Bordeaux Bay

Bordeaux Bay
Watercolour by Tony Taylor http://www.paintingbreaksguernsey.com

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

WILLIAM THE CONQUEROR

It’s that time of the year when Horse-Chestnut trees begin to shed their spiky green fruit.
They tumble to earth like emerald spacecraft and promptly disgorge their cargo, those glorious, glossy, nut-brown seeds that we call conkers.
It’s a long time since I attended school and, since then, the world has changed beyond recognition. Do children still play conkers or has an over-zealous Health and Safety culture put an end to those thrilling confrontations?
At school, conkers were treasured and nurtured. 

A body of lore surrounded the treatment and preparation of each one in order to make it successful in its encounter with a rival.
Victory could make its owner lord of the playground until the day that a tougher, more resilient conker vanquished it.
Here’s a poem about just such a moment.



 

CONQUEROR

Harold’s had beaten all the rest
and like its owner it was tough.
Big, indestructible and smug,
he took Will's challenge with a shrug.
Perhaps he thought he’d called Will's bluff.
Will thought: Okay, let’s see who’s best.

The boys went still as Will took aim.

He held his breath and took a swing:
his conker struck hard. Harry's split.
It was a giant-killing hit.

Harold was left with empty string.
William had won the crucial game!

2 comments:

  1. Brilliant Richard, I love this one.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks, John. A glimpse of my misspent youth. Regards R.

    ReplyDelete