Poetry Blog by M.C. Newberry (2015)

DESERT(ED) LANDS

Oil-rich Arab neighbours

Are close by troubled lands,

Yet where are the labouring saviours -

Where are their helping hands?

 

A much-vaunted religious teaching

Seems common to them all

Yet where is its charity reaching

When conflict comes to call?

 

It sees its disciples fleeing

Far off alien lands to roam

Does it see what we're not seeing

As its millions see...

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Bah! Humbug

Forgive this passing Christmas parley,

Remembering forgotten Jacob Marley.

Cruelly chained, it was he who schemed

To see Ebenezer Scrooge redeemed.

In deep pockets the newborn miser dug,

Leaving others to their "Bah! Humbug".

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THOUGHTS AT CHRISTMAS - a Seasonal re-post

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How fitting now in deep December

When days are short and spirits low,

That in our hearts we will remember

Those we knew who had to go.

 

Christmas hours are briefly bright,

Their spark is spent in winter's pay

And soon surrrenders to the night

When light retreats and fades away.

 

But O how wonderful this living...

How magical this life we own,

That we are given...

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MOVING ON - for my sister

How it seems like a dim distant dream now

When we were kids in those Wiltshire lanes,

You with your horses and boyfriends,

Me with my cycling and trains.

 

There's Box - and there's Bill Peters' stable...

And sometimes I'm sure to believe

I hear Mum call "Tea's on the table",

And the brother is due home on leave.

 

Now the years have passed in their own ways

And we...

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QUESTION

If honest refuge is what salvation orders,

Why then, cross so many borders?

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OPERATION OVERLOAD (or D<FOR DEMISE>-DAY!)

We're told that we face our demise through this world over-heating,

That we're even in danger of departing this life because of over-eating.

And the faceless hoodie with the scythe will certainly come creeping

If we are ever tempted to indulge ourselves in over-sleeping.

We're told...and fair is fair - this can't have involved much thinking

That we will surely find oblivion if we go...

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WAR AND PEACE

Idealism is always fine

But needs reality to define

The difference, so those like me and you

Make no mistake between the two.

It's easier by far to barely stir

And write of how we wished things were.

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DEREK HATTON

With a nod to Edward Thomas.

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Yes - I remember Derek Hatton...the name

Because one political summer of heat

The media drew up there interestedly.

The Party hissed.  Many votes left and few votes came

To that bare platform

What I recall is Hatton...just the name.

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DO YOU BELIEVE?

Do you believe what you want to believe,

Encouraged by others who do?

Could you consider...can you even conceive

A differing point of view?

Once "they" said the World was flat,

And folk must have imagined a ledge

When thinking to themselves, if that was that,

They'd better not fall off the edge.

But then "they" said the World was round,

And folk must have tried to keep p...

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PARIS - FRIDAY 13 NOV. 2015

May the caring human heart always shun

The deeds of hatred it saw done

By those who boast that "God Is Great",

When, in truth, their creed is "God Can Wait".

 

The sound of a proudly sung Marsellaise

Reminded the foe that Time's hand will erase

And eventually consign to a well deserved fate

These bloodstained barbarians at the gate.

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UNCHARITABLE THOUGHTS (1)

When it comes to the topic of charity

There seems a considerable disparity

In the number of generous donations

From the UK compared to other nations.

No doubt some will consider it treason

To even question any well meaning reason

That sees so many substantial amounts

Find their way towards funding sundry foreign accounts.

That in the fullness of time's cruel attrition

Wi...

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UNCLE NICK

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I was never to know my Uncle Nick

Lost to war long before I was born,

But I pray to God that it was quick

When death snatched away a young life's new dawn.

 

They read out his name from a swathe of blood red

One rain-sodden night at the Tower,

From a glistening garden of Glorious Dead

Cut down before they could flower.

 

It falls to the living come every November

T...

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BEST INFORMED

The best informed have learnt to find

The value of an open mind.

The most aware are keen to share

The questions: who, how, when and where?

