Summer Verses Poetry Competition

Creating, Baking, Memory Making..

Thinking of you…our friends,
“Until we meet again”
Staying at home to save lives,
In these
Strange times,
..Two metres apart.

No touch, no hugs, no kisses,
No holding hands,
No holidays, no gatherings,
just lots of cancelled plans,
In these
Strange times,
…Two metres apart.

We’ve found new ways of working,
New things to do and try,
Keeping fit with Joe Wicks,
Until the virus passes by.
In these
Strange times,
…Two metres apart.

Fringes too long and unruly,
Our roots are in a mess!
Feeling lonely sometimes,
To support our NHS
In these
Strange times,
…Two metres apart.

Reaching for a medicinal gin,
To help us to de-stress,
Making, baking and creating,
to help the NHS,
In these,
Strange times,
..Two metres apart.

Staying apart is never easy,
We miss our social fun
So until we can meet again,
Keep safe everyone.

Jane Justice

Warwick Gates WI

The Garden

The colour of a rose so clear,
the bees that work so hard,
The scent of love and passion
As we seed and prune so hard

The days we wait for flowers
The time we mow the lawn.
The days we spend together
As we wait for time to crawl.

We are free to go into the world
But do we want to go
Or should we stay and listen
To the birds all on the go.

Helen Horton

Grendon WI

LOCKDOWN

This is the cruelest disease that takes your life
Not in the conventional way but in the stealthiest way
It takes the things you love and your loved ones away
It takes your freedom ad your fun
You exist but in an altered state
Alive but not living.

Suzanne Edkins

Aston Cantlow WI

SOUNDS OF YESTERDAY

Speak to me Cubbington as you do of years that have gone and those anew.
Your Norman Church standing proud it’s arms outstretched it shouts out loud, come in and feel the love inside of people here and now, and those that in the Churchyard lie, their Lasting Love will Never Die.
The wild Pear Tree whose beauty knows two and a half centuries of comings and goings.
The Post Office, Shops and Cottages so rare as I pass by I stand and stare.
I feel the life that they have known and keep forever in their stone.
The Christmas tree the W.I. the park where children play, I walk along the streets and hear the sounds of yesterday.

Lynne Jensen Ballantyne

Cubbington Pear Tree WI

Cargoes (apology to John Masefield)

Dirty British lorry with a mud-caked wheel jack
Rumbling through the Channel in our sad March days
With a cargo of French cheese,
Red wine, black grapes,
Apricots, olive oil, and mayonnaise

Joy Medlock

Bulkington WI

… to the tune of Campdown Races

W.I. Ladies sing this song, Lockdown, lockdown,
Kick that virus out of town, Oh Lockdown, lock-a-down day,
Covid 19 has spoilt our fun, Lockdown, lockdown,
But we’ll be back as soon as we can, Oh Lockdown, lock-a-down day,
Gonna bake our bread
Zoom and telephone too
We’ll plan ahead for meetings soon
WI Ladies will be back
Just you wait and see

Anne Bloxham

Old Milverton WI

Softness of baby petals
Curled around a crown
Of golden honeyed stamens
Cradling the sun-kissed pollen,
Life-giving food for the bees
And stained-glass butterflies,
Filling our Summer days
With gentle wind-borne perfume
Of memories, to be savoured
When starveling Winter steals
The myriad colours
The tender fragranced blooms
Of this most perfect rose.

Barbara Alcock

Snitterfield WI

The roads are quiet
Listen to the birds singing
Our World is healing

(Haiku) 

Elaine Newman

Long Itchington WI

TOGETHER AT CHRISTMAS

Percy pig was two months old
When he met his Turkey mate
“I’d like to go on seeing you
Down by the farmyard gate”
She played it cool, but secretly
Was flattered by the pig
Who followed her around all day
Watching everything she did
The months went by until at last
the farmer came and said
“I’m sorry Percy your time has come
And I must earn some bread”
The Turkey watched him led away
His end was quick, he felt no pain
Yet even though she saw him go
She knew they’d meet again
Then on Christmas morn it came to pass
Not quite as she’d implied
She met Percy in the Aga
As they roasted side by side.

Irene Tudor

Rowington WI

Ode to the “Christmas Party “

Oh dear, now what is there to say?
We’re nearly half way to Christmas Day.
But one big question needs thinking through.
“FELLOW THESPIANS”, any ideas of what we can do?

At “THE PARTY” we are professional and slick.
Our secret is lots of rehearsing, that does the trick.
But it is not without toil and pain
And we give of our best each year again and again.

Now we are all getting older and some find it hard to bend,
Some can remember lines and some pretend.
There are those that can sing and those that just try
And year after year we manage to just get by.

This year is a little bit different so we must all do our best
So be assured “FELLOW MEMBERS” there will be no rest.
It will be “ALRIGHT ON THE NIGHT”, we will muddle through.
Never forget “THE CHRISTMAS PARTY THESPIANS “ are there just for “YOU”.

Chris Lymath

Bishops Itchington WI

Time Is Everything

We’ve got all the time in the world
To make, to cook, to knit
For, to beat this Covid 19
Dosthill WI must do their bit.

