Poetry for Lent No 6-10

Lenten Poetry Challenge

Saturday Lent Poem 10

Please Mrs Butler

Allan Ahlberg 1984

I found a copy of this collection of poems about school in Poverty Aid and just fell in love with this, the ‘title track’, if you will.
Please Mrs. Butler
This boy Derek Drew
Keeps copying my work, Miss.
What shall I do?
Go and sit in the hall, dear.
Go and sit in the sink.
Take your books on the roof, my lamb.
Do whatever you think.
Please Mrs. Butler
This boy Derek Drew
Keeps taking my rubber, Miss.
What shall I do?
Keep it in your hand, dear.
Hide it up your vest.
Swallow it if you like, my love.
Do what you think best.
Please Mrs. Butler
This boy Derek Drew
Keeps calling me rude names, Miss.
What shall I do?
Lock yourself in the cupboard, dear.
Run away to sea.
Do whatever you can, my flower.
But don’t ask me!

Friday Lent Poem 9

Santa on a Skateboard

Jenna Coad

I stomp these terrace streets like my mother and the women before her.
She used to watch her mum belt out notes that echoed far beyond Leeds from the side of the stage,
And now I watch stalls.
She used to leave to sleep on the floor,
Only left with her brother and thoughts of family before,
And now I sleep on double beds, plagued with nothingness instead.
My grandpa, we called him silly grandpa, lived just past Burley in a concrete mass, left to disintegrate in a bed that smelt like the old books I have to read now.
The last thing he gave me was a Mars Delight.
A small token of northeness as if to say everything was going to be alright.
Now all I have left of him is a Santa on a skateboard, as I try and trace the line Leeds has drawn.
My Grandpa went silently, only found through six milk bottles of his door, an ode from a city he so definitely fought for.
Before my Grandma went her hair did.
Her bouffant a defiant glare at the bread line.
A woman who could even declare spam divine.
She used to reel out the names of the corners shops, as we’d drive her to the supermarket for her weekly lot.
I could never say that they weren’t there no more, that they were just the places that university forgot.
I live five doors down from where my mum was born, on her mother’s bed at two in the morning,
It scared me at first –
The ultimate regression, but now I realise its simply urban progression.

Thursday Lent Poem 8

The Night is Darkening Round Me

Emily Bronte 1846

The night is darkening round me,
The wild winds coldly blow ;
But a tyrant spell has bound me,
And I cannot, cannot go.
The giant trees are bending
Their bare boughs weighed with snow ;
The storm is fast descending,
And yet I cannot go.
Clouds beyond clouds above me,
Wastes beyond wastes below ;
But nothing drear can move me :
I will not, cannot go.

Wednesday Lent Poem 7

The Walrus and the Carpenter

Lewis Carroll 1871

Especially for N’s earrings!
The sun was shining on the sea,
Shining with all his might:
He did his very best to make
The billows smooth and bright–
And this was odd, because it was
The middle of the night.
The moon was shining sulkily,
Because she thought the sun
Had got no business to be there
After the day was done–
“It’s very rude of him,” she said,
“To come and spoil the fun!”
The sea was wet as wet could be,
The sands were dry as dry.
You could not see a cloud, because
No cloud was in the sky:
No birds were flying overhead–
There were no birds to fly.
The Walrus and the Carpenter
Were walking close at hand;
They wept like anything to see
Such quantities of sand:
“If this were only cleared away,”
They said, “it would be grand!”
“If seven maids with seven mops
Swept it for half a year.
Do you suppose,” the Walrus said,
“That they could get it clear?”
“I doubt it,” said the Carpenter,
And shed a bitter tear.
“O Oysters, come and walk with us!”
The Walrus did beseech.
“A pleasant walk, a pleasant talk,
Along the briny beach:
We cannot do with more than four,
To give a hand to each.”
The eldest Oyster looked at him,
But never a word he said:
The eldest Oyster winked his eye,
And shook his heavy head–
Meaning to say he did not choose
To leave the oyster-bed.
But four young Oysters hurried up,
All eager for the treat:
Their coats were brushed, their faces washed,
Their shoes were clean and neat–
And this was odd, because, you know,
They hadn’t any feet.
Four other Oysters followed them,
And yet another four;
And thick and fast they came at last,
And more, and more, and more–
All hopping through the frothy waves,
And scrambling to the shore.
The Walrus and the Carpenter
Walked on a mile or so,
And then they rested on a rock
Conveniently low:
And all the little Oysters stood
And waited in a row.
“The time has come,” the Walrus said,
“To talk of many things:
Of shoes–and ships–and sealing-wax–
Of cabbages–and kings–
And why the sea is boiling hot–
And whether pigs have wings.”
“But wait a bit,” the Oysters cried,
“Before we have our chat;
For some of us are out of breath,
And all of us are fat!”
“No hurry!” said the Carpenter.
They thanked him much for that.
“A loaf of bread,” the Walrus said,
“Is what we chiefly need:
Pepper and vinegar besides
Are very good indeed–
Now if you’re ready, Oysters dear,
We can begin to feed.”
“But not on us!” the Oysters cried,
Turning a little blue.
“After such kindness, that would be
A dismal thing to do!”
“The night is fine,” the Walrus said.
“Do you admire the view?
“It was so kind of you to come!
And you are very nice!”
The Carpenter said nothing but
“Cut us another slice:
I wish you were not quite so deaf–
I’ve had to ask you twice!”
“It seems a shame,” the Walrus said,
“To play them such a trick,
After we’ve brought them out so far,
And made them trot so quick!”
The Carpenter said nothing but
“The butter’s spread too thick!”
“I weep for you,” the Walrus said:
“I deeply sympathize.”
With sobs and tears he sorted out
Those of the largest size,
Holding his pocket-handkerchief
Before his streaming eyes.
“O Oysters,” said the Carpenter,
“You’ve had a pleasant run!
Shall we be trotting home again?’
But answer came there none–
And this was scarcely odd, because
They’d eaten every one.

Tuesday Lent Poem 6

The Divine Image

William Blake 1793

[Songs of Innocence, 18]
To Mercy Pity Peace and Love,
All pray in their distress:
And to these virtues of delight
Return their thankfulness.
For Mercy Pity Peace and Love,
Is God our father dear:
And Mercy Pity Peace and Love,
Is Man his child and care.
For Mercy has a human heart
Pity, a human face:
And Love, the human form divine,
And Peace, the human dress.
Then every man of every clime,
That prays in his distress,
Prays to the human form divine
Love Mercy Pity Peace.
And all must love the human form,
In heathen, turk or jew.
Where Mercy, Love & Pity dwell,
There God is dwelling too.
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About Drneevil

Blogger, podcaster, reader, knitter. Founder of Leeds Book Club; host of Culturally Fixated; co-host of Conversations with Geek People; tech support for Leeds Browncoats.

Posted on April 12, 2011, in All Posts, Avid Reader, Poetry. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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