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An English Life

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An English Life

An English Life

It is midnight the Milk train pulls into darnall station
No ordinary passengers here
Steelworkers with their families
Loaded with fishing tackle, sandwiches and maggots
The Fossdyke in Lincolnshire, their destination
The fare Half a crown for happiness

The long walk in the dark,
A stairway to heaven in my memory
Dawn on the Foss and a cup of tea,
Fever in the blood, the first eel of the day
Our cane rods lovingly handed down from father to son.

I remember, Pheasants looking for mates
Shrieking their songs of love
Swans begging for scraps
Their majestic white necks, nodding,
 A greeting into their kingdom
 
The mist off the water revealing families,
being together, laughing, enjoying what was free.
For tomorrow the grime returns.
A conversation with a stranger then out of a bag,
The rabbits, sometimes hare, sometimes pheasant.
Onions and carrots, shortly follow
The smell, forever linked with summer
The scent of my childhood

Summers were hotter then;
At times I drank the Foss, for I was nature’s child
Being clean was never a priority,
Catching fish was, never killed always returned,
Our Covenant with Nature.
For it is the sport that we honour. 

And with age comes reflection,
Poor I may have been, my education neglected
But I have a Doctorate in nature, for I have seen the dawn
Away from the factories, where the pheasant runs free
And where the swan reins king, I was part of them.
It was here I learned what family was, 
To share, my last drink of pop with my neighbour,
 A simple life, maybe, but what a life

For I have seen what Constable painted
Lived every word that Wordsworth wrote
Understood the Fragrance of the Flowers
 And revelled in the poets dream.
I loved every colour, every sound, every scent,
 And every fish I ever caught.
 
Father and mother are gone now,
Never complained about their Station in life, 
For they found paradise on the Foss.

They left me the seeds to their heaven
And the key to my happiness
A key forged in a mans worth
To open up my soul to the beauty
That surrounds us all.

Dawn on the Foss, was my church
 My soul was cleansed here
And my heart was shaped here
My memories kept safe here
And the Foss fever still resides here
I will die on some bank side, one day
Rod in hand, and I will be content,
So Tight lines my fellow Anglers.



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  1. Date: 11/7/2011 1:28:00 PM
    Congratulations on your win in P.D.'s "Holiday Poem"contest Steven. Love, Carol

  1. Date: 11/5/2011 9:55:00 PM
    STEVEN ;-) CONGRATULATIONS, thank you for supporting my contest... I'm just dropping by to give everyone a warm congratulations and gratitude from the heart. ((you may get this comment more than once, if you entered more than one of my contest this week)) Have a wonderful weekend, GOD BLESS,..p.d.

  1. Date: 11/5/2011 5:30:00 PM
    congrats steven on an excellent win for this amazing holiday poetry for the contest luv..

  1. Date: 11/5/2011 9:26:00 AM
    Congrats, Steve. Awesome story. Nice going. Kudos. Best to you and yours. Ralph

  1. Date: 9/11/2011 11:02:00 PM
    I don't think you became a poet Steven, I think you were born one. Your poem is written with a master poet's pen and I bow my head to your talent. I loved this enchanted walk with nature and the honoring of your parents. My favorite stanza "They left me the seeds to their heaven And the key to my happiness A key forged in a mans worth To open up my soul to the beauty That surrounds us all." Magnificent!

  1. Date: 8/29/2011 5:12:00 PM
    You speak of anglers and rods, but I see the simple life and serenity passionately portrayed in your work. It would be nice to live and write with such passion.

  1. Date: 8/17/2011 5:45:00 PM
    this fills the senses, steve.. a warm display of personal reflections.. wonderful feel.:) huggs, nette

  1. Date: 8/16/2011 11:02:00 PM
    I liked this down home verse so much, just had to read again. Keep them coming Steven! Love,, Elizabeth

  1. Date: 8/16/2011 4:02:00 AM
    Although I fish for food, I see something far deeper in your poem, Steven. The covenant you had with nature will remain with you for the rest of your days. Those who have a "doctorate" in nature are truly blessed with wisdom and a tie to eternal life. Beautifully written. You have described your life (a good life led well) so eloquently here. Blessings and love, Carolyn

  1. Date: 8/15/2011 5:44:00 PM
    an in depth detailed piece of poetry steven on the occurrences of living in your part of the World luv.. an elegant array of lines ..visual imagery..too..thankxx for your review of my The Precipice for the contest luv..

  1. Date: 8/14/2011 6:15:00 PM
    I can tell you had a happy childhood with wonderful memories and these things can sustain during the difficulties when we become adults. I love the way you describe the simple things that brought such delight Steven. As always your verse gives much to consider brings a smile. Love, Elizabeth

  1. Date: 8/14/2011 3:07:00 PM
    You are a true poet Steven Cooke. Masterfully written and I enjoyed it much.