Poetry Blog by M.C. Newberry (2016)

STILL WAVING AT TRAINS

I've just spent a few N.Y. Eve hours watching Youtube videos of steam trains...especially a

superb collection "Steam Trains at Speed" ("Speed to the West") with 3million plus hits! 

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I thank heaven for the thrill of the steam that remains,

Once a boy - now a man, but still waving at trains.

As each image passes, s...

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NIGHT AND DAY!

I'm rarely in bed before three

And except for a well-watered wee

I'm in bed until noon

And noon is too soon

For the likes of retired old me!

 

Occasionally, I lie there and scheme,

Dozing off - when there might come a gleam

Of unexpected inspiration;

Result: the creation

Of stuff that is based in some dream.

 

I can wake with a tune in my head

And I'll heave ...

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THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS - a nod!

Tis the night before Christmas

And here in this house

Not a soul 'cept me stirs

Or maybe the mouse

Who sometimes flits by in furred subterfuge

So tight with his visits that I call him Scrooge!

The flat below has been empty a while

And the tenant above has gone away with a smile.

I'm in solitary seclusion - but far from alone,

With the email, the landline and mobile phone...

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DOES ANYONE KNOW?

Now with a slight addition to this enquiry into a natural mystery.

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In their turn the seasons say hello

To lead us shivering to winter's blow.

But tell me pray - does anyone know...

Where do all the dead birds go?

 

City wings flap to and fro

Street wise pigeons parade in a row

Li...

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THOUGHTS AT CHRISTMAS - a seasonal re-post

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Keeping in spirit with the concept of Christmas as a time for remembering, here is my own contribution.

NB - the older you are, the more likely it will be you'll identify with these words. ...........................................................

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.

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BORDERING ON INANITY

Socialism cares nought for borders

It prefers instead international orders

That insist on a worldwide type of "hood"

That insists you behave how "they" say you should.

 

Like a religiious infestation

It infects a self-sufficient nation,

Seeking out the disaffected

With lies of what can be expected.

 

Spreading the word - spreading the creed

Damning advancement, cal...

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CHRISTMAS IN MIND

The following lines are adapted from a seasonal song lyric of mine.  Be of good cheer and be happy!

Lift up your voice

Let all rejoice

And make a joyful sound

Cast off the care

Most folk must bear

When Christmas comes around.

 

A time of cheer

With loved ones near

To banish grief and tears

With peals of laughter

Ever after

Echoing down the years.

 

Be g...

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CHRISTMAS SNOW - a song for the Season.

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I understand that Sir Cliff hopes to return to his habit of releasing an annual festive season song in 2017.

In the meantime, here is my nod to a great time of the year, bringing together those who are absent

with their imaginings of home, family and friends at a precious time of the year. 

My thanks to The Kingswood Sound for their enthusiastic rendering of my material.

Now sing along...

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WASHED UP

Gazing down at stained water in a slow draining sink,

Arrested me in mid-motion and caused me to think -

Absent mindedly wiping a newly clean cup.....

How we go day to day until we're all washed up.

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HANGING AROUND

Was it a Friday - going into Saturday...

Just another routine "does it matter?" day?

The call came in around two in the morning

The sort you can get without any warning.

"Come quick" it said, "there's been a death",

A case of someone fresh out of breath.

The timing was poor - aye, there was the rub,

We were nearly due to book in for our grub.

But duty called and we boarded ...

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FIGHTING OUR FIGHTS - ARMISTICE WEEK 2016

There will always be someone who'll do it,

And there'll always be someone who'll rue it.

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WORDS FROM THE GREAT MAN

The Brexit saga rumbles on, with heated words from both sides, but it is worth recalling the words of

Sir Winston Churchill that resonate strongly down the years.

"But we have our own dream and our own task.  We are with Europe but not of it.  We are linked,

but not comprised.  We are interested and associated, but not absorbed."

I think his choice of the word "absorbed" has historical...

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REFUGEE

First find a boat that stays afloat

When you leave the land God gave you;

Then give thanks for the helping ranks

Of hands reaching out to save you.

The life that's sought may not be bought

For all the money you tender,

But beggars can't be choosers

And such living needs a lender -

To pay its way from day to day

Until back up and running...

To slowly discover new rewar...

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AUTUMN'S CLOAK

Autumn quietly reaches out and gifts Summer her cloak

To cover the bright capricious head from the change she can't revoke.

Everywhere there are signs of storing and the gathering of fuel,

As the World spins on its restless way to welcome rich renewal.

It's time for Nature to take a pause...for life to take a breath,

Before Winter takes a vice-like grip and all seems akin to death.

...

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FLYING IN THE FACE OF REASON

This Government's prerequisite

Is catering for the flying visit.

Never mind those who live here,

Or the taxes they give here;

Hardly odd for politicians...is it?

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HAM-A-MIA!

"This health food fad's baloney"

Cried the pasty Macaroni;

"Will you stop talking tripe"

Came Spaghetti's tasty swipe;

"You're loved by folk who are bony,

So stop acting like a phony!".

