Saturday 30 March 2019

Hooray, it's Playfair Day! (I mention it in this poem from "Momentary Stars".)


It's ancient, stained and one strap's gone
- you'll never use it again, you know.
The pockets hold old bowling marks,
just flattened beer-tops, really,
though one is aluminium with a spike,
made by my elder brother
at Gravesend Art School, 1949.
There's aged tissue, different types -
and don't look closely at the pink protector -
a single bail, a ragged fixture list:
'Postponed, Lost, Abandoned, Rain'.
And one sweat-stained inner batting glove.
I must have scored a few, then.
Occupied the crease, more like.
It's gone, it's history, it's thrown
in the skip ... but to think never,
never more to know that lovely fear
when walking out and taking guard again!

And soon, very soon, when every day
we sniff the air and study the clouds,
when the Playfair Annual is just about
to bloom on the shelves of Smith's,
when buds on the rowan tree
are full and thick as a rainstorm
about to knock on my bedroom window -
let's think again when April's here!

Wednesday 13 March 2019

Where’s the ‘L’ in Omost?

Keep hearing ‘omost’ - used to be almost - and wondering where it’s come from? It sounds rather odd to me but I guess my language must be somewhat old fashioned

Monday 4 March 2019

What’s in a word?

Six year-old grandson, now reading all and sundry, wanted to know if there was a word which had all the vowels in. His Dad, after some thought, came up with ‘abstemious’ and Grandfather added ‘abstemiously’ suggesting the ‘y’ could also be used as a vowel - good thinking family!

Eldest grandson, now 12, is no. 4 in Under 13 England Table Tennis squad. His favourite words include ‘choi’ each time he does a good shot! Between Norwich & London he read half of Maggie O’Farrell’s memoir of near death experiences and is eager to discuss with his mother who has yet to read it. A wordy lot.

The two granddaughters, both younger siblings, love their words in both books and as song lyrics. Our older granddaughter is making comparisons with BrE and AmE while the 5 year-old is using phonics as she sounds out her words enthusiastically. She’s cracked it and is already experiencing the joy of reading.

Sunday 22 January 2017

Ind v Eng ODI - Sky Coverage

Phew! That ODI today reminded me of  this poem (in my 'Momentary Stars' collection):

Sky Coverage: Green Timepiece
(Self-regulating Cricket Model 5Day/T20)

White figures on a green ground,
the hours turn, the hours turn.
Some say it was designed
to give impressions of eternity.

Though slow, though very slow,
through orbits, spheres and time
it will come round, will come round,
though the end seems very far,
five hours, five days, five years.

Trajectories and paths are tracked
(fall of sparrows is not recorded)
under the all-covering sky.
Charted from above
the colours mark their value,
the highest by striking red.

Now everything turns again,
the figures change to red and blue,
the shadows grow.
Towards the end,
time is compressed,
seems to accelerate.

Now they swarm and run
and very soon it is the last.
Authority in black and white declares:
'Over - right hand!'

A lot is left to do
in little time and space
and it comes down to this:
'Twelve off six, twelve off six!'

The stars will rise, revolve and fall,
limited overs, timeless test.

Thursday 10 November 2016

Poems from Momentary Stars

Here's another poem from my "Momentary Stars" collection:

Another Life

Home past the house we lived in
what seems a lifetime ago.
The Japanese cherry I planted
almost overwhelms the front garden.
At the back a newish car
on a concrete driveways -
the grass and bushes
and old brick wall have gone.
But upstairs a young man stands
in the half-lit window
rocking a baby in his arms.

Different When Cycling (from Momentary Stars)

Here's another poem from my collection "Momentary Stars" (Clydesdale Jefferson Press 2016):


"Slow down, they're green!"

Cycling you often see the lights
a long way ahead. If they're green,
you'll never make it. But relax
and time it nicely for the next phase.

"Speed up, they're red!"

Push on when they're against
and you should be there
for the welcome change.

Another Poem from Momentary Stars

 I'll post another poem from my collection "Momentary Stars" (Clydesdale Jefferson Press 2016) here soon: