A new series of Poems in the Potting Shed started this August.
The rugby team quarterback out for a run,
Watched and admired by two girls in the sun,
Whilst wild muddy children throw rocks in a pool,
Giddy with freedom from structure at school.
Old gentlemen curiously glance over fences,
To peek at allotments that tickle their senses,
And here come the mothers, pushing their prams,
Whilst pushing their theories on gin-flavoured jams.
Hand in hand couples, too scared to let go,
For fear of disrupting their shared status quo,
Queuing for green tea to sip on the wall,
Whilst posing with phones for no reason at all,
Dogs chasing balls by the cricket pavilion,
Scaring the pants off a passing civilian,
Toddlers with mothers, now queuing for loos,
Dripping soft ice cream on newly bought shoes,
Smoking teenagers, who let off some steam
by flicking their tab ends at flies on the stream,
Watched with great envy by young café staff
Who wish they were out too, and having a laugh.
Such is a day in the life of the park,
From ten of the morning,
To just before dark.
I was taken many years ago,
Captured by the Sea,
Alpha and Omega
The first and last of me.
Safe shelter waits upon the edge,
Despite the open sky,
Half way in and half way out,
As life floats slowly by.
Horizons curve into a ball,
To kick along the beach,
Or keep safe in your pocket,
When the world seems out of reach.
How much I miss the sea today,
A deep and salty pain.
In foolishness I turned away,
But long to sea again.
I cannot grasp,
With no control.
A tick tock piece
That will not cease
As laughter lines appear,
The gentle moment
Lost, at least,
Until some trigger is released,
And then, dreamlike, the time replays,
Frozen in my hazy gaze.
They were brighter days.
In many ways.
Nights away with coastal views,
Instead of constant covid news,
Hugging mum and making tea,
Then sitting there to watch TV.
Travels to the great unknown,
Sat nav moments on my phone,
A glass of wine down at the pub,
Snooker at the pool hall club.
Rehearsing for a gig or two,
Seeing something strange and new,
BBQ’s with old school friends,
Borrowing and giving lends,
An evening out, a game of chance,
A late night kitchen party dance,
Browsing in a local store,
Setting foot outside the door!
There are so many things we miss,
Shaking hands, a hug, a kiss,
Yet this is but an interlude,
And not eternal solitude.
If your ‘get up and go’ has got up and gone,
Take heart! You’re not the only one,
I know what it’s like when you’re feeling low,
Stuck in a rut, nowhere to go.
Has your ‘va-va-va-voom’ just left the room,
Chased off into doom-scrolling gloom?
Are those vacation plans in disarray?
That’s another postponed holiday!
Could your ‘zing-a-zing-zing’ be losing its ping,
Do you sit and mope over everything?
We need some light to lift the mood,
A sunny little interlude.
If you’re looking for that silver lining;
There are signs the sap is rising,
The miracle of Spring is near,
And brighter times
Are almost here.
A collection of 80 whimsical (and often thought-provoking) rhyming poems from Sheffield poet David Thornton. Now available to buy online for the special price of £6.50 plus p+p.
A man, filled with fear for the future,
puts cigarettes on the bookshelf.
An unopened tax bill,
propped up on the window sill,
silently hums to itself.
He puts down his wallet, his car keys, his phone,
he puts down his wife by the door.
This is his home,
but he’s longing to roam,
for he just cannot take any more.
He picks up the anger for all that he’s done,
and flicks at a match with the top of his thumb,
he puts down a promise to quit someday soon,
then puts down his kids as they burst in the room,
he screams for attention, but nobody hears,
then shakes with his anger and all that he fears,
dividing, subtracting, he chalks up the loss,
and puts himself down, for in truth, he is boss.
He remembers advice from his father who said
“stay honest, work hard, build a home, then t’bed”
he puts down his father and swigs on a beer,
till his fears disappear.
His bookshelf is full, there’s no room for the books,
tomorrow, he’ll clear things away.
He stares at the pile,
shakes his head for a while,
just as he did yesterday.
Charcoal and graphite,
A pencil sketch morning,
Traced in the moonlight,
Drawn at the dawning.
With filigree frosting,
Blown on the breeze,
Dusting the hedgerows,
Icing the trees.
Such texture! Such shading!
A flick of the wrist,
A dream of a picture,
Diffused in the mist.
The artist steps backwards,
He captured it all,
Suspending the morning,
To hang in the hall.
Never again must we take it for granted;
Our freedom to go where we please.
To walk down a street,
Hug our friends when we meet,
Without fear of contracting disease.
Never again should we skip a friend’s party,
Or make an excuse to stay home,
For those smiles and that laughter,
Are now so sought after,
As life now seems dull monochrome.
Will we ever again hear our grandchildren’s laughter?
Their eyes lit up bright with delight,
When they come round for tea,
And they sit on your knee,
Playing I spy or scrabble all night.
