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Poetry & Puddings


The Henlow group is for people with dementia and their carers run by Carers in Bedfordshire.

It meets monthly and we have an activity one month and a speaker the next. Recently, the group have made crafts, done armchair exercises, had quizzes and sung.

So we were wondering what to do in October – I suggested we might give poetry a try - not universally popular but add puddings and that’s got to appeal to everyone!

We started the group thinking about poems we had learnt at school and trying to remember more than just the first line. We managed with limited success - it’s surprisingly difficult. Robin came to the rescue and managed to recite the whole of the Owl and the Pussycat. Next we read some poems – our favourite poems, moving poems, even some poems about puddings and everyone enjoyed the Spike Milligan collection read by Dave.

We ended the session by thinking of how we could write our own poems. The theme was Autumn and we all joined in thinking of words and phrases that came into our heads when we thought about that season. Some lovely images were captured – ‘misty mornings, rustling leaves, roasting chestnuts and beautiful colours’ – to quote just a few. We hadn’t time to do much more that morning so people who wanted to took away the words to create their own poems. I think we all enjoyed it and hopefully went away feeling we all have ‘a poet’ inside us. Hopefully we’ll give it another go in the future but I think we’ll continue to include the puddings!

Here is a selection of the poems created by our group:

Autumn in England by Shirley

The harvest it is gathered in
For the farmers it’s a win
Email came from Uncle Jack
Don’t forget the clocks go back
Forward or is it back
Better get the poem on track.

In Autumn all the trees are tall
In New York its called the Fall
In London in all the hub and bustle
In Hyde park you walk through leaves that rustle
They are red and green and gold
Though the air around is cold

When people coming knocking at the door
Who’s that its dark at halve past four
I wonder whats the reason why
Oh dear I know a penny for the guy
Soon the cats will jump with fright
Because of course its bonfire night
With bangs and whistles and colours bright

Though the fire is bright and warm
With chestnuts roasting till the dawn
In Shefford there is a fireworks display
If you want to go you have to pay
It’s a worry that the kids are bonkers
All they do is play with conkers

Its Halloween for trick or treats
Oh Gosh I’ve forgotten the sweets
In costumes they look so funny
Its sweets they want not your money
People go by with pumpkins high
Are they making pumpkin pie

On the 11th of November we remember
And so does every active service member
We wear the poppies red with pride
To remember all those that died

The great big oak that stands so tall
The squirrels come when acorns fall
They dig channels and big holes
They do it deep to stop the moles
While they bury they have a peep
Watching for the snow that’s deep

At the end of autumn it gets colder
Not so good for us that are older I fear
With mist and snow and ice to clear

Some trees are full of nuts and berries
The birds will come and eat your cherries
The leaves will fall fast I guess
Who is clearing all the mess
Lengthening shadows in the sun
Hinting that the Autumns gone.

Autumn Arrives by Margaret

As the dawn breaks this early morning
A silent misty blanket covers the garden
Roses showing of their floral colours of gold, pink, white and fiery orange,
And the Fuschia’s displaying their ballerina skirts.
Cyclamens with their reaching up to catch the dewdrops from the night
With colourful pansies waking up, smiling in the light of the dawn
Ornamental grasses displaying their greens and creams like crinoline gowns
The Garden awakens in the gentle washing of the dawn morning mist.
The Olive with Magnolia and Apple tree standing tall
And the late white rambling rose abundantly climbing over the wall.
As time moves on and into day, the light spreads across the lawn.
The birds start coming in knowing feeders will be filled and fresh water to drink.
Praise be! The sunshine breaks through to melt the morning mist
Sunrays wrap themselves around all that is displayed.
Warming up the garden for a new day is on its way
The sun hangs low towards the end of the day now that autumn has arrived
With it comes misty days to bring damp and decay.
Days of bright sunshine are few, yet they reveal leaves of golden hews
Of creations display as summer has started to fae away.
Trees withdraw their life giving sap to keep themselves warm in cold snap days ahead
Causing their leaves to change colour from green to gold and fall to the ground
Where one could crunch them underfoot as you try to walk through them
Or, maybe, kick them up into a colourful display.
Long shadows are cast towards the end of these autumn days.
As night falls again and if the night is bright with the moon and the stars
Sparkling through the dark clear skies with moonlight light to show the way
For the nocturnal creatures to come out to play and scurry around,
But what do they do if it’s a wet rainy night, or even if Jack Frosty pops up
To make everywhere white?
Whatever the season today we’re in our autumn time
We can say Thank you god for your Creations gift of seasons for our delight.

Autumn is ….  by Sally

Autumn is plentiful with ripening fruits, pumpkins, conkers, acorns and chestnuts roasting.
Autumn is noisy with falling leaves, crunching and crackling and making a mess.
Autumn is pretty trees dressed in red and gold
Autumn is fun with Halloween and bonfire night, fireworks and poor old Guy Fawkes.
Autumn is remembering poppy day and harvest festivals
Autumn is change – clocks move backwards and summer fades
Autumn is atmospheric, lengthening shadows in the autumn sun, harvest moons and mist morning
Autumn is beautiful in the country but less in the city with not many trees.
Autumn is a different picture for everyone, but for all of us another day is done.

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