Po­ets’ Cor­ner

This England - - Contents - Su­san Kelle­her

Thankyou once more for your con­tin­ued sup­port and I am de­lighted with the wide va­ri­ety of po­ems I re­ceive. I only wish I had the space to print more.

As the weather cools and you feel that first un­mis­tak­able tang of au­tumn in the air, you re­alise that sud­denly sum­mer has slipped away. My hus­band al­ways feels rather down at this time of year but I love it — and so does David Bon­nett of New­port Park, Devon, who has sent me this evoca­tive poem.

AU­TUMN IN THIS ENG­LAND

Is it The leaves I love Most in cool Au­tumn days Of tawny browns and golds and reds. And mists?

Is it The ch­est­nut shells Which gape to show their gift, A darkly gleam­ing magic prize Within?

Is it The fra­grant musk Of crack­ling out­door fires Which gives to me who stops and sniffs Most joy?

Is it The caw­ing of Rooks, aloft in great pines, Slen­der and tall in the dusk of Day’s end?

Is it That scent in the Air which tells me sum­mer Days are gone though their mem­o­ries Re­main?

Is it That bit­ter sweet Ache we lonely ones know As our dreams fade away un­til Next year?

All these Yet more, for most Of all as nights be­come longer, Crum­pets for tea mean this Eng­land For me.

MrT. Bray of Work­sop, Not­ting­hamshire, has had a long wait but fi­nally I have been able to find room to print a mono­logue writ­ten by his late fa­ther John Arthur Bray (1915–2006). John was a Methodist lo­cal preacher for more than 70 years and loved to write mono­logues so that the Bi­ble mes­sage could be put across in an in­ter­est­ing and dif­fer­ent way. A Lad and his Lunch and Other Mono­logues (pub­lished by Arthur H. Stock­well Ltd, Devon) is a col­lec­tion of his work and in­cludes this mono­logue about the mir­a­cle de­scribed in all four Gospels.

A LAD AND HIS LUNCH

Now once there was this lit­tle lad, and he

wasn’t very tall. He wasn’t very brainy, or even good at sums

— he was a lit­tle lad, that’s all. But he’d been fol­low­ing Je­sus — right? —

wher­ever He would roam. In fact he fol­lowed Him some­times and been

three days away from home!

Well this day ’twas lovely and sunny and my

they had a big crowd. Some said there was more than 5,000 there,

so Je­sus had to speak loud. They’d lis­ten to what Je­sus taught ’em, and

to all the words that He’d say — In fact, they couldn’t get enough of Him,

they’d been day af­ter day!

Well late that very evening one said,

“Ex­cuse me for be­ing so rude: We’ve lis­tened now for such a long time,

please could we have us some food?” So Je­sus said to t’dis­ci­ples, “Make sure that

they all get enough.” But they said, “Where’s all the money for

food, drink and all of such stuff?

It would take more then eight months’ wages to buy all the food that we need. There’s more than 5,000 folk sit­ting there,

and they all need a jolly good feed!” Je­sus said, “Where’s all of your faith? Go

and have a look what you’ve got.” So they found our lad with his five loaves and two fish, but that didn’t seem a great lot.

Je­sus said, “Tell them all to sit down.” Then

He took lad’s lunch and said prayer And He turned and said, “Thanks for your

lunch, ’cos it’s re­ally good to share.” “Well!” lad thought. “Wow! He talked to me;

I feel re­ally warm right through!” But his eyes near popped right out of his head when he saw what Je­sus could do.

Are you haunted by a few lines from a poem and want help in find­ing the rest of the words? Have you a favourite verse you’d like to share with us? Or have you been writ­ing po­etry for years and would now like oth­ers to read your work? If the an­swer is “Yes” to any of these ques­tions please write to me, Su­san Kelle­her, at This Eng­land, The Lyp­i­atts, Lans­down Road,

Chel­tenham, Glouces­ter­shire, GL50 2JA, or email editor@thiseng­land.co.uk

’Cos as Je­sus took hold of his lit­tle lunch

and gave bits away, more ap­peared. And lad thought all to him­self, “This could

go on right through the day.” And sure enough it did go on till ev­ery­one

had enough. And lad just stood and scratched his head

and said, ”That’s in­cred­i­ble stuff!”

So when they’d all fin­ished eat­ing, and folk

had all gone away, Dis­ci­ples picked up twelve bas­kets of

crumbs and took them all away. Well what a won­der­ful mir­a­cle! But it

started with our lit­tle lad Who didn’t re­ally have much at all, but gave

Je­sus all that he had.

He wasn’t so very brainy, or even much

good at his sums, But he learned some­thing spe­cial when he

saw all those bas­kets of crumbs. He thought, “If that’s what God can do when

I give Him the bit that I’ve got, I’m not go­ing to give Him just part of my

life, I’ll give Him the whole jolly lot!”

PeterLawrence, a reader from Cliftonville, Kent, wrote to me en­clos­ing a poem given to him by his neigh­bour Marie. En­ti­tled “Night Bomber” it was writ­ten on 26th July 1943 by Marie’s brother Stu­art Boxshall. He was the nav­i­ga­tor on a Lan­caster bomber dur­ing the Sec­ond World War and his air­craft was shot down with the loss of all the crew dur­ing a bomb­ing raid over Ber­lin on 2nd De­cem­ber 1943 — less than six months af­ter he had writ­ten the poem.

Peter is a keen pho­tog­ra­pher and, with the won­der­ful power of mod­ern tech­nol­ogy, has com­bined two im­ages he had taken to make the won­der­ful pic­ture above. It per­fectly com­ple­ments the poem that so poignantly evokes the feel­ings that these brave air­men must have had.

NEW RE­QUESTS

I’ve­had a bumper bag of re­quests re­cently and hope that read­ers can help by iden­ti­fy­ing any of these. Mrs. Diane Rush­forth (1 Bin­don Lane, Wool, Ware­ham, Dorset BH20 6BN) is try­ing to find two po­ems — one in­cludes the line “Wheel the per­am­bu­la­tor John, be care­ful how you go” and the other one has these lines:

No­body loves me, ev­ery­body hates me, I’m go­ing in the gar­den to eat worms ...

Daniel Lamb (21 Somersby Green, Bos­ton, Lin­colnshire PE21 9PH) re­calls these lines from a poem about wartime minesweeping and hopes some­one knows the com­plete poem.

Dawn off the Fore­land the young flood

mak­ing, Jum­bled and short and steep, Dark in the hol­lows and bright where it’s

break­ing, Awk­ward wa­ter to sweep.

John Fer­ris (jfer­ris@tis­cali.co.uk) wants to find a poem that in­cludes the line, “When I am gone think only this of me, I loved thee all”. It is tan­ta­lis­ingly fa­mil­iar to me but I haven’t got the com­plete poem and won­der if any reader can help.

Sergeant Stu­art Boxshall

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