Theme – Interests

General collections of poems and readings

Other poems and readings collected by themes

This collection includes readings on fishing, gardening and cricket.

Fishing

A Fisherman’s Prayer. 

I pray that I may live to fish
Until my dying day
And when it comes to my last cast,
I then most humbly pray:
When in the Lord’s great landing net
And peacefully asleep
That in His mercy I be judged
Big enough to keep.

WHAT IS A FISHERMAN?
In a fast-paced world that is wrapped up on frenzy and haste, a fisherman knows how to relax. He knows the joy of solitude. He knows the tonic of silence. He’s a fisherman. A fisherman is an optimist.  He knows the big one is always out there waiting. His eyes are more tranquil than the eyes of other men. His mind is more at ease. In a busy world he has time for things. Time for things like sunsets and afternoon rainbows after a sudden shower. Fishing is the silent sport. It refreshes the soul. A fisherman is a loner.  No team-mates, no coach, no cheering section. He charts his own course, plays his own game.  He wins by himself. He loses by himself. Fishing is a one-man sport.

Gardening

My Mother Kept A Garden

My Mother kept a garden.
A garden of the heart;
She planted all the good things,
That gave my life its start.

She turned me to the sunshine,
And encouraged me to dream:
Fostering and nurturing
The seeds of self-esteem.

And when the winds and rains came,
She protected me enough;
But not too much, she knew I’d need
To stand up strong and tough.

Her constant good example,
Always taught me right from wrong;
Markers for my pathway
To last my whole life long.

I am my Mother’s garden,
I am her legacy.
And I hope today she feels the love,
Reflected back from me.

Ode to a Horse
Where in the world can man find nobility without pride,
Friendship without envy, or beauty without vanity !
Here, where grace is laced with muscle, and strength by gentleness confined.
He serves without servility, has fought without enmity.
There is nothing so powerful, nothing less violent, nothing as quick, nothing as patient.
The world’s past has been borne on his back.
We are his heirs; he is our inheritance.
The Horse
Ronald Duncan

Cricket

Revisited 

How frequently while travelling ’round
We drive through places where
In days gone by we could be found
At the local cricket ground.
We check the time, our pulses bound;
We’ll see if it’s still there.
It was all so long ago
We wonder if we’ll find it.
Instinct leads and off we go,
Left or right, we hardly know,
But there it is, we told you so,
The little church behind it.
We lean upon the low brick wall,
A lingering moment spare
To hear the sounds of bat on ball,
The loud appeals, the batsman’s call,
No one hears the whisper fall;”
I used to play on there.”
It warms the heart, it lightens care,
It does an old man good.
It’s something cricketers can share
Revisiting the places where
A man can say “I played on there”
And fancy he still could!

Arthur Salway 

A Cricketer’s Last Boundary

Weeping willows formed an honour guard
For the cricket ball writ with a noble name
A team of ten, which had once been eleven
Would never be the same side again

No bails united the forlorn stumps
Since this wicket had fallen some days ago
And as the bowler delivered to the lone batsman
The hushed crowd willed a six to go

The magical sound… of leather on willow
The sweet smell… of freshly cut grass
The cricketer… crossing the last boundary
To a third innings that would forever last

Michael Ashby

“When an Old Cricketer Leaves the Crease”

When the day is done, and the ball has spun, in the umpire’s pocket away
And all remains, in the groundsman’s pains for the rest of time and a day
There’ll be one mad dog and his master, pushing for four with the spin
On a dusty pitch, with two pounds six of willow wood in the sun
When an old cricketer leaves the crease, you never know whether he’s gone
If sometimes you’re catching a fleeting glimpse of a twelfth man at silly mid-on
And it could be Geoff, and it could be John, with a new ball sting in his tail
And it could be me, and it could be thee, and it could be the sting in the ale
Sting in the ale.

When an old cricketer leaves the crease, well you never know whether he’s gone
If sometimes you’re catching a fleeting glimpse of a twelfth man at silly mid-on
And it could be Geoff and it could be John, with a new ball sting in his tail
And it could be me and it could be thee, and it could be the sting in the ale
The sting in the ale.

When the moment comes and the gathering stands and the clock turns back to reflect
On the years of grace as those footsteps trace for the last time out of the act
Well this way of life’s recollection, the hallowed strip in the haze
The fabled men and the noonday sun are much more than just yarns of their days.

When an old cricketer leaves the crease, well you never know whether he’s gone
If sometimes you’re catching a fleeting glimpse of a twelfth man at silly mid-on
And it could be Geoff and it could be John with a new ball sting in his tail
And it could be me and it could be thee and it could be the sting in the ale
The sting in the ale.

When an old cricketer leaves the crease, well you never know whether he’s gone
If sometimes you’re catching a fleeting glimpse of a twelfth man at silly mid-on
And it could be me and it could be thee.

by Roy Harper

(Geoff is Boycott   John is John Snow, the fast bowler.)

At Lords (extract)

It is little I repair to the matches of the Southron folk,
Though my own red roses there may blow;
It is little I repair to the matches of the Southron folk,
Though the red roses crest the caps, I know.
For the field is full of shades as I near the shadowy coast,
And a ghostly batsman plays to the bowling of a ghost,
And I look through my tears on a soundless-clapping host
As the run-stealers flicker to and fro,
To and fro: –
O my Hornby and my Barlow long ago!

Francis Thompson

Vitai Lampada

.

There’s a breathless hush in the Close tonight –
Ten to make and the match to win –
A bumping pitch and a blinding light,
An hour to play and the last man in.

And it’s not for the sake of the ribboned coat,
Or the selfish hope of a season’s fame,
But his Captain’s hand on his shoulder smote –
‘Play up ! play up ! and play the game !’

.

The sand of the Desert is sodden red –
Red with the wreck of a square that broke; –
The Gatling’s jammed and the Colonel’s dead,
And the regiment’s blind with dust and smoke.

The river of death has brimmed its banks,
And England’s far, and Honour a name,
But the voice of a schoolboy rallies the ranks:
‘Play up ! play up ! and play the game !’

This is the world that year by year,
While in her place the school is set,
Every one of her sons must hear,
And none that hears it dare forget.

This they all with joyful mind
Bear through life like a torch in flame,
And falling fling to the host behind –
‘Play up ! play up ! and play the game !’

Sir Henry Newbolt