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(1603 AD)

it spews out words
bones to hungry
academic dogs
gnawed the word-knot
grammar’s gristle
doubly chewed
then eschewed

wet concrete sets
where the statute’s
clay feet whisper
damp follies
to waiting bergères

prance advance
macabre the dance
ink its acid burning
fragile the page
held to the light

pin-holes where stars
peep through thin paper
more fragile than

parched for knowledge
crisp pages crumble
under the fumble
by dumb hands
lusting eagerly
for  wisdom drawn
from bone-dry dust



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(1613 AD)

one-eyed king
caged in his cavern

a songbird
dispels shadows
lights up his life

pit pines creak
can’t strike a match
walking by touch

lungs black and scarred
following the seam
back to iron cages

singing dark hymns
hoping to surface
to walk in sunlight

a jail cell
these bars’ lifelong
death sentence

below the pit-ponies
frantic and anxious
the pit’s pet canary
dead on his perch



(1431-1463 AD)

galley dance
grisly ghouls
skeletons blowing
white in the wind

rangle jangle tangle
bones like trombones
air-hole pierced
the high thigh
pipe of flute

crows for cronies
jolly roger flag
flapped by black
wing strokes

who-hoo the owl’s
night time chant
will seek mercy
grant forgiveness

wind drops
sighs its secret
bodies tap dancing
their swan song

souls aloft
winging away
on shifting air
no longer care





who burnt the cakes
played on his harp
plotted their downfall
under white cliffs
far from the beaches
terra firma forbidden them
no more a foothold

rocks in striped sails
dragon ships sinking
feeble the swimmers
down through dark water
helped by hard iron
chain mail and axes

seeking the bottom
acting as anchors
gone now those actors
lost now their legacies

Hengistbury Head



Hengistbury Head

safe haven for Hengist
beached his hoard
long ships drawn up
in inner waters
black now their beams
bright then with whale oil

shield wall turned earthen
ditch and rampart
sea-walled for safety
inside camp-fires
heart beat of  invaders
sword upon shield

riding and raiding
out into the country
rich gut of churches
abbeys and monasteries
golden the candles
fireworks the crosses

warning bells ringing
the pagan among them
Roma Dea fallen
Romulus and Remus
England now burning