Mansfield and District U3A
Poetry & Prose
Members' Day Readings
January 2014
Page 1 of 8
The U3A
The U3A the U3A.
Which group shall we join today?
Will it be the pudding club?
Where we enjoy, fabulous grub.
We c...
There is a group who chat and stitch.
And you do not need to be that rich.
Don’t forget to bring your tatting.
You can do ...
If you fancy a break in your caravan.
Then Terry Lammas is your man.
He organises days and weeks in lovely
Enjoy n...
Next Year is our Crystal Year.
For fifteen years the U3A’s been here.
We are having a ball to celebrate.
So come along it ...
To remember those men that served and died in
the First World War 1914-1918
The Marching Boot
Trudge, trudge, trudge, how ...
They were walking one Sunday from Blackpool
to Crewe,
They'd started at break of the day,
Joe followed behind with a bagfu...
I’ve got some French centimes
And shrapnel they took out of me back
And here’s photos of me oppos
That’s me, Fred, George ...
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Mansfield U3A - Poetry and Prose


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Some members' original and choice of other poetry and prose that was read at Mansfield U3A's Members' Meeting in January.

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Mansfield U3A - Poetry and Prose

  1. 1. Mansfield and District U3A Poetry & Prose Members' Day Readings ________________________ January 2014 Page 1 of 8
  2. 2. The U3A The U3A the U3A. Which group shall we join today? Will it be the pudding club? Where we enjoy, fabulous grub. We can go with the Strollers or a Shufflers walk, Then onto a pub, for a bit of talk. Such a lot of things to do. And every group welcomes you. If you are less agile. And cannot climb a style. The shufflers group is for you. A gentle stroll, then stop for a brew. Whatever your interests are in life. The U3A has a group to suffice. Belly dancing did not do well. Our wobbly bits, flopped like jell. If digital photography is your thing. We have an expert: David Ling. He’ll give you photo tips galore. These will help you I am sure. There are holidays both near and far. You do not need to have a car. You will be given information. About the provided transportation. Gardening needs no energy, we listen to a speaker as we sit. Then have a coffee, and let them get on with it. We learn to grow from seed a flower. Find out about herbs, with medicinal power. We try to add plants to our little plot. Our borders are full, and space we have not Amongst the weeds we do have flowers. They try to survive in our tended bowers We take cuttings to grow into trees. Ultimately the blossom will feed the bees. Diseases, viruses, slugs and bugs. They multiply in borders, pots, and tubs. We sympathise with each other. About problems which give us bother If antiques and oddments are your thing. There is a group which is interesting. You can go to auctions in a group Take your purse and off you troop Our choir sings out with voices strong. When they perform, we go along. Churches, halls and various places. We hear them go through their paces. They need men with voices deep. If you sing baritone, go to where they meet. Music here, music there. Popular and classics for all to share. Various composers you will hear. All good pieces, fond and dear. Join the group to relax and listen. If it’s sad your eyes will glisten. The coffee morning raises money. Having tombola, cakes, plants and honey. Enjoy a cuppa and a bicky. So buy a ticket; it's not tricky. The home-made cakes and pies are yummy. All delicious treats for your money. The picnic is for everyone. So come along and have some fun. Bring along a dish to share. What it is we do not care. Take a drink to wash it down. It’s a jolly party out of town. A loaded buffet you will see. Which we tuck into with much glee. Bring your glass, knife and fork. Then just sit, relax and talk Janet books day trips for us to go. Put your name down don’t be slow. Get on the bus; no need to drive. To a place of interest we arrive. Stately homes and garden centres. All kinds of places are our ventures. Morning coffee; a tour around. A delicious lunch, then homeward bound. Page 2 of 8
  3. 3. There is a group who chat and stitch. And you do not need to be that rich. Don’t forget to bring your tatting. You can do it while your chatting. Make a cushion or a toy. A present for a girl or boy Leave the pots leave the pans Our luncheon club makes no demands. You can choose where to go. Preferably where the wine will flow. Do you need some exercise? The doctors think this is wise. Move to music or join Tai Chi. Lots of us you there will see We sell CD’s, books and mags. Lilian will provide the bags. Stock up now for winter days. Then you can sit and read and laze. Everything's a bargain on the stall. Mysteries, romances, books to suit you all. You can read a book then bring it back. The money goes to funds, so don’t be slack. If it’s musicals you want to see. Nottingham is where we’ll be. Wednesday, matinee, in the stalls. Songs and music within the walls. We can have a lunch before the show. A glass of wine, then off we go. Twenty-fourteen will see us go. Down to London to see a show. Stopping off in Covent