Thursday, 14 July 2011


Poem 51 of 230:  NAIROBI

Where alcohol
    And corruption
Tend to spoil
Like, pro-social,
    Neat discretion
On sexual
    Instigation -
When with people.

(C) David Franks 2003

Kenyans neatly eating chips with a toothpick,
Nairobi; February 2014

Wednesday, 13 July 2011


Poem 52 of 230:  OUT OF PLACE

As I paid my bus fee
    To leave Nairobi,
A woman caught my eye:
    From what I could see
(Red garb, bead jewellery),
    She was a Masai.

From anthropology,
    I’d heard how stubbornly
They try to defy
    Factors tending to be
Against them culturally -
    I like the Masai.

Now, from my T.V.,
    News has reminded me
That space tourists buy,
    In order to see
Big-game roaming free,
    Belonged to Masai.

They live nomadically:
    With stock, they go-look-see
To get enough supply
    Of grass - whose energy,
Converted, comes to be
    The life-spring of Masai.

(C) David Franks 2003

Masai at Nairobi C.B.D.;
February 2014

Masai at Nairobi Safari Walk;
February 2014

Masai at Bomas of Kenya;
February 2014

Masai painted by a Masai - now in my home

Tuesday, 12 July 2011


Poem 53 of 230:  WHY THE YEW?

To paraphrase one of my uncles,
    Showing a church in Hertfordshire:
When you see an old English parish,
    There'll be yews in its yard, for sure.

“Why the yew?” I obviously asked.
    They were planted, he said, to stop
A resting-shepherd’s sheep chewing-up
    The parish-graveyard’s gardened top:

Odour tells them - choose another crop.
    (But another thought, I've since heard,
Is that churches were built near yews -
    Sacred-sites the pagans preferred.)

(C) David Franks 2003

Monday, 11 July 2011


Poem 54 of 230:  HOBSON’S CHOICE

During a daytrip to Cambridge,
    My uncle showed the confined space
That left punters no choice to face -
    Using Hobson’s trade of carriage.

(C) David Franks 2003

Entrance to Cambridge Botanic Gardens, Aug. 2015

Hobson's conduit - this time, I could
not find where his carriages were..?

More-modern Cambridge carriage

Sunday, 10 July 2011


Poem 55 of 230:  TIN-MINERS’ LUNCH

Visiting relatives in Cornwall,
    I saw the mines tin-miners mined,
The type of lunch they liked to eat,
    And heard these tales about it all:

(spoken chorus)
Tin-miners’ wives, with pasties ready,
Would cry “oggy, oggy, oggy”;
Then, in response, hungry miners
Would call back up with “oi, oi, oi”s.

Plus the real Cornish pasty’s strong-crust
    Keeps the baked food inside it warm,
And, when it is properly done,
    A fall down the mine won’t make it bust.

And miners’ wives...

And, for health or as bad-luck-blockers,
    The, leftover, thick crimped crust-base -
Having had mining-mitts on it -
    Would, by some, be ditched to the “Knockers."

And miners’ wives...

(C) David Franks 2003

Just over the border in Exeter, Devon;
September 2014

Saturday, 9 July 2011


Poem 56 of 230:  CENTRES

The pleasant river-plain of Didsbury -
    Left seeing gain for my sister and me;
The well-planned heart of Adelaide’s city -
    Left upon ending my B.A. degree;
A grassy southern suburb of Sydney -
    Left, upon divorce, politically;
Within the West London vicinity -
    Left to be nearer to Didsbury.
Now housed in Eccles, I’ve a chance to see
    If it shall be the final place for me.

(C) David Franks 2003

The River Mersey at Didsbury; 13/5/15

Fog Lane Park, Didsbury; 20/4/2018

Yowie Bay home, south of Sydney; 1990s

Friday, 8 July 2011


Poem 57 of 230:  MANCHESTER - A GIST

Sports, large warehouses and merchants are the gist -
    A centre for distribution and trade,
Plus making goods and services for this list;
    Well placed, in these, it seems, the future’s laid.

Oh - I should note the entertainment trade,
And that, from fruit and grain, fine foods are made.

(C) David Franks 2003

From a (Southport) train window; 28/9/17

At Levenshulme, Manchester; 30/06/2017

At Levenshulme Station; 16/6/17

Near Manchester Piccadilly; 16/6/17

Manchester Aquatics Centre; 29/5/2017

Manchester Museum; 29/5/2017

Palace Theatre, Oxford Road; 29/5/2017

Rochdale Canal near Piccadilly; 25/5/17

Rochdale Canal at Deansgate; 18/5/17

Museum of Science and Industry; 18/5/17

Castlefield; 18/5/2017

Old and new - Roman ruins and various towers

Old and new - Roman Fort
before Beetham Tower; 18/5/17

Bridgewater Canal, Castlefield; 18/5/17

Narrowboat folk art, Castlefield; 18/5/17

Bridgewater Canal and Beetham Tower; 18/5/17

Spider Manchester - opposite the
Coach Station, Chorlton St; 13/4/17

Symbol of Manchester; 8/5/17

Sedum grwon between tramlines at
Deansgate-Castlefield; 18/5/17

Living wall and footbridge between tram
and train at Deansgate; 18/5/2017

Enough of Beetham Tower! 4/4/17

Old warehouse, new tower; 4/4/2017

Deansgate to the Town Hall,
from Beetham Tower; 4/4/17

Deansgate train and tram stations; 4/4/17

Canal, tram and train lines from
Beetham Tower, 4/4/2017 

Sunset from The Cloud, Beetham Tower; 4/4/17

Old and new - Saint Ann's Church
before Beetham Tower; 31/3/2017

Beetham Tower (tallest building in
Manchester), from Deansgate; 28/3/17

Down Deansgate; 28/3/2017

Tribute to cycling at Deansgate; 18/5/17

Tribute to Chopin at Deansgate; 24/3/17

Some Mancunian humour, Lloyd St; 24/3/17

Levenshulme's first Monthly Night Market,
held at the train station car park; 17/3/2017

Painted shipping-container at Levenshulme
Train Station; 14/3/2017

Manchester Art Gallery coloured by a
moving tram & slow aperture speed; 3/3/17
Manchester Art Gallery; 24/3/201

A Manchester tram; 9/3/2017

Manchester's modern jutting architecture,
Civil Justice Centre; 9/3/2017

Trinity Bridge from Bridge Street; 9/3/17

Manchester Cathedral from
Trinity Bridge; 6/3/17

Trinity Bridge by night; 1/3/17

Reflections on the Irwell; 13/2/17

Modern Manchester, taken near Piccadilly
Train Station; 6/3/17

City's Stadium, taken near Piccadilly
Train Station; 6/3/17

On the 1st day of meteorological spring,
doffodils in Parsonage Gardens; 1/3/17

Manchester Cathedral before Arndale; 

Manchester Cathedral; 31/3/2017

Between Manchester Cathedral
and Exchange Square; 31/3/17

Manchester's Exchange Square; 31/3/2017

Manchester Town Hall and vintage bus,
from Albert Square; 14/5/2015

Manchester Town Hall rear, with bridge
to Annex, from Cenotaph; 9/3/2017

Manchester Town Hall Annex; 24/3/17

Manchester Town Hall bridges; 24/3/2017

"Adrift" statue and The Midland Hotel; 24/3/17

Looking down Saint Mary's Gate from
Manchester Arndale Foodcourt; 5/7/16

Debenhams, near Piccadilly Gardens; 29/3/17

Wheel of Manchester, Piccadilly Gardens;
13/5/2015 - dismantled June 2015

Tram & bus stops at Piccadilly; 13/5/15