Friday, 29 April 2016

A Word on Roaming Fees!

Soon roaming fees will be no more
An end to mobile bills that soar
With conversations cut off short
By nervous speakers who are caught

Between the need to chat and share
And payments - leaving cupboard bare!
With internet it's hard to know
The exact route of our money flow.

Hard earned, we fight to keep afloat
While out there “somewhere”, Fat Cats gloat.
A sleight of hand – a rapid gain
Too many on the gravy train.

It's old Joe Soap – that's you and me -
Who foot the bill, regretfully
Hidden costs and services to blame
White collar fraud in all but name …

(c) Poet in the woods 2016

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Charlotte Brontë in Brussels

Charlotte Brontë came to Brussels
A long, long time ago,
“Villette” tells us all about it;
Alter ego – Lucy Snowe?

She caught a glimpse of Leopold
Belgium's brand new king
She struggled hard to master French
But found her studies grim.

With sister Emily by her side
In 1842
Forced to leave (their Aunt had died);
Just Charlotte came anew.

This time to teach, as funds were low
With Héger her strict guide
Intact her dream to start a school;
How very hard she tried.

But Haworth claimed her once again
She immortalised Jane Eyre
This golden classic brought her fame
But - Héger didn't care!

(c) Poet in the woods 2016

Born 21st April 1816 died 1855

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Chernobyl to Fukushima

30 years ago upon this day
In the Soviet Union, far away
An explosion struck a nuclear site
Where security wasn't tight.

Dust - radio-active - hit the skies
Instant death toll – 31 lives
The worst-ever conflagration
Headline news in every nation.

Polluted soils in Chernobyl
Plants and crops are poisoned still
Shattered are school kids, family homes
Now many have cancer in their bones...

Then a violent earthquake in Japan;
Unpredictable – as Nature can
At any time bring us up short
Fukushima – a new lesson taught:

The reactor damaged by huge waves
All three cores melted in three days!
The aftermath is grim indeed
But who will Nature's warnings heed?

A powerful but destructive force
Has nuclear energy run its course?
In Belgium there's Tihange and Doel
But are they safe? Should we use coal?

(c) Poet in the woods 2016

Chernobyl: 26.4.1986
Fukushima: 11.3.2011

Monday, 25 April 2016

The Red Raincoat

I could sit at home and type in gloves
Cold is the weather no one loves
Hail sprinkles diamonds on the lawn
Fragile bluebells look forlorn.

Water gushes down the hill
The drains are blocked, the waters spill
A gurgling stream flows past the kerb
This April's weather is absurd!

Flashes of sun make people bold
But café terraces are cold
Spring fashions taunt us – we don't care
Umbrellas blossom everywhere!

Fickle weather is a curse
I look outside – the rainstorm's worse
Doughty clouds obscure my view
It's depressing – what's to do?

OK - we must out-ride the storm
As this “iffy” weather is the norm
I glare with anger at the sky
But my bright red raincoat keeps me dry!

(c) Poet in the woods 2016

Friday, 22 April 2016

Shakespeare Still Lives!

A glover's son in Midlands town
An inauspicious start
To a playwright of world-wide renown;
Great speeches learned by heart!

Brief mention on the BBC
Amid migration drama
400th anniversary
Shakespeare headlines Obama*!

The Globe theatre (now reborn)
Sees Hamlet strut the stage
The Bard still London takes by storm
His words will never age!

(c) Poet in the woods

*President Obama was in London

What is I.T. all About?

Now standard mail is mostly bills
Mass-produced and without frills
What do kids of letter writing know?
The PC is the way to go!

By computers we all stand or fall
Subtle machinations can appal
Their inner workings a closed book
Labyrinthine gobbledygook!

New features come on line by stealth
Do updates bring us knowledge wealth?
Fast programmes get us up to speed
But how many “gismos” do we need?

Compressed files huge, cannot be read
'File Transfer' takes their place instead
Our email 'in tray' overflows
We click on 'junk' and out it goes.

What remains must be collated
Round robin jokes are poorly rated
Info avalanche – our mind reels
We're bombarded by 'good' deals!

Distractions left, right, centre too
Facebook posts to be looked through
The hours pass at speed of light
On Youtube, blogspot and sound byte...

I.T. is fine – it has its place
But what future for the human race
When contacts take place via a screen
We've lost the plot – know what I mean?

(c) Poet in the woods 2016

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

A Snapshot of Leuven

Belgium's “Oxford” - dreamy spires
Whose town hall everyone admires
Huge reliquary in pure white stone
With a myriad statues of its own.

City of students and of beer
'Stella Artois' everywhere
Ancient colleges, proud, survive;
Founded in 1425.

200 buildings, some brand new
Down narrow streets come into view
Low Countries' learning at its height
Six centuries of Catholic might!

Renaissance and Rococo styles
Much rebuilt since wartime trials
The city has a joyful air
The Oud Markt rocks – long bars are there!

Once Latin was the favoured tongue
A trilingual college soon begun
Which also taught in Hebrew, Greek
Languages many then could speak.

Now Flemish Brabant reigns supreme
Leuven, the capital, has come clean
Dutch has chased French speakers out
But guess what, folks – English has clout!

(c) Poet in the woods 2016