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Poem for the Day

Posted: 4 October 2014

When you dyed your hair blue
(or, at least ultramarine
for the clipped sides, with a crest
of jet-black spikes on top)
you were sent home from school

because, as the headmistress put it,
although dyed hair was not
specifically forbidden, yours
was, apart from anything else,
not done in the school colours.

Tears in the kitchen, telephone-calls
to school from your freedom-loving father:
‘She’s not a punk in her behaviour;
it’s just a style.’ (You wiped your eyes,
also not in a school colour.)

‘She discussed it with me first -
we checked the rules.’ ‘And anyway, Dad,
it cost twenty-five dollars.
Tel them it won’t wash out -
not even if I wanted to try.

It would have been unfair to mention
your mother’s death, but that
shimmered behind the arguments.
The school had nothing else against you;
the teachers twittered and gave in.

Next day your black friend had hers done
in grey, white and flaxen yellow -
the school colours precisely:
an act of solidarity, a witty
tease. The battle was already won.

For Heidi With Blue Hair 
Fleur Adcock

Poem for the Day

Posted: 3 October 2014

A little bit of whimsy from one of my favourite poets.

Into the half pound box of Moonlight
my small hand crept,...
There was an electrifying rustle.
There was a dark and glamorous scent.
Into my open, moist mouth
the first Montelimar went.

Down in the crinkly second layer,
five finger-piglets snuffled
among the Hazelnut Whirl,
the Caramel Square,
the Black Cherry and Almond Truffle.

Bliss.

I chomped. I gorged.
I stuffed my face,
till only the Coffee Cream
was left for the owner of the box –
tough luck Anne Pope –
oh, and half an Orange Supreme.

Chocs
Carol Ann Duffy

Poem for the Day

Posted: 2 October 2014

Between the dark and the daylight,
When the night is beginning to lower,
Comes a pause in the day’s occupations,...
That is known as the Children’s Hour.

I hear in the chamber above me
The patter of little feet,
The sound of a door that is opened,
And voices soft and sweet.

From my study I see in the lamplight,
Descending the broad hall stair,
Grave Alice, and laughing Allegra,
And Edith with golden hair.

A whisper, and then a silence:
Yet I know by their merry eyes
They are plotting and planning together
To take me by surprise.

A sudden rush from the stairway,
A sudden raid from the hall!
By three doors left unguarded
They enter my castle wall!

They climb up into my turret
O’er the arms and back of my chair;
If I try to escape, they surround me;
They seem to be everywhere.

They almost devour me with kisses,
Their arms about me entwine,
Till I think of the Bishop of Bingen
In his Mouse-Tower on the Rhine!

Do you think, O blue-eyed banditti,
Because you have scaled the wall,
Such an old mustache as I am
Is not a match for you all!

I have you fast in my fortress,
And will not let you depart,
But put you down into the dungeon
In the round-tower of my heart.

And there will I keep you forever,
Yes, forever and a day,
Till the walls shall crumble to ruin,
And moulder in dust away!

The Children's Hour
H W Longfellow

Poem for the Day

Posted: 1 October 2014

Overtones of Burns' "Song, Composed in August" in this lovely wee poem I think.

I love to see the old heath's withered brake
Mingle its crimpled leaves with furze and ling,...
While the old heron from the lonely lake
Starts slow and flaps its melancholy wing,
An oddling crow in idle motion swing
On the half-rotten ash-tree's topmost twig,
Beside whose trunk the gypsy makes his bed.
Up flies the bouncing woodcock from the brig
Where a black quagmire quakes beneath the tread;
The fieldfares chatter in the whistling thorn
And for the haw round fields and closen rove,
And coy bumbarrels, twenty in a drove,
Flit down the hedgerows in the frozen plain
And hang on little twigs and start again.

Emmonsail's Heath In Winter
John Clare

Poem for the Day

Posted: 30 September 2014

Nice warm socks,
Nice warm socks-
We should celebrate them....
Ask a toe!
Toes all know
It’s hard to overrate them.

Toes say, ‘Please
Don’t let us freeze
Till we’re numb and white,
Summer’s gone-
Put them on!
Wear them day and night!’

Nice warm socks,
Nice warm socks –
Who would dare to mock them?
Take good care
Of every pair
And never, ever knock them.

The Joy of Socks
Wendy Cope

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