Best Poems From
C RICHARD MILES
Aftermath Of An Election
That day, dank drizzle drifted,
Insinuating itself wearily
Upon still-sleeping city streets,
Which begrudged grey globs of gum
Discarded on pallid paving-stones.
Skies, scowling, sagged
And tugged away
At any sign of cheerfulness,
Till it was quenched, consumed
In dismal drudgery and humdrum.
Even the dull breeze soughed
Apathetically, without the strength
To raise the sodden fallen leaves
And this was London’s morning
On that sour November day.
But, on another facet
Of that rough-cut stone
We call our planet earth,
The jeweller revealed sheen
Where burnished black would rival
And outshine dull white.
There, across the seas,
Was no glum despondency
Of sickly autumn smog
But outbursting of unbridled joy
As new histories awakened
In an optimistic dawn.
And in the years to come
Which memory will last:
The plodding slouch to work,
Or visions brought across
By satellite to hail the sunrise
Of a changed America?
C Richard Miles
Allus tummlin’ i’ summat
When ah wor a lad, wi’d go-a laik i’t’ beck
An’ tho’ mi mam sed ah’d catch it i’t’ neck
If ah ivver went in ower dee-ap an’ got wet,
Ah’d allus end up i’t’ watter, tha mun bet.
Us kid wor a naingel an’ did as ’e wor towd;
’E warn’t as daft so as ter fetch up dowsed and cawd,
Bu’ ’e allus egged mi on as ah fettled up a dam
’Cos ’e reckoned ’e knew wot a wassock ah am.
An’ appen ah wor, bu’ ah nivver ivver thowt
Ah’d goo-a ower far; it wor nobbut owt or nowt
Wor that tidgy beck, nobbut hawf a foo-it
Nert hawf wee-a up on mi gurt wellie boo-it.
Bu’ ah’d allus happen on a waffly stoo-an;
It wor allus its fowt an’ nivver mi oan
An’ us kid’d gurn, an’ call mi a drip
When ah tummelled in, arse ovver tip.
An’ ah’d promised mi mam, ’cos it cost a fair whack
Fer mi kegs an’ mi gansey an’ mi coit on mi back
’At ah’d try ter stee-a dry, and keyp aht o’t’ beck
Bu’ did that ivver stop mi? Naw, did it ’eck.
So shi’d tan me on’t backside an’ send mi ter bed
’Cos ah’d went an’ forgetten t’ words ’at shi’d sed
An’ ah promised missen ’at ah’d allus think on
An’ try keyp aht o’t’ blummin’ beck-oil fra’ nah on.
So, ah kept aht o’t’ beck-oil an’ went up ter t’farm
Whee-ar ah clammered up on ter t’ top o’ t’ barn
’At wor next ter t’shippon, while, trust mi luck,
Ah tummelled off t’roo-if i’ a gurt hee-ap o’ muck.
Ah wor a’ clarted up, reight ter t’ top o’ mi hee-ad
Ah felt sich a foo-il, ah wisht ah wor dee-ad
Tho’ ah’d dun wot mi mam sed an’ kept aht o’t’ beck
Ah’d sartainly catch it, appen shi’d brek mi neck.
Ah traipsed mi wee-a whoam; ah wor noa roo-ad at all.
Tho’ t’ hee-ap o’ manure ’ad brokken mi fall,
Ah wor thankful ’at ah ’adn’t brokken mi neck
Bu’ wor it onny better ner tummlin’ i’t’ beck?
Mi mam, shi went crackers an’ caud mi a clown
As shi fetched aht us hoo-asepipe ter wesh missen down
Ah wor wetter ner ivver an’ shi wor fair vexed;
It wor war ner t’occasions ah’d tummelled i’t’ beck.
Shi tellt mi ah wor banned fra’ goin’ ter laik
I’t’ beck-oil or t’farm-yed fer ’er sanity’s sake,
So ah took up wi’ foo-itball, wot warn’t mich good
As wer pitches wor allus a midden o’ mud.
Bu’ ah’m nert a’ that daft, an’ ter keep missen clee-an,
Sin us barns wor sich a tarrible tee-am,
As goo-alie, ah nivver wad dive for owt
An’ nobody’d notice, or so-a ah thowt.
C Richard Miles
Alternative Royal Wedding Ode
On April twenty-ninth, we blithely celebrate
The wedding of Kate Middleton and William,
The grandson of the Queen, son of Prince Charles, and late
Diana, whose own marriage might have seemed a sham.
Let’s hope the happy pair possess much better luck
Than did his father, pressed by protocol to wed
(Which deemed important that a virgin bride he took) :
He should have had Camilla first time round instead.
And what of Queens of England bearing first name Kate?
The first divorced, the next beheaded, and the last
Of Henry’s wives survived him, just to meet the fate,
Thrice widowed, killed by childbirth, so the die was cast.
The Kings named William also seemed doomed, of course:
The second, murdered on New Forest’s open plain,
The first and third were wounded fatally by horse,
The fourth died feeble, childless, doubtless racked with pain.
And Sailor Bill had umpteen ages long to wait
Till old age came before he could ascend the throne
And William of Orange lost his wife, her fate
To die of smallpox, leaving him bereft, alone.
Let’s hope this couple have much happier, longer lives
Than those unsettled days when war and conquest ruled
And kings had mistresses and weak, submissive wives
Would stay at home, cuckolded, shamed and fooled.
Let’s hope the weather forecast, cold and grim and grey,
After the glorious Easter we have all endured
Won’t throw a dampener on the Royal Wedding Day,
Unlike both Coronation, Jubilee, which poured.
And though his father, Charles, as heir has had to stay
As heir-apparent longer than all ancestors,
We hope he pops off soon so, not too aged and grey,
King William and Kate will come to reign for us.
The Queen may reach a hundred like her mother did,
King Charles may well be senile many years before
And, since Camilla’s older, are we wanting rid
Of geriatric royalty, who bleat and bore?
For do we want a monarch who is past his prime,
Too doddery to do his duty, far too old?
The case for abdication may have found it’s time,
So follow Holland’s way before Wills gets too bald!
Let’s hope this pair stay married while their lives shall last
Unlike his uncles, father, aunts, grandparents, mother, too,
Whose step-grandmother, Barbara Cartland, in the past
Would want a glad romantic ending, it is true.
And if the couple stay together like our reigning Queen
And poor Prince Phillip, nearly ninety, all their days
This marriage may be just as long as theirs has been
So, fingers crossed there's no divorce this nation prays!
C Richard Miles
An Early Start
An early start, but will the promise last?
Will new horizons shine or sudden storms
Conspire to dowse the brightness of the dawn
Of possibilities and wreak their wrath.
Why glum so soon? In fresh-faced innocence
My eyes were bright, my thoughts unsullied, safe
From disillusion’s depths or failure’s grave.
Now dreams are dust and harsh experience
Removes the lustre from ambition’s gold
But hope remains that clouds will break their chain
And fly as sunshine’s heat makes joy regain
Its lost dominion over cheerless cold
To crown the day with memories and pride
As aspirations reign and doubts have died.
C Richard Miles