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Why are they selling poppies, Mummy? Selling poppies in town today.
The poppies, child, are flowers of love. For the men who marched away.
But why have they chosen a poppy, Mummy? Why not a beautiful rose?
Because my child, men fought and died in the fields where the poppies grow.
But why are the poppies so red, Mummy? Why are the poppies so red?
Red is the colour of blood, my child. The blood that our soldiers shed.
The heart of the poppy is black, Mummy. Why does it have to be black?
Black, my child, is the symbol of grief. For the men who never came back.
But why, Mummy are you crying so? Your tears are giving you pain.
My tears are my fears for you my child. For the world is forgetting again.
I wake up in the morning to the cries of hurt and anger
I wished I’d wake up to cries of joy and laughter
I wake up every morning hoping it will all be gone
But the fighting the war has only just begun
I’d play out in my mind that I could beg for them to stop just for a while
But no! What do they care I’m just a war child
I’d go to sleep every night with the fear of not being able to last another day
Oh please please help this child many would say
But deep down I know those peoples urgent call
Will be returned with bombs shooting or nothing at all
The shock that they turn to shooting even if you smile
Is abhorrent but what do they care I’m just a war child
I’d hope for a place to truly call home
But how can it be with all the peace and harmony gone
It hurts and pains to know the people doing this have neither regret nor remorse
But instead curfews and more undeserved punishment is what they’ve enforced
Enemies upon us our country reviled
But what do they care I’m just a war child
I’d cry puddles full of tears day to day
Hoping someone my mummy or even my daddy come by say its ok
But no one will ever care I’m just a war child.
Carefully Guy carried the taper
rapidly ignited the fire.
Guy stood, reigniting the taper.
and then he stood well back
Some of the best poems of all time are dark, eerie, haunting, scary poems―the perfect poems for Halloween! Here you will find the great medieval ballad about madness, “Tom O’Bedlam,” Alfred Noyes’s bleakly romantic ghost story “The Highwayman,” Ernest Dowson’s haunting “A Last Word,” Walter De La Mare’s enigmatic “The Listeners,” and a terrifying poem about the specter of hell terrorizing Christian children, Robert Frost’s magnificent “Directive.” I chose the first two poems to complement the ghoulish picture above. (In fact, I wrote the first poem specifically to go with the picture.) The poems that follow include some of the very best dark, haunting poems in the English language, by masters of horror and the supernatural like William Shakespeare, Edgar Allan Poe, John Keats and Edward Arlington Robinson.
by Michael R. Burch
Tell us what you lack …
the ability to love,
your flesh so slack?
Will we frighten you,
equally pale & unsound …
when we also haunt
the unhallowed ground?
The Skeleton’s Defense of Carnality
by Jack Foley
Truly I have lost weight, I have lost weight,
grown lean in love’s defense,
in love’s defense grown grave.
It was concupiscence that brought me to the state:
all bone and a bit of skin
to keep the bone within.
Flesh is no heavy burden for one possessed of little
and accustomed to its loss.
I lean to love, which leaves me lean, till lean turn into lack.
A wanton bone, I sing my song
and travel where the bone is blown
and extricate true love from lust
as any man of wisdom must.
Then wherefore should I rage
against this pilgrimage
from gravel unto gravel?
Circuitous I travel
from love to lack / and lack to lack,
from lean to lack
A Last Word
by Ernest Dowson
Let us go hence: the night is now at hand;
The day is overworn, the birds all flown;
And we have reaped the crops the gods have sown;
Despair and death; deep darkness o’er the land,
Broods like an owl; we cannot understand
Laughter or tears, for we have only known
Surpassing vanity: vain things alone
Have driven our perverse and aimless band.
Let us go hence, somewhither strange and cold,
To Hollow Lands where just men and unjust
Find end of labour, where’s rest for the old,
Freedom to all from love and fear and lust.
Twine our torn hands! O pray the earth enfold
Our life-sick hearts and turn them into dust.
