Monday, 18 April 2016

31 poems

All in a name

My grampa was Geoffrey
his father called him John
the two girls were labelled
Bill and Joe
not their christened names

Patricia [mum] was always Paddy
Penelope was Ann
Joan was once Eileen
my granny's given name
Ceinwen was their nanny
and Rose the family cook

Uncle Fred was very Welsh
speech lilting up and down
 his youngest daughter Sian
Ann's son Paul became a Chris
and Joyce's Julian, Titus
Though Joyce who names
her garden birds
has her own name for Titus

My Dad grew up in Whitley Bay
where cook becomes a coook
his accent stronger on the phone
so book becomes a boook

On Dad's side there was Aggie
and Gladys who was Guy
Dora became Dolly
and an Ellie and a Lois
Dad's mum  to us
was always Nana

Living on a farm
all the calves were given names
family names included
Dad recognized each one

Florence, blue a favourite
Her namesake drank whisky
and smoked like a trooper
Molly beget Dolly
Honey,mother to Sugar and Sweetie
Belinda to Miranda
these last our childhood dolls

We had dogs, Tim and Tip
Guinea pigs, Patch and Squeaky
and a succession of cats
Mathilda, the first was
a grumpy, fluffy totoiseshell
then Tibby and Blackie
White ears and Black ears
owing more to description
than imagination
Last Tiger and Lily

Our Budgie Peter
though unable to talk
had the strange gift
of barking like the dogs

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