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Titchfield Shakespeare Festival Poetry Contest Top 21 in no particular order.

September 27, 2013

[Please remember, I am not judging this contest and do not yet know the identities of the poets behind these, the top 21 entries for this http://www.titchfieldshakespearefestival.com/poetry-contest/ , in its first year. All will be revealed this Sunday, September 29th 2013, at this: https://www.facebook.com/events/366285226837086/?ref_dashboard_filter=calendar.  However, I have the privilege of presenting poems from the short list of entries right here. Entries have come from as far away as the USA and Japan, so this is a WORLD EXCLUSIVE!
All four plays have inspired entries, so this contest, as I hoped when I devised it, has proved that Shakespeare remains an inspiration to today’s poets.
If you possibly can, please come along and see these poems performed by the poets themselves or members of TFT, completing a poetic relay that encompasses Shakespeare’s work, the first performances of his plays, TFT’s productions this year, the creation of these poems and their performance this Sunday, at the Great Barn, Mill Lane, Titchfield PO15 5RB and the rewarding of this new poetry contest’s very first winner!
Feel free to post comments on your favourite poem, but if YOU wrote any of the following, please refrain from identifying yourself before this Sunday; the judging process is not quite complete and anonymity must be conserved!
After Sunday, though, please claim credit for your work by commenting below. I will do my best to name the poets too, but would appreciate a hand.
The unique nature of this poetry contest has led to its acquiring a unique character. Decide for yourself which poem Shakespeare would have preferred!]

1

Always last to be chosen for football

he would slump, arms lank

as greasy hair, cuffs of his shirt

stopping so short they barely hid

the lines of red, marking his skin

like the indications of a ruler.

When Miss Green chose him for the lead

we thought she had lost it.

Each rehearsal we cringed through lines

which mumbled into silence

and still she refused to pull him

told us to wait and see.

On the night the house lights dimmed,

in the darkness curtains opened,

then a follow spot circled him

and the moment he opened his mouth

we no longer saw his spectacles,

we saw a King and bowed before him.

[Ben Johnson http://www.bensonofjohn.co.uk/]

2

PLAY: The Tempest – THEME: a stormy sea

I took the thematic inspiration for my poem, ‘Lacrymis’, from the storm that provides The Tempest with its name. It is centred on the episode in Act One Scene Two, where Ferdinand is led to falsely believe that his father, King Alonso, has drowned at sea. The image of the storm is used in my poem as both a metaphor for Prince Ferdinand’s grief and the literal separation of father and son, both alone on an unknown and threatening island. The waves echo Ferdinand’s swirling emotions which are as tumultuous as the tempest lashing the sea. The threatening imagery of the sea depths represents the fear which Ferdinand feels being alone and isolated, plunging into a painful sadness.

I wanted the look of the poem to suggest the waves of the sea by the combination of regular linear lines in traditional stanza form, interspersed by freeform lines and punctuation. This created a shape poem, which resembles ocean waves, and the tears trickling down Ferdinand’s face as he learns of the death of his father. Additionally, the title of my poem is Latin for ‘tears’. This relates to both the content of the poem, and is a link to the educational learning of Shakespeare and the Renaissance setting of which The Tempest originates from.

Lacrymis

roiling waves caught in a maelstrom of hurt

teetering on a crest, foam burning on the wind

fall

fall

fall

falling

sinking down into the abyss, into the darkness:

the looming maw of Hades opening up massive with

rocky teeth poised to catch at his hair

to clutch his sightless eyes,

pearls drifting slowly towards the underground

joined by ivory, pure

and slender

and white

and –

still, black, unchanging, unmoving

flesh peeling from its branches, the timber dead and rotten

it is a grave of silence for the bones of a king.

the son sits alone and weeps,

teetering on a crest, tears burning on the wind

fall

fall

fall

falling.

