Two poems by Ron Oliver (Peterlee, 1988)
NEET SHIFTAa hevvn't had a wink o' sleep,
Aa've been up and down aal neet,
There's bummlers buzzing in me heed,
T' say nowt about me aching feet.
Aa'd just got snuggled down in bed,
Me arm around our lass,
When aal the cats from miles around
Begun their evening class.
They'd settled on our netty top,
Lead be a mangy tom,
Larning them t' wowl and cry,
They went off like a bomb.
Aa shot downstairs and grabbed the brumm,
From behint our watter butt,
Went fleeing up our Lang backyard,
In me linings and pit beuts.
Aa hoyed the brumm up a height
And when it clattered down,
It dadded moggies left and reet,
But missed that flaming tom.
Up went next door's bedrumm winder,
"What's gannen on?", Aa heord him shout,
Then, "Howway Mary luk at this,
The harriers are out."
That's when Aa fairly lost me rag,
Lost me heed and nivver thowt,
"Geordie Thompson come down here
And Aa'll punch the in the snout."
Noo seeing Geordie tops six foot
And Aa's just Five foot fower,
Aa'd bit of mair than Aa could chow,
So Aa run in and locked the door.
But as Aa climbed the stairs t' bed,
Aa heord Geordie Thompson goller out,
He'd catch us on the morn's morn,
And land me grit big gob a clout.
The wife said, "Hinney nivver mind,
Y' knaw that Geordie's soft as clarts,
Keep weel away from him the morn,
Cos sal he's good at's chasing tarts."
We'd just got settled back t' back,
Gannen nicely off t' sleep,
When out the front aal hell brokk lowse,
Dogs fighting on the auld pit heap.
Aa craaled downstairs, went out the front,
Waalked halfway up the raa,
Picked half a brick up off the road
And kest it wi' a mighty thraa.
It stotted off of one dog's heed
And dropped it wi' a thud,
The others didn't stop t' argy,
They kennt that Aa waz efter blood.
Aa turned around t' gann back hyem
And nearly took a fit,
Cos Geordie just behint me yelled,
"That's. my dog thou's hit."
He fetched me lug such a clout,
The bells aal started ringing,
Aa tell the what that even now,
Aa've got a lug that's singing.
Aa hedn't time t' chow the fat,
So up the raa Aa flew,
Wi' Geordie pelting efter me,
He'd ring me neck Aa knew.
Aa beat him t' the corner,
Coined sharp in t' the lane,
When part way, he fell ower his feet,
As Aa myed round the front agyen.
When Aa riched me aan front door,
Aa in and shut it quick,
Dropped the sneck and shot the bolt;
Aa nivver miss a trick.
Then as Aa louped up the stairs t'bed,
"What's wrang?" Aa heord her caal,
So Aa collared her and haaked her out,
And she stotted off the waal.
"If Geordie's soft as clarts", Aa sayed,
"Then get up off the floor
And gann downstairs and pezzle him,
That's him braying in wo' door."
Efter Geordie chucked the towel in
And went back hyem t' bed,
Our lass caaled up from down belaa,
"It's time fer Pit", she sayed.
So now Aa'm sitting here at bank,
Waiting fer the cage,
Sore heed, sore feet, a grit fat lug,
And feeling twice me age.
THE CLUBRemember Aa felled Geordie's dog,
Aa think yea'd better hear the rest,
What happened on the Saterday neet,
The syem week poor auld Gyp went west.
Our lass and me went t' the Club,
Her decked out like a dog's dinner,
Fox fur and a dut wi' feathers in
And high heeled shoes that cripple her.
Aa got the drinks in at the bar,
As she fund two empty seats,
Some feul sayed they were syeving them,
But she syun put them t' reets.
The wife sayed, "By there's plenty in,
It's a good job we come syun,
Thou'd a been down on thee hunkers,
Aa dinnat knaa what Aa'd a dyun."
Aa lit a tab fer me and her
And hed a good sup at me beer,
Then she hed t' gann and spoil things,
"Geordie and the wife's in here."
Aa sayed, "Aw woman howld yer wisht,
Aa divvent want t' knaa,
Aa waddn't put it past him,
T' waalk ower and dadd me jaaw."
"Dinnat let on we knaa he's here,
Just listen t' the crack",
Then a woman caaled, "What cheer Bob?",
And cauld shivers run down me back.
Aa kennt that it waz Geordie's Mary,
She sounds like riving claes,
"How's thee lug feel, Bobby hinney,
Is thee heed still in a daze?"
Our lass louped up and spilled the beer,
Aal ower the baalrumm floor,
"Aa'm gannen ower t' fettle her,
Aa'll put her through yon door."
Ivvery thing went aaful quiet
As she stamped across the rumm,
Then the drummer in the three piece band
Give a Lang roll on his drumm.
She stood ower Geordie's Mary,
Sitting chuntering in her gin,
"Hev yea got enny mair t' say?,
Afore Aa dadd yer fyess in."
"Aye", says Mary, "That Aa hev,
Your Bob's a stumer on the nest,
A man that hesn't list t' fight -
Aa think yea knaa the rest."
"Yea're brazzened fond", our lass replied,
Spit out her lump o' chuddy,
Clipped Mary's heed wi' such a clout,
It wadd hev downed a cuddy.
Poor Mary's eyes yowled up her heed,
As she slid down off the seat
And gin and beer couped ower her;
She'd dunshed the tyeble wi' her feet.
Then Geordie lost his rag for fairs,
He flew ower t' where Aa sat,
Yarked us up be me ganzie front
And then he shuck us like a rat.
"Aa've hed enough o' this," he sayed.
Trailed me ower the baalrumm floor,
Then hoyed us out, neck and crop,
Strite through the Club's front door.
As Aa went sailing through the air,
Aa thowt, why wasn't Aa mair wary,
It's me that got hoyed through the door,
Instead o' Geordie's Mary.
Aa landed wi' an aaful thud,
Amang clarts and mucky watter,
That clagged me claes aal our us,
Like a fish that's thick wi batter.
As Aa picked mesell up off the grund,
Three marras stotted in the muck,
It waz Geordie and his Mary
And our lass, run out o' luck.
Six committee men stood at the door,
"Haddaway and divvent come back,
Yea're nee better than mad galloways,
As members yea're aal blacked."
That's how it comes, this Saterday neet,
We're sitting in the Trust snug,
Paying tuppence mair fey ivvery pint,
Cos we're aal barred from the Club.
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