with apologies to Thomas Hood
No pubs - no gyms -
No bars - no swims -
No dawn - no dusk - no proper time of day -
No sky - no sunny view -
No distance looking blue -
No sag-aloo – (unless for take-away) -
No shopping just for fun -
No picnics in the sun -
No coffee with your mum with cake and biscs -
No film night with the gang -
No jigsaws with your Nan -
No meeting kith nor kin, no Rule of Six -
No galleries, no plays -
No Homes and no Aways -
No birthday celebrations -
No romantic trysts in stations -
No rousing hymns in chapels -
No bobbing for no apples -
No visiting things pastoral -
Not even Barnard Castoral -
No sooner up, it’s dark -
No kickabouts in park -
No travelling at all - no friends to stay -
No where to hang the washing
No thing to do but noshing –
No place to go - it’s raining anyway
No buses, so the car but there are jams - nowhere to park it (PARK IT!))
No loo rolls yet again - no friendly caff - no Christmas market (MARKET!)
No warmth, no cheerfulness, no healthful ease,
No cinema, not even for a member -
No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees,
No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds, -
“She likes patterns.”
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.
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.
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.
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.