[Rebecca Rowley]

3

This poem is inspired by the theme of political spin. Shakespeare’s portrayal of Richard III is difficult for a 21st century audience to take. It is almost comically one-dimensional, and has consequently been explained as “spin” for the Tudors who needed to justify their right to rule. On the other hand, modern Ricardians “spin” Richard III as almost a saint, driven by duty to take a burdensome crown. It is difficult for us to imagine a world where the killing and usurping of cousins was common in the royal family. Equally, it would be difficult for a medieval monarch to understand constitutional monarchy.

Born again

Now that you have found my bones,

And you have your science of clones,

Would you give me back my breath?

Wake me from this pall of death!

You know now that I was brave;

Hacked down by Tudor’s French knaves.

You know the Bard’s play was “spin”

With me as panto villain.

I loved Edward my brother;

Was happy to be Gloucester.

Why did he die so early?

Leaving me to make history?

A bishop cries bigamy!

And pious men must agree…

Then power brought me madness…

Those times were cruel; kings ruthless.

A modern royal! That suits me.

Smiling, waving, pageantry…

Foreign tours that don’t mean wars;

Commoners enforcing laws.

Oh to represent again

Fair and decent Englishmen!

Craft me as your re-born king!

But! Another is reigning…..

You don’t want the old and frail,

How about a virile male?

Your current heir is not fit.

Diana said he should quit….

So, friends of 2013!

What do you say to my plea?

Try new Richard! Seize the day.

Energize my DNA!

[Elizabeth Rogers]

4

Introduction

I confess that I have not been to see any of this season’s Shakespeare plays. There, that’s my entry on its way to the bin.

However, I did see the Tempest some years ago performed by TFT at Roche Court and I still remember it, in spite of….

Well, that’s the point. In spite of my persistence over the years, I cannot claim to “get” Shakespeare and I’m still waiting for his works to inspire me. My poem, therefore, is a gentle representation of my bemusement in the form of a debate between two men who have just watched a production of The Tempest.

Scene: Two men (strangers) meet after watching a production of The Tempest and begin a discussion.

Character 1 (Ordinary type) Someone who doesn’t “get” Shakespeare Character 2 (Italics) A Shakespeare fan

Both speak at once (UPPERCASE)

Let me see if I’ve worked it out – I think I’ve got it right


A ship gets wrecked near an island in the middle of the night

Prospero has a target, Antonio, his brother


While making sure that no one on the ship’s about to suffer

His daughter Miranda ends up marrying the son


Of the king – the son is Ferdinand, ah yes that’s the one

Wait a second, why is it that not at any stage


Did anybody mention that Miranda’s under age?

Prospero lost the dukedom of Milan but gets it back

When Antonio, the brother, is the first of them to crack

Ariel the fairy is freed from Prospero’s rule


And the king of all the island is Caliban, the fool.

Although you’ve got the gist of it, you’ve missed out quite a lot

Like almost all the characters, the magic and the plot

And also there’s the language, the poetry, the scenes


The beginning and the ending plus most that’s in between

Listen to the wording and the beauty of the verse

A literary painting with a story that’s immersed

Shakespeare’s an experience, assaulting every sense

A moral tale to satisfy, a pleasure that’s immense

Bollocks!

Sorry?

Well, look at it this way, the story’s full of holes


All patched up with fairies, random magic and with … trolls

Please don’t praise the language, it’s nothing but a pain

Trying to work out what it means, time and time again

Did they really speak like that in those days? Surely not

Took me all of half a scene before I’d lost the plot


I then forgot just who was who – my memory’s not a sieve

So well before the interval, I’d lost the will to live

And why’s it taught at GCSE? No wonder no one reads


I did Chaucer…. You poor sod, I’m sorry, my heart bleeds

I see your point though, how it’s not to everybody’s taste

Me, I hated football – that was three years gone to waste

Maybe it’s the way it’s taught – my teacher loved the Bard

So did mine, a proper fan and I tried really hard


But I didn’t get it, not a spark, really such a shame

Just like me and football, I would love to like the game

We’ll file those under Marmite, now where would we agree

Alan Bennett monologues, are they your cup of tea?

