Tag Archives: History

Anti – Imperialism

Anti – Imperialism


What’s John Bull gonna do when there’s no more Irish to shoot?

no more slaves to trade,

no more colonial rebels to put into concentration camps?

no more Arab villages to bomb,

no more lies left to tell about

who really got the win at Waterloo;

or how D-Day was nearly sunk

on the second day by a venal buffoon,

and the Great War,

yes that War

that was just one long bloody mistake anyhow.

A German Requiem

Incense-misted eyes


throats baulked with pride,


scars reddened by droplets


a hand wiping spittle


from the Breviary’s page;


Drought-mouthed elegies


to ribbons burdened


by weights of guilt,


gleaming handle farewells


accompanied by Bach


to the warrior hearts


swollen with longing,


marking time with


the limping clock;


Yearning, yearning


for visions


wrought into maps,


iron-ore mountains


forged into Tanks


and nights of gasoline


when the Sea


of Ages parted


and Schnapps was Wagner


in our heads.

Days of Hope

Smoke-towered horizons burn
into morning over mill-towns,
steel towns,coal towns
shut and shattered,
their shopping malls and terraced
streets gaoled in ambered time,
the busy-ness of their
busy days poised at a
point that once was,
washed over by faint hallelujahs
fading amens from choired congregations,
church and chapel echoing down
dust filled years of better days,
when a nation was catching up
to its future,yesterday’s tomorrow;
the Now that is becoming
chrysalised as not far not yet,
tactiled anticipation of an opening,
gleaming mirrored strand of continuity,
its promise appropriating this space,
this time,this Forever,
becoming real.

A Tale of Two French Mathematicians

( Mechain et Delambre )

 

Under the aegis of science as deity

they sought to create

a new church and laity,

replacing local customary

ancient measures and weights

they did away with clocks

calendars and all of the dates;

Mechain et Delambre

set out on their stroll

to measure the distance

from Equator to Pole:

one ten-millionth

of the length of the Meridian

was supposed to establish

the Metre as quotidian:

1792 Revolution in the air

beset the journeys

of this empirical pair,

on their quest for

the measure of all things

so as to make uniform

the length of all strings.

Warriors

Darkening the forest deep
autumn its green,
swirling grey and brown
shadows flecked,
trees gaunt,erect;
trembling leaves
seized by fear,
feral eyes
darting and lurking;
salivary breath
stalking footsteps bound,
tramping heavily
on foliaged ground,
breaking
staggering
into the run,
of hearts and minds
fleeing and pounding,
fevers fired
by diagonal shafts,
of sunlight and arrows
threading and piercing,
whispering their death,
clattering and cutting,
bone bared,sweat-browed
fighters fall amid the dense;
and all the summers that are to come,
no longer are theirs but the forest’s

The Library at Alexandria

What words were they

that were lost amid

intolerance’s rage?

Whose verses,knowledge,wisdom

were swept into oblivion

by the fires’ wrath?

A pyre stacked

with a million scrolls

the deeds and glories of Ages past

gone into the long forgetting;

and in the Now and Forever

Hypatia remains exiled

in the garden,

where the Sun refuses to shine.

Stonewall Jackson ( 1863 )

Under midnight Judas-Moon

a lanterned kiss betrayed you,

borrowed prayers hushed futile wrath

as dreams of glory

into nightmares fled;

Gethsemanied tears doused your legend

and washed away its Southern thrall

conjured from stallions’ swirling dust;

Napoleon nor Hannibal could excel

your Grey tornadoes’ vengeful wake,

as with sabred ploughshares across

bloodied soil they furrowed

in the season of storms,

Dixie’s glory harvesting the sheaves of pity

until your banshees could vent

no more their burning rage,

doused that night under Judas-Moon

its lanterned kiss proferred too soon.

Footnote:
Thomas Jonathan “Stonewall” Jackson (January 21, 1824 – May 10, 1863) was a Confederate general during the American Civil War, and the best-known Confederate commander after General Robert E. Lee.[3] His military career includes the Valley Campaign of 1862 and his service as a corps commander in the Army of Northern Virginia, under Robert E. Lee. Confederate pickets accidentally shot him at the Battle of Chancellorsville on May 2, 1863. The general survived but lost an arm to amputation; he died of complications from pneumonia eight days later. His death was a severe setback for the Confederacy, affecting not only its military prospects, but also the morale of its army and of the general public. Jackson in death became an icon of Southern heroism and commitment, and became a mainstay in the pantheon of the “Lost Cause”.[4]

Military historians consider Jackson to be one of the most gifted tactical commanders in U.S. history.[5] His Valley Campaign and his envelopment of the Union Army’s right wing at Chancellorsville are studied worldwide, even today, as examples of innovative and bold leadership. He excelled as well in other battles: the First Battle of Bull Run (First Manassas), where he received his famous nickname “Stonewall”; the Second Battle of Bull Run (Second Manassas); and the battles of Antietam and Fredericksburg.

Stabat Mater

Amongst the thousands staring

and no-one caring ,

We too stared and stood

next to the Woman alone and weeping

as her hopes were seeping

away into the sinking Sun ;

The crowds had been shouting

with each cheer doubting

the innocence of that Woman’s son ;

We too stood and watched

a woman alone and weeping

as her hopes were seeping ,

and heard in the crowd something odd

perhaps the son of that Woman

was truly the Son of God ;

Amongst the thousands staring

and no-one caring ,

We too stared and stood..

Vikings

Darkening autumn spewed forth
its restless orphans ,
ejected them from pale gaunt
wombs of the Northern twilight;
Maelstromed them across
inhospitable Oceans ,
borne by timbered craft ,
steered by iron-needle
crewed by hunger,need and avarice ;
Shield ,axe and oaths
searching for the promise of Valkyrie songs ,
angry assemblies of swords sundered
Odin’s ethereal sphere ,
inciting howls in distant wolverine forests
and quickening the hunger in their own veins.

The Armada:1588

In Calais Port you await
a heralded dawn long foretold ,
yet somehow you shall fail
to meet that appointed hour at
St.Paul’s and the Coronation Of Eagles,
apples of Phillip’s eye ,
as they are plucked from their
firmament and left to gaze sightless
at heavens bereft of their autumnal stars
and their once ordained glory ;
as cannon ,halberd, musket ,
and a breastplated Duke of Palma
await in Calais Port ,
for parchments ,timber and
Sidonia’s pride to shrivel
and crack in Kraken-waked infernoes ,
that will scatter fated galleons
toward an abyss where
Sirens’ songs entice haughty broods
and their lineages to intersect
Scylla and Charybdis, as ,
still in Calais Port you await
for your deity to shroud your bones
and from rotten sunken timbers
resurrect that crucified dawn .