Posts Tagged ‘historical’

Amongst the mire and barbed wire,
There lies prone the battered regiment,
Under a rain of both water and shell,
A band of brothers,
Rats armed to the nines,
Fighting more for camaraderie than a flag,

Holding their own,
Holding the front with tooth and round,
Keeping the foes from the trench,
Opting for blades as the bullets run out,
Shouting out under a chorus of machine-gun song,
Weighted down by mud and corpses,

Even these warriors are not ironclad though,
Waves of bodies fall upon them hourly,
Each loss is a bayonet to the gut,
Where each bodybag is a sacred relic,
Sent home with a sombre reverence,
Back to a warm welcome and a cold hearth,

A brief homage and an eternal sleep,
And the war rages on.

On one fateful day,
On the straits of Denmark,
An iron knight was laid low,
Clad in atlantic fleet grey,
The Mighty Hood,
Pride of a kingdom,
Reduced to scuttled wreck,
Pierced by HE crows from enemy ordnance,
Sent afly by a chancellors namesake,
Explosions cry out,
And the valour of the Royal Navy is frayed,
Rended and sent below the waves,
To be a monument to a fallen chivalrous age,
Now in cold waters does she finally rest,

Ventis Secundis

What does it mean to be a duelist?
Is it the air of flamboyance in your raiment?
Or the tales surrounding your blade?
The cold atmosphere of your stare?
Or is it purely your talent at arms?
A swordsman must be as a snake,
Biding her time to riposte and strike,
Reptilian eyes looking for a weak point,

There’s no underhandedness here though,
She is as regal as a king cobra,
And deeply respected as the fang she is,
The patience pays dividends of course,
A chink is spied,
No cuirass is impenetrable,
Not for an artist,
Not for a true duelist.

My minds eye travels for malms,
To these golden lands,
Domains of god-kings,
Amidst the most ancient of civilisations,
There is still respect for death,
In its ghastly canid form,

Anubis or Anpu,
Archon and keeper of our final destination,
Still regal in his purpose,
Despite animalistic visage,
The dead must be embalmed and carried on,
They have a sustained journey ahead,

The wolfs head may inspire fear,
But his howls echo over the sands for no ill feeling,
Simply to ward evil from the graves,
Growls and snarls against desecration,
To protect the dead,
As they are ushered towards the stars in the after.

Many lands believe might makes right,
And bestow this belief on the foreign poor,
A show of force,
A frank display of arrogance,
Replacing ancient tenets with roads,
Inflicting new flags on old traditions,

With heretofore never seen weaponry,
Science turned to warfare,
Behemoths of timber and black powder,
Lines of steel and ruby uniform,
All lands become part of a gold rush,
Power used to justify itself,

Large swathes of the world under one creed,
But a creed benefitting very few,
Vampires in wigs of affluence cheer,
Raising goblets of exotic blood,
To chalk and sands stained in red,
Conquest being its own reward.

The eve grows fatigued,
And your eyes along with it,
The shapes in the corners grow contorted,
Monsters hiding in the periphery,
Raving as you sweat bullets,
Shudders in your limbs,

You feel dark eyes upon you,
An undeniable weight,
Your heart rate begins to sprint,
But you dissuade your own chills,
T’was merely fear of the night,
You lay your head down,

Something sees from the rafters,
Not a revenant,
But a ghost of flesh,
An adept of a grim mantra,
A bladed shadow,
And it seems you’re the mark,

Sleep keeps its distance,
Shudders radiate in your marrow,
You clench your eyes taut,
Something drops to the floor,
Black garb flowing like water,
A shadow approaches its prey,

Eyes and edges behind obsidian silk,
Sleep of a kind is here.

Do you think the Earth has a gravekeeper?
An elderly man worked to the bone,
Not truly living himself,
A retainer of Father Time,
Caked in mud of prehistory,

Tending to markers of civilisations that have fallen,
The graves of cultures rotting,
Peoples long past,
Traditions preserved in dirt and amber,
Their stories insulated against times decay,

He is a curator of memories,
Propagator of the ways of peoples of eld,
Pyramids and ruins and spires,
Egypt and Inca and Cree,
Among others these graves will not vanish into dust,

Whether lost to famine or conquest,
Plague or assimilation,
Old flames will be kept alive,
Flowers will bloom upon their epitaphs,
For all to remember and learn,

Our gravekeeper digs evermore,
His shovel groans in earnest,
All cultures fall to the grind of time,
All empires collapse,
Our western culture indeed has a grave waiting cleared.

The Scottish highlands are known for beauty,
Indeed it is undeniable,
Even as rain descends,
It simply gives a different light for the hills allure,
A real life portrait coated in dew,
But it once held a nightmare,
A horror story on folkloric wings,

The Bean clan,
A revel of teeth and butchers blades,
Hailing from East Lothian,
Along with his wife Black Agnes Douglas,
A cave became their grisly home,
Siring a family of abhorrents,
The family that kills together dines together,

Their cannibalistic reign ended many,
And their larder held what remained,
Jars of pickled limbs,
Hooks for the leftovers,
Assorted blades for the best cuts,
An incestuous family feasting together,
Blood indistinguishable from saliva,

Ambushing scores of innocents,
Under cover of night,
A prey with plenty of protein,
Enough to claim the ire of a king,
Who descended with militia and hound,
The gallows and stakes wait,
And so ended the tale of Sawney Bean,

We hope.

Atop his scarred mare,
Beside his beleaguered comrades,
Hussar and dragoon and cuirassier,
The lancer wipes muck from his uniform azure,
Harvest of a cold morning scrap,
Barely a mile taken,
A score of lives paid,

And the general sips his wine,

A reluctant warrior,
A soldier true and father twice,
Thrall to the kings coin,
Yet the battery fire recommences,
And the order to charge is given,
A L’attaque!
The flagging lancer blasts ahead,

And the general sips his wine,

Shrapnel and flesh collide all around his advance,
The lancer picks out his mark,
The grist for his lance,
Akin to a Romeo delivering his final romantic plea,
Direct to the foes heart,
Inspecting his handiwork he saw his victim to be no more than fourteen summers,
Somewhere a mother wails,

And the general sips yet more wine.

He is whirling,
Devout in his movements,
The aches in his legs mean nothing,
Physical exertions to praise the upper,
Let the spiritual ecstasy never cease,

Spin and praise,

Upon the sunburned steps of Istanbul,
His ebony robes appear a turbine,
The whirling continues,
A trance-like tornado of limbs,
Arousing his soul,

Spiral in wajad,

This Dervish and his euphoric twirl,
Is closer to immortality than I could dream,
Each priestly rotation brings further enlightenment,
The whirling shall not stop,
Not until salvation bears its head.