The manic poet




D E A R  H A R R Y  G R A T I O N


Harry Gration

Sad the nation

Filled us full of great elation

Thinking of him, always smile

All of this I have "on file!"


Bradford hero

Rarely zero!

'Guess he is a "Sporting Nero"?

Always had a funny quip

Energy and lots of zip!


Folk supporting

Fine reporting

He had such a "joyous coating"

Understanding: Jo Cox killed

Always found he was "top-billed"


Gen'ral grieving

World he's leaving

In the power of sport believing

And was honoured by the queen!

'Didn't think it was "his scene"!


Always joking

Fun he's poking

Cricket match, he gets a soaking!

Laughing with Dear Dickie Bird

Lots of giggles people heard!


Hist'ry teaching

Sport "he's preaching"

Ev'ry student he is "reaching"

Leaves the classroom, BBC

Soon we're hearing: "He! He! He!"


"North He's Looking"

Fun he's "cooking"

Rugby League with laughter "clucking"

Up and Under, score a try

'Think of him I heave a sigh!



Trouble brewing?

Words to Brian Clough he's rueing!

'Seventy-Four, Clough "on his way"



Harry Gration

Proud this nation

And he hets a great ovation

Journalist of great repute

All will say: "He was a beaut!" 27.06/2022 xxxx




T O M M Y  F L O C K E T T


Memories of Tommy Flockett

"Guess he wasn't "Bantam's Rocket"?

Full back in my Hall of Fame

Chesterfield too knew his name!


Ferryhill, a birth-place famous?

No, no friends by name of Seamus?

Fine defender, captain proud

'Like to call his name out loud!


Spennymoor, a fine United

Bradford City, fans excited?

Trevor Hockey, Jackson Pete'

Derek Stokes, a special treat!


Bradford City, famous "Valley"

Midland Road with friends so "pally"  (Myself)

Long before that Bradford fire?

Situation really dire!


"Bite your legs", no Norman Hunter

Nice and slim, no Billy Bunter!

'Liked to keep all wingers out

No one dared give him a clout!


Lower leagues, no place for chickens

Not a fan of "Charle Dickens"?  (My hero!)

Chris Kamara, later came

All remember this guy's name!


'Led team out, I 'still remember

Snowy day in mid-November

Wave my scarf and start to cheer

Not for me, a glass of beer!


Tommy Flockett, long departed

All of us still: "broken-hearted"

Town Hall proudly bows its head

Cultured place by many fed! Amen, 04/06/2022 xxxx










Hell, it is in other people....

'Falling from the highest steeple!

"Vive La France!", not many say

On this European Day!


Sartre, smoking, busy writing

Words of Camus he's reciting

Sisyphos looks happy, Cheer!

Pushing "rocks" throughout the year!


What a place, a "poisoned" planet

Right from Arles to Isle of Thanet

Plastic strewn where're I go

And the wind begins to blow!


Busy writing. always musing

Many problems I'm "defusing"!

Russia wants the poor Ukraine

'Least Dear Aat is safe in Spain! (Monsieur Karel!)


On a bus a lady's "heating"

Soaring prices she's defeating!

"Eat or heat", an awful choice

'Time for me to raise my voice!


Price of fuel, it's cheaper walking!

"Cabinet", of course, is talking

Take some bungs from Tory friends

Greetings to Rees-Mogg she sends!


"Fairness", alway, "level-up-ing"

As their Champers they are supping!

Water for the lady poor

'Listen to the "poet" roar!


Sisyphos by now is crying

'Cannot view so many dying

Life, unfair? I'm at a loss

Leaders, 'feel, "DON'T GIVE A TOSS!" Amen! 12/05/2022 xxxx









H E R Z L I C H E N   G L U E C K W U N S C H !


Today I think of Heinz in Berlin flat

Karin beside him, 'wears a happy smile

The past comes rushing back of "this and that"

I contemplate our lives just for a while!

A Fyti view, with George, a "Keo-run"

More hills to climb, an Amargeti walk?

Taverna beer perhaps was much more fun?

A laugh or two, with lots of "hiking talk"

Those days have gone, Kissonerga no more

Two "flats" now empty, singing mournful song!

I loved our Fridays, Whisky you would pour

Our German chats I'm missing more and more!

I raise my glass to Heinz, our Keo- Friend!

With Whisky too, close friendships never end! 05/05/2022! Prost!




     N I N E T Y    S O O N!


Georgie Bates is NINETY SOON!

Underneath a Pafos moon

Planning walks inside his head

From his cosy Kisso' bed!  (Kissonerga!)


