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 ©

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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’?

Treasure Island (School Play)

The foyer, a hive of parents. Small off-spring
in lurex and cardboard, are teacher-whisked away.
The hive disperses, the buzz settles, expectantly.

The curtain rises on parrots, rainbow-costumed,
feathered, hooded and beaked; back stage creations,
alive now, tiny arms flailing in simulated flight.

Unsynchronised bemused infants search the shadowed
rows for their own safe familiar belaying-pins.
as they straggle of stage, beckoned and cajoled.

Suddenly, an explosion of music; pirates and wenches
flood the stage as Treasure Island erupts with
whirling skirts and clashing swords, adrenaline fed;

a hurricane of colour; tempest of sound as Mrs Reardon’s
spring-loaded arms pound the school piano and nodding head
elevates the untrained voices to concert pitch.

Junior school, class two, sails the ocean. A dropped sword
and gingham bonnet lie abandoned on the wooden beach,
deserted now, awaiting hurried change of scene.

Jim Hawkins and Long John Silver, surrounded by small
mixed infants; gold and silvered into pieces of eight
weave their way through the plot, upheld by the

unflagging crashing waves of teacher’s music and her wide
all-encompassing smile; pride of achievement soaring
now on the tumultuous acclaim from the audience.

The foyer, a hive again with Mums and Dads and Grannies,
waiting with coats and praise…and McDonald’s promises.
© Marion Sharville

AS THE YEAR UNFOLS by Marion Sharville ©

JANUARY

Hung over from December,
January peers cautiously into the future.
The past year jogs her elbow…time to change.
Hope, around the open door of the New Year,
beckons…lighting the way.

The sharp winter cold
stirs the slurried taste of yesterday;
cleansing the palate to be refreshed with new choices.
Braced, she strides forward, trusting His promise
that each false step
will not be irredeemable.

FEBRUARY

Crisp January cleansed. The old year’s dead
and shriven as spring lambs we can’t evade
the dreary days, the month that lies ahead.
Like purgatory, the crossing must be made.

Though leaden skies are clamped down and secure,
the sun may shine but doesn’t warm a thing.
The shortest month, yet longest to endure,
March bides her time to have her gusty fling.

Bleak February’s world is monochrome,
with all her colours drained and stored for Spring.
It seems this month has set her heart of stone
to sharpen up the rain for added sting.

A cruel time, when all is said and done
and yet…the snowdrops do not fear to come.

MARCH

Young March steps from behind the long dark skirt of February, lightly toe-dipping into the fast-flowing year.
Cautiously, she caresses the trees, seeking sanctuary.

Emboldened by their welcome, she feels her feet,
shakes off her fear, blows out her cheeks
and starts to set her pulses wild,
a challenge, test of strength, a force within, a teen-age mutineer

having a fling; a skirt-lifting Whirling Dervish; a devil child.
Recklessly she shoots the rapids of the rooftops;
searches every cranny for things to play with, until they are spoiled.

A deceit of tempo lulls us, as she seems to slow and stop.
Her power drives her on though without slackening,
hurling dustbins, screaming like a banshee down chimneys, through locks.

The damage?…of no consequence. It’s beyond her reckoning.
Exhausted, spent, she succumbs to April’s gentle beckoning.

APRIL

Nursemaid to Mother Nature, she coaxes the tender shoots
towards the light, releasing them from their clammy dungeons.
She caresses the leaves, unfurls the petals and paints the primroses.
Applauding the trumpeting of the daffodils,
she dances through the dappled woods, with the bluebells
and sprays a rainbow of colour on the dark brown of the earth,
showering all with gentle rain to release the perfume of life.
All is prepared for Sister May to take over the next shift.

MAY

Blossom-bedecked May;
hand-maiden of Summer,
scattering petals in her path,
nourishes April’s infants;
green shoots of life, to create
bowers of colour
for the garden.

A gentle month,
a deep breath of contentment
setting the mood
for Summer to laze through
the long daylight hours;
a warm-up act for
the star turn, June.

JUNE

June arrives in majesty, bearing
the standard of the longest day.
Her retinue of bees, butterflies and song-birds
pay homage, busying the skies,
composing the music of summer.

Travelling through the days,
she invites all to join the pilgrimage
of sun-worshippers hopefully
lifting their faces to be kissed.

She tantalizes with glimpses
of lazy days on sun-drenched beaches
but in this our temperate land,
it often rains on her parade.

