There's a 50% Spherean presence in the winners' enclosure this month! Congratulations to our Brian and John, and also to Chris for an Hon Mensh. Well done, gentlemen, all of you.
Brian puts a whole new meaning on the word 'ubiquitous' by winning almost everything that's going! (But at least both of your D & A mods have had a look in for two consecutive months )
Next comp on new thread.
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxThe Oldie Competition
by Tessa Castro
IN COMPETITION NO 151 you were invited to write a poem on any aspect of neighbours.
I am not sure whether this provoked an outpouring of memory or of fantasy, but there was much forceful stuff, and in some cases I was glad not to have been the neighbour in question. Geoffrey Tapper made sure his neighbour’s pets, ‘Her mice, her tortoise, birds in cages / Are subject to my hound’s black rages.’ Poppy Pratt provided a tale of hatred in a church pew: ‘I’m damned if I will change my seat / Or greet you with a friendly smile.’
Sometimes the narrator was the injured party. ‘At bedtime, no matter how knackered I am, / I toss in my sheets while you keep / My sweet, balmy Nature’s restorer at bay / With the stertorous din of your sleep,’ wrote
Chris O’Carroll. George Duncan-Jones merely planned his revenge on the noisy neighbours: ‘When I get my bagpipes, / Then they’ll have to move.’
Audrey Kelly gave a convincing sketch of neighbourliness in the country: ‘There’s gossip and fact, intermingled of course, / Which helps us to fill our time nicely.’ Ted Lane told an unusual story of neighbours
feuding over a boundary until one day, ‘He found me there, he got me here, his actions saved my life. / In intensive care and moral debt, I’m benumbed about our strife.’
Commiserations to these and congratulations to those printed below, each of whom wins £25, with the bonus prize of a Chamber’s Biographical Dictionary going to Brian Allgar.
Well, they seemed like a nice enough couple;
I invited them over for drinks.
Though he’s podgy, she’s lissom and supple,
And she brought me a vaseful of pinks.
The evening confirmed my impression
That the chap is a bit of a porker,
Over-nourished despite the recession –
But his wife is an absolute corker.
I endeavoured to charm my new neighbours
(Although frankly, with him I was bored)
In the hopes that my smooth-talking labours
Would eventually reap their reward.
And today there is news to excite me:
He’s in Scotland to visit his mother,
So I’m hoping she’ll phone and invite me
To drop in for a bit of the other.
Since he died, she notices
neighbours more. No humans
nearer than two miles, but the house martins
arrive like second home owners
to enjoy warm and midgeful summer days,
nest in the eaves and then pack up again.
is the quiet presence of the hills.
Even on cold nights when she wakes alone,
their steady shoulders are still there for her,
under a round, white, non-committal moon.
The people next door are such wonderful people,
Magnificent people, the best that could be,
Superlative people, impeccable people,
The loveliest people you ever could see,
But faraway people, non-neighbourhood people
Are horrible people and rather obscene,
Untalented people, unfortunate people,
Inadequate people, and not very clean,
Those people who people the places that people
Like our sort of people are fearful to go
Are hardly the people (detestable people)
That our sort of people could possibly know,
So here’s to our people, such scrumptious people,
Rambunctious people, the people who are
Respectable people, delectable people
Collectable people who win the cigar!
The neighbours here are very quiet,
They haven’t much to say.
And I’ve been here for quite a while,
Beside them many a day.
Being past it, some might guess
They’re not a lively crowd.
They never dress up to impress,
Since all they’ve got’s a shroud.
There’s never any scandal here,
And no one is depraved.
No neighbour laughs, or sheds a tear,
For each is deep en-graved.
Some arrived by old Rolls Royce,
And others in a Bentley,
But none of us moved here by choice,
And all are rotting gently.
George McGilvray Wilson