The most recent Leeds Savages writing session had the rather improbable topic of 'Chichester Fortescue'...! Wikipedia informed me that the Right Honorable Mr Fortescue was actually a 19th century politician, but this didn't exact inspire me, so I instead wrote a short poem which is arguably 50% on topic given that it's based on growing up in Chichester.
Unfortunately tonsil troubles meant that I didn't get to hear any of my fellow Savages efforts to tackle the topic, but am hoping that some might have found their way onto the forum at www.leedssavage.com as it never fails to amaze me how such a broad range of works springs out of each topic. There are some truly talented people in the group (definitely not including myself in this category - would instead define myself as 'rusty!') so it's definitely worth checking out the website. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll add it to your favourites....
Now, on to the rhyming.....!
We often felt this was no place to be young
A haven for the blue rinsed but no hotbed of fun
We didn’t care for the long dead Romans
Their renowned walls and their feted gates
All we longed for was a bit of excitement
To travel on roads which were far less straight.
Not a second glance as we danced past the Arundel tomb
Upon which Larkin mused about love
To the choir stalls where we’d gossip and scheme
With little thought for the big man above.
Outside we’d congregate around the Cross
Where for 500 years our forebears had been meeting
Little did we appreciate the yet unrevealed truth
That the freedom of youth would be fleeting.
We’d bemoan the fact that there was nowhere to go
Unless tearooms and charity shops were your style
The nearest nightclub was a tipsy bus ride away
The nearest multiplex many a mile.
Most of us never grew into the ill-fitting
blazers bought to serve 5 years of school
Hitched our skirts bum-cheek high in an attempt to project
The slightest semblance of cool.
And most of our days were idyllic
Though at the time we hadn’t a clue
How precious were happiness, health, the freedom to build
The very foundations of You.
Until dark times taught us that the cards we are dealt
Are not always the ones we’d choose
Reality sets in and childhood is cast
Away like yesterday’s news;
In that time, in that place, in the history we made
We learned that life is built from light and shade.
Being not at all cool at least a decade ago....