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Manners – poetic expression

‘Manners’ – we discussed how we are ‘taught’ manners, as a way of showing respect and being polite. It certainly did bring up many different actions that were considered as ‘manners’ from the past.

It led us to discussions around the impact of manners on our truth and how we truly feel. Is it that we have learnt to carry a range of manners that have prevented us from, saying things we actually feel, and what is our truth?

We noticed the changing nature of how manners are used, based on new findings about the way in which children learn. While years ago, we were ‘told’, the focus now is more on ‘choice’ and it was helpful to discuss the pros and cons of each.

Where doe the word ‘manners’ take you? What feelings does it conjure?

We hope you enjoy our poems this week.

Feel free to comment or pass on for others to experience these short journeys.

The next week’s word is ‘stubborn’. I’m sure this will potentially lead us in different directions… Looking forward to it.

Hope to see you there.

Manners matter

My manners were taught to me 

Part of my family culture


Thank you


Pardon me

         You’re welcome 



Excuse me

Seems to have lived through me

For over seventy years.

Wedded to my values

Has been my polite behavior

Opening doors for others

Offering seats to those 

Who might need it more than me

One I haven’t mentioned

As I find it difficult to meet

Is keeping eye contact

When we speak

Most times it’s alright

Other times I forget

So I force myself

To make an effort

So I appear to connect

Such a fine line I stepped

Then I found a trick

That seems to work for me

Look at their nose or

Hair chin ear or lips

I’m always discrete

Manners not only reflect

Our mutual respect

They can also be used

To say we don’t like to be treated

By others being rude or abused

Like all social etiquettes

Over time customs

And conventions

Fall out of favour

Leaving others to evolve 

To be refined through time

It’s the nature of culture

My only wish is that

I never have to undergo

The replacement of “Hello”

With “Yobro?”

PJR    6.02.2023

Where are your manners?

I recall it well, 
Another visit to my aunts
Too young to understand 
No-one to tell 

Listening to the talk
In a room filled with 
Family members 
The language is familiar 
Yet indeterminable 
Their native tongue
The sound is emotive 
Feeling confused 
Zia’s (my aunt) wails, that seem like cries 
Tells a story of what belies 
She’s upset, over what I don’t know…

I don’t mess with regret 
I say to myself
As I remember dad’s threats 
The message about my behaviour 
Embedded to savour
‘Have manners and be polite’ 
When we visit Zia tonight 
No matter what biscuits or treats are in sight 

They offer them to be kind 
I learnt, I must be blind 
To the temptation and lure 
I’d know about it, for sure 

Cos if I dare to defy 
Rather than behave and comply
I’d be in big trouble
I tell no lie 

Some days however 
My sweet tooth wins 
I take one … two… 
I realize my sin 

Puts dad’s head in a spin
Which I pay for 
When we get home 
A stern warning 
Another sign 
I need more learning 
Or is it unlearning 
Of the nonsense rules that are forming

TLaB 6th Feb 2023


Mind- when you’re on the tram, give up your seat
Let the ladies pass, tip your hat
When you enter class, hold the door
You will receive a smile that’s for sure
Dinner time at home, never late for that
We all sit around and have a chat
May I leave the table-now really!
Getting a bit old for that

Drive to uni now, how those years flew
Waiting, waiting, missed the lights 
That moron went just went straight through!
The so and so in front of me, no blinkers, turning right!

So next time when you can’t get a grip
Or feel like you are losing it
Don’t forget your manners
Thanks mum

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