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National Poetry Day

Posted on: 28th September, 2020

Thursday is National Poetry Day – the celebration that encourages everyone to enjoy, discover and share poetry. So all this week we will be sharing some poems written, or simply admired, by Theatre Royal Writers Group. 

Gordon the Fire-Fly Philip de Lacy White

Gordon was a fire-fly
And though by no means clever,
He used to think himself a bee
And fly amongst the heather.

And there with divers humble-bees
He’d slip amid the dew,
A-gathering cups of nectar sweet
And sticky pollen too.

And when the other humble-bees
Did jibe and mock the fellow,
He’d twist his tail and shrug his wings
And scorn their black and yellow.

‘You may have coats like gold’, he’d say,
‘Enwrapped with ermine fair,
But I am Nature’s fairest fly
And really very rare.

Enraged, the other humble-bees
Created quite a scene,
And quickly sent a messenger
Directly to the Queen.

The Queen she listened long and well
To all she had to hear,
And when she felt that he was done,
She whispered in his ear,

‘Go tell this Gordon fire-fly
I’ll dine with him at three,
And bid him bring some nectar sweet,
The kind I like for tea’.

A wee perplexed, the bee returned
To give the invitation,
Which eagerly did Gordon hear,
Midst growing irritation.

‘You see’, he scoffed, ‘I’m so admired,
Your Queen I now must grace,
It seems she yearns for beauty rare,
So I must show my face’.

And there upon he sailed up high
And fierce his wings did beat,
‘But stay’, the anxious bee did cry,
‘My words are incomplete’.

Alas, his head was swollen full,
His ears were deaf to all,
As poor fool Gordon rashly placed
Blind pride before the fall.

The hills swept past, and rolling downs
But Gordon took no heed,
As nearer to his destiny
He rushed at lightning speed.

It seemed he was expected,
The hive was opened wide,
And there within, with sickly grin,
The lovely Queen he spied.

‘Why, welcome, friend’, she warmly hummed,
‘My dear, this is a pleasure.
I am indeed expectant of
Some really tasty heather’.

O how the fire-fly’s face did fall,
His tears and cries were many,
In great dismay with drooping wings
He sniffed, ‘I haven’t any’.

‘What, none at all?’ the Queen replied,
‘Indeed, this will not do,
So though perhaps you’re not so keen,
I’ll have to sample you’.

No further word could Gordon say,
The jaws snapped fierce and firm,
As in a flash he recognised
His point of no return.

All gone his lovely shining wings,
All gone his beauty fair,
And not a soul could argue now
That Gordon wasn’t rare.

And so you see his foolish pride
Had slaughtered him with ease,
All save a faint aroma of
Fire-fly on the breeze.

I Talk of You By Gavin Milnthorpe

I talk of you
More than ever I once did
He said or would have, he did you know.
Your inflections infect my speech.
A curse, a phrase, a blow of the lips.
“Jesus wept.”

I find you
In flat caps you never wore
In pipes you never smoked
In walks you never took
Or did, but excessively, nay, phlegmatically, dramatically slowly.
In jobs you never did, like the Forth Road Bridge
In things you never said
Like leave me be for a minute or not you again.

I know you
Through beers taken under thirsty duress.
In your motto of the Spaniards, manana.
In the crossing of my legs – to read, to rest
In my kids – Tarzan Tin Ribs and
She’s got a monk on.

Resurrecting and auto-correcting
Cherry-picking and nit-picking
Talking, finding and knowing
Remembering and forgetting.

Fly City by John Goldman

On the streets of Fly City
among the garbage and the goats
we park the Land Cruiser
and walk across the road.
And the Sinai bakes around us
the Camels pass like ghosts
a hot wind stalks the highway
and the noon is set on roast.

The cafe just lies there
like a fighter whose been floored.
By an auto repair shop
where the steel screams and roars.
And the shapes that they hammer
are the bends of the road.
The flies check us out.
A dog sighs and deepens his doze.

Then the children emerge god knows where they’ve been.
they fly everywhere like birds on the wind.
Tracey runs with them, they’re playing tag and seek
their eyes are alight and they laugh and they scream
the sun light flashes bright on the ivory white of their teeth.

On the streets of Fly City
we munch on Fetta cheese
& the local guys watch us
thru tobacco smoke and tea,
and we look like deserters,
wild with our dreams.
The flies are impassive
they don’t give a damn what we mean.

On the streets of Fly City
we walk out when we’ve paid .
The kids hang on Tracey
and try to make her stay
The hound stirs in sleep
the children run behind
The engine roars to life
we back out
and Tracey waves goodbye. To Fly City

Hedging by Richard Stainer, Theatre Royal Writers Group

I thought I glimpsed Him in the hedgerow;

Hips, blood droplets on the crown of briar;

Blackberries, dark as bruises, on the bramble.


I thought I heard Him in the air,

A murmur through the hedge,

A sigh on the wind,

The sharp cry of a crow as it lands on a tree.


I thought I felt Him on the bridleway,

A warm embrace, an arm around my shoulder,

A handful of sun in the small of my back, pushing me on.


I thought I glimpsed Him in the hedgerow;

Golden light on the hazel bush,

A halo on the old man’s beard,

And a promise around the next turn of the path.

Pandemic Panic by Ian Speed, Theatre Royal Writers Group, September 2020

What do you taste…..
When nothing has taste
Or smell …when even Ambrosia’s odourless?
What do you say…….
When there’s nothing to be said
Or do…when all tasks are Herculean?
What do you listen to…..
When there’s nobody talking
And there’s no Muses you want to hear?
What do you feel…..
When you’ve lost all emotions
And your Midas touch is no more?
What do you look at…..
When there’s nothing to see
And even Old Master’s are painful?
It’s so tempting
To give in and go under…
Resist, cut the Gordian Knot
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