Hebden Bridge Lock by Tony Burrows

Special from one of our ‘Virtual’ Members – cannot make the meetings:

                         Hebden Bridge Lock by Tony Burrows

I stood for a moment to ponder
When did you land in the valley
Was it after the bridge spanned the Calder
And they built the first mill
Or a little later still
With the sprawl of the town and mine
Black Pit Lock number nine
With coal held tales behind
Your spread winged white gloved arms
Cradling watery forces within
The granite blocked locked lichen clad bay
Where a dusting of remembering leaves lay
On the jagged jawed tip toe path
To Pack Horse Bridge number seventeen
Reclining under relinquishing trees that beam
Coloured quince and painted plum
Alight in motion mild canal quiet sun
Deflected dappled down dark and lie
On gradient governed waters that wait
Where only time is unlocked
And just me passing by

Stubbing Lower Lock, Rochdale Canal

http://www.penninewaterways.co.uk/rochdale/rc6.htm

It happens regularly by Angela O’Connor

It happens regularly

It’s always the same, usually on a pay night.
The lime coloured van carefully enters the driveway.
Never any damage done to the bougainvillea.

I steal a look from behind the nylon curtains.
Gauge my performance for the next few hours.
Deliberate steps hold the banister too tight.

Fumbling keys and unrelenting locks accompanied with
familiar sworn statements, confirm my expectation.
Be good, sit quiet, say hello and act like normal-the drill.

He’s drunk, very very drunk, it’s Thursday night drunk.
The aroma of Marlboro and beer hits me hard.
Before his lop-sided smile tries to harness his shadow.

Dinner eaten in silence, interrupted only by his bodily functions.
I pray to myself – who else will listen; ‘please have a bath, please
have a bath’. Hoping the hot waters may assuage any fight within.

I lay awake to hear his cleansed but heavy footsteps carry him
away to his version of dreamland.
And now I go to mine, thankful and yet anxious of the next time.

light by Michael Keeble

Light

You watched the news and what you found
Was devastation all around
And all one hears now is the sound
Of pain and anguish on the ground
And bombs in flight

In Africa severe drought
And camels corpses lie about
And folks so starved they cannot shout
What’s in their heart “Please get me out
Beyond this Blight”

In makeshift craft they cross the seas
Cramming boats like podded peas
The traffickers ignore the pleas
Of babes and mothers as the breeze
Picks up their fright

And so we watch and can’t conceive
Of horrors such as we perceive
On TV news.  Are we naïve
To hope that they can yet receive,
From darkness light

JENNA THE ELEPHANT part 2 – AND LIONS by Michael Healy

Michael’s Grandchildren wanted to know what next happened to Jenna

JENNA THE ELEPHANT,  AND LIONS.

Jenna the elephant had by now, learned to carry the family royal,
He had learned to cope with the weight of a full Howdah,
As well as used to waiting, while his passengers did their business.
Majub was his master, and they had become friends.
Though Jenna knew Majub was boss.

Jenna’s father, Arjuna, was a massive elephant, but now retired.
He spent his days relaxing, wandering around and helping as required.
His lifetime had been spent mainly as transport for the royal family.
He had had a good life, and his son, Jenna, had now taken on his routines,
And he was pleased at the success his son was making of his duties.

As the day started, he saw Jenna being prepared for a trip with the family Royal
Arjuna agreed that he looked very smart, with coloured fabrics in a coil
He watched as they all climbed aboard and sat in their places,
Jenna moved off very slowly and stately, he was not at the races.
He set off down the track to town, but suddenly he stopped.

In front, lying on the track in the sun, was a pride of lions,
Although pretending to be asleep, they were not.
Jenna mustered all the courage he had got,
He had to move them to get by
Looking at his handler, Majub, he could almost cry.

He let lose the best trumpet bellow he could do
Not that it moved the lions.  Even Majub was stuck to.
Suddenly, from behind, came an ear-splitting, extended, bellow.
The Lions fell over each other as they dashed for the bush.

Jenna recognised that bellow and was so pleased.
Arjuna was just behind. He looked at Jenna and teased.
‘We elephants stick together, you know.
If you need me just send a trunk call.’
Majub smiled ‘Old jokes still the best’ he muttered.