Garden, there's time to stroll before we eat. Then meet at Porters for a treat. We enjoy a meal before the show. Perhaps a glass of wine before we go. After a sleep at the hotel overnight. We should all rise rested and bright. At Hampton Court Palace we will call. A place of grandeur as I recall . If you like to write for pleasure. See Sue and Hilary at your leisure. Poems, stories short and long. This group is where you belong. If in January you need a rest. Go to Thoresby as Terry’s guest. (We do of course have to pay.) It’s a bargain price, so don’t delay The holidays are fabulous. Organised by Margaret so there's no fuss. Excursions included and transport there. We enjoy the days without a care. If you are as fit as can be. The hikers group you should see. Climbing over hills and stiles. You will cover many miles. When you do stop for some grub. I expect it will be at a pub. If you have an idea for another group. Drop it in the suggestion box; the committee will have look. Put your thinking cap on. You may come up with a good'un. If paintings you just want to view. Pauline provides this for you. Abstracts, portraits, woodland scenes. Lots of paintings some are dreams. If Science and Technology,are your thing. There is a group where you can cling. This is the group for you to share. Just phone and say you will be there. Ian will be there with information. He may need a small donation Karen has plans for us to have a social whirl. She’s a very busy girl. The next one is a quiz night, with food on a plate. Bring a drink with you and try not to be late. If you like to read there’s a group for you. You have a month to read a book, then to give your view. Some are racy, so they say. Something about a shade of grey. Page 3 of 8
  4. 4. If you fancy a break in your caravan. Then Terry Lammas is your man. He organises days and weeks in lovely places. Enjoy new company and new faces. Tow your van to a country pub. Then all pile in for some grub. Don Wright organises bowling. He knows how to keep you rolling. As long as you can lift a ball. He will organise it all. If bridge is your game. Maxine and Glenis will make it plain. Count the points, keep your score. Try not to drop cards on the floor. If you want to see a special show. Thursford Spectacular is where to go. A splendiferous display of Christmas decoration. You will not see better in any situation. A glittering show of song and dance. Book early, don’t miss your chance. Margaret organises this. It’s one you should not miss. The wine groups meet to share a drink. Red and white and sometimes pink. They look at the legs inside the glass. Sniff the bouquet and drink at last. Several bottles they get through. Goodness me it’s a boozy do. Current Affairs are all around us. We hear people discuss them on the bus. In the papers and on TV. Talked about by you and me. You may be interested or maybe not. But to talk about there is a lot. Family history will discover your relatives from the past. This was when the die was cast. You may discover Great Granddad had a lover. Or his mother ran off with another. Is there a skeleton in your cupboard? Hidden away until discovered. Was an uncle a peeping tom. Or just a boring old John. Was someone brave in a war. Winning medals in places far. You could go back far in time. Then with your stories go out to dine. Heart Start: important information. You need to know the class location. Heart Start will show you what to do. If in emergency there is only you. Come along to the class. Learn the knowledge, then you'll pass Movement to music is good for you. Don’t believe me? Honest, it’s true. It’s not the jive, it’s not the tango. You will not trip the light fandango. Move a leg here. Move an arm there. Swing to the music. Feel that muscle when you use it. Sway to the left, sway to the right. Is your body feeling tight. Is your vocabulary superb? Do you like to find a word? Are you interested in Scrabble? With words do you like to dabble? Obscure and absurd words. Words long and short. For long words you get more points. But this will not help your joints. See Brenda for information. She'll give you the location. Local history does abound. It can be found all around. Join the group to check it out. It is interesting there is no doubt. To fascinating places you will go. And perhaps find artefacts on show. A King lost his horse and stayed at an inn. It was the John Cockle; the King knighted him. Page 4 of 8
