Poetry Blog by C Richard Miles

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C Richard Miles on Let there be Peace (Sat, 25 Jun 2016 09:31 pm)

Yvonne Brunton on Allus tummlin’ i’ summat (Fri, 4 Apr 2014 12:07 am)

John Coopey on Allus tummlin’ i’ summat (Thu, 3 Apr 2014 05:07 pm)

C Richard Miles on Allus tummlin’ i’ summat (Wed, 2 Apr 2014 11:50 pm)

Harry O'Neill on Windhover (Fri, 7 Mar 2014 01:27 pm)

Dave Bradley on Windhover (Wed, 5 Mar 2014 10:48 pm)

M.C. Newberry on I want a New Computer (Thu, 27 Feb 2014 10:02 am)

Starfish on Remembered Hallowe’ens of Childhood (Tue, 29 Oct 2013 09:11 pm)

Cynthia Buell Thomas on Remembered Hallowe’ens of Childhood (Sun, 27 Oct 2013 04:17 pm)

John Coopey on Remembered Hallowe’ens of Childhood (Fri, 25 Oct 2013 12:06 am)

Let there be Peace

Let there be peace but not at any price

so games of chance,  rolls of the dice

do not disdainfully dictate like all the rest

that some should rule, some be repressed.

Let lives be counted for their proper worth;

let no human being brought to birth

be sacrificed in vain for wounded pride.

Let not a single man, who died

in conflict, be dismissed as second-rate.

Even the en...

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Hockney Road Sonnet

On Hockney Road, has Bradford's famous son

now been downgraded in-between the blocks

of some industrial park, to slink among

gaunt grubby retail units? It's a shock

to find him here, though fittingly perhaps

there is a modern style to his surrounds -

No dour Victorian mills where, in flat caps,

redundant mill-folk scurry past the grounds

of dirt-cheap fashion warehouses to ...

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Saltaire Dreams

The mill looms hulking in the dim distance, looms now long-stilled but filled with pictures crafted by Hockney, some of his Bradford long-remembered when he as a lad, would sketch the hills and mills with broad strokes but some more contemporary: coal smoke swapped for cooler pool or beach scenes or the bold new Wolds canvases: deep greens and thick lines of the worked wood...

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Allus tummlin’ i’ summat

When ah wor a lad, wi’d go-a laik i’t’ beck

An’ tho’ mi mam sed ah’d catch it i’t’ neck

If ah ivver went in ower dee-ap an’ got wet,

Ah’d allus end up i’t’ watter, tha mun bet.

 

Us kid wor a naingel an’ did as ’e wor towd;

’E warn’t as daft so as ter fetch up dowsed and cawd,

Bu’ ’e allus egged mi on as ah fettled up a dam

’Cos ’e reckoned ’e knew wot a wassock ah am.

 

...

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Windhover

 

 

 

Aloof, unnoticed, silent, still as death
You hover, as fleets of traffic pass;
Below, unshielded, voles and mice hold breath
And fear, awaiting deadly daggered grasp.

 

Alert, unarmoured avian bazooka,
You survey, feathered sinewed steel
Bedecked, unbending softness, yet crueller
And choose, radarless, to go in for the kill.

Aloft, unrotored, when wing engines cut;
You...

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I want a New Computer

I want a new computer

But I'm getting all upset:

There are too many options

So I don't know what to get.

 

A laptop or a tablet,

An i-Pad or a Mac:

The choice, it seems, is endless

But there's something they all lack.

 

They're all so darned new-fangled

But clearly cannot cope

With my docs in older formats;

It really is no joke!

 

I just want a new comp...

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Remembered Hallowe’ens of Childhood

I dream of Hallowe’en when we were children:

No transatlantic pumpkin at our sides

But turnip dug by dad from frost-streaked garden

And carved with care with chore-dulled kitchen knife

Till gaping, gap-toothed grin emerged. Then, skewered

By knitting needle, safe-secured by string,

With stub of candle craftily inserted

In hot-wax solder, to secure its grip.

 

...

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Halloween

A Case for Cancelling Christmas

Health and safety directives may sit on the shelf

But prick our conscience, like the holly everywhere

To make us think that Christmas is bad for the health

As many dangers lurk half-hidden in its tinselled glare.

 

Might twining ivy poison tiny toddlers who will pass?

And could pine needles stab them, drawing blood?

And, since bright baubles shatter into shards of gl...

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Cotton Mills

Clatter of shuttle and rattle of looms

Shattered the peace of the weaving rooms

In Yorkshire and Lancashire’s high rolling hills,

Where masses of mill lasses chattered in mills

Tripping and clopping in crude wooden clogs

Under the fast-running drive-belts and cogs

Which powered machinery, oily and rough,

Manufacturing worsted and cotton and cloth.

