Victor’s sonnet

No matter what you do winning really feels great!
You just cannot beat that feeling when you have won.
It is a shame that feeling comes crashing down the next time Fate brings you new experiences of failure and defeat!

Victor’s sonnet

There may be pleasure in some furtive sin,
But tawdry things are not quite as they seem.
The greatest pleasure here is when you win.
Yes winning, winning, winning is supreme
For there’s nought else may equal such a thing!
The pleasures of the flesh they soon abate
And Death awaits us all with his dark sting.
Though all of us ought know this is our fate,
Yet while we live and while we fight and strive
Though all of our allotted time be brief;
The victors are the ones who truly thrive!
Yes Death will come at last just like some thief.
To gain much here for your own kith and kin
Means your bloodline is better placed to win!

© Trevor Morgan, May 1998


The Last Casualty

There seems to be no ending to consequences of events. 


The Last Casualty¹

So Barham sank just like a stone
With eight hundred men and more.
A widow woman wept alone,
Though she’d been here before.

Her husband Harry on the Hood
Now slept beneath the sea.
Her only son’s now gone for good
A Barham lad was he.

A banister was robust where
That rope stopped her dead weight.
She’s left behind all worldly care
Where sorrow was her fate.

In life she’d loved and did what’s right,
She’d helped the poor and weak.
She hanged there in some dappled light:
So lonely, dead and bleak.

So, there behind the opening door
The agent felt cold dread.
A pool of fluid on the floor,
A silhouette of the dead.

It mattered not how good she’d been;
Fate took away her Hope.
Now, there’s this horror too be seen;
It hung there on her rope.

The hallway of the house was bleak
Where she last hugged her son.
And she hung there for near a week
Once her last act was done.

Her end had been so sudden though
When vertebrae were broke.
She had not done a dancing show
That day she did not choke.

She’d choked with tears for several years
All lonely grim and cold.
Through many years she’d shed her tears
But now she’d not grow old.

The state had waged its wars at sea,
But not all deaths were there.
More tragedies are yet to be
When sorrow’s everywhere.

Just one last casualty was she,
For trauma took her down.
She’d hanged, she’d not died out at sea
It’s quicker than to drown.

© Trevor Morgan, 2015


1. “A war widow was found hanged in the hallway of her house. The estate agent handling the sale of her house entered the property to show a potential buyer around. It was then that he found her….” Newspaper report

Verdict… she had taken her own life whilst the state of her mind was disturbed…Coroners report, Portsmouth, June 1955.

Talking to the fairies

If mad you are said to “talk to the fairies”!
They could be better company than some people. So, I regularly talk to the fairies.
Just why is it the very old and the very young have no problem talking to the fairies.
I’m off to a Dryad’s party now…


Nan’s “talking to the fairies” tale

I talk to the fairies these days
I talk both by day and by night
My eyes have a strange misty haze
Some say there is something “not right”

But fairies are real as can be
There everywhere in every place
Not there for the callous to see
Sad souls may be touched by their grace

The fairies are here after rain
There here in the morning time dew
Tomorrow they’ll be here again
They’re dancing about me and you

They’re in the woods and the grasslands
They’re on the high hill and the plain
They dance on the palms of my hands
They’re taking away all the pain

They have sought to lead me away
Down into their hall in the hill
Where though I may dine for one day
A century of time this would kill

I don’t want to lose all that time
I know I would miss all my folk
So, I write all about them in rhyme
Down here in the glade ‘neath the oak

In woods I see the three Dryads
They seem to have taken to me
All of their tales come in triads
With stories as strange as can be

They tell of the three-times-three men
The nine who got lost for a time
They wandered into a fey den
One way to escape was in rhyme

Rhyme has control of the fey folk
They must obey all its power
For rhyming words once they’ve been spoke
May stop their mischief – one hour

But those men stuck in that fey den
None of them had this way with words
They only had got away when
Some of them whistled some chords

For music can enchant the fairies
Enchant their enchanting old tricks
So, whistling just like canaries
Nine men had escaped in three ticks

The dryads told this tale three times
For all things they say are in threes
I tell about them in these rhymes
As they hum about me like bees

Relaxing in the wet lowlands
And enchanted by the landscape
More fairies now dance on my hands
All sadness has gone – I escape

The fairies are here all about me
And my soul now cannot be sad
And now that I’m happy and free
I hear it’s been said – “Oh, she’s mad!”

