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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Ode to Autumn John Keats

poet John Keats

Ode to Autumn

Ode to Autumn

Ode To Autumn – Poem by John Keats

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run;
To bend with apples the mossed cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o’er-brimmed their clammy cell.

Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
Or on a half-reaped furrow sound asleep,
Drowsed with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers;
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
Steady thy laden head across a brook;
Or by a cider-press, with patient look,
Thou watchest the last oozings, hours by hours.

Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,—
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir, the small gnats mourn
Among the river sallows, borne aloft
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
The redbreast whistles from a garden-croft,
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.

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Dietary Advice from Hilaire Belloc

The Poetry Wall is mended at last. This advice is for those of us always on a diet.

Henry King who Chewed Bits of String, and Was Early Cut off in Dreadful Agonies.


The chief defect of Henry King

Was chewing little bits of string.

At last he swallowed some which tied

Itself in ugly Knots inside.                               P1000528P1000529

Physicians of the Utmost fame

Were called at once, but when they came

They answered, as they took their fees,

‘There is no Cure for this Disease.

Henry will very soon be dead.’

His Parents stood about his Bed

Lamenting his Untimely Death,

When Henry, with his Latest Breath,

Cried-‘Oh, my Friends, be warned by me,

That Breakfast, Dinner, Lunch and Tea

Are all the Human Frame requires…..’

With that, the Wretched Child  expires.

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