poems read by me at Ring o' Bells pub, Middleton 28/8/11
a big thanx to Gemma Lees who hosted the event and invited me along and also thanx to all who showed an interest in my poem book, poems and free download of my work. and to the other poets there, we are family.:)
NORWEGIAN BATTLE (Halifax bomber raised from Norway fjord)
Dull metallic monster sitting on the bottom, forty fathoms
down, crushing weight of black water. Cold as death
and as frigid as eternity, never ending. An endless circle.
Now the battle is over, good against evil. Silent guns end
their killing, no more bomb bursts, killing shrapnel, sliced corpses.
Time has no hold here in Nature’s unforgiving dark
world, on this lake bottom a million miles from home.
Many times the ice formed a metre thick, imprisoning
the broken metal bird in its watery grave.
Come the spring and the ice will peter out, escape is a distant dream.
In Man’s world, a new chapter is written. A warplane is raised
from the fjord bottom, broken and defeated but not forgotten.
Old enemies die and old warriors remember a night long ago
when great machines clashed and explosives discharged,
turning land, sea and sky to fire. Killing men who screamed
for their mothers as death came to claim them.
Now sitting in a museum, people look at the broken
plane and wonder, how did it become like this?
I am able to look back in time as I see people and things,
old scenes and more in old news reels and black and white photographs.
If I could spin past through the years I’d visit Lilya Litvyak,
even if I couldn’t save her, I’d talk to her about Russia, the endless steppe, of flying.
A trip onboard an old sailing ship, across the ocean five hundred years ago,
no radar or computers to guide us, just the sea and the wind and the stars.
What would it feel like to be naked to nature, at her mercy and whims?
I’ll never know as this ship hit the rocks and all onboard perished, hidden dangers.
Older still, what was it like to see the pyramids built? To actually help lift a ten-ton
stone block using only man’s strength? Today, this is just a question of history,
archaeology and science, not of living everyday life, now gone forever.
In my own life, what would I think if I could observe myself quietly from afar,
when I was ten years old? Again, just guesswork and photographs,
memories in my head to last only my lifetime.