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”

Advertisements

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 Scriptorium at Winchester

I like Narrative verse.
Much of my work is about the ninth and tenth Century in England. The Viking raids and invasions devastated the land. Out of this came a new wave of writing, art and illustration. Much of this came from Winchester.
So in a narrative I have a monk there beginning this school

Plants

The Scriptorium at Winchester

Osric the scribe worked that long day,
As long as there was light.
He only put his quills away
As dusk turned into night.

This book of Proverbs he worked on
He copied for his Lord.
He rarely saw the sun that shone
And never went abroad.

Within the confines of these walls
He now had spent long years.
He’d never heard the fairies’ calls
And never did shed tears.

A man of plain and simple faith
Who had stuck to his vow.
Before him stood what seemed a wraith,,
What could the monk do now?

He fell down to the floor in fear
He heard a tender voice.
“Get up, good monk, there’s no one near
Get up you face a choice.

My name’s Gabrel, I’m sent to you
To guide you in a task.
Your work it lacks a tender view,
So now do as I ask.

Come with me through the world of men,
Come outside of the walls.
Come see the hills, come see the fen,
Come listen to bird calls”.

Led by the hand through vistas grand,
He saw a wondrous isle.
“God has much planned for your sweet land”,
Gabrel said with a smile.

“The ebb and flow of how things go
Will not be shown to you.
But of this realm there’s much to know,
For deeds that you must do.

For scribes like you must copy well,
Writing the books of God.
And your works here could well excel,
You’ll need to be well shod.

And go from here with books wrote clear,
With these good words you write.
And never sneer, nor ever fear.
The Danes must know what’s right.

Your King has dreams and righteous schemes
Of more monks here with you.
Who’ll write in teams and write vast reams,
And their guide must be true.

So, walk this land with quill in hand,
Record the woods and ways.
Then take in hand what has been planned,
And guide scribes all your days”.

It seemed like Osric had a fit,
His mouth was wet with froth.
That night beside a cross he’d sit,
He was frail as a moth.

So, Osric did as he was bid
And wandered round our land.
And Gabrel saw that nought was hid
And helped him understand.

He went outside into the realm
And wandered for a year.
He knew soon he would take the helm,
But this caused him no fear.

The flowers in the field and fen,
The plants by each wayside,
Osric the monk he saw it then;
God’s work spread far and wide.

Each flower and leaf helped his belief,
Helped him see Christ as King.
Through sin and all of men’s mischief,
Not all could see this thing.

For God is found here all around,
In his creative zest.
His small herbs that spring from the ground
Seemed far above the rest.

© Trevor Morgan 5/5/2018

From: “Tale of Aelfrede and Gudrum”

Aneirin and the Bards

I like our old bards.
Aneirin, writing in Brythonic (early Welsh) tells of the defeat of his people, the Gododdin, when they attacked the Angles at Catraeth (Catterick).
This was around the year 600AD and in it he describes one of the leaders as being a great warrior “but he was not Arthur”. This is the only near contemporary reference to anyone named Arthur. We can put the old King Arthur stories aside as inventions with no real historic base. These Angles were the early Northumbrian English and one of their Northumbrian towns was Edinburg.

thebard

(c) National Museum of Wales / Amgueddfa Cymru; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

Aneirin and the Bards

Aneirin wrote an elegy
To each of his dead friends.
At Catraeth through their strategy
His people’s history ends.

When all of the Gododdin fell
Their names would not be lost.
Aneirin in his verses tell
Of his people’s holocaust.

The Angel host behind each shield
Had withstood their attack.
That firm shield wall that did not yield;
Each stag fell to the pack.

There Ida’s line from Bamburgh Head
Established dominance.
From Catraeth where the soil’s-soaked red
Those Angles would advance.

The lonesome bard was left to write
Gododdin’s elegy.
The soul survivor of that fight;
A dismal destiny.

So sadly then this bard would roam,
Lamenting his dead friends.
And how his Briton’s home was lost,
The story never ends.

The Briton’s blood, the Briton’s soil
Had been merged into one.
Their children would be left to toil
As slaves to those who won.

But are those Angles known by name
Those men who won that fight?
Without a Bard to sing their name
They have been lost from sight.

The Angles had some power then
To dominate this land.
Yet Bard’s words are remembered when
Old Glories turn to sand.

Each elegy Aneirin wrote
Describes a long dead man.
He does not rant, he does not gloat
Of chaff before a fan.

For each one seems a close dear friend
And fit for sad lament.
And now their fame may have no end;
Bard’s words do not relent.

The Poet and the Bard are here
To keep the dead alive.
Defeated peoples find some cheer
Where their great deeds survive.

