Posts Tagged ‘poem’

Winter Chill

January 24, 2013

Winter Chill

Many years ago I used to visit a lovely gentle lady. She had been blind for a few years and then a stroke made it difficult for her to talk. But somehow we managed to communicate. I visited her twice a week on my way home from work. I would sit next to her and read from books that took her out of her darkness into a world of light, of action, conversation, memory and imagination. She loved these times together, and so did I.

This dear lady did not live alone, her elderly husband cared for her with the help of relatives and others. From our talks I discovered that in their ‘late in life’ courting days they would walk the local lanes. On the mantelpiece there was a figurine of a couple under an umbrella. I was told laughingly that people in the village saw it as being them. This dear lady had been a member of the choir until old age and blindness made things difficult. But my strongest memory of her when she became blind, but before she was housebound, was of her husband leading her up the aisle to receive communion. I think everyone in the small church was struck by their mutual devotion.

As I said, when she became housebound, I visited her twice a week. The visits were on regular days. But one week I called on an extra day. I gave no thought to what her husband would think of it. After all, maybe he wanted to watch television instead of having to switch it off. It was a thoughtless action of mine and one which I lived to regret. I saw another side to the relationship that I had never suspected — one I kept to myself.

I wrote this poem a long time after the event, in fact many years after they had both died.

Winter Chill

She sits there…

June in the December of her life:

withered skin,

eyes unseeing

speech mangled,

a stroke deadening half her brain

leaving her part vegetable,

part human,

the human crying out to walk and talk again.

….

Not yet rotting in dark grave

but compelled

to dwell in darkness

inside a swift decaying shell.

‘Bell. Someone’s at the door,’

June tries to say

in garbled words

desperate to be heard.

….

‘No one’s at the door,’

her husband bellows above the din of

shouting crowds

and thundering hooves

of horses at a racetrack many miles away,

brought into their room

courtesy of BBC

on a TV screen

that June will never see.

….

‘Bell… door… bell,’ June insists,

frantic to let her caller in —

a hand to hold?

a voice to cheer?

a friend to read?

Awkwardly she struggles

to loudly speak the words —

‘Bell… open…the… door.’

….

No one’s at the bloody door,’

her husband, minus hearing aid,

yells in rage.

‘You’re always hearing doorbells ring

when no one’s bloody there.

For god’s sake, woman —

Shut up!….

I’m trying to watch the race.’

….

I do not ring the bell again,

I walk on home,

James Herriot book in bag…

sad for June, for whom I read

and for a gentle man

that once I knew

but would never be the same again.

Yes, weeping for the suffering endured

when life with meaning is no more.

Gladys Hobson….

Eric… The Breaker of Hearts

February 11, 2011

A Poem For Those Who Like To Waffle

September 9, 2010

The Long and Short of it

Ned always speaks extemporaneously
And few would doubt his eloquence
But in ad captandum argument
His words lack fruitful resonance.
He’s good at stirring up a mob
And receiving adulation,
Although with facts fallacious
He discombobulates the issues —
In words of simple syllables
Contradicting the empirical.
Perfidious I will seem to be
In a megalomania’s Utopia,
For I audaciously reveal the truth
Of Ned’s impediment to glorious fame —
His Hippopotomonstresquippedaliophobia

Ulverston — Festival Town Twixt Sea and Fells

September 4, 2010

Looking over Ulverston from Hoad Hill


Dickensian Weekend 2009


Ulverston is in the Furness region of Cumbria. The canal of just over a mile connected the town to Morecambe Bay. The canal is now blocked but it is a lovely stretch of water to walk along; full of wild life, and with beautiful views across farm land towards the fells. The coast there is quite delightful with a great little hotel, where you can get a drink, a good meal, or spend a few days in a room overlooking the bay. An ideal spot for exploring South Cumbria and beyond.

Ulverston — Festival Town Twixt Sea and Fells

A market town, friendly and warm,
Blessed by distant mountain scenery,
Seashore, bay, canal and monument
Surrounded by fields and woodland greenery.

On market day the band will play
Tunes old and new for one and all.
Shoppers from villages near and far
Buy goods from stalls and the market hall.

The Cumbrian Way leads from the Gill
Along a path and bridging a brook.
Trekkers togged in boots and anoraks
Follow Harvey map and Cicerone guidebook.

Take the Gill Banks path for a pleasant walk
By tumbling brook and broad-leaf trees.
See wild flowers growing by sparkling water,
Listen to birdsong, feel the whispering breeze.

Visit the Hoad — it’s an uphill trek
Along various paths — just make your choice.
When you reach the monument stay for a while,
The view is magnificent — your heart will rejoice!

Midst ivied tombs and forbidding trees
The Parish Church stands aloof from the throng.
Stained glass, choir, organ, tell the ancient story
And bells ring out their welcoming song.

By war memorial, under dark November clouds,
People come to honour the dead, as best they can
With wreaths of red poppies — symbolic of the suffering
Of man’s grievous inhumanity to man.

The Railway Station with tall clock tower
Stands just as it did in days of old.
Building embellishments and fancy iron structures
Picked out in bright colours of red, green and gold.

Walk by the cinema to the unusual museum
Where Laurel and Hardy are worshipped by fans.
Sons of the Desert are viewed there daily
On mugs, jolly posters, and films out of cans.

Hear the Town Crier ringing her bell
Loudly telling of what’s on in the town:
Art exhibition, drama and dances,
Church coffee morning with tombola and clown.

Festivals abound throughout the year —
Walkers, words, music, beer, banners and flags.
Folklore with singers, street music and dancing
Magicians and comedians telling old gags.

Dickensian Weekend come end of November —
Ladies in finery, sweeps in old rags.
Music and carols, roundabouts, chestnuts,
Mulled wine, fancy stalls set on cobbles and flags.

Carnival day and the town is packed full
Of locals and visitors, and child dancing troupes.
Floats, gaily decorated in colourful themes
Follow the pipers and marching band groups.

Late September when Charter Weeks end
There’s dancing and fun well into the night.
Wonderful sculptures with candles inside
Parade with live music, in a river of light.

At civic events and festive occasions
Join with the throng and let all-comers rejoice.
Firework displays end all great celebrations
With sighs of pleasure and joyful voice.

From the Anthology, Northern Lights (Magpies Nest Publishing.)

The Shore at Canal Foot

Looking over Ulverston towards the Hoad Monument and Morecambe Bay


The far end of the Gill footpath


Ulverston School Band is one of a number of bands that play occasionally in the Market Square. During the summer the Town Band plays nearly every Thursday

1980’s — 2010 Fashionable Jeans? Inspires poetry!

April 21, 2010

In the 1980’s my teenage son was offered £10 (a lot of money in those days) for his tattered old jeans. I had patched them many times but they had got beyond further repair. They were washed out, fraying on all the seams and mainly held together by good will and adoration. He himself had hand-stitched huge godets (upside-down V shaped panels) into the legs to give each hem the width of a skirt, and the weight alone required a firm belt to keep them up! He still treasures those heavy leather belts with their metal buckles. So, long hair, beads, and godets swinging as he walked, with knees pushing through frayed patches, he was a sight to behold. Did he take the £10? Certainly not. They were worth more than money — they were part of his credibility as an up and coming young man to be reckoned with! Fashion (scruffy or not) was part of that credibility.
Nothing has changed.

So, What’s New In Fashion? (poem by Gladys Hobson)

Torn at the knee and frayed at the bum
Zip barely fastened and stuck up with gum
Hems that sag and drag on the ground
Just enough fabric to cover your mound
Studded belt with buckle of steel
To hold up those rags with little revealed.
You think it erotic to bare scruffy knees
Show off your crotch held tight in your jeans
Just leaving enough to catch the eye
While making out you’re incredibly shy?
I’ll tell you, young folks — there’s nothing new
Your parents wore jeans long before you
Back in the eighties when flares were the rage
When drainpipes were out and jeans came of age
All tattered and torn and bleached by the sun
Looking as though shot by a two-barrelled gun.
Yes, and torn off legs for the short-shorts tool
The shorter the better, the golden rule.
Birds to be lured and bucks to snare
With pots of honey in jean-covered ware.

Visit Magpies Nest Publishing
My author site
Writing For Joy
Ask Gran Hobson

Lindal-in-Furness 1969-83 — with poem

April 9, 2010

After spending our early years of marriage in Beeston, Nottingham, followed by thirteen years of family life in Loughborough, Leicestershire, we moved north to South Cumbria (to what was then part of Lancashire). People were awed that we would move to near Barrow-in-Furness. It was considered to be the end of a cul-de-sac, if not the end of the world. And yet, the first time we drove up here, the scenery we passed through lifted my spirit and I knew that we were doing the right thing. True, the roads then were poor and the children were constantly sick as we drove in and out of the area. But things improved and the new roads give spectacular views of sea, mountains and fells. The air is fresh and clean, the pace gentle and the ‘natives’, in the village where we first settled, friendly. As indeed are the people where we now live – just a few miles away. We never thought when we were young that we would live in such a wonderful place as Cumbria, with its magical walks and drives throughout the English Lake District. Fells, mountains, lakes, rivers and streams, not to mention the culture embracing literature and art.
I wrote the following poem when we were about to leave our first home up here.

