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Our son
grins from
as Kompany
lifts the trophy
for all to see:
blue moon
here but
we are
no longer
On Sunday 11th, May 2014 Manchester City captained for the final time by Vincent Kompany secured their second Premiership success as Champions in only three years.
Even though our son, Damian was born in Oldham and has lived most of his life in Blackpool, he is a staunch Manchester City supporter.|The song Blue Moon is one that the supporters sing when cheering on the team.
Frame of reference is just SO important.
Sir Anthony sidles into
the little space left in
my memory as the rather
gaunt and sallow History Man
who so horrified us
when so shallow but
costumed and padded
with gross belly and
straining belt commands
this stage as Falstaff
misleader of Hal, liar
personified, but Life-
lover as dimpled as
Dionysus - eat, drink,
make merry one and all
for tomorrow we die.

(c) C J Heyworth
I have "lived with" Falstaff since approx 1960 when we studied a Shakespear play at school for the first time.
Yesterday evening I attended our local Odeon Cinema to watch a LIVE STREAMING performance of Henry IV (i) from the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre at Stratford-upon-Avon with Sir Antony Sher playing Falstaff so well  that really for the first time I understand how the character has come to be so loved.
It's me you're looking for
according to Lionel not
quite falsetto but at least
smooth alto unpunctuated
to give your wonder freedom
to wander and wonder
who each of us is - poems
demand so much of us
for sure hesitant English
speakers add frequently,
I noticed it first with Sven Goran Ericsson.
He would add "For sure..." to his every utterance as if expecting conformation that the way he spoke English was comprehensible.
are what my pupil
found difficulty reading
and considered unimportant
the in
the of
the to
the from
do shape
our understanding
lend                                    a sense of place or
between objects and actions -
thanks, all of you prepositions,
bridges in our communication.
Does this require individual different fonts or punctuation to become more comprehensible ?
Money Talks

and what it said back then on the railway bridge
at Bloomfield Road (no longer there of course)
was "You can spare me – it means only one less
penny ice lolly from the corner shop !" (no longer
there of course) and the train will make me huge
(steam no longer here of course) and the others
will laugh and cheer as you scramble down to
the line place me centred and climb back up
here again before the train shoots through to
Central Station (no longer there of course).

Gigantic copper-coloured disc and this recall.
Still talking half a century after.

(c) C J Heyworth August 2014
I'm sure the teachers concerned
and especially the Head and
The Chairman of Governors
whose Mayor-making I went
to on behalf of school would
hope it is my learning to read
and write well enough to win
handwriting competitions as
well as pass public exams that
occupies my brain and heart, but
what sticks, really sticks to prompt
a torrent of recollections is the
reek of soap in the washrooms:
'twas a Carbolic Childhood mine.

(c) C J Heyworth September 2014
Mass conscription for Britain's Armed Forces in the two World Wars of the 20th. centrury scared the upper and middle classes to death about how unhygienic in their terms the "lower orders" were.
There were improvements after World War I, but over my lifetime (I was born along with lots of others in 1946 when our fathers had returned from fighting the War) getting the "lower orders" scrubbed and far more healthy (free school milk), and that regimentation of cleanliness for me is still represented by carbolic soap which stank so strongly in comparison to the Cussons Imperial Leather we used at home.
Of course there are other memories, often far pleasanter, but our remembered sense of smell is often the most vivid prompt to memory.
Not just the
but rain, white

(c) C J Heyworth
A poem which changed life utterly for me is the when-published untitled short observation by William Carlos Williams nowadays often referred to as The Red Wheelbarrow.
It and the two words That vase at the close of Philip Larkin's Home Is So Sad turned me away from the dense undergrowth of so much British poetry studied in schools for chiefly examination purposes and towards simplicity and the significance of close observation.
is different for each meandering
but arises unbidden though there
must be a prompt a spring a welling-
up that begins to trickle down the page
as the current courses down this arm
to fingertips grippimg the pen lightly
but firm enough to make the marks
and trickle a stream to slake again
my thirst.  Wyre ? Ribble ? Mersey ?
Thames ? Rhine ? Danube ? Ganges ?
Amazon - yes immense over life as Amazon.

(c) C J Heyworth
As a uniform, he always wore
the grey ironmonger's coat
immaculately pressed and bore
clipped hair neat as well as a
close shave.

Mr. Cornthwaite (all of us
minions called him only Mr.)
was no "Do It 'Cos I Say So" boss
but with patience would teach
and preach retail folklore:

Cooks' staples stored well inside
our mini-market shop advanced
for its 50s' existence; shelf-stacking
to re-arrange for early use-by at the
front; fast-moving lines checked
hourly if not sooner; trusted staff
becoming the Tasting Squad for
new fresh produce being considered
for supply - The Cornflake (never
uttered in his hearing) circulating
to ensure not only that his ever-clear
commands were reflected in full shelves
but also that staff were coping not
rushed or overwhelmed.

The best Warrant Officer cares
just as much commands as
my de-mobbed Warrant Officer
father used to tell me when I asked.

