And they say there aren’t children like him any more – sixty years later

Timothy Winters       Charles Causley

Timothy Winters comes to school
With eyes as wide as a football pool,
Ears like bombs and teeth like splinters:
A blitz of a boy is Timothy Winters.His belly is white, his neck is dark,
And his hair is an exclamation mark.
His clothes are enough to scare a crow
And through his britches the blue winds blow.

When teacher talks he won’t hear a word
And he shoots down dead the arithmetic-bird,
He licks the patterns off his plate
And he’s not even heard of the Welfare State.

Timothy Winters has bloody feet
And he lives in a house on Suez Street,
He sleeps in a sack on the kitchen floor
And they say there aren’t boys like him any more.

Old man Winters likes his beer
And his missus ran off with a bombardier.
Grandma sits in the grate with a gin
And Timothy’s dosed with an aspirin.

The Welfare Worker lies awake
But the law’s as tricky as a ten-foot snake,
So Timothy Winters drinks his cup
And slowly goes on growing up.

At Morning Prayers the Master helves
For children less fortunate than ourselves,
And the loudest response in the room is when
Timothy Winters roars “Amen!”

So come one angel, come on ten:
Timothy Winters says “Amen
Amen amen amen amen.”
Timothy Winters, Lord.

hear it read

Timothy Winters” by Charles Causley (read by Tom O’Bedlam …

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Table Edip Cansever

Table     Edip Cansever               Apologies, no room on the actual wall for all the lines

A man filled with the gladness of living

Put his keys on the table,

Put flowers in a copper bowl there.

He put his eggs and milk on the table.

He put there the light that came in through the window,

Sound of a bicycle, sound of a spinning wheel.

The softness of bread and weather he put there.

On the table the man put

Things that happened in his mind.

What he wanted to do in life,

He put that there.

Those he loved, those he didn’t love,

The man put them on the table too.

Three times three make nine:

The man put nine on the table.

He was next to the window next to the sky;

He reached out and placed on the table endlessness.

So many days he had wanted to drink a beer!

He put on the table the pouring of that beer.

He placed there his sleep and his wakefulness;

His hunger and his fullness he put there.

Now that’s what I call a table!

It didn’t complain at all about the load.

It wobbled once or twice, then stood firm.

The man kept piling things on.

Translated from the Turkish by Julia Clare Tillinghast and Richard Tillinghast

Are YOU filled with the gladness of living?

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What If This Road Sheenagh Pugh A thought for commuters?

What if this road, that has held no surprises

these many years, decided not to go

home after all; what if it could turn

left or right with no more ado

than a kite-tail? What if its tarry skin

were like a long, supple bolt of cloth,

that is shaken and rolled out, and takes

a new shape from the contours beneath?

And if it chose to lay itself down

in a new way; around a blind corner,

across hills you must climb without knowing

what’s on the other side; who would not hanker

to be going, at all risks? Who wants to know

a story’s end or where a road will go?

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Leisure W.H.Davies

What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.

No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.

No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.

No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.

No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.

A poor life this is if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.


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MemorialTablet Siegfied sassoon

100 years afterwards we remember the Battle of Passchendale

poet Siegfried Sassoon

Memorial Tablet – Poem by Siegfried Sassoon

Squire nagged and bullied till I went to fight,
(Under Lord Derby’s Scheme). I died in hell—
(They called it Passchendaele). My wound was slight,
And I was hobbling back; and then a shell
Burst slick upon the duck-boards: so I fell
Into the bottomless mud, and lost the light.

At sermon-time, while Squire is in his pew,
He gives my gilded name a thoughtful stare:
For, though low down upon the list, I’m there;
‘In proud and glorious memory’ … that’s my due.
Two bleeding years I fought in France, for Squire:
I suffered anguish that he’s never guessed.
Once I came home on leave: and then went west…
What greater glory could a man desire?