JULY

Sleepy July, waking to sun-lit mornings,
ambling through long bee-buzzing afternoons,
alfresco meals and lazing in the long grass
or toiling in the heat, weary journey home
to cool drinks, relaxing. Windows and doors
wide open to catch a breath of fresh air;
a pot-pourri of garden scents to welcome.
Summer hours stretch to touch the soft
star-spangled velvet shawl draping the evening sky
as she slips into sleepless heat-tossed nights.

AUGUST

August, childminder of the year, surrounded

by those loosed from the tyranny of school bells,

freed to happily squander time

building castles in the air and in the sand.

The swift upturn of a bucket transports them

to days of heroic deeds, fortress-minded

adventures colouring their lives. Ice cream

surfeited, pocket money gone,

as will be their footsteps in the sand when

she returns them, sun-browned and reluctant

to the patient waiting arms of Alma Mater.

SEPTEMBER

Children back at school;
a blanket of silence settles on the day,
at least between nine and four o’clock.

She relaxes like a grandmother
after the childminding is over.

Hanging on to warm days, she clings
desperately to the long summer evenings
slipping through her finger.

OCTOBER

October, reaching back to warm days
wraps the trees in a sariof colour;
an Indian Summer, a
harvest of beauty

and the rustle of taffetta
replaces the humming of bees
as the wind dances with
the fallen leaves.

NOVEMBER

Throwing off the colourful dresses of Autumn,
she dons a chilly grey mantel of mist;
beds down with dark nights and early mornings,
and at evening, she hurries home in the rain.

Unwittingly sponsored by Guy Fawkes,
sudden bursts of light and showers of stars,
then the distant glimmer of Christmas, help
her to peer ahead with Hope to the New Year,

DECEMBER

An advent sweet a day creeping towards Christmas.
she entangles all in a web of tinsel and colour,
gathering wrapping paper, debts and worries
in a pile to bewilder on Boxing Day.

Voices lifted in song and prayers
breathe air into the space beneath
where a Babe lies in a crib, watched over.
In His tiny hands, His offering of Love and Peace.

y Fawkes,

JANUARY

Hung over from December,
January peers cautiously into the future.
The past year jogs her elbow…time to change.
Hope, around the open door of the New Year,
beckons…lighting the way.

The sharp winter cold
stirs the slurried taste of yesterday;
cleansing the palate to be refreshed with new choices.
Braced, she strides forward, trusting His promise
that each false step
will not be irredeemable.

The Cinema in the Thirties

Depression stalked our beloved Country
with endless days of poverty and want.
Sad memories of the First World War
still deep in our hearts,
to grieve and to haunt.

A six-day week, a pay packet to spend;
put nine-pence aside to go, with a friend
to see a film and sample delights
of Romance and Glamour, on Saturday nights.

Bright lights beckoned as we stepped off the bus,
everything seemed to be welcoming us.
The foyer, a cavern of red, gold, gand cream,
then darkness, a torch and the Silver Screen.

The supporting film and a Disney cartoon;
the appetizer to start with but then, very soon,
came the big film, the one that we’d all come to see;
the old and the young, my best friend and me.

The dancing of Ginger and Fred Astaire
dispelled the ‘Blues’ as we sat and stared,
while Mickey Rooney, precocious child,
and Judy Garland, drove their fans wild.

Engulfed with laughter at the Marx Brothers antics;
‘A Night at the Opera’, drove us all frantic.
Then, ‘Gone With The Wind’ with Vivien Leigh;
such a beautiful girl, just as we longed to be.

The curtains swished down; a machine all aglow,
the cinema organ came up from below.
A man in coat-tails played tunes of the day
and we stood and queued for ice cream from a tray .

The Cowboys lived and died by the gun.
The one with the white hat always won
All of them fired their guns quite a lot,
But the man, in black, was the one who got shot.

A romantic gesture; light your Love’s cigarette.
We hadn’t been told not to smoke, not yet.
She blew perfect smoke rings with elegant ease,
Her red lacquered lips pouting to please.

The bedroom scenes were all very chaste,
nobody took off their clothes in haste..
Those on the bed were told to be sure,
to keep one foot firmly attached to the floor.

Each film had been censored and vouchsafed to show
happy endings for lovers and villains brought low.
We swallowed it all, at least for a while,
a picture of Heaven, Hollywood style.

Evil was never allowed to succeed
But, in real life, were warnings we needed to heed
when goose-stepping men marched across Pâthé News
we felt the return of our fear-faden ‘Blues’.

But we were young and still full of hope;
and, with what Life threw at us, we felt we could cope.
We knew what to do.
from our own box of tricks,
was to spend every Saturday night at the ‘Flicks’.

© Marion Sharville

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