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FOR JENNY

The publication of "Sisters in Spitfires" - a collection of poems by Alison Hill celebrating

the women of the Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA) - encouraged me to fondly plagiarise a

famous poem by John Pudney, whose spirit, I'm sure, will forgive me in a good cause.

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FOR JENNY

...

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THE LAST OF THE PAST

It's true when viewing a famous past

Comes the knowledge it won't last;

No use dwelling on what was done,

On what was paid in blood and won.

Do those who face an uncertain future

Get a stitch in time - or infected suture?

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HAND OVER

A pre-Referendum blog - to the tune of "Land of Hope and Glory".

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They hand over Hope and Glory

They give our Freedoms away

Adding insult to our old Story

Insisting that we should pay.

 

Whiter still and whiter

The plotters' visages get

God...may these high and mighty

Be rumbl...

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MAUREEN O'HARA

Goodbye, you flame haired colleen,

Pure gold on the silver screen

From those marvellous days

Of the long-ago haze

In those old picture houses we've been.

 

Beauty and fire combined,

A brave spirit unconfined.

Your favoured film swain

Was always "Duke" Wayne,

And no fan (or man) seemed to mind.

 

God bless for the memories, Maureen,

And the hours of pleasure w...

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HANDS OFF CLOCKS!

The hands of the jocks

Are on our clocks

And that's bang out of order.

 

It's "behind you!" pantomime

So let's call time

On this wind-up from north of the border.

 

If English laws allow it to be

I'll quickly agree to B.S.T.

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CLIMATE CHANGE (a peep into the past)

In January sixteen sixty one, assiduous Samuel Pepys

Made an entry in his diary of weather giving him the creeps.

"It is strange what weather we have had..."

Pepys wrote with his usual precision,,,

"all this winter, no cold at all..."

Of Mother Nature's contrary decision.

"the ways are all dusty, flies fly up and down..."

The man was clearly confounded

"and the rose bushes ...

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MAKING HAY FOR TODAY

"Laureate" by Graham Sherwood had me chuckling but I also saw a more serious side in passing.

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If you produce pretentious pap

Both addled and obscure

Ensnaring readers in a trap

Of literary manure,

Best get a job within the trade

Of poetry that holds sway,

To show that you have got it made...

T...

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LUST

All human lust

Must end in dust!

Be hot - like toast

To get the most,

And like the toaster

Shooting forth

Perform and eject

For what it's worth.

The grave is dug

The juice abates

Death pulls the plug

The earth awaits.

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YESTERDAY ONCE MORE - a re-post

 

(A gentle riposte to the modern obsession with "paedos")

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Pausing high above the beach,

I watch the children out of reach,

Racing down the golden sand,

Leaping...laughing...hand-in-hand.

 

Children dancing in the sea

Remind me how I used to be,

Free from care and full of fun,

A happy boy beneath the sun.

 

Tim...

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CONTENT AND FORM

The following is a personal view.

To my mind, producing poetry can be like the art of cuisine.

Content of poetry (like food) can be varied - to be entertaining, pleasing, able to stimulate

interest and debate beyond the reach of safe and sacrosanct expectations.  Sassoon and

Owen used content powerfully and it survived the forms they used to reach the public

palate.  Not always easy...

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JULIE ANDREWS IS EIGHTY TODAY

Julie Andrews is eighty today

The ageless voice that sang "Doe ray"

A child talent they called precocious

And that other word ending in "docious".

She's given people so much pleasure

Not just a national...a GLOBAL treasure

Bright as the sun - nothing need persuade me

To say "Happy birthday - My Fair Lady"!

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GONE - BUT NOT FORGOTTEN

For the living grief is such relief

The dead don't care cos they're not there.

But they might ask in retrospect,

To be excused from cruel neglect.

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FOLLOWING ON

I have to admit I was pleased as hell

To read of the descendant of I.K. Brunel

Who had followed in the tracks of his great forebear

To rediscover what he'd done - and where.