We’ve been told we must stay at home
To save us and those we hold dear
To protect our wonderful NHS
The words couldn’t be more clear.

So, we’re filling our time with hobbies
Gardening and doing new things
Some ladies are even deep cleaning!
Painting rainbows and learning to sing.

In The Broom, Fairy Houses are appearing
Over 100, all cheery and bright
Thanks to Sue, Pete, and the children
For creating such a wonderful sight.

On Messenger we’re keeping in touch
Sharing photos, making us smile
VE Day kept us all busy
A nice distraction for a short while.

Each Thursday for our Carers we clap
With our neighbours two metres at bay
We look forward to seeing them close
When this virus has gone away.

Above all, it’s our families and friends
Who we so long for and miss
We wait for the day we’re together
For a cup of tea, a hug and a kiss.

So, until our Prime Minister tells us
We’re through this awful sorrow and pain
We must all stay safe and stay well
To ensure that we all meet again.

 

Julie Ward

Dosthill WI

Bygone. Days

As I sat at my table one morning
Watching the birds having fun,
I was minded of many a year back
When my own grown up children were young.

They’d play in the garden with gusto
With only a saucepan and spoon,
Or a box that was big enough to sit in A pretend rocket to get to the moon

No worries furrowed they’re faces
No fears of the future or past,
Only sure that they’re world was their oyster And the sunny days would, of course, last.

Now they’re grown and all have families
With worries and ups and downs too,
And I’m saddened that their once happy childhood Has become at one with the real world so soon.

But everything goes in a cycle
First the good, then the bad, then the good, For we need to cherish each moment And live out each day as we should.

So now I’m watching my grandkids
As they run up and down having fun
Pretending a box is a rocket
For I’m their besotted grand mum.

 

Jackie Johnson

Long Marston WI

Springtime 2020

We will remember the spring of 2020

When an invisible threat to the world that we live in
Changed life as we know it.
Stay at home, protect the NHS, save lives.
No more trips to the pub, the theatre or to football games,
Only leave the house for essential shopping,
To collect a prescription or to exercise.

When the death toll rose as we approached the peak
NHS staff in crisis put their own lives at risk.
Families grieved for their loved ones,
No goodbyes, no last cuddle,
No weddings or christenings,
Heartbreak for so many as lockdown took hold.

They will remember the spring of 2020

Painted rainbows and working from home
PE with Joe Wicks and home schooling too.
Zoom meetings and birthdays celebrated alone,
For nurses, carers, doctors and all key workers,
The battle rages on.
We salute you and will remember you.

I will remember the spring of 2020

I hear the birds in the trees, see hares racing
And shy deer tip toeing out of the woods.
Now cygnets bob on the river but still no river boats,
No cars on the roads,
No planes in the sky,
Building sites silenced, in the battle to survive.

Enjoying a takeaway coffee and sitting in the park,
The pace of life has slowed down
And as restrictions slowly ease a new normal emerges.
I am dreaming of holidays and far flung places,
But most of all of hugging my elderly mum
Who has been patiently waiting for this moment to come

Ruth Price

Broom WI

LOCKDOWN IN STOCKTON

Broad beans, runner beans, any type but we want seeds!
Plain flour, GF flour, anything to suit our needs
Books, games, paint for sheds
Someone take this camping bed
Blow up pools for children’s’ fun
Chairs for basking in the sun
Sheds and cupboards full of space
It’s Stockton’s lockdown market place!

 

 

Alwyn Farren

Stockton WI

To Coronavirus

What are you, dancing on droplets?
Are you a harbinger of worse to come?
Were you always waiting in the wings?
You are leaving us worried, fearful and numb.
You don’t deserve a posh name like COVID 19.
When all you do is put us in quarantine.
Why should all our lives come to a halt?
You are the enemy. It’s your fault.
We’ll fight back as we always do.
The world, once again will look like new.

 

 

 

Ann Moorse

Snitterfield WI

Too Good To Waste

Why are cats so fussy?
Their mummies try their best.
They buy the food they think they’ll like.
But it’s wasted like the rest.

When chatting with my felines.
I never speak in haste.
I calmly tell them; once again,
this food’s too good to waste.

I need to know which you prefer, Jelly, gravy, dried?
I ask them several times a day; I like to know I’ve tried.
Sachets are most useful they don’t have too much in.
But, goat and warthog flavour Comes only in a tin.

Getting them to eat it
Really proves a slog,
So once again it happens,
I feed it to the dog.

The dog is really grateful,
He’s developed quite a taste
For daily, rejected cat food
That’s far too good to waste.

 

 

 

Libby Foster

Earlsdon WI

VILLAGE IN LOCKDOWN

What happened to our Village life
The things we used to do?

