Poems from archive Witham Staple issues 

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The Witham Staple is mandated to reflect what is happening in our Lincolnshire community (i.e. the villages of Aubourn, Bassingham, Carlton le Moorland, Norton Disney, Stapleford, Thurlby, Witham St Hughs and the rural areas surrounding these villages).

The poems below come from archive Witham Staple articles:

The Oxen


Willow Warbler


Summer is y-cumen


Lament for a Feathered Friend

Home Thoughts from Abroad

Look. Look again - and watch



Nature mine  

Thoughts of Love 

I expect to pass through this world but once

Homage To The Delivery Boy/Girl

October's Party

Mothering Sunday

Staff Room Mystery


I Saw a Fairy

Thank You for Sending Back My Son

Bassingham Primary School Year 6 Selection

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The Oxen 

Christmas Eve, and twelve of the clock.

"Now they are all on their knees," 

An elder said as we sat in a flock 

By the embers in fireside ease. 


We pictured the meek mild creatures where 

They dwelt in their strawy pen,

Nor did it occur to one of us there

To doubt they were kneeling then.


So fair a fancy few would weave

In these years! Yet, I feel,

If someone said on Christmas Eve,

"Come; see the oxen kneel" 


"In the lonely barton by yonder coomb 

Our childhood used to know," 

I should go with him in the gloom, 

Hoping it might be so. 

Thomas Hardy [WS Dec 2004]

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Grown-ups say things like:

Speak up

Don’t talk with your mouth full

Don’t stare

Don’t point

Don’t pick your nose

Sit up

Say please


Less noise


Shut the door behind you

Don’t drag your feet

Haven’t you got a hankie?

Take your hands out of your pockets

Pull your socks up

Stand up straight

Say thank you

Don’t interrupt

No one thinks you’re funny

Take your elbows off the table!


Can’t you make your own mind up about anything?

Michael Rosen [WS July 2004]

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Willow Warbler

I am sorry for my iron grip

I only wanted to free you

Ii was not my intention

To take your measurements

And weight and put a ring

On your matchstick leg

I can only quickly and with awe

Note your delicate beak and eye

The soft greens and yellows

Of your clothing — Regretfully

I see you fly out of my life

And join a select company

Who have lain in my hand

And taken away all my breath

Frank Hoare [WS April 2004]

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As forest trees do wither

When golden autumn’s here

So may I likewise perish

Without fear.

A better season cometh

When forest trees am green

And may I likewise flourish

In God’s eternal spring.

As birds migrate in winter

To some far distant clime

So may I take wing and fly

From this world’s snow and rime.

Birds of passage lend the wing

To fly to where the angels sing.

As gay and light-winged butterflies

Burst from their dark confine

So may the Lord lend wings to me

To pierce through mine

That I who long in bondage lay

May freedom find on judgement day.

by Axel Munthe

[This poem was submitted by Frank Hoare – WS Feb 2004]

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Summer is y-cumen in,

Loudé sing, cuckoo!

Groweth seed and bloweth meed

And spring’th the woodé now -

Sing, cuckoo!

Anon [WS Jun 2003]


‘An ounce of love is worth a pound of knowledge’

John Wesley, Founder of Methodism

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Walking here, walking there

Walking simply everywhere

Walking instead of having a ride

Walking in the countryside

Walking on a sponsored walk

Walking so that you can talk Walking safely specially at night

Walking when it’s early light

Walking up the stairs each day

Walking whilst you choose the way

Walking the way to health is great

Walking speeds up your heart rate

Walking here, walking there

Walking simply everywhere

[WS May 2003]

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Lament for a Feathered Friend - Phasianus colchicus

With his exotic resplendent air

unfailing courtesy he did bear,

granting us meetings dawn and eve.

This princeling honoured me,

I who tended to his need,

in return for pure water and seed

we provided from our rich store.

His sweet life terminated by fiat —no transport of delight was that!

Our only hope’s that, somewhere hidden,

his mate sits close on eggs eleven...

Frank Hoare

[WS May 2003]

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Oh, to be in England

Now that April’s there,

And whoever wakes in England

Sees, some morning, unaware

That the lowest boughs and the brushwood sheaf

Round the elm-tree bole are in tiny leaf;

While the chaffinch sings on the orchard bough

In England - now!

Home Thoughts from Abroad - Robert Browning

[WS April 2003]

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Look. Look again - and watch...

Ivy flowers are September suns that rise from glossy leaves. Their yellow spokes like ‘lion clocks make landing fists for bees.


