Poems Four Continued

 

 

                         CHELTENHAM 

                              This genteel spa town just off the Cotswolds was originally popularised by the observation that pigeons appeared to thrive by pecking health-giving crystals from nearby rocks. 

                             First, pigeons pecking crystal salt from rocks 

                              Alerted doctors to a future spa 

                              Which soon enough began to welcome flocks 

                              Of fashionable gentry from afar; 

                              Inevitably famed, before too long 

                              The fashionable world desired to stay, 

                              So fashionable villas housed the throng 

                              Of fashionable folk - much like today. 

                              Then Culture came, and added to the gloss 

                              A Festival of Arts - refined pursuits 

                              Which lent civility to country dross 

                              Like hunting, and ungrateful pigeon-shoots; 

                                        The social climax finds the town full up 

                                        With Paddies, for the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

 

 

April

                              The longer hours of day and warmer sun  

                              Combine with Nature to invoke a scene  

                              Of childrens' games upon the village green, 

                              Of Easter Eggs, the smell of Hot Cross Bun,  

                              Which show the yearly cycle has begun -  

                              The annual resurrection which can mean  

                              An active time for every creed between 

                              That of the avid gardener, and the nun.  

                                        But also at this time of surging hope  

                                        Life's drama finds a more romantic plot;  

                                        The nation's youth with Cupid now engage  

                                        (Provided only they can find the scope)  

                                        And in the Spring, the young lads turn to what  

                                        The lasses have been planning for an age.  

              

           

              

                                                                   JUNE 

                              At last! The sky's a scintillating blue! 

                              The Atco and the Mountfield leap to action! 

                              And we can feel the utter satisfaction 

                              Of pointing out those idle neighbours who

                              Have bedding plants which lag a week or two 

                              Behind ours; then, to suffer the reaction 

                              Of learning THEIRS were seeded. Stupefaction! - 

                              We BOUGHT ours. Well, why not? The same to you! 

                                        But soon forgotten is such friendly hassle, 

                                        As, feelings soothed, half-naked on the turf,      

                                        We laze among the green stripes, newly mown, 

                                        Protected by the sun-shade's faded tassel, 

                                        And close our eyes -  and dream of distant surf 

                                        On sunlit tropic islands of our own.

 

 

 PS. IT's not always QUITE like this

       

 This is a June event _ I have put it up once before as an example of a sonnet, but I'm including it in this to keep the sequence complete. AND it seemps somehow appropriate in the current Worls Cup upheaval!

 

                              Chipping Campden is another ancient Cotswold Wool Town, and amongst its hearty country traditions is the Dover's Hill Games - a sort of local olympiad featuring such traditional sports as Shin-kicking.

 

                              Let other people range abroad and seek 

                              A world-wide stage to try and make their names; 

                              Let Hellenes hold their Pan-Hellenic Games 

                              And let the world enthuse as Greek meets Greek - 

                              We have no wish to occupy a peak 

                              On Mount Olympus to observe the shames 

                              Of foreign failures, or the counter-claims 

                              Which say the victor was a drug-raised freak. 

                                        Away with them! Good Cotswold folk can go 

                                        To Chipping Campden's Games on Dover's Hill, 

                                        And care about who loses and who wins - 

                                        It's better far to settle matters so. 

                                        And if you really wish your neighbour ill - 

                                        No problem: go and kick his bloody shins.

 

 

WELL, at least we are getting some decent Summer this year, despite the World Cup and the Cricket. We could always do the garden, or go on holiday, couldn't we??             

                  Bath! Everyone's heard of Bath - historic Spa, famous Georgian City familiar to Jane Austen, world-noted university and cultural centre - and magnet for Tourists and their cars. All sorts of people have lived there - and still do.

                  

                                                                  JULY  

                              High Summer; time of warmth and evening light 

                              When garden plans, matured a month or so, 

                              Are realised, and fork and spade and hoe 

                              Are wielded with an unaccustomed might - 

                              And even seen at work through half the night - 

                              To tend the new-dug bed, or stem the flow 

                              Of omnipresent weeds whose seeds might blow, 

                              Recruiting troops for next year's annual fight. 

                                        But other folk, of less frenetic bent, 

                                        Enjoy this leisured time in blissful ease 

                                        And leave decisive action to the fools; 

                                        They know their palmy days are better spent 

                                        By doing just exactly as they please 

                                        In lazy languishings by limpid pools.

 

                 

                                                             BATH

                              The Roman Aquae Sulis, spa fantastic, 

                              Was lost amidst the Saxon aftermath; 

                              But then the Abbey Church, at first monastic, 

                              Arose, and signalled further fame for Bath. 

                              The Georgians, finding mellow sandstone near, 

                              Created once again a noble town, 

                              Which housed the rich and famous every year 

                              As coaches, fast from London, brought them down. 

                              There's coaches now from Beechen Hill to Charlecombe, 

                              Engulfing all, from stockbrokers to scivers, 

                              Since everyone has cars - but none can park 'em: 

                              A labyrinth of stationary drivers. 

                                        And yet the homeless, those with no "Dunroamin", 

                                        Prefer Bath as a place to have no home in.

 

 

 

  HOLIDAYS. Lovely, no worries. Or are there?

                                                                AUGUST 

                            Hooray! The sky! The sparkling sea! The sands!

                            Enjoy the world and all it has to show! 

                            The wind of change is blowing? Let it blow!

                            And may it waft us into unknown lands, 

                            And weave us into all the other strands 

                            Of human life of which we do not know. 

                            The world's our oyster - hurry, let us go

                            To that horizon, as it yet expands. 

                               But - how to pay for all this heady thought? 

                               The mortgage rate is painfully intact. 

                               Reality suggests we can't afford 

                               That Spanish timeshare flat we rashly bought. 

                               And when we're home, we face the dreaded fact 

                               Of life - the Schools Examination Board.  

 

                             

                Cranham is just about as traditional a Cotswold village as it is possible to get. Judge for yourself.                                

                                                                                      CRANHAM 

                              Cranham is a very traditional Cotswold Village, and is the scene of the elaborate Cranham Feast, a traditional annual celebration held each August.

 

                              High in the Cotswolds, where Frome River rises, 

                              Where beech woods flourish, grown since Saxon days, 

                              There Cranham Village yearly organises 

                              The Feast, which never ceases to amaze. 

                              The Deer Roast, courtesy of Lord of Manor, 

                              Traditional as honeysuckle bowers, 

                              The Boundary Races, run by those who can; for 

                              Those who can't, a Festival of Flowers. 

                              A service in the Church, and then parade 

                              Up to the field and Knock-out Cricket Match 

                              Where eager hands applaud while runs are made 

                              And Hearties heckle those who drop a catch. 

                                        The Country to the dogs? Not in the least! 

                                        The heart of England beats at Cranham Feast.

 

 

                              

 

 

    

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Latest comments

24.11 | 13:00

Great to see that all is going well. Best wishes. Jonathan

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04.07 | 14:06

Hey, my next door neighbour's a poet..
...and I didn't know it!

Well done Tony, I shall peruse with interest.

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03.03 | 19:03

Its a bit warmer here so most things are up including weeds - the sea defences are damaged - 10.2 metre tide today, 50 knot gusts - and it goes on raining--

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03.03 | 14:38

What if, indeed, Tony! The title is succinct.

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