But madness as an illusion
Relates to the state of the mind
If what I see is delusion
It’s better then being quite blind

Blind to the world of wee people
Deafened by the ring of the bell
That sounds out of a church steeple
It’s quiet where fairy folk dwell

In glades neath the shade of a tree
In fields in the heat of the day
For they are forever with me
I pray that they’ll not go away

And sanity’s another illusion
What it shows I’d rather not find
And so, it is my conclusion
It’s better by far to be blind

Blind to the bad ways of bad men
Avoiding the broad path to hell
In woodland I sit and you pen
Each story the wee folk might tell

An elf by itself in the meadow
Told me of a people now gone
His voice is so mellow and low
His eyes are so blight and they shone

The people who lived long ago
Had kings like our famous Alfred
They were so fractious and fought so
The fairy folk held them in dread

He told me of killings with spears
He told me of killings with swords
I told him of sneaks and of sneers
How we scared each other with words

For if one thing is strange to an elf
And scares little people away
It’s human obsession with self
They live in a quite different way

They live to help one another
They live for much pleasure and joy
Each one’s like a sister or brother
Or happy young girl or young boy

They play their tricks upon mortals
They do it to oafish great men
Yet deep neath the Fairy King’s portals
Is no place for you and your pen

Down there they set out a table
A dinner made of their fey fare
It has been said in a fable
A hundred years flashes by there

And men have returned from that place
And gone to their homes once again
Where they are seen as a strange face
Going mad they drown in the fen

Now fairy and human can’t mix
Each dwell in this beautiful land
But children may see three or six
As they’re dancing a gig on my hand

The souls of the victims of wrath
The hearts of the victims of hate
Whose sadness is worn like sackcloth
With fairy folk should make a date

The fairies will not harm the weak
They’ll never beat down broken hearts
And neither will they act the sneak
Nor poison with rumour’s sharp darts

There’s pixies dance down by the stream
They romp all around and they play
When big oafs stomp down there with dogs
The pixies will all hide away

Oafs have no sight for a pixie
For they have no feel for the fey
They are neither happy nor tricksy
As they’re stomping right through on their way

With power big folk lash about
With muscle and strength get their way
The boorish will thump and will clout
But like dogs each will have their day

But the pixies they are immortal
The pixies are here throughout time
You may look in at their portal
But only talk to them in rhyme

I talk every day to the pixies
They’re everywhere that I now go
I call them “My little tricksies”
As they dance about me for show

The stream flows over the wet sand
It winds its way past my home
Just like everywhere in this land
There’s wee folk wherever I roam

Up on the crags of the mountains
Or on every rolling chalk down
By streams by falls and by fountains
Little folk will play and will clown

They’re everywhere here in our island
They’ve been here throughout all of time
They’re happy and merry and jocund
But you must talk to them in rhyme.”

From: “The Tale of Aethelflaed, Lady of the Mercians”

The lands about Athelney are full of Fairy Rings.

True Love’s two loves

Sailors are notorious story tellers.
They spin many an implausible yarn. Some claim to be phenomenal love engines.
I believed a lot of their tales when young. Looking back, a lot of the time I was listening to the imaginings of young male virgins much of the time.
So, years later, I wrote a blues lyric about just how their mighty fictional feats might not be appreciated.


True Love’s two loves

I once had a special boy
And to him I was true,
Though he was my only love
He is in love with two!
I’m one of my true love’s two loves.


Our boy is real caring
And he enjoys the sharing,
With both of my true love’s two loves.

I found out and challenged him,
He said it’s nothing new.
It’s good to have one lover
But he get’s more love with two
And we’re both my true love’s two loves.


He’s got too much love for one
And so to show he cares,
Don’t treat us unfair at all
Gives fair and equal shares
To both of true love’s two loves.


I gave up my special boy
When he looked up at me
Said “I feel so full of joy
I’ve got ‘nough love for three”!
I’m through with true love’s new loves.


We once had a special boy
And to him we were true.
Though he was our only one
He said he loved us two.
We were both my true love’s two loves.


© Trevor Morgan 1997

From: Lyrics for Candy Blue

A Sinking

This is a loose amalgam of several old sailors ditties.
My family had many members serve in the Royal Navy in both World Wars.
Most of the tales about that time I got from old women as a child. The men rarely spoke about what they had been through.

(Men actually survived this, but not many)


U331 – Beneath the sea

Hans Diedrich gained his iron cross,
We all do what we can.
Strangers to him would face a loss:
Oh, how they’d hate this man!

Men do what they are trained to do
They do the best they may.
That periscope it showed a view
That’s with him to this day.