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A New Board – at last. Poem by Simon Armitage

The ‘wall’ was carried off five months ago. I have a smaller one now and hope to carry on.

 Poem by Simon Armitage

And if it snowed and snow covered the drive
he took a spade and tossed it to one side.
And always tucked his daughter up at night
And slippered her the one time that she lied.
And every week he tipped up half his wage.
And what he didn’t spend each week he saved.
And praised his wife for every meal she made.
And once, for laughing, punched her in the face.

And for his mum he hired a private nurse.
And every Sunday taxied her to church.
And he blubbed when she went from bad to worse.
And twice he lifted ten quid from her purse.

Here’s how they rated him when they looked back:
sometimes he did this, sometimes he did that.


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Hijab Scene #7 Remember when ladies always wore a hat to go out?

p1000586p1000587p1000588Hijab Scene#7                          Mohja Kahf


No, I’m not bald under the scarf

No, I’m not from that country

Where women can’t drive cars

No, I would not like to defect

I’m already American

But thank you for offering

What else do you need to know

Relevant to my buying insurance,

Opening a bank account,

Reserving a seat on a flight?

Yes, I speak English

Yes, I carry explosives

They’re called words

And if you don’t get up

Off your assumptions,

They’re going to blow you away

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A sonnet Poem of fourteen lines. PRAYER Carol Ann Duffy


Prayer                                 Carol Ann Duffy


Some days, although we cannot pray, a prayer

utters itself. So, a woman will lift

her head from the sieve of her hands and stare

at the minims sung by a tree, a sudden gift.


Some nights, although we are faithless, the truth

enters our hearts, that small familiar pain;

then a man will stand stock-still, hearing his youth

in the distant Latin chanting of a train.


Pray for us now. Grade 1 piano scales

console the lodger looking out across

a Midlands town. Then dusk, and someone calls

a child’s name as though they named their loss.


Darkness outside. Inside, the radio’s prayer –

Rockall. Malin. Dogger. Finisterre.


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St Andrews Day Scottish Names


You need to practise the ‘ch’ sound here.


SCOTTISH NAMES      Raymond Vettese

I love the names o Scotland;

Ecclefechan, Auchenblae,

Fordoun, Gourdon, Forfar, Kirkcudbright,P1000388

Dunnichen, Echt, Panadram, Drumtochty,

And wha could ignore Auchtermuchty?


I love the names o Scotland:

Hoo they dirl thro me, the stounds

O consonants, nieves o soonds

That dunt on the map; ilka ane redoondsP1000387

Wi stickit pride:these are my boonds!


I love the names o Scotland:

Friockheim, Fettes, Pittenweem, Pitcaithly,

Dunnottar, Dunfermline, Aberdower, Invertay,

Catterline, Corstorphine, Craigmillar, Cruden Bay,

And wha could ignore Clachnaharry?


I love the names o Scotland:

hoo e’en the prosaic is owerset

intil a ferlie ye canna forget,

tho it’s aiblins but a place whaur burns aince met

or a wee wuid fort wis, and is yet,


but only in the name. Oor past’s

chairted for us, oor history’s here,

in Balmaha, Birnam, Dunblane, Ardersier;

the names clash oot, tirl on the ear,

and wha could ignore  braw Durisideer?


I love the names o Scotland,

The names that are oors, and tho Wounded Knee

Is fine and fair and sad, it’s no Fyvie,

And gin Montrose, whaun I dee, winna hae me:

Bury my hairt in the cricket-pitch o Freuchie!

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Being Human – Rumi The Guest House


The Guest House   Rumi
 Words from seven centuries agop1000577p1000578p1000579Translated by Coleman Barks
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness, 
some momentary awareness comes 
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
Jeladuddin Rumi

from Rumi: Selected Poems, trans Coleman Barks with John Moynce, A. J. Arberry, Reynold Nicholson (Penguin Books, 2004)

Reproduced by permission of Penguin Books Ltd

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