November 2019

Public Poetry. Lewis Carrol


'Beware the Jabberwock, my son! 
   The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
   The frumious Bandersnatch!'
He took his vorpal sword in hand:
   Long time the manxome foe he sought-
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
   And stood awhile in thought.
And, as in uffish thought he stood,
   The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
   And burbled as it came!
One, two! One, two! And through and through
   The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
   He went galumphing back.
'And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
   Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!'
   He chortled in his joy.
'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
   Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
   And the mome raths outgrabe.

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My Poetry. What I leave to you.

I would ask you why you deserted me 
when I was a younger child
never gave me any feelings
just made me hard and wild.
Where were you when I needed you?
in my early youth

did you not even think of me
you know I'm telling the truth.
Did you give me a family
who never knew the meaning of you
all they gave was torture
and always making me blue.
Why did you say you are blind
when all the time you see
then you tore a strip from you
but you never gave it to me.
Tell me will you ever come to me
and allow me to be someone true
or will you always evade my soul
all my life through.
I see you all around me
in many people I know
you fill their hearts with gladness
you help them to prosper and grow.
I feel you will not want me
because what you never had you never get
so I will give you to my dog
my undying supportive pet.

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My Poetry. Down and out Worldwide.

Its coming near that time 
When the cold will truly bite
The winds are howling around you
Your tucked up for the night.
Let's think of the many homeless
Struggling to get some heat
Scared of sleeping rough
Often they get beat.
There are some who are chancers
Who just want to make a quick “buck”
But there are also lots of genuine people
Who are down on their luck.
So if you can spare a sandwich
Or a blanket would be great
Or even spare some dog food
For their companion who probably ain't ate.
So spare some thought for someone else
In this Selfish unkind age
When all you read about these days
Is hatred, filled with rage.
When your sitting in your comfortable home
Just after a wholesome meal
Imagine how cold it is out there
And how the Homeless feel!
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My Poetry. Past your sell by date.

 You think you are past your “sell-by date” 
When aches and pains appear 
It takes a wee while longer 
To drink your pint of beer. 
You cannot hold your water 
Always bursting at the seams
You go to bed early
And hope for decent dreams.
You wake up during the night
To have yet another pee
You do not have the bloody brains
To turn on a light to see.
When you fumble back into bed
The dogs took your bloody place
So you end up on the cold part
While he snores out of his face!
When morning comes eventually
After another of those restless nights
You head for the bathroom
As the cold winter bites.
The aches and pains still there
Your knees have a good old “crack”
As you try to come to some order
And try to straighten your back.
All you can do is be pleased
You have awoken to another day.
So folks keep on smiling
It is the only way.
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My Poetry. When love finally lands.

Sometimes it takes a lifetime 
Or maybe you find that friend
After looking in so many shadows
And all the dead ends.
Life is a bloody battle
Where you will never win the war
Even though you aint got a clue
Just what you're fighting for?
But when you find that someone
The stars come out that night
The horror and the pain fades away
As does The struggle and the fight.
To be in love is wondrous
It doesn’t happen to all
So when it comes into your life
You grab it by the ball.
Be happy your together
Don’t worry about the rest
Time will be on your side
And passion is a test.

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Scottish Battles. Solway Moss (1542)

Hey folks, Welcome to another Battle in Scotland, we had a lot lol, enjoy.

The battle of Solway Moss (1542)

Following the death of James IV at the Battle of Flodden (1513), Scotland had been under the control of a Regency government. Initially headed by the dowager Queen Margaret, sister to Henry VIII of England, she was displaced by a pro-French faction and was replaced by John Stewart, Duke of Albany. Power ebbed and flowed between Margaret’s supporters and those of Stewart whilst the English also intervened by invading and sacking the borders in 1523. Eventually the Albany Regency fell and James V became a substantive ruler in his own right.

With Scotland now ruled by the young James V under the influence of his English mother, hopes for improved Anglo-Scottish relations were high. However, in 1534 Henry VIII broke the link between Rome and the English church appointing himself as its Supreme Head. Suppression of the Abbeys and plundering of the wealth of the church followed. Such action was strongly opposed by James V who was heavily influenced by the staunchly Catholic and pro-French magnate Cardinal David Beaton. With Scotland resisting the English move towards religious reform, tensions between the two nations increased significantly. The death of Queen Margaret in 1541 removed the final impediment to war.

Henry VIII demanded that James meet him in York to discuss a religious settlement between the two nations but the Scottish King failed to attend. An English army then raided the Scottish borders under the Command of Robert Bowes. At the Battle of Haddon Rig, fought near Kelso on 24 August 1542, the English were soundly defeated by a Scottish army under George Gordon, Earl of Huntly. A further English raid in October 1542 – under Thomas Howard, Duke of Norfolk – saw Kelso and Roxburgh burnt. Keen to retaliate, James V mustered his forces for a strike into England.


James V had planned to lead the expedition himself but fell ill and advanced no further than Lochmaben Castle. Command of the Scottish army then devolved to Lord Robert Maxwell, a senior magnate who had served in the Regency Government and who had actually raised the bulk of the troops for the campaign. However, despite Maxwell’s previous service to the Crown, the King did not trust him. James secretly instructed his favourite, Lord Oliver Sinclair, to take command as soon as the army crossed the border. Completely unaware of this decision, Maxwell ordered the army to break camp on the morning of the 24 November 1542, crossed the River Esk at Langholm, entered the Debatable Lands and headed south towards Carlisle.