And to crown it all, came the news from afar

That First Western is renamed G.W.R.

HURRAH!

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COR - LABOUR'S FOR THE BYN!

In biblical times JC and his band

Sought to lead folk to a Promised Land

Despite the words and reported miracle

The people rejected his religious empiracal

Disbelieving, disappointed and at a loss

They saw him put upon a cross

Now full two millenia later

Our own JC (establishment hater)

Preaches his old/new style religion

(Common sense? - perhaps a smidgen).

I suspec...

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WHY?

As migrants make momentous decisions and from far-off lands set forth

I consider the role of the global news media that sees them head west and north.

Why don't the common religious beliefs, shared histories and word of mouth

Instead see them making the decision to point their feet east and south?

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HEADLINES

You'll have to have been where the mail doesn't drop

Or where the papers and TV don't find you

To be unware of "black man shot by white cop"

Ad infinitum - just to remind you.

But the absence of the following has my mind in a whirl

"Black man shoots white TV news girl".

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WEB

Spiders spin a silken web

in pursuit of passing prey;

Women weave a perfumed web

to catch men while they may.

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YOU BET'CHA

Right from the first time that I met'cha

I told myself I'd never let'cha

Slip away from me.

 

Each day I'd find a way to get'cha

Close to me so I could pet'cha

With you on my knee.

 

Any place you go I'd come to fet'cha

There's just no way I'd ever let'cha

Forget my lovin' plea.

 

Here's my promise, girl - I bet'cha

Up or down - my love will ket'cha

Hey ki...

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MEASURES

When I of solitude's measure drink

And of your precious person think,

I wish my lonely loving cup

Was with your own sweet self filled up.

 

But hearts' desires with passion sought

Are always better won than bought

So I consent to be content

With consolations I am sent.

 

I live this life with you in mind

And from your treasured image find

Sweet solace for an emp...

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TWO SIDES TO THE COIN

How is it ethnics can proudly boast

of the rights of their community,

Whilst if the English do it they're burnt toast -

Scorned as racist with impunity?

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LOVE SONG

My love told me you took my song

And made the words your own

That time you tried to capture her

When you two were alone.

 

But I won't talk of any blame

For what you tried to do

In your place playing your game

I may have been like you.

 

But here is something you should know:

She loves the melody.

As for the words (she told me so)

She prefers them mouthed by ...

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WITH YOU

With you...

With you...now and each tomorrow

With you - in your grief and sorrow

With you - when you're bowed with care

With you - when the words aren't there

With you - hoping that you stay

With you - when you go away

With you - when you're on your own

With you - when I'm left alone

With you - when you close your door

With you - now and evermore

With you...

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HISTORY TO SUIT

In Oxford, home of the gleaming spire,

A wish to rewrite history abodes

The subject of this outraged ire:

An ancient statue of Cecil Rhodes.

 

"Take him down...remove the oppressor

He has no place in my view of things!"

We're told in this land of Edward the Confessor

And the shades of far more murderous kings.

 

The demand comes from a history student

Annie Teriba ...

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FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Images of obesity appear to define the age we live in.  Despite knowledge of nutrition easily obtained about

cheap healthy food (sardines, eggs, beans, bread, salad, soup, fruit et al) to be found everywhere, there's

this perversity of purchasing food in modern life that sees it becoming a deadly lottery of "weight and C" for

those unmindful of self-care.  Today's NHS is overburdened with...

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COPYBOOK WRITING

No pal at school ever called it exciting

Crouched over a desk - doing Copybook writing.

With dip-pen in hand slowly following each letter

Teacher over your shoulder - willing it better.

 

The scratch of the nib across a notebook

Juvenile attempts at a tidy "by rote" look,

With occasional splatterings of wayward ink

To cause a kid to stop and blink -

 

And hastily blot...

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copybookwriting

EMPTY VESSELS - SOME FATHERS' DAY THOUGHTS

There's a female conceit found in girlfriend and wife

That they are the shakers - the makers of life.

