Tag Archives: history

Cheng I Sao

On city walls the prostitutes, they drained

Their bodies, blood and clouded piss they dropped,

Below the flimsy flock now quit their siege,

In horror crying loud as if fellated,

They fled on flabby hams like squealing pigs,

Failed, flabbergasted. Whores exhaust – this task

Tax on the bodies, bane of men, that baffle

Warriors. Yet below, their leader grand,

A fox among sea dogs, her weapons wit

And wile, and power little understood,

Her charm, and her late husband’s sword, a proud

Keepsake strong woman-wielded, commandeered

A fleet mayhaps by sixty thousand crewed,

Imbued with her cool clarity of mind.

Grim, smuggling thugs ingrained with greed indeed,

But strictly structured now and disciplined.

That whore could rise from urchin to arch king,

Carnivorous, to claim the China seas,

The Chinese waters all within her ring,

From flower boat she blossomed, lily fair,

Turned pirate’s wife, then widowed from this post

Of high regard, and yet maintained, mainstayed,

Not wallowed in black waters, nay, but strove,

And thrived, Cheng’s steel in hand, and yet erect.

A feat most proud, an undefeated fleet,

Blast-battered, barnacle-encrusted, yet,

Prolific warrior and sturdy foe,

And ever cunning, chose her triumph well:

Unarmed, invincible, she came. And still

Formidable, she struck a bargain, then:

Lived out her last in epic requiem.

On the Aggressive Masculinity of the Roman Foundation Myth

The seed three times too strong. And its produce:

Children of rape, a Rome of ravishment

That bred a brawn of two, a brutal rent,

Fertile and virile, virgin prize at roost

 

Raped. Rhea, gentle doe, by son of Zeus

Pierced sharp, the mar of Mars, the arrow sent,

Or sword, and soiled with seed that rich cement,

His vigour vibrant thrived, and ripped her loose.

 

That beast gave suck and succour robbed that twain

Of frail fragility, their mother’s curse

Vitality imbibed and buoyed by breed

 

That they were born of war, in blood and pain,

And battle raised and into battle burst,

And race of warlike flooded from that seed.

On the Sustenance and Spoils of Crusading Armies

They crush the shrivelled brush, they champ and chew on that

Cud of their labours, brush, thin spindled brush, consumed

By fire and ravage, great stampede compacted it,

Ravenous, raving, raping fertile land. The arid

Arable land is plundered, mud soiled, once again.

 

And should they sit at fires and sing, “a barren mess,

For unsuspecting baron and his baroness”

Or squat down on their hams, and cram their guts, and chew

Cud of their labours once again, and say, “Amen.”

Thomas Rainsborough

That rain in all its cleanliness befell

These lands of England, glen and glade redressed

With water clear, dilutes to cordial soil

As flaked or flayed from fair, white England’s back,

Dissolute flows, ingrained, and broke to flux

As pain in strains, in creeps, as though from breath

Of breeze, its touch of kin, not brute, and light,

Lighter than blessings blow. So purity

Like lambs’ hair irritates, inflames. The rain

Washes away not that. The fallow maids,

The plough that soiled the virgin queen, and then,

The unicorn, with crooked horn, the foal

Or fool, and now, the clean rain runs, like men

At work, then scattered fast as ants, whose strength

Not feared, is deathly, men storm scatters. Rain

Down on the working train, who dig and quake

For soil. Then comes, they hope, the final rain,

Rightful, torrential, pouring on the princes,

And with new-beaten ploughshares, honest men

Crop the crop-tips, and lop them off at collar.

From high sea borne and stern long siege, fleet rises

Rainsborough, he, the English soldier true,

He, England’s swordsman lived and died and he,

The worthy martyr, slain by intrigue sly.

This English rain had washed the flesh in pain

Fresh rain had cleansed the clouded minds enmeshed

In popish wishes plain. The tyrant that

Had broke this English truce, his sceptre planted

In French and Irish, now by sword is smote.

Rainsborough, English spirit, hilt uncloaked,

Presides unseen, and foe and friend unseeing.

Letters for Luther

Here the fruit tree flexes its brittle limbs

Poised in its ripeness for luscious works

Too long are regulations born of whims

Still magistracy has its quirks

 

Four walls closing in; this heat of hopelessness

Gruesome visions grind my gut

To stop; and heaven in its yolklessness

Lets not me in, the way is shut.

 

My anger hangs in hate, my cry of anguish

Unanswered, echoes ‘gainst the floor

And no confession flooding can extinguish

Taunting flames of evermore.

 

Pallid, stoppered, pawn of Father’s hate

The wretch is grieving in the grime

Pious, penitent, too late,

Consigned to suckle burning wine

 

Till through the cracked and flaking pages

The light of heaven shines at last

The foully spoiled words of ages

Amended, now the storm is past.