Who shall make manifest again the courage of Lionheart?

who will make their way to

the cockpit of the Hurricane?

who shall glance upward at adversarial skies

abuzz with intruders and not blanch?

A radio’s circumspect utterance that

there might be something terribly amiss

at odds with Summer’s timeless evocation

reassuring approbation of cider in the jar

and the sound of willow on leather;

In such moments who do we expect

to step up to the mark?

to re-enact that which was all too bloodily

enacted on long ago days under different skies,

Agincourt, Ypres, Mafeking, Trafalgar, Waterloo;

those days have long burdened us to be this way,

coffin-borned Te Deums that ensure it falls

to Summer to offer up its stage whereon we,

we all get to play our part:

tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow,

wherever tyranny and liberty rendezvous,

who shall make manifest again the courage of Lionheart?

who will make their way to

the cockpit of the Hurricane?


( Originally published 25/5/16 )



Time stretches

taut as

a drumskin,

each passing syllable

a vibrating membrane

with the,

longed for

hoped for

prayed for..

Time stretches

beyond the horizon

each immeasurable step

further from

the vanishing point

of the,

longed for

hoped for

prayed for..

Time stretches



looping in

on itself

deus ex machina

the longed for

the hoped for

the prayed for..



In May 1940, Germany advanced into France, trapping Allied troops on the beaches of Dunkirk. Under air and ground cover from British and French forces, troops were slowly and methodically evacuated from the beach using every serviceable naval and civilian vessel that could be found. At the end of this heroic mission, 330,000 French, British, Belgian and Dutch soldiers were safely evacuated.

( Originally published 24/7/17 )




Gray dark ,darkling gray

sky and sea both winding sheets

for the long departed ;

Nature’s coincidence calibrated

longitude and latitude lapsed

into the fury and the sound and

the sounding fury of foreboding fate

to drown,drown and never to escape ;

Coal-shovelled ,steam-belched,pistoning

leviathans ,steel-plated icons of

Empires ranging and roaring where

Vikings once navigated by sunstone ;

No Valkyrie rescue of warriors slain

when Harrison’s chronometer pinpointed

parameters for steel-trimmed corteges

might and wrath bristling ,danced their

predestined Pavane amid the

flashing flames of glory ;

Oratorios of brilliant ordnance

breaching invincible carapaces ;

Marble memorials may recount the fallen ,

historians’erudite treatises the facts ;

On the last day in May ,

Europe’s pride and manhood bled

though without knowing it ,

into the void their Empires were shed .

Footnote :- 31st.May 1916 ,the forces of Albion under Jellicoe lost 8 destroyers,3 battle-cruisers,3 cruisers with 6,100 lives.Von Scheer’s Hohenzollern hosts , lost 4 light-cruisers,3 destroyers ,1 battle-cruiser,1 battleship with 2,550 lives.

( Originally published 21/8/14 )


Two and a half miles square ,
five hundred Guns ;
the Black ,the Red ,the White,the Blue ,
sixty thousand Horses ;
bloodied ,torn and tattered ,
two hundred thousand Men ;
gouged by grapeshot ,gored by bayonet ,
fifty-five thousand killed or wounded ;
Their calvaries caused one-fifth from cannon-fire
one-fifth slashes from sabres ,
three-fifths due to small arms fire ;
Amid the visceral deluge ,
one hundred and eighty field surgeons
cut flesh with large capital amputation knives ,
divided bone with a saw
then tied off individually all the arteries ,
all in a few minutes,fifteen at most ;
Eager to forestall the inevitability of gangrene ,
innumerably they waited in line ,
some assuaged by small doses of cordial of spirits and water ,
and if lucky some opium or laudanum ;
though often ragged Redcoated Hector and Achilles
gouged by grapeshot ,gored by bayonet ,
fainted from the sights of that Abattoir ;
Two and a half miles square ,
fifty-five thousand men
tattered ,torn and bloodied and
flesh cut with large capital amputation knives.

( Originally published 5/3/15 )


Stand fast soldier,in the day’s

fading light amid this expanse

which you’ll reconsecrate

with musket and pike;

Stand fast with arks of the covenant,

ready to strike at pampered steeds

and their wanton princes mocking

you for a last time;

Stand fast,draw breath and recite

a plain psalm to set the world alight,

piled high with squandered treasuries

and their ruined fortresses of pride;

Stand fast soldier,expound your creed

for those who gaze upon a

desolate heritage and fail to recall

that the scattering ashes

were once a yoke.


In one of the decisive military encounters of the English Revolutionary War ,Thomas Fairfax’s Parliamentary forces inflicted a significant defeat on the Royalist forces under Prince Rupert on the outskirts of York.

( Originally published 15/7/14 )


1066 ( AND ALL THAT )

Norman Footsloggers wading ashore
your boots brine-stained
your fears lost in the roar;

You’ve seen the Saxon high upon
the cliffs gazing down at
strangers in this strange land,
Norman Footsloggers malevolent
flotsam on deadlier sand;

Norman oaths shall carry this day,
it’s spillage of blood will verify
Duke William’s claim,
sanctify his deeds,
then a new history,
his story
will record the glory
and mark your graves
with a Norman Cross;

Norman Footsloggers aim your crossbows
like your serjeants taught you,
aim high at the Saxon and
though few of you’ll ever know it,
your Duke’s hybrid-speech
will become revered,
his codefied injustice
will be a model of Law
and the accounts books
of his army’s looting and theft
will sit alongside leatherbound
Histories of Rome on library shelves;

Norman Footsloggers wading ashore,
your boots brine-stained
and your fears lost in the roar.

( Originally published 19/7/14 )