Thai Days and a dead man’s poetry: Gramps poems. Northern lights, compost heaps!

by

Hugh Paxton’s Blog was fortunate enough to have two grandfathers. Both very different but etched into my memory as loving, eccentric, loving and a real treat to see! They were delighted to see me and hey! You get that sort of welcome, you must be delighted to see them back!

Both are dead.

But today I was cleaning my desk and I found a poetry book. Written by Gramp. My mother’s father. Hurt by polio in a school swimming pool which spared him a World War and having his guts ripped out in the Western desert, rather grumbling and muttering and shuffling about whistling to himself, bullied at school for his limp (kids! Brutal little bastards!) always with a walking stick, and committed to baking bread that was thoroughly and utterly inedible! He should have devoted his attentions to brick making!

I found and wrote the following. Over to me. And over to him. A voice from the past. But still present.

START:

I am in the mood for cleaning and finding my desk! I just found a bunch of poems written by Gramp and superbly illustrated by me! The compilation is called Storm Warning. It’s very Gramp! He was devastated when his first poetry compilation was rejected and burnt everything he’d written. Nothing he wrote was ever published. I almost threw this away half an hour ago by mistake.

I’ll copy it properly and put it in binding.

Here are brief samples:

Northern Lights.

“Something here for speculation

Is the evil one abroad

To terrify bumpkins

Or is death about to claim a queen?”

Word to Wildlife

“Have a good look around

All that you can see

Survives as long as it is not in the way

Therefore, let all creatures great and small

Condition themselves to new living

In bottles, pens

…..and similar places

And get used to vacuous, grinning human faces.”

Yup, Gramp was on the right track with that one!

Let’s close with….

Compost Heap

“Here is a sort of shrine

Where garden folk should pray

That all the rubbish thrown in

Will be wonderful stuff come May!

Alas for all our praying

The damn stuff takes its time

And needs a couple of Christmas days

Before it’s in its prime.”

Cheers!

Hugh

(and Gramp)

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