I’ve been reminded lately of those misty-eyed memories of innocent school days. Lets start the lesson, shall we?

Done Learning.

One thing you’ll do as you approach a certain age
Is to take more notice of the ‘Family Notices’ page,
Though todays tabloid lacks yesteryears broadsheet heft
It’s a morbid pleasure checkin’ out who you know has left.

I like to read the morning paper before the afternoon
So one morn I ordered brunch and opened the Tribune;
The usual ho-hum news, more plague, pestilence and war,
Then I fell upon some news that shook me to my souls core.

The sweet mochaccino suddenly took on a sour taste,
The ever sunny tan faded as I sat staring, chalk faced,
For there, amongst the fine print writ bold in gothic font
Was news of a loss so heavy I dropped my damn croissant!

My old Deputy Headmaster of dear Hagleigh High- dead?
I raised my trembling hands up to hold my shaking head,
I thought of the lessons that Bertie had dutifully imparted,
How his role as leader was never less than whole-hearted.

I recalled the angles and planes of that indomitable face,
All those deep-seared lifelong lessons time cannot erase…
My concerned wife said I appeared to be the picture of grief,
She handed me some tissue, which I took with tearful relief.

The old Alma Mater had supplied a glowing obituary
For one most considered Hagleigh’s highest luminary,
The tale they told of this sainted man of the highest order
Compelled me to compile my thoughts on the Tribunes border.

In my day, at Hagleigh High the most I hoped to achieve
Was to gain School Certificate and honourably leave,
Unfortunately, to gain this certificate one had to pass
Both English and Mathematics- a step too far for me, alas.

To fail in either one meant one hadn’t made the grade,
You’d be cast off to the Armed Forces, or off to get a trade,
And the Deputy-Head taught my class Mathematics- of course!
One lousy week in his class saw him flogging this flagging horse.

I was made painfully aware I had deficiencies to overcome,
Not heeding screamed instructions? to him I’m deaf or dumb;
In my first month I knew mathematics could not be mastered
Thanks to a sneering confidence-sapping bat-crap crazy bastard.

I was left an an utter loss by Berties scrawlings on the board,
The answer I came up with was ‘shut up, pray to be ignored,’
Yet my English improbably improved with every word I wrote-
Penmanship forging ahead; I forged a most convincing sick note.

Pre-math class every morning you’d find me sitting, sweating
In the toilets, relieving myself of any chance of pants wetting,
Every other cubicle engaged by four-fifths of the Fifth Form,
Every coughing, wheezing weedy Kool kid smokin’ up a storm.

I do still recall those chill mornings, getting my knickers in a twist,
All I need is to roll the Rolex up, count the livid scars on my wrist.

So, to end my little bye bye Bertie story, I’m glad he’s gone to Glory,
But first, let’s hope, like me, he does three full years in Purgatory.



11 thoughts on “I’ve been reminded lately of those misty-eyed memories of innocent school days. Lets start the lesson, shall we?

  1. This epic bit of word-play
    Is a two-sided revealing share
    As if I chanced upon you
    Dancing in your under-where

    Did you love him or hate him
    This person of great impact
    And are your memories of such
    Verily, truthfully intact

    I sense some of the former
    I sense some of the last
    But do we ever really escape
    The conundrums of the past

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You found the conundrum. There is a sad amount of truth hidden(?) in the humour but luckily as the years roll by the hide gets thicker and here’s less thin skin to stay tender. The guys lessons did leave a mark though, for sure. Still, who gets the last laugh?
      You’re speaking in my language too!
      Perhaps it’s time to forego the hate,
      It’s my time to finally forgive and forget,
      Since Berts apology, like Bert, is now too late,
      So I vow to forgive Bert soon; just not yet.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Wordplay is never wasted! I’ll reply with an inversion/perversion of a Lennon/McArtney classic- A Day In The LIfe.
      I read the bad news today, oh boy,
      Sad to say, I’m infused with joy.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Nice little tribute. I know one principal I had in grade school died years ago, I wonder which of my teachers are still around. I had a little shock like yours maybe six years back when I scanned through the hometown obits and found a buddy from high school had passed away. guy I used to spend a lot of time with in around grade 10,11 listening to Sex Pistols and Stranglers in his basement. Of course after high school, lost touch with him, next thing I know, he died after a long battle with an unnamed disease. Makes ya feel old!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. True, time rolls by, you think, ‘I must catch up with…’ before you know it, its too late. I consider myself lucky I have retained a life-long friendship with a guy I met at school when I was 13. My wife has two friends from when she was about 7-8. Teachers though; the really good ones are very memorable, the really bad one or two- irredeemably unforgettable.
      Your comment on getting old reminds me, I must try to get in touch with my old best friend who moved to Aus ages ago.


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