England’s Heritage in Photos: Swinstead Church of Saint Mary, Lincolnshire – More Medieval Wall Art

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Swinstead lies in the beautiful south west Lincolnshire in the east of England.

Interestingly, in Shakespeare’s play King John, Swinstead is mentioned several times, maybe in mistake for Swineshead, where King John is thought to have visited on his last journey, before he died at Newark in Nottinghamshire.

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Like nearby Corby Glen church, there are some examples of medieval wall art.

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There is an explanation for the symbols incorporated into the wall art.

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copyright words and photos Francis Barker 2019

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Haiku: Don’t Believe a Word

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Photo by Laurentiu Robu from Pexels

I don’t believe it
Take this absurd farce away
this mere shadow play

copyright Francis Barker 2019

Tanka: 21st Century Hamlets

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Photo by Francesco Ungaro from Pexels

I have had enough
the enemy is with me
sitting on my hands
All of us living Hamlets 
Damned which ever way we turn

copyright Francis Barker 2019

Poem: ‘Dance of Life’

This was long thought to be the only portrait ...

(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

Poem: Kit

Famous posthumous portrait of Niccolò Machiave...

Famous posthumous portrait of Niccolò Machiavelli (1469-1527). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Somebody stopped me
in the Canterbury street, like a hand
on my arm which took me
by surprise. Two dark eyes full of
verve, like air fanning fire, arresting
me with their stare,
a challenge written with an effulgent
quill; in my mind I saw it tripping
over pages with invention
in sweet candlelight.

So many years before, a Kentish king
knelt before the altar in solemn
genuflection, and now
you, your head brimming with catechism
and heady charm, speaking out like
Machiavelli, Paul becoming
Saul to declare another truth
in your eyes, in mottos and tatty trinkets
of shop windows, which only repeat
your daring pose in ignorance

poem © copyright David F. Barker 2013

The Preview

Christopher Marlowe

Christopher Marlowe (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m sorry, but I think you’re in my seat. OK, let’s
have a look at your ticket. Oh yes, that’s it, you
need to move along one. Thanks very much,
no harm done.

Ah, looks like it might be a full house tonight.
Maybe it’s the intrigue surrounding the play.
What do I mean? Well, you know – Cardenio,
and all that. One of his supposed ‘missing’ plays.
Apocrypha, I believe that’s the right term,
although that word always sounds so medicinal
to me! Anyhow, what I mean is, it all seems a
little too suspect, if you want my opinion,
something they’ve cobbled together from
various sources, though I’m sure it will be
enjoyable all the same. Better than reading Don
Quixote again, at any rate! What was that? You
think it is pretty close to the original? Right. Well,
we will see. I mean, who among us has read the
original? Oh, I see. Mn.

But then of course, there are still those who
believe he never wrote any of those plays.
And you must admit, you can see where
they’re coming from, can’t you? Well, he was,
after all, relatively uneducated, say compared
to Fletcher, even Ben Jonson. Could he really
have written Hamlet or King Lear, or described
places like Italy so well without ever setting
foot there? I have my doubts.

I say, are you feeling alright? You’re looking a
little off colour.

Actually, if you don’t mind me asking, have I
seen you here before? Maybe in town
somewhere. I thought so! I do apologise if I’m
staring but there’s something about your face,
your eyes. That hairline. And the beard. Wait!
Do you know, you’re the spitting image of that
portrait of… they found in Corpus Christi…

© copyright David Francis Barker 2012

* some time ago we went to see the play Cardenio at Stratford, which was based on parts of a play which may have been written by Shakespeare, which itself was based on Cervantes’ Don Quixote. I imagined myself in the theatre talking to the ghost of Christopher Marlowe, who some believe to be the real Shakespeare. Complicated, it is! But then real history always is, not like the myth that we are presented with most of the time at school and elsewhere…

Exciting times ahead

Milly Reynolds – Crime Fiction Author

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-17839185

It looks as if exciting times are ahead judging by all of the events being lined up. What a pity that we have to wait for an event such as the Olympics to get such a cultural treat. Don’t we deserve a bit of culture every year?

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