Steaming up another hill

Hearts with gladness they all fill

Heading for that "Keo-Run"

"Keep the pace", it's much more fun!  (Really!)


"Maniac" for many years

Fire-breaks would bring no fears!

Hornsby, Herley, buddies too

Problems, really, only few?


Rod' and Jo', fine walking pair

In the hills with not a care

'Kept an eye on Georgie friend

"Hiking days will never end!"


"Thirty-Two, our walker born (1932)

Yorkshire fellow, happy dawn!

Busy life, with Pat and friends

'Hopes all walking never ends!


'Walks with me, suggestions 'gave

"This way, please!" he said to Dave (Myself, David)

"Sorry George, it is MY walk!"

Always only friendly talk! (Of course!)


Memories come flooding back

I can hear my leggies crack!

"Keep it going!", youngster still?

Now 'prefers a "flattened hill"?


Ann and Steve to cheer him up

Drinking from his "Keo cup"

Celebrate a special life

In the skies.... his darling wife!


"Happy Birthday, Georgie Bates!"

Feb-ru-ary, special dates?  (Myself too!)

Raise a glass to walker friend

Greetings from UK we send!  "Yiamas!" 01/02/2022 xxxx








B U S Y    B E E S !


Sharon! Sharon! walking, hiking

Tuesdays, with her "hunks" she's biking!

'Hates it when it's really wet

Pacing in her flat, I bet?


Enid! Enid! Euro-lover

And she is a "turtle-dover"

Memories she has of France

Country, all our lives enhance?


Jeanette! Jeanette! doggie-minder

Is there anyone who's kinder?

Keeps her puppies entertained

Enthusiasm, never waned?


Georgie! Georgie! former walker

Ninety soon, a happy talker

'Knows about ten thousand walk'

Fyti to the streets of York!


Alan! Alan! Psada 'living

Lots of anecdotes he's giving

Sad, at times, Viola gone

Singing mostly Schubert song?  ("Das Wandern"?)


Mary! Mary! Tom, her minder

In her flat you'll always find her

Needs an operation soon

Underneath a Yorkshire moon!


Louise! Louise!.. always singing

All tavernas.. "Ding-a-ling-ing"

Happy with her Martyn man

Entertains him, when she can!


Cyprus! Cyprus! friends are waving

Memories, forever saving

Planning soon Greek Island Cruise

One, of course, that's free of booze! 17/01/2022 xxxx






T H E   C O U N C I L  Q U E E N


Just spoke with Holly, mem'ries never fade

A trip to France 'twixt Paris and Asnelles

At Greenlands High, so many friendships made

Normandie visits always "rang our bell"

A Council member, bullied all the same!

In Wyre she always waves the Labour flag

The Poulton Baths now open gets her fame?

I rather think 'should wear a hero's tag!

The rain falls down, yet Holly always smiles

Hard-working, caring, helping others too

Patrols the borough, covering the miles

With such a lady, problems rarely few!

Let's raise a glass to Holly, Council Queen

We're proud to have her on the local scene.  23/10/2021.   xxxx



D  E  A  R    M  O  R  S  O  N


We're thinking of Dear Ian from "up here"

He's thesping daily, "Stables", Hastings Town

Much walking too e'en on the local pier

And smiling broadly, never see a frown!

Long time ago when scaling Cyprus hills

"Not going there", we'd often hear you say!

"The Spring of Life" for yummy "lountza thrills"

I guess another joyful walking day?

Well travelled, sleeping in a Jordon tent

Now tired of long-hauls, Scarb'rough trip instead

You even came to Blackpool, not "your bent"?

To see your friend, Dear Rufus fav'rite Ted?

Long life with Lynda, glass of Whisky raise

With lots of hugs and 'guess you've earned much praise!  Yiamas xx


221/10/2021 xx



A    L O N E L Y    B E A R


Big Ted, he weeps, now Sharon's flown away

He sighs and hugs Dear Baby Ted, his friend

Abandoned, sorrowful September day

His summer now is really at an end!

No Rufus, friend, B.T. in Cleveleys Town

Baloo, Belynda, Albert, doggie "crew"

Look through the window, Big Ted starts to frown

Hot tears that fall, he's missing Enid too!  (And Jeanette!)

Romania and Sharon's far away

Swift Pafos stop, she hardly caught her breath

It's raining now in Norfolk, gloomy day

The 'van is silent, like a living death!

A blackbird sings and Big Ted starts to smile

Content he feels if only for a while!  How sad?  27/09/2021. xxxx





I'm so fierce, I am a lion!

Shoulder, please, for me to cry on?