Our Time in Lindal 1969-1983

Sixteen years of village life,
So many changes we have seen
In brick and stone, and mortal flesh:
Time for a boy to become a man,
For a youth to grow in wisdom
And strong men change to weak.
Time for many friendly souls
To take their leave of earthly things
Having left their mark in village lore.

Sixteen years since first we came —
Townies in a rural place:
“Takes thirty years to be accepted.”
Half that time has passed away,
But villagers with roots going deep
Into Lindal soil and Furness ore,
Faithful members of the church,
Keepers of the rural scene,
Have not withdrawn a hand of friendship.

Sixteen years, now we move on —
With sadness yes, but thankful too
For all that Lindal’s given us.
Thankful for the friendships made,
The cheerful smiles, acknowledging waves,
And nods of recognition.
Thankful for the time and space
To move and grow, explore and be,
Thankful for acceptance.

Poem — December Chill

January 23, 2010

December Chill

She sits there…
June in the December of her life:
withered skin,
eyes unseeing
speech mangled,
a stroke deadening half her brain
leaving her part vegetable,
part human,
the human crying out to walk and talk again.

Not yet rotting in dark grave
but compelled
to dwell in darkness
inside a swift decaying shell.
‘Bell. Someone’s at the door,’
June tries to say
in garbled words
desperate to be heard.

‘No one’s at the door,’
her husband bellows above the din of
shouting crowds
and thundering hooves
of horses at a racetrack many miles away,
brought into their room
courtesy of BBC
on a TV screen
that June will never see.

‘Bell… door… bell,’ June insists,
frantic to let her caller in —
a hand to hold?
a voice to cheer?
a friend to read?
Awkwardly she struggles
to loudly speak the words —
‘Bell… open…the… door.’

‘No one’s at the bloody door,’
her husband, minus hearing aid,
yells in rage.
‘You’re always hearing doorbells ring
when no one’s bloody there.
For god’s sake, woman —
Shut up!
I’m trying to watch the race.’

I do not ring the bell again,
I walk on home,
James Herriot book in bag…
sad for June, for whom I read
and for a gentle man
that once I knew
but would never be the same again.
Yes, weeping for the suffering endured
when life with meaning is no more.

By Gladys Hobson 2009
Based on a true incident.

Diane Taylor West

August 7, 2008

Diane Taylor West

Diane Taylor West


Diane Taylor West

Ms West is a teller of tales and a writer of poetry. The variety of work she produces is wide and varied, from writing up her column in a local weekly paper to producing both humorous and poignant poems, stories and anecdotes for magazines and anthologies. Here are two examples of her work.
First poem. I have chosen this one as a starter because I think it is one of her best. Nothing pretty-pretty but stark and chilling! An abused child caught in the grip of fear, from which there is no escape.

A Crying Shame…(ssh)

Silent tears are the voices
That no-one hears
Caught in the throat of fear
Waiting for release
When it comes
If it comes.

Forbidden words
Hidden away
Locked in the vault of guilt and pain
Waiting for release
When it comes
If it comes.

Trapped behind a mask of lies
And the ignorance of unseeing eyes
Waiting for release
When it comes
If it comes.

A dirty game
A crying shame.

Taylor West

And now for something completely different!

The Flasher

The man in the raincoat stands up and prepares
As the girls head towards him, of him unawares.
He waits till they’re next to the sign that says trash,
Then steps out in front of them, gives them a flash.

One says, ‘Oh my God!’ and then ‘Yeuk!’ says another,
‘I’ve seen bigger things on my two-year-old brother.’
They all fall about laughing, to his surprise,
So he hastily tries to zip up his flies.

Much to his horror, he gets his ‘thing’ stuck;
What a time to have such a run of bad luck.
His eyes start to water and he blinks away tears
As he waits till the pain in his groin disappears.

He staggers away, loudly groaning with pain,
And he resolves that he’ll never go flashing again;
But after a while he begins to feel better —
He’s watching a woman who’s posting a letter.

The pain’s gone completely, and now he feels fine.
He’ll make sure that nothing goes hay-wire this time.
He stands in the bushes, unzipping his fly,
And a bee flies inside it — oh me, oh my!

Taylor West

Read more of her poems in Northern Lights, stories and poems from the North of England. ISBN 978-0-9548885-8 Go to http://magpiesnestpublishing.co.uk to sample pages of the book.