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Reece May 2013
Great Britain, fantastic Britain, incredible Britain
You're making me sad

How many lives in the name, and religion how do you fare
When parliament crumbles, like fantastic hash
And the heroes are on ******
Dying in the street
But are they heroes?

Poor Britain, lonely Britain, disparaging Britain
Your lights are all dim

Atheist populace, defending Christian beliefs
and shaming Islam with wild generalisations
The BNP are a joke or a Greek tragedy
and I laugh through acerbic tears
It's pitiable

Bleak Britain, brisk Britain, despairing Britain
Are you happy with yourself?

Fight in foreign lands, maim those trivial children
and keep that payola rolling, we depend on death
Complex industry, the military it is, and we follow
Always follow, follow follow, follow

Britain, Britain, Britain
Blindly patriotic
All hate groups are sordid but as people we are all equal. In tough times we must teach love. We must preach empathy. We must learn our history. We could be great, with knowledge.
RAJ NANDY Sep 2018
Dear Poet Friends, Torin Galleshaw from Charlotte NC, a Member of this Site, had requested me to compose about the Rise of Third *****. Therefore, I have commenced with the causes for its Rise in my Part One posted below. Planning to compose Part Two with ******’s Blitzkrieg campaign of Poland later. It is unfortunate that I am unable to post related Maps & Photos for better appreciation of my Readers! Such options are not available for us here! However, I have managed to post a copy with maps & photos in the E-mail ID of my friend Torin!  Kindly give comments only after reading this researched work of mine, during your spare time.  Thanking you, - Raj, New Delhi.

            STORY OF SECOND WORLD WAR – PART ONE
                            RISE OF THE THIRD *****
                                       By Raj Nandy

                                  INTRODUCTION
In this part I shall mainly deal with the causes leading to the Second World War,
Which had also created favourable conditions for the rise of Third ***** under ******.
The word ‘*****’ derives from old German word ‘rihhi’ meaning ‘realm’;  
But is also used to designate a kingdom or an empire in a broader sense.
Historically, the First ***** was the Medieval Holy Roman Empire which lasted till the end of the 19th Century.
While the Second ***** was the First German Empire from 1871 to 1918, when dynamic Otto Von Bismark had united all of Germany,
Which ended with its defeat in World War One and birth of the Weimar Republic.
The Third ***** refers to the **** German Empire under ******, Which lasted from 1933 till 1945, for twelve traumatic eventful years!
Historians opine that the ending of a war is equally important as
its beginning;
Since the causes for the start of a war is often to be found embedded in its ending!
The First World War came to an end on 28th of June 1919 as we all know.
With the signing of the Treaty at Versailles by the German Foreign Minister Hermann Muller and the ‘Big Four’.  (Britain, France, America, & Italy)
Yet it is rather ironical, that this Peace Treaty of Versailles, considered as President Woodrow Wilson’s ‘brain child’,
Had sowed the seeds of discontent resulting in the outbreak of the Second World War, and Adolf ******’s dramatic rise!

Though several causes are attributed for the outbreak of the Second World War by our Military Historians.
Let me try to summarise those causes which are considered to be more relevant.
Commencing with the harsh Treaty of Versailles, the British and French Policy of Appeasement, followed by Hyperinflation and the Great Depression of 1929, and failure of The League of Nations to maintain peace;  
Are relevant factors which collectively combined resulting in the outbreak of the devastating Second World War, scarring human memories for all time!
But not forgetting ******’s forceful and persuasive eloquence which mesmerised the Germans to rise up as a powerful Nation once again.
Since ****** promised to avenge the humiliation faced by Germany following the Treaty of Versailles,
Which was drawn up with vengeance, and dictated by the victorious Allies!

THE  ARMISTICE  AND TREATY OF VERSAILLES:    
Armistice means a truce for cessation of hostilities, which provides a breathing space for negotiating a lasting peace.
Now the Armistice ceasing the First World War was signed inside the railway carriage of the Allied Supreme Commander Marshal Foch, in the Forest of Compiegne,
On the 11th of November 1919, sixty km north of Paris, between the victorious Allies and vanquished Germany.
But in the meantime naval blockade of Germany had continued, and the German Rhineland was evacuated and partly occupied by the combined Allied troops!
Release of Allied POWs interned civilians followed subsequently; And the Reparations Clause of monetary compensation was strictly imposed on Germany!
Now, following a wide spread German Sailor’s Revolt towards the end of October 1918, Emperor Kaiser Wilhelm-II had abdicated;
And on the 9th of November Friedrich Ebert, as the new Social Democrat President of Germany, authorised his representative to sign the Compiegne Armistice.
We should remember here that this Armistice seeking cessation of hostilities did not stipulate any unconditional surrender;
And the signing of the Armistice by the German Social Democrats, was considered as ‘a stab in the back of the German army’ by majority of the Germans!
These issues get repeatedly mentioned by Adolf ****** in his eloquent speeches subsequently,
To arouse the spirit of German Nationalism, and resurgence of the ‘Master Aryan Race’ of the Germans, - in Germany!

