Month: Nov 2014

We are not Alone [sonnet]

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alone

As the tumbrel turned the final corner
heading south into the crowded centre
of the square, I saw there was no mourner
paying last respects, nor no lamenter.
The crowd bayed for my blood with swelling sound
as I approached the midpoint of the throng.
Even children looked upon me, spellbound;
I smiled at them (as always, lost in song).
We stopped. They cast me underneath the blade.
I felt a reassuring smile’s embrace;
and then I heard a voice: “Be not afraid”.
Just as the blade came down, I saw the face.
No matter how or into what we’re thrown,
if we are of the light, we’re not alone.

© Alan Morrison, 2014

Wanted: Time-Machine

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wanted_timemachine

Similar to picture but any style considered. Must be in full working order. Able to traverse many centuries. Needed urgently by poet wishing to return to his old haunts in the medieval era, when patronage was standard for troubadours; when women did not fear eloquence, intensity and power in a man but absolutely demanded it; when towns and villages would gather in the square to listen to poetry and music; when gallantry was the norm; when a song could cause a stir; when you made your own furniture; when a horse would be the only friend you’d need; when you knew who the evil barons were and could deal with them; when small things mattered; when a poem could break a heart or mend it; when you really could go off to find your fortune; when your life would be ever so brief but oh so brave.

I wanted to be a Hermit

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i_wanted_to_be_a_hermit

I WANTED TO BE A HERMIT on a mountain for a reason. More than one reason. Many reasons! And I’ve done it. I always end up regretting it when I try not to be a hermit. But then, when I become more of a hermit, a little voice says to me: “You were put in this world for a purpose. Get out there and do it”. So I go back down the mountain. Then when it all becomes too much (which it always does), I go back up. Down then up. Down then up. And so on. Just being alive nearly kills me. The truth is that there is a huge sense in which I am happiest on the mountain. There. I said it…

Bathos meets the Golden Bough [poem]

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bathos_meets_the_golden_bough

When strange cosined estrangement
makes its strangled mark around
my desert journey’s restless crazed abode,
I’m forced to pay the price the piper plays
when gigging for some vassal lord
who loves not music with his heart
but only has the need for what he deems
will fit the bill (that’s quite apart from all
the times I swallowed hard the sugared pill
they made me take [which even common sense
would show was merely fake
{placebo is the truesome game}]).

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Shampoo [sonnet]

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shampoo

She lingered in the shower a little more,
on rising, to enjoy her new shampoo.
She had to look her best, once past the door.
She manicured her nails that morning too.
The sunlight kissed her face when in the drive;
she breathed the sweetful air into her breast.
“How glad,” she thought, “I am to be alive!”
She stepped into her brand new car, well-dressed.
Three minutes on, a smash, while turning right.
“Such beauty! What a waste!” Then certifies
she didn’t suffer — went out like a light.
So said the doctor, as he closed her eyes.
We never know what jolts this day will bring.
So live each moment as your last… and sing!

 

© Alan Morrison, 2014

Dirt in the Wrinkles [new poem for Armistice Day]

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dirt_in_the_wrinkles

“It’s time to roll the barbed wire out, boys!”
said the sergeant’s raspy singsong voice —
his Aberystwyth accent sending chuckles
down the line of threadbare, rain-soaked soldiers
(all around them potholes hissly smoulder)
scrambling in the mud with clouding breath.
[That day 3000 lads or more had met their death].

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The Bloody Stain [sonnet]

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the_bloody_stain

Life is just a brief postponement of death
for seconds, hours, days or years to come.
Each moment is a gift — a treasured breath;
the opposite of frozen, stiff or numb.
We’re here to pass through lessons dark and light
so choices made in liberty can soar;
but not as pawns in someone else’s fight
or cattle in the slaughterhouse of war.
Yet, solemn mouths will speak of glory days
on battlefields ‘to safeguard freedom’s reign’.
But war’s a secret money-spinning craze
for power-players’ games — a bloody stain.
Our lives are not for sale to twisted men
whose presence here’s a dark carcinogen.

 

© Alan Morrison, 2014

The Oath of a Knight

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oath_of_a_knight

LONG YEARS AGO, I TOOK THE OATH OF A KNIGHT (and retake it each new year). This is not a frivolous pledge but an all-consuming way of life, at the heart of which lie some qualities which are not promoted so commonly today, such as honour, duty, diligence, self-scrutiny, charity, grace, empathy, compassion, etc. For my oath, I adapted a 1000 year-old medieval Knight’s Code of Chivalry and have sworn to exercise it with conscientious dedication. Here it is:

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Prose Poem #237

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prose_poem

One Autumn day when sticky black molasses
trapped my feet inside its smoothsome snare
a dream streamed loud in my synapses
with an icicle of glee and wintry glare
about a man who thought his course was run
who felt that he had nothing more to share
and that the pattern of his life was done.
So here’s the dream in full. I left out nothing;
neither have I changed the makely sense or
anything which would disguise its providence.

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