First of all the Springtime Show
The ‘Ford’ to share it too –
A truly joyful sign
That winter may be done
(And many prizes to be won!)
Then the Summer sound of cricket
As the batsman strikes the ball
The dreaded cries of Howzat
Before the Umpire’s call.
Tennis goin g on
At the courts behind the hall
And Open Day a Summer Way
To socialize
With the ‘Club’ connecting all.
To be followed by the Flower Show
Something there for everyone.
Classes for the children
Preserves and cakes galore.
The most amazing vegetables
And blooms of every sort.
All are out for tea and cake
The gooiest on the stall!
With September came the All Sorts Sale
Bargains there for all.
Then the Autumn Season
At the Village Hall
Always something new and tickets going round.
Remembrance in November
The Last Post bugles sound
And December’s Old Folks Lunch
Followed by the Winter Ball.
Carol Service at the end
Hopefully before the snow.
Then the village hunkered down
Til Spring breeze began to blow.
There were many other things we did
I’ve mentioned but a few
Anglo Italian, Bridge Club
And, of course, the W.I. too

But none of this has taken place
Since the lockdown call.
We took it all for granted
The fun and games and banter
With all the friends we knew.

So, amidst the many losses
Have there been some compensating gains?
No traffic noise nor aeroplanes
The blue, blue sky above
And TIME to walk our lovely lanes
Listen to the birdsong
Pause at verges full of flowers
Bluebells, campion, buttercups,
And daisies, ready for their chains.
Then, what about the people,
They haven’t gone away
All our friends and neighbours
Have been helping out each day
Some have done our shopping
Or given us a ring
Others checking everyone
To see whatever they could bring.
So, we may have lost the pattern
Of the way things always were
But the Village is the people
Who li ve here, and show they care.

And this has been the greatest gain,
The one to to take away.
When life goes back to normal
As it surely will one day.

.

 

 

 

Val Morton

Shrewley & Rowington WI

REMEMBER

When this pandemic is finally over
and life returns to normal
Lets remember what nature taught us
and not how life was so awful.

The walks along deserted streets
devoid of motors rush and tear
To hear again the songbirds trill
the stillness, quiet and clean fresh air

To walk along forgotten byways
to stretch our legs or get on bikes
Getting off commuters treadmill
whilst remembering childish hikes

Noticing nature in all its glory, in
our gardens, parks and spaces green
Overnight unfold, replenish and blossom
in places forgotten or never seen.

How good it would be if we remember
this power of nature when we
Are released again, to run unthinking
Busy about our lives, happy to be free

Just one change, just one small thing,
one less flight each year would do
Leave the car at home and walk or cycle
once a week, or maybe two.

Reuse, recycle, grow all that you can
leave room in your garden for more than just man
Remember the songbirds, and solid green earth
Give nature some room to rewild and rebirth

.

 

 

 

Liz Donovan

Stockton WI

LOCKDOWN

So, write a Lockdown poem? I haven’t got the time
I’ve got a Zoom at 3 o’clock, a Quiz at half past nine.
Banana bread mark thirty-four is baking as we speak
Not made a single one before, but now it’s twice a week

I’ve dusted off that jigsaw (with one thousand~fifty bits)
I’ve YouTubed how to knit a scarf, a jumper and some mitts
The garden’s looking gorgeous, for once no weed in sight
We’re not sure what we’ve pulled up, so I hope we’ve done it right

I sat down at the piano once, to brush up on my Handel
But two bars in I realised I’d be missing all the scandal….
…..By which I mean, most obviously, the daily morning telly
How ever did I last this long without dear Lorraine Kelly?

I’ve rearranged the cupboards, chucked out all food past it’s date
Including one small pot of cloves from 1988.
My roots are grey, my nails are plain, my fringe down to my chin
I found some weird mascara ~ that went straight into the bin

I’ve categorised our photos, sorting each in different piles
I’ve thrown away the duplicates, the landscapes and false smiles
My Spanish conversation isn’t what it used to be
But I find it soon improves after my second G and T

We sometimes meet up down our street albeit still alfresco
We keep apart, but chat and share deliveries from Tesco
And then at almost 8 o’clock to really do what’s best
We grab a pot, a wooden spoon and clap hard with the rest

But though we’re all in Lockdown still and cannot hug or kiss
I’ll look back at this time and think of all the things I’d miss

.

 

 

 

Jill Price

Kineton WI

Lockdown

We miss our families being about
Telling us how they spend their day
We miss our family lunches out
And jazz on some Sunday’s

We watch the birds eat bread and nuts
While we enjoy our tea
They love to swim and splash about
We’ve so much life to see

We love to hear the telephone ring
And now we’ve learnt to Zoom
Our gardens all look neat and gay
With flowers in full bloom

The crossword sometimes baffle us
But most days it’s complete
We’ve scrabble and our jig saws too
And family tree all neat

We chat across the hedge with friends
While drinking tea and wine
We’re so relaxed and having fun
So staying home is fine.

 

.

 

 

 

Diane Emberton

Stockton WI

Lock up

I am locked up in my house with no parole in site,
With a little Shetland pony to talk to in my plight,
I never see my neighbour, he is too far away,
And the other sides a business and working all the day.
My ride on mower will not start and no one wants to come
So I walk behind old faithful, the exercise is fun.

I have tried very hard on my computer to shop,
But before I have completed, I find I have lost my slot.
So how do you tell your children to shop for special needs
Like tenner lady pads for when you cough and sneeze.
And to get those special fancies you like at eighty years old,
There are things I have not admitted to and never told.

The children said we could have a quiz on zoom
And all talk together sitting in our living rooms,
My granddaughter talked me through how to get on this
But by the time I had got on it I had missed the blooming quiz.
Now the new thing the bubble, which one do I choose ?
I think I will stay in prison until I run out of boose.