The Versailles Treaty was signed on 28th of June 1919, exactly five years after the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand which had sparked World War One.
Let me mention few aspects of this Treaty which was detested by the Germans!
Germany lost 13% of its land, 12% of its people, 48% of its iron resources, 15% of its agricultural production, and 10% of its coal, following its implementation!
German army was reduced to 100,000 men, its Navy reduced to 36 ships with no submarines, its Air Force banned, and its union with Austria forbidden.
Now to use a Shakespearean phrase the ‘unkindest cut of all’ came in the shape of Article 231,  the ‘War Guilt Clause’ of the Versailles Treaty,
Which provided the legal basis for the payment of war reparations by Germany.
The reparation amount of 132 billion gold marks (US $33 billion) to cover the civilian damage caused during the war, now had to be paid by Germany!
Thus the humiliation, resentment, and the virtual economic strangulation following the Versailles Treaty,
Was exploited by extremist groups such as ******’s **** Party.
And in the decades to follow, ******’s Nazis would take full control of Germany!

NOTES: Following Versailles Treaty, Alsace-Lorraine captured by Germany in 1870 was returned to France. The SAAR German coalfield region was give to France for 15 yrs. Poland became independent with a corridor to the sea dividing Germany into two. Danzing, a major port in East Prussia, became a free city under the League of Nation. Finland, Lithuania, Latvia, & Czechoslovakia became independent. Industrial area of German Rhineland, forming a buffer zone between Belgium &France,was
demilitarised.

WOODROW WILSON’S  14 - POINT PEACE INITIATIVE  & THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS:
American President Wilson was an idealist and a visionary, who in a speech to the US Congress on 8th Jan 1918,
Introduced a 14 Point Charter as a platform for building global peace, based on the principles of transparency, self-determination, and Democracy.
But for the first time in US history, the Republican-led US Senate rejected this Peace Treaty, and prevented America from joining the newly created League!
The US Senate wanted to retain its sovereignty without external entanglements;
Free from the League of Nation’s political dictates in its foreign commitments!
The Irish immigrants refused to support Wilson's Fourteen Points because Wilson was concerned about stopping WWI, rather than forcing the British to set Ireland free.
Many Jews also refused to back Wilson, since he was paying too much attention to the War, and not enough to the Balfour Declaration of 02 Nov 1917, -
Which promised an Independent Jewish State with a distinct Jewish identity.

The League of Nations had emerged from Wilson’s 14 Points on the 10th Jan 1920, with its HQs at Geneva, Switzerland, but it had no peacekeeping forces those days!
The League had failed to prevent invasion of Chinese Manchuria in 1932 by Japan;
Italy’s invasion of Ethiopia in 1935; annexation of Sudetenland and Austria by Germany!
The Axis countries Germany, Italy, and Japan, withdrew from the League subsequently.
Thus the League of Nations was disbanded in 1946 officially!
But President Wilson’s ceaseless efforts for global peace did not go unrecognised,
Since on the 10th of December 1920, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize!
While his disbanded League of Nations, as the first global humanitarian organisation,
Continued to survive in spirit with the establishment of United Nations Organisation on the 24th October, 1945.

ECONOMIC CAUSES - FOLLOWED BY THE GREAT DEPRESSION OF 1929 :
Germany emerged from the First World War with loss of 25,000 square miles of territory;
Loss of seven million inhabitants, and a staggering debt imposed by the Versailles Treaty!
The Wiemar Republic, after abdication of Emperor Kaiser Wilhelm-II  to Holland,
For the first time in German history, established a Democratic Constitution with Friedrich Ebert as its first President.
But The Republic first had to consolidate itself by squashing the Spartacist Revolt of January 1919 led by the extreme Leftists, and inspired by the Russian Bolshevik Communists!
The Freikorps, in March 1920, an Ex-Soldiers Rightist Group, tried to overthrow the Wiemar Republic with support of their Rightist allies and their own veteran troops!
This was soon followed by a Communist attempt to takeover of the Industrial Rhur;
But fortunately, all these uprisings against the Republic were effectively subdued!
But the 33 Billion Dollars of Reparations hung over the Wiemar Republic like the legendary ‘Sword of Damocles’, followed by the Great Depression of 1929;
Coupled with the ‘Policy of Appeasement’ practised by the British and the French;
Became the most important causes for ******’s expansionist ambition and his short- lived meteoric rise to fame!

GERMAN PAPER CURRENCY & HYPERINFLATION:
Gold Mark was the currency used by the German Empire from 1873 to 1914 only.
But to pay for the costs of the ongoing First World War, Germany suspended the gold standard, and decided to fund the war by Borrowings entirely,
Hoping to pay back the loans after Germany achieves Victory.
But having lost the war, and faced with a massive debt imposed by the Allies,
Exchange rate of the Mark against the US Dollar steadily devalued and declined!
Papiermark became the German currency from 04th August 1914 onward, when link between the Mark and gold reserve was abandoned,
In order to pay for the ongoing expenses of the First World War with paper marks, which was constantly being printed!
But later after the war, when the London Ultimatum of May 1921 demanded payment of war reparations in gold or in foreign currency only,
Even more paper marks got printed by the Republic to buy those foreign currency !
By December 1922 hyper-inflationary trends emerged, when the US Dollar became equivalent to 7,400 German Marks, with a 15-fold increase in the cost of living !
By the fall of 1922 when it became impossible for Germany to make further payments,
The French and Belgium armies occupied Germany’s Ruhr Valley area, its prime industrial region!
French and the Belgians hoped to extract payment in kind, but a strike by the workers of the Ruhr area their hopes belied!
The Wiemar Republic printed more paper notes to pay and support the workers of the Ruhr area,
When hyperinflation had peaked at 4,210,500,000,000 German Marks, to a US Dollar!
Paper currency having become worthless, some form of ancient barter system began to be used instead!

