Mind, Id, Ego, Psyche

The art or science of psychology is a closed book to me.

I try to stay away from excess mental confusion. It can lead to personal disaster. This does not mean mental confusion stays away from me.
I suspect this is, in part, because my favourite poet is John Clare. He went insane and died in the Northampton Madhouse.
Victims are always at risk of being harmed with no visible scars.
We may be a little more understanding today. Well maybe…
I was asked to share a site focussed on mental health so this is it:

http://www.sheffieldmentalhealth.co.uk

Mind Undermined

So joyous was the heart sometime.
Maybe it was going mad,
Where life immerses all in slime,
Then the happy will turn sad

And hearts at ease become all tense
And all things seem so inane,
So, take care with things that make sense;
They could prove that you’re insane.

And through all of this delusion,
Glinting from deceitful dreams.
Nothing may come to conclusion,
Ah, nothing’s as it seems.

The senses never do tell true,
Lies are fed unto the brain.
Then hear the call of that cuckoo
In the Winter on the plain.

So sad now is the heart all day.
So happy are the mad!
For Death it has a shining ray
And no corpses can be sad.

Id Marred

Rotting carcass not yet dead,
Shadow of a former thing.
Let foul lies not go unsaid
Hateful life – this is your sting!

Dwindling to demented age,
Rage all spent upon self-hate.
Each old fool was once a sage;
Death like old Time is running late!

Hanging on to some cheap life.
Clinging to the sin of Hope.
Aching from the wounds of strife,
There’s no point now when you cope.

Ranting at an empty space,
Wrath against imagined wrong.
Life deprives the soul of Grace,
Let’s all join a sing-a-long.

In the eyes a monster lies
Deep in there, what can be hid?
Hark, the howling creature cries;
It’s the monster of the Id!

Ego Stained

Here and there and roundabout,
Through the spirals of the brain,
Dwells a constancy called “Doubt”;
Everywhere it leaves a stain.

Judgements are so easy done
Those adjudged then cast aside.
Who has lost and who has won?
Victory goes to idle Pride!

Into the mire some are tossed,
Just because of who they are.
And maybe they are all now lost;
Lest they have a lucky star.

Shadows passed along the wall
Wraiths that once were living too.
Souls of those been made to fall,
In great wrongs there’s nothing new.

There and here about around,
Through the torments of the stained.
Muted, they now make no sound,
Drift the souls of those so pained.

Psyche Maimed

In recesses of the mind,
In the deep sleep of the night,
Dreams may come that are unkind,
Give the soul a dreadful fright.

Visions of a long gone wrong,
Phantoms of those gone and dead.
Then the soul is borne along,
Dreadful things in dreams are said.

Those who died that you could live
Speak all kindly now to thee.
Who can cope when they forgive;
Forgiveness never leaves you free.

There’s a debt can’t be repaid
Where the creditor is dead.
When the final act is played,
Your soul is safe – for it has fled.

In recesses of the soul,
In that sleep that’s known as Death,
Then perhaps things may be whole,
There beyond the final breath.

©Trevor Morgan, 1995, revised 16 January 2018

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Hidden Feelings

I went to a funeral a few years ago.
The widower still lives nearby. He seems to shun company and walks a lot. I was thinking about him when this came to me.
There are a lot of old people left alone in their loneliness. There is much sadness about in society.

Hidden Feelings

The coffin was heaved on the shoulders
And they shuffled mock-solemnly on;
And he thought of the lady he loved,
Of her spirit departed and gone.

In side he cried with despair,
But the face that he wore was a mask.
His feeling he just could not share
And his duty was up to the task.

Black shoes shuffled out to the hearse
The coffin slip gently inside.
In side him he raged and he cursed,
But his feelings he knew how to hide.

The face that he wore was a mask,
True feelings he could never show.
Yes, his duty was up to the task.
But despair that he felt was to grow.

A year to the day he was found.
An old man devoid of all hope;
For no one had rallied around,
So lonely, he just could not cope.

© Trevor Morgan 15 January 2015

When Auntie Died

Not all I write is based on any personal experience. 
In a narrative it is necessary to get inside a character and their feelings!
Novelists can be good at this, it is a part of their skill set. Narrative verse must have this capacity if it is to succeed!

