Well here is a neglected little area of Ely On-Line - well that's all gonna change now! (as they just love to say on TV). Mainly because I have now met The Peoples Poet - Rodney Bilson.
Rod came to see me with his collection of published poetry and asked for it to be included within the site. I agreed, and asked him if he could write something specifically about Ely - exclusively for Ely On-Line. He agreed, and therefore, I am proud to present to you all "My Cathedral Ely" by The People's Poet - Rodney Bilson. Click here for The Complete Works Of Rodney Bilson.

Rodney Bilson
My Cathedral Ely

Oh my Ely Cathedral, you have stood there from 1109.
Nothing can move you as you stand in your glory.
Cromwell closed the doors on you but now the doors are open.
Man, woman, young and old, they walk slowly into you.
Music is played in your glory.
Your nearest neighbour is Peterborough Cathedral,
You can see youselves on clear summer days.
You are big and strong and you are the third largest Cathedral in the country,
I can't say no more about you
But you know I have done my best
To write poetry for you, now I must go...Ely Cathedral.

Rodney Bilson - March 1999

For The Complete Works of Rodney Bilson - Click here...

We now present - Alistair Kitching's Excellent piece, simply called "Ely"


Oh Ely
You make me go all touchy-feely, Ely
Even on me holidays when the sun makes me all peely, Ely
I'm thinking of you
If I had a motorbike I'd do a wheelie, Ely
And dedicate it to you
Really, Ely, I would

Al Kitching - March 1999

And Now- a tale of domestic bliss in Sutton..........

Teenage Children Blues By Kim Osborne

Teenage Children Blues

I can't get through the door for shoes,
I've got the teenage children blues,
Wherever I look there are bags & clothes,
I appear to be living with a family of Sloth's,
There's a television on in every room,
But when I look in everyone's gone,
The kitchen is always left in a mess,
The parents are under a terrible stress,
If you're finished with it put it away,
Bring down those cups, here take a tray,
Do you have to use the floor for trash?
What do you mean, "can I borrow some cash?",
I'm not going to school I feel sick,
It always works a neat little trick,
I've been home all day, can I go out,
You seem well enough to scream and shout,
While you were off the tele was on,
Now the biscuits and chocolate has gone,
Home from work at five I return,
A riot has happened the remnants strewn,
The crowd has dispersed they never learn,
Noises are coming from various rooms,
"Is my tea ready?" is the first shout,
I grab my shoes and coat and go out,
"Drive me to here get me to there",
They call while reclining in my favourite chair,
I switch off the TV and put on a tape,
They leave the room in a terrible shape,
Suddenly the ceiling reverberates with sound,
Lets go down the Pub, lets go to ground,
There's a shouting match across the landing,
"He's got my book, I can't stand him",
"Give it her back", "No it's mine",
Why must this happen all of the time,
Why can't we live in a Harmony House?
It's you, You're the problem,
You old Grouse.

Kim Osborne - March 1999

And The Prolific Kim Osborne now gives us:

Surreal Ely

The Fens around Ely are oh so flat,
It must be impossible to run over a cat
You would see it for miles before you got close
Oh! No I'm thinking of the Cathedral I suppose
Although I feel this task would be hard
To flatten a Cathedral in my little car
I do find it strange when this land I do rove
Along every street and along every drove
When I'm out there doing my hike
Why is every cyclist on a Mountain Bike?
I lean when I walk its an affliction
The land must slope in the other direction
I see strange shapes at every turn
Where is it from, this I must learn
Are these objects from outer space
And hit the ground at a terrible pace
No! It fell from that tractor along the Street
Of course, should have guessed, its Sugar Beet
When the rain comes the fields they do flood
The roads will tend to get covered in mud
The washes expand into one great lake
I see melting watches, no that's a mistake
Elephants are reflected in the water from swans
All I can here are old Pink Floyd songs
Reality seems to be fading away
How can that be at the end of the day
It must be those mushrooms I had for tea
Making the world appear so much weirder to me
What must I do to get back to it really
Wait I seem to be driving through Ely
A plastic Cromwell, what a strange life
Appears on the street next to his wife
This strange man stands cold and stiff
While Japanese tourists stand there with
He stands there through Sun, Snow & Rain
While people return again & again
Meanwhile at the schools the pupils revolt
On go the PCs and the screens with a jolt
A war of words develop on the superhighway
The Principles concerned his flock gone astray
He's convinced its just a small group
When caught they'll be well in the soup
The Ring leader still has escaped capture
His fellow pupils look on in rapture
Now he must be careful to the extreme
To allow his prose to be continued to be seen
His writing would surely upset his mother
He's used a spellcheck he must be a Glover

