SONNETS FROM THE SILVER ROSE

DEERPLAY MOOR

Foxglove & thistle empurpling the trail
That modern man in motion wide discards,
It was time to return to Lancashire
Across the heights that shadow Calderdale,
& I, their poetical passenger,
Orpheus pressing hard against my sail,
& yes! It seem’d his song had form’d a gale,
Why else allude to mythic Thracian bards!

Across the fields I find the Burnley way,
Lit by those little yellow birds & bees
Which lead me onto Thievely Pike, among
Such scenes of rugged beauty, greening grey,
For Pennines sweep the distance by degrees,
& fade on far as bards conclude their song.


 

FLOWER SCAR ROAD

We live & we die, we are what we are
There is no more that men may understand
Whether staying at home, or travelling far
Spontaneous, or half a lifetime planned

Decisions? what are these but fleeting stones
Diverting fate’s ever resistless flow
When thoughts reside beside the wool & bones
On wild roads hewn 2,000 years ago

I stand between two gangs of spinning mills
Twyx Cliviger & Bacup on the moors
& feel fresh winded nature thresh the hills
When all is energizing out of doors

Now with the path steep-broken underfoot
I close the moment & my notebook shut


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HOME

You must know Burnley to see her beauty;
Twyx Hameldon & Pendle where she lies,
Our fertile region of the North Country,
Of Bingo halls & market stalls & pies,
Of cobblestones & Bovis Homes & lanes,
Of working men & the working men’s pride,
Of balmy days & snowy greys & rains
& blatantly the world’s best football side.

You must know Burnley to see her beauty;
The arches & the chimneys & Turf Moor,
The stately halls of Gawthorpe & Towneley,
The station & the bus-stop & mi door –
You can keep yer New Yorks, Delhis & Rome
At the end of the day there’s no place like home!


 

HOT-POT PIT-STOP

Up Manchester Road, bi Shanks’s Pony,
Inter Scotts Park, then on up t’ Summit,
T’pay mi Grandparents a swift visit
Fer a bowl o’ the best broth in Burnley.

Grampa potters about ‘is garden shed,
Granma slaps th’icin on’ slice from market.

Cake crumbs fall on mi old Batman carpet,
Big piles o’ comics & games under’ bed;

Wow! Space Marine, Gnasher Badge, Hairy Hand,
Toy Soldiers, Test Match & mi old Spectrum –

“What fun,” said Gramps, “We ‘ad in th’olden days…”
“Yer tea’s ready!”
“Mmmm…them dumplins look grand.”
“Do you like ‘em son?”
“Aye Gran, I love ‘em.”

& polish off three platefuls in ‘er praise.


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DAVE BULLEN

Yes, I’m really glad yer mi dad, Dad,
Yer the best that a young lad could have, Dad,
Far better than the king o’ Baghdad,
Yer mi dad, Dad!

Aye, I’m really glad I’m yer lad, Dad
Cos I get to crash in yer pad, Dad
& chat to yer when I’m all sad, Dad
Yer mi dad, Dad!

Yer always so bloody well clad, Dad
& make the best eggs that I’ve had, Dad
But yer brews, bloody ‘ell, they’re so bad, Dad
Yer mi dad, Dad,

& better still, yer mi mate, mate
& I love yer, an that’s bloody great!


 

RIKKI DEE’S TABLE

Dick needs a table
Over the tops at Clitheroe
& its car boot country sale

Prams * jigsaws * suitcases * mothball suits
Settees * lawnmowers * crap coats * comics
& finally a three pound table

On a wood to coinage ratio the real deal
‘Made in Czechoslovakia’ stamped underneath
Looks a bit like a bench

We bus it home, the smash & grab complete
Walk up to Healy Wood, steep from the station
Chillin’out frequently, perched upon our ‘bench’

Gazin’ on Burnley, & Townley & Pendle,
Then finally home to a perfect fit!


 

GANNOW TOP

I learnt to swim right at the top o’ Rosegrove
& got a ten meter badge for mi speedos,
I was seven or so, & two years later,
Went off wi’ mi class to the baths, n’ that.

So, as I’m sat down wi’ mi mates on the bus,
A poo started moving, a real turtle-head
& instead of rushing straight to the toilet
I thought that I’d get changed first, n’ that.

Then, lo & behold, on mi cubicle floor
That self-same poo plopp’d down all goo & stinkin,’
So mi teacher made me clean the buggar up,
Then sent me to sit in the stands, n’ that,

Where I waited mi teasing classmates with dread,
But never, to their credit, was one word said!


 

ACCY ROADER

As I wander the back-streets of Burnley
Subconcious in familiarity
I take solace in these stark surroundings
Still hearing my heartbeat & its poundings

This is my land of birth, O rosy town,
Where over cobblestones the Brun flows brown
All seasons have I seen here & each June
Observe the endings of a thirteenth moon

So many rides of mine from here have sprung,
Light-footed men go forth when they are young,
As Pendle from the deep mists reappears
I put to bed the ghosts of yester-years

When readying for fun & foreign tours
I practice future hikes all out of doors.


 

ARRAN STREET

As a poignant time-lapse of the soul
Removes my child-hood street-by-street,
I brood upon an artificial meadow,
Where recently dilapidated terraces
Were brick-by-brick demolish’d, levell’d low.

Once, with life, these districts resounded,
But all is fading now, like fallen flies;
Grandmas, Grandads, Cousins, Aunties, Uncles –
A generation bounden in photographs –
Back then they laughed & cried like me & you.

My own street seems to have survived the cull –
But for how long? If others of its ilk
Were deemed ungodly, surely snobbish time
Shall banish mine beneath some grassy mound.


 

PENDLE

With a vigour that hordes the squirrel stores
Fair sommer’s dawning drives us to the moors,
Twixt scatter’d wracks of industry’s decay
Down Leeds & Liverpool I made fair way,
As to this heathen sentinel we wind.
I tread rough fields, forgotten roads behind,

Shelt’ring from northern breeze I lounge supine
On whale-back’d peak, thou solit’ry pennine,
All in the misty vale an entity,
Those auld terraced rows of Pendle City,
Whose galaxy of lights shatters the gloam,
One of them shines the hearth star of my home.

Forever, there, my rest in peace abides,
Fairweather’d by these precious countrysides.

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