Three plumes of white rose up midships
Upon that close up foe.
With silent prayer upon his lips
He saw that deadly blow.

The forward tubes stood empty now
Torpedoes were away.
Hans Diedrich made a silent vow:
He’d not forget this day.

His boat had shuddered with each boom
That echoed through the hull.
And right there in that murky gloom
His brain seemed tired and dull.

Rude awakening

A lack of sleep can slow things down
Or weaken deep emotion.
As struggling men sought not to drown
Mid terror and commotion.

U331 would slink away
The battleship would sink.
That was to be a fatal day
Amid an acrid stink.

Beside the turret near the bow
Two seamen felt each blast,
They struggled to the side somehow
But she went down so fast.

Soon they were swimming in a sea
That frothed and bubbled so.
There were so few that now swam free
Most had been dragged below.

Below the sea beneath the waves
Dragged down there in their ship.
Good friends gone to their early graves,
One sailor bit his lip.

For silence seemed to settle then
The sea became quite still.
It chilled the bones of swimming men
These waves would slowly kill.

Young Frank he wore a lifebelt though
So rested for a while.
The injured first would sink below
Shock makes the soul docile.

The water was not all that cold
So Death would not come fast.
Events they could so slow unfold,
Some things seemed meant to last.

Now Frank and James they both could swim
James had no lifebelt so,
He knew his chances would be slim;
Time would drag on so slow.

Frank’s lifebelt could support these two,
Frank helped James take a rest.
It was the natural thing to do;
The sun sank to the west.

A periscope then glided past,
Some beasts await their prey.
It turned towards the north at last
Before the break of day.

Some beasts are strong and charge head on,
With guile some pull prey down.
While fishes here could feed upon
Each victim who would drown.

Yet all night long they drifted there
And all the next day too.
The weather was quite calm and fair
The sky the clearest blue.

That second night sleep nagged at them
They fought hard not to sleep.
Each star seemed like a diadem
Above the hungry deep.

Beneath their feet the fish swam by
Some gorged on human flesh.
Though neither man would choose to die
Sleep caught them in its mesh.

And James he sank below the waves
Sometime through that long night.
Sailors may go to dark deep graves,
James sank without a fight.

Deep in his sleep within a dream
He met his dead Granddad .
That old man’s face it seemed to beam,
So, James did not feel sad.

He sank there to a fateful death,
His dream made him content.
He did not struggle to take breath
And soon his life was spent.

Asleep Frank drifted on along
The currents of the sea.
His fit young body was still strong,
So, Death was not to be.

He felt a tug upon his hair
A bowman yanked his head
He was the last man rescued there
Now all the rest were dead

He puzzled at where James had gone,
James had been in his dream.
This last survivor seemed so wan
Then he began to scream.

But morphine soon made him slump down
There in the rescue boat.
It never was his fate to drown
Sobs whimpered in his throat.

That boat it rode the gentle swells
They searched for sometime more.
Long gone now were the acrid smells
That Frank had smelt before.

In future years those smells would be
With him both night and day.
A tortured soul is never free
Some things don’t go away!

Dedicated to kind old Uncle Frank

This is a part of a series of verses about the sea.

Hyde Park’s Discordant Corner

In the 1960’s I got entertainment at Hype Park Corner.
Freedom of speech is essential in a democracy even if we are free to talk twaddle.
We drift towards dictatorship if we restrict freedom of speech even if what some say is just plain nasty.

Hyde Park’s Discordant Corner

People standing, people talking, people stating point of view,
Alone in groups people standing round each speaker disagreeing.

Argy bargy, argy bargy, “this is how the world should be”!
Argy bargy, argy bargy, “you are not as right as me”!

People standing, people talking, people stating point of view

Yack yack, yack yack, “ people like you should get the sack”
Yack yack, yack yack, “you’ld better take what you said back”!

Alone in groups people standing round each speaker disagreeing

Praise be, save me, “Have faith in God and no other”
Save me, praise be, “he will love you like a mother”!

People standing, people talking, people stating point of view.

Refute, deny, “These Christians say have faith, comply”,
Refute, deny, “or in hell you’ll frazzle and fry”!

Alone in groups people standing round each speaker disagreeing

High flown, monotone, “We have the moral point of view”;
High flown, monotone, “we are twice as right as you”!

People standing, people talking, people stating point of view,
Alone in groups people standing round each speaker disagreeing,

Alone in groups people standing listening to the points of view.

© Trevor Morgan, August 1968

Words in quotes not mine, they were heard said on that sultry Sunday at Hyde Park Corner. I wrote them down and composed this on the bus going home.

Old Scar tissues ache

The saying “This too will end” is so helpful.
When going though the worst of times it gives you something to look forward to.
Me, I just put my hand to writing a blues lyric.

Old Scar tissues ache

Old scar tissue’s achin’,
My joints are achin’ too.
The weathers on the change
As I’m wakin’ without YOU.

The sky’s a dullish grey
Which yesterday was blue.
It’ll drizzle now all day
And I am missing YOU.

You’re only with me now
As I walk in my dreams
And so I’m wond’ring how
We will fulfil our schemes.

I am trapped in here
And you are left to cope,
But a time is drawing near
When there’s no need to mope.

Then old scars will not ache,
Our vigour’s will renew.
A New Home we can make,
We’ll not always be blue.

The future’s full of hope,
The past has been quite bad.
There’ll be no need to mope
We need not now be sad.

© Trevor Morgan 19 April 2002

Fate and a stone bridge

A man had a weakened body so his mind did the wandering.

Stephen Hawking was that man.

His mind could wander across time and space.
It is in time and not space that my mind seeks to wander.
I do not take easily to things theological but two works have seemed to light a spark in me. These are works by Gildas and by Boethius.
I add a book by Hawking to this now.

“For whatever lives in time
that present proceeds from past into the future
and nothing is established in time
which could embrace the entire space of its life
but in fact it does not yet apprehend tomorrow
while it has already lost yesterday;
in life today you do not live more fully
than in that passing and transitory moment…

Severus Boethius; “The Consolation of Philosophy”

I have seen the remains of an ancient bridge that had stood for centuries. The softness of water brought it down.
However, ideas, ideas from a creative mind, can endure longer than that old bridge. They do not remain unaltered but in their turn sew the seeds of more ideas in time to come. They grow and populate thoughts in folk in those future times.

Fate and a stone bridge

The rain it rained for many a day,
The stream seemed filled with ire
As many a thing got swept away;
The road became a mire.

The ancient bridge it juddered then
For waters tear at stone.
Brute hardness is of no use when
Sweet Life is gone, has flown.

A bridge may stand for many a year
So rigid and secure.
It knows not when its end is near,
For nought but Fate is sure.

But go all must when it’s their time
And none may gain delay,
For whether old or in your prime,
Fate always has its way.

Yet when the raging torrent’s gone
The bridge will be no more.
The tiny weeds need not be wan
Their future is secure.

The lesser things may long endure,
Great structure’s all must fall.
Through might none may here be secure
Time sees an end to all.

A wounded man may wander home
And live to be so old.
His life might fill a weighty tome
Where his long tale is told.

Ah, “For whatever lives in Time…”
Proceeds on at its pace.
They may be mired in sin and slime
Or be touched by pure Grace.

Dedicated to the Memory of Stephen Hawking

The Curse of “Free Verse”

I have ventured to poetry classes and groups in the past.
On each occasion I have been confronted with hostility towards lyrical verse and contempt. I avoid such encounters now.
It seems to me the poetry establishment has peer reviewed itself into irrelevance.

Free Verse Curse

Who misbegot this tommyrot?
That does not beat a time.
It’s rhythmlessness so soon forgot,
This formless ooze of slime.

A falsehood that they oft propose –
They claim the name of “Poet”!
Pure tripe is all they can compose:
And deep at heart they know it.

Trevor Morgan 14 March 2015


Poetry competitions are much the same. They have been awarding prizes to short works of prose for long decades and calling the tripe poetry. After awards the winning rubbish is forgotten as it always was unworthy.

Sonnet – The good man’s prolonged death

Life can be unkind, even as it ends.
This sonnet is from a narrative work about the early wars of Wessex.
I wrote it not long before spinal surgery. I was screaming inside my head with pain at the time.


The good man’s prolonged death

The pain brought clouds of darkness to his mind.
His soul screamed for relief but there was none,
None for the pain continued on with its pure grind
And nothing, nothing now could here be done.
He’d screamed and screamed but screams brought no relief
And when he stopped he panted to take breath.
When sleeping drafts brought sleep the sleep was brief,
Then when awake he’d pray for some swift death,
But Death held back refusing to relent.
For some the end is swift, ah, oh, so quick.
Although he screamed aloud that he’d repent
The Fates they seemed now up to some old trick,
The suffering of the cruel may well seem right;
This good man’s end seemed cruel, an act of spite.

© Trevor Morgan 2010

From: “Tales of the Gewissae”