On The Tow Path

Wonder what happened?

Woman super-hero down!

Help her! Help? Help who?

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n.b. I saw this plastic doll’s head trodden into the towpath on Sunday.

Was it there because a local girl ripped the head off the toy and screamed in frustration, “I don’t need to take my 21st Century rôle models from some bloke drawing for DC Comics in 1941!”? I wonder.

(With respect to Joseph Heller, writer of Catch 22: “Help him! Help who? Help the bombardier. I am the bombardier. Then help him. Help the radio-gunner.”).

CLP 24/03/2019

On the March

Where has this month gone?

I’ve not got used to writing

Twenty Nineteen yet!

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p.s. What is this cruel trick? I have so many things still to do and this is my 60th year. Time to catch my breath, learn to breathe and slow things down. If I do, will my remaining days pass more slowly? I promise to take more care of each one.

CLP 22/03/2019

On the Floor

At last, the last dance

Fumbled requests, mute replies

Music slow, hearts frantic

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n.b. Remember the youth club, or school disco? Nightmare scenario. Boys on one side of the hall, girls dancing around handbags. Then, with just a few minutes before the lights would go up, the DJ would put on something like “Nights in White Satin” by The Moody Blues and the excitement or embarrassment of asking for a dance, being asked to dance and possibly having a slow dance would begin, leaving the wallflowers and perpetually tongue-tied watching on in a confusion of emotions ranging from relief to frustration.

CLP 17/03/2019

On Oxygen

Solo traveller

Smiles with stranger in the queue

Alone no longer

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CLP 16/03/2019

On the Field

Man versus Nature

Blades of steel v. blades of grass

Cricket’s the winner

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n.b. The smell of cut grass releases various plant chemicals into the air. They signal the start of the English cricket season, even though there are weeks to the first coin toss and the first delivery.

In the picture above the light green patch of grass is the hallowed turf of a cricket square.

CLP 14/03/2019

On the Money

Coin found in the mouth

Ferry man gets his fare dues

No one goes Scot free.

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n.b. You pay your money and take your choice. No going back. Time travels in one direction.

CLP 13/03/2019

On The Terraces

Now replaced by seats

Vast expanses of concrete

Filled with hopeful faces

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p.s. I wrote this before travelling to London to stand in the away end to see Pompey lose 2-1 to Charlton Athletic at The Valley, (another club and ground with some great stories to tell). 

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CLP 08/03/2019

On The Ocean Wave

Tsunami builds

Subterranean power

Always surfaces

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CLP 07/03/2019

On Fear

Something unusual

Slowly pulses within unseen

Does The End start here?

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CLP 05/03/2019

On The Front Page

Through now hollow eyes

Looking down on Walsall lives

No questions asked.

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Founded in 1868 The Walsall Observer lived a predatory existance absorbing competitors throughout its 122 year existance, until it was culled itself by its eventual and ultimate owner, Trinity Mirror. This is a conglomerate of newspaper titles, which now calls itself Reach plc that is based at Canary Wharf in London’s revived docklands.

Observer is a passive role. Would this regional title have lived longer had it been given a more lively title? Does nominative determinism apply in business?

Walsall FC formerly Walsall Town Swifts FC currently struggle in the depths of League One, (the 3rd Division). Would they be doing better had the club not dropped the surname in 1896? The club is certainly long established enough to be amongst the high flyers, like their neighbours, Wolverhampton Wanderers, (The Wolves). I sense it has remained a modest competitor because of its more modest branding. Follow the Wolves, or follow the Swifts? It’s easier keep up with a wolf, I suppose.

Had this town newspaper been called The Walsall Inquisition, would people of power been more wary of the Fourth Estate in this community? Would the newspaper been a ferocious watchdog for the people’s interests?

The sandstone used to build this imposing facade was glowing in the last light of late afternoon, but the building looked most sad. Its bold headline never more apt, as life went on below and the old Observer watched on without comment.

CLP 04/03/2019