There is nothing we British like more than talking about the weather.
You will definitely get the most out of your Raincoats and Welly Boots this week.
I am writing this on Sunday, unusual for me, I usually write on a Monday morning.
However, we are in the midst of storm Dennis the rain is falling hard and it is unlikely that we will be going anywhere today, so I am making the most of time indoors and catching up on my writing assignments.
On Monday the weather was reasonably mild, it had been raining and there were puddles and mud puddles along the canal where I was walking with my three-year-old grandson. My son when he left him told me he had put his better trainers in the bag so his feet wouldn't get wet and I promised to do my best to keep them clean, my son knew that he wasn't holding out much hope.
As my grandson and I got to the canal path, walking, talking and laughing (he teaches me how to play :) ) we came across our first puddle, quite deep, deep enough to cover his trainers. I looked at him and smiled and said "remember you promised not to jump in the puddles" he had a twinkle in his eye but agreed.
For the rest of the walk, we were headed towards the ducks, gulls, and swans with two bags of bread to throw for them, he avoided the puddles and that made me a little sad.
I got to thinking that I would purchase him a Raincoat and pair of Welly Boots and keep them at ours for when he comes over and wants to jump in puddles. I may even buy a pair for myself, after all, no matter how old you are, why not jump in puddles, it will make you laugh and with laughter comes lightness.
It took my three-year grandson to remind me that the simple things in life often give us the most pleasure, so go ahead buy those Raincoats and Welly Boots and jump, jump, jump.
Raincoats and Welly Boots - the Poem by Jacqueline Mead
Raincoats and Welly Boots.
Go together like
A pantomime story and mother goose.
Raincoats and Welly Boots
Little girls and little boys;
playing in nature's endless supply of toys.
Walking through puddles, almost knee-deep.
Splashing in mud pools, mud covering their feet.
Raincoats and Welly Boots
Wearing Raincoat and Welly Boots
Splashing, laughing not a care in their world
Should be the entitlement of every boy and girl.
Raincoats and Welly Boots
For just 5 minutes
Discard your black shiny shoes and Italian suit
Put on your Raincoat and Welly Boots
Remember when once you were young
Splish, splash, splosh oh what fun
Raincoat and Welly Boots
Poetry Books and Poets I have recently discovered.
Ask my husband he will confirm that I am an avid collector of Poetry Books. I buy mostly Indie Author books but I am like a magpie and if I see something shiny I have to have it. This month so far I have purchased the following books, A Portable Paradise by Roger Robinson and two books by Jason A. Muckley "Seasons of Nature" and "Poems for Warriors". These books have just arrived and I can't give justice to a review of them just yet.
In addition I have stumbled across an old Poet Edward Capern who lived and wrote about nature close to the area I live now, approx 15 miles away. He was born in Tiverton but first moved to Birmingham with his family and then moved back to North Devon working as a Postman in the Barnstaple area. As he had time on his hands waiting for return post, he would write poetry to fill his time. He became known as the Devonshire Postman Poet and was followed by both Charles Dickens and Charles Kingsley. I can only aspire to write nature poetry in the same captivating way. Look him up he is an interesting person.
However today I will end with a review of my favourite book to-date and one which hasn't reached my bookcase yet as it sits on my coffee table waiting for the next time I pick it up for a read.
A Portable Paradise by Roger Robinson
This book was the winner of the 2019 T.S. Eliot Prize and is written by Roger Robinson who is a writer and performer living between Trinidad and London.
The book is a collection of Poetry about the Grenfell Tower disaster, Windrush and life living in Brixton you may think that those subjects would make for dark content but it isn't like that. It is magnificent Roger Robinson takes you with him as you visit the Barber Shop in the Poem "Liver" and the compassion shown to someone they once knew, now wasting away as he waits for a new Liver. It sounds grim but it makes you smile with the love shown towards this man.
Roger Robinson makes you laugh, smile warmly and cry. The Poem in this collection which meant the most to me and that I resonated with the most though, is his most personal Poem about the premature birth of his son, "Prayer". Personally, I have not experienced a premature birth first hand but my son and daughter in law have and now the three year old grandson I talk about at the start of this newsletter is a healthy, laughing, running, can't stop talking three years old and we are extremely grateful for that. Roger Robinsons Poem brought back all the old feelings that as a grandparent myself and my husband went through, I can only imagine they were tenfold a hundredfold even for my son and his wife, who were naturally totally invested in the well being of their 13-week premature baby.
Finally, I dare anyone to read the Grenfell Tower Poems and not be angry and sad at the same time. As Roger describes the scene of husbands, parents, friends, wives, searching for their loved ones in "The Missing" For the Victims of the Grenfell Tower disaster, it brings out feelings of sadness for those left behind and wondering why me? "Haibun for the onlookers" describes onlookers, people sobbing, the thickness of the soot in the air "The Portrait Museum" describing the morning after, posters and pictures tapped to a wall, some not sticking well blown away on the breeze, people knowing that they are looking at the pictures of those that had died.
Finally, BLAME makes you sad and angry, read it for yourself below:
The building burned,
so the council blamed the contractors
who shredded all the papers;
so the contractors blamed
health and safety for passing
all the required tests;
so the prime minister
came, saw and left,
and talked to no one
and shook no one's hand.
Meantime its tenants are left
to grieve in sterile hotels,
with nothing to bury but ash,
and survivors walk like zombies
trying not to look up
at the charred gravestone.
People still cry.
Nobody took the blame.