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Never knowing why we meet,

Never caring.

Never knowing why we love,

Never caring.

Never knowing why we part,

Never knowing..

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[Seen elsewhere, author not credited]   The outside toilet.   In deep midwinter freezing cold, Walked down the path, feeling bold, Needed to go, just couildn't wait,

Spotted this Pam Ayres ditty in another group and thought it might appeal to those in here what likes poytrie:   The missus bought a Paperback, down Shepton Mallet way, I had a look insi

Ha, ha ! It reminds me of the old tale of the general during WW1, who asked his radio operator to 'Send reinforcements, we're going to advance'. When the message passed through various stages, it fina

I like the diversity of poetry.

It can be brilliant observation and stunningly rhythmic description of the mundane:


'Dirty British coaster with a salt-caked smoke stack,
Butting through the Channel in the mad March days,
With a cargo of Tyne coal,
Road-rails, pig-lead,
Firewood, iron-ware, and cheap tin trays' ( Masefield.  'Cargoes')


Or it can be much more emotional/philosophical.


'Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.' (DylanThomas)





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#220 col, For years I carried a memory of three lines of the poem you mentioned in your post, all I could remember was..... Quinquireme of Nineveh from distant Ophir................Dirty British Coaster with a salt caked smoke stack.  It used to drive me crazy trying to remember the rest.


We learnt the poem at school and I could never say the line beginning Dirty British Coaster, as I would get tongue tied and never made it to the end. In 2008 I got my first computer and it was one of the first things I investigated; I typed in that line of verse (not much, I know) and up came the poem Cargoes by John Masefield.  Wonderful to see the whole poem again.

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Until a couple of years ago I never had any time for poetry, when I thought I'd try my hand at it - it was about the loss of fine buildings in Nottingham. It went down well with members and encouraged me to carry on. Now, some sixty or more poems later I seem to have found a niche.  It's a bit like doing a difficult crossword sometimes, searching for the right word, in this case to sensibly rhyme with the one on the end of the previous line. Although I usually sail through their writing there are times when it takes a long time to finish a line, and sometimes a good line had to be scrapped and started again because nothing will rhyme.

   There are some lines of which I am particularly proud - an example in the last poem about the Titanic was the expression 'confetti of the dead', as I imagined the sea littered with those dead or about to be.

   Col is correct, poetry is a wonderful way to be observational and expressive, and to exercise one's rhyming talents. You can be amusing, romantic or expressing a view on life or nature.  I have no time for prose - so-called poetry that does not rhyme,. To me that is easy and anyone can write that until the cows come home. Good rhyming is the art, along with being observational about the things that are the topic of the poem.

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Further to the above, It is not so easy in many cases to get the right number of syllables to make the metre flow. Very often there are too many words on the line. There is something of an art in reducing the number of words on a line and still saying the same thing. I note that the old poets used to knock off a syllable in a word and replace it with an apostrophe. An easy example would be the word 'about' (two syllables) reduced to 'bout (one syllable). I sometimes miss a word out from the usual flow, and it still makes sense. This kind of thing stretches your knowledge and memory of English and is perfectly acceptable if it still makes sense to the reader.

    My poems have a certain metre, which I suppose is identifiable with my particular style of writing. I appreciate that reading it can be awkward to follow if you are not used to it; that is why I put commas in to break it up and emphasize the syllable. As things stand now, I have 7 or 8 poems yet to post.

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I have written poetry all my life. I find it necessary for my sanity! Poetry is a means I have often used to address something which irritated me in a light hearted manner, e.g. my years at the dreaded Manning school. I have also used it as a means of expressing my feelings about life, people and situations. This can result in much darker shades, for example, something I wrote many years ago for Jack Ward, Archie Saunt and William Sparrow, killed in the 1914-18 War...


The hand that rocks your cradle, helpless human child

and fawns on you with fervent, self congratulating pride

has called you forth into a monstrous world

where minds that cannot question don't survive.

The snares, the traps

that crowd to stifle scarce drawn breath,

Behind the guise of meek parental love

as yet lie hid.


For soon, you'll venture forth with marching steps.

