Tag Archives: the past

When A Young Man Who Liked Nostalgia

When a young man who liked nostalgia
Developed a very bad case of neuralgia,
He consulted a sage
From a previous age,
Who cured him of all his nostalgia!

Nostalgia? well perhaps, or maybe . . .

In 2016, I published my poem, Squire and Peasant, https://kmorrispoet.com/2016/05/12/squire-and-peasant/.

The above is one of the poems I am minded to read at a poetry reading on Thursday 4 July. This will be a private event (unfortunately not open to the public), hence I wanted to share this poem here in order that it may be more widely enjoyed.

Kevin

Kevin

History’s Path

I laugh
When they say
That you can discern
History’s path.
Each twist and turn
Of the track
Leads us back
To looking-glass
House where, be it early or late
The fire still burns, in the same old grate
And the king and queen seldom, if ever learn.

Bark Rubbings

Close to the end of the woodland path,
Shortly before you join the thoroughfare,
There
I ran my hands across the tree.

It’s rough bark kindled in me
A child’s wish to an impression make
Of that tree, and to take
It away with me.

Had I crayons, perhaps I would have captured that bark
On pristine
Paper, creating a clean
Bark rubbing
Leaving the tree as before.

Yet as I stood
Close to the edge of that wood
I thought how one can neither restore
Nor rub away
Yesterday.

Memory

Our memory is like a garden, where we spend many hours
Watering fragrant flowers.
Yet sometimes we succeed
In fertilising a weed.
Indeed
We take a perverse delight in watching it grow
Much though
We deny that it is so!

Let not the weed
Seed
Say I,
But learn from it, then let it die,
For if it’s growth you do not control
It will succeed
And choke your soul.

Peasants in late Medieval London faced extreme violence

According to recently published research, “Peasants in medieval London faced extreme violence”.

Skulls of peasants unearthed in the UK’s capital show a much greater number of fractures than do those of the upper classes and it is conjectured that many died soon after having received their injuries.

The researchers believe that due to the cost of the legal system, peasants in Medieval London had no ability to employ barristers so would frequently settle their disputes in bar or street brawls, many of which ended in death. Interestingly most of these brawls appear to have taken place on Sunday, which was the only day peasants had off.

In contrast the better off residents of London had recourse to legal representation to settle disputes or, if they did engage in duelling, they wore armour which greatly reduced the danger of death.

For this interesting article please visit, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-4833460/Peasants-late-medieval-London-faced-extreme-violence.html.

Twenty-Seventeen

The weather is drear
And none save my dog is near.
The new year
Beccons
As seconds
Are here then gone.
The clock’s hands move on
Towards twenty-seventeen.
I have no magic screen
To gaze into the future, but stupidity
And that age-old vice cupidity
Will, I venture to maintain
Continue to reign.

The human race
Has a face
Half devil and part divine.
There is a fine
Line
Between the two.
Looking through
History one finds dreams of utopia turning to hell,
Yet one can not tell
The idealist that he is wrong,
For he will answer you with the same old song,
“If everyone did such and such then all would be well”!
But we are saints with feet of clay
And the utopian’s way
Leads many to stray
Down the path to the ever lasting bonfire
Where the desire
To do good ends in the Gulag and the stamp
Of the fanatic’s boot in the concentration camp.

Small acts of kindness matter
And oft times achieve more than the chatter
Of those
Who would dragoon
Humanity into neat little rows.
And believe there is a man in the moon.

Flame

Thought
Caught
In the flames of this fire,
Fanning my desire
For a past when the publican laid logs
In fireplaces
And drinker’s faces
Gathered around the blaze as their dogs
Lazed beside the eternal flame.

It is not the same
Since the pub changed hands. The beer
Remains unchanged, yet I fear
The flame does not burn as bright
Of a winter’s night
And the grate is too often cold.

Slavery’s Stain

The crack of the whip
Does strip
The past bare.
Who would dare
To lift the curtain
For it is certain
To make the sensitive squirm.

Growing up in Liverpool I was told
A tale of how the city was built on slave owner’s gold.
Many there money gave
In the hope their soul to save
To schools and foundations
That dignify the nation.

What can one say
For it is a long way
Back and distance
Leads to resistance
To compensation
For the Caribbean and African nations.
An injustice vast
Stains our past
But should the Europeans of today
Pay for the injustices of yesterday?

One can apologise for one’s own mistake
But what good can an apology make
For a wrong long gone
And done by another one?

Great Britain abolished slavery in 1807
And all was right and god was in his heaven.
No,
The woe
Caused by slavery did persist,
But should one then insist
On the payment of gold
To right wrongs untold?

We can not and should not forget
And yet
We must move on.
The slave owners are gone
And to apply modern morality to the past
Is, perhaps a thankless task.
Can we in conscience ask the guiltless of today
To reparations pay?
And, if so to whom
For the gloom
Has long since closed
Over those
Who where so cruely whipped
And stripped.

(https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/sep/24/slave-owning-families-influenced-uk-jane-austen-modern-rroyalty-eugenie-beatrice).