"Yes, cease being such a sham"

Weighed in a Parma Ham,

While an attractive dish of Risotto

Warned: "Or that will be your lotto"!!

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BETJEMAN

Did Betjeman ever win a prize, award or competition?

Was he lauded for his "insight" or "extraordinary erudition"?

Did any lit-er-ary critic ever admit they were a fan?

And yet he's loved and lamented

And will be...you betcha' man! 

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A NOD TO W.E. HENLEY

What is Life but a rented room

With Death the salesman on the stair

Seeking to supply your very own tomb

While you insist on ignoring that he's there.

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ARE YOU? DO YOU?

Are you a ceaseless sympathiser for the world's weaknesses and woes?

Do you feel obliged to follow regardless wherever life's misery goes?

Are you a soul who's sure life's unfair and honour bound to show it?

Do you design your work to fit so all the world will know it?

Are you a staunch defender of those who love to kick up a stink?

Do you take their side before you give yourself ti...

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WATCHING TRAINS GO BY

If you should ask what brings a tear to this grown man's jaundiced eye

It's the grateful memory of a boyhood spent watching trains go by.

Waiting on the platform of an unattended village station,

Learning early on in life about patience and determination.

Gazing towards the nobly porticoed entrance of the hidden funnel

That marks the mile long measure of Brunel's brilliant Box Tunne...

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UNTITLED

I'd travel far

Search for Shangri-La

Pay the cash for a dash to a distant star

I'd even leave my favourite bar

If you say you'll be mine.

 

I'd run a mile

In Olympic style

And run right back with a Mo Farah smile

Then do it all again in a little while

If you say you'll be mine.

 

Like Jack and Jill

I'd take a spill

Or take a hike up Everest's hill

Or fe...

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QUESTION

Do the Labour faithful really set store in

Their choice of Jeremy Corbyn

To fight an election

With huge risk of rejection

And endless stories from Tories

Of a sure win?

 

Looking through time's political prism

Rarely saw socialism

In an advanced state reflected

In who got elected

Often producing political schism.

 

The art of the possible, it's said

To the...

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RIGHT TURN by Richard Seymour

The following lines were written many years ago when this country faced decisions that

affected its future survival.  Post-Brexit, they have a very contemporary resonance.

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Though Britannia rules exalted

In our heartfelt hymns of praise

Now we see her standing halted

At the parting of the ways.

 

To her left a road des...

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LET SLEEPING DOGS LIE

"Let sleeping dogs lie", my brother would say,

A drunken bully - we fought every day.

He got his dog after drowning my cat,

How I wished the swine dead for doing that.

 

But its boastful master would often say

His dog would follow him and obey,

Too vain to think - too vain to see

The gentle dog grew fond of me.

 

The stink of drink fouled my brother's breath,

Its s...

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LONESOME RAIL - a railroad song/lyric

Darlin' - now I'm miles away from where I long to be

Now there's too much distance keeping you from me

I lie awake most every night to the locomotive's wail

And my heart heads back down the waiting track

To ride that lonesome rail

 

I see your face before me whenever I'm alone

I hear your voice implore me: "Don't leave me on my own"

It hurts too much to realise I was the on...

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DECEIT, DISSEMBLING AND DELAY

Deceit, dissembling and delay

Was how the EU got its way.

The style by which it stealthily made

Its move to political power from trade.

 

I remember well how they dismissed doubt

Of just what they were really about,

All that well staged fol de rol...

Changing Interpol to Europol

 

And do you remember how they called us barmy

When we said they planned an EU Army?

...

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PIE IN THE SKY

M and S sell an "Empire Pie",

"That's such bad taste" - the offended cry;

But I disagree with such remarks

Cos the food is delish at Marks and Sparks.

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STEAM DREAM

The sight of a steam train passing by

Had me thinking - though unsure why;

Its white clouds the breath of life to me,

Here - then gone - a memory.

 

Perhaps it was those puffs of steam -

Vanishing - just like a dream

That waking always leaves behind

To bring the breath of life to mind.

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THOUGHT FOR ANY DAY 4 - repost for Sept.

Caught out by the last day of August - so here's a second bite at the cherry!

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Cruel manifestations of failed relations:

Emotional and physical eviscerations.

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THOUGHT FOR ANY DAY 4

Cruel manifestations of failed relations:

Emotional and physical eviscerations.

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THOUGHT FOR ANY DAY 3

Greet the passing years with gratification,

Do not hold sway with the cruel crime

That Life commits against each generation

In its callous guise of "The Thief of Time".

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THOUGHT FOR ANY DAY 2

There's really no use reasoning with the obtuse;

If you do you may find reason leaving your mind!

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BRIAN RIX REMEMBERED

So many years now fill the glass

Of life remembering British farce.

A time when top notch timing was all

And enabled many a perfect fall

Through doors and windows open and shut -

And helpless guffawing from the gut.

The skill and fun in all those tricks

Now has me saying "God bless, Lord Rix".

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THOUGHT FOR ANY DAY

It's a waste of words to quarrel

With a mission or a moral.