Your fall is long and faltering, yet just begun:

the playground mined with splintered shame.

Beware its cankered soil,

Its stained Society

whose pretty flowers, uncaring, breathe unending scorn.

Much better you were never born.


Who warns you of the pain that lies in wait?

Dissuades you place your trust, so innocent

In patriotic rantings of fraternity?

Who turns you from the senseless path of pride

While God's annointed  judge that life's but cheap?

Who saves you from the black-lined trench of love

Whose cruelty piles your flesh in rotting heaps?


Still, there you lie.

Uncomprehending whimpers round you flow.

Undreamed of, yet, the certain unjust fate

whose vile atrocities shall draw your tears and

carve her hideous scars upon your soul.

Your race learns nothing taught of time.


The hand that rocks your cradle is

Your darkest enemy.

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#227. Sorry Jill, I'm with carni on this one - far too deep for me. As I see it, there is no point in  poetry that  only the author understands. I don't want sit there trying to fathom out what it is all about. It should be obvious. Back to Manning school.

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Poetry is like art. It can be representational or not. We can look at it and say :"Oh, it's a vase of flowers! I like that, it's pretty!"


Or we can look at something like Guernica or the work of Bosch. Not so easy to recognise, nor to interpret and certainly not pretty enough to hang on the wall at home. Art...and poetry...can be very disturbing. But life is disturbing and we must have means of recording our thoughts about it or we'd probably go mad.

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You are right, Jill, it certainly is a dark poem.  I can appreciate your feelings and the emotions behind it.... many babies - particularly boys - born 120+ years  ago didn't live out their potential life span because of wars they volunteered/were forced to fight in.  

But there I have to differ..... as I believe all children are precious gifts and worth the risk that they might not survive for their three score years and ten.   Most people probably don't wish they had never been born, even those who have disabilities and/or a limited life span often have a positive outlook.

The good things in life - being loved and affirmed and having opportunities to show this love and care to others - certainly (in my opinion) outweigh the negative aspects.

I suppose I'm speaking from the perspective of someone who lives in a relatively peaceful country..... there is certainly still oppression, war and suffering in many parts of the world and I have never experienced that, but nevertheless I still believe that life itself is a precious, albeit fragile, thing.  

I did enjoy your poem though as it is thought-provoking and very well written.  Thank you, Jill

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I think this is probably more to Chulla's taste.


I met a man who wants to be my brother.

To help me cross the busy road of life.

He assures me that by loving one another

We can turn this vile world into Paradise.

The members of his family are The Chosen,

Their expressions glazed with spiritual health.

If I join, I'm guaranteed a place in Heaven.

 But I'll have to give up thinking for myself!


I know a girl who longs to be my sister.

Says she'll save me from a life of sin and grief.

Couldn't bear to see me writhing

in the fiendish fires of Hell

Whose flames devour all those

who don't share her belief.

Have I considered the lascivious souls

Who've wandered from the truth?

Come Judgement Day, the odour will be rank.

But there's still time to save my unclean skin,

The Great One to appease,

If I'll just make a large withdrawal from my bank!


So, don't come rattling on my letterbox

With promises of bliss.

No proselytizing on my doorstep, if you please.

Though hordes of would-be brethren

Vie to save me from the Pit,

Their fanaticism fills me with unease.

For Hell will freeze

before I'll join the reason-crippling sects.

I don't want my cherished peace and quiet defiled.

I won't have my stillness shattered

By the herd of Heaven's Elect

Because, spiritually, I'm an only child!  :rolleyes:


Inspired by no less than 3 visits from Jehovah's Witnesses,  Mormons and another lot in the same morning!

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'Let's Talk'

The World sure has its problems,

It was forever thus,

They’re only solved when fighting stops,

And we start to discuss.


I’ll disagree with anyone,

I’ll do it cheerfully,

I don’t have to agree with them,

Nor they agree with me.


Left, right or centre,

We all can have our view,

I only get to arguing,

When what’s said is not true.


I really like discussion,

I’m happy to debate,

So long as it remains polite,

There is no need for hate.


The same goes for religion,

And whether  it’s all true,

I’m happy for you to believe,

If I can choose not to.


