We Will Remember Them

I posted this poem once before, but have decided to post it again as on Sunday it’s 100 years since the Armistice . I hope you enjoy it.

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WE WILL REMEMBER THEM.

I’ll never truly understand
How World War I began.
The death of Archduke Ferdinand
Started the deaths of many more,
The young, the old, the rich, the poor.
All died with guns in hand.

My Grandad went with Uncle Jim 02grandad
And Our Poor Willie, too.
They sent them off, singing a hymn.
Grandad went to Gallipoli,
Uncle Jim left his love, Polly.
Gas in trenches did kill him.

I cannot see, in my mind’s eye
Grandad with gun in hand.
A peaceful man, sent out to die.
He fought for us, for you and me
So we can live and so that we
Safely in our beds may lie.

015gtunclewilly1Grandad came home, and Willie too,
But millions more did not.
Their duty they all had to do.
They died in fear, in noise, in blood.
Everything was caked in mud.
Yet in those fields the poppies grew.

The War to end all wars, they said,
So terrible were the deaths.
The youth of Europe all lay dead.
Yet 21 short years to come
Another war. Once more a gun
In young men’s hands brought death.

One hundred years have passed since then.
What have we learned? Not much!
Too many men are killing men.
Wars still abound around the world.
Bombs and missiles still are hurled
At those who disagree with them.

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In The Haunted House. A poem for Hallowe’en

I wrote this poem for a Hallowe’en poetry contest. Wish me luck.

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The wind it blows cold
Like ice down my back.
I try to be bold,
But courage I lack.
In the haunted house.

It seemed such a lark
When we set off tonight.
But now it’s gone dark
And we shiver with fright
In the haunted house.

Jane said. ‘We’ll have fun
On Hallowe’en night.’
But when solw footsteps come
She screams out in fright
In the haunted house.

‘Let’s take candles, said Pete.
More authentic for light.
And something to eat
If we’re staying all night
In the haunted house.’

Jack thinks it’s a game
Till the candles blow out.
Not one single flame.
He gave a loud shout
In the haunted house.

The temperature sinks.
‘That means ghosts are here,’
Said Pete, who still thinks
There’s nothing to fear
In the haunted house.

The door starts to creak.
It opens so slow.
Our knees feel so weak.
I wish we could go
From the haunted house.

But nothing is there
As we huddle in fear.
Not one of us dare
To get up and peer
In the haunted house.

All night there are groans.
We hear footsteps, we swear,
And the rattle of bones.
Something is there
In the haunted house.

We laugh at our fear
As we make our way home.
In daylight it’s clear
No spirits do roam
In the haunted house.

The noises we heard?
Just the sounds of a house
Cooling down, and a bird.
Not one single ghost
In the haunted house.

 

I hope you enjoyed this poem as much as I enjoyed writing it. Please leave a comment in the comments section. I love to hear from you.

Elven Evening Hymn from The Wolf Pack

During their travels to find Sauvern’s Sword, the group calling themselves The Wolf Pack found themselves in the homeland of the Elves. Here they heard the beautiful sunset hymn the Elves sang each evening.

Here is that hymn, with a translation from the Elvish for those of you who are not proficient in that language.

 

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‘Ah equillin ssishinisi
Qua vinillaquishio quibbrous
Ahoni na shar handollesno
As nas brollenores.

Ah equilin bellamana
Qua ssishinisi llanarones
As wma ronalliores
Shi nos Grillon prones.

Ah equilin dama Grillon
Pro llamella shilonores
As nos rellemorres
Drapo weyishores.
Yam shi Grillon yssilores
Grazlin everr nos pronores
Wama vinsho prolle-emo
Lli sha rallemorres.’
Translation

“Oh star of the evening
Shining brightly
You give us hope
In the deepening night.

Oh beauteous star
Who heralds the evening
You tell us all
That Grillon guards us

Oh Grillon’s star
As you sink westwards
Return again
To guard the dawn.

Ensure that Grillon
Through darkness keep us
Safe from all evil
Until the morn.”’

Please feel free to leave a comment. I love hearing from you.

Blog Tour by Yecheilyah Ysrayl, a poet.

I am Soul Virtual Blog Tour – Day Two

I would like to welcome Yecheilyah to my blog today. She is a poet, and is doing a virtual blog tour. Today is the second day of the tour. You can find out more about her by visiting the other blogs she is appearing on. The dates and addresses are at the end of this post.

BLOG TOUR
Tuesday, August 14, 2018 @ 1:00p EST

portrait

Bio.

