Tag Archives: school

Men Mowing

As I at lessons sat
In school
(Generally obeying the rule),
I oft did hear,
Sometimes far, at others near,
A sound clear,
That of men mowing,
Knowing where they where going.

On my way home tonight
I had the delight
Of smelling new mown grass,
Which brought to mind
A more settled time
When I at lessons sat
Reading rhyme,
And men were amowing
Knowing where they where going.
Sometimes I almost weep,
When I think on what my country may reap.


Oh sleepy cricket
Where the languid batsman keeps his wicket.
I well recall
The sound of bat on ball.
Wicket after wicket did fall.
Then with one master stroke
A boy the classroom window broke …!

The above is based on my recollection of a game of cricket in which I participated while attending a school for the blind in Liverpool. We used footballs containing ballbearings in order that those with little or no sight could identify where the ball was (cricket balls would have been far too dangerous)!

The Play

Sitting on a bench in the school playground
With children milling all around.
Yes, I remember it as though it was yesterday,
The actors came to perform a play.
Me weak
With a longing only half understood.
Unable to speak
And gawkishly shy,
I would
Where I to address
The girl in the summer dress.

I recollect nought of the play
Yet thoughts of the actresses with me stay.
With age
‘Tis said one becomes a sage.
Different actors perform upon the stage
And now my hair is grey
I pay
To see the players play.
As with the actors of yesterday
They too, will fade away.


The school grounds I pass.
A ball flies through the grass.
The sound of children playing.
I wish you could be staying.
But you went away
Many a day
Do you remember the snow?

I recall
Frost hung on the wall.
Delicate and white
In the sun’s light.
Your passing smile
The ice shimmered on the tree.
Watched by you and me.

The frost did not stay
And melted away
Leaving a blank wall
Yet the icicles I recall
And still the water doth fall
On a winter’s day
Far away.

The Guest – A Guest Post By Victo Dolore

Many thanks to Victo Dolore for the below guest post. If you haven’t already checked out Victo’s blog please do so. She writes with humanity and humour about the medical world and so much more, (https://doctorly.wordpress.com/).



The Guest


The headmaster was standing at the back of the room in his brown suit and brown tie, his arms crossed somberly across his chest. He was a serious man who

never joked, never smiled.


I was nervous just looking at him.


It was my second grade class and it was the end of the school year. My teacher, Ms. White, held a sheaf of those wide ruled tan colored notebook papers

stapled together in her hands, turning each page slowly as she read from the podium at the front of the class.


They were my papers.


It was my story.


I stole another glance around the room. My classmates watched her with rapt attention, eyes growing wider. They were there in the story, I could see it!


There were dwarves and a wizard and a cave filled with treasure and scary monsters that clung to the dark shadows. I knew the secret, though. It was going

to end up with good winning out over evil. Just wait, I smiled to myself.


As she read the last words there was silence. More silence. My heart stood still as the seconds ticked by. Then… everyone clapped, even the somber, frightening

man at the back of the class.


He smiled at me!


I had never been recognized by anyone as being good at anything to that point. My handwriting was always awful. I read aloud too fast. My clothes were

old, worn hand-me-downs. Mathematics was a mystery to me. I was quiet as a mouse, never speaking, always invisible.


And so from that day forward I wrote every chance I could get.


I will never win any literary award. I will never have a huge audience. But when I put pen to paper I find my voice. The magic weaves its way through my

fingers, taking over…


Thus began my love affair with words.

Sir Smasham UP By E. V. Rieu

At school I had a wonderful teacher, Mr Delacruz who, along with my grandfather kindled in me a love of literature. I remember Mr Delacruz’s classroom as being piled high with books, volumes tottered on storeroom shelves. For me, as a small boy entering his classroom was akin to visiting Aladdin’s cave.

