Adventurers & Tinkerers

Adventurers and Tinkerers

Chorus

Adventurers and tinkerers
Built our wondrous nation;
Then rent-seekers and ol’ fat cat
Reduced all to stagnation.

While those who risk, they may well lose;
But, some of us will gain.
There’s no way we may safely snooze,
Nor live free of all pain.

Chorus

Adventurers they crossed the earth
Seeking markets out,
Latching on to things of worth
And not held back by doubt.

Chorus

Through trial and error things get made,
Each novel new creation;
This is a spur to brand new trade
And needs no explanation.

Chorus

But how great tides they ebb and flow,
For tides we know must turn;
For fortune can both come then go,
Where folk they do not learn.

Chorus

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The first Queen ruler

Queen Seaxburgh (A.D. 672-674)

The land it seemed adrift as in a dream.
In summer’s sultry haze most seemed so still,
Yet ripples on the eddies in the stream
Reflected sunshine warm on waters chill.

Each bird that flew it flew with languorous flight,
With no clouds now, the sun baked some fields dry.
A warm portent of famine and of plight,
But torpid folk seemed too fatigued to sigh.

For where’s the strength to sigh in so much heat,
Where is the strength to do that much at all?
And all now droops before the Sun’s deceit
Save for one blackbird with its warning call.

Her old lord king was dead and gone to Grace,
This mother of a king now ruled his land.
She held the reins a short while in his place,
Though all was still – tumult was close at hand.

The envy of the lesser men so low
Just would not see a woman could be wise.
As envy at its height brings nought save woe,
A tumult stirred beneath the still blue sky.

From: “The Children of Gewis”

© Trevor Morgan, 15/10/2018

Dream of a sailor’s soul

In Memoriam

In February 1964 I was stood next to the guardrail on the quarterdeck of HMS Albion as the body of a young man, sewn up into canvas slid from under a white ensign and splashed into the Sula Sea. On returning to Singapore we buried another man who died on passage. Not all old days were good
Some things burn into memory, thinking of then I wrote this:

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Not another rising sun

Slavery is a profound evil yet to be conquered.
Today much slavery is called trafficking. Migrant workers in some states have their passports taken and are forced to work under slave conditions.
There are domestic servants in the west who are slaves.
The first days of slavery, the loss of hope must make time seem to slow down as the horror evolves.
This poem is of the thoughts of an English slave taken in a Norse raid but the agony must be common across cultures and time.

Slaves

Not another rising sun

“Not another rising sun
Here with its sombre glow,
Oh, now this long day’s begun
We tremble with dark woe.

The passage of the sun
From dawn right through to noon,
With journey that’s half done
This day can’t end too soon.

Noon sun in early May
The slow returning heat,
Upon a late spring day,
Yet Hope is in retreat.

Noon sun in December
Bright light but not so sweet,
Just a useless ember,
A lurid soulless cheat.

The passage of the sun
His run from east to west .
So soon is each life done,
Has all this been a test?

The setting of the sun,
A cold and ruddy sky,
The freezing night’s begun
As we all sit and sigh.

The rising of the moon,
A lurid soulless glow.
Its full disk is seen soon,
Will it presage more woe?

The passage of the moon,
Her deathly woeful face,
Like some foredooming rune;
There’s no hope in this place!

The moon’s shrunk to a crescent,
There’s no loss in our woe.
Our failures won’t relent,
All joy must fade and go.

The moon has waxed to full
Revealing our disgrace,
For Hope has lost all pull;
This land’s a mystic place.

The passage of the moon
From moonrise to moonset.
Her glow may go quite soon;
All life is now regret.

The setting of the moon,
The waning of her light.
The stars glow now and soon
Our souls may all take flight!”

© Trevor Morgan, 3/7/2018

From: “Tale of a darkened soul”

Passions

There is a divine comedy. It is much of the stuff of life!

Dante and Beatrice

Passions

“The passions of Love and of Hate,
Emotions that may be so true;
Though neither may ever abate
And neither will ever quite do.

They drive us to do what we must.
Thus, driven we do what we can.
At end we sag back into dust;
For we’re here for only a span.

But passions of Hate and of Love
Are sometimes a bit of a cheat
And if we’re not given a shove,
Then we’ll stay too long on our feet.

