Poems by Cleo Henry

A Sonnet to a Tortoise Brave Enough to Be Himself in a World Full of Adversity (HT15wk4)

Noble JCR, I can only say,
In my own rhyming, antiquated way,
how honoured I am to stand before you
and in poesie sing of this college true.
For in an environment such as ours,
A tortoise fought the established powers.
Despite the whistles the old rule book blew
and the tortoise keepers’ reddening hue,
Foxe followed his heart that warm summer noon,
his love for another pierced the gloom
of a cold heteronormative world,
and the charm of Corpus helped it unfold.
Hence I am proud to be the JCR poet;
it will step on the grass however you mow it.

A Challenge (HT15wk6)

Upon our souls many scars we must bear
of trial and battle, both foul and fair.
But on the horizon dust does gather,
a travelling band ruffles the feathers,
as from cambridge they march, song in their hearts,
through feast and through fight to unite those apart.
So don us our armour, fetch our long sword!
We can fight nobly and to good accord,
but our souls here are thick with rumbling sky,
we stand for those wronged when others pass by,
and we shall sing how they through the dark meadows ran
to the heady, loud shout of ‘we peli-can!’

A Farewell Brightened by Thoughts of Reunion (HT15wk8)

Another term ended, and so we must part
With books in our arms and psalms in our hearts,
As M25 or M42
bear us aft to green pastures and skies blue.
Skies blue with rest and old guardians best
that we might not pay for food nor alcohol blessed.
Days linger in haze and will be driven
by nowhere near eight hours of revision,
but as we read and study and dine
our souls are a-tremor for spires fine.
Although some by exams are cruelly greeted
still friends and good cheer are in Oxford seated.
For one thing stands out in the things we have learned:
the best part of journeying is the return.