ECHOES

The school bell rings its message out,
it’s home time, mum and tea.
The subsequent stampede resounds
with cries of “Wait for me.”

This kaleidoscope of infants,
their clothes in disarray,
are gathered up by doting mums
and slowly led away.

When all have gone, do daily sounds
still echo through the halls;
come floating from the rafters
and bounce around the walls?

Does Miss Payne’s weary voice call out
“No running on the stairs”
and all those feet yet clatter
through the hall and into prayers?

Does pushing, shoving anarchy
and voices, shrill and high,
stay still, for just a moment
as a teacher passes by

then rise again, discordant tones
of chair legs fiddle-squeak,
a timpani of desk lids;
trumpet voices as they speak

to long lost friends across the room,
whom every day they see,
tuning up these instruments
for the school cacophony?

A symphony that does not end, at last,
with rapt applause
but by the teacher entering
and closing of the doors.

The encore…”Children, settle down now,
Tommy, no more talk,”
the fidget-laden silence
and the scratch of teacher’s chalk.

© Marion Sharville

FLANNELETTE BILL

This is the tale of Flannelette Bill.
who, to this day, haunts the cotton mill.
One day at the loom, he was swept off his feet
and woven into a flannelette sheet.

At the mill, a week’s notice was always required,
unless, of a sudden, a workman was fired.
The way that he went caused quite a commotion,
especially as Bill had been due for promotion.

“He didn’t give notice,” the management said
as they laid the sheet out on the night watchman’s bed.
“He didn’t clock out, which is never allowed,
at least as he is, he will not need a shroud.

It’s most aggravating, he worked a short day,
so just tell his widow, we’re docking his pay.
Don’t think that I’m hard, I’m really quite nice.
to prove it I’ll sell her this sheet at half price.”

© Marion Sharville

OLIVER OSTRICH

Ollie, the Ostrich sticks his head in the sand
when things do not go exactly as planned.
His mother says, “Oliver, don’t do that, dear,
,there’s nothing as bad as sand in your ear.”

He’d wanted to fly, since he was a chick
but had never been able to master the trick.
A contradiction in terms, is a bird who can’t fly,
I’ll go and eat worms, he said, with a sigh.

I can run like a horse and get up to great speed
but I cannot achieve the lift-off I need.
His failure to fly he could not understand
and, covering both ears, stuck his head in the sand.

Marion Sharville ©

THE CLOSED ROOM

You enter the windowless room,
grief closes and bolts the door.
You are alone in utter darkness.
Others, outside, beat upon
their own wailing walls
but you do not hear.

Time has no meaning inside this room.
Minutes pass like years until, one day,
a chink of life sneaks in, bringing
a tentative touch of warmth.
Soft voices hammer against the silence,
calling to be let in.

Cautiously, you unfasten
the self-indulgent safety-chain
and peer out once more
into a world still ceaselessly
turning around you, where loved ones
have been patiently pacing the floor,
ready to offer you the kiss of life.

Marion Sharville ©

CHILD MINDING

A clatter as the old box is
tipped out on to the kitchen table,
adding more clutter to the things
not yet cleared away.
Small hands reach for treasures.
Eyes large, tongue helping.
she concentrates on building a world.
Reality takes a back seat and life dances
between the butter dish and the sugar bowl.
The quietness is inlaid with the child’s soft humming.
Contentment settles like a
casually thrown cashmere shawl.

© Marion Sharville

Recognition

Have you ever been accosted
by a stranger in the street,
who seems to think she knows you pretty well?
A woman standing near,
remarked how nice it was to meet
and I looked at her and wondered, who the Hell…?

I was minding my own business
as I watched the traffic lights
to see if it was safe for me to cross.
If you’re spoken to by someone who
you‘re. sure you’ve never met
it tends to leave you somewhat at a loss.

“And how do you like living here?
I was told you lived nearby,
in fact, I recognised you straight away.”
“Do I know you?” I enquired.
“I’m a loyal fan,” she sighed
“and today must surely be my lucky day.”

Had she read my masterpiece;
seen my photo on the sleeve?
Would my poems bring me honour now… and wealth?
I had dreamed of fortune’s fame
when everyone would know my name
even though I had to publish them myself.

I stepped smartly off the kerb
when the lights had turned to green ,
my loyal fan still staying by my side,
I flew, not touching ground,
at last I had been ‘found’
I thought my beating heart would burst with pride.

With my talents now discovered,
my wits I soon recovered.
I’ll be the Poet Laureate. Ring those bells!
Then I saw a look of worry
as she said, ”I’m very sorry
but…I really thought that you were someone else.”

© Marion Sharville

The Sky

Space, edged with the jagged of mountains;
the jumble of roof-tops,
the embroidery of trees,
flecked with the calligraphy of birds
…accepted graffiti.

This sphere of wondrous design enfolds our tiny lives;
such an array of drama and beauty, ever changing
across the nursery walls of our growing time.
The challenge of dawn;
wind-chased puff of clouds;
grumble of storms;
blaze of sunsets…
every miracle different…a ‘one off’

but behind the passing scenes,
lies the pure eternal blue of Mary’s gown.

The sun rests behind the dark backcloth of the night.
Stars chink through the fabric,
plotting the course of the dreaming lovers’ moon
gliding silently through time to greet
and touch the hem of the new dawn.

© Marion Sharville

The Easter Gift

The Easter Feast is a wondrous story
of Sacrifice, Hope and Love and Glory.
To children today; the things long ago,
may not seem true; not on facebook, you know.

It’s hard to believe a man really would
suffer and die for other folk’s good.
Yet, Dad said, two firemen recently died
saving some strangers, trapped there inside.

Why choose a donkey, to ride into town?
Why not a carriage for a man of renown?
No red carpet for the path of a King,
Just Palm leaves strewn ‘neath the donkey and Him.

Excited children will hurry, when bidden,
to find chocolate eggs, playfully hidden.
Renewal of Life, the eggs represent
after carrying the cross through the six weeks of Lent.

He doesn’t mind the colour of our skin
or if one is fat or painfully thin,
ugly or beautiful, tiny or tall.
He gave us His Son to die for us all.

Then, three days later to rise and to live,
was not just for those who declare they believe
but to ‘not sure’ or ‘don’t know’; the world and his wife
and, on Easter Sunday, the true Gift of Life.

Marion Sharville ©

.

Heart

Who first decided

the vital part

of all of us

was called a ‘heart’?

Did early man,

with spear and club,

declare his love

with all his ‘ug’?

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