Sometimes I write poems. Here are a couple inspired by the Cumbrian landscape.
Curlews’ cries, and oystercatchers’,
Echo long across the pastures,
West beyond the barley brow
To the sleeping beck below;
East across South Tyne and Eden
Where the Pennine tops lie hidden,
Blanketed and still abed.
Summer nights are brief in Eden,
Fell and dale alike sleep late.
Sun and curlew rise together:
One to warm the air and gather
Mists that cover purpling heather;
One, with young to nurse and nurture,
Rises wheeling from the pasture
And, with cries like bubbling water,
Bids the drowsy beck awake.
NOW AND THEN
On ochre sand under leaden skies
Walks a man with a dog and wellington boots.
There’s a broad black patch where the beck runs through
And the dog runs, too,
And the black patch lifts and wheels and flies,
Filling the air with strident cries,
Till it settles again at the edge of the tide,
And I see that it was not weed on rock,
As I had thought, but rather a flock
That was in winter; now it’s spring,
And an oystercatcher, careless thing,
Has built her nest on a roadside verge
Where two lanes and the old road merge
And the motorway roars by below,
Two miles from town.
There are oystercatchers everywhere
About the pastures, in the air
Above the yard, and on the field,
Still bare, where barley has been sown
And blue-green shoots will spring up soon,
On an inland farm.
And I wonder whether that winter man
Still walks his dog and remembers how
Those birds once flew as his dog ran through
The seaside beck.
And here are a few of the humorous poems for children that I contribute to a website called www.thefuneverse.com - go and look at the poems by other people on there!
DON'T TELL MUM
Today I met a monster
And took him home with me.
I hid him in my bedroom
So my mother wouldn’t see.
He’s sleeping in my cupboard now.
My mother doesn’t know.
I’ve wrapped him in a towel
So his claws and tail don’t show.
Mum reads a bedtime story –
It’s sadly quite a bore –
Then suddenly she stops and says
‘That sounded like a snore!’
‘Oh that? It’s just my monster.’
Mum laughs. ‘How you pretend!
I’m glad it’s just another
I don’t eat yukky carrots,
I just eat yummy cakes –
The kind you get in cafés,
The sort my mother makes.
Today she’s made another one
(she really loves to bake)
And it tastes quite scrummilicious…
What? You say “It’s Carrot Cake”?
Under the hill near the apple tree
Is a little home, with worms for tea.
It’s cosy, not too cold or hot,
The sort of place I like a lot.
But – worms for tea? No, on the whole,
I wouldn’t want to live with Mole.