Giving Afghans shelter too

Really fright'ning, is this true?


"Lenny Lion"... Gosh, he's vicious!

Veggie-bites are so delicious

Growling, wouldn't scare a mouse

"Keep your cage, I want a house!"


What, a lion picking litter!

Guess, I am a true "big-hitter"?

Vodka bottles, lots of poo....

Wonder what I ought to do?


Emigrate?.. I'm almost smiling....

This for CaMoron I'm filing

P'rhaps he'll lend me fifty grand?

Lion, Tories.. hand-in-hand!  (NEVER!)


Not much chance, to Cyprus flying

Many lows, we want more "highing"

Lion, sitting on a seat

'Wears a mask, a cracking treat?


Sips a drink, a Whisky savours

Munching crisps, delicious flavours

Snoring, wake the whole plane up

Rather have a tiny pup?


Pafos, Venus Beach, I'm snoozing

Leon too, but no real boozing

'Bound to have a "roaring time"

Lion writing verse in rhyme! 20/08/2021 xxxx



"Chapeaux Bas!" xxxx




McNamara, Dragons calling

Days with Bulls he is recalling

Odsal loved him, take a bow

Lives in France, I wonder how?


Jimmy Lowes and Big McDermott

Steve is playing, style he's soon got

Proud to be an Odsal Star

Future bright, he will go far!


Nobby teacher, soon he's learning  (Brian Noble)

For success he soon is yearning

Second Row, a coach of fame

Perpignan to make his name!


Perpignan, a local hero

'Hopes to keep Hull to a zero

Super League, team riding high

Write his name high in the sky


Ben is playing, rising half-back  (His son!)

Kicking goals, he has the great knack

'Love to beat his father's team

Number One, would be his dream!


Dragons won the Cup, no kidding

Now for Number One they're bidding

Steve achieved so much so soon

Underneath a Marseilles'  Moon"


Table top, St. Helens beating

Every team he soon is beating

"Chapeaux Bas!", his Chairman beams

Rugby League so easy seems?


Proud we are, Dear "Macca" leading

Famous team he soon is breeding

Title beckons, Dragons shine

Toast him with a fine French wine! xx  15/08/2021  xx











A L B E R T    C A M U S


Algeria where Albert C' was born

He never knew his father, Lucien

A battle, Marne, upon a dismal morn..

No more producing finest local vin!

Philosopher, he always wrote in French

La Peste, L'Etranger, Amsterdam, La Chute

'Was married, though he liked to find a "wench"

With Sartre, often taking "awkward route!

Dear Sisyphos, he wants to see him smile

And spend your time whilst struggling on a slope

Escape the gloom, some sunshine for a whille

Absurd this life we all need peace and hope!

A Nobel prize, his reputation won

In Villeblevin, his death turned off the sun!  Car crash. 09/06/2021


A N  A M B L E S I D E  G E M


Ambleside, a nice suprise

Book shop owner, very wise

Keeps supply of worthy tomes

Destined for prestigious homes!


'Ask the lady, politics

Near a man with nervous tics

Books on Thatcher, 'never read!

"Leader", who made miners bleed


Thoughts of nasty Heseltine

Like to leave him down a mine

That's if there are any left

Man of sympathy bereft!


Also thoughts of darling Mark  (Thatcher)

Guinea coup was "just a lark"

Oil out there was not their goal

Pigs fly over the North Pole!!


Other heroes, Callaghan?

Michael Foot, Giscard D'Estaing?

Helmut Schmidt and Willy Brandt?

Mem'ries of a fair Deutschland!


'Midst the Tories I espy

Diaries of distinguished guy

Volume Four, through years of strife

Stormy time in Labour's life!


Read the jacket, 'start to smile

'Taught in Chester for a while  (Myself)

Winter when the school closed down

Soon effaced all students' frown?


Thank you, lady, it's half-price

Saving money, very nice!

Hidden gem is what I've found

'Might have cost me "cool ten pound!"


Times of conflict, SDP

Lib-Lab pact to set us free?

Ayatollah, Reagan too

Part of "Fundament'list crew"!


Bush and Cheney in New York

All this nasty, "warring talk"

Thanks to you, Dear Tony Benn

You, at least, the best of men!  Updated from 2004 xxxx




"Cheers, sir.. You are sadly missed!" xx

"CHEERS, SIR! (2003)

T H E   B E N N I T E   C U P P A


The perfect cuppa, Orwell claimed

Soft water, please, was always named

Then, warm that pot and add the milk

The tea goes down, and just like silk!


