Slow dance the hours

I never really understood boredom.  So I have tried to write about it.

Slow dance the hours

Slow dance the hours
The haze of the days
The seconds and minutes that loll and that laze.

The progress that cowers
And ever delays,
With seconds and minutes all lost in a haze.

Now stuck in this mill
And treading out time,
Like waiting for old bells that seem not to chime.

The trace of the powers
That preys in a maze,
Of seconds and minutes that make all the days.

Slow dance the hours
The daze of the ways
That seconds and minutes all fade to a haze.

Slow draining the will
To well past your prime,
When sapped of all strength then you sink in the slime.

©Trevor Morgan, 2017

The dream in Priddy Ring

Railway waiting rooms remind me of this first poem.  Waiting can be a chore.  I tend to nod off into a sort of half sleep and dream though part of me is awake.  I guess this is my alternative to boredom!
I imagined this dream of a soldier asleep in Priddy Ring during the retreat from Chippenham in the winter of 878AD.  I wrote it down on a train journey home.

 

The lone soldier at Priddy Ring

The circle of stones on the moor
Dripped wet with the drizzling rain.
It seemed like he’d been here before
In ways that he could not explain.

The tingle he felt on his head
As his heart now, it started to race.
Aware here of souls of the dead,
His blood now was drained from his face

The Dead seemed about everywhere.
The future seemed almost to speak.
The cold clammy feel of the air,
Made him feel as though he was weak.

He stopped and he knelt on the ground,
Embracing some soul who seemed wan.
He uttered an eerie low sound,
And all in a trice he was gone.

Gone out from that dreary wet day,
No longer alone in the rain,
The clear sky was blue and not grey.
All sorrow was gone from his brain.

The long dead they danced in the ring,
Though few seemed to see him stood there.
The stones in the henge seemed to sing,
Sweet perfumes now scented the air.

There seemed a strange joy in his mind,
The lives of these souls had been good.
Nowhere in this world would he find
Such joys as here where he stood.

That soul he embraced spoke to him,
She’d lived in an age long ago.
She told him his lot might be grim,
Because of the ravening foe.

“In your time you’ll be welcome back here
When your soul has gone unto Grace,
But for now you’ve no need to fear,
Be touched by the joy of this place”

The sun in the sky seemed to turn,
Reversing its course in the sky!
To her time they seemed to return,
Surrounded by green fields of rye.

She showed him that henge in the past,
She showed him the view from up there,
She showed him expanses so vast,
Her knowledge was his now to share.

He learned all the lay of the land,
He knew of each path and each stream…
He awoke with his face on his hand;
Had her soul just been a strange dream?

The circle of stones on the moor
Were dry and there was now no rain.
They weren’t like they had been before
And his soul was now cleansed of pain.

This one man returned to his king,
To face the grim battle ahead
And soon with those souls he would sing,
For quite soon he too would be dead.

Then he danced up there on the moor
With the souls of the happy, not wan,
He’s melded with those passed before
Stones glint neath the sun as it shone.

 

The Ghostly Reel

The ghost and man
They danced about,
They danced a raunchy reel.
So who can say what’s in God’s plan,
Or know what God might feel.

The man and ghost
With Heavenly host,
They danced that day away.
For providence that is divine
Was there upon display.

The dance slowed down
All things must end,
Day ends with soft twilight.
Sleep caught the man he seemed to frown.
Then slept right through that night.

The sun arose
The dream was lost
Night ends with break of day
The brand new day would soon disclose
How strange may be God’s way

From the “Tale of the glistening lights”

The Day King Edgar came to Bath

I like the four line ballad form. It is useful for narratives.  I have many narratives to finish in the time that I have left.

Edgar at Bath (Whit Sunday A.D.973)

Besides the west door in a crowd
Frigar watched Edgar pass,
The sky was blue save one small cloud
As priests there call the mass.

That cloud it seemed to hover there
Like one small shade of doubt,
With happy faces everywhere
What could this be about?

The boy stood and gazed at the sky
Beneath that cloud so grey.
His heart heaved and he gave a sigh,
Then wept and walked away.

He wandered out across the town,
Went out the River gate.
Beneath an alder tree swooned down
Mid visions brought from Fate.

It seemed an ancient Dame was there,
Or was she but a maid?
There seemed all havoc everywhere,
Then silence in a glade.

And in that glade a woman stood
Her face a radiant glow.
“You’ll witness hate and great falsehood,
And you will be laid low.

