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.
“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
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!
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 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.
“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”
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.
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
I like Shelley.
His poem “Adonais” is an elegy on the death of John Keats. It is one of the great poems of the English language.
So, when I read of yet another suicide of a veteran I wrote this. After I finished I realised I was in Shelley’s debt.
Commonwealth War Cemetery Singapore
Peace, peace, he does not sleep, he’s dead.
Released from all the horrors in his head;
No more in sleep will gunfire rattle him,
Nor faces of the dead unsettle him.
He dreams no more so must now be content,
For deep and dreamless sleep is heav’n sent.
Its darkness is the sweetest kindest balm
And in it troubled souls are free of harm.
Peace, peace, he does not sleep, he’s dead.
Released from all the terror and the dread;
The dead will visit him at night no more,
No sadness from a long-forgotten war.
The dreams have stopped that shook him in his bed
And tore around like thunder in his head.
The ghosts will have to find another haunt
And find some other poor sad soul to taunt.
Peace, peace, he does not sleep, he’s dead!
© Trevor Morgan, 29/6/2018
It is quite normal for money to become debased.
Governments and banks can create too much and inflation may follow.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a serious condition that, as a result of dire events, can mar a life. The sufferer will be haunted by nightmares when asleep and flashbacks when awake and normal functions of daily living are impaired.
Snowflakes who are offended by hearing points of view they do not like cannot get this condition. They are just being silly
And late at night with dread
He would lay down his head,
But deep within his mind
There was no rest to find.
For there in his deep sleep
A dreadful date he’ll keep
With phantoms of the mind
And they are most unkind.
Repeating on and on
Each past and dreamed of wrong;
Survivors can like sheep
Be dragged down in the deep
To depths of all despair
Choked like they have no air;
Writhe ‘n writhe in slumber
Goes on without number.
On and on each night
They face repeated fright
Of ghostly secret dread
Of what’s there in their head.
No rest can they now find
When troubled in their mind,
It’s known to me and thee
We say “PTSD”.
And years after a war,
It kills so many more.
So torn by all the grief
Death’s sought out for relief.
It quietens all the dread
There, in a troubled head
And peace is finally found;
When lowered in the ground.
© Trevor Morgan 28.6.2018
Following The Falklands War and some other campaigns more of the veterans end by taking their own lives than were killed in action. They too are casualties of conflict. Oh, the pathos of wars!
I rarely use couplets, I find them jerky and lacking rhythmic flow. But as this came out in this form and I wrote it down in minutes this was how my Muse sent it to me.
The powerful see truth as precious that is why they ration it!
Throughout my life I have listened to lie after lie from politicians and the corporate sector.
It is only after years we find out the truth. Usually that is long after victims of lies and perpetrators are safely dead and buried.
My latest discovery is “The Barcelona Declaration” of 1995. Our present excess of immigration was actually agree then. Deceit is a nasty thing!
The angels of truth
Experience is ever real,
While “News” is ever a lie.
The hand that we hold others deal,
Though some may escape if they try.
The Fates may be driven by spite,
The Innocent, victims of Hate.
Where Folly may reach a new height
Salvation is always too late.
False Hopes may well act like a cheat
Salvation, it sometimes may fail.
The Angels of Truth may be sweet;
Though they come with the pace of a snail.
The future and past either way
Stand now either side of today.
© Trevor Morgan
The strong are wise to be economical with the use of force.
Strangely, despite all that’s gone before they rarely ever are..
If the weak are in the way they swat them. If anyone speaks words they do not want to hear they silence them.
This stupidity is alive and flourishing in our country today.
Germs ooze out of a swatted fly
Some germs ooze from a swatted fly,
Seeped and oozed away.
Where they settled, what they poisoned,
May be hard to say
They swatted a fly, it was easy done
With feelings quite wry – they did it for fun.
But, Oh! – how the germs oozed out of the mess
An’ what it’ll get in, will cause such distress.
Some settled in the national press,
Some in much graphic art.
Where it will spread it’s hard to guess;
Some ills are sure to start.
Some went in words and some in tune,
That most may sing or hum.
Their message will be well known soon;
The violence of those scum.
Some settled in each raging heart,
Some in much local lore
Where it will spread what it may start
May make life one dark chore.
If only they had let him be
It would have flown away,
But now from sickness they’re not free;
For they’re plagued every day.
© Trevor Morgan, 26/6/2018
The English they only have one king they call great.
This is Alfred, or Aelfrede, meaning Elf Council or advice. This could also mean talks to elves, implying deviousness perhaps. Many old English names have similar origins. Elvis, for example means elf wise or wisdom of the elves.
It is not known at what age children were given their names.
Many children can play alone merrily chatting away as if they had company, as if talking to the elves.
I suspect our great king was one such child.
Sonnet – Her little boy
A little boy he played down by the stream.
He romped with glee and danced around about.
His eyes they seemed to have an elfish gleam.
His mother loved to hear him sing and shout
And watched him from afar as he would play.
It seemed as if he danced with many friends
And yet he was alone here on this day.
That stream across the meadow slowly wends;
That boy he played the whole long day away.
He seemed to talk to folk who seemed not there.
Each child may play in every way they may,
His childhood it was lived so free of care.
His mother’s words this son would always heed;
This youngest boy of Her’s she’d named Aelfrede.
© Trevor Morgan, 25/6/2018
I like to imagine historic characters as very young children
I wonder what he talked about with his elf companions?
Concussion is best avoided. In 1999 I failed to avoid it.
My first clear memory was in hospital having a wound fixed and I remember nothing for up to an hour before the accident.
What I have had are wisps from dreams, all blurs, so I thought I would try to describe them.
Sonnet – Vague awakening
I gazed upon some blood upon my hand.
I knew not where I was nor what had been.
I lay there dazed and failed to understand
As all about things had the strangest sheen.
These steps on which I lay, they seemed to sway
As pain erupted in my eyes and head.
Pedestrians went past upon their way.
About me now some mumbled words were said,
Some people gazed at me as I lay here.
I tried to move but things went dark awhile
And then there seemed to rise, that eerie fear;
Where eyes they seemed so cold but mouths they smile.
I thought I saw a child now so long dead
And felt the blood here trickling from my head.
© Trevor Morgan, 24/6/2018
I had an 8 inch long wound across my head. It seems a ladder fell on me.
I remember a voice saying “This will not sting” as the wound was glued back.
That was a lie. What a sting that was. It was a neat job and I am thankful to the staff at the Northern General Hospital.
Head injury is strange in its effects and for a while things were a bit weird.