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Poem for the Day

Posted: 24 February 2014

Where the pools are bright and deep,
Where the grey trout lies asleep,
Up the river and over the lea,
That's the way for Billy and me.

Where the blackbird sings the latest,
Where the hawthorn blooms the sweetest,
Where the nestlings chirp and flee,
That's the way for Billy and me.

Where the mowers mow the cleanest,
Where the hay lies thick and greenest,
There to track the homeward bee,
That's the way for Billy and me.

Where the hazel bank is steepest,
Where the shadow falls the deepest,
Where the clustering nuts fall free,
That's the way for Billy and me.

Why the boys should drive away
Little sweet maidens from their play,
Or love to banter and fight so well,
That's the thing I never could tell.

But this I know, I love to play
Through the meadow, among the hay;
Up the water and over the lea,
That's the way for Billy and me.

A Boy's Song
James Hogg

Poem for the Day

Posted: 23 February 2014

Once I am sure there's nothing going on
I step inside, letting the door thud shut.
Another church: matting, seats, and stone,
And little books; sprawlings of flowers, cut
For Sunday, brownish now; some brass and stuff
Up at the holy end; the small neat organ;
And a tense, musty, unignorable silence,
Brewed God knows how long. Hatless, I take off
My cycle-clips in awkward reverence.

Move forward, run my hand around the font.
From where I stand, the roof looks almost new -
Cleaned, or restored? Someone would know: I don't.
Mounting the lectern, I peruse a few
Hectoring large-scale verses, and pronounce
'Here endeth' much more loudly than I'd meant.
The echoes snigger briefly. Back at the door
I sign the book, donate an Irish sixpence,
Reflect the place was not worth stopping for.

Yet stop I did: in fact I often do,
And always end much at a loss like this,
Wondering what to look for; wondering, too,
When churches will fall completely out of use
What we shall turn them into, if we shall keep
A few cathedrals chronically on show,
Their parchment, plate and pyx in locked cases,
And let the rest rent-free to rain and sheep.
Shall we avoid them as unlucky places?

from Church Going
Philip Larkin

Poem for the Day

Posted: 22 February 2014

Tenuous and Precarious
Were my guardians,
Precarious and Tenuous,
Two Romans.

My father was Hazardous,
Hazardous
Dear old man,
Three Romans.

There was my brother Spurious,
Spurious Posthumous,
Spurious was Spurious,
Was four Romans.

My husband was Perfidious,
He was Perfidious
Five Romans.
Surreptitious, our son,
Was Surreptitious,
He was six Romans.

Our cat Tedious
Still lives,
Count not Tedious
Yet.

My name is Finis,
Finis, Finis,
I am Finis,
Six, five, four, three, two,
One Roman,
Finis.

Tenuous and Precarious
Stevie Smith

Poem for the Day

Posted: 21 February 2014

My Love is like a red, red rose,
That's newly sprung in June:
My Love is like a melody,
That's sweetly played in tune.
As fair art thou, my bonnie lass,
So deep in love am I;
And I will love thee still, my dear,
Till all the seas gang dry.

Till all the seas gang dry, my love,
And the rocks melt with the sun;
I will love thee still, my dear,
While the sands of life shall run.
And fare-thee-weel, my only Love,
And fare-thee-weel, a while!
And I will come again, my Love,
Though it were ten thousand mile!

My Love is Like a Red, Red Rose
Robert Burns

 

Poem for the Day

Posted: 20 February 2014

When the bus stopped suddenly
to avoid damaging
a mother and child in the road,
the younglady in the green hat sitting opposite,
was thrown across me,
and not being one to miss an opportunity
I started to make love
with all my body.

At first, she resisted,
saying that it was too early in the morning
and too soon after breakfast,
and anyway, she found me repulsive.
But when I explained
that this being a nuclearage,
the world was going to end at lunchtime,
she took off her green hat,
put her bus ticket into her pocket
and joined in the exercise.

The buspeople,
and there were many of them,
were shockedandsurprised,
and amusedandannoyed.
But when word got around
that the world was coming to an end at lunchtime,
they put their pride in their pockets
with their bustickets
and madelove one with the other.
And even the busconductor,
feeling left out,
climbed into the cab
and struck up some sort of relationship with the driver.

That night, on the bus coming home,
we were all a little embarrassed,
especially me and the younglady in the green hat,
and we all started to say in different ways
how hasty and foolish we had been.
But then, always having been a bitofalad,
l stood up and said it was a pity
that the world didn’t nearly
end every lunchtime, and that we could always pretend.
And then it happened .

Quick asa crash
we all changed partners,
and soon the bus was aquiver
with white mothball bodies doing naughty things.

And the next day
and everyday
In everybus
In everystreet
In everytown
In everycountry
People pretended that the world was coming to an end at lunchtime.
It still hasn’t.
Although in a way it has.

At Lunchtime
Roger McGough

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