RSS Feed

Tag Archives: History

Good Manners

I held the door to allow a lady to enter a shop
And as a result I got a very pleasant surprise
For she stood, looked at me, and said “Thank You”
Her good manners brought a tear to my eyes
For good manners are very scarce today
I thought they had been consigned to history
Why this should be is hard to understand
In fact it has become quite a mystery
For when we were young we were taught to be polite
To stand up on a bus to let a lady sit down
But that does not appear to be the practice today
As I observe when I travel on the tram into town
Are good manners not being taught in our schools
Are the teachers too busy teaching dancing and singing?
We should never underestimate good manners
For they are a sign of a good upbringing
It has been said that good manners cost nothing
But their benefits are hard to evaluate
They can have a profound effect on our charisma
And can lift us from being average to first rate
Good manners help to improve relationships
And these are important as we travel on life’s way
For we all expect other people to respect us
And it is important that good manners are taught today 
By Ron Martin

The city of Benares

Where is the City of Benares?
I’ve searched hard to find its location,
I’ve looked at maps and searched the index of my atlas,
Thinking that it might be the capital of a great nation.
India, South America or the Middle East,
Each of these sound likely places for it to be located,
Then suddenly my searching came to an end,
When I discovered it was the name of a ship that was ill fated.
It was sailing in a convoy from England to Canada,
Ninety children were being taken there for the duration of the war,
Their parents had thought this would ensure their safety,
But very soon the ship way lying on the ocean floor.
The ship had been torpedoed by a German U boat,
Eighty three of the children would never be seen again,
Only seven of the ninety children were rescued,
The parents of the eighty three were left to feel the pain.
During the war many of our ships were sunk,
Countless lives were lost in tragedies at sea,
The Ark Royal, The Prince of Wales and the Hood are still remembered,
The names of other ships are lost to our memory.
The City of Benares will always be remembered
By the families of the children who were lost,
But we have to remember all those other ships,
When we calculate how much our freedom really cost.
History tells us of many cities which have been destroyed,
Sodom, Gomorrah and Pompeii are three we might recall,
But for the parents of those eighty three children,
The loss of the City of Benares was the greatest disaster of them all
By Ron Martin

A mountain to climb


The first time something is done we may regard it as spectacular,

We can appreciate the effort, the dedication and the stress,

But soon the deed becomes quite common place and banal,

As it is repeated it impacts upon us less and less.


For many years man had tried to climb Mount Everest,

And then one day there was a photograph for all the world to see,

Edmond Hillary and Sherpa Tensing standing on the summit,

They had ensured that their names would go down in history.


Once man had reached the summit of that mountain,

Once it had been shown that man could ascend its height,

It seemed that the task was not so difficult,

And today people standing on the summit is a common sight.


The same is true about many of man’s achievements,

Once achieved they became easier to repeat,

But it is the name of the first who is remembered,

Theirs is the record which goes on the record sheet.


Down the ages there have been those seeking to be first,

To achieve something which has never been done before,

Many, many people have failed in their efforts,

But their efforts have inspired others to try even more.


Man had dreamt of travelling into space,

No on ever really thought it could be a reality,

But in the last century these dreams were fulfilled,

When man harnessed the power of rocketry.


Today man travels into space with regularity,

It still fills people’s mind with fascination,

Now we are told that in the future many men will go,

And that in the future space will be a holiday destination.


What mountain is it that you would like to climb,

What is it that you are hoping to achieve,

Is it something which has never been done before,

Or something in which you fervently believe.


It may well be that you will never fulfil this ambition,

But failure should not fill you with despair,

If you have done your best you can feel satisfied,

Knowing that to be the first to achieve something is very rare.

Ron Martin

Anne Killigrew 1660–1685-FAMOUS FEMALE POET

Anne Killigrew
Anne Killigrew 1660–1685
British poet and painter Anne Killigrew was born in London in 1660. Her father was a clergyman with a position at Westminster Abbey, and she was a maid of honor to Mary of Modena, Duchess of York, in the court of Charles II. Exposed from an early age to life at court, she was also taken to the theater, and her uncles even wrote plays. Killigrew was the subject of an ode by the poet John Dryden. Anne Killigrew was the daughter of Henry Killigrew and was born in London in 1660. She was characterized by one of her admireres as “a Grace for beauty and a Muse for wit.” Her father was one of the prebendaries of Westminster some time before the restoration of Charles II.Anne showed indications of genius very early and her father made sure to carefully cultivate it. She became celebrated in the arts of poetry and painting. She painted a portrait of the Duke of York, who later became James II, and his duchess, to whom she was a maid of honor. She also painted some historical pictues and some pieces of still life, for her own pleasure.Anne was also known as a poet and was often comapred to Catharine Philips, the “Matchless Orinda”. Not only did she share in her artistic talent, but also in the similarities of their lives.Anne Killigrew was an exemplary woman of virtue and piety. Dryden speaks of her in the highest terms, and wrote a long ode to her memory, from which the following stanza is extracted:

“Now all those charms, that blooming grace,

The well-proportioned shape and beauteous face,

Shall never more be seen by mortal eyes:

In earth the much lamented virgin lies!

Nor was the cruel destiny content

to finish all the murder at a blow,

to snap at once her life and beauty too;

But, like a hardened felon, took a pride

to work more mischievously slow,

and plunder’s first, and then destroyed.

Oh! double sacrilege on things divine,

To rob the relique and deface the shrine!

But thus Orinda died:

Heaven by the same disease did both translate,

As equal were their souls, as equal was their fate.”

She died of smallpox in 1685 and was buried in the chapel of the Savoy hospital, on the north side of which is a plain monument of marble and freestone erected to her memory, and fixed in the wall, on which is a Latin inscription.




The battle flag snapped and swung up to fly in the wind

Above the post on the hill that even God had forgotten about back then

Rifles swung up and pointed out and down across the clearing

Searing rounds were sent out for the human shearing

A burst returned ripped holes in the flag that flew in the wind

Blood and mud spattered, its fabric so worn and so thin

That flew above boys that day sudden turned into men

It snapped and swung up to fly in the wind

Above the post on the hill that no one, not even God knew about back then. 

 Copyright 2013 Gordon Kuhn
All Rights Reserved
kind regards

An Impression

Have you left your footprints in the sands of time?
Have you fulfilled your hopes and aspiration?
Are you proud of the way you have performed?
Have you brought any credit to our nation?
These are serious questions we must answer
When we calculate what our life is really worth
Is it one which has made a useful contribution
To improve life for other people on the earth
If we live for self and not for others
Or fail to recognise that they may be in need
There is no way we can make a good impression
And we shall need to work harder if we hope to succeed
If we are aspiring to make a good impression
And to leave our mark on our country’s history
Then our actions must impact on other people’s lives
To increase their happiness or to reduce their poverty
We should always try to set a good example
Otherwise our lives will prove to be hollow
The footprints we make might be very faint
But it could be a trail for other folk to follow 
Ron Martin
%d bloggers like this: