Monday, 18 March 2013

Howsley Rockley

Howsley Rockley.
A name
written in a book -
'Familiar Wildflowers'.
The ink black,
the script classic,
the hand unwavering.

Who was he?
I crossed him out
and wrote
P Smithson, aged 9
and a half.
Was he deceased by then? 

Had someone cleared
his bookshelves,
taken his books
to some old bookstore?

Where I had gone
to enter into what would become
in later years
that familiar, fusty old book.

I Googled him.
No mention.
His signature in the book
his only claim to fame.
What would he think,
this Howsley Rockley
of Google,
of Space travel,
of Mobile phones?

And one day
in some book store
will someone cross out
P Smithson
aged 9
and a half.   


Gwil W said...


Irene said...


MorningAJ said...

Oh that's fantastic. What a wonderful name. It sounds almost like a village.....

Pondside said...

Lovely - just perfect for the start of my day.
That name!....would anyone call a child Howsley anymore?

Reader Wil said...

What will happen to old books? I have so many books which I have to give away. Such a pity, but I can't keep them any longer. The poem is very good!
Thanks for your comment. The young man holding the baby looks like her seventeen year old son, but she is. almost 43. She has got 4 children now and still looks young. ;)

Angie said...

I am not really into poetry but I could enjoy reading more like this.It caught my attention ...and kept it until the last word.

angryparsnip said...

Wonderful poem !
What an unusual name, I wonder if it was a family name or a common name for the area ?
I wonder how many names have gone out of favor and never used again. It seems so sad.

cheers, parsnip

Country Gal said...

Wonderful ! I still prefer books and the odd pen to paper ! Have a good day !

Joanne Noragon said...

What a wonderful name. What is the book that intersted Howsley Rockley and P. Smith?

jill said...

Hi Pat,that is lovely! I am sorry I have deleted the comment you left me last ,I pressed delete instead of reply,tut tut.hope you are well xx

Cloudia said...

A True Poem.

Deep, wide, flowing like the eternal river it references....

"Enjoyable" (as only a premonition of mortality can be).

I'm gonna LIVE today! Thanks...
(I often muse on similar things, pay respects and notice to obits of "avg" folks. . . . .

ALOHA from Honolulu
Comfort Spiral
~ > < } } ( ° > <3

Em Parkinson said...

What a fabulous poem - thank you!

Robin Mac said...

I love it!

Heather said...

Fascinating! An unsolved, and probably unsolvable, mystery.

JoAnn ( Scene Through My Eyes) said...


A said...

Excellent. Your writing really does put one's actions into perspective.

Dave King said...

Fascinating, these past names one finds in second hand books. I've often hovered over them and their annotations and wondered who they were and why they wrote their notes in the margins.

A really absorbing post. Good idea to weave it from that signature.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thank you for your kind comments. I rarely feel like writing poetry these days - this is an old one I found on a piece of paper which dropped out of a book I was reading.I may well have posted it in some form before, but I tinkered about with it a bit and took a few words out here and there.