 

When Aunty Died

I felt a kiss upon my cheek,
Her ghost it then was gone.
I felt no urge to move nor speak
And neither was I wan.

My Aunty was no longer here,
About me people wept,
Yet she had lived so long in fear
And now at last she slept.

Her face that once was drawn and grey,
That showed such signs of pain,
Seemed peaceful now on this calm day,
With no more lines of strain.

I’d felt her last breath on my cheek,
Her spirit then was gone.
She’d found the light we all might seek,
It seemed to me she shone.

© Trevor Morgan 12 April 2006

Tales of the Gewissae (part 1)

The so-called Dark Ages fascinate me.
My major work is a series of partly fictional narratives interspersed with ballads and sonnets about the people of this land (the South West of England) from the end of the Roman Empire in Britain to the year 1065.  I love narrative verse.

The people who emerged as dominant, in what became known as Wessex, were originally called the Gewissae. They claimed descent from a legendary figure named Gewis. Their first recorded king, Cerdic (possibly a short form of the Welsh name Caradoc) was crowned in Winchester in the year 519.

My first narrative covers the mythical characters of their past. The second starts with Cerdic, King of the Gewissae.

As an aside the English royal family and all but three English Monarchs claim descent from the royal line of Cerdic. These were once known as the Cerdicingas.

The story starts after a defeat and their struggle just to survive as they sought aid from their Goddess.

Cerdic and the Soothsayer

Deep in the wood beneath a sacred ash
Lit by the moonlight of a waxing moon,,
As from the east there came a lightning flash
Thor’s booming thunder followed there and soon
There came a roaring squall a raging gale.
The soothsayer and the earl would face this night.
The mystic clad in furs the earl in mail,
When visions came then one of them felt fright.
Cerdic could face an army charging down
On horse, though he’d stand firm and mostly win the day.
This man of war and courage and renown
Stood terrified of gods and of the fey.
Yeoster the goddess of his kin was near;
‘Twas Cerdic not the sayer who felt fear!

Aelfwine feared not this goddess whom he knew,
But Cerdic faced what to him was unknown.
His faith in all the gods was firm and true,
Without their help he could not gain a throne.
That hill near Bath had seen a great defeat ,
Their army riven through they’d lost the day.
Though he could kill a foe in battle’s heat
When ransom’s paid then men increase their pay.
But Dux Bellorum’s men killed all they caught,
Their throats cut like a sacrificial beast.
For those who got away life had been fraught.
In time though all that harassing decreased.
So, this night in the woods by Frillford Heath
He stood here with this strange slime on his teeth.

Fly agaric may open doors ajar
And new perceptions may be seen
And opened minds may wander wide, afar,
And then may know what mysteries may mean
In time the door will firmly swing back shut
And then the body writhe in pain
Convulsing through the limbs, the chest, the gut
True visions may well help but cause such strain

He’d chewed that stuff that Aelfwine gave to him
Mid ruins of some temples to the gods .
It made him retch; its cloying taste was grim,
He did this now to even up the odds.
Without divine support their cause was done .
But none of his folk cared to be a slave
And Britons would enslave them when they won.
Now all of them would sooner face the grave
Than be the trophy of some oafish chief.
But Britons now engaged in fratricide;
Now was the time and Britons would know grief.
In time he hoped they could be forced aside,
So, here this night within this holy glade
He prayed the Goddess come now to his aid!

The gods sometimes they may toy with a man.
Whole nations may be used and thrown aside.
But there’s much to be done in one short span
And Faith told him his Goddess was his guide.
Then Aelfwine started some strange mythic hymn
But Cerdic did not know what these words meant.,
His vision blurred and all about seemed dim
The strength within his limbs now all was spent.
The ground there seemed to roll like waves at sea,
That rhythmic chant now echoed through his head.
He seemed to leave his body and float free.
The Goddess must be here, he was not dead,
As Aelfwine’s voice then dwindled to a hush,
Then phantoms swarmed about him in a rush.