Live and let live is my stance,

Let’s all respect each other,

Half the people are our sisters

The other half, our brothers.


'Rhyming Prose'

There was an old poet called Chulla,

Who was quite a talented fella,

He liked poems to rhyme,

All of the time,

But I'm not sure I agree with him because sometimes mine don't.





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Some of my more serious poems are written about one person, Such as the sweetheart who's beau went off to war and never came back. Then there was the one about the old man who'se wife died, leaving him lonely. I much prefer this kind of sentimental verse that has feeling, than wordage that is as unintelligible as a cubist painting. I had no idea what Jill was writing about until she mentioned the religious cranks that came to her door. Wouldn't it have been better to give the work a title, such as 'The day the Mormons came visiting', then I could have read the poem with some understanding. The less said about its rhyming,though, and its metre seems to me to be all over the place. Sorry Jill.

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Fascinating reading, Jill.  Particularly the last one.;)


I know where you are coming from on the topic of war.  I had a father and grandfathers who fought in both.  I've watched the various war documentaries over the years.   Seems that the 'victors' write most of the history.  The 'enemy' is villainised and in the first war particularly.  The young and innocent line the railway platforms to do their patriotic duty.  Often to die in a mud filled stinking trench or come home minus limbs and mind.  The bankers finance both sides get rich on the interest and the military industrial complex grows fatter and richer.  Eisenhower warned us of it.  The more I age the more I see the pointless futility of it.  Your poem captures it well.  We are currently seeing it all over again with those 'terrible'. North Koreans, and those Syrians and the rotten Russians and Chinese.  Makes me sick.  This time it might end badly for ALL of us.


On the second one we may have to agree to disagree.  It is especially poignant on this Easter weekend.  Believe me, I am no fan of JWs or Mormons.  Not to mention many other religious cults.  Some of these with a veneer of the real thing, while their 'pastors'???  fly around on private jets purchased by the money of impoverished followers.  I despise them.


That said, on this weekend we remember the one who died on Friday.  He was no religious nut.  In fact 'the religious'. Hated Him because He called them what they were.  Hypocrites, Vipers etc.. Doesn't sound like Gentle Jesus, meek and mild, does it?

He confounded them all by rising from the dead three days later.  Well testified to btw.


I was not brought up in a religious home.  I had a scientific education for the electrical trade.  I remember on one occasion saying, "Everyone knows the Bible is full of contradictions."  Now I'm one who believes it.  Jesus changed my life.  Saved my marriage and my family, probably saved my life by getting me off the liquor.  I could go on but that's enough.  It is not my intent to try to make internet converts.  All that I can do is to try to tell others.  They don't have to listen, but I'd be less than honest if I never said a word.  Especially as a minister.  Don't believe me.  Research it for yourself.  There are plenty of good books, both secular and 'religious'. Josephus was a none religious writer of the day, yet he makes some mention of Jesus.  I have no intention of trying to offend.  I hope you will take my testimony in the spirit intended.


Love the loppy poem.  Best of all its true.;)

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233.  Hate to be nit picky, Jill.   Doesn't that last line have a double negative?     "Covers his ears and UN THAWS them"


Surely if they were thawed to un thaw them would be to freeze them again.  The 'un'  would be superfluous.  :rolleyes:

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#236. Sorry again. Jill. Your poem is more for the Oxford don than a Crane School lad. My effort on that subject is - took just five minutes:


All the way from Utah, right to my front door,

   Two well-scrubbed Americans, to me they did implore.

'We are here to save you'. 'From what'? I had to say,

    'The evils of this world'. 'No thanks, now on your way'.


And so on.

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Limericks are, basically,  nonsense poems, Loppy, so they don't need to make sense. I don't like the form as it's too confining and proscriptive. Blank verse is much more creative, I feel.


#239 Stop apologising, Chulla! Everyone has their likes and dislikes. Although I adore the poems of Thomas Hardy and D H Lawrence, for example, I'm not keen on the poetry of the likes of Auden, Isherwood and others of their era, although I can appreciate its technical brilliance. It was on that era of poetry, ie the 1930s poets, that I wrote the thesis for my honours degree many years ago but I would never read it for pleasure because it just doesn't speak to me. We all like what we like, I suppose! Walter de la Mare is also a great favourite of mine.


