Friday, June 29, 2018

So Long

My reirement poem - rather long with echoes of Pam Ayers. It went down well at both readings - my afternoon tea on Wednesday afternoon and the more formal recognition of my retirement ealrier this mornng.

So long, farewell, I’m leaving now
It’s time for me to go
The cracks that come from wear and tear
Will soon begin to show

I fell into this RE life
(Or was I “burning bushed”?)
I think I blame my mother who
Stood behind and pushed

My first job was in London
An East End city school
To show cooperation
It really wasn’t cool

The classroom was a prefab
Beside an outside loo
They danced upon my doorstep
Those toilet needing few

Those were the days of bandas
With their distinctive smell
And purple words on paper
That served us all quite well

The job, not made to measure
It rubbed me raw to tears
To match my years of training
I promised then, four years

OK I never left the job
And decades down the line
I built my teacher muscle up
And think I got on fine

I taught abroad for just a while
Beneath a Cyprus sun
The mornings full of lessons
And then the beach for fun

My class was full of strapping lads
Moustached and six foot three
Saudi army conscripts
They didn’t want to be

I ate kebabs, drank Ouzo
A little Greek I learned
With sun and sand and factor eight
A golden brown I turned

I tell you, endless sunshine soon
Begins to lose appeal
Sweaty skin and chaffing thighs
Hot days were not ideal

I dreamed of clouds and rainfall
I packed and said goodbye
I moved back home with parents
And taught at Newbold High

My body clock was ticking but
There was no man in view
Teaching failed to scratch the itch
I needed something new

I joined a gospel outreach team
With saving souls my aim
My Bible packed and heading north
To Inverness I came

I preached, I prayed, I knocked on doors
I spoke to young and old
I walked the talk, the gospel shared
God’s message brave and bold

Too soon my time was over and
I had to find a job
I waitressed at the Calley then
I joined the Millburn mob

Yet again, a prefab, parked
Beside a grassy field
Heaters hot and smoking and
Windows poorly sealed

I battled wasps and rabbits
Graffiti everywhere
And yelled at Gary Stuart
“Stop swinging on your chair!”

The roof was flat, accessible
A big cross daubed one day
With words “Al-Qaeda bomb right here!”
What more was there to say?

A passing plane had spotted
The words all black and bold
They phoned the press on landing
A million papers sold

The day my hut was torn down
I didn’t shed a tear
I’d watched the swing of cranes each day
Saw something new appear

A clean and sparkling new school
All bristling with tech
Computers smart and polished
And of the highest spec

I mass produced my powerpoints
Embedded Youtube clips
I sang and danced through lessons
Took endless virtual trips

But - This body starts to crumble
The hearing’s first to go
My aids are made of plastic
Well hidden, they don’t show

So many indicators show
My best-before’s expired
No longer fresh, I’m overripe
It’s time that I retired

I’m bothered by the chewing gum
That lurks just out of sight
That hangs beneath the tables
And flies around at night!

I cannot learn this alphabet
Of DIPs, the SIPs, the SALs
HGIOYS and Es and Os?
I can’t say we are pals

These chromebooks are a mystery
With google apps and docs
My “classroom” doors won’t open
Despite my many knocks

And see those William Wallaces
Lined up against the wall?
I hear their stirring Braveheart speech
And long for freedom’s call

It’s time to leave the building
Before I’m dragged away
It’s time to let a younger lass
Have her own RE way

I’ll miss the scratch of pencils
Across a workbook page
The sound of neurons firing
As boys and girls engage

I’ll miss those awkward questions
Creation or Big Bang?
Why do good men suffer and
Why don’t bad men hang?

I’ll miss you, David Allan
The best  department head
Through all the myriad changes
Boldly you have lead

I’ll miss you, sweet Fiona
Your optimistic cheer
My job was so much brighter
Just knowing you were near

So many friends I’ve made here
So blessed to work with you
Pop in for tea or coffee
If you are passing through

I’m off into the sunset
With bus pass held in hand
To have more great adventures
And journeys I have planned


Unknown said...

Mel I love this.totally love your writings, so gifted. Lynda Stirratt x Enjoy the next season Mel. x

Moonysmum said...

This is wonderful! I was off on Friday so missed the reading in the staff room. I share the memories of the old Millburn hut - Gary Stuart and the graffiti on the roof! Have a long and happy retirement Mel. You will be missed. Clare x