Dear Rosie Lea, a life-long need

The master's brain would always feed

His pipe is lit, and all is well

Without that cuppa, life is Hell!


The connoisseur, Dear Labour man

Will drink his tea, whene'er he can

A tea-obsessive, pints he drink'

He says it helps to make him think


Relaxing, stir that famous brew

No longer part of "Labour-stew"

The ideal brew, delicious taste

It helps to calm the Human Race!


A man of great "humanitee"

Is NEVER seen without his tea

The pipe, perhaps, he would forego?

When drinking tea, his mind would glow!


The ideal brew, ten times a day

Is worth far more than MPs' pay!

Then recommend to Tory too

To dissipate New Labour blue?


Great master of the Rosie Lea

Enjoy your many cups of tea

More knowing than the scientist

Who always on research insist


Just watch his smile, the tea goes down

To smooth away his furrowed brow

To Bennite-way we ALL subscribe

And only tea we will imbibe?

Just Rosie Lea, no alcohol

That leads to anger, nasty blow?

A recipe for calm and peace

From stress of life, a sweet release. Written in June 2003 for Tony Benn xx






Cheers, Dear Eric, eighty-three

High a-top script-writers' tree

Freelance worker, actor, star

Oldham roots, he must go far!


Early days that led to war

RAF man to the core

Pitchoune there to light the dark

D-Day landings were no lark!


"Educating Archie" start

Brough and Andrews played their part

Working for the BBC

Writing scripts, almost for free!


Always Harriet is there

Inspiration through the air

Frankie Howard, Fraser Bill

Gilbert Harding.. bound to thrill?


Tommy Cooper, what an ace  (Kalimera, Ray!)

Brought a smile to ev'ry face

Hattie, like a sister too

Richard Wattis with the crew


Marriage calling, 'need a nurse

Dipping in that "Lankie purse"

Edith, patient, rules the roost

Always gave your life a boost!


Children blooming, Kathy, Sue

Julie added to the "crew"

Little David, "Watch that pond!"

Harriet.."Wave magic wand!"


So successful, playing golf

Soon a painter like Oz Rolf!  (Help!)

Connery, a constant friend

Nineteenth hole, the place to end!


Jimmy Edwards, Big Bad Mouse

Theatre p'rhaps your fav'rite house?

Charlie Chester, Scott and King

Maybe soon, you'll have to sing?


Milligan, the ALS

Hancock, star, we all confess

Galton, Simpson, Johnnie Speight

Work with genius', your fate!


Musical, John Williams play

Brass bands on a summer's day

Sometimes drumming, cricket star!

With that golf you might go far!


Trotting 'round this busy world

Flag Rhodesia unfurled

Love to see the Aussie shore

Spain, a villa, and much more!


By-pass surgery, 'goes deaf

Hepatitis, almost death

Real survivor, rarely rest

World of Comedy the best!


Family 'round you, Tommy's fez

Doddie too, that manic Les!  (Myself?)

Deryck Guyler, Secombe, Pete...

Sellers on the "Panther Beat"


Take the plaudits, CBE

And an actor: "Cherry Tree"

Always one to make us smile

Passing eighty: "Rest a while!"


Recently on "Des' and Mel"  (2005)

Gosh, you're looking really well

Keep us smiling, spin the stool  13/05/2021 xx

Eric Sykes, nobody's fool!     Written for Eric Sykes in 2006. He signed the poem, saying "Your verse is almost as good as my book!" (The title)






H E   C H O S E   T O   C L I M B !


Mountain Climbing, awe inspiring

Even greater heights aspiring

Annapurna, Everest

When not climbing, 'finds no rest!


Journey starts, it's London calling

Office-work 'will find appalling

Sandhurst glories, Snowdon, Wales

Fine achievements... Never fails!


Atlas open, always planning

Expeditions soon he's "manning"

Eiger as the number one....

Finds it challenging and fun!


Himalayas, Nepal beckons

On the help of Sherpas 'reckons

Ice and snow, all men of steel?

Danger has a real appeal!


Changatong, Mont Blanc appealing

On the top of 'world he's feeling

Home at last among the lakes

Reputation soon he makes


Restless spirit, Greenland calling

For an isle of ice he's falling?

Writing, clicking photos too

Climbing with "committed crew"!


Rise "Sir Knight", your work rewarded

For your courage 'was awarded

Lancaster for gentler life?

Even time to see your wife?


Keswick, weather is relenting?

Lancaster you're representing

Thanks for 'talk, Alumni guest

Study there was quite the best!  From 2006 xxxx


Chris Bonnington was the Chancellor of the University of Lancaster. I am a graduate of the university. xx