John Curtis' 50th
It’s half a ton or two score ten
And takes me back to past times when
We went to Pope Street in our shorts
And sweets not girls were in our thoughts.
Those licorice whirls and sherbet dips
The Wagon Wheels and candy lips.
Recall the faces if not names
Of those who shared our playground games.
The ciggie cards to flick and swop
The lines of chalk across to hop
Conkers held on knotted string
Splitting ’neath a practised swing.
Desks of wood with pots of ink
The morning milk with straw to drink
The niff of greens and shepherd’s lamb
The frog spawn topped with blob of jam
The smell of chalk, of powdered paint
The tables chant and manners quaint.
And then the wait to hear that bell
At four o’clock and run like hell.
Through labelled gates with freedom’s speed
To seek the park and home to lead.
Coronation flag and pen
And Everest climbed by those brave men.
Next the days of club and church
To Midnight Mass from pub to lurch
Our by-pass walks with Anchor fags
Our teenage years and mother nags
Those Marcel Moons and At The Hop
Those Anton parties without stop
With Rosemary and Val and Mick
And Merrydown ‘til I was sick.
The whist and poker, rummy too
With background noise from budgies blue
The Norfolk nights aboard a boat
With local girls to take afloat.
We did most all and yet survive
Surprise, surprise – we’re still alive.