Poem: ‘English Blue’ (for the fallen at Hastings and beyond)

stickingridge

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

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Milly Reynolds Crime Fiction Author – Happy Saint George’s Day

horsechestnut

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Milly-Reynolds/e/B0056IY4OE/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1
http://www.amazon.com/Milly-Reynolds/e/B0056IY4OE/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1366716704&sr=8-1

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

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…

What is Left

So a Brit wins le tour, a bit
like a Brit winning Wimbledon— not! A rare

thing and pretty unlikely, but
do I care? I’m supposed

to care about Olympics, about flames
and once in a lifetime things

but I don’t. It’s not me and like
Thatcher said, there is no society, no ‘us’

at all and certainly no UK because Scotland
is on its way and Wales isn’t far

behind. Little England is
left to carry the can, where all

the cash used to be and her castles
burn. And then, there’s me

© copyright David F. Barker

New Milly Reynolds book out shortly!

Milly Reynolds’ new book, “Tails I Win Heads You Lose”, is out on kindle very soon.
It is another Mike Malone Mystery, a ‘tale’ of strange murders and quirky events in a quiet English location, in deepest Lincolnshire.

Here, by way of an introduction, is the cover!

all content © copyright Milly Reynolds 2012

Number 74!!

Number 74!!.

Poem ‘Hitch’

Hitch

A throbbing disco bass
callously pounding my chest,
turning symptoms of flu
into something feeling serious.
I’d dragged myself there
against good advice,
that trashy little down in Drab County
whose only claim to fame
was its fine timber spire,
which made historians
and architects alike, drool;
the sort of town which made
the English feel proud of their past,
even if the present bore no hope,
no prospect of colour. A future

And pride! What was I doing
knocking back gin like tomorrow
did not exist?
Barely able to stand—
but still lord of the dance!
But it was you who held the cards,
the full deck.
You knew what you wanted
and how to get it.
I was the hopeless case,
a clueless pawn in your set up
with worldly guys from the Smoke
who were waiting by the door,
(forever waiting by that door!)
deriding us country boys—

but
this
country boy
knew enough about language
of the body, its gestures.
The cold morning brought eerie clarity,
despite pain in my head
to match the dagger in the heart. Oh—
you could keep your magnanimous lift.
I was hitching back.
The full seventeen miles,
even if only the bravest of drivers
would dare stop to pick up
this jerk
in the sick stained jeans

poem and image © copyright df barker 2012