Absolutely! On the nail! However did you know?

Oh look it’s the director…DARLING, MARVELLOUS SHOW!

[Phil Jones]

5

CALIBAN’S VISION

The problem with Prospero is

That he takes everything 

At face value.

    Give you a for instance:

He looks at Stephano and he sees

A sot good for nothing

With no brain –

    Which is so not true,

While Ferd’nand looks like a suitor

Who could just be worthy

Of Miranda.

    It’s like, “he seems quite nice.”

But Ferd’nand will take over the isle

Once he’s collared Miranda,

Disposing of Prospero –

    And that’s just the start.

For Stephano is a long-time friend

Of young Ferdinand himself;

So he’ll do all right

    As the official brewer.

And the final irony is,

While I may appear brutish,

I’m an arts graduate – ‘Calin B.A.’,

    Island poet laureate to be.

[Jacqueline Pye]

6

Bitter Sweet Revenge

I used Richard the 111 as my inspiration for this. Cheating, scheming, imprisonment, coveting what you cannot have, murder and finally death. What more do you need to make a good story, not only in Shakespeare`s time, but today any of these themes would work well in a modern setting.

Bitter Sweet Revenge

I defend my right, my ownership of all that`s in my house.

Be it that of gold and silver coin. Or that wanton women who pierced my heart.

She did show such contempt for me, ridiculed my love, professedly loving another.

I plot, connive against my foes. My will too impose upon them both.

What now her love for that man, who lays cold, deep under ground?

My blade sunk deep into his heart, like her words sunk deeper into mine.

I covet what is not yet mine, but wait, for my hour will soon be nigh.

She will come of that I feel so sure, to give back mine that was cruelly taken.

But when next I see her, to her knees she must sink, my forgiveness now to beg.

They think me silent, but they have not yet heard my voice.

When it is time they will hear it roar loudly proclaiming, ` I was right`.

In what a sullen manner I hear them whisper in dark corners, of me and all my deeds.

But who is there amongst them that do chatter, would not have done as me?

The stone walls and bars of iron in this most dire dwelling will not hold me long.

For the hangman does his job so well, and as the knot around my neck pulls tight.

I see she has at last come, not to love or cry for me, but still, to scorn me in my plight.

[Jenny Francis]

7

Incognita

What am I? Mute but for

sighs and strange murmurs

only the echo and my ocean know

for magic.

I am older than the moon’s

shucked heart of oyster, older than salt,

older than salt’s lick.

Tumbled Queen, I was assailed by Sycorax

then her brat, that loll-tongued

slave, slithering through bog and fen,

I slit his back so it gaped fish-like

yet still he would not die –

and neither the human man, his infant girl,

swept high in their ragged boat

all, believing once their footsoles marked my shore

I was their belonging!

I wear down

their skin to grit, blow smoke

inside their blood, weird calls

that gather in their dreams like bats

to send them mad. If only

he were not so beautiful, that unfathered son,

so like myself in his swarming soul.

[Pippa Little]

8

Jacques’ famous speech from As You Like It begins “All the world’s a stage…”. But what if the stage is in a barn? Will there be enough room to fit everything in?

All the world’s a barn

All the world’s a barn

and all the men and women are merely peasants –

storing up trouble and tithes

and the slings and arrows of outrageous kings.

And what is a barn but a bank?

Insurance against tougher times ahead –

a hedge fund,

a medieval building society.

When the world changes

and the world and his wife are in the supermarket,

buying pork belly futures

and living off the fat of someone else’s land,

then let the barn be a stage

and all the men and women really players,

spectators, volunteers

and poet-tasters.

When all the world’s a stage in a barn.

where will all the men and women sit?

Are their sufficient toilet facilities?

And what will the health and safety people say?

All they need is imagination,

an understanding of extended metaphor,

a grasp of quantum mechanics

and a stiff drink from the licensed bar.

The tide went out and never returned.

The abbot left and the abbey burned.

