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Marching Out

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Gyppo
Posts: 233
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2018 9:28 pm
Location: UK

Marching Out

Post by Gyppo » Mon May 13, 2019 11:13 am

I stumbled across a military march in You Tube earlier today, and it unlocked the time machine ;-)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QuVYS4uw0as

=====

Marching Out

After Infant School assembly,
all lined up in neat rows,
boys on one side, in shorts and shirt,
girls on the other in blouse and skirt,
we were supposed to march out in neat order
the two lines never touching.
No crowding, no jostling,
and "no holding back" if it was raining.

Miss Lovell would wind up the gramophone,
set the needle gently on the wobbly Bakelite,
spinning at a nominal seventy eight RPM,
scratchy music emerging through a silvery horn.

It played just long enough to empty the hall.

She once trusted a boy to wind it,
but never again.  
He discovered it could be over-wound,
making it play faster.

The first minute of Colonel Bogey
raced though like a military quickstep.
The orderly departure, arms swinging,
degenerating into a wild cavalry charge.

Miss Lovell made no attempt to slow it,
or restart it.  She looked surprised,
but there a little smile on her face.
She understood boys,
which made her both good and formidable.

We all loved it, even the girls,
previously prim little misses unleashed,
pipe-stem arms flailing, 
charging out like Amazonian Warriors.

On less frenetic occasions we behaved,
as the Junior School Headmaster,
a pompous prick with a sadistic side
would stand and weigh us up like cattle,
choosing the ones who would need 'special attention',
'close watching', and 'extra discipline'
once we came under his authority.
Some people should never be trusted
with growing kids.

I was often singled out, pulled to one side,
lined up with the other miscreants.
My crime?  Failure to march in step.
I never could, even when I tried.

More than sixty years later I still can't.

Gyppo

 
Last edited by Gyppo on Mon May 13, 2019 3:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
I've been writing ever since I realised I could.  Storytelling since I started talking.  Poetry however comes and goes  ;-)

ajduclos
Posts: 225
Joined: Mon Apr 01, 2019 7:35 pm

Re: Marching Out

Post by ajduclos » Mon May 13, 2019 12:44 pm

Hello Gyppo !!!!

You paint an amazingly vivid portrait, one more like a short movie projected on the tattered school screen through  Super 8 milimeter film reels.  One can see, hear, feel, smell... and sense the positives and negatives.  I miss all those kids.  Wonderful. 

Aj   

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Gyppo
Posts: 233
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2018 9:28 pm
Location: UK

Re: Marching Out

Post by Gyppo » Mon May 13, 2019 3:24 pm

AJ, I was reliving, not just recalling.  As I read it aloud I was back in the middle of that 'cavalry charge'.  The girl marching next to me, Felicity, was tall for her age, built like a beanpole, and normally cursed with a stutter which made her very self-effacing.  But she  strode out like a conquering queen that day, head held high instead of trying to be invisible. 

The images are going to be with me all day ;-)

If I ever decide to take the leap into being a 'performance poet', beyond family and friend audiences, this one will be in the repertoire.  I found myself instinctively acting the parts, not just reciting the words.  The little shake of Miss Lovell's head, the  odious headmaster flexing his cane as I spoke about'extra discipline'.   (There was a man beyond forgiveness.)

Gyppo

 
I've been writing ever since I realised I could.  Storytelling since I started talking.  Poetry however comes and goes  ;-)

ajduclos
Posts: 225
Joined: Mon Apr 01, 2019 7:35 pm

Re: Marching Out

Post by ajduclos » Mon May 13, 2019 3:36 pm

Gyppo - yes, that's what it seemed like to this reader..................... and yes, one to be performed aloud.
Aj

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