Usually I simply post my poems onto my blog and say very little about them...infact, I say even less than that about them...ok, I say nothing at all about them!....however, on this occasion.... Having written 'Dark Skies' based on the lives of ordinary people at the time of The Great War, I felt it was a good idea, as the Centenary of World War 1 approached, to try and raise funds for a forces charity.
Needless to say they are 'legion'...(no pun intended)...but as I consider myself to be an 'indie' poet, I looked for an 'Indie' charity.
The 'Not Forgotten Association', who provide leisure and recreation opportunities for Service and ex-Service military personnel from the Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force who have been wounded or have sustained permanent injuries in the line of duty or after leaving the Service, fitted the bill perfectly, as this association is run by a very small band of dedicated people.
I hope you will download my spoken word poem from Bandcamp for the price of £1 as all proceeds raised during the World War 1 Centenary will be donated to 'The Not Forgotten Association' who continue to aid our armed forces personnel and deserve as much help as we, the public can give them...
Huge thanks, in advance to everyone, for chipping in and thus helping to perpetuate the wonderful work this charity provides....
DARK SKIES... Dark skies hung as heavy
As a fat dog's sweaty belly
When Arthur took her hand outside the abattoir.
And to the tune of doom filled moos
Arthur bit his lip and shuffled his shoes
Before asking Mary if she would be his girl
A gas light flickered into life
At the gas lamp lighting mans first strike
Adding dancing shadows to Mary's blushing cheeks
And as Arthur waited for a yea or nay
With a half chewed lip and a nervous sway A stray dog paused to pee upon his leg
Pretending that she hadn't seen Arthur's pants leg start to steam Mary swallowed a titter and replaced it with a grin Then giving Arthur's hand a squeeze Whilst feeling quite weak at the knees With an eager nod she agreed to be with him
And so their courtship began with joy The young housemaid and the slaughterhouse boy Snatching stolen moments 'tween cleaning and killing cows And sure enough it wasn't long Before true love blossomed and with passions strong They were up the aisle exchanging heartfelt vows
In a two up two down in a tiny street, The newly weds nuptials being complete, A few months on saw Mary with news to share And over a jellied eel and a plate of tripe Arthur's eyes shed tears of delight To hear of the child that Mary would soon bear
The years passed quickly, as they do But their love for the other just grew and grew Bringing two more babies to join the happy clan And whilst Arthur's pay from his slaughtering days Just about managed to keep hunger at bay Mary fed well from the love she held for her man
But times were changing and very soon More dark skies, bringing doom and gloom Would empty their bowels on the happy family scene And as nappies were washed and grazed knees fixed A cruel world played nasty tricks When war broke out, incinerating hopes and dreams
One by one young soldiers left To fight for freedom as their families wept Never knowing as they waved them off who would come home And so it was she stood that day A heartbroken Mary whose tears would say " Be safe, my Arthur, don't leave us on our own"
Still, Mary had more luck than some Although not often Arthur's letters did come And she'd trace a fretful finger over each word Which, written from some mud drenched trench, Despite the cheer Arthur's prose did attempt, Couldn't hide the horrors of a blood soaked, mindless world
But Mary had a plan in mind To keep her busy until such time As Arthur's slaughtering boots would once more rest On the threadbare rug at the side of the bed Where she prayed each day 'till her knees nearly bled, And she smiled the more she thought about her quest
Off to the hospital she would go To tend to the wounded and let them know That a caring, loving hand would help them cope With their broken bones and their missing limbs And their shattered minds, paying for the sins Of those who sent them into hell without any hope
So it was, Mary walked that day Homeward bound with a weary sway But happy, to have served in helping those Whose loved ones waited with baited breath For the familiar tread upon a well worn step As bent and buckled their heroes limped back home
It was just in passing the abattoir That Mary's cheer began to sour And pondering as to why she raised her eyes To see above the darkening folds of the crumpling clouds As they swallowed the gold of the morning's sun To make way for sinister skies
Trying to ignore these foreboding flavours Mary knocked on the door of her neighbour And with a smile that belied her worry she carried on in To cuddle her kids and to thank her friend Upon whose kindness Mary's work did depend But the face that greeted Mary's wore a veil of grim
The kids were chewing on their bread and jam As Mary was passed the telegram And a shaking hand sensed the weight of the words within And thunder groaned and muffled the cries of a grief stricken Mary Who, through tear soaked eyes Read "Deeply regret..." before collapsing as her world caved in
Dark skies, thankfully, didn't last And the sacrifices made in the Great War's pernicious past Allowed for a peaceful new start in a troubled world Where despite the relief and the jubilation The human cost didn't warrant celebration As grieving families struggled to come to terms
And as for Mary and her much loved brood Well, times were hard but they struggled through And on many occasion they'd wander to the abattoir To stand on the corner where she'd reminisce About simpler times and true loves first kiss When the slaughterhouse boy asked the housemaid to be his girl
Where flies the crow On this drab and dreary day? He flies up to the highest branch His kingdom to survey. And where are his subjects That he should be so proud Why there they are Dressed in their best Tucked snugly in the ground