Starry Starry Night – our Vincent Van Gogh tribute

Last week, we looked at the life and art of Vincent Van Gogh. Although he led a troubled life and didn’t become well-known in his own lifetime, Vincent Van Gogh is now one of the world’s most well-known and well loved artists.

The patients and staff really warmed to the task of describing and imagining what was happening in various Van Gogh paintings, and I hope you enjoy our poems.

Irises-Vincent_van_Gogh

Irises

 

Irises

It makes me think of cows
– I do like that one,
The shoots going down,
The blue flowers blend in with the leaves.
Nice colours. The natural shape of the leaves.

The colours and shapes,
White ones contrast.
Irises intertwined.
You can see the brush strokes,
Trying to paint the soil.
Well balanced.

The blue – like pansies,
Makes me feel calm and warm,
Like I’m in a summer meadow.

Le_café_de_nuit_(The_Night_Café)_by_Vincent_van_Gogh.jpeg.jpeg

The Night Café

 

The Night Café

It’s deserted
They’re not spending any money.
Nobody’s drunk yet.
A billiard table in the middle.
I can only drink ten pints of beer a year,
Maybe I’ll have a coffee.

I’ll have to have a crack at painting.
It’s inspiring.
Skilled at drawing
– I like the flooring.
All the bottles.
Mis-matched chairs, table worn out.

The colours make it warm and inviting.
The shadow on the floor.
Do the lights fit in?
The colours are right.
Mismatched gas lamps glowing.
That’s all they had at the time.

Wooden floors,
Chairs a bit iffy, you can soon clean them.
I think that’s a child, sat on a knee.
He’s got his head in his hands.
There’s a clock on the wall, empty glasses,
Half past twelve at night.
Probably when they go every night.
You’re welcome and not welcome.
It depends who you are and what you’re doing.
All day café, drinking horrible coffees.
Closing time.

The Night Café

Snooker Table
A drink of beer
I think they’re playing pool or billiards.
Harp lamps hanging down.
Big vase of white flowers glows at the back.
Wooden floor; a very high ceiling.
The chairs hanging down with the lamps.
The clock showing ten past twelve.
A happy couple in the far corner.
The waiter in his short white jacket
Starts to tidy up.

 

Wheatfield with crows

Wheatfield with Crows

 

Wheatfield with Crows

I like the yellow colour.
It’s summertime.
A railway track not much used,
So it doesn’t disturb the birds.
Where are the birds flying to?
Someone’s set fire to it.
Crows in a wheat field.
It’s nothing special,
But there’s a lot going on.
Disturbance.
It’s quite frightening.
Blue and black sky.
The white part looks like North Africa
It’s as good as any other.
I can see what’s there.

 

flowering orchards

View of Arles, Flowering Orchards

Flowering Orchards

The disturbing dark vertical poplar
Contrasts with the green, fresh plants.
The mass of the flowers,
An allotment where tall-stemmed plants grow.
The sharpness of the poplar,
The strip of greenness – spring onions.
The white bits, like hundreds of pictures of
The same scene on a camera.

The man digging has too much to do.
Bright spring sunshine – it’s still cold.
The breeze can still cut to the quick.
It’s a working area.
The railway line cuts it off from the town.

Advertisements

Our truth about love

Last week at Newholme, Walton and Cavendish hospitals, we belatedly discussed Valentine’s Day. But it’s never too late to talk about love. Love can be a tricky subject for older patients, who may have suffered bereavement. But for some people, it’s a chance to revive cherished memories of a life-long partner.

Some patients have partners who lovingly visit them, and sending and receiving Valentine’s cards is really important in keeping the love alive, despite difficult times. These poems represent romantic stories and recollections of younger days. I hope you enjoy them.

older love

The beauty of loving someone for life.

Our Truth About Love

He was in the army. He had curly hair.
They sent him to Christmas Island,
And when I came home from work,
There would be piles of letters from far away.

A few weeks later, I came home, and there he was.
Sitting with my parents,
And he’d already asked my dad for my hand.
Dad told him to look after me.
And he did. For over fifty years…

Getting ready for a date,
Running towards him in high heels.
Best dress on and red lippy,
To Dronfield Picture Palace.

Love means kindness and gentleness,
When you’d do anything for someone.
Love and kindness lead the way.
Families are loving and giving.
Sending and text message every day,
Even though they’re far away.
A phone call – coming to see me.

Love means a lot.

 

I can’t tell you anything about love

I can’t tell you anything about love,
All different kinds of love,
Family and friends.
It’s the same as it always is, being at home.

Having your family around you,
Home means love.

I knew that she was the one,
And we’re still in love,
Still giving each other cards.

But I’d prefer a cake,
Or some chocolates…
I love you and I see you.
You’re lovely!

Some Enchanted Evening,
And romance lingers in the air.

 

A long time ago

It was donkey’s years ago.
Was it true love at first sight or on the rebound?

We were too close to send love letters.
Working together at Masson Mill.
You got used to the noise.
We didn’t make a big fuss on Valentine’s Day
– Rock ‘n’ Roll dancing in a suit and tie,
And I got married in my winklepickers.

A long time ago,
I went to dances in Edale.
I’ve always liked dancing.
Waltz and quickstep
Foxtrot and tango
Military two-step and barn dances.
I loved them all.