STABILISATION OF GERMAN ECONOMY WITH ONSET OF  THE GREAT DEPRESSION:
Following the hyperinflation Chancellor Josef Cuno’s cabinet resigned in August 1923,
When Gustav Stresemann became the new Chancellor of Germany.
Stresemann’s Government had introduced the Rentenmark as a new stable currency,
To end the hyperinflation which had plagued Wiemar Germany.  
Rentenmark was backed by real goods, agricultural land and business,
Since gold was not available in a beleaguered German economy those days!
When One Rentenmark was equivalent to One million, million, old German Mark;
While One US Dollar was equivalent to only 4.2 Rentenmarks.
Though Stresemann’s Government lasted for 100 days only, Stresemann continued to serve as the Foreign Minister in successive Coalition Governments of the Republic,
Till his death in the month of October 1929, but working for the betterment of Germany all the while!
His ‘Policy of Fulfilment’ stabilised German economy with a 200 Million Dollars loan from America under the Dawes Plan in 1924,
Which had also ensured the evacuation of France from the occupied Ruhr area, with their future reparations payments ensured.
Stresemann’s signing of the Locarno Pact in London on 1st Dec 1925 with France, Belgium, Great Britain, and Italy, was considered as his achievement and a feat!
Since it made Germany to enter the League of Nations ensuring stability and peace;
While the Noble Peace Prize was awarded to Stresemann for his efforts in 1926!
Later, the Young Plan of 1929 further reduced German reparations payment by 20%, while extending the time frame for the payments to 59 years!
But following a sudden Wall Street Stock Market Crash in late October of 1929,
The American Banks were forced to recall money from Europe and the Young Plan;.
Which created acute financial distress when unemployment soared to 33.7%  in Germany in 1931, and quickly rose to 40% during the following year!
Lausanne Conference was held in Switzerland in 1932 by Great Britain, Germany, and France, to further reduce the War Debts imposed by the Versailles Treaty.
But in Dec 1932, the US Congress had rejected this Allied War Debt Reduction Plan completely.
However, no further payments were made by Germany due to the Great Depression;
And by 1932, Germany had paid only 1/8 of the total sum required to be paid as per their pending wartime reparations!

NOTES: Rentenmark was issued on 15 October 1923 to stop the hyperinflation in Wiemeer Germany. Reichmark was the currency in Germany from 1924 to 20 June 1948 in West Germany , when it was replaced by the Deutsche Mark; but had continued in East Germany until 23 June when it was replaced by East German Mark.
During the Stresemann Years of Stability from 1924 to 1929, (prior to the onset of the Great Depression), with help of American financial aid, created more housing & production in Germany. Dada & Expressionist Art forms flourished, followed by modern architecture; also the Philosophy of Existentialism of Thomas Mann – influenced the Western culture. Paul Whiteman's Band for the first time brought in American Jazz to Germany, and Jazz signified the liberation of German youth and women folks of the younger generation generally. But the US Stock Market Crash had unfortunately ended this short lived euphoria, and as it soon became a global phenomena!                                


FAILURE OF THE WIEMAR REPUBLIC & THE GREAT DEPRESSION WHICH BENEFITED THE NAZIS:
Last Days of Wiemar Republic:
Ever since Otto Von Bismarck that ‘Man of iron and steel’, united Germany into a single Empire in the year Eighteen Hundred & Seventy One,
For the first time a Constitution for a Parliamentary Democracy was drawn up in August 1919, in the eastern German city of Wiemar.
Wiemar was the intellectual centre of Germany associated with musicians like Franz List, and writers like Goethe and Schiller.
The Wiemar Republic of Germany which had lasted from 1919 till 1933 had seen,
20 different Coalition Governments, with frequent elections and changing loyalties!
Due to a system of proportional representations, and the presence of very many political parties those days,  
No single party could obtain absolute sole majority in the Reichstag Parliament!
The longest Coalition Govt. was under Chancellor Bruning, which had lasted for only 2 years and 61 days!     (From 30 March 1930 to 30 May 1932)
Now, to understand the reasons for the failure to maintain a Democratic form of Government by the Wiemar Republic,
It becomes necessary to monitor its ‘dying gasps’ during its closing years so to speak!
Since faced with the economic depression Chancellor Bruning had worsened the unemployment situation by adopting stringent and unpopular measures!
Thereby having lost popular political support, Bruning with the approval of President Hindenburg, invoked emergency powers under Article 48, to survive his last few months and years!
During the years 1931 and 1932  it is seen, Bruning had used this Emergency Clause 44 and 66 times respectively!
Thus his so-called ‘Presidential form of Govt.’ had undermined Wiemar Democracy!
If Burning was the ‘Republic’s Undertaker’, now remains a debatable issue of History!
But Burning’s vigorous campaign made Hindenburg to get re-elected as the President;
Thereby he had removed the defeated Adolf ****** out of the Presidential race!
Therefore, later when ****** became the Chancellor on 30 Jan 1933, Bruning had very wisely fled from Germany!

