Pile Stack or Selection of Pork Sausage Rolls Savoury Snacks In Pastry On A Pink Wooden Background

Recent Readers’ Poems

by Northern Life

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The Funeral

by David Buxton

There were still a nip in the air,
As I walked into town yesterday,

But sun were doin’ ‘is best to get through,

And sky were no longer so grey.

After buyin‘ my paper, I went for a stroll,

And found meself outside the gates

Of the burial ground on the outskirts of town,

Which is where this small road terminates.

It’s peaceful enough in the cemetery grounds,

And there’s benches all dotted about,

So I chose one just inside the cast-iron gates,

Put there for tired mourners, no doubt.

After reading the ‘eadlines, I turned to the sport

To see ‘ow the Latics had played,

At start of the season they’d two or three wins,

But since then ‘ad started to fade.

My eye caught a movement along by the gates,

As a shiny black ‘earse came in sight.

It were followed sedately by quite a smart car –

A limousine, if I am right.

I put down my paper and stood in respect,

My cap I now ‘eld in my ‘and.

I noticed a bloke in the funeral car –

Knew ‘im well, cause we’d played in brass band.

It were William Wagstaffe – ‘e played tenor ‘orn,

Quite a star in our band, based in Lees,

But I thought ‘e’d dropped out –

I’d not seen ‘im for weeks –

Not many ‘ad ‘is expertise.

I could tell that ‘e’d seen me – ‘e gave me a nod,

‘is expression remaining quite glum.

I wondered who’d died –someone close, I expect.

If I’d known, I’d ‘ave certainly come.

Behind yon fine car were a straggle o’ folk,

And I joined in, though not wearing black.

I’d pay my respects to whoever it were –

They’d not mind me in my anorak.

We stood round the graveside and shuffled our feet

As the coffin were brought from the ‘earse.

Bit parky, perhaps, but the sun were now out –

It could surely ‘ave been a lot worse.

The minister spoke for a minute or two,

Then the coffin were lowered in ground.

Some of the folk tossed an ‘andful of soil,

The rest of us just stood around.

Poor William now looked extremely forlorn,

As several shook ‘im by ‘and.

When I did the same, ‘e gave me a smile

And said, ‘Nice to see someone from t’ band.

“We’re off to the Albert just now for a bite,

I ‘ope you’ll be joinin’ us there?”

I said that I would, though I felt out of place,

As the others all wore funeral wear.

When the minister gave ‘is address by the grave,

‘e’d said it were Sarah, who’d died.

I assumed it were William’s wife that ‘e meant,

As ‘e were chief mourner graveside.

‘e climbed in the car with a couple of folk,

And the rest of us fell in behind.

I went up to two who played cornet in t’ band –

I’ll go with you, if you don’t mind.’

We got to the Albert to find it quite full –

They’d come straight from t’ service instead

Of going along to the burial bit

To say their farewells to the dead.

I went up to William to pay my respects.

‘e gave a weak smile,”You’re a pal.

I ‘ope I can cope in the future alone –

She were such a grand lass, were our Sal.”

I told ‘im ‘ow sorry I was at ‘is loss,

“She looked a nice lady to me.

She went on t’band outing to Southport last year,

I seem to remember, with thee.”

‘e laughed and ‘e said, “Most folks do recall that.

Poor Sal were bad traveller in t’ bus.

We ‘ad to pull in on the old East Lancs Road –

She were ever so sorry for t’ fuss.”

Just talking about the good times we’d ‘ad in the past

‘ad a positive effect on poor Will.

“We often laughed later about that same day,

But it’s not that much fun to be ill.”

As other folk wanted to now ‘ave their say,

To comfort and try to console,

My thoughts turned to t’best thing at funerals by far –

You can’t beat a nice sausage roll.

 

 

For the Love of Yorkshire

by Caroline Mchugh

From the coast at Whitby, Sandsend and Filey,
The beaches are vast, stretching many a miley,

The peaks of the Dales, the tops of the moors,

The valleys, the rivers; Yorkshire seeps from our pores.

The culinary classics: a pie or a pud,

If you haven’t yet tried one you certainly should.

From a great cup of tea or a pint in your hand,

To the Kaiser Chiefs: Yorkshire’s favourite band.

The forests so deep, the heather, so dense,

Our dry stone walls stronger than yer wobbly fence.

Viaducts cursed and petrifying wells,

Water so sulphurous, cor blimey it smells.