Aelfwine’s Hymn to Yeoster

“Oh, Yeoster goddess of the earth
Eternal you must be.
Goddess of Death and all Rebirth
All seasons are in thee.

The spring, the summer and the fall
Winter with icy breath,
They are all at your beck and call
For you are life and death.

Dead things they go back to the earth,
So life may thrive and grow.
You bring all sadness and all mirth
On Midgard here below.

The fall, the winter and the spring
The summer, warm as well,
Are all the seasons that you bring
In this land where we dwell.

In cycles of the moon you showed
The holy females worth.
With them alone there is bestowed
The joy and pain of birth.

All things that grow from out the earth
They must all come from you
And all you give is of great worth,
Beneath the sky so blue.

All men who come from out the womb
They too have come from you.
Tween birth pangs and the dismal tomb
We give to you all due.

Goddess of life bring love and joy
Pray let us all live long.
Oh, let your gifts your folk enjoy,
Let none here do you wrong.

Oh, Yeoster goddess of the earth
Eternal you must be.
Goddess of Death and all Rebirth
Pray Goddess come to me”

And then it was the sky and moon were gone
And both of them were in a lofty hall
And he could see his Goddess and she shone;
Her sensual form smelled sweet and she was tall.
In turns she then seemed girl child, wife and crone;
All phases of the life of womankind.
He wondered in what ways he could atone
For having had such limits to his mind.
When Yeoster spoke to Aelfwine then at last
He knew that here it’s he that must be mute.
He listened as she spoke of things long past
Yet Aelfwine here would be calm and astute
And Aelfwine asked of Yeoster that they see;
Not just things past but what was yet to be…

A mist it swirled around about them there
As Yeoster took the two men by the hand.
It was as though at once they were elsewhere
There to the south on Cerdic’s own sweet land.
His son stood there beside an open grave
His weapons and his shield lay on the ground.
Some old man spoke some words, said “…he was brave”,
And all about there was a wailing sound.
That mist it swirled about them there once more.
He saw his son’s shield burning on a pyre,
A man somewhat like him stood to the fore
Intoning prayers before that funeral fire.
“Your third king is the one who’ll win this fight
And bring an end to Britons and their spite”

“You tried hard to fit in and to belong
Your only use here was to fight and die.
These Britons though they know not right from wrong
They offered you good pay – that was a lie.
There’s no way that they’ll let you integrate,
It seems they feel they are more gods than men
And you were used as tools for their proud state,
And now you’re stuck here in their demon’s den.
Your homeland is long lost beneath the sea,
The gods of water drove you to this land
And Fate has blown you here like some ash key
Windblown it has no need to understand.
Like ash that puts down roots in this damp earth
This land will be your folks – they are of worth”

“For now, your task here is to stay alive
Until your foe completes their fratricide.
There is no shame in those who just survive,
There’s folly in a fight that’s suicide!
Behold a Grandson stands at your son’s pyre,
Some ten miles from Mount Badon he will win,
And kill three kings and put three towns to fire
And cleanse this foe of all their foulest sin.
Enlarging then a realm ruled by your line,
Three hundred years will pass ‘til ravens feed
As hungry serpents gorge and then entwine
And hybrid forms across this land will breed.
Now you may see no more of what’ to come
The dawn will kiss the east – this night is done!”

Confused awhile he felt as though quite lost,
As hoar frost formed upon the morning ground
And yet a crocus flowered here in the frost.
So now it seemed those answers he had found.
A giddy swirling sense possessed them now
As each sank back into their worldly flesh.
It seemed the goddess was this mist, somehow
The air about was cold and damp but fresh
And bore the faintest hint of Yeoster’s scent.
He knew now that she was here everywhere.
He knew too that his foe would soon relent
And also that he must now tread with care;
Impetuous men find circumspection hard,
When Death’s about all must be on their guard!

The storm was gone this mist hung limp about,
Two men lay still in vomit on the ground.
Quite close they heard some foreign horsemen shout;
Both prayed to Yeoster that they be not found.
While mist is soft and all know it must yield,
It filled that woodland and the morning air
And so, two heathen men now lay concealed
From Britons who would calmly kill them there.
Both lay there then quite still throughout that day.
That night the moon was full and shone on high,
Two canny men then softly slipped away
Beneath a starry, lovely springtime sky.
The Dragon may well be a ravening beast
But Cerdic’s folk survived and then increased!

