Leicestershire & Rutland Ramblers

Poet's Corner

Rambling Observations

The stile; it is a helpful aid

from field to field or field to road.

But do we stop and think how it was made

to take each successive ramblers load.

 

There are so many types to see,

some made of wood, maybe stone or slate.

One step, two step, sometimes have three.

Through walls by squeezes, saves a gate.

 

Each area seems to have a style.

Wooden in Leicester, Derbyshire in grit.

Across Welsh stone walls, the ladder stile

on Offa's dyke to one fit.

 

The early bridges with-stone slabs were made

a big advance on slippery stepping stones.

To cross dry shod and not to wade

brings happiness instead of groans.

 

Bridges come both small and large,

a plank to cross a ditch or stream.

A roving canal type to pass a barge.

 Motorways by Girder, Truss or Beam.

 

Stone is used in very many parts.

Rough hewn or very neatly dressed.

The brick ones show the bricklayers arts,

with straight or spiral we are blessed.

 

Crossing river gorges by suspension,

held up by steel ropes or chains.

With each strand or link in tension.

A monument to mans skill and brains.

 

The gate it comes in many a different sort.

The wooden handgate opening wide.

A common latch that needs no thought

to let us through to the other side.

 

Some are fastened by nail and chain,

some by hempen string or plastic rope.

These simple fixings easy to maintain.

With finger trappers, bolts and bars we cope.

 

The wooden five bar is a common sight.

The double metal that's combine wide.

The modern handgate shining bright.

The kissing gate to find a bride?

 

So leave each gate as it was found

to keep enclosed the sheep and lambs.

With solid, strong and sturdy gates

around we have no fear of bulls or rams.

 

Now let us note the crops we see.

Oil-seed rape, linseed and maize,

Wheat and barley, bean and pea,

Potatoes, oats and grass to graze.

 

Marigolds, sunflowers and sugar beet,

A hay crop from the summer grass.

Harvest brings stubble beneath our feet;

Awaiting the plough and harrow to pass.

 

From the hedgerows we find the blackberry.

Apples crab and apples sweet.

Sloes and plums and even cherry

and field mushrooms beneath our feet.

 

From this bounty we pick and choose

the fruit that meets our taste.

In pies or tarts we cannot refuse

to let this harvest go to waste.

 

Alan Loasby

 

ODE TO LONG DISTANCE RAMBLERS

 

They rise from bed when the world seems quite dead

and seek remote walks to quicken their blood.

They jump in a car to travel afar

and set off to wander by sun moon or star.

 

They walk in the autumn when daylight is dim

and in the winter, the sun e'er so thin

They ramble in spring, birds rejoicing in song,

also in summer when days are so long

 

On along paths their route carefully planned,

they jump across streams with care where they land.

Ploughing through mud getting stuck in the mire

passing by stable, by barn and by byre

 

Pushing up slopes never giving up hope,

fighting through trees, brambles snatching at knees,

emerging forlorn, failing to laugh

moaning; why did we not stick to the path.

 

Onwards they push, on by thicket and bush

hearing the call of blackbird or thrush

Often through mist or in dark, murky clag

on by the bog or the dangerous crag.

 

Spotting the wild life on every hand,

enjoying the views be they ever so grand.

And on to the finish searching for breath,

proud in achievement but feeling like death.

 

Roy Denney

 

PRIORITIES

 

Heads down in single file

Crossing both field and stile

The group, straight as an arrow

Passing over both ridge and furrow

 

For them it wasn’t a race

Just a walk at their own pace

More, a weekly day out

Giving their legs a shout

 

Well wrapped up against the cold

One, in shorts, was ever so bold !

But, for the rest, trousers and fleeces

Covered up their delicate pieces

 

The leader, map in hand

Espied, the lie of the land

Afar, he could see a steeple

Indicating the presence of people

 

There, he expected to find a pub

Walking was the aim of the club

But, its effect was first

To give everyone a raging thirst!

 

Dave McMahon

 

RAMBLING

 

A walker has the need of two good feet

to roam the fields,the lanes and ways.

To have the pleasure of the friends you meet

on rambles through the rape and maize.

 

The crops do change from year to year,

but fields need ploughing to produce the goods.

That give the nation food and beer,

wheat and barley,beans and spuds.

 

All through the seasons on life’s roundabout,

 we see the changing of the crops take place.

 From tiny seeds the shoots do sprout,

to grow their need is water, sun and space.

 

Like mankind who require the same,

with the moisture of the rain and sun to heat.

We build a strong a sturdy frame,

two arms and hands,two legs and feet.

 

A rambler uses all these gifts so fine,

the legs and arms,the lungs and heart.

The bending,stretching of the spine

bring health and strength to every part.

 

So,if you wish a long and healthy life,

Rambling is the exercise to take.

It's even known to find a wife

or partner,it is your choice to make.

 

Alan Loasby.

 

SATURDAY RAMBLERS

 

Near to St Margaret's Bus Station

Meets a walking group with a reputation 

We hesitate to call ourselves ramblers

And we certainly aren't amblers

Nor do we do actually race

But our walks are done at a fast pace

It's rumoured in Ramblers folklore

Our feet never touch the floor.

It is true we do like to go!

In winter you can see our noses glow!

We move along, the leader map in hand

Studying the lie of the land

Occasionally, he/she is not on song

And reads the map wrong

Finding ourselves in Market Harborough

When we should be in Narborough

To join us is no big fuss

You can get there by bus

But, better still, if you've a car

You can take you us ever so far

As long as the Charity Commissioners aren't aware

We'll voluntarily pay you a fare

But beware! You'll need to be fit

And that's more than just a bit

So, as soon as you can, present your face

One Saturday, at Grafton Place.

 

David McMahon

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Wednesday, December 13, 2017