Poem: Around the Village Green


I wrote the following poem a few months back for a competition. Its theme was Looking Back. It had to be about early childhood memories. I didn’t win. I was interested to note that the winner came from Northumberland, as I do and the poet was not much older than me, so I could relate to her poem. It was about a clippy mat, the Northumbrian name for a rag rug. Hers was much better than mine. It was more like a short story.  I tried for a nursery rhyme rhythm in mine and it’s based on memories of where I lived during the first years of my life. It was an odd environment, so I was an odd child, as you will see.

Around the Village Green

I

Here’s where I skipped round the village green

ten little toenails lacquered red

poppy bright red circling the dead

tracing the names graved on the stone

I’m skipping hopping and jumping

II

Here’s where I whirled round the sweetie jars

ten tiny fingertips lollipop red

walnut whips and ginger pops

sherbert dips and gobstoppers – stop!

I’m whirling popping and dipping

III

Here’s where I lay with my ringlets in rags

two little hands crossed on my chest

in the room where I played with the lately passed

that gave on the yard with the coffins stacked

I’m lying, playing at dying

IV

Here’s where I jigged down the churchyard path

two tiny feet a-tapping a rhyme

in time with Uncle Ted’s digging

and his tellings of tales of talking skulls

I’m a-screaming, a-howling a-running

V

Here’s where I danced on prancing bones

Two little eyes at the abattoir rails

on men in caps swinging smelly pails

of gluey hooves and horses’ tails

I’m dancing, slipping and sliding

VI

Around the green the ghosts hold hands

pitmen-soldier-boys smithie and postie

sweetie shop man (hanged on a may tree)

as I play on the green at laying to rest

in shoe box coffins my dog and my doll

weaving buttercup wreaths for make-believe tombs

(c) Ann Isik 2013

 

 

About AnnIsikArts

Artist/Writer, Proofreader/Copy Editor
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