A conquest by a stronger foe
Whose names are lost in time
Will let the future’s children know;
All conquests are a crime.

For Peoples and their lands are one
United, blood and place.
Despite all of the wrongs been done,
Defeats and past disgrace.

Gododdin are still in this land
As stubbornness still shows.
They’ve mingled through time’s flowing sand
As onward their line goes.

At Catraeth British warriors died
The Bard has told their tale.
Though widows and their orphans cried
Their blood line did not fail.

The patterns in their genes are strong
Still here within this land.
Despite who’s right, despite who’s wrong,
There are new Bards at hand.

Aneirin wrote of real things,
All Bards should do the same.
When of the past the singer sings;
Old heroes live again.

© Trevor Morgan 11 October 2003

Dancing with my Moonshadow

I love the imagery in the poetry of Li Bai (AD701-762)
His poem “Dancing alone beneath the moon” justified his drinking alone. This was frowned upon in Tang China. But Li Bai claims not to be alone for he has company, the company of the Moon and his own moonshadow.
I have tried this on a warm night and you can be perfectly happy drinking with these two companions.

moon-shadows

Dancing with my Moonshadow

I sway with my back to the moonlight,
My shadow is swaying with me.
My shadow’s my slave, it seems so right,
For how can a shadow be free?

As I dance my slave dances here too,
I’m drunk and my pain’s now at bay.
As I yearn now to seek to renew,
My troubles now all fade away.

Moonshadows abound here on this night,
The Moon here’s a glory to see.
A shadow as slave here seems so right;
For this is how all things ought be!

There’s much that once made my soul sad,
But my Shadow here fills me with glee.
This brief time, I’m feeling oh, so glad;
Moon Shadow I’ll never set free.

Old Cruelty makes shadows of live folk,
Coerce them to do as they’re told.
And bind them like they’re in an old yolk;
The souls of the cruel are all cold.

As I dance with my slave we are free.
All drunken we don’t give a damn.
The road to the stars is above me;
Here I’ll be the man that I am.

© Trevor Morgan 13 April 2018

Note:

This is a translation of Li Bai’s poem:

Drinking alone beneath the Moon

Beneath the blossoms with a pot of wine,
No friends at hand, so I poured alone;
I raised my cup to invite the moon,
Turned to my shadow, and we became three.
Now the moon had never learned about drinking,
And my shadow had merely followed my form,
But I quickly made friends with the moon and my shadow;
To find pleasure in life, make the most of the spring.

Whenever I sang, the moon swayed with me;
Whenever I danced, my shadow went wild.
Drinking, we shared our enjoyment together;
Drunk, then each went off on his own.
But forever agreed on dispassionate revels,
We promised to meet in the far Milky Way.

Li Bai

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

Note:

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 – Stand and Wait!

Milton wrote “they also serve who stand and wait”
Milton never was quite my cup of tea so I could not resist taking the contrary approach!

Sonnet
Stand and wait!

There is no service where you stand and wait,
Just drawn out time when all seems bleak and sad.
Moods swing there so between pure love and hate.
Now too much waiting can drive sound minds mad.
Some mothers pace about both night and morn;
While others will ensure no mood’s revealed
Nor let some see inside where all’s forlorn.
With effort they ensure all sadness is concealed.
Secure, each child may hold tight mother’s hand.
Some young though seem to know good words to say.
Ah, strange it is how some young understand
And empathise upon the darkest day.
Then joy explodes at last when news arrives
And out of dismal Fear true Hope then thrives.

©Trevor Morgan 12 November 2014

Poetry (two views, the right, the wrong!)

I wrote this over 50 years ago.
I was listening to discussion at an English class at night school.
Clearly, I am not a fan of free verse, so “Poetry 1” is for me and to me, “Poetry 2” is not poetry at all, it is prose!

Poetry 1

Poetry is not poetry if
Poetry does not rhyme
Poetry is not poetry if
It does not beat a time

Poetry is not poetry if
The words quickly escape
Poetry is not poetry if
It’s not hammered into shape

Rhythm and rhyme
Rhythm and rhyme
Must be worked at all the time
So it is not poetry if it does not rhyme

 

Poetry 2

Poetry has no need to rhyme
Poetry is not rhyme
It is just a rhythmic array of words
Without a neat metre line upon line

Poetry comes from somewhere within
Poetry comes from inside the mind
And it has nothing new to say
Just a new way to say it

Alliteration and versification
Are some of its aids
But they are not it
Poetry is that which it is
And being what it is, just is

 

© Trevor Morgan 1967

 

Note I have kept it without punctuation as that is the way I wrote for decades.