Following Bruning’s resignation in May 1932 came Chancellor Papen’s ‘Cabinet of Barons’ consisting of individuals who were not members of the German Reichstag!
While in the election of July 1932 ******’s **** Party won 230 seats, making it the largest party in the Reichstag.
But ****** refused to form a coalition with Papen, because he wanted to become the Chancellor himself !
Now General von Schleicher advised President Hindenburg that the German Army,
Would not accept Papen’s use of Article 48 to remain as the Chancellor of Germany!
Therefore following Papen’s resignation, Schleicher took over on the 04th of December 1932 as the new German Chancellor.
Schleicher tried to restore a democratic form of government to get the Wiemar Republic back on its feet.
But in the ensuing political power struggle Papen wanted to take revenge on Schleicher for his removal from power and defeat.
So Papen persuaded Adolf ****** to become the Chancellor, and retain for himself the post of Vice-Chancellor.
In doing so, Papen mistakenly thought that he would be able to reign in the self-assertive Adolf ******!
Papen finally made President Hindenburg agree to his proposal, and on 30th of Jan 1933,
****** became the New Chancellor, with approval of the President!
A month later a sudden fire in the Reichstag made ****** invoke Article 48, in order to squash the suspected Left Wing Communists;
But while doing so, the Press was muzzled, and many Civil Rights of the German people were abolished, inclusive of their right of assembly and free speech!
****** acted swiftly, and by passing the Enabling Act on 23 March, 1933, armed himself  with dictatorial powers for enacting laws without the approval of the Reichstag whenever necessary!
Thereby ****** threw Democracy to History’s wasteland most unfortunately!
Following the death of Hindenburg on 29 June 1934, ****** combined the powers of the President and the Chancellor, and became known as the FUHRER!
Historians generally agree the Enabling Act of 1933, as the date for establishment of The German Third *****.

THE POLICY OF APPEASEMENT AND GERMAN AGGRESSION:
The horrors of trench warfare with the rattling of machine guns and bursting of poisonous nerve gas shells,
Even after 20 years remained fresh, in the minds of all World War One participants!
Therefore, it was natural for British and French Prime Ministers Neville Chamberlain and Edouard Daladier initially,
To grant political and material concessions to an aggressive Germany, for the sake of peace and stability.
Thus the diplomatic stance of Appeasement between 1935 and 1939 followed by the French and the British, was mainly to avoid another dangerous armed conflict!
But the trusting Mr. Chamberlain had underestimated ******, who had served in the German Army as a Corporal, winning the Iron Cross during the last Great War!
****** was not afraid of war, but wanted to avenge the Treaty of Versailles and its punitive dictated peace;
And also establish for the superior German Aryan race a lasting Third *****!
Therefore, having consolidated his power as the Fuhrer along with his trusted **** Party cronies, he withdrew from the League of Nations in October 1933.
Introduced conscription in March 1935 in Germany, and embarked on a mission to rebuild a new modernised German Army for combat on land, air, and sea!
In March 1936, in another open violation of the Versailles Treaty, ****** re-occupied the demilitarised Rhineland, followed by a Treaty of Alliance with Japan and Italy.
The much desired Anschluss (or merger) with Austria, the country of birth of ******,
Saw the German Army in March 1938, triumphantly and peacefully marching into Vienna!
Now with the Munich Conference of 19 September 1938, this Policy of Appeasement is said to have reached its climatic peak!
The Sudetenland area, consisted of 3 million Germans were made
to join Czechoslovakia when the frontiers were drawn in 1918-19,
Much against the wishes of the Germans!
When ****** wanted to annex this Sudetenland area, Britain, France, Germany and Italy, met at Munich to diffuse an explosive situation peacefully.
It was agreed at Munich that once Sudetenland joins Germany, ****** will not invade Czechoslovakia and honour the terms of peace.
But on 15th March 1939, in violation of the Munich Agreement, ******’s army invade and occupied Czechoslovakia, thereby openly flouting the Policy of Appeasement!

NOTES: ******’s desire for ‘LEBENSRAUM’ or ‘increase of living space’ for the Germans, commenced with his ‘Border Wars’, which soon turned into a Global War because of the ‘appeasement policy’ of the Allies. ****** had secured his Eastern Front with a treaty with the Stalin, since fighting on two fronts would have been very difficult for the Germans.

