Auden Got it Wrong

Stop all the clocks, dismantle the sun.
It’s too late for that – she’s already gone.
We should have pressed pause before she died,
We just didn’t know it or else we’d have tried.

Our tears kept on falling as she breathed her last,
Her dreams of the future now locked in our past.
You can pour out the ocean and pack up the moon,
It still doesn’t change things. She was taken too soon.

Let the drums keep on beating; let the piano play on.
She lives in our hearts now and we’ll still sing her song.
Though her laugh’s just a memory like the smile in her eyes,
She lives on forever because love never dies.

Inspired by WH Auden’s “Stop All the Clocks.” In memory of my mom.

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Today the World is Different

The world is a sadder, more silent place now. It has lost a laugh.

It’s lost more than that. It’s lost the beautiful 15 year old girl who first set eyes on the handsome guitarist in a local band.

It’s lost the beautiful bride in her Dickensian gown and bonnet.

It’s lost the wife who took her wedding vows seriously and who loved and cherished and comforted and supported her husband for 45 years.

It’s lost a mother who nursed her son and daughter when they were ill, who provided strength in their darkest times, and who celebrated every one of their successes with them.

It’s lost a mother-in-law who had so much love to give, she opened her arms not just to her children’s husband and wife, but to their extended families as well.

It’s lost a daughter who helped nurse her elderly mother through ill health.

It’s lost a sister who has always looked out for her younger brother.

It has lost a woman who was so selfless that even as she lay in a hospital bed in the last few hours of her life, her thoughts were of family and friends and neighbours who might be worrying about her, and she insisted that texts were sent to reassure them all.

The world has lost all of these things in one special lady – my mom. But the thing I shall miss most is her laugh.

She had an infectious giggle that made everyone else join in, even when they had no idea what was funny. Often she’d be laughing so much she couldn’t explain why. We used to sit up late, joking together, and many’s the time she kept my poor Dad awake, giggling long into the night about things we’d been saying.

I love you Mom. I’m going to miss our girly lunches. I’m going to miss our girly shopping trips. I’m going to miss our long chats. I’m going to miss exchanging random text messages with you. But most of all, I’m going to miss laughing with you.

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Z is for…

Z is for…Zzzzzzz.  You need several hours sleep each night to be able to concentrate properly at school. The time you should go to bed will depend on how old you are and whether it’s a school night or a weekend, but if you are in primary school and going to bed at 11pm every night you are not getting enough sleep.

Talk to your parents or carers, and your teacher, and agree a bedtime that will give you enough sleep to be able to work properly at school. Your family will probably make exceptions for special occasions, but other than that make sure you stick to it.

I hope this A-Z of learning has been useful. I hope that you have seen lots of improvement in your work at school, and I hope your teachers have noticed too.

Related posts: Y is for…  A is for…

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Y is for…

Y is for…You. That’s right.  The A-Z of tips for learning is almost finished so this is a reminder that the only person who can decide whether to try them again is you.

There are lots of people around you to help and support you: your parents or carers, your teachers, your tutor if you have one, but they can’t improve for you. If you want to improve at something, it is you that needs to make the effort.

If you already have that’s great news and you can give yourself a pat on the back. If you haven’t yet, why not read all the information in this A-Z again and then decide to go for it?

Related post: X is for…

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Choose Your Words Carefully

“Parting is such sweet sorrow?”

“Yes – what’s wrong with that?”

“It’s just a bit…well, naff to be honest. What about something like: Parting is like tearing my soul in two. One jagged piece resides within my breast; the other, brighter part remains with you. Each part yearns constantly for the other until those precious moments when we are reunited. Only then is my spirit complete once more.”

“I still like my idea better. It’s more subtle.”

“Oh come on, Will! It’s not subtle. It’s forgettable. Four hundred years from now, nobody is going to be quoting ‘Parting is such sweet sorrow’.”

This post is written for the 100 Word Challenge for Grown Ups.

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The first thing Jack noticed when he awoke was the smell of smoke. The second thing was the daylight streaming through the window. The daylight scared him more. His mouth felt furry, but there would be nothing to drink until he got to the water standpoint, and over-sleeping had cost him a place near the front of the queue.

Carrying his two-litre bottle, his allowance for the day, he joined the back of the line, estimating a three hour wait till his turn came. Clive from three doors down staggered up behind him. “Can you smell the smoke? They reckon the fires are only about 12 miles away now.”

“It’s not the fires that scare me. It’s the people. I heard they closed another two canning factories – not enough water to power them.” Jack nodded towards the line of people snaking round the corner. “If it doesn’t rain soon, they’ll be fighting each other for food and water long before the fires get to us.”

Suddenly two shots rang out from near the front, followed by a high-pitched screaming. It didn’t take long for the news to travel back through the line. “The armed guards shot some kid who was trying to steal water. Drinking straight from the tap – brazen as anything. Serves him right. You can’t just go stealing water.”

“He didn’t understand.” The woman stumbled, almost dropping the child in her arms. “He was thirsty and he just didn’t understand.” She fell to the ground, cradling the limp body, sobbing. “He’s two years old and they shot him for having a drink.”

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X is for…

X is for…eXtra help. Sometimes people need a little extra help to learn this. Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, it can be tricky to learn in a class with 29 other children. This is where private tutors can help. Private tuition is usually for an hour a week, but it can be more or less depending on what your family wants for you. It will probably happen in your own home, where you feel comfortable. It can be short term, just to help you catch up on one or two particular things you missed in school, or longer term if you find lots of things difficult. If you live in north Birmingham you could ask you parents or carers to have a look at my website to see how I could help you.  If you live in other parts of the country I may be able to recommend someone, or if not there is always Google.

Related post: W is for…

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