 

 

.

 

 

 

Pat Oldham

Shrewley WI

Its all quiet in the garden
The gentle hum of the Bees in the sage
As I sit reading in the sun
And the rustle of the turning page
I look around but he is not there

Usually he creeps up behind me
Looking to see what there is to eat
Surely there is some food
He was always getting under my feet
I look around but he is not there

It all quiet in the garden
He had been with me for many years
Although I’m sad
I will not shed many tears
The Tortoise will be very spoilt
Living with my Granddaughter

 

.

 

 

 

Sarah Mortimer

Bishops Itchington WI

Fly
I got up at 6 o’clock
Went down and made a cup of tea.
The blackbird was singing to me
I threw out some biscuits.
Cautious,light footed and daintily
He came and grabbed his crumbs.
Boy, i wished i could fly the winds with you
To escape these lockdown walls.

 

 

.

 

 

 

Julie Sanders

Grendon WI

Write me a poem for the 19th of June, Josie did say,
We have plenty of time through the Covid filled days,
Our activities are limited in so many ways,
With click and collect shopping the veg can so vary,
We wearing masks and gloves makes us look all scary,
So put pen to paper and lets spend some time
Stop sorting stuff for the charity, just write me a rhyme,
There’s no shopping to do to distract from the task
With the sports centre closed, how long will it last
So sit still for a moment with pen poised – not in vain
Just write me a poem for Gwyneth and Jane.

 

 

.

 

 

 

Judy Burdett

Hillmorton Paddox

Once upon a time in Lockdown

Once upon a time in Lockdown.
Enjoy the glories, wandering to giddy heights.
Daily exercise is the order of the day
An hour plus, every morning for three months.
When will it end? Will it end?

I love it. The daily walking.
Time to think. Memories of childhood walks.
Amongst wild flowers, red campion, foxgloves.
Off I traipse. What’s the weather?
Wet. A rainproof jacket is necessary.
Rough, blustery winds destroy umbrellas.

I love it. The daily walking.
Shoes sturdy and ready for puddles, wet grass.
I’m desperate to escape. They come too close.
Will the dog walkers, families, runners, couples, move?
Respect should be observed at all times. Is it?

I love it. The daily walking.
Be kind and distance, two metres, no less?
They must all distance. Why don’t they care?
I’m frightened. I don’t want the virus.
When will it end? The longed for grandchildren’s cuddles.
Grandchildren’s weekly tea visits again. I miss them.

I love it. The daily walking.
People – girls, boys, ladies, men, maybe with dogs,
Dogs, sometimes three, large and hairy,
Two small and yappy, snarly at my feet.
One pretty, exquisitely well behaved specimen.
I really love dogs, at a distance, in Lockdown.

I love it. The daily walking.
Another morning sunny, hot, fierce sun,
Open toed, sequined sandals, inappropriate for walking.
A floppy wide-brimmed sun hat is worn, sun lotion for protection.
The burning hot sun piercing my freckles.

I love it. The daily walking.
Do I really want to brave the hordes?
To move away when nobody notices me.
Don’t they realise I might have the virus?
I’m strolling away, up the lush green, grassy hill,
Why don’t you people move away from me?

I love it. The daily walking.
That young man thoughtfully crosses the path.
I want to praise him for his consideration. He is kind.
Faith returns to my heart. A lovely smiling fella.
Success, at last I stand on top of the hill,
Views for miles across lush green meadows.

I love it. The daily walking
It’s quiet. Listen. Sunday.
No rumble of cars on the motorway.
Only birds twittering, blackbirds,
Sparrows. Look a small red-breasted robin.
It owns its perch on the highest, tallest tv. aerial.
What has the future in store?

I love it. The daily walking.
Nobody around. I am accustomed to a lonesome walk.
Do I mind? Not anymore. I love my own company.
Tall trees overhang pathways, cows moo in distant fields.
A daily habit, quiet walks, getting to knowing myself.
In future I won’t rush around, browsing, shopping.

I love it. The daily walking.
A revelation. I enjoy my own company.
In future there will be more time to think.
It’s great to ruminate issues, family, friends, global.
Knowledge – there are two sides to each problem.
Be kind, listen to problems, and help people.
I love it. My daily walking.

 

 

.

 

 

 

Kate Harris

Deerings Regent Daytime WI

SWALLOWS SOAR

(A Villanelle)

Swallows soar in a sky cyan blue.
Watching in wonder from my hospital bed
in my soul I soar with swallows too.

I dream of the days I spent with you
when words of love were all we said
and swallows soared in a sky clear blue.

Our world comprised just us two
with dreams of our future still ahead
In my soul I soar with swallows too.

No worries or care clouded our view
no nights of fear, full of dread
swallows soared in a sky azure blue.

Gazing through my window now all I can do
but I’m alive and might have been dead
in my soul I soar with swallows too.

The depth of our love just grew and grew
and succours me still in my hospital bed
I see swallows soar in a sky cyan blue
in my soul I soar with swallows too.

