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U3A Writing: A Straggler's Ode

W H (Bill) Davies enjoys being in a U3A hiking group which rambles through the beautiful countryside of Gwent.

My parents did not realise what they had done
When they christened me W. H. as a little one,
The real W. H. is from Newport, Mon
The tramp poet of world renown.

As I have been hospitalised of late
I have had time to bring W.H.'s poems up to date.
The next millennium we are about to enter,
What discoveries can we expect for the better?

Time flies and soon I'll he three score and ten,
And have seen lots of inventions by many men.
Jets, 'teles', computers and even a man on the moon,
All these and more from the boys in the back room.

During the war they were known as boffins by us Adds,
Today they're called spin doctors with lids.
But I will remain a simple countryside boy,
Open spaces and green fields I'll always enjoy,

By chance I discovered the U3A stragglers
A grand bunch I must say, with exceptional manners.
We're on a different plane when we take to the path,
And we'll open and shut gates for any Tom, Dick and even Cath.

Every Tuesday morning we meet - expectations high,
The dark clouds overhead we accept with a sigh.
But when the sun shines there's a spring in our step
We head for our venues with unbridled pep.

We put on our boots and venture forth with glee
To seek and discover what delights them may be.
The county of Gwent has a tapestry to behold,
Forests, green fields, rivers and riches untold.

Birds, animals and insects, but what some most fear
Is to be ogled and chased by an inquisitive steer.
On a crisp winter's morning it can be sheer delight
When a snow capped mountain comes into sight.

As our ages tend to reach the top of the scale,
We are full of stories and unusual tales.
Time quickly passes on as we relate a yam or two,
These yarns are old hat but some are quite new.

As we trundle along, sometimes to a higher layer,
The pace is often set by our sprightly Reg Taylor.
But not far behind is our other octogenarian - Reg
Proving - he must have ate his meat, greens and two veg.

Gwent did not welcome the Romans in AD 43,
But their achievements are there for all to see.
Alas, now only ruins - their buildings must have been
Magnificent structures that then graced the scene.

Soon after 1066 the Normans appeared at hand
Fired up to occupy our fair land.
The men of Gwent resisted with all their might,
But in the end they had to give up the fight.

Not only will you he intellectually moved,
Your physical condition will be improved.
As time passes and the miles disappear
You eventually arrive at a pub for a beer,

So 1 can assure you it will be tune well
To join the stragglers and see historical Gwent.
Good company is guaranteed, do not delay
So hurry up and walk with us one day,

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