(c) C J Heyworth
Two pieces of advice I received when much younger have had a huge influence on how I have lived:
Dad's observation that forming people into a team is just as much about care for them as it is about command, and my grammar school headmaster's certainty that our education in his school was intended to turn us into NCOs who actually make the world work satisfactorily.

Stanley Cornthwaite was shop manager of Booth's 1950s' Blackpool mini-market which stretched from the Promenade back to The Strand, and sold far more varieties of the groceries, meats, breads and cakes than many of its competitors.  
Working there during several school holidays when I was a very impressionable 13/14 year-old was my first significant work experience, showed me that I would not go into retail, but was very pleasant and informative for most of the time.
I'm unsurprised that Booth's has grown and grown, and now has several high-quality, medium-size mini-markets across the North West.  It is not at all a Pile'em High & Sell'em Cheap company.
In conversation about
the realities of War
a salient observation
surfaced again and
yet again - that current
creators of film or TV
images favour clean,
so fail the filth test
that for troops and those
who tend them once
bullets & shells have
wrought their harm
scar everywhere with
muck & misery - such
crisp white pinafores
and hair so carefully
coiffeured just never
figured - real warfare
harrows like The Victors
& D-Day scenes which
open Saving Private Ryan
as bloodily as any wound.

(c) C J Heyworth June 2014
During this sort of fallow period
my inventiveness has been
hibernating within for the months
that are beginning to feel endless
where are the fresh shoots ?

Do I need a salvo to stir
the soil so that like poppies
long lying in wait under
too undisturbed soil pop their
red clarion call being vivified ?

Here I chop down pen not *****
and loosen the words waiting the
flowering of fresh inspiration.

There - just a flick of the wrist.

(c) C J Heyworth September 2014
Poulton Library and
Adele & I are here to
share with whoever
arrives some thoughts
concerning War and
Literature.  Linda sets
us up with chairs and
table, and first here is
delightful surprise: Pat
who I taught thirty years
ago - there will be no
need for me to dig a
trench and put on a
jacket bullet-proof
with tin hat on my
head - Philip Larkin
Alun Lewis, Sassoon
and Wilfred Owen
give staunch support
to Jon Stallworthy's
World War One tome
Anthem for Doomed
Youth: Twelve Poets
but doomed not us
this century later.

(c) C J Heyworth June 2014
Through an Arts Council Grant organised locally here on The Fylde Coast by Adele Robinson of Lancashire Dead Good Poets, there is a continuing series of events over the Summer labelled Walking on Wyre, Wyre being the River Wyre which bypasses Poulton at Skippool Creek, and joins the Irish Sea at Fleetwood.
Poulton Library invited us to discuss War Poetry in particular with interested locals.
Pat who I used to teach and her husband Stuart were the welcome first arrivals and were soon joined by three additional members of Poulton Writers Group who were very prepared to join in and and make the discussion flow.  A further husband and wife couple joined us after an hour or so and overall the event proved to be a productive and enjoyable get together.
Once like-minded and amiable folks get together the conversation can gel splendidly.
Thursday morning and I board
the Preston train, a dumpy DMU,
but less of a cattle-truck today.

Over the bridge or beneath
lines to Platform 5 to wait:
Branson's Scarlet Pendolino
will glide in soon bound
for Birmingham - wonder
who I shall meet and share
travelling moments with ?

At the caverns of New Street
I must wend to Moor Street
and a Chilterns train trundling
me south for Warwick's 1,100th.
birthday weekend and 100 years
since trains of Lancashire PALS
cattle-trucked themselves to
Flanders fields never to return.

(c) C J Heyworth June 2014
Warwick Words is the annual literary festival held in two parts, early June and early October, each year in the city of Warwick.
2014 is the 1,100th year that Warwick has been recognised as an English city.
2014 is also the anniversary of the commencement of what my grandmother always referred to as "The Great War".
On Preston station there is a splendid plaque which records the embarkation of thousands of NW soldiers to fight in France and the Low Counries often characterised as Flanders Fields where Remembrance Day poppies grew after the land had been pulverised by incessant shelling.
Lord Kitchener amongst others decided that the most attractive way to recruit soldiers by the thousand was to establish PALS regiments so that men would be fighting alongside their mates; hence PALS regiments.
For the past two hours
this Mac has hypnotised
my gaze to its white screen
and every website has
sentries at the door -
Username ? Password ?
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When did we become so
chary one of another ?  Were
folks so paranoid in the pre-
digital age when existence
had not been magicked into
noughts and ones in Silicon
Valley?  It did not seem so.

(c) C J Heyworth July 2014
The surreal sci-fi novels written by Douglas Adams had a hugely comic character called Marvin The Paranoid Android.
I suspect that the advent of modern technologies and their endless capability to snoop has turned all of us into a generation of Marvins.
School urges us
ever to accumulate
yet what dawns in
maturity is selectivity
not bulk - how I soon
began to seek white
chickens and essence
of red wheelbarrow
glazed with rain.

(c) C J Heyworth July 2014

— The End —