September 1940 The Battle of Britain

High Flight

by John Gillespie Magee

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds, – and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of – wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there,
I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air…

Up, up the long, delirious burning blue
I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or ever eagle flew –
And, while with silent, lifting mind I’ve trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

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Seaside Golf

Rejoycing in St Andrews – Golf courses can open again . .

Seaside Golf                                         John Betjeman

How straight it flew, how long it flew,

It cleared the rutty track

And soaring, disappeared from view

Beyond the bunker’s back –

A glorious, sailing, bounding drive

That made me glad I was alive.

And down the fairway, far along

It glowed a lonely white;

I played an iron sure and strong

And clipp’d it out of sight

And spite of grassy banks between

I knew I’d find it on the green.

And so I did. It lay content

Two paces from the pin;

A steady putt and then it went

Oh, most securely in.

The very turf rejoiced to see

That quite unprecedented three.

Ah! seaweed smells from sandy caves

And thyme and wind in whiffs.

In-coming tide and North Sea waves

Slapping the sunny cliffs,

Lark song and sea sounds in the air

And splendour, splendour eveywhere.

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Sea Fever

Sea Fever

By John Masefield

I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky, And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by; And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking, And a grey mist on the sea’s face, and a grey dawn breaking.   I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying, And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.   I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life, To the gull’s way and the whale’s way where the wind’s like a whetted knife; And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover, And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.

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Sometimes Sheenagh Pugh

Sometimes things don’t go, after all,

from bad to worse. Some years muscadel

faces down frost; green thrives; the crops don’t fail.

Sometimes a man aims high, and all goes well.

A people sometimes will step back from war,

elect an honest man, decide they care

enough, that they can’t leave some stranger poor.

Some men become what they were born for.

Sometimes our best intentions do not go

amiss; sometimes we do as we meant to.

The sun will sometimes melt a field of sorrow

that seemed hard frozen; may it happen for you.

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For All Valentines

John Anderson Robert Burns

John Anderson my jo, John,

When we were first acquent

Your locks were like the raven,

Your bonnie brow was brent;

But now your brow is bald, John,

Your locks are like the snow;

But blessings on your frosty pow, John Anderson my jo.

John Anderson my jo, John,

We clamb the hill thegither,

And mony a canty day, John,

We’ve had wi’ ane another:

Now we maun totter down, John,

But hand in hand we’ll go,

And sleep thegither at the foot,

John Anderson my jo. Listen on Youtube

And a more romantic thought …………….

This Morning Hitomano

This morning I will not comb my hair.

It has lain pillowed on the hand of my lover

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Simon Armitage Poem

In the interests of Gender Equality I found the following:

She drove her boy to football and to scouts

And ironed all his clothes that she’d put out

And once, for disobedience, told his mate

About his toilet problem, when aged eight.

She didn’t party after work at all

Her man had charge of the remote control

And once when he came late home from the pub

She served him warmed-up dog food as his grub.

And for her Dad, she let him smoke indoors

On Fridays cleaned his loo and washed his floors

And when he asked to be her lodger, she

Said, “Tough, you cannot ever stay with me.”

Here’s how they rated her when they looked back

Sometimes she did this, sometimes she did that.

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What’s New in Politics? Noel Coward – There are Bad Times Just Around The Corner

There are bad times just around the corner,

There are dark clouds hurtling through the sky,

And its no good whining

About a silver lining

For what we know from experience that they won’t

Roll by.

With a scowl and a frown

We’ll keep our peckers down,

And prepare for depression and doom and dread,

We’re going to unpack our troubles from our old kitbag,

And wait until we drop down dead.

From John O’ Groats to the Solway Firth

They’re sobbing themselves to sleep;

The shrieks and wails

In the glens and dales

Have even depressed the sheep.

Green Energy’s a source of mirth,

The future of oil is blurred,

Turbines are stilled

For lack of wind

And Solar’s a dirty word.

The fat-cat bankers tell it

Like greedy ways are gone,

But if we ask for credit,

They say, ‘Never, nix, there’s none.


Suffering and dismay.

There are bad times just around the corner,

And the outlooks’s absolutely vile;

There are Home Fires smoking

From Windermere to Woking,

And we’re not going to tighten our belts and smile, smile, smile.

At the sound of a shot

We’d just as soon as not

Take a hot-water bottle and go to bed:

We’re going to untense our muscles till they sag, sag, sag

And wait until we drop down dead.

to hear the Master sing this click on:

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One hundred Years since the Armistice – Carol Ann Duffy’s sonnet

The Wound in Time

It is the wound in Time. The century’s tides,                                 
chanting their bitter psalms, cannot heal it.
Not the war to end all wars; death’s birthing place;
the earth nursing its ticking metal eggs, hatching
new carnage. But how could you know,brave
as belief as you boarded the boats, singing?
The end of God in the poisonous, shrapneled air.
Poetry gargling its own blood. We sense it was love
you gave your world for; the town squares silent,
awaiting their cenotaphs. What happened next?                 
War. And after that? War. And now? War. War.
History might as well be water, chastising this shore;
for we learn nothing from your endless sacrifice.
Your faces drowning in the pages of the sea.

Carol Ann Duffy

An artist’s impression of one of the Pages of the Sea sand portraits

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ALAS! POOR QUEEN         Marion Angus

She was skilled in music and the dance

And the old arts of love

At the court of the poisoned rose

And the perfumed glove,

And gave her beautiful hand

To the pale Dauphin                                               

A triple crown to win  –

And she loved little dogs

And parrots

And red-legged partridges

And the golden fishes of the Duc de Guise

And a pigeon with a blue ruff

She had from Monsieur d’Elboeuf.

Master John Knox was no friend to her;

She spoke him soft and kind,

Her honeyed words were Satan’s lure

The unwary soul to bind.

‘Good sir, doth a lissome shape

And a comely face

Offend your God His Grace

Whose Wisdom maketh these

Golden fishes of the Duc de Guise?

She rode through Liddesdale with a song;

‘Ye streams sae wondrous strang,

Oh, mak’ me a wrack as I come back

But spare me as I gang.’

While a hill-bird cried and cried

Like a spirit lost

By the grey storm-wind tost.

Consider the way she had to go,

Think of the hungry snare,

The net she herself had woven,

Aware or unaware,

Of the dancing feet grown still,

The blinded eyes –

Queens should be cold and wise,

And she loved little things,


And red-legged partridges

And the golden fishes of the Duc de Guise

And the pigeon with blue ruff

She had from Monsieur d’Elboeuf.

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The Bird of Freedom Jon Plunkett

The Bird of Freedom  (Hirundo rustica)

We have tried to cage it
with our words and superstitions,
poured the devil's blood
into its veins and forked tail.
We tether it to summer,
have it bring spring on the wing
and turned its mud and spit
into portents of protection.
A bird in the hand's worth two
in the bush we say, but a swallow
on your shoulder spells magic.

But this bird cannot be held
in superstition's cage.
It cannot endure captivity.
It must cross desert sands, flit
miles of open sea to join again
in the clear north air.
It needs to fickle over fields
of ripe corn, to feed
and drink on the wing,
to dance the full width of sky.
Surely that is magic enough.





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