A Celebration of all things Scottish – a Belated Burns’ Night Celebration

Last week, I was unable to update this blog due to a computer malfunction, so here it is! Patients and staff in Derbyshire hospitals looked at the traditions of Burns’ night – a celebration of Scotland’s national poet, Robert Burns.

We celebrated all things Scottish, from haggis to tartan, and here are the poems that we came up with.

A Celebration of Scotland

As we sit here eating shortbread
We’ve been listening to Rabbie Burns’ poems
Haggis, neeps and tatties,
The mountains and heather that Scots call home.

Porage* oats to make you strong
With some salt sprinkled on.
Made with water if you can’t afford milk
To keep warm from Scottish rain pouring down.

Tartan outfits worn with pride
The Queen in her favourite Balmoral home
Queen Mother lived in a Scottish Castle
Where the Monarch of the Glen does roam.

William Wallace, Braveheart Warrior
To John Brown, Queen Victoria’s favourite
Played by Scotland’s own Billy Connolly
In a kilt and Highland garb

Lots of actors from north of the border
From Will Fyfe to Ewan McGregor
Sean Connery, the first James Bond
To Robbie Contrane, our Scottish sleuth.

scots keep us entertained
Lulu, Annie Lennox, lovely Lorraine Kelly
The stories of Robert Louis Stevenson

And without Alexander Graham Bell,
We couldn’t chat on the telephone.
We wouldn’t have TV without John Logie Baird!

The land of Robert the Bruce –
We’ve got a lot to thank you for!

* Yes, that’s the way that Scott’s have been spelling their famous oats for many years!

scotts-oats

A Weekend in Scotland

Iron Bru – I love you
A tot of finest whiskey too
All-butter shortbread, petticoat tails
In a winter blowing snow and gales.

Men in skirts – they call them kilts
We love how your accent lilts
The colours a sounds of Edinburgh tattoo
Stroll around a loch to find Nessie too.

But that bag piper’s driving me mad
And the midges itch me something bad!
No thanks to that haggis, it sounds offal!
Deep fried pizza and Mars bars must be awful!

But with the wonderful wildlife and scenery too
We’ll still be coming and visiting you.

Scottish Wildlife

I searched for Nessie in a loch
I saw Canada Geese in a flock
The beavers had built their dams
Surrounded by leaping spring lambs.

I walked my Westie on a lead
Watched red squirrels as they feed
As Flora and Morag the Highland cattle
Watch red deer stage fight their battle!

Favourite Places

Last week in Derbyshire Hospitals, we talked about our favourite places, near and far. It was interesting to see what each group came up with when it came to writing poems about the places that we love.

In Chesterfield, our minds dwelt on sunny climes and golden beaches, but our deep love of being at home, in familiar surroundings. We are lucky in Derbyshire, to have some of the world’s most fantastic scenery on our doorstep, and sometimes we don’t even need to go outside. The views out of our windows can be spectacular!

Travels Near and Far

chesterfield spire 1

Chesterfield’s famous crooked spire

On our travels, we’ve been far and wide
The beaches of New Zealand, the water crystal clear
But when I’m flying home, my heart burst with pride
The Derbyshire Dales are the best, just near here.

The warm sun and golden beaches of the Med
But you can’t beat Yarmouth – such a lovely place.
A glass of sangria, as the sun sets red
Anywhere on holiday, life’s a slower pace.

Or a donkey ride in Blackpool, and a stick of rock.
A trip up the Tower and a drive to see the lights.
But the nicest sight to see if the crooked spire’s clock
You don’t have to go a long time to see the sights.

In Buxton, with a view of the Derbyshire hills and Solomon’ Temple out of the hospital windows, we thought about Chatsworth, one of the most famous stately homes in the world, a short drive down the A6.

The Palace of the Peak

chatsworth cascade

The grandeur of Chatsworth’s cascade – enjoyed by a duck!

A warm, welcoming place to stop
A beautiful view from the top
Buying cakes from the farm shop
And salmon with parsley on top.

A jewel in Derbyshire’s sparking crown
Gardens designed by Capability Brown
Watch the water in the Cascade run down
Bakewell is the nearest town.

Rooms full of statues and priceless art
Afternoon tea with sandwiches to start.
Victoria sponges and a chocolate tart.
Days out like this really lift my heart.

Having a trip around the country fair
There’s livestock, showjumping -everything’s there!
Take a picnic with Champagne to share
What a wonderful way to take the air.

In Bakewell, we thought about the way that snow transforms places. We had a slight dusting of the white stuff last weekend, taking us back to childhood memories of sledging and snowballs.

Derbyshire Snow

snow in Derbyshire

Fun in the snow

When the snow falls on Derbyshire
It mutes the whole world.
From the valleys of Dovedale
To the height of Kinder Scout.

Wrapping up warm and stepping outside
That tingling feeling in fingers and toes
Building snowmen with coal for eyes
A borrowed scarf, and a carrot nose
Or a snowball fight in the park – who knows?

Then coming inside – bang your boots on the wall
Hands around a hot chocolate, and a sweet snack.
Hang your wet coat and gloves up to dry
And watch the flakes falling down from the sky.