Leaves so bright that light returns like silvered glass to watching eye, and robin ‘s whispered autumn song lisps above the curling frond, and wren flicks home behind the shine to shadowed pool of thickened vine.

from Ivy by Jenny Gladstone  [WS Sep 2002]

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When the mellow rays of sunshine light the eastern sky,

Birds and insects greet the dawn, as on the wing they fly.

No longer sings the blackbird upon the garden tree.

The robin now is with us, how friendly he can be!


The honeysuckle in the lane perfumes the country air.

Misty sloes adorn the boughs, bright red berries glare.

The autumn leaves are gently falling from the trees,

Scattering the ground, caught in the breeze.


Oh, how we miss the wayside flowers that once adorned our land!

Why do we sacrifice these gifts? Lord, help us understand.

I’ve thought of them so often, the green lane far away,

The posies we used to gather, it seems but yesterday.


The sun sinks swiftly in the golden west.

Creatures great and small prepare for nightly rest.

Silence pervades the dim and cool night air

Waiting for the dawn that heralds morning fair.

Phyllis M Bates [WS Oct 2001]

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Month of leaves,

Month of roses;

Gardens full

Of dainty posies;

Skies of blue,

Hedgerows gay,

Meadows sweet

With the new-mown hay.


Flowery banks,

A-drone with bees,

Dreaming cattle

Under trees:

Song-birds pipe

A merry tune —This is summer,

This is June!

Irene F. Pawsey [WS June 2001]

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Nature mine

I wandered alone by the river today,

So quiet and peaceful this sweet month of May.

The willows still dipped their branches so low,

Forget-me-nots tiny swayed head to and fro’.


The dragonfly settling on thin water reed,

Fish darting past, so great was their speed,

Water rat nibbling at grass bright and green,

He dives under water, no more to be seen.


The lark sings her praises in blue heaven above

And in yonder great elm, the coo of the dove.

Wild flowers in meadow, every colour and hue,

Kissed by the mist and the morning dew.


So, look at the flowers, my friends, I pray,

Before man destroys, by use of the spray.

Do we marvel enough at this nature so fine

Or just take for granted God’s gifts so divine?

Phyllis M Bates [WS May 2001]

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Thoughts of Love …

True love is a durable fire 

In the mind ever burning; 

Never sick, never old, never dead, 

From itself never turning. 

by: Sir Walter Raleigh [WS Feb 2006]

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I expect to pass through this world but once; 

any good thing therefore that I can do or any kindness; 

that I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now; 

let me not defer or neglect it, 

for I shall not pass this way again! 

By: Stephen Grellet [WS Mar 2006]

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Homage To The Delivery Boy/Girl

From the path it's through the gate,
Open, shut, shut and open
Up the drive and round the car
Down the path and over planters
To the door the summit reached
What? Where? Why?
How can such a simple thing
Be bought in numerous guises,
On the gate or on the wall
Sometimes even at the door.
Some quite high or some quite low.
In the middle or just for show,
All taped up or nailed down
Quite not sure but none at all,
What does the postman do!
Dogs are barking at the gate,
Growling, snarling, drooling, great!
Not quite sure you almost cry!
But he wouldn't really hurt a fly.
Despite all that delivering great
I've learnt something new,
after a nosey and a gossip with you!

Produced from comments by an anonymous reader
The Editor. [WS May 2006]

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October's Party

October gave a party; 

The leaves by hundreds came- 

The Chestnuts, Oaks, and Maples, 

And leaves of every name. 

The Sunshine spread a carpet, 

And everything was grand, 

Miss Weather led the dancing, 

Professor Wind the band.

- George Cooper

[WS Oct 2006]

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Mothering Sunday
Mummy, I love you
For all that you do.
I'll kiss you and hug you
'Cause you love me, too.
You feed me and need me
To teach you to play,
So smile 'cause I love you
On this Mother's Day.

[WS Mar 2007]


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Staff Room Mystery

What is in the staff room?
What’s locked behind that door?
I really haven’t got a clue,
I’ve never been there before.


Is it a Jacuzzi where teachers can relax?
Or is it just a study with computers and a fax,
It could be a massage room where they wouldn’t feel so tense,
It could be a place to meditate where everything makes sense.


It could be a gym where they’d work out all break,
Well if that is what is in there then that’s a big mistake,
It could be a big sleeping room where they drift off in their thoughts,
Or it could be a place to exercise like a big tennis court.


