A Gatehouse Acrostic

Good grub
Apples and art;
Tea,
Energetic
Help.
Ozymandias ate here.
Understanding
Staff, the
End-of-the-Road.

Bridget, Tracy, and Vince

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A Poem about the first thing I do every morning

Ouch I know it’s morning
There goes that pain again
INSANITY!! INSANITY!! It’s all I can hear
Telly’s still on again, adverts full blast
INSANITY!! INSANITY!! The same same song
To endure that is more than I could bear
Fitness adverts they’ll be the death of me
I swear.

J. McCree, Oxford

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A Poem about someone making a difficult choice

When in a rut, or a difficult spot,
Gotta change something, but not the lot
It’s hard to give up, old habits, hard to beat
But the easier options don’t decrease the heat
Got to let go of long-held ideas
Stand up and be braver, stand up against fear
Maybe I’ll do it, or I’ll go round forever
If I carry on, it wouldn’t be clever
I may need some run-ups, there will be false starts
But I must persevere for a future that lasts.

Michael Paul

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other voices and situations

This week at the Gatehouse writing workshop we were writing responses to old family photographs from the internet. Photos can be a good way to start imagining yourself into other voices and situations.

pic1

Grandma was a great knitter! But we hated Christmas when we all had to wear them and pretend we all liked the 50s style!
Chris

* * *

Well, looking back I feel that tank-tops were good while they lasted, but branded leisurewear has taken over almost completely now, and quite rightly so…anyway, there I was, in the front, with my apple…my job was to keep the doctor away, and I did that very efficiently, resulting in my parents and my elder brother all perishing after sustaining what were quite minor table-tennis related injuries. Never mind, I say, at least valuable NHS resources were not wasted, and I was adopted by a family that didn’t rely on jumble sales and knitting patterns to clothe me. Ending up in a secure hospital was not the plan, of course, but, hey-ho – at least we have daytime t.v. nowadays –an absolute godsend for the dangerous psychopath, you know?
Michael Paul

pic2

Thank God for child support and contraception. What about food stamps? Will they ever catch on?
Chris

* * *

Dad’s up for parole soon.
Michael Paul

* * *

pic3

How amazing! The gatehouse has really cracked it with this photograph of me, growing up in Kensington! Mother used to just love washing the nappies by hand, and I used to love “doing a plop” in the almost immediately afterwards! Yes, that’s me, sitting on Pa Pa’s lap. I think that night we were about to get dressed up to the nines for an evening performance by some great thespian of the day – it wasn’t like now! Oh no! All we get now is television, central heating and the occasional cheese sandwich – how things have deteriorated, methinks, but such is progress.
Michael Paul

* * *
.

pic4

“Hands up if you are an archetypal American nuclear family with a big car!”
Michael Paul

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A Gatehouse Conversation

A Gatehouse Conversation

“I’m out of tobacco”, said Baz.
“Same as, same as”, said Gaz.
“No money ’til Tuesday”, said Baz.
“Too bad, too bad”, said Gaz.
“Got some dog-ends, got papers”, said Baz.
“Same as, same as”, said Gaz.
“I’m in a tent now”, said Baz.
“I”m in a hostel”, said Gaz.
“Nice cup of tea this”, said Baz.
“Nice sandwich too”, said Gaz.
“Milliband’s strategy is under scrutiny
from Labour party grandees in the run-up
to next year’s election”, said Baz.
“Poor little fella”, said Gaz.

Michael Paul

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The Strangest Place I’ve Ever Been

The strangest place I’ve ever been
was behind some corporation shrubs
which would have made quite a scene
If it hadn’t been at dawn
Before the traffic builds up

Michael Paul

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An Oxford Acrostic

Good grub

Apples and art;

Tea,

Energetic

Help.

Ozymandias ate here.

Understanding

Staff, the

End-of-the-Road.

Bridget, Tracy, and Vince

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A Poem about the first thing I do every morning

Ouch I know it’s morning

There goes that pain again
INSANITY!! INSANITY!! It’s all I can hear
Telly’s still on again, adverts full blast
INSANITY!! INSANITY!! The same same song
To endure that is more than I could bear
Fitness adverts they’ll be the death of me
I swear.

J. McCree, Oxford

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A Poem about someone making a difficult choice

When in a rut, or a difficult spot,

Gotta change something, but not the lot
It’s hard to give up, old habits, hard to beat
But the easier options don’t decrease the heat
Got to let go of long-held ideas
Stand up and be braver, stand up against fear
Maybe I’ll do it, or I’ll go round forever
If I carry on, it wouldn’t be clever
I may need some run-ups, there will be false starts
But I must persevere for a future that lasts.

Michael Paul

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Kevin’s Story

kevin_photo

I was born in Ireland and flown over when I was five years old, and came to New Marston in Oxford. I don’t who my real father is. I grew up with my stepfather in the house. I came home one night and my mother was knocked out cold. He’d beaten her. I took a carving knife and stabbed him in the back. I was sixteen, and got sent to a children’s home. Now I live in an old people’s home, with my two brothers. The older one has dementia now.

I’ve been married twice. The first one only lasted a week. I was sixteen years old. I’ve done a lot of different jobs all over the city, but as time went on, it got harder to find work, so I went down to Plymouth. I took a course in painting and decorating there, and got my City and Guilds qualification. When I was down there, I had a phone call to say my mother was dying, and had been taken to the John Radcliffe. I wanted to see her, but I didn’t have any money, and had no way of getting back. There was no help and support for housing. My brother rang me up to say he could pay half of the fare for the funeral, so I went along and then came back to finish the course. It’s what my mother would have wanted.

It was when I came back to Oxford five years I heard about the Big Issue – I’d never heard of it before. I’ve been selling it for nine years now. I’m one of the oldest people selling it. I really enjoy it. It gives me the chance to sit down and talk to people. I’ve done their sponsored London walk, and played football for them. I’ve done one of their First Aid courses, and their Health and Safety course. It’s really good. We’ve had a rough lot to start with, and being able to do what I want to now is wonderful. I met a couple of homeless lads today, and I’ve invited them round to have a lunch at the home, and have a bath. I mustn’t get too friendly though. Once I invited someone round to my house and they overdosed.

I’ve just come back from Manchester, where I spent eight weeks in rehab. I’m clean now. It was a really good chance to think. I was helping in a furniture shop, cleaning everything up so it could be sold on. I was using those skills I learnt all that time ago in Plymouth.

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