  5. 5. Next Year is our Crystal Year. For fifteen years the U3A’s been here. We are having a ball to celebrate. So come along it will be great Get out your sparkly shoes and glitter bangles. And if you like, your killer-heel sandals. You can wear dinner suits and evening dresses. So get a swirl or a curl in your tresses. Rita is the one to see. She is selling tickets with much glee. You can join a group to watch a film. Musical, comedy or full of doom. Historical epics, religious spectacles. Some you may feel are rejectables If it’s happy, it is more enjoyable. If it’s sad, tears are unavoidable. A group of friends all together. Enjoying time despite the weather. There are day excursions to visit gardens. No need to worry about wardens. It’s all arranged and put in place. Get on the bus and relax, we're not in a race. At the start of the groups we do have art. Male or female, you can take part. Do you like to paint, not skirting boards or walls. More like Lords and Ladies in Baronial halls. Is sketching your fascination? Do you draw with charcoal at your destination? Or a water colour scene with white fluffy clouds. Or a spooky depiction of ghouls in shrouds? Do you favour a field of butterflies and flowers. With a background of majestic stone towers? You could paint the face of a wrinkled old trout. But be kind and airbrush the creases out. Do you prefer pictures of cottages quaint. Or find a stained glass window and copy a Saint? Can you dash out authentic villages. Or do scenes of blood-stained pillages? Do you like abstracts with multi-coloured splashes. Or bowls of fruit with spots like rashes. So if with paint you like to play. Drop in to the art group one day. Linda Spray will help you all. So get on the phone and give her a call. OH the U3A; the U3A; here we are, Sprightly and Gay. At least we are for today. Oh the U3A; the U3A. I’m worn out thinking what to do. It’s time I put the kettle on and had a brew. Finally I do say today, for the organisers. Hip HIP HOORAY! Sheila Whalley (MU3A) ____________________________________ England is poetry England. Gentle undulating hills. Wild heather-covered moorlands. Serene, shimmering lakes. And surging, silvery seas. England. Celebrated cathedral cities. Peaceful pastoral pathways. Flower-filled meadows. Fertile, fruitful orchards. England. Gardens gloriously arrayed. Pansies; poppies; roses. And rugged rambling rockeries. Of campions and sea pinks. Overhanging the ocean. England. Homely harbours, pristine, painted boats and wheeling white gulls. Cornfields of gold, pastures of green, sheep and cows contentedly grazing. Children playing by village streams and quaint old bridges of rough-hewn stone. England is all this – and more, so much more. England is poetry, written indelibly on the hearts of all who love her! Doreen Beer Page 5 of 8
  6. 6. To remember those men that served and died in the First World War 1914-1918 The Marching Boot Trudge, trudge, trudge, how much longer, how much further will we have to go. The noisy banter and camaraderie has ceased, and the singing and whistling gradually died away. I’m being dragged along, as this poor devil can hardly lift his feet, just like all the others. I’m sticking to the sole of his foot and my sole is wearing out. My sides are splitting, my laces are shredding, and the leather water- logged from all the mud, but he’s trying with all his might to stay in the rhythm of the march, along with the rest of them. The smoke, and the smell of gas is some- times overpowering, and the cries and the call of men, breaks the silence that over- whelms the night, that eerie quiet, that seems unreal, and heightens the senses to wait for the unexpected. Many other boots are all around, hanging on like me, plodding and dragging along the road. Some are lying unwanted or not now needed, protruding from legs that are wounded and dying. There are those that have already reached the end. Maybe that’ll be me soon, if he hasn’t any strength left, or perhaps we’ll make it back, to a clean, bright world, full of hope and peace. I’ll have new laces and heels, and maybe even shine, like newly polished glass, once more. Hilary Miller (MU3A) ____________________________________ People think that we are old People think that we are old But there was a time when we were bold Loads of make-up, driving cars Mini-skirts and burn your bras. Pulling on your nylon tights But standing up for equal rights, Ban the Bomb and Greenham Common, High-heeled shoes and falling from them. Age of free love, the Pill and lots of bedding But don’t forget the shotgun weddings. Beatlemania, Top of the Pops And doing the Twist in silly frocks. Teddy Boys, Hells Angels too Then Mods and Rockers to name a few. Some were skinheads or even hippy TV programmes included Skippy. Harold Wilson with his political clout Then Heineken tried to replace our stout! Curry, Major, Maggie too Political parties, seas of blue Parkinson and Wogan were the Kings of Chat Fast food hadn’t made everyone fat! Love, sex and rock and roll Look at us, it’s taken its toll. Think you’re rebels in your hoodies It’s only time has made us goodies. Sue Ford (MU3A) Little Aggie When Joe Dove took his elephants out on the road He made each one hold fast with his trunk To the tail of the elephant walking in front To stop them from doing a bunk. There were fifteen in all, so 'twere rather a job To get them linked up in a row, But once he had fixed 'em Joe knew they'd hold on, For an elephant never lets go. The pace it was set by the big 'uns in front, 'Twas surprising how fast they could stride, And poor little Aggie, the one at the back... Had to run till she very near died. Page 6 of 8