It could be a big bar room to let themselves feel free,
It could be a big beach with a Mediterranean sea,
I don’t think that is likely but would be a nice treat,
It could be a big shop filled up with sweets.


So…it could be any of these things,
I’d like to sneak a peek,
Maybe we will be told some time,
I hope it is next week.


Emily Raisen age 12

[WS May 2007]


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SPIDER. By Emily Raisen
Hiding in the shadows,
Beneath the plant pot,
Creeping around,
Hoping no one will spot,
Its woven web,
Of silver lace,
Its crystal chain,
In an unthinkable place,
The thin shimmering silk,
Catching raindrops,
Hiding in the shadows,
Beneath the plant pot.

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I saw a fairy with wings alight

I saw a comet sent down with might

I saw a dove that wasn’t cooing

I saw a cow that wasn’t mooing

I saw a quail swallow a tail

I saw a nail throw up some ale

I saw a nun with an extra bun

I saw a bun with extra fun

I saw the sun in the middle of the night

I saw a girl that saw this with sight.

by Harry Swales (aged 10)

[WS Nov 2007]

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Thank you for sending back my Son.
Tall upright stance and shoulders broad,
Young tender eyes, (oh ready smile)!
Leaping, laughing, living, loving,
All things new!
And then you call.
Thank you for sending back my son.

He marched away to foreign fields
And sun, moon, stars,
Sweet light made dim.
(Dear God – please take care of him).
Long letters, dusk and drowning dreams,
Big outstretched hands, steel strong, all seems
To focus on sturdy limbs
So dear conceived.
Once he believed,
But now, what for?
And so he came home from the war.
(Thank you for sending back my son).

He stares in space now all the day.
He screams at night – no words to say.
His legs are gone – eyes cannot see,
His mind is in eternity.
I hold the medal in my hand,
(I‟m trying hard to understand).
Sharp metal, jagged, carved and cold;
The price for which his life was sold?
“Congratulations” you all said
“The war is won” – How many dead?
Thank you for sending back my Son.
By Vee Emberey

Published on the first anniversary as a “memorial” to her work in Lincolnshire.

Vee was a school teacher and taught in Lincolnshire for over 20 years.

She passed away last year and was buried in Bassingham on 5th October 2008

[WS Oct 2009]

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Bassingham Primary School Year 6 Selection


Silence is the colour of darkness, sad and quiet,
Silence smells of air flowing around a room,
Silence sounds of nothing, dull and boring,
Silence tastes of plain water, old and smelly,
Silence looks like a statue, frozen and still,
Silence reminds me of death shivering down my spine.

By Molly Ripley


Joy is the colour of orange, all jumpy and happy
Joy is the smell of a new toy at Christmas
Joy sounds like a five year old getting sweets
Joy is the taste of a Christmas dinner, all tender and soft 
Joy looks like a boy with a pound buying some chocolate
Joy reminds you of knowing you’re having fish and chips that night!

By Benedict Halloran


Liverpool is a flaming red burning like fire.
Liverpool smells like salt water dripping like rain,
Liverpool sounds like fans cheering and horns going off!
Liverpool tastes like the champagne after we win a match.
Liverpool looks like a dream of a life time, glowing bright and red.
Liverpool reminds me of my dog when she barks when we score!!!

By William Brewer


Silence is the colour of airy white stormed with a splash of dull impolite grey.
Silence is the smell of misty wind dancing in the stormy sky.
Silence is the taste of a rough slimy cold rain to cold to swallow.
Silence is the sound a frosted chill a boys call far away but at the same time it sounds like nothing.
Silence reminds me of a dark never ending hole filled rushed darkness.
By Ellie Hackett



Envy is the sticky green colour of sickness
Envy is the horrible smell of dirty socks
Envy is the terrifying sound of a cat fight
Envy is the sloppy taste of gluey porridge
Envy is the devils look a in Wolves pounding eyes
Envy reminds me of the cake my sister got for her birthday.
By Abigail Churchill


My Favourite Person
My favourite person is my friend,
We’ll be taught together till the end,
We laugh and we cry,
And let sorrow pass by.


As we grow older
And the days get colder,
Our friendship grows closer,
And we’ll stay together forever and ever.


I look up at you as a friend to rely on.
To tell all my secrets and a shoulder to cry on.
You look after me when I am in tears,
Even when I have the biggest fears.


We’ll be together,
Not just forever,
But until
Our days are no more.


I know some day we will move on
And look for the future far beyond,
I know I’ll remember my special friend,
My favourite till the end.

By Charlotte Ripley

[Nov 2009]

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