It's strange how nightmare times can turn into the stuff of dreams

And how in the pitch black of nighttime something brighter gleams.

Sinking back beneath the duvet, my tired head welcoming the pillow

I seemed to see another life and hear the sound of leather on willow


Through closed eyes helped by the shade of a tightly drawn-down blind.

I saw the images of the scenes I once knew - and the folk life left behind.

The sun was high in a clear summer sky and the murmur of quiet voices

Came like the notes of a much loved song from whence the heart rejoices.


White-clad figures around the tree-lined circle of verdant village green

Like ghosts they floated to and fro in a young world that once had been;

The only world I knew and cared about in those far-off childhood years -

 And the vision of those dream-filled days stimulated sudden tears


They trickled down from beneath closed lids and stroked my aged face

As the realisation woke me to the fact that I'd long lost time and place;

Reality and retreating dream merged as one to turn my face into the pillow

To stem the pain I felt losing that world...and its sound of leather on willow.








V.E. DAY 1945-2020 ►


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John Coopey

Wed 6th May 2020 14:36

Lovely fusion of nostalgia, regret and mortality. One of your finest, MC. One of the Empire’s greatest gifts to the world. ( Cricket, that is. Not you).😋

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jennifer Malden

Wed 6th May 2020 13:48

Lovely poem, the title really does bring back the scent of mown grass and the click of the ball on the bat. Must confess used to go to cricket matches to please a boyfriend, and also for the teas!

Liked this. Jennifer

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Brian Maryon

Tue 5th May 2020 15:14

Ah yes...sitting outside the cricket pavilion on a sunny afternoon - there's no finer place to sleep.

Good piece Mark, and I do enjoy a bit of cricket provided it is of the shorter format.

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M.C. Newberry

Tue 5th May 2020 14:30

Ray - thanks for appreciating the essence of the poem.
Don - I used to watch Somerset when they came to play at the
Recreation Ground in Bath. But for most of us, including yours truly,
the game had its true place in a village setting on a lazy hazy summer's afternoon.

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Don Matthews

Tue 5th May 2020 00:46

Well I'll be....no wonder I didn't understand the title

'There's nothing more English than this - sitting in a deckchair at the Worcester county ground, watching the match and the sound of leather on willow. '

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Don Matthews

Tue 5th May 2020 00:39

'Reality and retreating dream merged as one to turn my face into the pillow' is a good line.....

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Mon 4th May 2020 21:58

That title has so much power to summon up the ghosts of summer and long days, and as you rightly say it is a comfort to the fevered brow, however irretrievable it might seem. I know nothing of cricket being a dunce at sport, but I can appreciate your feelings as they shine through this poem Mark.


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M.C. Newberry

Mon 4th May 2020 17:43

Thanks Philipos. I sought to evoke something of the "not quite real"
that tends to perrmeate our recollections of the past - focussing more often than not on those halcyon hazy days spent at school when
the world and lfie itself was in sharp focus as we looked ahead to
the unknown and all it held in store - only to find it wasn't all that
we had hoped for. Age has a fondness for finding its way back to
its own version of what was! Fact and fiction = faction, I recall.

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Mon 4th May 2020 15:35

Aw Bless MC - great memories to be sure. The only sound of willow I remember were the boys at my school getting the cane - threats to kill unsaid upon their faces as they coped with the after effects. I seem to remember being one of them, and scowling back at the teacher. Although cricket was a big deal at my school, the point of any sport tended to elude me. 👍

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