Poems from 21st February

Here are some of the poems read and discussed at The Leopard on 21st February.

JUST IN TIME | John Williams

An easy drum to bang, punctuality,
prompt little thuds of deadlines all day long
hammering round your head, formality
deafening your pulse with the prose and song

of millions planning, worrying, waking up
to the bang of the corporate drumstick
marshalling us into line, rousing up
tardy layabouts with the corporate trick

of stamping everything with today’s date.
And never a kind word from the peace wall,
because one inferno’s enough lying in wait
with an easy hell at its beck-and-call,

like those wrecked by success, Macbeth and wife,
punctual both with the message and the knife.

Stumped | Jenny Hammond
[In memory of Thomas William Fletcher-Twemlow, 16.11.1885-18.08.1900]

Eton woke to sunshine.
My voice was breaking,
whiskers bristled my cheeks,
first year boys adored me.

The dorm fizzed in anticipation
of inter-house cricket day.
I loved the game,
vowed to do my best.

My father, squire of Betley Court,
watched with mother from the pavilion,
politely clapping as runs totted up.
Feeling proud, my future beckoned.

Then — crack — no pain but I could see
the horror in my mother’s eyes,
my father’s arms around her,
his heir bowled out forever.

I have a stained- glass window
dedicated to me in our local Church.
I’m touched and think —
better than a tombstone.

And when my parents pray on Sundays,
in their pew behind the ancient screen
of Spanish chestnut,
I observe the tears
that no-one else can see.

Burying Ground | Jenny Hammond

Gravestone loneliness,
weight so heavy that
past slides to present
to hopeless future,
large as forever,
empty as nothing —
a void to fill with
sighs and silent tears.

ON THE EDGE| Geoff Sutton

the Pennines finish here
in a sunken lane
slinking over the crest

red stone crumbles away
beside the thirteenth tee
where aging blokes drag
trolleys across the slopes
hack at the turf
slice a Titleist or a Maxfli
into the blackthorn

popular with fly-tippers
midnght wankers and swiggers

a blurred direction
to catch spunk in a bottle
for collection by the writer
signed Cum

down to a narrow lane
no verge to jump away
from chancers speeding
to and from junction sixteen

to a bridge over the Cartlache
a line of pylons to the Sprink
bracken and birch knoll
for rabbit and badger

not Pennine rockless
but a good spot
from where to survey
the bomb factory with its shredded
workforce and the depot
soon another supermarket
once a sanitary potbank

this is the very edge
I live here


About theleopard66

I am a member of the Stoke Stanza of The Poetry Society and run a bi-monthly Poems & Pints event in Alsager.
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2 Responses to Poems from 21st February

  1. As ever, I love to see what inspires my Mum so much, and here I often see her poetry for the first time. It makes me very proud, and I thank you all for your advising and coaching her. I have never seen her so happy and enthusiastic as she is with her poetry.

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