Not meant to be funny but there's diversionary sense...

Taking minds off the money - daddy's massive expense.

And let all remember there's no procreation -

Empty vessels - unless some male makes a donation.

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DOWN BY THE MEWSTONE

Now that the evenings are lengthening and the beauty of the coastal South Devon countryside returns

to fill my mind, come with me along the old metalled path from the end of the lonely road high above

Kingswear - marked by a solitary tree - to pass the watchtower looking out over the land as it drops

down to the beautiful River Dart estuary and the ruins of the WW2 coastal battery that st...

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Mewstone

HONOURS UNEVEN

There's this thing about each "honours" list -

It's more about the names "they" missed.

True talent, service...gone to their grave

Left out in life to which they gave

Great gifts that time alone will know

And stay when their owners have to go.

Perhaps these things need no applause

Their legacy sufficient cause

For delight in generations yet to come

No medal or title need...

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FAREWELL BRIAN CARTER

There's many a heavy heart down in Devon now that a singular voice has been stilled by the march

of time.  Brian Carter was a one-off: a gifted artist, writer and poet whose talents were to serve the

cause nearest to his heart - the care of the countryside and its content.  He wrote a column -

"Carter's Country" - for the local Torquay Herald Express and it became a "must" for its readers...

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BrianCarter

THE SOCIALIST SHIRKERS PARTY

You'll find them among most types of mob

With shuttered mind and open gob.

You'd be forgiven for wondering what they do for a living

When they prefer to be taking rather than giving.

They'll shout you down in your own small protest

And you think they might actually be seeking arrest

From the ranks of police that wearily try

To make sure the peace doesn't go too awry.

Having...

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GOODBYE TO A LITTLE LIFETIME

I took it for a paper scrap

Upon the carpet's dull brown nap,

But bending forward I could see

It meant more than a scrap to me.

Diminished in death it was the mouse

That shared with me this ancient house

And which had often passed my way

An early morning blur of grey.

Then I recalled a recent night

When I had seen a slower flight...

Much slower than the previous run

...

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QUESTION

To the ranters and daubers in their Pools of Red

Let these enquiring words be said:

Is the unexpected Sea Of Blue

Middle England saying "F... You Too"?

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PUBLIC RECORD

In the Public Record Office down in Kew

Is a report to interest me and you.

Scottish nationalists back in World War Two

Made an approach to you-know-who;

To gain advantage of their choosing

In case the Allies looked like losing.

Scots nationalists sought a Nazi deal

To protect their interests (this was real !)

Just in case the English lost

And Hadrian's Wall was there to...

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Publicrecord

SEA OF RED

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I stood in the shadow of that historic Tower

Before a rain-drenched sea of red

The glistening ceramic poppies like a shower

Washing clean wrongs and lives long since dead.

 

From out of the gloom marched a Warder

(With a young guardsman bugler in tow)

Who soon called the living to order

And read out the names we would know.

 

We were witnesses to the sort of weather

...

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Poppies

PASSING FEET

Have you ever stood on a city street

And watched the pace of passing feet?

How quick they go as if they dare

Not to be seen to linger there.

 

Their owners trapped in headlong rush

That takes them to another crush

Of hurrying humanity in its need

To avoid attention by its speed.

 

How different from the village street

When people pause and actually greet

A passe...

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TICK TOCK

The second hand goes flicking by,

Hurrying us on to the time we die.

The minute hand follows close behind,

Without a care if we should mind.

Till sixty minutes defines the hour

To remind us of time's passing power

And adding four hours to a score -

Each day tots up to twenty four;

Multiply one day by three six five

To mark each year you are alive.

In life there's so m...

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THE VOICE OF SUMMER

One of the more fondly recalled aspects of my working life was occasional employment

at Lords when test matches were played back in the 70s and 80s.  Great days.  Richie

Benaud was as much a part of the scene as that world-famous famous venue and, just

like Sir Peter O'Sullevan in racing, his voice was synonymous with his chosen sport. 

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BenaudRichie

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