From: Cerdic and the Soothsayer

Notes.

The defeat near Bath was the battle of Mons Badonicus.

The fungus, Fly Ageric is common locally and a hallucinogen.

I situate this in Woods near Frilford Heath the site of ruined Roman Temples and the place of my birth.

Tyburn Tree Fruit

The eighteenth century is not my favourite period in history.
Yes, there were advances in thought and in inventions but it was not until the nineteenth century much of this was to bear fruit.
In particular I have no liking for the events that took place in Tuburn with its gallows and executions made into public performances for the entertainment of all. Tyburn is no longer there, it is now the site of Speakers Corner where freedom of speech is celebrated, partly by eccentrics expressing silly nonsense.  A better public spectacle than events here in the past.

 

Tyburn Tree Fruit

Doing the rope dance at Tyburn,
Jerking and twisting about.
They twist to the very last turn;
Urine then all trickles out.
The agony ends in a haze
To the roar of a great happy crowd.
The fruit of this tree ends its days
Tossed nude in a hole in the ground.

You judge them condemn them and send
With panoply pomp and with power,
A decree that a life is to end,
At a suitable convenient hour.
Brought in with laws and decrees
Are reasons for arbitrary ways.
Relax and then watch at your ease
This fruit and the way that it sways.

Well life it is brutish and short.
Redemption cannot be got there.
One jerk and the rope it is taugh
And feet start their dance in the air.
The gasp for air that don’t come,
The trumpets, the “Horahs”, the cheers.
A march to the beat of the drum,
Not heard by these newly dead ears.

Doing the rope dance at Tyburn,
Jerking and twisting about.
The twist to the very last turn;
Urine then all trickles out.
The agony ends in a haze
To the roar of a great happy crowd.
The fruit of this tree ends its days
Tossed nude in a hole in the ground.

© T Morgan 1979

The Lee Shore

In the age of sail the greatest danger was not an enemy.
IT WAS THE LEE SHORE.

The gentle lapping waters of Lyme Regis Bay hold a secret. On the sea floor there are more wrecks than in most other parts of the seas. The Bay faces south west and the prevailing winds are from south west. In stormy seas this is a lethal combination.

The Lee Shore

They fought the wind, they fought the tide,
They fought the raging sea.
No matter though how hard they tried,
Those rocks stayed to the lee.

And lee shores are the curse of all
Who sail upon the sea.
For you don’t need the sirens call
With rocks close to the lee.

The wind and tide will kill you there,
Though you may tack up wind.
And drowning takes away all care;
Even when you’ve not sinned.

There’s no discerning in a gale,
The wind, the rain, the tide.
Exhaustion leaves you cold and pale
And there’s no where to hide.

The rocks they welcome each ships hull
And puncture it right through,
And they may fracture many a skull,
As lee shores welcome you.

So, fight the wind, and fight the tide;
Try tacking from the shore.
Lyme Regis bay is not that wide,
Where corpses wash ashore.

There many a widow has been made
Of wives of men at sea,
They plied the sea on honest trade,
Near shores there to the lee.

© T Morgan 10 January 2017

The Stag in flight

This was written as a part of a long narrative.
But it can stand alone.
I have no problem with the cull carried out by competent marksman as there are no longer large predators to keep populations in balance.
I loath the nasty practices of hunting and killing wild beasts just for the thrill of it. Living close to Exmoor I meet those who can justify these acts. They tend to get a bit sniffy when they find themselves hounded by hunt saboteurs. Strange that, the saboteurs are on the hunt as well!

 

The stag in flight

“A stag stood on the Polden Hills
And snorted at the East.
The sunrise there would bring no thrills,
When would this hounding cease?

He’d run for most of yesterday,,
His lungs had seemed to burn
And now here with the break of day
Would that mad pack return?

Those slavering hounds he had outrun,
His legs were cut and torn.
Hope does not come with rising sun;
He heard a huntsman’s horn.