Marion Fewkes

Wolston WI

From the Stripe Scrubbery

I am a scrubber
A Warwickshire Scrubber
A scrubber with sewing skills
A scrubber with a super sewing machine
A scrubber with an overlocker
A scrubber with pattern, fabric, pins and scissors
A scrubber who answered the call to sew scrubs for the NHS
Scrubs – tops and trousers (with pockets)
Scrubs of many colours and sizes
Each stitch made with love, with hope, with a prayer
I am a happy scrubber

Carol Stripe

Kineton WI

No work
No bread
No W.I.
No Club
No friends
No cherry pie
No church
No bingo
No flour or soap
Toilet paper
You’ve got no hope

Anne Taylor

Grendon WI

During Coronavirus 2020

Is it Monday today? Each day’s the same
Perhaps I will tackle a new type of game, I’ve played Solitaire and quizzes galore, Maybe I’ll find something new to explore.
I’ll look in that cupboard, it’s long overdue And find a few things that I can review?
To tidy, ‘get rid’ of those tired looking clothes Or maybe just sort them and see how it goes!
The shed needs a clear, perhaps I’ll do that, But maybe tomorrow, after having a chat With that friend or relation I’ve promised to call, There’s really no time to manage it all !!

Time slips by, March, April, now May
As we listen to experts and do what they say, Figures and data, charts and the ‘R’, Targets achieved, whether near or afar.
I’ve cleaned, I’ve baked and the garden’s been weeded Many shoots are appearing from plants I have seeded, But wait ……..a dear little rabbit appears on the scene So sweet and so tiny, you know what I mean …………
He discovers my plants are there for the nibbling For breakfast and dinner…please DON’T tell your siblings!!
Peter, young rabbit, somewhere else you must find For now I have netted the crops, so be kind And find some new acres in verdant green fields Where nobody worries about munching their yields.

Cindy Pilgrim

Bilton WI

A Model Women’s Institute

We are the very model of a modern Women’s Institute,
We welcome all, the young, the old, the visitor and new recruit.
We sing Jerusalem in tune and Margaret keeps us true to pitch.
Agendas always make the meetings run without a hitch.
There’s raffle tickets, Home and Country, coffee, tea and trading stall,
Theatre trips and speakers, competitions in the Village Hall.
But being serious once again I think there’s things you ought to know
Like where is County House and what’s a VCO.

And so we wish good health and luck to all our members gathered here.
If you’ve enjoyed the meetings then I hope you will be back next year.
Committee’s done its hardest, done its best to please and hope it suits
The very model members of our modern Women’s Institute.

We’ve speakers on all topics such as costume, teeth and dentistry,
Racing, cheese and yoghurt, paper quilling, village history,
Holidays, corn dollies, chocs and old embroidery
And Simpsons brought us lots and lots and lots and lots of fish to see.
But County gives us more to do, so please make sure that you do come
To croquet, quizzes, bowls and darts and tournaments in badminton.
But if your mind’s more serious and you feel you really could do more –
Propose a resolution and speak up in the Albert Hall.

And so we wish good health and luck to all our members gathered here.
If you’ve enjoyed the meetings then I hope you will be back next year.
Committee’s done its hardest, done its best to please and hope it suits
The very model members of our modern Women’s Institute.

Judy Klinkenberg

Wellesbourne WI

Behind our own gate

‘It is with regret’ the email had read
No more meetings the government said
The virus is deadly wrote Secretary of State
So here we must stay behind our own gate

We had speakers booked on topics galore
And WFWI news would be brought to the fore
All this was cancelled and here we must wait
Phoning old friends from behind our own gate.

On Twitter we hear time has not been wasted
The woodwork is painted the wallpaper pasted
We don’t want the virus to be our friends fate
So, to save lives we stay behind our own gate.

The members have cooked, baked and sewn scrubs
We have weeded the garden and planted the tubs
But now we all eagerly yearn for the date
When we can go to a meeting beyond our own gate

Margaret Kember

Temple Grafton WI

How time does fly in the WI.

How time does fly
Being in the WI.
Outings and trips,
And lunches with chips.
Craft evenings galore,
Fine speakers in store.
Open gardens for all,
Selling plants from a stall.
Lots of goodies to bake,
Cups of tea and a cake.
Fine brains enter quizzes,
They’re memory whizzes.
Gin evening’s ahead,
That’s enough said.
Visiting friends who are ill,
Offering the ‘kindness pill.’
Finding friends where they’ve sat,
Having time for a chat.
Supporting good causes,
Giving and receiving applauses.
How time does fly,
Being in the WI.

Christine Jones

Dosthill WI

THE SACK

I crept into the woodshed
And hid from mum and dad
I always used to do this
On days when I felt sad

I don’t think that they loved me
Or they would go and buy
A puppy or a pony
And then I wouldn’t cry

It didn’t matter that our garden
Was really very small
And a puppy or a pony
Would never do at all

I had read a lovely story
About a lady who was a vet
And when she was a little girl
She used to “mend” her pet

I knew that if I had one
I could do the same
But I would need a puppy or a pony
To play this lovely game

So on this day that I was hiding
Inside the warm woodshed
I decided that what I should do
Was run away instead

I would need to take a lot of food
And lots of clothes to wear
And I would need my baby doll
And things to wash my hair

And as I sat there planning
I forgot to sniff and cry
I might do this thing tomorrow
I decided, by and by

I could hear my mother calling me
From just outside the shed
I thought I was in trouble
But my mother smiled instead

She wondered if I was hungry
And might I be coming back
Because she had something to show me
That was inside a lumpy sack

I crept out from my hiding place
To look inside the sack
And looking right back at me
Was something smooth and black

A kitten, small and fluffy
He looked so cute and lonely
Much better, I could see at once,
Than a puppy or a pony.