  7. 7. They were walking one Sunday from Blackpool to Crewe, They'd started at break of the day, Joe followed behind with a bagful of buns In case they got hungry on t'way. They travelled along at a rattling good pace Over moorland and valley and plain, And poor little Aggie the one at the back Her trunk fairly creaked with the strain. They came to a place where the railway crossed road, An ungated crossing it were, And they wasn't to know as the express was due At the moment that they landed there. They was half way across when Joe saw the express It came tearing along up the track He tried hard to stop, but it wasn't much good, For an elephant never turns back. He saw if he didn't do something at once The train looked like spoiling his troupe, So he ran on ahead and he waggled the buns To show them they'd best hurry up. When they caught sight of buns they all started to run, And they soon got across at this gait, Except poor little Aggie, the one at the back, She were one second too late. The express came dashing along at full speed, And caught her end on, fair and square She bounced off the buffers, turned head over heels, And lay with her legs in the air. Joe thought she were dead when he saw her lyin' there, With the back of her head on the line He knelt by her side, put his ear to her chest, And told her to say " ninety-nine." She waggled her tail and she twiggled her trunk; To show him as she were alive; She hadn't the strength for to say "ninety-nine," She just managed a weak "eighty-five." When driver of th' engine got down from his cab Joe said "Here's a nice howdedo, To see fifteen elephants ruined for life By a clumsy great driver like you." Said the driver, "There's no need to mak' all this fuss, There's only one hit as I've seen."Joe said, "Aye, that's right, but they held on so tight You've pulled back end off t'other fourteen." Joe still walks around with his elephant troupe, He got them patched up at the vet's, But Aggie won't walk at the back any more, 'Cos an elephant never forgets. Marriott Edgar ____________________________________ What’s that in that there pot, granddad? What’s in that there pot in the china cabinet granddad And why can’t I find the key All thems mine and yer granny’s treasures lad Nothing came for free Will you show me then granddad please Will you show me what’s in there All right lad I’ll unlock it I’ll show you because I care In this pot are collected things Things from when I was in the war Things like uniform buttons and bullets And all Johnny could say was Cor And have you got a gun granddad No they wouldn’t let me bring that I’ve got me corporal stripes though And the regimental badge off me hat Page 7 of 8
  8. 8. I’ve got some French centimes And shrapnel they took out of me back And here’s photos of me oppos That’s me, Fred, George and that’s Jack Have you got your uniform granddad No only me top coat to keep out the cold It’s in the loft drooped off the tank ATANK GRANDAD; can we take it out on the road? Stephen John Robinson (MU3A) ______________________________________ An Apology I have to write a poem and I feel not faintly lyrical If I do write a poem, it sure will be a miracle I look for subject matter, and of course think or romance Knights in shining armour are few and far between The only handsome chap I know, he leaves my windows clean Flowers for me hold such wonder, nothing else can steal their thunder Shades of colour, shapes galore Twining leaves, as they fall to the floor to be reborn when winter's through, think beautiful colours to renew. The sky, the sea a new-born baby How I love life, there is no maybe We are surrounded by such glory But Alas! I'm stuck for a story. Hilary Hamilton-Ross (MU3A) ______________________________________ A winter walk Bare branches etched against a clear blue sky, Icy puddles crackling as we go walking by. River running fast, racing through the wood, Clear sunny day but I’m glad I wore my hood. Berries for the birds, in bunches on the trees, Hazel, teasel, thistle all are packed with seeds. Blackbird, finch and robin, and the squirrel too, All will find some food, when the snow comes blowing through. There’s a nice dry log, in a sunny spot, Sit down and have some coffee, it will be nice and hot. Sitting in the woods on a lovely winters day, We even see some deer, very far away. It’s time to head on home, which path shall we choose? Which way shall we go? Which trail shall we peruse? I think it might be that way, that path over there? Or do we head this way, into the suns glare? Yes, it should take us back, if we circle round this way, A couple more miles should do it, enough for us today. Joy Crowe (MU3A) ______________________________________ Swans The loveliest sight I have ever seen were the swans, on the Thames As we walked on the green. I tried to count how many were there, as they sailed to and fro, some would just stare At least 40 I counted, as I stood, so elated What beautiful birds, so serene and fêted so perfectly formed and powerful too The snowy white beauty & arching necks as they swirled around each other, with such an effect. One held ones breath, as a challenge was seen and relaxed once more, as it turned to preen Swans, mysterious, beautiful, wild & free. As they etched their place in my memory. Hilary Hamilton-Ross (MU3A) ______________________________________ Published by Mansfield U3A to thank members who contributed to the 2014 Members' Day on 21st January. All rights reserved. © 2014 Page 8 of 8