Yecheilyah (e-SEE-li-yah, affectionately nicknamed EC) is an Author, Blogger, and Poet and lives in Marietta, GA with her wonderful husband. She has been writing poetry since she was twelve years old and joined the UMOJA Poetry Society in High School where she learned to perfect her craft. In 2010, at 23 years-old, Yecheilyah published her first collection of poetry and in 2014, founded Literary Korner Publishing and The PBS blog where she enjoys helping other authors through her blog interviews and book reviews. The PBS Blog has been named among Reedsy’s Best Book Review blogs of 2017 and 2018 and has helped many authors in their writing journey. I am Soul is her fourth collection of poetry.

I am Soul - High Resolution
THOSE WHO LOVE

It’s their presence alone
that lifts the floor
commanding the clouds to unclench their fist.
Love wraps its garment around
their bodies
like insane prisoners to compassion,
confined and restricted
to the affection that binds them.
Stitched and knitted
like a fresh garment,
like fresh skin
to the beautiful body of genuine,
Call them
the mentally insane
‘cause they’ve got to be crazy
to be binding themselves
like this.

 

 

Fun Facts about Yecheilyah:
She loves to laugh, and her favorite comedy TV show is Blackish
She is originally from Chicago, IL
She’s been married to her husband 8 years, together for 11 years
She believes eggs makes everything better
She is a twin
She is addicted to reading and new notebooks
Her favorite desert is ice cream
I am Soul is now available on Amazon, iTunes, Kobo, Barnes and Noble, and Scribd.

Click Here to choose your retailer.

Greenbriar Mall
The Medu Bookstore
2841 Greenbriar Pkwy SW
Atlanta, GA 30331
Author Website: http://www.yecheilyahysrayl.com/
Blog: https://thepbsblog.com
Amazon Author Central: http://www.amazon.com/Yecheilyah-Ysrayl/e/B00ML6OHFA/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/literarykornerpublishing
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/yecheilyah/
Twitter: twitter.com/ahouseofpoetry
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdquShfqCN6lIX8IDK9MnSg

 

A Roman Legion A Poem

Some time ago I posted a poem based on a challenge. Take the seventh book on your bookshelf, find the seventh page, count down to the seventh line and write a seven line poem. In writing that poem, I forgot that it was suuposed to be seven lines. I wrote several verses. Then, realising my mistake, I wrote another that is acthally seven lines long. I posted the longer one some time ago, but I think I should give the ‘correct’ one an airing.

Let me know what you think. The line was the first line of this poem.

roman century

A Roman Legion also had other skills:
Engineers, builders, tailors too.
They built the roads so straight and true.
They built a wall across the hills,
Built bridges over foaming rills.
They made their clothes and built a fort
And fought the foe without a thought.

It wasn’t an easy challenge. Perhaps you’d like to have a go. I’d be interested to see your results.

A Plea for Peace. A poem,

I have been very concerned by, and, yes, afraid, of the war of words between Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump. They both seem to be wanting a fight. This I can’t understand as it would be a war that cannot be won, and could be the end of humanity. Certainly it would be the end of society as we know it.

It would not end with the cessation of attacks. Such a war would leave a legacy of radiation and sickness for those left behind, and without the resources of medicine, millions more, who survived the blast, would die horribly. Think of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Those bombs are as children’s toys compared with what is available to the nuclear powers today’

Then there’s the ‘Nuclear Winter’ that would follow. Without the sun, plants would fail and there would be massive starvation. How can world leaders even consider such a dire possibility?

In the 1960s, people were afraid that a nuclear war was a very real possibility. After all, in 1960,it had only been 15 years, since the USA dropped a hydrogen bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It was also the era of the ‘cold war’, and everyone was afraid of Russia, or rather the USSR as it was then, a vast empire ruled by Russia. It was in this climate I wrote the following poem.
It is the only poem that exists from that time. It is also the only poem of mine ever to have been published before as a poem and not as part of a novel. It was published in the student magazine of UMIST, in Manchester.

statue-of-liberty-2629937_1280
A Plea for Peace

Now we have created something
That threatens to destroy.
One error, one mistake
And what is left for us
But Death.

I see the ruins of a country
That once was powerful.
Now it is nothing but
Ruins, dust, decay
And Death.

I hear the cries of suffering people
Many people, old and young
They cry in agony to God
Please give us peace
Through Death.

But

The only true peace we can have on Earth
Is through remembrance of our Saviour’s birth.

 

If you liked this poem, and have an opinion on the views it expresses, please add a comment in the comments section.

Samhain. A Poem

Samhain is the pagan pre-curser to what we now call Hallowe’en. It was thought that on the nights of the equinox the veil separating the world of the dead from our own world thinned, and the dead could come through.

Not all the dead were consindered scary, though. The people thought that their recent dead visited them, and they put out food, or set an extra place at the table to accommodate them. These dead came to see their loved ones were going on alright.

Evil spirits, though, could come through, too, and so bonfires were lit to keep them at bay. The home fires were put out, too, to be relit the following day from the bonfires.