Once this was a barn fit to store all the arms of a king.

Now the play of a world on a stage in a barn’s the thing.

[Nick Morrish]

9

ADRIFT

Sue Davies

10

MIRANDA AND THE MOON-CALF

Also by Sue Davies

 

11

Inspired by William Shakespeare’s, ‘The Tempest’.

To the Fool, to Love and Art’.

MOON

The room was here since Shakespeare said,

‘Hast though not dropp’d from heaven?

A floor of buckled oak unfurls below

a Chinese rug, a bloodstain near the bed.

The ocean waves through windows wide as eyes,

salt water ripples as she moves

towards a darkly panelled wall on which

she paints a moon coiled roundabout with mist

like clotted cream and pink as lover’s lips.

The lunar light shines on a smoky cloud

its outline bright against a star-struck sky.

She wears a watch, a sphere of indigo,

with silver numerals raised like tiny veins,

its sun and moon spin through time and space.

[Patricia Morgan]

12

This poem was written to explore the use of storms at sea as a symbol for what can be found in the deepest depths of man’s soul, a theme in Shakespeare’s The Tempest.

Cleft

He awakes to lashings of sea tongue,

a musk smell, he slopes sideways

the rain clattering hard, the stars prickle:

lightning obliviates all true sense. Illusions

of power, grandeur above the ocean’s open mouth

forgotten in his ice breath, a heft of dandled magic.

The night blackness is hewn with saffron

the ocean is cleft by the storm

He swears he hears whale song, the final cry of man

lost at sea

Here, even God isn’t listening

[Jack Little]

13

A BARD’S DILEMMA, inspired by As You Like It.

When bards to maids their pretty sonnets wrote,

they penned them with emotion and regard.

If cupid’s arrow amorously smote,

their future could be seriously marred.

Pierced hearts are bleeding hearts and pain’s no joke,

love can be agony for those who taste

its irksome fantasies and some may choke

as headlong in they fall with reckless haste.

Passion has no patience, cannot wait;

Lust can be fierce and will not suffer long.

When love-lorn youths who let their hearts dictate

are ailing, frail, preoccupied with song,

maids turn their so-alluring heads aside

to seek young men who can support a bride.

[Rosa Johnson]

14 LOVE STORY inspired by The Two Gentlemen of Verona.

I am the breeze on which the scent of May

was lifted from the blossom and was brought

to cheer you on your melancholy way.

I am the one who loved you and who thought

this was the way a young man ought to woo

and I felt sure that you could soon be taught

to love me in the way that I love you.

Maybe I’ll use persuasion as my guile

and gaze into your eyes, smiling and blue.

What conjures your intoxicating smile,

and how may your affection be secured?

I wish I could impress you with my style.

Were this my lair to which you had been lured

I’d fold my arms around you, beg you stay

because you are so very much adored,

My Darling never wander far away

for we can live in blissful harmony.

The breeze which came to you, scented with May,

will come again and while you are with me

adorned with perfume in your own domain

regale me with sweet strains of poetry.

You’ll tread life’s path with confidence again,

don’t be afraid or falter, take my hand,

I’ll treasure you and happy we’ll remain.

Across the ripples of the golden sand,

let us walk on together unafraid,

this is our dream and this our promised land.

Long life with you will be my accolade

let no one say it is a masquerade.

[Rosa Johnson]

15

Introduction

I was interested in how a pupil figure can live a life outside of their own history, in this case Richard III second life as Shakespeare’s darkest anti-hero. The poem, in part, focuses on how a character can be lost to the individual and become instead, through the hands of the artist, a signifier to the world.

Shakespeare, living under a Tudor Monarch, was clearly aware of this power. Using it to irrevocably unite Richard III with evil and strengthen the ‘Tudor Myth’. I was fascinated by the idea that with words alone Shakespeare, not Richard, created the King that England remembers.

The poem also looks at the mysterious transformation the real Richard III undergoes from King Edward’s loyal brother to the tyrant we see in Shakespeare’s play. The poem explores Richard III during this time, considering the possible influences for this metaphoric change.