Beyond Redemption is meant to be a cross between irony and sarcasm, which wouldn't have worked the way you've phrased it but each to his/her own.


Personally, I don't like any form of writing which is immediately obvious and doesn't require me to think about it. Must be why I love cryptic crosswords!  :rolleyes:

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One of my favourite poems is the following because it is the author's perspective on a child's emotions It always reminds me of my own childhood when I used to feel sad that the trees were losing their leaves... and now I am old I can perhaps understand why I felt that way.


Spring and Fall

Gerard Manley Hopkins1844 - 1889           

to a young child

Márgarét, áre you gríeving
Over Goldengrove unleaving?
Leáves, like the things of man, you
With your fresh thoughts care for, can you?
Ah! ás the heart grows older
It will come to such sights colder
By and by, nor spare a sigh
Though worlds of wanwood leafmeal lie;
And yet you will weep and know why.
Now no matter, child, the name:
Sórrow’s spríngs áre the same.
Nor mouth had, no nor mind, expressed
What heart heard of, ghost guessed:
It ís the blight man was born for,
It is Margaret you mourn for.
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Yes, Margie. I also love that poem.


It occurred to me that many people and children in particular love the poetry of Spike Milligan. It's fun, silly and strongly rhythmic which makes it easy to commit to memory. However, Milligan also wrote serious poetry which is little known but well worth reading. Milligan, of course, suffered from bi polar disorder and was an extremely complex personality who feared that he would only be remembered for The Goons. He has always been one of my heroes because of his love of animals and hatred of cruelty. His serious writing gives a fascinating view of the man behind the "froth" and comedy.

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Although I have said that I never read poetry. I had forgotten that I have a book of poetry. It was among my dad's things, so he must have bought it at a jumble sale. I have never read it but it is quite a publication. Published in1895 it is titled The New Standard Elocutionist, and this particular copy was given to an Albert Foster for regular attendance at the Victoria Road Church Sunday School.

   It tells you how to read and recite poetry, look after the vocal organs and breathe properly. Its pages are then flooded with nearly 500 examples of poetry, prose and blank verse in various categories - elegiac, reflective, dramatic, narrative and lyrical.

   Most of the old favourites are in its pages - The Tiger (Tiger, Tiger, burning bright), Elegy written in a Country Churchyard (The curfew tolls the knell of parting day,) I have to say that I was surprised how many of the poems are written in my own style; or rather mine are written in theirs, even though I have never read them. Here's one that every one knows the first line, but so often the rest has been replaced with some ribald lavatory humour.



by Felicia Hemans


The boy stood in the burning deck,

   Whence all but him had fled; 

The flame that lit the battle's wreck,

   Shone round him o'er the dead.


Yet beautiful and bright he stood,

   As born to rule the storm;

A creature of heroic blood,

   A proud, though childlike form.


The flames roll'd on - he would not go,

   Without his father's word;

That father, faint in death below,

   His voice no longer heard.


He call'd aloud "Say, father, say,

   If yet my task be done!"

He knew not that the chieftain lay,

   Unconscious of his son.


"Speak father!" once again he cried,

   "If I may yet be gone!"

And yet the booming shots replied,

   And fast the flames roll'd on.


Upon his brow he felt their breath,

   And in his waving hair;

And look'd from that lone post of death,

   In still yet brave despair.


And shouted but once more aloud,

   "My father! must I stay?"

While o'er him fast, though sail and shroud,

   The wreathing fires made way.


They wrapt the ship in splendour wild,

   They caught the flag on high;

And stream'd above the gallant child,

   Like banners in the sky.


There came a burst of thunder sound -

   The boy - oh! where was he?

Ask of the winds that far around;

With fragments strewed the sea.


With mast, and helm, and pennon fair,

   That well had borne their part;

But the noblest thing that perished there,

   Was that young faithful heart.


If Margie, Carni or Jill would like to borrow the book, I can hand it over at a meeting.




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