He snorted at the break of day,
Got up and loped along.
He felt that he could get away
And now he felt quite strong..

Those hounds were tearing up a hind
The stag did not know that
And soon he left the hunt behind:
The land was low and flat”

From “The Tale of Alfred and Gudrum”

Copyright 2004

Moths Flutter

Poetry in its use of rhythm, alliteration and rhyme and the art of the pause, was initially an aid to memory before literacy was widespread.  Content is also an aid but only if it lights a spark.  It is easy to memorise a rude or funny song lyric.
Modern, so called poetry, just does not get this. So-called free verse to me is not verse at all; it is prose. Some of it may be quite nice prose, but to call it poetry is to usurp the art form.
I no longer go to poetry groups. I do not want an explanation of a poem before it is spoken nor an analysis after. That is pretention. The work must speak for itself.
The earliest verses we know of tended to be narratives or prayers to deities. Later we get comedy and comedy can be hard. Yes comic verses and song lyrics are a very serious business. This I find so hard with my butterfly brain.

 

Moths Flutter

Moths flutter up to the light
And flames may cause their doom.
One night a moth went to such height
And fluttered to the moon.

It flitted all about the place,
It fluttered round about,
It landed on the moon man’s face;
You should have heard him shout!

“Oh, you gave me such a scare
Landing on my nose.
Pray, what were you doing there?”
But no moth ever knows.

Light seems to seep into their souls,
It causes them to yearn.
And they will leave their grassy knolls
And many of them burn.

Hypnotic light attracts them so,
They journey to its source.
That’s why the moon moth had to go.
Now could I fib? – of course!

© Trevor Morgan 2018

Bits and Pieces

Anyone who has served in the Royal Navy will know Jack has a dark sense of humour. Even death is there to be laughed at!

Bits and Pieces

Oh, his legs got blown off for Britain,
His arms for Albion’s Isle
As his head flew away,
Yes, I’ve heard men say,
It was wearing his usual smile

Chorus

There’s now little doubt
That’s his life had gone out
When all of his bits
Got splattered about

Yes, his head got blown off for Britain
Flew off for Albion’s Isle
As his chest split apart
It showed his big heart
And his entrails flopped out in a pile

Chorus

But what had his death done for Britain
Now he’s gone and forgotten
And his bones and his spine
Lay bleached in sunshine
Politicians are still just as rotten

Chorus

But his passing was put in the log
Noted with emphasis due
It said “he’s heroic”
His mates are more stoic
For a long time they’ve been left to rue

Chorus

His life was given for Britain
He died for Albion’s Isle
Yet while Tom’s torn to shreds
Leaders die in their beds
No matter how bad or how vile

Chorus

©Trevor Morgan 31August 2003

Bloody Robin Redbreast

The European Robin (Erithacus rubecula) is a pretty garden bird that is easily enticed to feed from your hand. It is to many their favourite garden bird. This is not so to me. It has been estimated that 10% of deaths of male Robins is as a result of killings by other males in territorial disputes. These birds are aggressive murderers. But, they look nice so we put pictures of them on our Christmas cards to celebrate the birth of the Prince of Peace.
So if you find a dead Robin and ask the question:  “Who killed Cock Robin?”  You can be fairly sure the answer is:  “another Cock Robin”!

(It’s an old saying that there is no tree big enough for two Robins)

 

 Bloody Robin Redbreast

Little Robin red breast
Who did you kill today?
Oh, another Robin Red Breast,
Well, what more can I say.

So, did he sing too sweet,
Or come near to your tree?
Or did you think it really neat,
Or did he fail to flee?

This dead Robin red breast
Did he not go away?
Did he not know you were the best?
So, did you make him pay?

Did you tackle him up front,
Or sneak up from behind?
For, you see, to be quite blunt:
You’re nasty, are – your kind!

Little Robin red breast
Maybe you’ll die today,
When another Robin Red Breast
Will seek to have his way.

You may sing too sweet,
Or sit in the wrong tree.
And he may think it really neat
To have a killing spree.

That other Robin red breast
Will then have had his way,
And he will know he is the best:
At least for one more day!

© Trevor Morgan, 2018