Carole Rhodes

Ladbroke & Deppers Bridge WI

Enlightenment

Silence with birdsong;
Clean air, clear skies; this is now.
A new dawn beckons.

(Haiku)

Jill Wilson

Hampton Lucy & Charlecote WI

How much time is too much ?

We’ve got all the time in the world, to do what we like,
We can paint a picture, we can ride a bike, We can bake a cake or write a letter,
The simplest of things to make us feel better,
Having the time to crochet or knit,
We can even go out and stretch our legs for a bit!

But we can no longer meet out friends, no hugs,
No lipstick on wine glasses or coffee shop mugs,
Everyone longing to give loved ones a squeeze,
Unable to do so with this ruthless disease,
FaceTime and Zoom have replaced our social life,
With every news report bringing trouble and strife.

Community’s now though are stronger than ever,
Clapping for care workers and cheering together,
Never before have birds out sang the planes,
Real things like hope, love and friendship remain,
Think of the time we will all be together,
A memory so powerful that I’ll treasure forever.

Lynda Carol Douglas

Dosthill WI

Post lady Julia’s Birthday 

In these strange times of isolation
How I wonder will this day unfold.
I think a nice cup of tea may solve
And by opening my cards bring elation.
So this I do as I watch the clock,
For I must phone and have my say-
Why’s the post left piled up each day?
Then be ready with my front door locked.
To run down the stairs to the entrance hall,
Pick up the post left in a bundle
Sort it to floors and have a grumble,
“It is my Birthday” I say after all.
I run to the top floor deliver the mail
Back down to the first floor to do the same.
At last it is finished, to rest is my aim,
To sit on the sofa and open my mail.
But my doorbell is ringing so off again.
I rush down the stairs and there is my son
A chocolate egg and Brandy – Oh what fun!
Then it’s back to the Flat and maybe then-
But no rest for me the phone is ringing
Pick up to hear “Happy Birthday to you”
What a joy to laugh and talk anew.
At last I sit and open my cards, thinking
What a day this has been and the sun’s shining.
I’ve been in the garden at a ‘distance’ from friends.
For though we are in isolation, we tend
To try to be cheerful and hope for the ending.

Julia Sheppard

Bridgetown WI

“Lockdown Locks”

We won’t think twice, whatever the price, to get our “lockdown” locks done.
The grey skies are lifting, we want grey hairs shifting and get out and have some fun.
Professionals are waiting with their combs and scissors, and we can bin those home dye kits.
We will perch on the chair surrounded by hair, as they say on TV “you’re worth it”.

Helen Martin

Purl Jam WI

Jam and Jerusalem?!

There’s more to us than jam and Jerusalem
Said she as she led the litter pickers
There’s more to us than jam and Jerusalem
Said she as she made time for a neighbour
There’s more to us than jam and Jerusalem
Said she as she promoted the smear test
There’s more to us than jam and Jerusalem
Said she as she taught others how to darn
There’s more to us than jam and Jerusalem
Said she as she packed bags at the food bank
There’s more to us than jam and Jerusalem
Said she as she campaigned for more midwives
There’s more to us than jam and Jerusalem
Said she as she supported the refuge
There’s more to us than jam and Jerusalem
Said she as she sowed pollen rich flowers
There’s more to us than jam and Jerusalem
Said she as she stopped flying and driving
There’s more to us than jam and Jerusalem
Said she as she joined the cell register
There’s more to us than jam and Jerusalem
Said she as she paid for a bus ticket
There’s more to us than jam and Jerusalem
Said she as she fought for care not prison
There’s more to us than jam and Jerusalem
Said she as she reported a nail bar
There’s more to us than jam and Jerusalem
Said she as she spoke about mental health
There’s more to us than jam and Jerusalem
Said she as she strove for equality
There’s more to us, the WI!