Ulalume [an excerpt]
by Edgar Allan Poe
The skies they were ashen and sober;
The leaves they were crisped and sere—
The leaves they were withering and sere;
It was night in the lonesome October
Of my most immemorial year:
It was hard by the dim lake of Auber,
In the misty mid region of Weir—
It was down by the dank tarn of Auber,
In the ghoul-haunted woodland of Weir …
by Michael R. Burch
White in the shadows
I see your face,
unbidden. Go, tell
Love it is commonplace;
tell Regret it is not so rare.
Our love is not here
though you smile,
full of sedulous grace.
Lost in darkness, I fear
the past is our resting place.
by Edward Arlington Robinson
Go to the western gate, Luke Havergal,
There where the vines cling crimson on the wall,
And in the twilight wait for what will come.
The leaves will whisper there of her, and some,
Like flying words, will strike you as they fall;
But go, and if you listen, she will call.
Go to the western gate, Luke Havergal—
No, there is not a dawn in eastern skies
To rift the fiery night that’s in your eyes;
But there, where western glooms are gathering
The dark will end the dark, if anything:
God slays Himself with every leaf that flies,
And hell is more than half of paradise.
No, there is not a dawn in eastern skies—
In eastern skies.
Out of a grave I come to tell you this,
Out of a grave I come to quench the kiss
That flames upon your forehead with a glow
That blinds you to the way that you must go.
Yes, there is yet one way to where she is,
Bitter, but one that faith may never miss.
Out of a grave I come to tell you this—
To tell you this.
There is the western gate, Luke Havergal,
There are the crimson leaves upon the wall,
Go, for the winds are tearing them away,—
Nor think to riddle the dead words they say,
Nor any more to feel them as they fall;
But go, and if you trust her she will call.
There is the western gate, Luke Havergal—
by Agnes Wathall
No ancient mariner I,
Hawker of public crosses,
Snaring the passersby
With my necklace of albatrosses.
I blink no glittering eye
Between tufts of gray sea mosses
Nor in the high road ply
My trade of guilts and glosses.
But a dark and inward sky
Tracks the flotsam of my losses.
No more becalmed to lie,
The skeleton ship tosses.
by Walter De La Mare
‘Is there anybody there?’ said the Traveller,
Knocking on the moonlit door;
And his horse in the silence champed the grasses
Of the forest’s ferny floor:
And a bird flew up out of the turret,
Above the Traveller’s head
And he smote upon the door again a second time;
‘Is there anybody there?’ he said.
But no one descended to the Traveller;
No head from the leaf-fringed sill
Leaned over and looked into his grey eyes,
Where he stood perplexed and still.
But only a host of phantom listeners
That dwelt in the lone house then
Stood listening in the quiet of the moonlight
To that voice from the world of men:
Stood thronging the faint moonbeams on the dark stair,
That goes down to the empty hall,
Hearkening in an air stirred and shaken
By the lonely Traveller’s call.
And he felt in his heart their strangeness,
Their stillness answering his cry,
While his horse moved, cropping the dark turf,
‘Neath the starred and leafy sky;
For he suddenly smote on the door, even
Louder, and lifted his head:—
‘Tell them I came, and no one answered,
That I kept my word,’ he said.
Never the least stir made the listeners,
Though every word he spake
Fell echoing through the shadowiness of the still house
From the one man left awake:
Ay, they heard his foot upon the stirrup,
And the sound of iron on stone,
And how the silence surged softly backward,
When the plunging hoofs were gone.
Macbeth, Act IV, Scene I
by William Shakespeare
Three witches, casting a spell …
Round about the cauldron go;
In the poison’d entrails throw.
Toad, that under cold stone
Days and nights hast thirty one
Swelter’d venom sleeping got,
Boil thou first i’ the charmed pot.
Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.
Fillet of a fenny snake,
In the cauldron boil and bake;
Eye of newt, and toe of frog,
Wool of bat, and tongue of dog,
Adder’s fork, and blind-worm’s sting,
Lizard’s leg, and howlet’s wing,
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.
Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.
YOUR FAVOURITE POEM WHAT’S YOUR’S
WHY NOT SEND YOUR POETRY IN AND CELEBRATE HALLOWEEN
Go Ahead And Put It Off
We can always find excuses for sitting back and letting the world pass us by. “I work too hard and need to relax”, “I don’t have time to get involved”, “It won’t do any good anyway”, and a host of others provide substantial validation to those looking for it. If our founding fathers had been as anxious to get involved,
I ought to love my wife today,
and spend some time, do things her way.
And pull my share, I really should,
but TV’s just too good.
I ought to spend time with my son,
teach right from wrong, and have some fun.
Quality time, I think I could,
but TV’s just too good.
I ought to see my minister,
and ask him now to administer
A prayer for hope, I really would,
but TV’s just too good.
I ought to write my congressman,
and let him know how fed up I am.
And speak my peace, I really should,
but TV’s just too good.
I ought to scream my thoughts out loud,
let others hear, create a crowd..
And do something, I really could,
but TV’s just too good.
I ought to hate my complacency,
getting late, for you and me.
Losing my rights, and you are too,
TV’s just no damn good!
Big business rules our world today,
could care less, who’s in the way.
Minimum wage, almost all they pay,
Repo’d TV away.
I got no way to fight or run,
lost my car, they took my gun.
I‘m just a slave, long as I live,
Got nothing left to give.
Why’d I stall, it makes no sense,
couldn’t start, come off the fence.
Procrastinate, thought it could wait,
But now it’s just too late.
A Quick Note…
No, the world isn’t going to end tomorrow. “Rome wasn’t built-in a day” and we won’t take care of our nation’s weak spots overnight!
However, what’s wrong with getting involved and starting the wheels turning? We’ve got a great country, but as with anything, it’s got to be maintained properly to run smoothly. There’s a lot of gunk clogging its injectors right now. It just needs some maintenance!
How about setting a two term maximum for both the Senate and the House of Representatives? There’s way too many lifelong favors and relationships built with industrial and special interest lobbies. How can we be represented when there are others ahead of us in line with different agendas?
The exceptionally wealthy have made politics a rich man’s game starting with the multi-million dollar campaigns. Instead of grass-roots politics, it has become “Silver Spoon” politics. Do you really think they have your best interests in mind?
Slowly we are becoming cattle. Business has coined the concept of “Political Correctness” to eliminate freedom of choice. Why should we be forced to give respect to someone who has not earned it? Are basic manners, that come with proper upbringing, so far gone that now laws replace them? If we don’t follow this concept for whatever reason, we are guilty of a crime and either terminated or prosecuted. Freedom of speech is also in danger in this concept! If the wrong person thinks you’ve said something that you haven’t, there is such a fear factor running loose for fear of lawsuit, that once again, you will be terminated or worse! If this doesn’t create a society of cattle, afraid to act, afraid to speak, afraid to express..”What Does?”
You can instigate change! But, you’re not going to do it watching reality television.
The legend of the Dambusters – the 19 Lancaster bombers of the RAF’s 617 Squadron – was enshrined in war-time history 70 years ago, when the planes flew to Germany on the night of 16/17 May to drop their Barnes Wallis-designed bouncing bombs on the Mohne, Eder and Sorpe dams in the industrial heartland of the Ruhr region.
Codenamed Operation Chastise, 56 of the airmen who set out on the mission did not return. Eight bombers were shot down, 53 men were killed and three men were captured. Today’s infographic salutes the incredible bravery of all those who dared to fly that night.
Click on the graphic for an expanded view.
For those of you who the 617 Sqd name does not ring a bell, 617 was formed at RAF Scampton on 21 March 1943, and was allocated the unit identification code MZ for the period April to September 1939, (even though, the unit didn’t technically exist at the time.) and was the squadron that would go on to bomb the Ruhr valleys dams in Germany, later known as “The Dambusters”.
