Beryl Dyson

Beryl Dyson p.2

Luckerstitions (Old Wives Tales)

Widecombe Fair

Pakenham Mill

Luckerstitions (Old Wives Tales)

Pick a dandelion flower
You’re sure to wet the bed.
The perfume of the poppy flower
Gives one an aching head.
To gather sticks on Sunday
You’ll end up on the moon.
Should a maiden catch a bride’s bouquet
She’s bound to wed quite soon.
Cut your nails on Sunday
Be bedevilled all the week
Or turn the bed on Thursday
Who knows, you may not sleep.
Sweep your doorstep March the first
This keeps the fleas at bay.
On New Year’s Eve do not be cursed
Let in a dark haired boy;
Ask him to leave the same way out
Don’t shake hands across the table.
Uncross those knives or fight and shout,
Never sit thirteen at table.
Red and white flowers on their own
Are really quite taboo.
To hang a horseshoe upside down
Good luck flies up the flue.
Mock suns will tell all sailors
Beware – strong winds and rain.
Taking mustard with lamb slices
Will drive folks quite insane.
Never, never wash on New Year’s Day
You’ll wash your year’s good luck away.

Copyright © 2008 Beryl Dyson
Luckerstitions read by Beryl Dyson
Widecombe Fair

We had heard of Tom Pearse who loaned his grey mare
To carry Tom Cobley to Widecombe Fair;
By luck or by chance, but mainly design,
We went to the Fair, the weather divine.

People with buggies, cans, bottles and baggage,
Struggled up hill to the well renowned village,
Where shops overflowed with all kinds of ware,
Mementoes and tokens of Widecombe Fair.

Welcoming laughter, the smell of food cooking,
Jostling and shouting or people just looking,
Bunting and streamers and pretty balloons,
While ambling musicians played popular tunes.

The Widecombe Green held the fair entourage,
A medley of stalls for fun, by and large.
A carousel spinning, bedecked with bright lights,
Had adults and youngsters in whirls of delights.

In the calm of the church, an organ played,
For musical favours donations were paid.
We listened awhile to this musical treat,
Then ambled again with folk in the street.

On show in Fair Field, were ponies and sheep,
Onions and carrots, large marrows, red beet,
Pasties and cakes and the pride of The Fair,
Old Uncle Tom Cobley astride his grey mare.

The mare’s feet were trimmed, her shoes were replaced
By the farrier who’d won the cross-country race.
The old shoes were auctioned, bids all around,
And the charity gained by one hundred pounds.

With tankards of cider to help them along,
We leave the lads singing the Widecombe song.
We’ll remember our day at Widecombe Fair,
The music, the laughter, and of course, the grey mare.

Copyright © 2008 Beryl Dyson
Widecombe Fair read by Beryl Dyson
Pakenham Windmill

So still the morn, no gusting gale,
No bouffant cloud or misty trail,
Silhouette on hill beside oak trees,
A windmill stands bereft of breeze.
Stout and stalwart this black frame,
A home for millstone, hoist and chain,
White arms outstretched in expectation,
Awaits for wind its circulation
To set in motion cogs and shafts,
Turn of spindle, upward draughts.
The impatient miller heaves a sigh
And looks towards the turquoise sky;
With sunrise comes a gentle sough,
But not enough to move a bough,
Before these windmill sails can glide,
They have to wait for turn of tide.
He also knows late afternoon
There’ll be no wind to turn to turn the stone.
A sudden blow, some groans and squeaks,
Eye of the wind the fantail seeks,
Sails revolve with ease and grace,
The work begins with rhythmic pace,
Grist for grinding carried in,
Flour bags filled and tied with string;
The Miller sings, has peace of mind,
As golden grain, God’s gift they grind.

Copyright © 2008 Beryl Dyson

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