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THE ENGLISH WORKING POOR

Community is a fashionable word and gets media attention,

But the English Working Poor is one that never gets a mention.

 

Others and their brothers tend to riot in the street,

But the English Working Poor get on in the hope that they'll meet

 

Triumph and Disaster (those two imposters!) just the same,

Well aware that life's dull care is rarely without blame.

 

You'll fi...

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POET

Tell someone you're a poet

And before you know it

They won't recognise it as a living

Preferring taking instead of giving.

Retained within the realm of time

And kindergarten's childish rhyme,

So sure they accurately construe it

As simple!  Anyone can do it.

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FIVE YEARS ON

They tell us Black Lives Matter

As if we didn't know.

Mobs maraud, burn and shatter

And what's there good to show?

Most of us get by without the need for guns and knives

That host of us who seek some valued meaning to our lives.

To these "activists": beware, your cause will lie in tatters

Unless you see we also know that Black Crime Matters.

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ACCOUNT CLOSED - 18th AUGUST 1916

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The following lines are a memorial to my maternal uncle Ernest Valentine Venner ("Uncle Nick"), killed in action aged 24 years, one hundred years ago this month in "The war to end all wars".

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Ernest Venner's account was closed today at Delville Wood;

O...

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THE GLOBAL MEDIA

Can someone proscribe the global media?

A day and night, doom and gloom Wikipedia

That insists we should share

All the grief and the care

Of the seedier, needier and greedier.

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HEY, REF!

Big match FIFA footie refs seem challenged in things ocular

What they're not too hot to spot is verging on spect'ocular.

Even when mere feet away from what they're trained to see

Do we think it's like (not a lot!) what's seen by you and me?

If this is what their bosses want - and taught in reffing classes,

Perhaps the rose-tinted rest of us should get 'effing glasses!

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A PERFORMANCE

"A performance" murmured the SAS man, with a resigned sigh,

As he watched and listened to a practiced Blair reply.

He had reason to witness what the millionaire speaker said,

His son had been dispatched to war and became one of the dead.

The former PM had no regret for the decision he had made,

Instead he sought the mea culpa of the price high office paid.

And no doubt George Bus...

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EN PASSANT

The insensitivity of those ready to give offence

Seems exceeded only

By the sensitivity of those ready to take offence.

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OUT!

Out with hyperbole...the doom and the gloom,

Just wait and see - and give hope some room.

Are we pale shades of all those who bore us

Who lived through the centuries that existed before us?

With a fierce love of home and indomitable pride

And a history of hard times that can't be denied.

They sacrificed much for the sake of democracy

To ensure it prevailed when threatened by a...

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QUO VADIS?

In recent days I have received emails from WOL that have caused confusion and some concern.

The first referred to me to a post which had elicited a response from me.  However, clicking

on the link resulted in the discovery of a total deletion of the original post and comment(s).

Now I've had an email about 7 comments, five of which originated from someone called

Mohamed - but not one o...

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DAVID LAMMY

Behold David Lammy

London's Totten-hammy

Seeking hands to raise his meddling mitt;

Rejecting the vote in that test of us

Refusing the right of the rest of us

To show to the world the best of us

By making a proper fist of it.

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CONSIDER THIS

Having read a number of blogs setting out the case to remain in the EU, here is my contribution.

Thursday June 23rd is a date that will take its place in history.  It will demonstrate whether this nation

steeped in history can regain a semblance of the force of conviction that saw its offspring feature in

so many notable events of the past, to make sacrifice and to endure, so that despite...

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ALWAYS CONSIDER THE ALTERNATIVE

The lyricist Ira Gershwin, one half of the great songwriting duo, offers an illuminating view of

how he approached his art, ready to consider change yet not always willing to go with it.

In his "standard" "They Can't Take That Away From Me", he uses the following as an example:

"We may never, never meet again

On the bumpy road to love,

Still, I'll always, always keep

The mem'ry o...

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SHOULD I STAY OR SHOULD I GO?

In future years, beyond our own brief span,

Historians will write of what occurred

When an island nation stood up and ran

With a momentous decision one "June twenty third"

 

A date when the thought passed to and fro

When wrestling with the facts and fiction:

Should I stay - or should I go?

Who has true claim to jurisdiction?

 

History is there to tell its tale

To s...

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CLIPPER

Rough and ready lines (author u/k) to bring a salty tang from sailing ship days into mundane lives.

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You can keep yer steam boat racing,

But gimme the run in a gale

Of a well-geared able clipper

What is driven by snow-white sail;

For I've known the thrill of a pilin' sea

And the sky in a snow-flecked gown,

And fourte...

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D'YE MIND, OLD PAL?

A recent emailed exchange about poems and sailing ships brought to mind the following.

The author is unknown but how convincingly they evoke a square rigger in its element.

D'ye mind the day

When we squared away

And ran her east by south,

And she trampled down big Horn Seas

With a roaring bone in her mouth?

While the best hands fought the bucking wheel

And dared not look be...

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