Handpicked By Wng. Cmdr. Guy Gibson (whom was awarded a Victoria Cross for his part in the raid), it included amongst its ranks contingents of the Royal Canadian Air Force, Royal Australian Air Force and Royal New Zealand Air Force and was formed for the specific task of attacking three major dams in Germany: the Möhne, Eder and Sorpe. The plan was given the codename Operation Chastise and was carried out on 17 May 1943.
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Order of the Garter
Honi soit qui mal y pense
Evil to him who thinks evil of it
Edward III established the Order of the Garter on St George’s Day 1349, his aim to bind into a brotherhood a select group of knights, twenty-five in all.
An honourable intent?
The Black Death raged across Europe. The monks in their monasteries, the lords in their manor halls and castles – the king’s own family – the paupers, the hard-working, the idlers, indiscriminate of whom it infected, the plague wiped out between a third and half of all England’s population. Famine and starvation followed. Yet the king ordered a grand tournament – the main event to be a battle to decide which of the countess of Salisbury’s two husbands had the legal right! And for the accompanying festivities the king’s court dressed in their finest. Unsurprising, the monks, clerics and priors objected.
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This is a nice idea to put chocolate eggs in, decorated eggs as show here, or even to add some colour to your fridge instead of boring cardboard.
Shredded Paper (optional)
Step One: Paint the carton any colour you like. I painted mine turquoise and coral with gold dots for one and gold stripes for the other.
Step Two: Place the shredded paper in the carton
The Legend of St. George and the Dragon
St. George travelled for many months by land and sea until he came to Libya. Here he met a poor hermit who told him that everyone in that land was in great distress, for a dragon had long ravaged the country.
‘Every day,’ said the old man, ‘he demands the sacrifice of a beautiful maiden and now all the young girls have been killed. The king’s daughter alone remains, and unless we can find a knight who can slay the dragon she will be sacrificed tomorrow. The king of Egypt will give his daughter in marriage to the champion who overcomes this terrible monster.’
When St. George heard this story, he was determined to try and save the princess, so he rested that night in the hermit’s hut, and at daybreak set out to the valley where the dragon lived. When he drew near he saw a little procession of women, headed by a beautiful girl dressed in pure Arabian silk. The princess Sabra was being led by her attendants to the place of death. The knight spurred his horse and overtook the ladies. He comforted them with brave words and persuaded the princess to return to the palace. Then he entered the valley.
As soon as the dragon saw him it rushed from its cave, roaring with a sound louder than thunder. Its head was immense and its tail fifty feet long. But St. George was not afraid. He struck the monster with his spear, hoping he would wound it.
The dragon’s scales were so hard that the spear broke into a thousand pieces. and St. George fell from his horse. Fortunately he rolled under an enchanted orange tree against which poison could not prevail, so that the venomous dragon was unable to hurt him. Within a few minutes he had recovered his strength and was able to fight again.
He smote the beast with his sword, but the dragon poured poison on him and his armour split in two. Once more he refreshed himself from the orange tree and then, with his sword in his hand, he rushed at the dragon and pierced it under the wing where there were no scales, so that it fell dead at his feet.
A single mother strives to succeed amidst overwhelming obstacles.
I hear the single mother’s selfless cries of loneliness for her child in the still darkness of the night
I see the mother awaking her child with a playful game of peek-a-boo with a smile as warm and bright as the afternoon sun at its apex of the day
I mark the loving kindness she expresses toward her son even with the all the trials and tribulations this world puts upon her
I observe the mother getting herself ready for work with the misgivings of the coming day (where are my socks, did I already put salt in the eggs, where did I put my keys)
I observe the quiet darkness of the child’s bedroom with the mother sitting on the bed with a Bible in hand telling her child of all the wonderful things of Gods love then kissing him good night
All these things are things a mother has to do to help her child grow
See hear, and be not afraid you can succeed with Gods help