Spring is here

I’ve just been amazed at how rapidly
the last few weeks have flown by – like
tiny little birds not like
Canadian geese
who are like the B52s
of the Avian world.
I have more bird poop
on my car recently.
Spring is here.

(Email from my boyfriend. Submitted by Debby Thompson)

Dear Professor,

I have been feeling dizzy and lightheaded this morning
and want to let you know
that I will not be making it to class.

I am currently in bed with a migraine.
Unfortunately, they happen from time to time.

I’m really not feeling well again today
so I think I have to miss class again.

I’m in a class right now where I’ll be taking a test,
but I’ve been sick for a while (coughing, throat,
headache, etc.) and don’t know if I’ll have the energy
to sit in a classroom for three hours.

I’m currently experiencing bad wheelchair problems
that will, as of now, render me unable to get to class tomorrow.

Just reminding you that I am missing class Thursday
to attend the SUNY Model EU summit
in New York City as a part of the Press Corps.

I had to miss today’s journalism class due to heart palpitations.

Please excuse my absence tomorrow,
a family friend committed suicide and I rushed home.

I will get the notes from a classmate.

E-mails received from students during spring and fall 2013 semesters at SUNY New Paltz. Submitted by Howie Good.

London Scarves

I began to notice scarves.
Chaps with scarves

There’s the bohemian scarf
worn by elegant chaps
in the environs around Buckingham Palace
and among thespians,
a rather loose-tied scarf
loping down from the neck,
showing an elegant

There’s the university flick,
which has one leg dangling
down the front
and a single wind
around the throat
and the other leg dangling
down the back – a little bit
Dr Who
and a little bit juvenile lead.

There’s the good boy scarf,
neatly folded in front
and tucked in tight to protect
the throat and the chest,
no doubt with a Vicks rub

There’s the scarf which is wound
round and round
the throat, the throttling scarf,
or I don’t care if anybody knows
I’m wearing a scarf but I really need to
keep warm

Then there’s that funny Italian double loop
which arrived a couple of years ago,
where you shove both ends
through the loop
and bring it round your throat
and flash it off
in rather an unnecessarily
vain way,
although, it has to be confessed
(I’m afraid I’ve tried it once or twice),
is very warm.

From the BBC Radio 4 In Our Time newsletter from Melvyn Bragg, emailed 31 January 2013. Submitted by Lesley Ingram.

Top Floor, Duke William

An upstairs room
with red and gold chairs,
military pictures,
a dumb waiter.
A corner bar
with interesting lights-
An intriguing locked cabinet.
And below,
a framed photograph
of the queen.

Taken from an update email sent to a poetry group after a meeting on 21st October in the Duke of William pub, Matlock. ‘And’ has been added to line 8. Submitted by Margaret.

In Other News

I always go
for the beheading option
when I’ve calmed down
that it’s not possible
in a free market economy

Anyway how are you?

I’ve been writing
even tweeted the National Gallery

All I need now is a job,
a relationship
and a cup of tea (not
in that order)

Taken from a friend’s email, 26 September 2012. Some words have been omitted between ‘National Gallery’ and ‘All I need’. Submitted by Ailsa Holland.

Found Shaunette

When I first drove
the Carlisle/ Wiltshire commute,
I’d do it southbound non-stop.

It was four hours or so
and I was keen to get home.

But, when they started the road-works,
it drew out and I started making stops:
two usually (Tebay and one other).

Some mornings I’d leave Swindon at 4AM
and head north for a 9AM meeting.

I have not been south of Manchester since July.

An email from a friend, Shaunette, sent in June 2011. Submitted by Martin.


Our chimney fell into the garage 

and killed a bike if it had have fallen
the other way it would have killed Daisy
and Rod. Happy fathers day I guess. 

We were wide awake when the quake struck. 

The house started to shake gently at first
then more violently so standing or walking 

was out of the question. It seemed to last 
for ever.
The noise was like a freight train
but no coming and going just right next to you
all the time. We gathered the kids up
and made a run for the ground floor 

and the kitchen table. Rod was scared for most
of the day; very jittery, very angry.

I walked around on Saturday like a zombie. 

Seemed that everything was the same yet different. 

Small cracks in pavement, large ones near the river 

which had changed from clear to milk. 

We went upstairs and a corner of the house
is down a slope from the hall. The foundations 

slipped into the liquefied sand underneath. 

The house is safe, luckily.

Out of an email from a friend who lives in Christchurch, New Zealand, following the earthquake that struck there in the early hours of Saturday 4 September 2010. Submitted by Gabriel Smy.