Blind Man’s Bluff (Sept. 2016)

This poem centres on street games. The discussion started by drawing up a list of games that were played as children. The list itself was rather functional and seems to give very little in the way of establishing a “feel” of the times. More effective was encouraging the group to paint a verbal picture of the streets that they played in. This was much more successful and as the discussion continued, so did the imagery and vocabulary. For them (and I include my own memories in this), the streets were empty except for the children. No cars, few adults and just the imagination of children turning plain asphalt into seas, castles or deserts. Indeed, a playground for every child.


Rounders, cricket, tic-tac-toe.
Children on the street!
Whipping top and blind man’s bluff.
Hand-me-down clothes always too big.
Holes in my trousers, shoes and hats,
I looked like Granny Green.

Conkers, marbles, running free.

Front doors open, tea and cakes.
Knock-down ginger, rolling in the grass.
Happy then, but not so now!
Apple scrumping, playing until dark.
Policemen on the street, if we were naughty,

God help you.

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