Rocks shaped like bears, eagles, A cow or a calf,

Or powerful waterfalls; don’t do things by half.

Limestone pavements complete with

wide clints and deep grykes,

Impressive deep caverns with sharp stalactites.

People are trusting, no nonsense and kind,

But if a price is too high, we really will mind.

Shorts in the winter yet melting at twenty,

Our cold snaps are harsh but summers are plenty.

Yorkshire pride flows through us with the strength of the

Swale,

Our sense of belonging as vast as each Dale

God’s own county for very good reason:

Reet proper glorious in every season.

 

 


Which Pub?

by Bill Clayton

A group of guys into their 40th year
Discussed where they should go for a beer

They wanted somewhere at a decent price

And where the waitresses were nice

They decided on The Flying Frog in town

So much better than the Rose and Crown

At age 50 the friends once again

Discussed where they should meet

Wanting service that was good and prompt

And the food being tasty to eat

As they wanted a good selection of beers

They picked The Flying Frog as in previous years

Ten years on and all aged 60

A fair bit older, and not so frisky

They wanted no loud music as they ate their food

Value for money and parking to be good

Again they chose The Flying Frog

So much better than The Gun and Dog

On their 70th they wanted no jukebox din

A disabled loo to get their wheelchairs in

Accessibility was high on the list

So the need for others to help and assist

The Flying frog came out top again

They’d been before, but couldn’t remember when

At 80 they planned to meet once more

Somewhere ideally on just one floor

Somewhere that sold some decent grog

So someone mentioned The Flying Frog

It sounded good and each of them swore
It’s a pub they’d never been in before…

 

 

Sunshine Smiles

by J. B. Dundee
Extracted from A Collection of Verse Volume IV

Discard the cardigan in disregard again,
now the waning rain has thus refrained

from wetting the land and dampening our spirits
The warming Sun, clouds to shun, now summer’s begun.

From the fetters of the chills unchained.
O’er the skin, degrees begin to absorb wherein

the bones disown their aches and groans,

to draw the heat so thankfully to the marrow

The warmth elates and radiates, as cold abates.
Ushering forth much cheerier tones.

Shielded eyes from piercing skies, yet hard to disguise,

no briefest grief, with each budding leaf,

at the passing of winter and passage through spring.

Sunshine smiles go on for miles;
captures and beguiles the lowliest

mortal’s sheer relief.

(At last the long-awaited summer has arrived.)

 

 

Elizabeth II
Historical Jubilee

by Irene Nutter Burnley

Our Monarch, our Queen,
In autumn years of glory

And high esteem,

Has kept her vows to rule the lands –

Distant and afar.

For peace to reign

And show of strength,

For all her people

From breadth to length.

All faiths and creeds admire her strength,

A following of admiration – that led to Coronation.

Sublime, for all to see,

The splendour and the glory.

Swathes of flags – A blur of hue,

All mixed with tears of joy and laughter.

May our glorious queen reign

Forever in our hearts, hereafter.

Discard the cardigan in disregard again,

now the waning rain has thus refrained

from wetting the land and dampening our spirits

The warming Sun, clouds to shun, now summer’s begun.

From the fetters of the chills unchained.

O’er the skin, degrees begin to absorb wherein

the bones disown their aches and groans,

to draw heat so thankfully to the marrow.

The warmth elates and radiates, as cold abates.

Ushering forth much cheerier tones.

Shielded eyes from piercing skies, yet hard to disguise,

no briefest grief, with each budding leaf,

at the passing of winter and passage through spring.

Sunshine smiles go on for miles;

captures and beguiles the lowliest

mortal’s sheer relief.

(At last the long-awaited summer has arrived.)

 

 

At Night

by Elijah Macbean

They look at the ground when they tell you the truth,
They look you in the eye when they bend it.

They tell you everything is going to be ok,

That you’re not messing up but doing the best you can.

You’re holding hands with a corpse,

Dragging it over coals of hot love,

Trying to bring life back into it,

Get it to remember yesterday.

When the sky wasn’t so near,

The days were clear,

The weeks a weak breeze,

Not continuous rain, Continuous pain.

When the boredom was a blessing,

And we wept with joy the mundanity of it all,

Laughed at the absurdity,

Looked forward to the monotony.

At night they

cover themselves,

Lay in their beds

and cry. At night they lie.

NorthernLife May/June 2022