Richard III

Water from your prison walls

Runs along your finger tips

Stumbles on your jutting wrist

Sneaks through your knuckled fist

Trickles down your shoulder blades

Down your bone stacked armor

Bright with albion blaze

Beneath the robes of ribs

Which flesh sowed tight

You owned a heart which others taught to beat

While they curled grown toes upon your children’s feet

You marvel at the hands, which in changing light

Had seemed your own

You marvel at them now, at the very bones

Which secret ambition

Had stretched and grown

With eyes you could not see behind

You reveled in your divine state

Compared yourself

To the king of grace

Who exposed for you the matted locks

Upon your precious head?

Sang for you the secrets of your saviours, dead?

Rested your sweet temple upon the ground?

Who made kingdoms

In a skulls crown?

[Kayleigh O’Reilly]

16

’69 – ‘13 

Last year, prime-numbered age held sway,
since then some extra throat-beard grey,
shirt buttons slightly more tum-splayed,
maybe it’s time I was re-weighed.
Oh God, I’m 44.

On average I am past halfway,
it takes less beer ‘til bladdered spray,
and if hungover lose a day,
my liver yells at me ‘no way’.
Oh God, I’m 44.

These days, more trespass than affray,
older than pre-prison Krays,
once Dangermouse, now Colonel K,
or tatty-eared old tom-cat stray,
will my hair fall out with mange?
Oh God, I’m 44.

Docked my first iPod yesterday,
with Paypal not quite so au fait,
watched vinyl’s decline with dismay,
hookers my age carry change,
I fancy Bellatrix Lestrange,
Oh God, I’m 44.

Just twitched a rare Siberian Jay,
rewatched the Darling Buds of May,
but please no cocoa on a tray,
against the dying light I’ll rage,
find my As You Like It stage,
at least men don’t go through ‘The Change’,
Oh God, I’m 44.

‘Cos I still wield a wicked blade,
so far no urge to dress more staid
in crimplene slacks of dun-tan-beige,
I’d fear that mournful colour-change,
rather weekends spent in adult play
than tussling with cheap underlay –
I’ve never felt quite so alive,
I’ll soon be 45..

[by Dave Hubble:http://ellipsiad.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/first-time-into-breach.html]

17

This is what I think. That Miranda was held equally hostage by both her father AND Caliban, that they both were abusive in their way, and that she only excaped the influence of Prospero when he died.

And so…..

Prospero’s Bones

and pardon’d the deceiver, dwell
In this bare island by your spell;….

Prospero

What I have waited for, what has waited in me

so many years has finally come to pass—

his magic drizzled back into the salty soil, all

the island, gypsum, not white-sand, not snow

melting the beach pure, not me repenting on

my knees, am I the good or bad daughter, father—

which? I should have been a tourist here, able

to detach the mad-stirrings, I should have been

able to spill my dreams into the froth.  Instead,

I was a lost angel, neither girl nor beast—

never what they wanted. Caliban used me

by making me his slave; my father, no better turned

me into whatever spirit moved him.  The mystery

of light and wing, I was a green wall of birds, far

too much sugar, far too much heat.  I was sacrificed

by lightning, neon drawn to neon-girl, I was a gift

of his own making.  Now I flit among the bones

of him, that was a time he stopped, an hourglass

that turned the cell floor into beads of gold. Sunshine

sped us forward, good wombs can also bear

mad daughters. Would I might never become a bird

or sugar-bat at his devices, would I stand here smoothing

his carcass for the influences of nature?  I have no

grudge or grumblings, though I’ve been held captive here

by the same wild madness that has set me free.  

[Michael Byro]

18

Fascinating, how each generation is influenced by the other. Prospero, Miranda and who knows how it would go in future.

Miranda’s Granddaughter Leads a 12-Step Meeting

I’ve been chosen by the group to welcome all newcomers.