I recollect him reading aloud to we children. He even made a recording of several stories and poems for me including Conan Doyle’s The Speckled Band and Alfred Noye’s poem The Highwayman. One poem from which I derived particular pleasure was Sir Smasham UP by E V RIEU, (http://monologues.co.uk/Childrens_Favourites/Smasham_Uppe.htm). For a reason which shall forever remain clouded in mystery, the first few lines of Rieu’s humorous poem popped into my head this morning,

“Good afternoon, Sir Smasham Uppe!
We’re having tea: do take a cup!”

and I determined to look up this childhood favourite. If you have children, grandchildren or are acquainted with children in any way I recommend introducing Rie

New Word

At school I, along with my fellow pupils was encouraged to create a mini dictionary. Each time I discovered an unfamiliar word I would look it up in the dictionary and enter it into my little book. This practice kindled in me a love of words and to this day I still make a habit of looking up unfamiliar ones.

Yesterday I came across the word demythology. Turning to The Fontana Dictionary Of Modern Thought I found the following definition of demythologize, (a meaning for demythology isn’t rendered):

“Demythologize. To confess disbelief in the legends and mythological ideas present in the Bible, while translating the Bible’s message into a religious understanding compatible with modern science and philosophy …”. Yet another word to add to my vocabulary although not one I can envisage utilising any time soon.

Something Lurking

Lurking in the headmaster’s office, the unspeakable punishment which awaited we unruly boys and girls. A thing joked about, part of school mythology but, deep in our subconscious we half believed (feared) that it was real.

I can not recollect, at this distance in time, from whence this fantastical object which aroused such terror mingled with glee in the minds of we children came. Perhaps it was the headmaster himself who first mentioned the existence of the thing. Equally plausibly it may have been one of us children who invented the instrument of punishment in order to strike fear into the hearts of his fellow pupils.

“If you are very bad you will get the …”.

I smile, removed as I am in time from my school days, at the remembrance of the ultimate punishment. No one, to the best of my recollection ever experienced or admitted to having experienced the full force of the headmaster’s displeasure. I among others received the full force of his wrath expressed in tones which brooked no opposition. We stood outside his office not daring to speak for fear of arousing the fearsome power which lurked within.

What was it which inspired such dread? and dread it we did despite our protestations to one another that such a thing could not possibly exist. Was it the swish of the bamboo prior to it bringing out welts on our unhappy legs and arms?

Imagine the most homely of objects, a slipper. Grandfather sitting by the fire in carpet slippers drinking tea or maybe smoking a pipe. Warm red slippers, now there is nothing to alarm one in such a homely sceene. Ah, but wait a moment what if grandfather in a fit of anger at the misbehaviour of his grandchild where to remove one of those homely objects, bend the child over his knee and slipper him? Not such a benign object then.

In our case it was no ordinary slipper we boys and girls feared. It was a slipper of demonic proportions, one possessed of an inner life which would deliver a slippering never to be forgotten by it’s unfortunate recipient. We feared, my dear reader the electric slipper.

Now I have no idea whether the slipper plugged into the mains or whether it was operated by batteries, none the less the demon slipper was the talk of the dormatories, the malign presence, always lurking just out of sight but waiting to wreak a terrible vengeance on anyone who aroused the ire of the headmaster sufficiently.

Did I and my fellow students really believe in the existence of the electric slipper? It was, largely a school myth designed and perpetuated by we boys and girls to add a frisson of excitement to the relatively humdrum existence of school. However I well recall passing by the headmaster’s office as night fell and feeling a shiver at the thought that something terrible might, just possibly be lurking inside.

School Days

Distance blurs memories. A small hut in the school playground. Me, alone listening to the rain. Half content in my solitude but fearing/hoping they will come.

Did I believe that I would be collected by the teachers or was it a clever ruze to get the other pupils to go away, leave me to the rain and solitude?

Never part of the collective whole, the herd of boys and girls. I sought the solitary hut but yet was half in love with the clamour of the playground. To belong, to be part of the happy mass. Drawn to the multitude and yet repelled by it. Wanting to belong but knowing the difference, the chasm which separated us.

Where you happy my peers, shouting and playing in the great playground? I played also, pushing the big metal truck. It stopped suddenly, the sharp edge cut my right shin, the scar is with me still. Yes I played but, try as I might was never truly one of you. Did I want to be? Yes, no, perhaps. I am confused, bemused memories play tricks distance befuddles my recollection of the past.