Pope Gregory decided that some of the pagan dates should be incorporated into the Christian calendar as psople were used to celebrating on those days. Samhain was one of these. The Pope designated it to be All Saint’s Day, hence the night before became All Hallow’s Eve. (Hallows being another word for ‘holy’ or ‘saint’.)

Pope Gregory also fixed the date of Christmas to co-incide with the pagan festival of Yule, and turned some of the pagan gods into saints. He also used pagan worshiping sites to build Christian churches, on the same principal. People were used to going there to worship.

Here is a poem I wrote for Samhain. I hope you like it.

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SAMHAIN

Don’t go near the graveyard, darling,
Samain is tonight.
Don’t go near the graveyard, darling,
The dead will walk this night.

Keep your candle burning, darling,
Keep it glowing bright.
Keep your candle burning, darling,
Be sure it gives you light.

The bonfires have been lit, darling,
To fill the dark with light.
The bonfires have been lit, darling,
Their flames reach such a height.

Put your home fires out, darling.
Be sure to do it right.
Put your home fires out, darling.
From bonfires we’ll relight.

Put food by the door, darling.
Leave it in plain sight.
Put food by the door, darling.
For our own to have a bite.

Do not be afraid, darling,
They see that we’re alright.
Do not be afraid, darling,
No harm from them tonight.

But evil spirits come, darling.
We must put them to flight.
But evil spirits come, darling;
Them we must try to fight.

Go and watch the bonfires, darling.
Stand in their bright light.
Go and watch the bonfires, darling,
They keep us safe this night.

I hope you enjoyed my poem. Please leave a comment.

The Storm

A lovely day, the sun was warm
It had shone on us since dawn.
The heat oppressed us all the day,
Even as in bed we lay.

110exteriorstthomasleipzig

We went to Leipzig in the heat.
In Thomaskirke we took our seat
To hear St John by J.S.Bach.
It did not end till after dark.

When we emerged it was in rain.
We rushed to find our car again.
The thunder rolled across the sky,
The lightning flashed, but now we’re dry.

 

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We drove towards Chemnitz and saw
O’er Dresden, flashes like the War’
Was it ’45 again
With bombs falling like the rain?

The lightning flashed, the thunder boomed.
We thought that wewere surely doomed’
It must at least be Armageddon,
Such brightness in a sky so leaden.

lightning

The storm went of for several hours
Showing nature’s awesome powers
And even though it scared us some
We were impressed. It struck us dumb.

 

If you liked my poem, which was written after an actual storm in Germany, please add a comment and I’ll get back to you. If you woul like to re-blog it I would be very grateful.

Some thoughts on the Arts today.

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The kitten has nothing ot do with this post, but I thought it cute!

 

I’ve been thinking a bit recently about the Arts, and how there is a similar feel to most of them these days. what I am going to say might just make some people say ‘Well, what do you expect from an old person,’ and that’s fine.

First let’s think about Music.

I grew up in a musical family. Although she did not play any instruments herself, my grandmother made sure her daughters learned the piano. She was a bit old-fashioned, I suppose, because her sons did not learn to play any instruments.

Her eldest daughter had a beautiful singing voice. She was a contralto and she had proper training. Her voice had been likened to that of Kathleen Ferrier, a very famous contralto of the time.

She told the tale of being on holiday with her husband and another couple, lifelong friends. They were in a group, on a boat, I think, and the group started singing. A distinguished white-haired man came up to her and gave her his card. He said ‘You have a beautiful voice, my dear. Come to my hotel tomorrow and I can help you get a career in music.’

She said no way was she going to go to the hotel of an unknown man. Who he was she never found out, but her voice was outstanding enough for her to be picked out. She could also play the piano by ear.

My youngest aunt had a music degree and taught the piano as well as music in schools. She played the organ, too. A famous tenor, who sang at the local performance of Handel’s Messiah, said she was one of the best accompanists he’d sung with.

My mother, although she could play the piano and enjoyed singing in a choir, was not exceptional, musically.

When we had family get-togethers, there was always music. We children were encouraged to sing or play and when we did something as a family, it was always in harmony. Everyone, it seemed could harmonise.

I myself learned to play the piano and the violin (or vile din, as my mother called it), and have been in several choirs.

I tell you all this so you can know something of my musical background.

I was listening–no, it came on while I was in the car–to a piece of modern music by Stephen Crowe. It began with a trumpet. the sounds from the trumpet were unmusical to say the least. If it were a child learning to play it would have been unacceptable, but no, this was supposed to be music. I didn’t hear much more because my husband changed the channels.

Much of the modern music of today (and here I’m talking classical) is discordant and atonal. It is not beautiful. To me it grates on my ears. Sometimes it sounds as if the orchestra is just tuning up.

I once heard an interview with a conductor, many years ago, when he was asked if he would be able to tell if a player made a mistake. He said he wouldn’t.

