The tree trunk brought him solace

The tree-trunk brought him solace
a place to rest his hand
the man more Irish than his whiskey
was not long for this land

and his bayonet and musket –
ingrained in him that day
on the ground called Little Round Top
lay with him, bleeding, as he’d say;

we fight for that man Chamberlain
(manly was his speech)
with majesty and guile
eye to eye, he cried, beseeched;

do it for me this day m’lad
fight for honour ‘cos you can
do it for me this day m’lad
this day become a man

their eyes pierced each others,
(so sincere)
as Chamberlain implored;
my men are angels, pure angels
great deeds they’ll do, be sure

his Irish friend spoke one last time –
they’re Killer Angels, barely read
they’ve got that killer instinct, Sir
they’ll fight until they’re dead

they’ll hold that hill
with guts and will
you’ll lead them ‘til they’ve bled

their soul will sing
the devil’s dance
the mainstay of the band
as Chamberlain reached out, so dear –
reached out, and held his hand

you may be gone my dearest chum
but in my heart you live
and strive to be the essence, we
of courage found within

I’m with you, Sir, I’m by your side
though from backgrounds, so severe
go forth and hold –
be brave and bold
away your Angels’ fear

you will return to Bowdoin, Maine
and live a life of large

and as you do
(may God be true)
and war be far apart

yet reflect – on boys to men –
for their mother’s, they shall weep

fight your good fight
and in the dark of night
think of me – now sound asleep.

————————————————-

Footnote: this poem is based on the only fictitious character, Buster Kilrain, in the movie, Gettysburg (1993), written and directed by Robert F Maxwell, and the novel, The Killer Angels (1974), by Michael Shaara.

dead poets

The teacher, on the table, stood

(to some a block), a plank of wood

yet there stood a scribe with task

to feed those beyond mere reasoning

 

a calculated world we’re living in

with textbook teachings of the past

think, my friends – with majesty

within you is the test to see

 

dead poets, yet immortal ‘sons’

quiet though their presence be

more than words – they sing to me

and to those who live beyond

 

rip it out, lads – go on rip, rip some more

the man stands proud – his text decried

dismiss and you’ll be better for

forefathers land yours to refine

 

there’s one way forward and one way through

arise young men, well read and true

choose your course and wisely too

for poets dead live on in you.

 

 

footnote:- this poem is a tribute to the inspiration derived from the movie Dead Poets Society (1989) and its main character, John Keating, played by the late Robin Williams (1951 – 2014).

Max

Max was a magical, marvellous man

hard as a nail

soft as sleet in the snow

 

done best he can do

‘til sleep surrounded –

miraculous Max – one day

found confounded

 

Max was ‘tall’ –

a drinking man? no

tawdry at times

a frugal face

once judgemental

 

with big heart

brave and bold

and views fundamental

 

Max knew things – more than most

markedly smart with sweet soul

family first, old or young

family always had been

 

home by six was his mantra

to play with the kids

luscious his love –

his smile, serene

 

gasping yet gracious

inviting pillow that night

the room was enveloped

the feeling so keen

 

gasping, so gracious

everything right

gaspingly gracious –

Max said;

Goodnight!

Now

Forever is ever

will never be lost

in trees in the woods

in the snow’s early frost

 

always is tomorrow

and days yet to come

now is the moment

we delight in the sun

 

the sky may be mourning

the wind saddened, it seems –

the tsunami of senses

that comes with the breeze

 

becomes something more

in the wings of the trees

from a bud to a blossom

in the Spring-time we see

 

no need for eyes –

our senses will tell

when we smell freedom

no longer under the spell

 

of life told to us

like a story-book, read

sitting upright

with a pillow

under blankets in bed

 

and once upon a time –

…the end.

 

we will cry

 

now is the time

that never says its

Goodbye.