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Readers’ Poems Mar/Apr 22

by Northern Life


by Emma Hooker

Perhaps the world will end with two kisses

and my head on the blades

of your shoulder or the long grass,

perhaps we will go laughing

at an old joke that never made sense

or a new one that never will.

Perhaps my stomach will be full

like the moon

and the concert chambers of my heart,

perhaps the drawer will open

for me to spill you on a page in charcoal

and stain my priceless signature.

Perhaps we will not grind,

but pluck fruit from a neighbour’s tree

and pick pips from between our teeth,

perhaps I will decide that day not to fold

my laundry

or the last round of our poker game.

Perhaps the world will end with two kisses

bent quietly to my lips

and your temple,

where I learned to pray.


Self-Respect in Marsh 

by Owen Townend, Huddersfield


I’m gone 

Royal Infirmary, Co-op 

and beyond. 

I’m gone. 

I’m gone! 

Kentucky Fried Chicken 

past the Trendy Cutz. 

I’m gone! 


I’m gone 

onto the roundabout 

into Town. 

I’m gone… 

I’m gone. 

You’ve kept me waiting 

far too long. 

Twenty minutes I stood there. 

There’s nothing you can say. 

I’ll be back around again 

but certainly not your way.




Wedding Day 

by Peter Jones, Oswaldtwistle 

Outside the church, the street is bare. 

No creature stirs, there’s no-one there. 


But, very soon, it comes alive, 

The wedding guests start to arrive. 

First of all, the groom appears 

With the best man, his friend for years. 

The photographer is next to come, 

With shoulder bag and chewing gum. 

The relatives and friends are next. 

Inside, the priest, prepares the text. 

With buttonholes in fullest bloom 

Come the parents of the groom. 

Then, the mother of the bride 

Smiles sweetly as she goes inside. 

Bridesmaids arrive full of laughs 

As they pose for photographs. 

Onlookers now amass outside. 

As they await the blushing bride. 

Bride and father now appear. 

The little crowd, give them a cheer. 

Walking proudly, dressed in style. 

Father and bride go down the aisle. 

Looking radiant, in full bloom, 

She stands beside the trembling groom. 

Rings are exchanged and words are said. 

The loving couple, now are wed. 

Outside the church, they now appear, 

The photographer, standing near. 

Their loving smiles and happy faces. 

The camera for all time encases. 

And, as one mind, the happy throng, 

Hope their love will last as long.



Ode to a Daffodil 

by Lucia Kenny, Silverdale


You mirror the sunlight 

and dress nature in your golden colours, 

your presence unfolds the certainty of spring, 

it’s what I’ve been longing for. 

In woodlands and under trees 

you reveal yourself in abundance. 

Once you were an insignificant flower 

until, he told the world about you, 

fluttering and dancing in the breeze, 

bobbing your head by a lake. 

Do you bow your head like Narcissus, 

and see your beautiful reflection in pools of water? 

You symbolise, rebirth, hope, and good fortune, 

but to me you are a reminder of warmer days ahead 

you have revived the hope that was lost in winter. 



A Couple of Swells (After breast surgery) 

by SMS


Like a warm stream, flowing on fronds of air 

Beneath the soft, silken fabric, in a quiet pool of wakefulness, 

I watch your postoperative care 

Of body, mind, and soul —– healing, restful, selfless. 

Nurses’ voices have echoed away; ward units go dark 

A patient’s low-level murmuring; 

The rhythmic sounds of machine and heartbeat, 

And your wounded crescent moon to keep me company, 

While I mark, in this still time, what is to revel in or defeat. 

Worries over treatment, irritations with dressing; 

A happy recollection of making a clean breast of it; 

Operation successful, recovery sends its blessing 

Impressed by your sociability, tenacity and grit. 

And a card at your bedside to tell you 

That we’re still just a couple of swells 

That we’ll always be bosom buddies 

And dine at the best hotels!



My Guardian Angel

by Irene Nutter, Burnley 


Sweet guardian angel please be my guide, 

And sometime take me to the other side. 

Amongst God’s lush and wondrous land, 

Oh, stay by my side and hold my hand. 

Carry me somewhere beyond the stars, 

That sparkles bright, somewhat like Mars. 

To see my mum with hair so blonde, 

With caring hands, with touch so fond. 

To see the stars of quartz and jet 

And precious rainbows, of every colour yet. 

From afar I glimpse a lustrous gate, 

Perhaps it’s amethyst and pure agate. 

I dream of dreams so far away, 

So pure so treasured, come close, this way. 

Hold my hand and guide me there, 

Take me with you please be there.


Do Pens Grow Legs? 

by Olwen Lund, Colne


Do pens grow legs and walk? If so, 

Why don’t they tell us where they go? 

And give us some good reason why 

They sometimes even sprout wings and fly! 

Perhaps it’s time to get their PENsion, 

Or to waddle with PENguins is their intention. 

That could at least condescend to say 

That they thought they deserved a holiday 

Do they really take a trip without booking? 

And disappear when I’m not even looking? 

And where do they go to escape a 

Writer and all that paper? 

What is their favourite resort or retreat? 

Where do they travel with their newfound feet? 

Could it be that they favour France? 

No, it’s PENnsylvania or PENzance! 

Could we spy them basking in the sun? 

Or meeting other pens when the day is done? 

Do they carouse with those other lost things? 

Such as keys, gloves, umbrellas and rings? 

Perhaps they prefer the countryside 

Where they find a sheep PEN in which to hide 

Or stretch out in the foxes’ lair 

By that one lost sock (no, never a pair) 

As it merrily hops about with a knowing smile 

‘Cos the other one’s back at home in the washing pile! 

It sometimes happens and seems quite weird 

That suddenly your pen has reappeared. 

Do you scold it, make it serve a PENalty 

Or send it to the PENitentiary? 

No, just sigh and say “What the heck” 

And stick it on a PENdant round your neck. 

But next time you hear the frustrated cry 

“My pen’s run out”, the ink’s not dry. 

It might be that darned wayward pen, 

Has just grown legs and walked again! 


How To Use the Bathroom in Space 

(On viewing the NASA YouTube clip) 

by Vivien Foulkes-James, Bolton Le Sands


I’ve done the guided tour, and now 

to get down to the real nitty gritty. 

This was something I needed to know, 

and apparently, the most asked question; 

how to use the bathroom in space. 

The Waste and Hygiene Compartment, 

otherwise the WHC is next to the treadmill 

with a folding door for privacy. Inside is tiny, 

I feel my claustrophobia rising. 

A set of instructions hang in a plastic wallet 

complete with possible malfunctions… 

Each procedure has a number, 

the rather handsome Commander Chris 

demonstrates Procedure 3.201, 

incongruously, he earthily refers 

to number one and number two. 

I look up at the night sky, try to catch 

a brief glimpse of expedition 63 

as it hurtles through the thermosphere. 

I picture the three astronauts on board; 

the celestial view from the cupola, 

the magnitude of their mission, 

the enormity of their escape from earth, 

and hardly ever, 

how to use the bathroom in space. 

R.I.P. Uncle Terry 

by Greg Jackson

Yesterday was rather sad, 

We said bye to Uncle Terry 

We drove three hours to his resting-place 

Where his body would be buried 

Never ever having been before 

It was with great trepidation 

To hear the sat-nav state – at the cemetery gate 

‘You’re at your final destination’ 

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Northern Life Mar/Apr 2022