Kim Osborne - March 1999

And now, ladies and gentlemen, for your edification and enjoyment, from the author of Cauliflower Drove - John "I use a spellcheck" Glover - we are pleased and proud to present:


a is for Armstrong; the spaceman supreme
b is for Bannister and his four minute dream
c is for Churchill: warleader and wit
d is for Dante and his bottomless pit
e is for Elvis with those swivelling hips
f is for Frankenstein blessed with such kissable lips
g is for Gandhi, a propounder of peace
h is for Hitler, may his hell never cease
i is for Ivanhoe and his swashbuckling good looks
j is for Joyce and his incomprehensible books
k is for Kelly such a woman of grace
l is for Lennon reflected in Mark Chapman's face
m is for Manson and his murderous clan
n is for Nixon who had a peach of a plan ??
o is for Oswald and his friends on the grassy knoll
p is for Pankhurst: her strength her belief her soul
q is for Quasimodo and a cathedral full of tears
r is for Ronald Reagan and a parade of puppeteers
s is for Steinbeck: his humour and compassion
t is for Thatcher and her handbags of dispassion
u is for Ulrika with me gazing at her navel
v is for Vivaldi and vincent his pet turtle
w is for Wellington who used to cuss in boots
x is for St.Xavier-god and mankind in cahoots
y is for Yehudi and a talent so sublime
z is for Zephaniah who writes poetry-unlike mine


And now for something different.......


The Bairns of Dunblane

no kiss on the cheek for the souls of the slain
no bugle to announce their sweet smiles
no fanfare for the bairns of dunblane

no warmth of the sun or the wind or the rain
no jerusalem in this pleasant isle
no kiss on the cheek for the souls of the slain

no coming of age, just the hurt and the pain
no one to beget or beguile
no fanfare for the bairns of dunblane

no birdsong at morning or summer evening refrain
no grinning or glint of a smile
no kiss on the cheek for the souls of the slain

no friend in the playground just them on their ane
no sweetness that he could defile
no fanfare for the bairns of dunblane

no death in the memory as it shall never wane
no slow walk with a love down the aisle
no kiss on the cheek for the souls of the slain
no fanfare for the bairns of dunblane

Jean Volger 1997

Another chap who makes good use of the Spellchecker is local Folk Music hero Dave Wolfe who sends us this:

Eye halve a spelling chequer
It came with my pea sea
It plainly marques four my revue
Miss steaks eye kin knot sea.

Eye strike a key and type a word
And weight four it two say
Weather eye am wrong oar write
It shows me strait a weigh.

As soon as a mist ache is maid
It nose bee fore two long
And eye can put the error rite
Its rare lea ever wrong.

Eye have run this poem threw it
I am shore your pleased two no
Its letter perfect awl the weigh
My chequer tolled me sew.

Sent to us by Dave Wolfe - April 1999.

If you feel like waxing lyrically, e-mail your poem to poems@ely.org.uk and we will publish it to the World!  

Others we have been sent:

This is a poem a wrote about England when I was feeling a little homesick one day. I met Frank when he was stationed at Mildenhall. He is Cajun, from Lafayette, Louisiana. We now live just outside Baton Rouge.  As you will see, the poem isn't just about the fen country, but much of it is. I hope you like it. You are very welcome to post this and/or my other e-mail on the site. Bye for now,

Pam Mouton


I left the world I've always known to call another country home,
I left behind the gentle hills, the Fens and farms with great windmills
Which creak and groan with every turn, Oh, England, how I ever yearn
To see your soft and grassy realm, the oak, the willow, birch and elm.

Vast skies, black soil, the pheasant's cry, the River Ouse, the gulls that fly
Behind the plough that scores the land, driven by the farmer's hand.
Eyes like jet and skin like leather, out in every kind of weather,
Snow and wind and rain and sun, he and the earth forever one.

Towering high for all to see, the great cathedral of Ely.
Majestic beauty of the east, gargoyles, monsters, wondrous beasts
Do guard its each and every stone so it will never be alone
To face the heinous, wicked wraith of Lucifer's demonic faith.

Cambridge, famous for it's schools and colleges, no place for fools.
On bicycles the students ride, past Petty Curie side by side.
The buskers down in Lion Yard sing and play, or quote "The Bard",
They'll dance a jig, or tell a tale to earn some money for their ale.