Now when ******’s army invaded Poland on 1st of September 1939, it became ‘the last straw on the camel’s back’ for the Western Allies!
Committed to the Anglo-Polish Defence Pact of 25 August, 1939, both Britain and France declared war on Germany,
Which I propose to narrate in Part Two of my Second World War Story.  
The Policy of Appeasement no doubt gave some time for Britain, to regain its depleted military strength,  but Adolf ****** had viewed it as a sign of weakness!
With Russia and America initially as non-participants, ****** became more confident and arrogant!
Thereby turning his border wars into a global conflagration lasting six long years.
When the use of advanced technology, resulted in greater loss and casualties;  
Which was followed by the holocaust and unprecedented human suffering!
I would like to conclude my present narration with a poem by English soldier-poet Seigfried Sassoon, who participated in the First World War on the Western Front.

DREAMERS  -  by Siegfried Sassoon
Soldiers are citizens of death's gray land,
Drawing no dividend from time's to-morrows.
In the great hour of destiny they stand,
Each with his feuds, and jealousies, and sorrows.
Soldiers are sworn to action; they must win
Some flaming, fatal ****** with their lives.
Soldiers are dreamers; when the guns begin
They think of firelit homes, clean beds, and wives.

I see them in foul dug-outs, gnawed by rats,
And in the ruined trenches, lashed with rain,
Dreaming of things they did with ***** and bats,
And mocked by hopeless longing to regain
Bank-holidays, and picture shows, and spats,
And going to the office in the train.
…………………………………………………………………………
Thanks for reading patiently, from Raj Nandy of New Delhi.
  *ALL COPYRIGHTS ARE WITH THE AUTHOR ONLY
Bard van Twenthe May 2017
It was the SS/country Great Britain.
That sailed the wintry sea;
And Prime Minister May had taken her people,
To bear her company.

Blue and brown were their eyes, all paid their tax,
Their cheeks coloured from a hard working day,
And their *******/chests swollen as the hawthorn buds
That proudly produce in the month of May.

The Prime-Minister she stood at her lectern,
As vile words left her mouth,
She preached that UK's world citizens are
no citizens, neither here, nor West nor South.

Then up and spake an expert Sailor,
Had sailed the European Mains,
"I pray thee, put to yonder port,
For I fear Brexit' ruinous hurricanes.

"Last year the pound had a golden ring,
And t'row the pound will flee!"
But the Prime-Minister she only sought strife,
And a scornful laugh laughed she.

Colder and colder grew the UK's economy,
A crisis grew from North to East;
Family businesses fell first to Tory hedge-fund swines,
Evil wizards not bothered in the least.

Down came the crisis' storm, and smote amain,
SS Great Britain in its strength;
Its poor crew shuddered and paused; hurt by all this greed,
The once United Kingdom leaped across its length.

"Come hither! come hither! Scotland, Wales,
Northern Ireland, do not tremble so;
For I can weather our enemies' ordeals,
That ever they will throw.

PM May palmed the people in, telling them lies
Barking fake news on EU enemies' blasts;
She invented tales about immigrants,
Wishful thinking it would save money vast.

"Oh Mother May! I hear our EU friends' phones ring.
O say, what it may be?"
"''These 're false calls on shark-bound mainland coasts!" -
And May knowingly steered to crash UK's economy.

"Oh Mother May! I hear psalms of  Brittany's nuns,
O say what may it be?"
"Some German Lorelei fiends, which only live
In that wretched foul euro-zone economy".

"Oh Mother May! I hear EU's peaceful plights,
O say what may it be?"
But Mother May answered never a word,
A frozen corpse was she.

Lashed to number 10, all stiff and stark,
With her face turned to the skies,
The Big Ben clock light illuminated banking blizzards
On her fixed and glassy eyes.

Then UK's people clasped their hands and prayed
That saved they might be;
And they thought of prophetical politicians who could still the waves,
That wrecked Great Britain's economy.

And fast through twilight months dark and drear,
Through the whistling greed of the superrich,
Like a tweeted Trump, Great Britain wept
Towards the reef of Farage's glitch.

And between the financial rust
Cries came from the people;
It was the sound of their trampled trust,
On a bed of lies and Johnson's creeple.

The loan sharks were right on the people's toes,
The country drifted a dreary wreck,
And whooping profits for the rich
were cheered by th'entire cabinet.

The country broke where the white and fleecing waves
Created poverty in the neglected North,
But the cruel Russians, they gored her side
With hackers killing its democratic berth.

The people shocked as British cool subsided,
When the NHS went overboard;
The once Great Britain, she stove and fell apart,
**! **! the bankers roared.

Years later, on a bleak winters' day,
EU's UK-citizens, always welcomed, stood aghast,
To see the form of old Great Britain fair,
Battered down by self-inflicted Tory blasts.

Destroyed NHS and infrastructure wrecked the health
of its citizens, tears filled their eyes,
Rivers their homes, with flood prevention ignored,
Countryside and cities drastically demised.