Let me begin by saying I come from a long line of magic

potioners. Grandfather was lost, if he hadn’t raped

Grandma I wouldn’t exist.  First chance I could,

I moved back into the city.  Here: chimneys write their poetry

in the sky.  Sometimes after a meeting, we wind up

at Café Grind for a cinnamon stick and a cup of cappuccino.

I take pleasure from the smells, I always picture grandpa

spending his early days drenched in an island of spice.

I choke when I confess that I adore sushi because it seems

unnatural like I am chewing kin. “Knowledge is the most

powerful drug a man can snort.”  I’ve been attending meetings

all my life and at terrible risk. Who likes to admit

their favorite ancestor is a savage?  I blame the spirits that escaped

from his bottle of gin. Grandma eventually relocated to be closer

to me.  She took up tatting and opened a notions shop.

Sometime if you’re interested, I’ll take you see her place where

she always has a few magic tricks up her sleeves. She says it’s

in the genes. That and a penchant for a man who could charm

a monkey from the trees. Broken, she kept one for a while

in her basement apartment where he scrambled the wooden beams:

searching for a higher truth when she couldn’t find the peas.

[Michael Byro]

19

Miranda and Caliban

It’s not safe to love
the other. The black seedsI carry
in my purse will grow as lily

or vine of jasmine.  I’ve plucked
brown leaves that resemble claws
from my flowers. I’ve dusted the garden
with mother-of-pearl and shell, garnished
bone china with daisies.  I grind
the cast-offs of animals. Soft
beneath,
we lose hardness when
we love.

As I waited for you to come, sunspread
its fire on the heads of poppies.
Someone
in pity cut the chain that kept
a dog
leashed to a four foot yard.
Night
after night we’d hear her howl as a man
took a stick to her back
because
she was hungry and dared

to want.She races into the long grasses
outside
your bed, tall grasses filled with snakes.
You, who are afraid of darkness, avoid me
and my diamond eyes. I see deep into your hunger.

While I carried each stone away, lifted
the fence
that kept you out, I decided
not to be scared to know
things.
Sometimes now I toss fallen butterflies

back into the tattered air.

[Michael Byro]

20

Middleham Castle a search for a King

So dark the echo of my footsteps are greeted with an eerie silence

Am I stepping the path where perhaps he many times walked before?

The heavy sad atmosphere reflects the turmoil that once lived here

Now I have come to try and peep back through times firmly shut door

The castle ruins stand tall but no roof shields it from the open sky

And mercilessly the rain beats down soaking into my body and face

But still I do not deter from my relentless quest to try and find

Just a small glimpse of any part of his turbulent life, even a tiny trace

In awe amongst the ruins of the great hall, I humbly stand very still

While high on a rampart a lone black crow shouts it’s haunting cry

Did you laugh here? Did you love here? I know the king sent you orders here

Were your thoughts of here when grieving for a wife and son whom did untimely die?

In your young life the Kingmaker Warwick brought you here for a while

Where you learnt skills which served you well in the battles to come

Although your elder brother Edward became the handsome golden king

Despite his Woodville queen you stood at his side in the shadow of his reigning sun

Was this where you brought Warwick’s daughter snatched from greedy Clarence’s hands?

For even then your gradual gathering of enemies had plotted to keep her hidden

Surely at Middleham you found with Anne and son briefly some peace and joy

Though that new found happiness in the future seemed for you forbidden

The mighty Warwick in his greed for power turned from friend to foe

And in the Battle of Barnet you fought him and he was slain

Later Edward took to his bed and died, his reign at an end

Making you Regent of England when to his final rest he was lain

Was this where you were persuaded by Anne and Buckingham to take the English throne?

In a desperate attempt to stop the relentless wars and bring peace to this ravaged land

Did they help you turn a blind eye to the disappearance of Edwards young sons?

Forsaking them both in a bid to quell the conflicts of the Barons and make a stand

Was this where you longed for while in London you had to ruled in state?

