Saturday, 23 October 2010

Waiting at the bus stop for the Poetry Bus.

This week's theme (Argent) is to choose a relation and write about them in a poem. No contest as far as I am concerned as I had a very colourful uncle (my mother's brother) who really was the black sheep of the family and caused them all no end of embarrassment. He was a loveable rogue and although he sailed the whole of his life close to the wind, by the time he died he was much respected as a countryman through and through. He was rarely completely sober in his young days and would earn his pints by dancing on the table in The Angel pub. He died in around 1960.

A Lincolnshire Poacher.

Dance on the table, Tommy,
while away the night,
till a clear moon rises
and the stars add their light.
Then you'll blend with the hedgerow
as you set about your work
and you'll reach the salmon river
where the silver salmon lurk.

Dance on the table, Tommy,
dance the night away;
when the night's at its blackest
and the dawn's far away -
you'll be down in the furrow
with the wild, brown hare.
You'll be hoping that he's caught
in your cruel snare.

Dance on the table, Tommy,
faster, faster still
till the cold, white frost
sparkles bright on the hill.
Then you'll set out with your sack
and your killing twine.
Pheasant tastes delicious
with a good, red wine.

Dance on the table, Tommy,
fill your skin with ale;
for you won't go a-poaching
till the sky turns pale.
Then you'll set off with your rod
and hope no-one's about,
and you'll end up with a catch
of a fat, brown trout.

Dance on the table, Tommy?
Tommy'll dance no more;
for the grim, old reaper
has scythed him to the floor.
And the Lords and the Gamekeepers,
who heard his passing bell,
will be there at his funeral
to say their last farewell.


Pamela Terry and Edward said...

One of your best!
And that's saying something.
Happy Saturday!

Poet in Residence said...

Well done Pat. It fairly hops along. It's a wonderful thing you've created there and I should think a it's also a fine tribute.

mrsnesbitt said...

I was singing this poem to the tune "When the boat comes in" Wonderful!

steven said...

weaver- after reading this, i surely wish you could tell us more! i've read about characters like tommy and here's an actual person "sailing close to the wind." steven

Rachel Fox said...

I think we read different prompts! I read that it was 'meetings'.

Like your poem get that son of yours to give it a rousing tune. I can hear them banging their hands and feet along with this one!


Rachel Fox said...

Yes, this was Argent's prompt from back in April! Still, I'm sure no-one will throw you off the bus for having the wrong ticket. It's not that kind of bus!

Elizabeth said...

Pat, this sounds as if it should be a song --to be sung in pubs.
I think your uncle would get a kick out of that!
Now I see Denise N. had the same idea.
Maybe someone talented could write a tune?
word verification:singerse

Mary Elizabeth said...

Love this poem!
It should be written on a pub wall!
You commented on my blog that you didn't know what root beer was. It's not alcoholic (although that would be good), it's a sweet, flavored soda, mostly favored by the young, and young at heart.
And it's wonderful with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the bottom!!


Hildred and Charles said...

A toe tapping poem, great rhythm to the lines and wonderfully constructed.

Doesn't every family have their black sheep - you were lucky to have one so loveable.

angryparsnip said...

When I read this poem it had a lyrical quality.
Fabulous !

cheers, parsnip

Shirley said...

Your uncle sound like quite a character and certainly the hit of the party! Yours is a lovely tribute to him that should indeed be put to music!

Heather said...

A triumph Pat - I love the rhythm of this poem as well as the sentiment. Your uncle must have been a popular character. In years gone by many villages would have had a similar character - I wonder if it is still the case?

Totalfeckineejit said...

I love that Pat! I wish someone would remember me so fondly in verse!
Well done Weaver and good man Tommy!

The Bug said...

What a great poem! Will your family see it? They might appreciate this homage to your uncle...

About rootbeer - my great grandmother used to bottle it. I didn't like it - I think it tastes like black licorice.

Cloudia said...

What a gem you wrote!

Aloha from Hawaii

Comfort Spiral


George said...

You haven't heard from me lately, Pat, because I have been on the road. In any event, it's nice to return to such and entertaining and musical poem. Well done!

Jinksy said...

What a lovely ticket for this week's bus - we're all lucky to have the chance to meet one such as Tommy!

Karen said...

Right bus, wrong prompt -- RIGHT poem! Love it, Pat! Great rhythm.

Golden West said...

One of my all time favorites, Weaver, and all the better for the subtle sentimentality, I think. Charming and a lovely tribute.

Argent said...

This is a cracking poem - I'm happy to punch your ticket anyway.

Peter Goulding said...

Somebody should set an air to that. It certainly has the lovely warm feel of an olde Englishe folke song...

NanU said...


Bovey Belle said...

That is just BRILLIANT! Superb pace and I love it because it tells of real country-living! Tommy must have been quite a character!

Kat Mortensen said...

Excellent! I love the verse about the pheasant - the bit about the wine. I'm not a fan of hunters, so I really liked how this ended. It's a perfect poem for Hallowe'en!


Granny Sue said...

Amazing work! This one needs to be published, Weaver.

The Solitary Walker said...

That was a great and characterful song, Pat.