Len Webster

Len Webster Poems

Childhood Is

when the world to come
is an adventure to be met

he's there
grey hair balding
on the stage
facing the rows


Locked in their minds,
hidden behind masks,
books carry their own lives with them,
lives in ranks,

he grew old
worrying about being old
not expecting to reach
this age-old problem

Piled high among the ruins of leaving,
The shattered hopes and wasted dreams,
The age-old, dated books and wicked papers
That forced the countless ones to sweat in summer;

A kind of poetry in the telling
and a hint of fear in the eye
but inside a sense of adventure
waiting to happen.

She's the boss. Purring, snaring
Many with that smiling, feline countenance.
She rubs her words against you, a tiger waiting to pounce.
When SHE smiles near, everyone wonders

Since genes were discovered
the trendy, wilful young
have unwittingly
set out to prove

I stare at the picture:
my father at thirteen.
The boy who saved the day,
keeping goal for the school team.

He was judged by the old university to be
A man about whom nothing bad could be said
And all of his colleagues were certain that he
Knew enough about words to deserve a degree

This poem is about a man
Who always had a reason
For being unhappy.

They were the cheated generation:
Young between two wars
Then trapped in promises
Of better times to come,

Old age is

When the winter is never-ending
And bones groan through

If Shakespeare died today
would the lights of Broadway
be lowered
and the BBC World Service

This is the city of which we sang,
Of which we were encouraged to dream,
For which our hearts each missed a beat
As we thought of the mushroom clouds.

lipstick, smug,
a fixed expression
on her unresourceful face,

Can't spell?
Can't speak?
Why not teach English
To the meek?

They stripped me down beyond bare essentials -
Even now I can't tell the new from the old -

Dressed me in the finest green and black livery

I dreamed of the snowmaiden,
white and soft,
of endless warmth

The season of butterflies is the season of dragonflies
Hovering in a breeze that controls their fate.

Seen like that, trying to keep control, but edging forward,

Len Webster Biography

Len Webster says his main claim to fame was becoming the first person ever to be attacked by a monkey in a Smethwick street. The trauma was not enough to prevent him from travelling widely..though he continued to hold a deep grudge against monkeys!)

The Best Poem Of Len Webster

Len Webster's 'Childhood Is...'

Childhood Is

when the world to come
is an adventure to be met

Childhood Is

running and hiding
peeking around blind corners
hoping you have been followed

Childhood Is

ducking and diving
dreaming of being in the best
football team in the world
and scoring the winning goal
in the Cup FInal

Childhood Is

being the perfect person
(or not being caught out
when you're not being
the perfect person)

Childhood Is

a mass of contradictions
you don't want to unravel

Childhood Is

a nice cosy bed,
clean sheets
and Mummy's kisses

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