Walk with me
into the grey breaking dawn
where that sticking ridge of blue –
an English blue
rolls on into soft distances
and strange dancing names
Stand with me
by those set whispering stones
in a steadfast line –
a sore English line
of rasping pipes and howling socks
mouthing our memory
like a warning to tomorrow
a land forlorn to all but itself
Then help me to bury him
not on some crying strand –
in firm English land
where hallows’ calls are grounded
our grief laid open
in the whitening bones of heroes
on this high scoured hill
copyright Leofwine Tanner 2019, 2011
first published in ‘Poetry 24’ June 23 2011
There used to be an event, commencing in the late 1950s, famously called ‘The Spalding Tulip Parade’ in south Lincolnshire, England.
Every year much time and money was spent on creating a series of floats decorated with tulips to parade around the small Lincolnshire town, sponsored by local and national businesses. Tourists flocked there every year from many parts of the country and beyond.
Sadly those days have long gone now. However a ‘vestige’ of this former glory still remains in the numerous church flower festivals which still take place in early May.
I was particularly impressed this year by Donington’s flower festival. The explorer and cartographer who essentially mapped Australia, Matthew Flinders, was born in Donington in 1774. Recently his remains were discovered and there is a move to bring them back to Donington – you could almost feel the air of anticipation at this prospect.
Today many strong links remain with Australia; there are numerous visits from ‘down under’ too, both sides very keen to keep up and improve the cultural associations.
Let’s hope his remains return home soon and that a tasteful setting is created for the memory and legacy of the great Matthew Flinders of Donington, Lincolnshire.
Lychgates, also sometimes called resurrection gates, are a curious English (though not exclusively) phenomenon.
The name derives from the Old English word lych, or lich, meaning body, referring to entrance to the churchyard though which the body of the deceased was carried. This was seen as the beginning of the path towards resurrection by being buried in holy ground.
In medieval times, signs and symbols carried a lot of weight as most of the population were illiterate. Nevertheless, it would be a mistake to think that signs and symbols don’t carry as much weight today. We just have to read and understand them.
English crime fiction author, Milly Reynolds celebrates England’s national day, which, rather conveniently also happens to be Shakespeare’s birthday.
Milly’s books simply could not be more English!
So, to anyone who thinks about England, has English roots, or who would like to recognise the positive side of this small country, which has contributed so much to the world – have a great day!
© copyright David F. Barker 2013
This is the cover of Milly’s new book, ‘Death for Art’s Sake’, soon coming out on kindle, and later on smashwords.
Eighth book in the Mike Malone series, this time Mike finds himself drawn into a macabre murder, all in the name of art…!
image © copyright Milly Reynolds 2013
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Don’t hold out a torch
for me, I am not free of blame. This
is the dance of life where all are
culpable, soon to be drowned in
washes, the mangling gears
of pain. But who knows, these maelstroms
might be wormholes, revealing other
worlds and tableaux of night; dressings
of props across cold stone walls, taken
and rebuilt from dishevelled remains.
And where bards once played on stages,
hidden behind arras stitchings
and nom de plumes, we are all still
mere punters in pits macabre, holding
torches for celebrity – look at them, drunk,
high up with their gods of gold
© poem copyright David F. Barker 2013
Like a heavy Thirties’ vibrato, the early
talkie movie strings exquisite
your restrained pose remains
steadfast before the storm, long shadows
of a vengeance which threatens
you, barely withheld. Still
your smiling eyes stare
back from Paris cafés through
mists of Gitanes, drenched
in sepia, like the relics of some
© copyright David F. Barker 2013