That’s not how you do it. She’s doing it wrong. We had a poker/rake that you stood in the middle on the front of the grate. It was a long steel poker with a rounded hook on the top and a flat bar at the base to use for raking out the ashes from under the fire hearth. The Rake top would be resting just above the fire opening so that the centre of the Yorkshire Post newspaper (broadsheet) was protected from being sucked in when the fire caught hold. The paper would assist air being drawn in at the bottom of the fire grate to getting the fire going. You had to keep a close eye of the paper, if it started to go brown you had to be quick to remove it before it caught fire. I can still remember the smell of the paper as it started scotching. Much more fun that turning up the thermostat.
I read a poem a poet wrote I think I’m in his head. Not knowing why he selected each word or why they go together. What was the reason for the poem and why did you write it so. I cannot connect, but I wonder why and try and try and try. What meaning is there in this poem you’ve written? Is it the sound of the words that make it so, or does it reflect the way your mind works. Should I dissect and analyse? Are you telling the truth or are your words just lies. Shall I get inside the poets head and rummage around for a while. Shall o read his poem in his rustic local dialect, because I’ve heard him speak out loud. His voice I hear mimicked inside my head. Have I jumped out from his, and now he’s in my head instead. Thinking aloud I sometimes digress, for his poetry I really need to digest.
Shall I read his work to my own rules and inspiration, then it will be like he’s talking to me; bugger the rest of the nation.
Get on a train, get on a train But I don’t want to go, I don’t want to go. Get on a train, get on a train. How much does it cost, does it cost? Diddly-squat, diddly-squat, diddly-squat. Get in the train, get on the train, But where does it go, where does it go? Barnsley I think, Barnsley I think. Get in the train, get on the train. Get on the bus, get on the bus. You said train, you said train?
Oops lost my train of thought. Just get yourself to Barnsley lad.
To celebrate the 250th anniversary of the birth of Williams Wordsworth I’ve written my own spot of time. Not written about the Lake District but in homage from an industrial mining town as the backdrop.
The scuffed knees, chapped hands from the cold Climbing and scrambling up trees My mother did scold. Those terrace streets harder and more desolate than the Cumbrian hills. But they were our escarpments our rivers, our dales. Playing out in all weathers made us hard as nails. The delivered coal on the path so neat Safety in numbers as we played in the street. Our soot filled lungs didn’t stop the laughing. We knew we’d get clean in the old tin bath. Hardship was an illusion, we had what we had. My imagination did flurry in scribbles, In my old note book. My experiences made me a considerate man. Protecting the environment whenever I can. No paper required to relay my passion For today I write electronically it’s the new fashion. Don’t discard those memories of old Of the childhood you had and enjoyed It’s not a case of reminiscing, remember You are the man, because of who you were as a boy.
A walk A gentle relaxing walk Taking the air Exercising the lungs and body A stress free amble to invigorate the mind Free to go where you want In the neighbourhood where you live.
Today It’s like walking alone as a little child Crossing over when someone else is in front of you Being scared of bumping into anyone An irrational fear, yet at all cost you have to avoid them Even in a playing field you change your route Avoiding that dog walker or that dog will certainly bite you I have a corner to traverse But I can’t see around it Someone may be coming I might walk into them We may touch That can’t happen I tentatively take a look It’s clear free to go But there’s three more corners before I get home My heightened fear makes my pulse race I’ve got to get home, the danger is great It’s not due to bullies Or those kids being bigger than me It’s Covid-19 that’s making me fret I’ve thankfully got home The walk was 3 minutes 47 seconds long I kept away from them They all kept away from me Keep apart, keep safe and stay home When we’re free of this bug We’ll then be free to roam Till then stay at home.
Keep safe, keep healthy and keep supporting our NHS.
No matter where you are in the world, compassion and respect for others and doing what’s right is what will get us through this. This is a war against the virus and with our health systems and workers, well we can certainly say “Never before in healthcare is so much owed by so many to so few.” Respect your health workers guys we owe them.
A word of caution A sentence of doom A paragraph of paraphernalia You get it all, chapter and verse It’s a novel idea So I booked this poetry slot To tell a tall story But my papers still blank Well apart from an ink blot.
Any writer no matter whether an amateur or however professional they are, will from time to time get stuck. It’s not always at the start of a project, essay, novel or just a short poem. It can be anywhere from the first or second sentence and even the last line of a 200k novel. I find this also to be the case when doing technical writing or in an email response to a question. But when we persevere through sheer determination we get there in the end.
I’m staying in I’m not going out It’s not that I’m trying to get out of buying a round I crave for someone to say, it’s your shout.
Staying in by order No socialising for me No socialising for you too Got to stay in Got to stay home.
But that’s okay We’ve all been doing it for a while No need to go shopping, when you do it online Don’t pull me a pint because the supermarkets got mine
I’m stopping in again No socialising, I’ve an app or two for that A virtual conversation Looking at memes to get me my laughs
I’m stopping in No eye to eye contact And when I dare go out Keep our distance they shout Coronavirus is wandering about
Yet we’ve been self isolating Keep out of our local Drinking alone and not at the pub Keeping away from the shops Punching buttons on lap tops
So when quarantine is over And you don’t have to isolate Physically go out shopping Go to the pub or club to see a mate Rekindle for a real social life Take out your fella or you wife Don’t stop in anymore Get out That’s why we saved your life.
Happy is me Happy all the day Happy in the mind Happy in my soul Happy with my body Happy all day long Happy with my lot Happy is made within Happy is where we should begin Happy at the end is a result Happy can’t always happen Happy is what we should strive for Happy us to make others happy Happy is what we need to be Happy to be happy Happy to read this Happy making a happy world Happy is the drug we need Happy with a happy overdose Happy makes us laugh and smile Happy takes quite a while Happy that we are free Happy happy happy me.