Tale #65: And in their ships they sailed out across the sea

In seven ships they sailed out across the sea to search for new lands to conquer.

The King’s ship sank first, struck by lightning in a storm, followed soon by the Lords’ vessel, and the Ladies’ too, both of which were lost to the waves of the tempest that raged on and on through the night.

After that a silence that stretched out across the days.

The soldiers’ ship went next; in the calm after the storm, with no wind to move their sails, mutiny smouldered, civil war took, and up it all went in a blaze of self-destruction, death and despair.

The priests’s ship crashed upon hidden rocks. The merchants’ vessel was waylaid by pirates.

All that was left of the fleet now was the ship of slaves, of servants, of maids.

They came soon to land and settled quietly there. In the years that followed, it was agreed that nothing of value had been lost upon the journey, and much indeed had been gained.

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Notes:

1. Written in August 2016
2. And re-written many times since

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Tale #64: Memorial for the executed generals of the siege of Colchester

A town built upon the dead
the starved
and the murdered
and those left to die
in the deprivations
of imprisonment

and in the flames too
and the fire
of earlier devastations

We don’t remember the names
of the innocent beneath our feet

Yet the names of those that
should have died nameless in their guilt

we repeat them
we repeat them

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Notes:

1. Written in March, 2018

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Tale #63: And we went to war

And we went to war
for nothing
and no-one
just because we could
untouched by the consequences

We gave our grandchildren guns
and told them lies
about responsibility
and duty
and honour

And we told the lies so often
we believed them ourselves
I think
even the ones about our love for them
as we pushed their boats out to sea
towards their doom
away
from ours

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Notes:

1. Written on September 6th, 2017

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Tale #62: Lessons For My Children

Share. Share everything. Share what you have and what you don’t have. Share now. Share often. Share with your brothers and your sisters. Share with your children. Share with your mother. Share with your fathers. And, most of all, share your love.

From your grandchildren steal what you can.

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Notes:

1. Written in late June, 2016

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