Amongst the dead you’ll find new life,
You’d fight a soldier’s fight.
You’d never win through arms and strife;
At end you’ll conquer spite.

You’ll seek out joy through times all sad,
You’ll help a broken man.
You’ll comfort both the wan and sad,
You’ll do the best you can.

You are a part of my moist land,
You are my joyful boy.
The dark cloud showed you what’s at hand
Mid those crowds full of joy.

For you alone gazed at the sky
And saw that cloud all grey,
And you alone had pondered why,
Wept on this joyous day.

In sad days you will see the spite
That makes so many weep,
And you’ll see Wrong defeat the Right.
Watch wolves tear through the sheep.

You’ll help a mutilated man
Though his life may prove hard.
You’ll help the way a true friend can
Help him tell of Midgard”.

She held his hand that puzzled child,
She walked him through that glade,
She showed him things so strange and wild,
Then slowly seemed to fade…

What’s real and what’s a dream?
His brain it spun about
Is ought as it may seem?
The boy let out a shout…

“Dear Lady, Lady, tell me more,
Please do not fade away!
Pray do not leave me drenched with doubt,
Do tell me more I pray.”

Her voice remained though she had gone,
She said, “I’ll tell you true
And when you’re glad and when you’re wan,
Do know that I’m with you.

Spirits stood by when you were born,
It seems I am your one.
I’ll see that you’ll not stay forlorn,
When dark foul deeds are done.

Your heart it is a songster’s heart,
I’ll help you with each song
But now my sweet I will depart
You must my boy be strong”…

What’s a dream and what is real?
Now he seemed more sure.
A Spirit’s presence few may feel;
That holds this sweet allure…

He felt some rain upon his face
Beneath that alder bough.
It seemed he’d slept here in this place
Yet seemed not sleepy now.

There was a strange scent on the air,
A scent like womankind.
It seemed about him everywhere,
Was it just in his mind?

That rain dropped from a light blue sky,
That one small cloud was gone.
He fought against the urge to cry,
But his soul had turned wan.

In Bath that day the folk were glad,
The English had one king.
None saw that one boy oh, so sad,
The poor bedraggled thing.

For these strange visions left him weak
And sick throughout the day.
He sat about all sad, all bleak,
Yet watched the gleemen play.

They acted out some simple tale
As laughter echoed out.
Unseen a child stood drab and pale,
His soul was filled with doubt.

Then on the morrow they returned,
Back down the old Fosse Way.
He told his father what he’d learned
In Bath just yesterday.

He told his father of his dream,
And they spoke much of it.
But neither knew what Norns may scheme,
Nor knew what had been writ.

His father told him of Modron,
The day that he was born.
That this Midgard would soon be gone,
With futures so forlorn.

Though one would live to great old age,
The other was soon dead,
To leave a boy to grieve and rage;
That grief led on to dread.

Their household then was brought quite low,
His mother she grew ill.
Once happy homes may sink with woe,
As warmth may turn to chill.

That road through grief would twist and turn,
To travel there takes strength.
Through sorrows then the young may learn,
And gain through them at length.

From “Tale of Frigar”
© T Morgan 2007

Murder on the battlefield

I may not be with the popular mood.  I do not approve of downgrading a killing  and releasing a killer in response to popular hysteria.

 

Murder on the battlefield

They dragged that “bastard” out of sight
From those drones overhead.
The Sarge then shot him out of spite
And left that “shite” stone dead.

The Sarge was focused on that act,
Was his soul cold with Hate?
Some say that he may well have “cracked”.
This was no hand of Fate!

Far off there in Afghanistan
Where old beliefs may rule,
This does not mean each Taliban
Is just some worthless fool.

A family has lost a son
Who fought in their own land.
Yet some excuse a killing done,
Done there quite out of hand.

But who cares here about the tears
Some Afghan Mother shed?
A killer’s freed to many cheers.
A nameless man’s long dead!

© T.Morgan 28.4.2017

Lords and Ladies (Arum maculatum or cuckoo pint)

Lords and Ladies (Arum maculatum or cuckoo pint)

The “lords and ladies” grew deep in the shade
Then bore red berries hid quite out of sight
It did not grow within a sunlit glade
And shunned the Sun’s direct and brilliant light
For not all will partake of bold display
Nor choose to live high up above the rest
There’s safety when you hide yourself away
Through solitude it seems some may be blest
But should a mighty oak collapse and fall
A shady place may face the Sun’s full glare
Poor arums then have not the wherewithal
Existence then it is not worth a prayer
New oaks may grow and cast a cool new shade
But care not for the dead, now all decayed

Berserk mind set

It is in our history that we had death cults that encouraged our young to die in battle so they could serve divine power.  Our Norse and northern European ancestors generally had these cults long in the past.  The cult of the berserkers we do know about as their enemies wrote about them!