Such became the wreck named Great Britain,
Doomed by alt-right and the superrich!
Reason save us all from a death ordained
On the reef of Farage's glitch!
Adaptation of "The wreck of the Hesperus", Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's poem, as political protest poem given the figurative suitably of Longfellow's original poem. A captain or leader is ignoring the expert advice of a sailor in his crew or experts and analyses well known to society, leading to disastrous effects, the wrecking of the Hesperus and death of his crew and daughter or, otherwise, the wrecking of a country and the suffering of its people. "The wreck of the Deutschland" by Hopkins is also a protest poem of a kind.
I usually don't adapt poems but here it felt appropriate: https://bardvantwenthe.wordpress.com
Edward Coles  Jan 2014
My Britain
Edward Coles Jan 2014
Following the bloodstains home,
we tread the land with bristled soles,
to cleanse the souls of the wide-eyed youth,
spectacular fireworks to alter the truth,
tar the land, and pepper the streets,
concrete the corner where strangers meet,
the placebo joy of the modern life,
left vacant in the money-man's wake,
a cardboard lot left to decay,
oh, this is my Britain of today.

The newsrooms are clinical,
policies in place to reduce moral outrage,
to reduce it to a hysterical mess,
a cartoon-disaster of life's distress,
so the public in fear, exist but not live,
to fight the recession; you must give, give, give,
give, your life to your freedom
to live without choice,
you can sign a slip,
to mimic a voice
and to ensure the vow of regular pay,
oh, this is my Britain of today.

A history of salvation,
we lend heroes to established truth,
we parade on corners in our concrete joy,
rejoice in the miracle of the new royal boy,
who shall live in fat, and live in health,
sacred tender to the country's wealth,
of empire and power of totalities,
of stone-walled cities,
and Northern breeze,
the Jack tattooed on imperial flags,
oh, this is my Britain of today.

A stream of entertainment,
how it pounds the floor in seamless sound,
how it drizzles the walls in a trophy glitz,
a hypnotic and false, synthetic blitz,
of caffeine veins, and digital sea,
of attention-span in atrophy.
Wait not on thoughts, instead mind-chatter,
you say “don't talk on dark topic,
and keep depth away!”
oh, this is my Britain of today.

Following the apathy home,
I tread the land in heavy-worn soles,
to cleanse my soul of restricted air,
to dream of travel, to fortunes fair,
but in this bliss of a greener grass;
it is for Britain I hold communal mass.
For each Blair, I know, is a Rupert Brooke,
each levelled city, there's Wilfred's book,
or some Dickensian dream of caricatured past,
where only tyranny is built to last,
for each liberty taken, is Huxley's piece,
is Lessing's thoughts and Shelley's release,
and the meander of Avon through grey rain,
adds desperate poetry for the lives still slain,
so we can live in peace, and in sugared tea,
with red wine lips on the periphery;
in those day's hard living,
in those days' worth spent,
with only a book
and blood descent,
the community dances in the advent of May,
oh, this is my Britain of yesterday.
Marshal Gebbie Jun 2018
Steven my boy,

We coasted into a medieval pub in the middle of nowhere in wildest Devon to encounter the place in uproarious bedlam. A dozen country madams had been imbibing in the pre wedding wine and were in great form roaring with laughter and bursting out of their lacy cotton frocks. Bunting adorned the pub, Union Jack was aflutter everywhere and a full size cut out of HM the Queen welcomed visitors into the front door. Cucumber sandwiches and a heady fruit punch were available to all and sundry and the din was absolutely riotous……THE ROYAL WEDDING WAS UNDERWAY ON THE GIANT TV ON THE BAR WALL….and we were joining in the mood of things by sinking a bevy of Bushmills Irish whiskies neat!

Now…. this is a major event in the UK.

Everybody loves Prince Harry, he is the terrible tearaway of the Royal family, he has been caught ******* sheila’s in all sorts of weird circumstance. Now the dear boy is to be married to a beauty from the USA….besotted he is with her, fair dripping with love and adoration…..and the whole country loves little Megan Markle for making him so.

The British are famous for their pageantry and pomp….everything is timed to the second and must be absolutely….just so. Well….Nobody told the most Reverend Michael Curry this…. and he launched into the most wonderful full spirited Halleluiah sermon about the joyous “Wonder of Love”. He went on and on for a full 14 minutes, and as he proceeded on, the British stiff upper lips became more and more rigidly uncomfortable with this radical departure from protocol. Her Majesty the Queen stood aghast and locked her beady blue eyes in a riveting, steely glare, directed furiously at the good Reverend….to no avail, on he went with his magic sermon to a beautiful rousing ******….and an absolute stony silence in the cavernous interior of that vaulting, magnificent cathedral. Prince Harry and his lovely bride, (whose wedding the day was all about), were delighted with Curry’s performance….as was Prince William, heir to the Throne, who wore a fascinating **** eating grin all over his face for the entire performance.

Says a lot, my friend, about the refreshing values of tomorrows Royalty.

We rolled out of that country pub three parts cut to the wind, dunno how we made it to our next destination, but we had one hellava good time at that Royal Wedding!

The weft and the weave of our appreciation fluctuated wildly with each day of travel through this magnificent and ancient land, Great Britain.

There was soft brilliant summer air which hovered over the undulating green patchwork of the Cotswolds whilst we dined on delicious roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, from an elevated position in a medieval country inn..... So magnificent as to make you want to weep with the beauty of it all….and the quaint thatched farmhouse with the second story multi paned windows, which I understood, had been there, in that spot, since the twelfth century. Our accommodation, sleeping beneath oaken beams within thick stone walls, once a pen for swine, now a domiciled overnight bed and pillow of luxury with white cotton sheets for weary Kiwi travellers.

The sadness of the Cornish west coast, which bore testimony to tragedy for the hard working tin miners of the 1800s. A sharp decrease in the international tin price in 1911 destituted whole populations who walked away from their life’s work and fled to the New World in search of the promise of a future. Forlorn brick ruins adorned stark rocky outcrops right along the coastline and inland for miles. Lonely brick chimneys silhouetted against sharp vertical cliffs and the ever crashing crescendo of the pounding waves of the cold Atlantic ocean.

No parking in Padstow….absolutely NIL! You parked your car miles away in the designated carpark at an overnight cost….and with your bags in tow, you walked to your digs. Now known as Padstein, this beautiful place is now populated with eight Rick Stein restaurants and shops dotted here and there.

We had a huge feed of piping hot fish and chips together with handles of cold ale down at his harbour side fish and chip restaurant near the wharfs…place was packed with people, you had to queue at the door for a table, no reservations accepted….Just great!

Clovelly was different, almost precipitous. This ancient fishing village plummeted down impossibly steep cliffs….a very rough, winding cobbled stone walkway, which must have taken years to build by hand, the only way down to the huge rock breakwater which harboured the fishing boats Against the Atlantic storms. And in a quaint little cottagey place, perched on the edge of a cliff, we had yet another beautiful Devonshire tea in delicate, white China cups...with tasty hot scones, piles of strawberry jam and a huge *** of thick clotted cream…Yum! Too ****** steep to struggle back up the hill so we spent ten quid and rode all the way up the switch back beneath the olive canvass canopy of an old Land Rover…..money well spent!

Creaking floorboards and near vertical, winding staircases and massive rock walls seemed to be common characteristics of all the lovely old lodging houses we were accommodated in. Sarah, our lovely daughter in law, arranged an excellent itinerary for us to travel around the SW coast staying in the most picturesque of places which seeped with antiquity and character. We zooped around the narrow lanes, between the hedgerows in our sharp little VW golf hire car And, with Sarah at the helm, we never got lost or missed a beat…..Fantastic effort, thank you so much Sarah and Solomon on behalf of your grateful In laws, Janet and Marshal, who loved every single moment of it all!

Memories of a lifetime.

Wanted to tell the world about your excitement, Janet, on visiting Stoke on Trent.

This town is famous the world over for it’s pottery. The pottery industry has flourished here since the middle ages and this is evidenced by the antiquity of the kilns and huge brick chimneys littered around the ancient factories. Stoke on Trent is an industrial town and it’s narrow, winding streets and congested run down buildings bear testimony to past good times and bad.

We visited “Burleigh”.

Darling Janet has collected Burleigh pottery for as long as I have known her, that is almost 40 years. She loves Burleigh and uses it as a showcase for the décor of our home.

When Janet first walked into the ancient wooden portals of the Burleigh show room she floated around on a cloud of wonder, she made darting little runs to each new discovery, making ooh’s and aah’s, eyes shining brightly….. I trailed quietly some distance behind, being very aware that I must not in any way imperil this particular precious bubble.

We amassed a beautiful collection of plates, dishes, bowls and jugs for purchase and retired to the pottery’s canal side bistro,( to come back to earth), and enjoy a ploughman’s lunch and a *** of hot English breakfast tea.

We returned to Stoke on Trent later in the trip for another bash at Burleigh and some other beautiful pottery makers wares…..Our suit cases were well filled with fragile treasures for the trip home to NZ…..and darling Janet had realised one of her dearest life’s ambitions fulfilled.

One of the great things about Britain was the British people, we found them willing to go out of their way to be helpful to a fault…… and, with the exception of BMW people, we found them all to be great drivers. The little hedgerow, single lane, winding roads that connect all rural areas, would be a perpetual source of carnage were it not for the fact that British drivers are largely courteous and reserved in their driving.

We hired a spacious ,powerful Nissan in Dover and acquired a friend, an invaluable friend actually, her name was “Tripsy” at least that’s what we called her. Tripsy guided us around all the byways and highways of Britain, we couldn’t have done without her. I had a few heated discussions with her, I admit….much to Janet’s great hilarity…but Tripsy won out every time and I quickly learned to keep my big mouth shut.

By pure accident we ended up in Cumbria, up north of the Roman city of York….at a little place in the dales called “Middleton on Teesdale”….an absolutely beautiful place snuggled deep in the valleys beneath the huge, heather clad uplands. Here we scored the last available bed in town at a gem of a hotel called the “Brunswick”. Being a Bank Holiday weekend everything, everywhere was booked out. The Brunswick surpassed ordinary comfort…it was superlative, so much so that, in an itinerary pushed for time….we stayed TWO nights and took the opportunity to scout around the surrounding, beautiful countryside. In fact we skirted right out to the western coastline and as far north as the Scottish border. Middleton on Teesdale provided us with that late holiday siesta break that we so desperately needed at that time…an exhausting business on a couple of old Kiwis, this holiday stuff!