Traditions, myths, so very old, are kept alive, and so we're told
Black Shuck, the dog, his ghost you'll see, and if you go to Whittlesey
The Straw Bear will go prancing through, and Molly Men will dance for you
To ask the gods to grow our wheat and give us the spring, so we can eat.

Huge stones endured the test of time, On Salisbury Plain Stonehenge you'll find,
The ancient mystery still stands, megaliths of human hands?
The Druid's secret not revealed, so why these stones in this great field?
In a circle, tall and grand, they dominate the local land.

Not far away, the great White Horse, carved in chalk by hand, of course.
A Neolithic primal race did carve it in the hillside's face.
You are to stand within the eye, and turn three times then by and by
Love and luck's bestowed on you, your dreams or wishes will come true.

To London town you have to go to see the Queen or watch a show
There's London Bridge, the ghostly Tower, Big Ben will strike upon the hour
You'll see the pidgins in the square, under Nelson's stony stare
You'll ride the train beneath the streets to save your weary, aching feet.

So should you ever venture there, to England, beautiful and fair,
You'll see the things of which I've told and in my memory I hold.
America's a lovely place, a land of beauty, warmth and grace,
But there will always be a part of  England, deep within my heart.

Pam Mouton November 23, 1996


Take Time to See by Lee J. Erdo

If flowers had faces I know they'd all smile, to cheer up the crabgrass and make it worthwhile.
Ya know that pesky chipmunk who lives in a tree, plays mischievous tricks and runs circles round me.
How bout that ol' blackbird, rules forest with his call, just a warnin the animals in spite of it all.
Now tell me, where`s the brook going and what`s her rush, never takin' time to chat,
simply cools us with her touch.
Its so amazing, look around you and take time to see,
theres life in each blade of grass and a guardian for every tree.
The mushroom so tiny, such an unimportant plant,  but when the sky sees fit to cry, it umbrellas a tiny ant.
I once saw a ground hog cryin' long side the road,  not wanting to leave her little one,
even though he grew cold.
Animals are so-o-o stupid, I heard it once said, yet a possum in harms way knows enough to play dead.
And the wolf, what good is he, calls a hollow his home of course,
but he mates for life, rears his young and never heard of divorce.
Everything has a special purpose, just like you and me,
So why can't we watch and learn and digest what we see.

And another from Lee:

The Lesson by Lee J. Erdo - 04/99

We are granted a gift, limitless and unchained,
You decide what is best, morality or profane
An inner subconscious and freedom of choice
Along with assistance from one positive voice.

Some will say they love you, others may act as they care,
but how can they love you when they're hearts are never there?
Still your eternally ascending confidently advancing the top
but if sporadically you should fall, you must never quit or stop.

Growing & learning from others you'll meet along the way,
Your courage decides the roads, when your mind tempts you to stray.
Don't lose your creditability, hold steadfast to your virtuous heart
specifically don't lose the objectives, you were gifted from the start.

In facing problems with others, do away with all cruel attack,
kindness defeats malicious words which can never be taken back.
Searching for the answers, you'll always seek out what's true,
trials & tribulations lie ahead, inevitably waiting for you.

Learn from all the lessons, gain patience & strength from the pain
don't ever take a step backwards to vengeance them the same.
Forgiving is not allowing an individual off the hook  
simply forges a peace within and a distinctive spiritual outlook.

Always be kind to others, love when it's most difficult to do,
and if your swift to judge, stop & take a real good look at you.
Honesty is never the easiest to adequately proclaim  
but lies manufacture distrust and a monster which you'll create.

Always take time for family & friends, no matter what be the cost
for you never know when their job is complete and their presence will be lost.
Giving should be kept a secret, between you and the one who receives,
It's a proper gesture made in humbleness, that is what I believe.

Mothers love your children don't excuse them when you know they're wrong
Tough love sometime is difficult but in discipline you must be strong.
Teach them respect for others and above all accountable for their mistakes
Punishing will not scar them, a sense of responsibility is what you'll awake.

Fathers love your child's mother, give her the respect she deserves,
Commitment, admiration & compromise is what you need to preserve.
Only through love, ethics and dignity will your child then survive
a world which is essentially confused and some would hope to divide.

Once again I remind you of the many choices you alone will make,
Its not just about you and your needs when its heartache you create.
And if you should fall and judge or hurt others along the way
the reparation in "I'm sorry" will do, if you meet your creator halfway.

So you decide, its freedom of choice no others except your own,
Blaming brother or sister stagnates and eventually you'll have to attone.
The old saying "what comes around goes around" is your concluding payment
whether in this life or the next, you alone will stand in complete judgement.

Lee J.