Sue Gill

Stockton WI

While locked up and fed up with deep cleaning,
For a change I started a little DIY painting.
Now armed with my brush and a can of Dulux,
I began my extreme Spring Cleaning.
First a mark upon the stairs,
Next those stains on the landing ceiling.
To get behind the new TV,
I had to carefully kneel, not a pretty sight to see.
I painted, I touched, I titivated, and I cleaned,
How happy was I with my emulsion so spotlessly clean.
Whilst washing my brush in warm soapy suds,
My thoughts began a dreaming.
Now what have I started and where will it end?
4 chairs and the dining table my friend.
A mirror, a tray, the biscuit tin hooray,
So many colours along the way.
A big brush, a small one for those fiddly bits,
Froggy tape for very straight lines if it fits.
Two days later, feeling very fresh and proud,
I went to the Co-op for a cake cause I’m allowed.
As I went to pay at the self-checkout,
Would you believe it would not work so I had to shout?
Help over here if you don’t mind,
And I put up my hand and beckoned over the assistant, who looked very kind.
With my arm up in the air I gave out a shriek of despair,
For under arm was paint by numbers there.
Oh I felt such alarm.
How could I have done this to arm?
Go out dressed up but looking a clout.
With embarrassment swirling all about,
I left the shop with my arms laid flat have no doubt.
I waddled back to my car,
Then opened the door looking round and a far.
The short drive home was worrying enough,
Had I got paint on my nose with my big brush?
As I ran in the house to look in the mirror,
Thank goodness my face was spotlessly clear.
Now with a cuppa in my hand,
And my house looking rather grand.
I sat at the table with a slump in the chair,
What was that, under there?
The cake, now flat and squashed in a splat,
Oh well at least I won’t get fat.
Maybe tomorrow I’ll try something new,
Like grouting the bath and mastic the Loo.
So off to search on Youtube TV,
For ideas and demos of how this can be.
And what do they say is the first thing to do?
Cover your arms and nose when working around the Loo!

Wendy Burrows

Stockton WI

My covid Spring Diary 2020

March:
Fever, aching,
tossing, turning.
Could it be the virus? Or something I ate?
Can’t taste anything, can’t smell anything,
no tests available so must isolate.
I’m thankful for my helpful husband,
our beautiful garden,
the clear blue skies,
the dancing daffodils,
and the quiet.

April:
Sudoku, jigsaws,
knitting, reading,
watching musicals and plays.
WhatsApp calling, Zooming, Skyping:
connecting with family, enlivening my days.
Finally! Allowed out to enjoy the spring weather,
searching for sticky buds,
bluebells and blossom,
hearing the first cuckoo
amidst the quiet.

May:
Hot days, no rain.
Early mornings, listening to bird song,
marvelling at the rose-tinted sky.
Smelling anew the fragrance of roses,
and watching bright butterflies fluttering by.
Lazy afternoons, relaxing in the hammock,
wondering at the abundance of nature.
But I can see vapour trails in the sky now,
and can hear more cars.
The world is no longer quiet.

Mary Preston

Broom WI

A Budding Poet

We went to Lionel Blair’s house, my two left feet and me,
He said he’d teach me how to dance, the lessons were quite free.

First we did the tango, we really were quite good,
But when it came to waltzing, my legs were made of wood.

Afterwards we did the jive, but no matter how I tried,
Those two left feet just wouldn’t move, they felt like they were tied.

The quickstep was the next to come, but we ended on the floor,
So Lionel said, “Let’s have some tea, I can’t dance any more.”

After trifles, buns and cream cakes and sandwiches galore,
There were salads, fruit and ice cream and jellies by the score.

We had baked beans really but it didn’t rhyme.

 

 

Pam Miller

Southam WI

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Treasures of Friendship

We have friends in our childhood
And friends in our teens,
Friends when we’re older
And some inbetweens.
We have friends that are special
Who all through the years
Share in our joys
And console in our tears.
And chapter by chapter
As life’s story unfolds
Our friendship is there
For whatever it holds.
There are stories to tell
When we’re set in our ways
Of times that we shared
In the good old days.
Like a beautiful sunset,
Or waves on the sea
The gift of true friendship
Is precious to me.

Eldie Russell

Dunchurch & Thurlaston WI

SPRING 2020

Love & Sunshine in abundance,
Over-riding fears encompassing the darkness hours,
Coming together on a Thursday, brought
Knowledge & security, that as a Nation
Death will be cheated, thanks to
Our outstanding Carer’s
Willingly facing challenges,
No-one ever planned for.

Words are hard to find,
In ample recognition of the many
Little selfless acts, so
Liberally distributed amongst fellow Humankind.

Success may come slowly, but
Understanding & patience
Comes to those, who want to
Claim our Lifestyles back;
Eventually and for
Eternity – we will
Defy the odds!!!

Wendy Smith

Tysoe WI

It’s a poem about all kinds of things,
I couldn’t make up my mind.
I knew I should think of something
And now I’m running behind.

It’s this “unprecedented” situation
Which throws us all awry
Subjects “funny”, “Covid“, “holidays“,
Whichever shall I try?

Covid has put a stop to all,
You cannot call it funny.
Holidays cannot now be taken
With all our precious money.

Those few three subjects will have to do,
I can think of little more
These sixteen lines are all I have
Just four lines times by four.

 

 

Betty Harris

Long Itchington WI

Summer Dreams

I was far away from you, beside a foreign sea.
Every day, missing you, the sea made love to me.
Warm gentle foam tickled my toes then
waves grew stronger, covered me longer,
surging, submerging, completely losing me.
I grew tired of sea caresses, so alone and blue,
so I dried my salt-wet tresses and hurried home to you.

 

 

Sheila Barclay

Barford WI

Lockdown Shopping Woes 
I’ll get me some nice cushioned loo-roll,
I’ll get me some pasta, and rice,
I’ll get me some tins of tomatoes
And a bottle of milk would be nice.

I’ll get me some bags of strong flour
I’m planning to make my own bread,
I’ll get me some lentils and all things long-life,
My menus are stored in my head.

