Monday, 4 July 2011

June Catch Up

Nuneaton Poetry Day at the Fountain

Nuneaton I salute you on a lovely summer day!
Would I rather be anywhere else ? No chance, no way!
Is there anywhere else for which I could reasonably hanker
Than on the banks of the beautiful River Anker

Your name came when the nuns stopped at Eaton for a rest
And decided that for this fair town chastity was best
Nowhere else would think of piling a hill so very high with mud
And then deciding to call it simply Mount Judd

For leisure you sought the finest retail inventor
Who proceeded to deliver you the famous Rope Walk Shopping centre
The names of the illustrious who have lived here resound for evermore
Like the wonderful Larry Grayson, and his pleas to “shut that door”
He entertained us regally, till we had reached our fill
How strangely inappropriate that he should have come from Camp Hill

It was George Elliot’s Milby too, of writing fame and splendour
Who by ambiguous use of first names became the very first gender bender
You are twinned with Guadalajara in Spain, and Cottbus in Germany
But there is only one place that Nuneaton should be twinned with- and that is Hungary.

Cambridge 1969

Victorian splendour defines the place
Every corner seeping distant echoes
A monkey puzzle tree once stood to the right
Dull colours burned bright in the summers light
Half remembered memories struggling to make sense
The shrill cries of childhood transcending time

And maybe I could come top in art this time
The battle, the struggle to take first place
Mixed palettes and hues assailing every sense5
Rainbow paint glides and scratchy lead echoes
And a simpler world of primary light
Orderly queues standing to the left and right

Transcendent precepts of what’s wrong and right
Neatly dispensed knowledge in perfect time
Some stark serious and stern and others light
A sometimes blissful sometimes savage place
The insistent ring of the hand bell echoes
Impending calm quiet discipline and common sense

The rudiments of games now etched as sixth sense
The field surely arrayed to the batsman’s right
The dull distant thud of a four echoes
For once it will reach the boundary this time
And I was taken back to another place
When joyous spirits soared free and cares were light

Of strange culinary concoctions we’d make light
When spam and semolina made perfect sense
The hall a bustling aromatic place
Where manners were learned and the rites of right
Rituals observed over generations and time
Slaves and servants to the lunch bells echoes

The walls the grounds resounded to echoes
To images of bright then flashing half Light
Of a long lost but rediscovered time
Where blinkered youth yielded to knowing Sense
And the head teacher stood for what was right
In this strange yet comfortingly familiar place

A place now painted in autumnal light
Distorted echoes finally make sense
It was right to reminisce for a time

Don’t Stop

The moist tenderness of my kiss will dry
Your trust will be misplaced
The all consuming rage of lovers will falter
Leaving only the faint toll of hollow memories
What you seek you shall not find here
What you think you have seen has deceived you
For the pain of what might have been
Weighs lightly against that which was and is lost
Too heavy a burden, too high a cost

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