All posts tagged: history

Bard On Blore Heath – #DVersePoetics

One paragraph for all the lost bodies, somewhere still beneath dirt and grass and the slow trundle of grazing cattle meandering, one fence line to another.   Musket balls get plucked up on odd days, rolled across a palm like a marble, dropped into a Tupperware tub, they outlasted the bones and flesh.   A field with five hundred years to forget yet the calf gets sick with lead loses its eyesight to a pellet from a gun fired half a century before.   History reaches past its paragraph of three thousand nameless men. Another misery of litter leftover once the war was done. Following tonight’s theme of smoke and mirrors, and feeling like the older you get, the less you actually know, I started thinking about how we learn about the history of warfare in schools. There’s a disconnect between the modern day and its wars, and battles such as the one at Bloor Heath* in Staffordshire where around three thousand men are thought to have died in the fighting. It’s easy to look …

Poems Of Power – A Poetry Link-Up

Last Monday I threw out the idea for a weekly poetry link-up where you write a poem based on a line from another blogger’s work. I can’t speak for everyone, but I often find inspiration in some of the fantastic pieces here on WordPress and I know we have all probably had that moment where you read something and find yourself thinking ‘I really wish I was the one who’d written that.’ So once again I’m inviting you to go onto your reader, hunt through the poetry tag, and find a line that sparks inspiration in you. Make sure to credit the original writer in your post and revel in the wonder that is the fantastic mass of poetry at our fingertips. For me this week, it’s the following line that’s caught my eye. Viaducts were built by the conquerors Auf Wiedersehen by cirque de la nuit Please make sure to check out the poem it came from in full, it’s a fantastic piece that I fell in love with immediately. The poem just seems to …

Mother Time

There were hieroglyphics on her parchment teeth that jangled in the breeze she breathed into dead languages still stuck beneath her tongue. Forgotten goddesses sheltered in her mouth, ancient secrets hung as pearls from earlobes and tombstone nails that peeled history apart layer by layer to see if she could spot the differences in each repetition.  

Lost And Forgotten

Beyond the brook, in the woods, there are huts. Grey, empty eyed, with crumbling mouths, scattered, separated, almost forgotten. They sit alone, abandoned and abused, besieged by pine and birch. Ignored by walkers, they wait for soldiers, long from war and as they fall, the scavengers come, to strip away any worth until all that’s left, are empty shells, and broken bones slowly rusting into the earth. I’m writing about home again tonight. Dotted around my parent’s farm are a number of old army huts that I knew were once part of an RAF base, but were crumbling away to ruin. It turns out that my parents farm was partially built on an army base that was constructed in 1915 and served a fair few purposes over the years, including a prisoner of war camp at one point. My first few driving lessons actually took place on two of the three runways that made up the airfield, one on our neighbour’s land and one that runs along the edge of my parent’s farm. If you’re …

If These Walls Could Talk

There is still the echo of cannon-fire tucked inside the alcoves the shadow of men with broadswords across the window ledges, whispers of skirts on floorboard, creaking corsets and stubborn doors, muted conversations, murmured lovers’ words, and the echo of a family, some gone, some misplaced, some safe. We remember the thrum of armies, where they marched on stone, on grass, on soil. Where we lay, were built, and fell, where you now walk on summer days when the sun is high and bright, and there was nothing else much to do but visit local sights. We will stand here still, until the years pass on too far, and then there will be no stories for us to tell and no walls to talk anymore. Don’t entirely sure what I think of this piece as my brain’s a little fried from working on Shadow Dawn for the last four hours. Day one of NaNoWriMo done, twenty-nine left to go. Anyway, I was going to give poetics a miss tonight but the prompt ‘if these walls …

Watcher In The Priory

Stone chested, I have faced more years than you and still have not aged a day. Despite elemental trickery, the weather has yet to score me smooth and there are no laughter creases to mark me out as old. I have never laughed you see, at least not while you have watched. I have passed the centuries and they have passed me, and very little has been worth talk, and all my talk seems little worthwhile when you and your kind wander between what is left of myself and my brothers, just sitting here in a abandoned place, no longer considered abandoned but no longer a place to call home but a place to see one or twice before it has been seen and done, you have bought the t-shirt and I am of no more concern. Poem for the poetics night prompt over at D Verse Poets Pub.

NaPoWriMo Day Twelve

agents: adoption of cover names 63, 82 cover professions and stories 17, 65, 163, 538 disclosure of names xi-xii documentation on xiv-xv, 189 fabrication of intelligence 185, 186, 187, 188, 190-191, 194, 220, 740 personality traits and frailties 29, 63-4, 163, 415, 463, 494, 57, 570, 594 problems in recruiting in peace time 662-3 salaries and payments 16, 19, 20, 29, 35, 90, 180, 193, 249, 275-6, 429-30, 455, 460, 650, 652, 662-3, 77ini SIS granted sole control of overseas agents 48-9, 729 training for agents 537-8, 543, 589, 625-6 ‘MI6 The History of the Secret intelligence Service 1909-1949’ by Keith Jefferey SPY Stamped out in capitals, like half squashed bugs on a page, real names are a low level hum somewhere in the background. Snow, Biscuit, Garbo… You stop seeing the people, the faces behind the codes. Their twisted up personalities become something to pick apart. Who was he? What drove him? Why did he do it? Did anyone know the real him? The shock and horror, or the old boy’s betrayal. Did they …

Don’t Tell Me I Can’t

I was flicking through a copy of the BBC History Magazine, don’t ask me which I own quite a few, and I came across a photograph of a painting done of Anne Boleyn by an unknown artist. The actual painting is in the National Portrait Galley in London and above is my meagre attempt to recreate it. Well some of it. I ran out of paper at the bottom. In secondary school I could not draw faces. They would always be out of proportion, warped and weird. I’m still not amazing but you can at least tell that Anne is supposed to be a human being. In the last five years my skills with a pencil have improves significantly, it just took time, practice and patience. The same as any skill. For those of you uncertain who Anne Boleyn was, she was the second wife of Henry VIII of England. They married after Henry’s divorce from Catherine and Aragon and she is seen by many historians as a driving factor in some of Henry’s more …