Oh why are the shelves all a-vacant?
Where are the things on my list?
Forget it! I’ll get three bottles of sherry
And wend my way home and get ******.

 

 

Jenny Pickering

Bishops Itchington WI

With apologies to John Masefield

I must go down into town again,
To the shops, where I love to browse,
And all I ask is a mask and gloves
And two metres please, no rows.
And the rails call and the dresses are there,
All waiting for me to buy,
But I am going nowhere soon,
And those clothes I cannot try.

I must go down into town again
To the coiffure salon I love
But that won’t be very soon, I hear,
Though in fear we’d all wear gloves.
My tresses are wild and a windy day
Would set my locks a-flying,
My hair has grown so fast and strong
That it makes me feel like crying!

I must go into town again
To the shops which sell good shoes,
To look anew at what I need
To shake off Covid blues.
‘Tis sad to be stuck in the house all day,
Whatever age, young or old,
To shrink back from friends two metres away,
And do what we are told.

 

 

Diane Sinclair

Barford WI

THE ‘ROMANCE’ OF TRAVEL (Thoughts thro lockdown)

There will be high fever and frenzy in the foyers, Hotel staff in anticipation and keen readiness will stand Eager & hopeful, of stirling or euros, after their lockdown, Both acceptable when pressed into a long awaited hand THE BRITS ARE DUE

Transfer coaches will eject cases and dishevelled travellers, Fraught and flight-weary, hardly feeling at their best, But who next day, will be enthusiastic, energetic revellers ‘Boogying on down’ and ‘karaokeing’ with the rest.
There will be pouty, sticky children in high dudgeon, And parents with patience wearing thin, Wheelchairs, pushchairs and gaudy inflatables, Golf clubs, and bags full of airport purchased gin.
THE BRITS WILL HAVE LANDED

Myriad coloured towels will be spread at rose day break On sun beds, militarily fanned out a round the pool, Now the Brits are out of the European Union, That past compulsory towel laying tradition May need readdressing, as per the old rule!
Straight out into the sun disrobing will occur, Revealing torsos of varying architecture and sizes, Unashamedly unleashing all manner of ripples and bulges That normally our climatic attire disguises.
THE BRITS WILL BE EXPOSED

Like a shoal of small fishes, head to tail on a griddle, Splayed out, liberally massaged or sprayed with sun oil, Regularly rotated they‘ll sizzle, brown and crispen, Others, sore reddened, when touched, will recoil.
Tummies flat or bulbous, like sleeping Dugons they’ll bask Chests exposed, breasts white or pink, or black as night, Some shelved high, some aiming low or just plain akimbo, And querying ‘Was last years beach wear really this tight?
THE BRITS WILL BE REVEALING

Young things will flutter by, pelmet skirted, heels high, Likely nubile studs and waiters instantly alert.
But the young won’t have it all their own way Middle-aged ladies are not averse to flirt.
The nightclubbing, late dancing and sparring is fun, Holiday romances though passionate may be short, And to many, like volleyball, tennis and golf They may mean no more than a game and good sport THE BRITS WILL BE PLAYFUL

Hotel kitchens disperse daily aromas of inventive cuisine.
Chefs days are exacting, hot and long,
The hours they spend preparing is reduced to minutes In guest appreciation. Then all’s gone!
With prior intention to waistline watching forgotten, Food will be plate piled, like the Millennium Dome Fancy delights, sweet meats, gateaux and gelato digested Heralding cries of ‘ No matter! We’ll diet when we reach home!
THE BRITS WILL BE RESIGNED

With packing for departure day fast approaching Suitcase zips will be in danger of great strain, With tacky mementos stuffed into each available crevice Immigration will benefit from the excess financial gain!
Brown bodies in sandals, shorts and T’ shirts Could arrive to a rainy, dismal UK, Oblivious of the cold and their goose pimples, Determined to show evidence of having been away.
Conveyor belts will circulate their bulging luggage, Heaved off, and with luck all present and fully intact.
Happy travellers are home. Normal existence resumed.
AND Holiday brochures will be waiting on the mat!
THE BRITS ARE BACK AND …….PLANNING!

 

 

Shirley Lowe

Rowington WI

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The Warwickshire spring (2020)

The hum of the bumble bee collecting its first nectar.
The nod of the daffodils as they follow the sun.
The red and white chestnuts with flowers erect.
The geese and their signets grazing the grass.

The green haze of the hedge rows as the leaf buds unfold.
The blue bells carpeting the floor of the ancient woods.
The woodpecker drumming on the old oak trees.
The unmistakeable double cry of the cuckoos call.

The smell of the cowslip as the breeze waves their stems.
The smell of the first rain on the sun dried earth.
The sound of the disc roller in fields far away.
The sound of bleeting as the lambs call their mums.

The shrill whistle of a robin as it welcomes the morning.
The cackle of a blackbird as it’s worm hunt is disturbed.
The drone of the mowers as they hone the grass.
The new mums and their calves grazing the field.

The warmth of the sun on your face and your arms.
The feeling that spring has finally sprung.
The clonk back to reality as the hour ends.
The thoughts we have for those affected.
The realisation of how fortunate we are.

 

 

Maggie Pink

Kenilworth WI