Now the visual arts. I’ve visited galleries of modern art and been singularly unimpressed. I have some minor talent with painting and drawing, and I know how difficult it is to produce a masterpiece. I’ve gazed in awe at the work and talent of the Great Masters.

I sat for a long time in Firenze, looking at Michelangelo’s David, and in the Vatican at his Pieta. Beautiful works, and it took an immense talent to realise them.

Tracey Emin’s unmade bed? The pile of bricks that was in the Tate at one time? A pickled calf, by Damien Hirst?

Speaking of Damien Hirst. Why was a large anatomical model of a human, just like a big version of the ones we had in school, a work of art? The parts weren’t painstakingly carved by Mr Hirst unlike the wonderful marble sculptures I’ve seen, and the bronzes, too.

Paintings of black and white stripes, or a square on a background, whatever the colour are not difficult to do. Similarly the very simple, ‘flat’, childlike paintings many artists do are not greatly difficult. That’s why they are ‘childlike’, of course.

Poetry has gone the same way. Modern ‘poems’ are just prose divided into lines. Yes, they might have ‘poetical language,’ but they have no rhythm. I heard one being read on the radio the other day. I forget the poet, but he might just as well have been reading a bit of prose, because that’s what it sounded like. Poetry MUST have at least rhythm. That’s the most important thing. Rhyme, yes, but I’ll allow for blank verse. I’ve written blank verse myself, but they did have rhythm.

So what am I saying in all this?

It seems to me that art is reflecting life. Music is chaotic and so is the world today. People don’t want to spend large amounts of time doing anything. We are in a world where everything is a rush, so an artist won’t spend years completing a work of art.

Modern cathedrals are stark in comparison to the ones built in the middle ages. We think we don’t have the ‘time’ to spend years and decades building them (except for the Familia Sagrada in Barcelona, of course).

Listen to some Bach and then some modern composer. One is sublime, the other–not.

Look at a painting by Titian or Rembrant. The work and talent that has gone into it is tremendous. Unlike the painting of black and white stripes I saw many years ago in the Fitzwilliam museum, Cambridge.

We have become lazy in our art as in much else in life these days. So much, I think, that much art the majority of people could do. I could put random notes down on a manuscript and say it’s a piece of music, or record random noises for the same thing.

Anyone can paint squares, on a canvas, or drop a pile of bricks, or leave their bed unmade, or cast sheets into a stream. (Yes, I read someone had got a grant to do this very thing.)

Poetry. Now that’s another thing. ‘Poems nowadays seem to be prose broken into lines. I’m not saying that some of these aren’t poetic, just that they aren’t poems. Poems don’t have to rhyme, but they must have some structure. The only way I can tell, sometimes, that it is a poem being read is by the tone of voice of the reader (often the poet). If it were read in a ‘normal’ voice, I suspect no one would know it was a poem.

Anyone can string words together and call it poetry.

There’s no skill in that. The skill comes in being able to convince everyone else that it’s art. That’s the true art with these people, not in their works.

Feel free to add a comment.

England–A Poem

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That misty isle across the sea
Will always be a home to me.
The cliffs of white that guard our shores,
The rolling Downs, the bleak, cold moors,
The skylark with his liquid song
Soaring high above the throng
Of hikers, picnickers and such,
Whose hearts he never fails to touch.

The little streams and brooks do run
Through woodlands, glistening in the sun.
The little fish are swimming here;
A kingfisher is always near.
A flash of blue above the stream,
A dive–then gone, that silver gleam
Of minnows. Gone to feed his brood
In holes, all waiting for their food.

In cities where the pigeons fly
The wind-blown litter flutters by.
The cars and buses, cycles too,
Line up at lights, forming a queue.
The city’s clamorous roar assaults
The ears, but never, ever halts.
The busy folk all rushing past
They never slow, time goes so fast.

The little market towns do snooze.
The slightest little thing is news.
In pretty villages with greens
Are cottages with oaken beams.
The church bells echo o’er the fields
Calling us with merry peals
As they have done for many a year
Bringing hope and lots of cheer.

This land does not a climate boast,
Just weather, blown from coast to coast.
All in one day this land can get
All four seasons, sun and wet.
Though no extremes do us attack
Do not go out without a mac
For rain can come at any time,
Though rarely with a gale force nine.

The English folk are stubborn, too
As we evinced in World War two.
We do not push, but stand in line
Waiting patiently ’til it’s time.
We do not wail and wave our arms,
For such behaviour has no charms.
But when we’re roused, then just watch out!
We’ll demonstrate, wave flags and shout.

And so my country is unique;
Its people are not really meek.
An upper lip that’s stiff conceals
A wicked humour that reveals
Our lack of deference for power,
Our love for bird and bee and flower.
Abroad may have its charms, it’s true
But England’s magic’s ever new.

V.M.Sang
April 2014