Now a lone king with silent grieving heart for family who had so suddenly died

Working to bring forth a web of new reforms to secure for England’s lasting peace

Yet was it night-time in your lonely chamber that you finally broke down and cried

cont

On that fateful day of August with the nights demons still raging in your head

Did you feel fear? Suspecting the Stanley’s might treacherously change sides

As you led “White Surrey” faithful war horse to the front of your troops

I believe that you knew that this day would be his and your final ride

And when on horseback you led that last so desperate charge

Did you now realise your crown would be the final cost

So bravely did you nearly reach the contender Henry Tudor

But they struck you down as you cried “Treason” your life lost

Was it here your soul returned when at Bosworth you were slain?

Did it wander to join the small happy memories left here behind

Was this where you sometimes came back and haunted your home?

I face reality, there is no whispered voice or footstep of you to find

Castle Middleham, so sad your roofless walls lay open to sun and rain

Where in the bricked cavities many a frail trailing plant clings and grows wild

Waving forlornly in the chill eerie wind that plays around your sad ruined home

Sometimes howling amongst ancient walls that time has unkindly defiled

So William Shakespeare for whom did you wish to placate when you wrote?

That nasty play damming Richard 111 as some-one evil and from hell

Was it for King Henrys great amusement to hear such elaborate tall tales

Making him such a villain was a better story to the Tudors to tell.

Oh! Richard so many have searched for clues of your long ago presence here

Surely your ghost saddened when Shakespeare wrote of you so unkind

Here I stand thinking of your short violent life now become a legend

Yet still shrouded in mystery, I feel by the Tudors you were much maligned.

( I originally wrote this after a visit to Middleham Castle in 1997 on a bleak rainy day as I have been obsessed with learning more about this man who strangely died on the 22″” August my birthday)

[Jean Pape]

21

A poem inspired by James Tyrrell in Richard III and the theme of blind loyalty, to the point of being willing to kill two children.
Tyrrell

Towards the tower, through the fog

If he be boar, you’d be the boar’s right loyal dog

Grim Tyrrell with the iron teeth

Let little princes be tonight their sheath

And send them where you shall not go

Because your master bade you so

Poor Tyrrell, faithful hound of hell

Shall draw put poison from that gleaming well

Forever damned because you swore

Your loyalty to that ambitious boar

His hopes heap sins upon your head

And mark your hands forever red

Yet think not on your soul, you king of curs

But prick your conscience with your lordship’s spurs

There is no wrong and is no right

There’s but obedience tonight

[Philip Corwin  https://www.facebook.com/PhilipCorwin2013]

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9 Comments
  1. Cheers – here’s the post-competition link to mine (poem 16 in the above list), with formatting. Fun night – enjoyed it 🙂 http://ellipsiad.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/first-time-into-breach.html

    Like

    • Thanks Dave,
      Glad you enjoyed the event. At least, at 44, you’re considerably younger than the barn! Your name and link has been added after your poem above, and other poets represented by their poems above please send adjustment requests to my email jpf.goodman@talktalk.net or via this comments section, and I’ll apply the changes you want to your poems and add attributions, names, links etc as soon as Goodmanly possible.

      Like

  2. I loved all of those!

    Like

  3. Hey – didn’t know you were going to put the full poems in. Also, you’ve altered the last line of mine and the line layout.

    Like

    • Entries are still anonymous, so I still don’t know which poem your one is!
      I got them by email, numbered but not assigned, and then spent yesterday putting them on the blog, by pasting in a word file that has all of them in the condition and order used here. Apologies to any poets who feel their work has been distorted by this process, and invite them to send editorial changes, after Sunday’s gala night, when they will be officially identified, to me at jpf.goodman@talktalk.net All copyright remains with the individual creators of each poem, of course, and I hope none feel exploited by this first airing of their work.

      Like

      • Premature birth of poems! Shame.

        Like

        • Would unplanned be a kinder description?

          Like

  4. So many outstanding poems. Thank you for sharing their work.

    Like

  5. Great selection of poems!

    Like

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