Blank verse is a type of poetry written in a regular meter that does not contain rhyme. Blank verse is most commonly found in the form of iambic pentameter, which has a consistent meter with 10 syllables in each line; unstressed syllables are followed by stressed ones, making 5 pairs (PENTAmeter).

Wendy Fraser Urquhart

A lady called Wendy Fraser Urquhart
Is known to many as Wendy F U.
First time we met, she arrived on a horse
To deliver a leaflet to our house.
When I joined, she was the president of
Killington afternoon W I.
She is our reporter for Lookaround
And provides the readers with a good laugh.
She and her husband Malcolm were a team.
They kept bees and loved to show them to all.
They both worked hard for the Sedbergh Spring Show.
We still rely on her for announcements,
After many years as a teacher she
Does not need a microphone to be heard.
Malcolm sadly died in late October.
We miss seeing him walk into Sedbergh
Wearing his bright yellow jacket, he stopped
To wish the carved wooden owls good morning.
Many adventures they had together
Flying in a small plane, camping in tents,
Walking in mountains both here and abroad.
Wendy is known for enthusiasm
For gardens and flowers and trees and birds,
Also her main love for rocks and landscapes.
Show her a map, she is happy for hours.
Her smile and her laugh will liven a room.

The Weavers

We watch them focused on their looms
Creating wonder out of thread.
A myriad of colours seen
Through window, but then pondering
The miracle that weaving gives,
Perhaps we purchase as a gift.

Some come to learn then head back home
Enthused by what they’ve found, and then
They borrow loom, or even buy,
And try to re-create the spark
With yarn they’ve hoarded from a trip
To other lands, some far, some near.

With fleece considered almost waste,
Where fortunes once were made, it now
Is brought by local enterprise
And, once again, this miracle
as fleece is washed, meets card, is spun
and yarn again is treasured thread.

Some dyed with hues that echo walls,
The rivers, fells, the sheep, our Dales,
Become new cloth designed, and these
when woven, journey far and wide.
And some will know but will they tell
The stories held in every thread?

But some is woven at our Mill,
Where old traditions, learned once more,
Are shared so magic weaves again
Through every floor. Looms big and small
Create the cloth without much care,
But our endeavours keep them here.

Return to Sedbergh, Weavers Yard
Reminds us that in years gone by
Were weavers working at their craft
At home, as some of us still do.
We weavers with our lengthy threads
Link farm to cloth, yarn, warp and weft.

The Knitting Industry

Whole families on a knitting gallery perched
Above the cobbled streets far down below
In aprons shawls and clogs and bonnets clad.
Their tools are curving pins in knitting sticks.
They’re swaying up and down the movement goes
With arms and bodies flashing stitches fly.
There’s mirth and glee and happy songs abound
Go faster faster getting up a steam
Still greeting people passing on their way
Retelling stories keeps them rattling on.
The children want to play instead but no
Must do long hours the families need to eat
The children can’t go out to play just yet.

Shirley Smith – The Pepperpot Club

Let’s raise a toast to Sedbergh’s Shirley Smith
Her passion brings more music to our town
Orchestral style the music that she loves
She’d fill the town with strings and brass and wind
Get all involved enjoyment’s what it is
A mastermind at work and pulling strings
A concert every term is there for you
From Bach to Joplin Verdi Wagner choose
But what it’s really, really all about
Through Pepperpot the children learning tunes
A musical community for life.

The Last Carrier out of Kendal

Carter David Burrow lived down Main Street.
On three days a week he started at six
with his horse named Spider and his spring cart
travelling to Kendal with butter and eggs
he collected from farms along the way.
He carried Dyestuffs for Braithwaites as well.
Charged four pence a parcel and later six.
The hills were steep and Spider got thirsty
so they stopped for a drink near the Gin Shop.
The stone water trough is no longer there
and who remembers David Burrow now?

Humanity

Too many people in my tea cup
Stirring the dregs up
Swirling the murk,
Makes my brew the sort that
I’ll not drink.

Too many people up on the wall
Showing the cracks and all
With the red boot mark
Blood squeezed between the
Mortar, forever stained.

Too many people on my toast
Footprints in the butter
Tracks in the fridge
Messages in Morse
Dot dot dot slash sliding stop.

Too many people everywhere
Crushing the humanity out
Making us wet, mushy
Stopping up the spout,
Stewing our tea.

Comic

I wandered lonely down Loftus lane
My legs and knees were all a quiver
I left the Club at midnight, my mind a mist
I could not think or even say my name
I know not why, pints of Tetley’s bitter heavy in me
And then I reached the Millthrop bridge
I gave a cough, my leg fell off and floated down the river.

George Fox

See how the threads were woven by this man
A weaver’s son who kept his dealings plain
A man who read and thought and thought again
And listened to the truth he found within.
A man who found no room for compromise
Blunt-spoken, stubborn, guided by his Writ,
By what he heard sitting in silent prayer,
Who brooked no personal greatness anywhere.
A man who irked the powerful and rich
Went willingly to jail for his beliefs,
A brave dissenter, honoured in this town,
Where human-kindness finds its due renown.