This is an extract from tales about the Battle of Edington in the Spring of 878.

The Mortal Wound at Edington

The Berserks dance then they advance
They knew that they would win
But where so much is down to chance
This pride would prove a sin

His foot stood on that foeman’s shield
The boy was down and done
Was confident that all would yield
But that downed boy had won

Beneath great feet you should be beat
When you are trodden on
But Fate can be a fickle cheat
Too soon you’re dead and gone

Through brave advance to sad mischance
All learning turned to dust
For then by some sad circumstance
Was felled by one sword thrust

The fire of pain raged through his brain
He knew that he was done
As down his legs there spread that stain
Yes, this felled foe had won!

After Edington

In confidence some naïve men
May not give foes their due
And all that follows on from then
Results from what they do…

A great Ash tree fell to the ground
That crash resounded so
With Valkyries there all around
They saw the fatal blow

The radiating agony
Those Valkyries then felt
A Bard who sang his elegy
Could make all cold hearts melt

So confident so young and bold
That breaker of great shields
So loved by gods he’d not grow old
One sword thrust and he yields

Flow the other way

The currents flowed so long
And they have flowed one way
The weak had now grown strong
Now they would have their way

Some confidence had gone
The bold now felt some doubt
The wrathful were now wan
Events had turned about

The long years of success are past
And much has turned awry
They knew the good times could not last
And each vain hope must die

A single sword thrust can change things
And alter great events
Lead to the rise and fall of kings
And to such sad laments

The sword between the legs
The manhood torn apart
Dragged down to the dregs
The dying process starts

The dying

That filthy wound gave monstrous pain
It held him on the ground
It oozed a great big spreading stain
Brave Haldane made no sound

He’d felled a foe who’d cut him down
Whilst there beneath his feet
That Gewissae showed such great renown
His counter thrust so neat

There’s irony here in his death
Where he died in this war
It stayed with him past his last breath
Perhaps forever more

The Wolf had taken Tyr’s right hand
Left their war god bereft
Yet he fought well on sea and land
And killed foes with his left

A Gewissae “Tyr” had cut him down
Left hand had thrust that blade
Despite the pain he lost his frown
His hero’s dues were paid

To die as if by Try’s own hand
A portent there maybe
All must be as the Norns had planned
This was his destiny

And now that Gewissae lay by him
Companions in Death
His spirit soared he was not grim
He yearned for his last breath

That young Gewissae he seemed to dream
And muttered in his sleep
The Norns they wove each dreadful scheme
But men were not their sheep

The Gewissae mumbled Mary’s name
He wondered, “Who was she?”
He did not rage he did not blame
He waited to be free

He hoped the Valkyries might come
Choose him for Odhinn’s hall
Through that long night his legs went numb
But saw no sights at all

He’d trained so hard to fight this foe
Who’d swept Gudrum aside
There was so much he did not know
Yet now he felt great pride

He’d done what he’d been asked to do
He’d do it all again
The dawn’s sweet glimmer came in view
He lay there racked in pain

His pain he’d earned and death is sweet
When men die – sword in hand
The Valkyries he had to greet
Here on the foeman’s land

Haldane Blood Hammer drew his sword
And prayed to Mother Fri
“Please let the gods speak just one word
Before I fade and die”

His groin oozed filth upon the earth
Sad Fri she wept a tear
She knew all things do have their worth
She said, “My child, I’m here”

Haldane through pain sought to explain
Fri said, “Peace child, I know”
There on that plain he’d not complain
Inside he felt aglow

Haldane reached out his arm at last
His sword he held up high
“Odhinn I see my life ebbs fast
And I know how to die”

Haldane then died but none there cried
One Gewissae felt some loss
As sunrise cast a shadow wide
That sword seemed like the Cross

A Valkyrie embraced him there
And led him to her steed
‘Til Ragnarök he’d know no care
Nor lack a single need

For Odhinn needed those like him
Brave souls who knew no fear
To face a future stark and Grim
As Odhinn’s death drew near

From: “Tale of a Half Dane” 2005

Narcissus Flowers

It is a shame that such a dainty early spring flower, the Narcissus should be associated with Narcissism.  Narcissists are a real pain in the backside and are dangerous folk to be around, so unlike this lovely flower.

img_20170221_102350

Narcissus Flowers

Down there by where the small stream flows
It’s damp and shady too.
That’s where the wild Narcissus shows
Its sunny yellow hue.