 

Yet the b...

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Only Connect

Only connect – a line, a lead, a link

Lassoing together disparate entities

As seamless as a maths-made Moebius strip

Constructible, yet with a vital twist:

 

Where, instantly, inside and outside, meld

Surprisingly, into a single surface

And so it is with us, the so-called self,

The side the world sees: epidermis.

 

And the inner, secret self, the soul, wh...

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Dales Pictures

Wensleydale, Swaledale and Nidderdale,dwell

Up in the North under mountain and fell

While Wharfedale and Airedale settle, more southern

Than the bleak bare uplands of remoter cousins.

 

Here, cottongrass, deergrass, heath-rush and sedge

Bow fuzzy heads by the chill water's edge

As tadpole, natterjack, newt, toad and frog

Swim, squirm and slither in the soft sphag...

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Bowers Row Second-hand Memories

Although shut pits no longer spit their

Packed-grit, black, thick-slack phlegm from

Hacked pick-carved sun-starved bronchioles

 

Deep in the high-spine Pennines' pulsing chest,

Green-seeded heaps of spoil-hill snot still blot

The gang-scraped Yorkshire landscape

 

And make me hark back second-hand

To an almost-unremembered past when dad,

A flat-capped gap...

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Mayday Mourning

 

 

 

Mourn for the May whose ribboned fripperies once, fluttering,

Fostered cheerful colour on each vernal village green.

Though brazen buddleias dash some dour dolour from the guttering,

They still raise sad rejoinders to our ugly, urban scene.

 

Then shone the season of gay garland and rich revelry;

Then was the maypole’s hour to overlook glad scenes.

...

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may day

Inspiration from Bronte Country

Stark white wind-farms now whirl, wuthering

Wild atop High Haworth moor

On fresh snowfall softly covering

Like lambswool, the grassy floor

But as bland blades turn there, hovering

Thoughts spin fast around my brain:

If it is now worthwhile bothering

Writing verse which rings so vain.

 

Are those metal monsters withering

So all inspiration dies?

For as...

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Coin Collecting

Though quite a Europhile, I'll willingly admit

One thing the single currency just cannot do

Though, sadly, truth to tell, the self-same problems sit

Within the British monetary system, too.

 

I was a coin-collector, as a geeky kid;

I scoured for specie in my pockets from loose change

Which in those times so many of us children did

Though numismatic hobbies nowada...

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Aurora

A glamorous ghostlike goddess, clad in glimmering garish green,

You swirl soft skirts of silk across the sullen Northern sky.

Your festive flashes frolic to festoon the starlit scene.

Aurora Borealis, you blaze brightly from on high.

 

So silent as you circle, scintillate and swiftly swirl,

Hoist high on the horizon, nature's necklace of the night.

Gyrating gem-like ...

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New Year’s Day on Brighton Pier

That Hogmanay, that blissful distant winter

Along by Brighton Pier, we went to wander.

Resolutions made, we roamed on, rambling

Past the hulks of trundling traffic rumbling.

With no breath of heavy weather brewing,

Sea was millpond still, with no wind blowing;

Mild midwinter sun, echoing summer,

Sparkled on the swell, all silken shimmer.

 

Squawking seagulls ...

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new year

View from a steamed-up bus window

As my rattling Transdev bus chugs on

In its grumpy rush-hour peregrination

Through the already darkening day's end

Of Bradford's murky northern outskirts,

Condensation-glazed lad-scratched glass

Metamorphoses the winterworld outside

Into a semi-opaque panchromatic fairyland.

 

As dozy daylight dissolves to torpid twilight,

Mundane suburbia subtly transforms i...

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Christmas

Russet Rustlings

I rustle through crisp clusters of lost, crunching leaves

Which gather, bunched and rusting russet, in the thickets

And sniff the wafting, musty, fusty, rustic scents

Of fungal undergrowth amongst sparse, once-lush bushes.

 

Last, rash, brash leaflets stick to sycamore and ash

But soon shall slip their tenuous grips and hustle, fluttering

To forest’s floor to settle,...

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Another Birthday

It's one of those significant birthdays on Sunday (I chalk up the half-century, if you're wondering!) but here's something I wrote a couple of years back:

 

Another birthday

 

Another birthday looms,

Though, at our age, we fail to mark it

In any form of childish celebration,

Unless it is a special one

That ends in zero.

We’re now too old, we say,

For that...

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Heptonstall Chapel

These stones have stood two hundred years and forty more

And scan Hardcastle Crags across from Heptonstall,

Hoist high above the Hebble's ferny forest's floor

But they may fall.

