Sweet sister death – dVerse Quadrille

IMG_1143

You never told me, father,

how to prepare for this journey,
dismissing your own war-wound,
saying ‘It’s nothing’.
I am bitter to my shattered bones,
staring into the chests of my comrades

my enemies,
spatchcocked like the chickens

cold-slabbed in your butcher’s shop window.


 

Hurrah! the dVerse pub has re-opened after the summer’s hiatus. We have a fantastic interview with Brian Miller, one of the  co-founders, to celebrate 5 years of dVerse. In much more sobering news, we have also learned that the lovely Viv passed away on 5th July. She was always very supportive of my work in her comments, so I am terribly saddened to hear of her passing. My thoughts, along with everyone else’s, go to her family and loved ones at this time.

Tonight, we are hosted by the lovely Grace, who has invited us to write a quadrille – 44 words, no more, no less. I love the form, it really makes me work to get my meaning across.

I watched a documentary on BBC iPlayer about the poet David Jones, who’s epic poem  about the First World War, ‘In Parenthesis‘ is considered to be one of the finest of its time, of all war poetry in fact. The title of my quadrille is taken from a phrase in Part 7 of his work, and my poem has been informed somewhat by him, and the subject matter of his work. If I had even an ounce of his talent, I would be delighted.

I’m a bit of a war poet fan, and although I had heard of him, I hadn’t read David Jones’ epic work. The documentary, which was both about him and his poem, has enthralled me and my family. I have ordered a copy of ‘In Parenthesis’ and am desperate to start reading it.

Anyway, please do hop on over to dVerse and take part if you can. Or just enjoy the work you find there!

My Man Joe – dVerse Meeting the Bar

Here’s my long-overdue return to dVerse Meeting the Bar. This week, Gay is asking us to write a song! Now that’s a poetry form that brings back strong memories for me – I immediately thought of my mum singing along to Steeleye Span’s ‘All Around My Hat’ as she did the housework, and being taken to a Chieftans’ concert (and falling asleep – aaah, I was only very young!). Folk music is something that my family really enjoys – there is even morris dancing going on too (my mum again, with my step-dad playing an important musical role too).

Suffice to say, I’m a fan of the old folksy ballad, singing of love, loss, pride and passion. So, here’s my attempt… It’s inspired by the centenary year of the Great War – the War to End All Wars (if only). It’s simple, yet I hope it works.

Do visit the other poets who take part in this wonderful community… you’re in for a treat! And do let me know what you think of my song.

*****

– My Man Joe –

My sweetheart Joe is big and strong
With a twinkling eye and a ready smile
He works on the railways all week long
Just to buy me a posy on a Friday

(chorus)
I’ll always be with you, I’ll always be true
I’ll stand by your side, forever be true

My fiancé Joe cuts a fine dash
Driving his engine through the valleys
He collects his wages and gives me cash
Just to buy me a dress for our wedding

(chorus)
I’ll always be with you, I’ll always be true
I’ll stand by your side, forever be true

My husband Joe is a fine, proud dad
He plays with his boys on a Sunday
He sings in church, gives thanks and is glad
For his family, luck and fortune

(chorus)
I’ll always be with you, I’ll always be true
I’ll stand by your side, forever be true

My soldier Joe walks proud and tall
Marching away to the trenches
God bless my man! God bless them all!
Please let him come back safely

(chorus)
I’ll always be with you, I’ll always be true
I’ll stand by your side, forever be true

My man Joe gave his life and soul
On the far away fields of Flanders
For my boys and me he’ll not grow old
Nor ever be forgotten.

(chorus)
I’ll always be with you, I’ll always be true
I’ll stand by your side, forever be true