Its face looks down t’wards the ground
Its leaves all look upright;
There bumble bees will buzz around
Through dappled rays of light.

So seeming shy it flowers there
Within the semi-shade.
Narcissus does not have a care,
Nor debts that must be paid.

Narcissus is a flower, that’s all,
Within a habitat
And sorrow does not come to call;
For flowers don’t feel that.

If pain and sorrow is in us,
We can’t externalise.
Plants aren’t a part of all our fuss,
In time we may be wise.

From: Tale of Aethelwulf of Lyng,   2016

Committees

Ah, committees they are such fun and so, so transparent…

Committee Ditty

Oh, we’re really nice people
And we sit on committee
‘Specially selected
‘Cos we don’t feel pity

Chorus

Yes we’re nice committee people
And we’ve nothing to say
‘Cos we only turn up
On tea and bickies day

Oh, we’re nice committee people
But we don’t like to question
‘Cos the Chair knows
We’re open to his every suggestion

Chorus

Yes, we’re nice committee people
And we’ve nothing to say
‘Cos we only turn up
On a free lunch day

Yes, we’re all committee people
And we’re ever so nice
‘Cos Chief Exec knows
Rubber stamping’s our vice

Chorus

Yes , we’re nice committee people
And we’ve nothing to say
‘Cos we only turn up
On wine tasting day

Yes, we’re Authority members
And we’re such a sham
We may well turn up
But we don’t give a damn

Chorus

Yes, we’re nice committee people
And we’ve nothing to say
‘Cos we only turn up
On back-hander day

© Trevor Morgan 1985

Pallid Moon

Like Li Bai I am enchanted by the moon.

The Pallid Moon

A pallid Moon hung in the sky
On this clear winter day
All’s placid now save for a sigh
That seemed so far away

I seemed to be the one who sighed
Though it felt far from me
Those inner conflicts here had died
Forlorn Hope was set free

The silence seems intense somehow
It held onto my soul
The cold Sun gleams so strangely now
Yet little here seems whole

The still air held its winter chill
Heard here was one bird song
That song brought its own special thrill
Somehow the weak grew strong

That pallid Moon will fade away
The sun is rising here
Today will be a special day
As we all conquer fear

© Trevor Morgan 2016

The Tamil Girl

In October 1963 in Singapore I was too slow to stop a fatal motor accident and a little girl died.  I spent months involved in the Indonesian Confrontation, an undeclared war, along the shores and mangrove swamps of Sabah, Borneo.  I am still troubled by dreams they have nothing to do with conflict.  It is a nightmare where a child died.

R.I.P. Little Girl

 

Ghost of a Tamil Girl

The Tamil Girl died in my grasp
Though not a word was said
I hold her still though I’m now old
– Sad memories in my head –

I held her dying on that day
I’d tried to save her life
As Death will have the final say
My soul’s now torn by strife

For, “If only”, “Oh, If only…”
Repeat around my brain
In a soul now sad and lonely
I bear this bitter stain

Oh, if only I had stopped her
Running into the road
My conscience feels like I’m a cur
I’ve had to bear that load

For on the day that She had died
My actions were too slow
Time and again I’ve sobbed and cried
About that fatal blow

“Watch out” I’d said – not in her tongue
She’d run out all the same
I’ve never heard her requiem sung
And never knew her name

I’d fetched her from that roadside there
Placed her before her folk
But I still carry so much care
It makes me almost choke

And now at night deep in my sleep
In dreams I meet this child
And she looks sad if I should weep
Her ghost’s serene and mild

Are souls of those who have died young
Like angels of the Lord
And in our dreams are we among
A sort of heavenly horde?

Are we shown glimpses of a place
Beyond the void of Hate
Where there may be a state of Grace
Beyond the grasp of Fate

The Dead who flit about our dreams
May help us in our woe
They’re not as real as waking schemes
Yet bring a gentle glow

Through sorrows we may face each blight
Protected by their charm
These dead who visit in the night
May guard the mind from harm

 

© Trevor Morgan 18 April 2004 amended 2012