 

Though Wesley preached to hundreds in this hallowed place,

This wayside chapel, gaunt-boned, gritstone octagon

Whose generations worshipped, prayed and gained God’s grace,

May soon be g...

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Bus Ride to Hebden Bridge

Shame the WOL event at Hebden Bridge has been cancelled. I'm "up North" visiting family and was thinking of coming along! Here's a sestina I wrote on one of my visits. It was around Eastertime but I can't remember which year.

 

Bus Ride to Hebden Bridge

 

Today I took the bus to Hebden Bridge

Past unremembered farmsteads on the moor,

No longer proud but broken, bowed by ...

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Meadow Melody

Chewing the cud unperturbed by the world in the heat’s haze,

Up in the meadow tread red-polled, old, dun cows and brown cows,

Jerseys and Guernseys combining with Holsteins, all fine beasts.

 

All summer long in the strong, blinding sunshine, the kine graze,

Nibbling the timothy, fescue and rye grass, that high grass

Hiding the hollows, where tussocks of sedge deck the m...

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Traffic Thoughts

As the trailing traffic trundles

Slug-like slow through humdrum London,

Serpentine, so slowly snaking,

As the working world is waking,

Does it drag its feet, despondent

That its journey's such a long one?

 

Is it glum, lethargic, lagging

Stultified by last night's stabbing

By the youths who prowled the pavements?

Is it stopped in shocked amazement

At ...

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Tewit Nesting

We used to trail to see the tewits’ nests each spring,

Sometimes alone, or Uncle Tom would take us there

All dressed in tweeds, a hand-cut ash pole in his hand

In place of that black shovel that he heaved each day

To stoke the boiler for the engine at the mill.

 

As he was the one that knew best their favoured fields,

He’d lead the way, up Skipton Road, up to the Hea...

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Stilettotterer

She totters as she trots across the street

On spindly, thin-shin shanks that

Could not dance a dodgy, rocky foxtrot.

This would-be vamp is hobbled

In her shaky, rakish steps

That wobble cock-eyed, knock-kneed,

In her lust for shoe-supremacy.

This dainty demoiselle is held

To be no stately, graceful gazelle

But gawky like a new-born, gauche giraffe

And yet...

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Feet

After the Summer Fayre

I've come home from my school's summer Fayre this evening - managed to sell a dozen or so of my homemade chapbooks - folk will buy all sorts of rubbish to raise money!


I was reminded of this poem I wrote after a previous Fayre & thought I might share it with you all!

 

After the Fayre

 

Tattered bunting flutters in the breeze;

Balloons bobble limply on their strings

...

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Sporting Success in spite of Rain

A leaden London cloudscape's gown of grey

Greets me this morning on my way to work;

Even the swooping swallows cannot break

A creeping lethargy this dismal day.

A tube strike looms, a shadow in the sky

That soon will wreck the hectic working week

And add more torture to the tiresome trek

As cramped commuters wend their weary way.

But cheer up, chaps - there's Wim...

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Send in the Clowns

Wimbledon's coming and the threat of rain

Seems set upon returning as I write

And, though an optimist, yet doubts remain:

The R.M.T. are spoiling for a fight,

Combined with public sector strikes. I fear

This summer's not a one we'll long remember

And, as for 2012, another year

Has still to go till I can be a member

Of that mass who'll say, “I told you so!”

Wh...

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Technology!

I’ve paddled through the packaging

And looked at all the labels.

With military strategy,

I’ve plugged in all the cables;


And now it’s smiling smugly,

As it sits on the TV:

The shiny, silv’ry set-top box

Is grinning back at me!


It has amazing functions

(Or so the advert said)

Though I really know I shouldn’t

Fall for everything I’ve read.

...

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I have never been to Newbiggin

I have never been to Newbiggin

Although I’ve seen it on the map and know its name.

Yet I have never been to Newbiggin

Although I’ve seen the sign that points there down the lane.

But I have never been to Newbiggin

Although I’ve seen it stretched out there, across the dale,

Its houses strung like pearls, squat stone

All yellow-grey along the single street.

And I h...

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Haikus from the 1st Test England v Sri Lanka 2011

Cook hooks, breaks his duck,

Adds four to England's score:

Great bat, a class act.

 

In tests, Strauss's nous

Makes him permanent leader,

Not acting captain.

 

Trott's hot: got the lot.

Not flashy like Pietersen

But better batter.

 

Pietersen's neater

Now that Brylcreem's in his hair:

Knocks the girls for six.

 

Bell had a lean spe...

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haiku; cricket

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