As part of the celebration of the release of his latest book, My Old Clock I Wind, poet and author Kevin Morris is sharing a series of memories about his childhood. In this post he takes us back to his time at school in Liverpool at the Royal School for the Blind.
I lost the majority of my eyesight at approximately 18-months-old, as a result of a blood clot on the brain. As a consequence I attended several schools for the visually impaired (the Royal School for the Blind and Saint Vincents school for the Blind), both of which are located in the city of my birth, Liverpool.
My first love of literature undoubtedly stemmed from my grandfather who would spend hours reading to me, (I still recall the glass bookcase filled with paperbacks which stood in the spare room of my grandfather’s house). It was, however during my time at school that the world of independent reading (in the form of braille books) first opened up to me.
I recall the library in the Royal School of the Blind as being a dark room filled with tall bookcases. In contrast the library in Saint Vincents was a much lighter room and (unlike the Royal School) the floors where carpeted. I must confess to having a liking for traditional libraries (with dark furnishings and high shelving which does, in part at least eminate from my time at the Royal School).
I vividly recall taking down Edgar Alan Poe’s “Tales of Mystery and Imagination”, while at the Royal School and becoming lost in it. Apart from being a place where one could read, the school library doubled as a spot where I could (when tired of playing with my peers) retire to. Indeed I still recall being chased out of my sanctuary by a teacher and admonished to “go and play with your peers!”
The library at Saint Vincents contained (in addition to many braille books) several braille magazines. I remember reading “The National Braille Mail” which was produced by the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) and consisted of a weekly digest of the weeks news and leading articles drawn from the UK’s press. The National Braille Mail and other similar braille magazines no longer exist, having been replaced by easy access to newspapers online, which can be accessed by blind people using software such as Job Access with Speech or (JAWs), which converts text into speech and braille enabling visually impaired computer users to have the contents of their screen relaid to them.
It was while attending school that my love of poetry developed. I’ve happy memories of leafing through “The Oxford Book of English Verse”, an anthology of Kipling’s verse and many other poetry books.
I boarded at both the Royal School and Saint Vincents. We boys lived in dormatories and would often talk long after our official bedtime (once the lights where turned out talking was prohibited). I still recall having to stand outside in the corridor, in my dressing gown and slippers as a punishment for talking after the lights had been switched off!
We children would often make up stories about ghosts, ghouls and other things that go bump in the night. All this was tremendous fun until I had to leave the dormitory to use the toilet. My mind would go into overdrive imagining all kinds of unearthly horrors waiting to grab me once I left the comfort of my dormitory!
Even while in the comparative safety of the dormitory the noises made by the big old-fashioned radiators as they cooled down could frighten one half to death. Was that strange sound merely a pipe cooling or something more sinister? Why did that floor board just creak?
My time at school was, on the whole a happy one and I look back with nostalgia to the time spent in the library and the story telling after the lights went out and ghosts and ghouls roamed along the empty corridors, waiting to grab the unwary child …!
My Old Clock I Wind and other Poems
A collection of 74 new and original poems. It contains both melancholy and more cheerful pieces contrasting the fact that We can enjoy life but at the same time cannot escape its inevitable end.
As we pass
Along life’s path.
There are tears too
For me and you
For every year
Must have it’s end.
An early review from Annette Rochelle Aben
If you have yet to find yourself lost in a book of poetry by English poet, Kevin Morris, then lose yourself in My Old Clock I Wind and Other Poems. Allow yourself to wander through the changing seasons, to experience the magic of limericks, and to be entertained by the musings of a man who sees this world through different eyes.
You’ll learn about girls with unsuitable shoes, what having dinner with Dracula might be like and wonder if a garden log might be an alligator or perhaps a crocodile. Be thought provoked, by a magpie and perhaps find yourself shaking your head in agreement with the last line of Kevin’s Melting Ice. “and now the call, of the bird, goes unheard, by those drunk on their own words.”
For Kevin Morris, another notch on the belt of his writing career. For us, the readers, yet another opportunity to experience the world through the poetic eyes of a multi-faceted English poet. My Old Clock I Wind and Other Poems belongs in your collection.
“My Old Clock” is available in paperback and ebook formats from Moyhill Publishing,
Also by Kevin Morris
Read all the reviews and buy the books : https://www.amazon.co.uk/K.-Morris/e/B00CEECWHY
Find out more about Kevin and connect to him on his blog and social media.
Thank you for dropping by today and it would be great if you could share this childhood memory of Kevin’s far and wide. thanks Sally