rest until I have added ‘chunky jewellery’. Then we try and think of further inspiration for our dormant muses. For, while Mrs Berry is at her daughter’s graduation, Class Five and I are sneakily preparing the farewell book which we will be her present at the end of term, when she sets sail to become Deputy Head of Woolly Meadows Primary School.

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111. Living in the Presents.

The presents
Are over-whelming.
Should you have a stick to shake,
I guarantee that the quantity of presents
Would defeat you; and the quality
Would have you running
For the hills.

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110. The Prologue

Don’t expect any sense from me: I barely know which way up I am.

Replacing Wordsworth’s poems last night – don’t be overly impressed, we were looking up a crossword clue – I chanced upon my copy of The Waste Land. It made no sense at A-Level – all those disjointed fragments and random voices – hurry up please, it’s time. However, light has now dawned. Clearly Eliot was also in the process of – or poetically anticipating, if you want to be fussy about the chronology – a jolly eventful retirement do. He, too, was clearly having problems putting one thought in front of another.

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43. With apologies to Larkin

This Whitsun, I’ve been prompt getting away;
I’M ON THE TRAIN.
Ten twenty on a rainy Friday did
My three-quarters full train pull out King’s Cross.
My bag and coat piled up beside me so
To deter any neighbour who might chat;
The prospect of four hours to myself,
Away from school-work; clearing out the loft,
Too precious to be given up to talk
On whether we will ever get a summer.

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