Saturday, October 23, 2021

Thoughts while paddling


They say that life came from the sea

But what is that to you and me

Queueing for our Three for Two

At Sainsbury's or Lidl's who

Prefer us all to concentrate

On today's bargains while we wait

For Greenland's ice to melt away

Happy that the strawberries stay

Fresh at all times of the year

And hot-cross buns won't disappear

Like the polar bears and pandas

Captured on TV and cameras

But near extinction in the wild

Which creeps up on us, and the child

Today will never see the earth

As it existed at our birth.

Oh, why can we not pause and think

As we stand upon the brink

Of desolation, that this land

So tiny, vulnerable and

All we have, can be saved

If we want it and are brave

Enough to put the planet first

Not our egos or the cursed

Desire for money, growth and power;

Then there may be hope for all

And this tide's insistent call

To know our place among the rest

Will find us humans at our best. 


Brian Hick 26.9.09

©copyright 2021 S Hick

I made some notes as we walked down to Bidford

Assuming I could use them later on

As ideas for a poem, but the hoard

Of images refused to mesh, not one

Would flow with any ease into the other

And I was left with an amorphous pile

Each of potential interest but together

Worth far less and with no sense of style.


A herd of bullocks up against a hedge

Cutting off our way back to the river;

A shattered cross; some early tiles; an edge

Of quiet water where a heron quivers.


           So there - nothing came of it -ah well,

           At least we had a good lunch at The Bell. 

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Primary outing


Children on the  platform

Waiting for the train

Going on an outing,

Let's hope it doesn't rain.


Keep behind the yellow line

Hold on to teacher's hand;

No, this isn't our train,

No there won't be sand.


We're going off to Battle

But you don't have to fight

There's lots of things to see and do;

Yes, we'll be back by night.


George is making faces

Henry wants a wee

Oscar's bored already,

Is it time for tea?


Lucy & Emma are giggling

Alice is picking her nose.

Oh look, the train is coming

All of you, back in your rows.


When I was a boy in Primary

We went up to the Tower;

All the way by bumpy coach

For hours and hours and hours.


But oh the excitement

Of running across the sward

Of Tower Green - the armour

And the executioner's sword!


Excitement is contagious

And though the train is late

Just briefly I am eight again

And growing up can wait.


Brian Hick

©copyright S Hick 2021

 National Poetry Day


Is there an obligation on National Poetry Day

To write something important, to have something to say,

For, after all, the nation is looking on in awe

Waiting for the bon mot or even something more

Profound or original, a satire on the way

That Poetry is so ignored it needs to have a day

For media types to all pretend that it is quite important

And has some value in our lives, even when it oughtn't

Because, while it is useful for advertising things

For jingles on the radio or supermarket rings

It's never really serious, and if it is of course

We won't understand a word of what the poet taught!

So all hail unto today and all its doggerel rhymes,

Tomorrow it can be forgotten, until the Christmas chimes

Need sentimental verses to fill out the Christmas cards

And all the verbal diarrhoea goes on for yards and yards

Until, with thanks for New Year, the recycling vans appear

To trash the lot, and bring relief - if only till next year.


Brian Hick

©copyright 2021 S Hick

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

 Thoughts of Home While Abroad


The wine is good, the food is better

              We sit out in the Square

              Privileged and civilised

With more than we could dare


Have dreamed of fifty years ago

              When holidaying here

              We scratched together our small change

For sandwiches and beer.


So why, when everything we have

              Enables us to roam

              Do we sit here disconsolate

And want to be back home?


Brian Hick

©copyright 2021 S Hick



No matter how

Good the music

More than thirty

Minutes on this 

Pew and I lose

The will to live.


Brian Hick


Leaving Toulouse


And so we're sitting here for the last time.


Two years' ago we sat on this same seat;

You drew the fountain while I tried to meet

Your skill and deftness in my bumbling rhyme.


If we were to die as we fly home

Then everything today would be a 'last'

And while I warm to melancholic thoughts

 Approaching death is more than just a vast

plunge into the void, for I must face

The hourly thought that time is running out

And actions planned are probable no more

With mind grown feebler and the bodies rout.


Goudouli ponders, but pigeons do not care;

They drink, fly off and melt into the air.


Brian Hick 2009

©copyright 2021 S Hick


Anticipation of the Toulouse Organ Festival where Brian was invited as music critic.


Thirteenth of October and the sun

Tries to pretend that it's still summer

But the trees know

It's nearly Holloween

And leaves trace their way

Towards the bonfires and the smoke.


Two pigeons sit upon the bathroom roof

Waiting for the bird-seed to appear

Warding off a magpie

Who tries to muscle in

And steal it all.


Our fox sneaks to the back door

For the bits and pieces we put out

Each night

Covered by the dark

And unclipped hedge.


Behind the window I could fool

Myself that all is warm and bright

But in the garden's leaf strewn rout

I breathe the coming autumn night.


Four o'clock? What time of day is that?

And why are we up long before the birds

Have even scratched themselves or next door's cat

Has slunk back home to eat - oh, it's absurd.


Of course we've got to fly off to Toulouse.

While easyjet still goes there twice a day

We have to get up early or we lose

A morning's shopping before we make our way

To the first concert at the Augustins

-a contest between Sweelinck and John Bull -

And only then d we seem to begin

To feel awake and ready for the pull

            Of lunch in Place St Georges and - joy at last -

            The glory of a simple French repas.


Brian Hick

©copyright 2021 S Hick

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Archer Hick


I've just found out he fought at Agincourt.

His name, barely deciphered on a list,

Shows that a Hick was with the King in France,

Under Duke Humphrey; but that he ixists

Is all we're like to know. His other names

Are smudged, so where he lived or what he did

Before he joined the archers into France

Must remain for us, forever hid.


So why do I feel drawn towards this man

Who might have been an ancestor of mine

When so many others of our name

Have come and gone unnoticed in the span

Of years between? Could it be a sign

That somewhere in the future lies my fame?


Brian Hick 2009

© copyright 2021 S Hick