The English had expected the invasion in the east and had deployed the bulk of their available forces at Berwick. By contrast there were only limited forces in the west especially as the post of Warden of the West March was vacant following the death of Henry Clifford, Earl of Cumberland earlier that year. The defence of the area fell to his deputy, Sir Thomas Wharton, who was located in Carlisle Castle – a formidable border fortress that would have provided a safe haven against any attack. The King’s Council acknowledged his plight and on 21 August issued orders that he should simply harass the Scots and attack their supply lines. Wharton however was an experienced commander and not one to cower behind the strong walls of Carlisle. He was also confident in the abilities of his small cavalry force, armed mainly with lances, which was ideal for hit-and-run tactics against a larger army.

The Scots, still under Lord Maxwell at this time, significantly outnumbered the English; by the most conservative assessment they had a 5 to 1 advantage.

The battle

Despite only having a small force, as soon as the Scottish army advanced into the Debatable Lands, Wharton moved against them. He deployed his infantry on Hopesike Hill straddling the road south and thus blocking the way to Carlisle. Relative to the flat lands of the surrounding area, the slight rise of Hopesike Hill was a good position especially as it was strengthened by the Hall Burn which was directly in front of his troops.  With the infantry deployed he sent Sir William Musgrave, with 500 mounted lancers, to harry the Scottish forces. Maxwell deployed his forces in three main battles and advanced towards the English.

Change of command

As the Scottish army deployed for battle, Sinclair informed Maxwell that he was taking command of the army on the orders of King James V. The announcement led to chaos across the Scottish ranks as some troops remained loyal to Maxwell whilst others supported Sinclair. Command and control in the Scottish army broke down at the same moment that Musgrave started repeated hit-and-run tactics with his mounted lancers.

Failure of leadership

Although Musgrave’s attacks did not inflict many casualties amongst the Scottish ranks, the repeated assaults disordered the left flank and caused them to slew towards the centre. With the army’s leaders embroiled in the power struggle between Maxwell and Sinclair, no instructions were issued to steady the line or to reconfigure against the threat. Instead, Musgrave’s repeated charges meant the entire Scottish force shifted pushing those on the far right of the line into a bog defusing their advance and causing significant disorder.

English infantry advance

From his viewpoint on Hopesike Hill, Wharton could see the chaos unfolding in the Scottish camp. Hoping to capitalize on the situation, he advanced his infantry to Arthuret Howe, another small hillock overlooking the road. The forward movement of the English forces was interpreted by the Scots as an English Vanguard advancing as a precursor to a larger army. Had the Scottish leadership been united it is probable they could have rallied their troops. However leaderless and confused, cohesion of the Scottish forces started to break as many dropped their weapons and fled back towards the River Esk.

Scottish reserve.

Morale amongst the remaining Scots quickly collapsed and soon their entire army was retreating in a general rout with their artillery and baggage abandoned. They fled back north towards the fording point over the River Esk (in vicinity of modern day Longtown) pursued by Musgrave’s lancers. Scottish casualties during the battle had been minimal, perhaps as few as twenty, but as the retreating troops attempted to cross the river hundreds drowned. A further 1,200 were captured including Maxwell and Sinclair. English losses were quoted by Wharton as being just seven men; it was unlikely to have been significantly more given the English infantry were never engaged.


James V, still ill with fever, withdrew to Falkland Palace where the humiliated King lamented the capture of Lord Sinclair. On the 14 December 1542, three weeks after the battle, James succumbed to his fever leaving an infant daughter – Mary, Queen of Scots – as his heir. Allegedly he felt his dynasty was on the cusp of ending – for he commented that the House of Stewart (Stuart) “came with a lass and will go with a lass”. Whilst his dynasty would actually endure until 1714, when Queen Anne died, in the immediate term it meant the nearest surviving male successor to the Scottish throne was Henry VIII of England. This was not lost on the English and the War of the Rough Wooing followed.

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My Poetry. The busy Garden.

What grows in this garden “O” mine? 
Tulips, Daffodils, sprigs of thyme,
Hollyhocks, scented stock, colours of green,
Plants and flowers rarely seen,
Bee’s and butterflies hovering around,
Oblivious to humanity and every sound,
What beasts do pray in this forest of fun?
When the light goes out and the sun goes down?
Badgers, foxes, cats and mice,
Wander the vastness, throw the dice
Plundering, raking, searching around,
For scraps of food, nothing found!
In the morning sun flowers come alive,
The bee’s all buzzin, in the active hive,
The garden so sweet in the heat of the day,
With the cloudless Blue sky, and the hottest sunray,
It’s all a part of a wondrous sight,
The gardeners' dream, a Farmers delight.
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My Poetry. Lest we Forget.

They fought without a care 
For their own precious life
Leaving at home their families
Brothers sisters and wife.
They did not have a choice
Humanity was almost expired
By the murderous unfeeling fascists
Who's guns had fired and fired.
How could one man have such influence?
How could people be taken in?
Shouting his odds in crowds
Saying he would win.
Soldiers of many nations
Died to bring us peace
There was no racist imbalance
No one was ever fleeced.
When our Soldiers fought and died
Some of them did come home
From Countries, they had fought in
From France, Poland, and Rome.
As we honour our heroes
we watch them die in vain
Some of them are homeless
Others die in the rain.
Then some die with hunger
Or cannot use their fuel
How could this happen
How can we be so cruel?
If you have the money you're alright
Be you poor then we don’t care
Just give us all your money dude
Hey, ho mate life ain't fair.
So when we sit in our comfy homes
A war hero is under a bridge
When you pull your 4 pack out
From your well-stocked electric fridge.
A man or woman who fought for us
To give us this easy life
Is disrespected or laughed at
It cuts as deep as a knife.
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