One of the great priorities on getting back to London was to shop at “Liberty”. Great joy was had selecting some ornate upholstering material from the huge range of superb cloth available in Liberty’s speciality range.

The whole organisation of Liberty’s huge store and the magnificent quality of goods offered was quite daunting. Janet & I spent quite some time in that magnificent place…..and Janet has a plan to select a stylish period chair when we get back to NZ and create a masterpiece by covering it with the ***** bought from Liberty.

In York, beautiful ancient, York. A garrison town for the Romans, walled and once defended against the marauding Picts and Scots…is now preserved as a delightful and functional, modern city whilst retaining the grandeur, majesty and presence of its magnificent past.

Whilst exploring in York, Janet and I found ourselves mixing with the multitude in the narrow medieval streets paved with ancient rock cobbles and lined with beautifully preserved Tudor structures resplendent in whitewash panel and weathered, black timber brace. With dusk falling, we were drawn to wild violins and the sound of stamping feet….an emanation from within the doors of an old, burgundy coloured pub…. “The Three Legged Mare”.

Fortified, with a glass of Bushmills in hand, we joined the multitude of stomping, singing people. Rousing to the percussion of the Irish drum, the wild violin and the deep resonance of the cello, guitars and accordion…..The beautiful sound of tenor voices harmonising to the magic of a lilting Irish lament.

We stayed there for an hour or two, enchanted by the spontaneity of it all, the sheer native talent of the expatriates celebrating their heritage and their culture in what was really, a beautiful evening of colour, music and Ireland.

Onward, across the moors, we revelled in the great outcrops of metamorphic rock, the expanses of flat heather covering the tops which would, in the chill of Autumn, become a spectacular swath of vivid mauve floral carpet. On these lonely tracts of narrow road, winding through the washes and the escarpments, the motorbike boys wheeled by us in screaming pursuit of each other, beautiful machines heeling over at impossible angles on the corners, seemingly suicidal yet careening on at breakneck pace, laughing the danger off with the utter abandon of the creed of the road warrior. Descending in to the rolling hills of the cultivated land, the latticework of, old as Methuselah, massive dry built stone fences patterning the contours in a checker board of ancient pastoral order. The glorious soft greens of early summer deciduous forest, the yellow fields of mustard flower moving in the breeze and above, the bluest of skies with contrails of ever present high flung jets winging to distant places.

Britain has a flavour. Antiquity is evidenced everywhere, there is a sense of old, restrained pride. A richness of spirit and a depth of character right throughout the populace. Britain has confidence in itself, its future, its continuity. The people are pleasant, resilient and thoroughly likeable. They laugh a lot and are very easy to admire.

With its culture, its wonderful history, its great Monarchy and its haunting, ever present beauty, everywhere you care to look….The Britain of today is, indeed, a class act.

We both loved it here Steven…and we will return.

M.

Hamilton, New Zealand

21 June 2018
Dedicated with love to my two comrades in arms and poets supreme.....Victoria and Martin.
You were just as I imagined you would be.
M.
Ozioma Ogbaji Apr 2015
Like the heavens and the skies
Like the deep seas so wide
When I am confident and true
When I have faith in you
Colour me blue, colour me blue

Like the royals of Great Britain
Like the noble in truth and ambition
In my wisdom, dignity and pride
In my mystery and grandeur so wise
Colour me purple, colour me purple

Like fire and blood
Like the intensity of a flood
In my strength and passion
In my desire, love and emotion
Colour me red, colour me red

Like the warmth of the tropics
Like the sun, my daily tonic
When I am determined and creative
When I am happy and attractive
Colour me orange, colour me orange

Like a smile so warm
Like joy even in a storm
When I am cheerful and happy
In my intellect, when I am savvy
Colour me yellow, colour me yellow

When I am all these and more
When I am despised or adored
With the colours of the rainbow
With the colours that make me glow
Colour me colours, colour me colours
anastasiad Oct 2016
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Harry Roberts Jul 2018
Great Old Britain, What A Joke,
Made Our Wealth Off Of Black People's Backs,
Whips & Lashes, Tongue Tastes Of Ashes.

Ever After War,
We Use Them For More,
While Giving Them Less,
But Ulcers & Stress.

"We Will Deport Their Children." Now That Is An Insult!
Home Office From May To Rudd,
Hostile Environment Now That Is Pure Mud.

They Are Us & We Are Them, They're Are British You're Just Phlegm.

Politicians Just Make Me Spew,
You May Not Care!
But What If That's You?
What If That Mum,
What If That's Gran, I'd Set The Country Alight & Watch As They Ran!

I'd Turn The Streets Into Rage,
We'll Write A New Page,
Begin A New Age,
We'll Set A New Stage.

Wealthy White Corpses,
Buried In Orchards,
Peace Out Of Turmoil,
Released From This Coil.
Harry Roberts - Great Old Britain © 27/07/18

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