14 August 2017
Leaving the viaduct on the left, and coming over the hill,
We came to a small town, four towers at the corners,
The streets narrow and not dark,
The children playing in green gardens by the waterside.
Was it at the Swan or the White Horse that we stopped?
We walked up to the church and the stone cloister,
Grass growing among the tangle of votive ribbons,
The wax flowers and the twisted wire.
We heard the town-crier ringing a bell under the town clock -
Something about a wandering cow and a job for a waggoner,
Then we looked at the watermill by the stone bridge,
And went back for a Rossi or a Cinzano.
That was at Eastertide, and the fields and meadows
Mellow with cowslips: there were boys on bicycles
With bandoliers of jonquils, and there was an old lady
With a basket of primroses and violets.
It was a quiet town, and not yet broken,
The people kindly, and the priest "a good one as priests go,"
There was a football team, and a lad who enters from the country in the
Singing: Ohé Oh, Ohé Oh!
- Michael Roberts
12 August 2017
09 August 2017
Here are the dregs of bookshelves cast aside:
Book of the Month Club choices now refused.
The memoirs of some general swelled with pride,
Labour-intensive cookbooks still unused -
The castoffs of a season of demeaning,
Cleared from the house relentlessly as sweepers
Rout dust clouds in a merciless spring cleaning.
Book buyers these folks were, but not book keepers.
I wonder at this thick tome’s long regress,
Hacked out by one whose fame and sales were stellar,
Now cast down from the tower of success
To molder in a spiderwebbed best cellar.
X J Kennedy
07 August 2017
Watch him when he opens
his bulging words -
fraternity, freedom, internationalism, peace,
peace, peace. Make it your custom
to pay no heed
to his frank look, his visas, his stamps
and signatures. Make it
your duty to spread out their contents
in a clear light.
Nobody with such luggage
has nothing to declare.
- Norman MacCaig
04 August 2017
Were I a king, I could command content.
Were I obscure, unknown should be my cares.
And were I dead, no thoughts should me torment,
Nor words, nor wrongs, nor loves, nor hopes, nor fears.
A doubtful choice, of three things one to crave,
A kingdom, or a cottage, or a grave.
- Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford (1550-1604)