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Kevin Vose

Updated: Mon, 5 Aug 2019 04:44 pm

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I am 59 and have been writing poetry since a teenager. I also write factual and fiction prose.


Galway Smile The girl with the Galway smile was giving me grief, she even thought of being my wife, but a slim body and a penchant for poetry couldn’t hide her inner cruelty. She doted on a childhood sweetheart - a financial adviser in the City, he’s known as a character in all the pubs. But little does she know he’s a master thief who did time in Wormwood Scrubs. I have trailed her from poetry evenings to meetings as diverse as Crochet Knitters For Peace, amateur attempts at the musical Grease, and a Morris dancing convention in Much Salop By The Avon. While I became a laughing stock at performance poetry evenings, with my verses about fat women in Blackpool wearing kiss-me-quick hats, the politically correct audiences who frequent these events, warmed to her non-rhyming verses to her failed relationships, while I poured the wine and handed out the biscuits. But political correction was not on my agenda, just the girl with the Galway smile who teased me with her quickstep feet as I fell all over the dance floor at Walthamstow British Legion, then sang a song so bitter at Much Hoole folk club’s weekly singers come-ye-all evening. And then as we waited for the bus and she half-interestedly kissed me for the first time, I noticed an advert for online dating and discovered I could amuse women with my funny poems. And what’s more they rhymed, like the one about a chambermaid easing an elderly vicar out of her truss. A year later as I walked down the aisle, I winked at the girl from Galway who’d suddenly lost her smile. Kevin Vose

A Game Of Two Halves

Those familiar with Facebook may know the name Fortitude Flickers, but may not realise that she adopted that moniker after a passionate affair ended in acrimony. Under this pseudonym - which gave the normally shy lady courage she hitherto lacked - Fortitude was invited to a dinner dance at Old Hovian’s Rugby Union Football Club, where she was introduced to the game of rugby. Discovering a hidden talent, this plucky lady developed into a redoubtable fly-half, and became one of the county’s best goal kickers. Then at a match against the Hastings Harlots, she dazzled a stunned defence to score under the posts, much to the delight of the county coach, Horatio Dovecot-Durridge, who had always bemoaned her lack of pace. However, her online ‘friends’ still called her a charlatan, believing she was only sporting behind closed curtains, but when she scored for England, they were left with egg on their face. Living in the village of Much-Marching, she became a successful artist, then delighted her parents by marrying a financial adviser, one Freddie Flingham, who sold mortgages, ISAs and bonds. But she was so bored by him she sought an extra-marital fling, under her online name of Felicity Frilly Thongs. You may find her on websites such as Big Smiles And Wide Hips, Don’t Tease Me, Just Please Me, and last but not least, the German one, Mr Fritz Likes Bulging Lips. But her bedroom antics grew tiresome, and what’s more affected her rugby, where the splendid kicking which had so marked her game went awry. One penalty attempt was so bad it hit club president Brigadier Benson-Bingham (retired) in mid sip of a whisky and soda. Enter Jarvis O’Dwyer, a tall handsome black African who had been an upcoming talent at Old Hovians, until he fell foul of the brigadier after he was heard condemning Britain for its activities in Africa. This unpleasantness coincided with the visit of one Jebadiah Johnson, a professional rugby league talent scout, looking for a player he could recruit. Told he could be a star and make a fortune, Jarvis was seen with the former, whose Yorkshire vowels and flat cap drew attention, and Jarvis was soon told, “Get rid of that rugby league chap, or you’re out!” Many years later he returned, now a rugby league legend and sex symbol. Pursued by the media he popped into The Sexy Sculptures Sweet Shop, where Fortitude was selling her sugary treats. He fell for her shy smile and diminutive figure, declaring himself impressed by her press cuttings and pictures of her try-scoring feats. However, tongues wagged so much that Fortitude finally told her husband to stuff his ISAs, bonds and SIPPS, and went north with Jarvis to his home in Yorkshire and joined women’s rugby league club Keighley Kittyhawks. At first she struggled to be accepted, but the fans, led by the chairwoman Mildred Micklewhite, took her to their hearts, when, encouraged to run with the ball rather than kick it, she scored amazing tries. When her fame spread as the girl with the lightning feet who was spearheading women’s sport, she told a renowned sports journalist, one Sid ‘Scribbler’ Sullivan, in the saloon bar of the Faltering Fullback. “There’s been times, when the decision to kick or run with the ball became a metaphor for when I could have fallen down the rapids of life and been dumped on an inhospitable shore...” Just then Mildred Micklewhite entered the hostelry. “Oh lass, you’ll confuse the poor old chap. Speak plain. Tha’s in Yorkshire, tha’ knows, never mind the metaphors.” “’Cor,’ Fortitude replied. ‘I didn’t know you knew what a metaphor is for!” “Very funny, that sounds like alliteration. I learned that at school. I read about Coleridge, Wordsworth and Byron. So stick that up your southern Sussex sophistry. “That is alliteration Chairman!|” “Yes lass, I have hidden depths, even if I am built like a country lavatory.” “Oh, Mildred, I was only kidding. You were a great player, even if you did, to quote Eddie Waring, take a lot of early barfs.” Just then Sid coughed and looked his watch. “Okay. I’ll start again, are you ready, Sid? To quote some football commentator, it’s been a game of two halves...” At that moment in walked the Keighley Kittyhawks team, who all chorused, “And the second half’s only just beginning!”

My Old Dad

I'm a Lancashire lad, who sleeps with a portrait of Gracie Fields at my bed. I follow the Saints, that free flowing rugby team whose exploits filled my old dad with rare pride. I remember him shouting at the telly, 'Put ref a jersey on!' and 'Gerrom on side!' He sang 'The Saints go marching in!' as they marched to Wembley glory, and composed a comic tribute to the characters who followed his heroic team, in those days of charabancs, pie and peas, when playing for your country was the ultimate dream. So raise a glass to rugby league, to earthy characters like my old dad, who introduced me to the Saints, when I was just a lad.

All poems are copyright of the originating author. Permission must be obtained before using or performing others' poems.

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Kevin Vose

Sat 17th Aug 2019 14:07

Thanks, I wrote that after meeting a woman from Galway at a poetry reading in London.

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Ruth O'Reilly

Fri 16th Aug 2019 23:08

Galway smile is better than Ed Sheeran's Galway Girl! My Grandad was called Will O'Reilly and he was from Cork. Thank You for reading my poems.

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