Though passions are all very well,
They’re sometimes may lead us through Hell”

© Trevor Morgan, 3/7/2018

From: “Tale of a darkened soul”

Cunning wins

In the Old Testament it is written:

“…the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong…”
Ecclesiastes 9:11 (King James version)

There is a lot to be said for that. Cunning, deception and guile are quite useful in any struggle.

Blenda

Cunning wins

“Most men will say when they’ve been right,
But few when they’ve been wrong.
The weak are forced to guile and spite
That they might beat the strong.

Whilst most may see a foe’s mistake
Few spot a cunning move.
Established ways few men forsake
When their mind’s in a groove.

A strong and stolid fighting man
May win by might and main.
But when a foe can read his plan
Then all becomes a strain.

Outwitted men get to wits end,
They thrash about each way.
Attacking when they ought defend
A foe who melts away.

So, fight the way the mighty fight,
Then you will face defeat.
They must have guile who lack the might;
For only winning’s sweet!

No rapid charge nor clash of arms;
No fury, no, nor din.
Not magic charms, nor loud alarms;
It’s cunning ways that win!”

© Trevor Morgan, 2/7/2018

After Cassandra; prophets be wary!

The ancients spun such good yarns!
The God Apollo gave the Trojan Princess Cassandra the gift of prophecy.
However, he gave her a curse to go with it. The curse was that no one would ever believe her. Apollo was like that!
That last night, as she lay in bed with Agamemnon waiting for Clytemnestra to enter and stab her to death must have dragged a bit!

Clytemnestra
Clytemnestra

After Cassandra; prophets be wary!

Tomorrow is known unto some.
The Future they read like a book.
For them there’s no mystery to come,
Through Time’s whirling eddies, they look!
For prophecy is not an art,
Nor a science, nor even a rule.
You see it is simply a part
Of Seers, who are wise or a fool.
To some all the future’s quite clear
Whilst others, they see just a part.
Some call to a host that won’t hear
While others may reach some good heart.
Cassandra was given this curse,
Most prophets are treated far worse.

© Trevor Morgan, 1/7/2018

From: “Servile Wars”

“The Discontented slave”

The story of Spartacus and the Third Servile War makes for good ripping yarns.
Spartacus, however was defeated and his followers crucified.
Their opponent, however, came to a gruesome end.
Roman General, Marcus Licinius Crassus, decided to wage a war of conquest against Parthia and was defeated and captured. The Parthians accused him of wanting nothing but plunder in his greed for wealth.
So they gave him his fill of gold. They poured molten gold down his throat.
The ancients were quite colourful in their own way.

Spartacus

“The Discontented slave”

“Sing a song of discontent
His heart is full of hate.
His seething will not now relent;
It is his gift from fate.

It flows now through his every vein
And glistens through his skin.
I don’t know how they can complain,
Those who did this to him.

Tense and coiled just like a spring,
They have him in their place
And if they do the slightest thing,
He may tear off a face.

So, sing a song of merriment
For those who taught him hate.
Too late they cannot now repent,
He is their gift from fate.

And when his rage erupts in there
He may kill one or two
And some of us will stand and stare
As things turn black and blue.

There’s money gambled in a book
On which of them will die
And mutely some will stand and look
And watch the blood stains dry.

So, sing a song of merriment
At those who taught him hate.
Too late they cannot now relent
For they had earned this fate.”

© Trevor Morgan, 1/7/2018

From: “The Third Servile War”

Variously Tyrannous

What does it take for a little baby to grow into a monster.
George Orwell said “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely”. That may be the case on the big scale, however, absolute lack of power seems to do something similar. The powerless, the ignored and the misled can become monsters, or tyrants as well on a smaller scale.

Cain Fleeing Abel
William Blake, 1826

Variously Tyrannous

Now tyrants are a varied lot,
They come in many a hue.
So, look inside that heart you’ve got;
There may be one in you.

Yet tyrants may not see therein
The way that others do.
And so, for them each extra sin
Does not cause them to rue.

They oft times start to learn their art
With one small nasty deed.
Then as they get a colder heart,
Well, then, they will proceed.

Across each land they cause such blight
They leave good souls to yearn.
They do this for it seems their “right”!
For they may never learn.

Yes, tyrants are a bane to all,
In this there’s little new.
Do not heed the demon’s call
And tame that wrath in you!

© Trevor Morgan 28/6/2018