by Robert Harrison
Thursday, October 12, 2006
Rated "G" by the Author.
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About forty reas ago I was sitting at my Weigh Bridge, waiting to weigh something. The thought came to me, "Write a poem". So I did. This then is my very first attempt at writing poetry, just as it came to me. Perhaps I should have waited and weighed something.
I'VE BEEN THINKING JUST LATELY OF
DAYS GONE BY, OF THE TIMES WHEN I
WAS A KID.THE FUN OF KNOCKING AROUND WITH MY MATES, LIKE GERALD AND CHIS AND SID.
WE CALLED OURSELVES THE WAR TIME KIDS, AS THE WAR HAD STARTED THEN,I WAS ABOUT NINE YEARS OLD, AND GERALD WOULD HAVE BEEN ABOUT TEN.
I REMEMBER THAT GERALD WAS A TELLER OF TALES,AND DID HE HAVE US SCARED AT TIMES, WITH HIS STORIES OF THE PHANTOM,
AND THE CLUTCHING HAND AND HAGGARDS KING SOLOMONS MINES.
WHEN THE SIRENS SOUNDED WE ALL USED TO RUN TO THE SHELTERS AS FAST AS WE COULD,
AND THERE SIT IT OUT TILL THE BOMBERS WENT BY, COR US KIDS USED TO THINK IT WAS GOOD.
`COURSE IN THOSE DAYS THE FOOD WAS ALWAYS SHORT, AND ORANGES AND NANNAS SO FEW, SO US KIDS USED TO GO TO OLD TOVEY'S SHOP AND WE WOULD PINCH A CARROT OR TWO.
WE WOULD RUN DOWN THE FIELD WITH OUR ILL GOTTEN GAIN, AND SIT BY A BROOK CALLED THE CHINN, THERE TO DANGLE OUR FEET IN THE COOL RUNNING FLOW, ANGELS WHO NEVER THOUGHT WE HAD SINNED.
THE SCHOOL I ATTENDED IN THOSE FAR OFF DAYS, WAS CALLED BILLESLEY SENIOR MIXED, AND OUR FAVOURET TEACHER WAS OLD BENNY HOWES, HIS CANE CONTROLLED US WITH IT'S BEST SIX.
MY HOMEWORK COMPLETED IT WAS OFF
TO THE FIELD, ALL EXCITED AND HAPPY
TO BE FREE. TO BE CALLED HOURS LATER
BY THE VOICE OF MY MUM SHOUTING “CUM ON OUR BOBBY OR NO TEA”.
THEN THERE WAS MISTER CLAYTON OF STORY FAME, MILD MANNERED, BESPECTICLED BUT BRIGHT. HE USED TO GIVE OUT MEDALS TO HIMSELF EVERY TIME HE THOUGHT HE WAS RIGHT.
THE HORSE ROAD WAS ALSO OUR PLAYGROUD, CONKERS, KICK THE CAN, WHIP AND TOP WERE OUR GAMES, OR A RAID ON THE BLACK HAND GANG DOWN THE ROAD, OR JUST SITTING ON THE GUTTER NEAR THE DRAINS.
ON SATURDAY WE ALL USED TO MEET DOWN THE ROAD, A GREAT MASS OF US LEAVING OUR HOMES, THERE TO QUEUE AT THE TUDOR PICTURE HOUSE, TO SEE OUR FAVOURITES TOM MIX OR BUCK JONES.
I REMEMBERD THE RAG AND BONE MAN THAT CAME ROUND, `RAGS A BONE, RAGS A BONE' HE'D CRY WITH RELISH. MOM WOULD GIVE US A FEW OLD CLOTHES TO GIVE HIM, FOR COTTONS WE'D GET A BALOON, FOR WOLLENS A FISH.
IN BIRMINGHAM, JUST ROUND THE CORNER FROM THE RAG MARKET, WAS A LITTLE SHOP THAT SOLD FAGGOTS AND PEAS. FOR A TANNER YOU COULD HAVE A BOWL FULL. THEY WERE SO TASTY YOU COULD'NT HALF BUT BE PLEASED.
I REMEMBERD FISHING FOR TIDDLERS DOWN AT THE CUT WITH A JAM JAR AND A PIECE OF NET, NOW THAT'S SOMETHING YOUDON'T SEE ANY MORE, WELL I'VE STILL TO SEE IT YET.
YOU DON'T SEE THE OLD STYLE FAIRS ANY MORE, WITH THEIR BOXING BOOTHS, BEARDED LADIES, AND SIDE SHOWS. YOU DON'T HEAR THE OLD STEAM ORGAN ON THE ROUDABOUTS. WHAT'S HAPPENED TO ALL OF THESE THINGS AND WHO KNOWS?
YES I'VE BEEN THINKING LATELY OF THOSE DAYS NOW GONE, OF THE TIMES WHEN I WAS A LAD, AND THE MORE I LOOK AT TODAYS NEW WORLD, YOU KNOW, MY DAY WASN'T ALL THAT BAD.
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|Reviewed by Lois Christensen
|My days weren't all that bad either. Could go to the local swimming hole, swim for a day to keep cool in summer. Went to many of the fairs you mentioned too. My brother would catch minnows with a net in the creek. Youthful days will not ever be forgotten. Many good things we had way back then, like penny candy, 5c ice cream cones, You have stated and brough back many memories of past to me which weren't all that bad. Children today do not have such good pasttimes to go to either. It's computer, tv games, and all.|
|Reviewed by John Leko
|...of first written poetic thoughts...how wondrous...that I randomly choose to view one of such fare in my heart. Though of another era...you have captured the enemies of your youth...and found the ally in your words...giving them light...memories you hold dear...and images...dreams...that made the gray days...find rays of the sun...in the setting of poetry.
brilliant pictures you have painted Robert...
|Reviewed by Lisa Hilbers
|For a first poem, one couldn't have asked for better! I so enjoyed this.
So I read it twice...for a double dose.
|Reviewed by Rusty Daily
|Good writing has gotten better and I was more than a few stanzas into the poem before I realized it rhymed. Nothing forced and that's real unheard of for a first poem.