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Books & Poetry

Poem: My Old School

Books & Poetry

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This week’s Poet’s Corner contributor Russ Talbot believes poetry is about noticing things, and that it can enrich people’s lives – it’s for everyone, he says, and not just other poets.

My Old School
(after George Mackay Brown)

I went to Plympton because that’s what y’ did.

Mrs Marriot drove a sports car
900 years old and mad as a beach towel in Antarctica.
She once said to us: “Haven’t I got nice legs?” as she crossed them.
We were too stunned to throw up.

Mr Orchard nurtured artists
Sandals and so mellow. Call me “Chris”.
I was never that cool.

Mr Elson, sideburned and moustachioed,
ran off with one of his students.
17 she was and he was ancient. At least 24.

Miss Penna waved a conductor’s baton
Her wand magically transforming chaos
into a performance each year.

Marshall was the sports star.
A “leader” they sat him next to me so his maturity would rub off.
He put thumbtacks on my seat.

Outside the library
Impossible girls with tanned legs
Stretched beyond my imagination.

Miss Coates liked me
I liked her back
In an entirely different way.

A bully, thick and wide,
Bunched and muscled as a thundercloud
Darkled the sky till the day he saw fire in my eyes.

We left Plympton for the stars.
I don’t know what became
Of Mr and Mrs Elson.

Russ Talbot was a Poet’s Corner’s original contributor in its Independent Weekly print days. Russ says he discovered the pleasures of writing both poetry and prose after suffering an acquired brain injury in 1996 as the result of a brain tumour. With prior degrees in computing and management, he has also studed creative communication.

Readers’ original and unpublished poems up to 30 lines can be emailed, with postal address, to A poetry book will be awarded to each contributor.



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