Or that thrill in the moment, the packed concert hall
When the band on the stage starts to play,
The swell in the crowd,
Cheering out loud,
Will we ever return to that way?
Yes we will, yes we will, For our smiles will return
There’s hope in the future, my friend,
So start making plans,
Whilst you’ve time on your hands,
For patience will win in the end.
As twilight comes this Candlemas,
Let’s focus on one thing,
We’re halfway through the winter
And halfway home to spring.
If rain and snow you see this day,
The spring will be quite mild,
But if the sun shines on this day
The weather will be wild!
This is the night for candles,
For celebrating light,
Traditionally, to ward off plague,
So strike a light tonight.
Don’t worry if you’re moving slowly,
It takes time
To climb a hill.
One more step, however hard,
Is better than
A little pause, (upon reflection)
Can be useful,
That is true.
But saying that, don’t lose direction,
Stick to what’s
In front of you.
The staircase of life’s challenges,
Can never be
Leapt up in one,
Success will come with steps each day,
So let’s keep calm,
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I hear it is Blue Monday,
You might be feeling down,
So here’s a little thought that should
Alleviate your frown.
Spring is round the corner,
And it’s heading right this way,
It won’t be long before the trees
Have fresh leaves every day.
The sun will shine for longer,
The sky will soon be blue,
Now that’s the sort of blue Monday
I’d like to send to you.
Walking through the winter woods,
My breath the harshest sound,
Past ancient oaks, kissed by the ice,
And frozen in the ground.
My path, a leafy frosty carpet,
Snaps beneath my boots,
Shattering the small ice pools
Between the exposed roots.
The Holly almost berryless,
The best has been and gone,
Apart from at the very top,
For birds to feed upon.
Sunlight works in shorter hours,
And frost may yet prevail,
No warmth has reached the Eastern slopes
That edge this Yorkshire dale.
Beyond the sugar-coated rocks
A clearing to the sky,
And there a bench to sit upon,
To watch the world go by.
I take the seat that’s offered me,
I must not miss a thing,
So I will sit and rest awhile
And wait here for the Spring.
The heavy weight of deep regret,
That grows around the soul,
Slowing footsteps, bending backs,
Don’t let it take control.
Of course, we’d do things differently,
If we could turn back time,
But living in the past, my friend
Can be a bigger crime.
Our lives, they are not perfect,
We learn from past mistakes,
So turn to face your future
And whatever path it takes.
January will be dry,
At least it will for me,
I hope to occupy myself,
With other stuff you see.
I’ve made a little list just now
Of things I like to do,
It’s called replacement therapy,
And it’s cheaper too.
There’s potting lots of seedlings,
Getting out for walks,
I also plan to learn to draw
With pastels and with chalks.
So as I raise a glass to you,
On this our New Year’s Day,
It’s just a glass of water, as
I’ve thrown the booze away!
He lived inside a box set
His life played out on screen,
Whilst a small discerning audience
Watched every single scene.
Series one was hopeful,
The cast were young and bold,
The energy was palpable,
The acting solid gold.
Series two, a shocker,
With twists around the plot,
Masked marauders joined the fray,
He swore an awful lot.
Series three seemed better,
The pace was fast and slick,
Some notable slapstick.
Series four could be his last,
A perfect happy ending,
But then there came a cliff hanger,
Totally mind bending!
The next instalment won awards,
A thrilling series five,
But by the end he was surprised
That he was still alive.
Series six was quite low key,
He didn’t do that much,
The audience began to say
He’d lost his magic touch.
Yet series seven was his best,
Poignant and wise,
He bowed out at the end of that,
And watched his own demise.
They brought in younger actors,
To freshen up the game,
Protagonists with bright white teeth,
It didn’t feel the same.
So now he’s left the studio,
His story is complete,
And yet he loves to sit and watch
His best bits on repeat.
Roaring round the garden,
Dressed in his Sunday best,
Popping up in lovely lawns
And spreading out when pressed.
A splash of yellow sunshine,
Wildly roaming free,
A diuretic detox, for a
Sweeter garden pee !
Time-telling childhood blow-balls,
Torpedo on a stem,
Nice with ice and burdock
(That refreshing little gem).
A mascot for the army,
Resilient and strong.
A source of golden nectar,
For the bees all summer long.
A weedy lion for the quacks,
To take all pains away,
But most of all, a sign that it’s a
Blue sky sort of day.
My last day on furlough,
So, with trepidation,
I pack my computer
Then head for the station.
These one hundred days
At home, in the garden,
With chocolate and wine
As my arteries harden.
Mixed feelings have I
Of this time spent at home,
My journeys restricted
To dreaming alone.
Back in the real world,
Where all things will change,
I nervously view this
As frighteningly strange.
We must all move forward,
I’m forced to admit,
But I rather liked furlough,
At least, most of it.