The Conker King


John Keats described it as ‘the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness’, but when I was a boy autumn meant one thing and one thing only; the quest for the perfect conker. The conker that would take on all comers and would remain unscathed and victorious.

One year, whilst out walking in the woods near our house, I looked down and saw the green, mine like casing of the horse chestnut. On falling, it had split open and I could just see the varnished flesh of a beautiful looking conker. And somehow I knew that this was the one. This would be the all conquering, undefeated, conker king.

I took home my prize, let the training begin
skewered the face and laced the string
of my burnished, bronze champion
my Conker King.

My hero was worthy, strong and proud
played to the gallery, performed for the crowd
5,10,15 scalps in the ring
to my burnished, bronze champion
my Conker King.

But one day I noticed a crack appear
my champion flinched, still showed no fear
straight into the fray, the battle sting
my burnished, bronze champion
my Conker King.

The enemy swung and smote with flair
my warrior bruised, flesh started to tear
his time had come, the skalds would sing
of my burnished, bronze champion
my Conker King.

The crowds dispersed, went back to class
I stared at brown chips littering the grass
I’d never forget the proud and all conquering
burnished, bronze champion
my Conker King.

PHZ

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About The Henry Brothers

We are English teachers involved in ELT publishing in Turkey, and also touring the country giving workshops and presentations to English teachers, mainly on the use of poetry, storytelling and other lively activities in the classroom. We can be contacted by e-mail to istanbuljohnm@hotmail.co.uk.
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