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That small spark,
Once nothing more than a thought
In the atoms of the Earth

A pulse of being,
Aware of nothing else than
Her mother’s love

With time she grows
In the eternal deep,
Knowing not her gruesome fate

That one day,
Spelling her lifetime’s eternity,
She is torn and discarded

The only other she ever knew
Feared or disdained her
And saw not the beauty of her light

321,384 souls
Poets, mothers and heroes,
A number in the dark
Amidst the hordes, such mighty wroth:
my bloodline doth elate.
Posterity hath, though, borne aloft
my banner as the Great.

Springing forth my namesake there,
outhewn from Hellas’ opal,
that city which was brought to bear:
her name Constantinople.

For years to pass there was beholden
Thy glory all so clear.
The Great City’s holy site, golden:
there stood Hagia Sophia.

Therein however I bade Thee
to grant portent or sign.
Thou didst forsooth bequeath to me
one sacred and divine.

I stand upon the ever-brink,
Rome’s beauty lies thereunder.
Thy truth through me starteth to sink,
it striketh me like thunder.

The sun blindeth my weary eyes
as I gaze over yonder;
whereupon thou revealest me:
In this sign, you will conquer.
Emperor Constantine I, or the Great, was the first Roman Emperor to legalise Christianity, and did himself convert. It was also he who named Constantinople.

The Chi-Rho (☧) is a famous Christian symbol that was revealed to Saint Constantine in a dream. It is comprised of the first two letters of 'Christ' in Greek (ΧΡ). Therewith, in that dream, Constantine heard the message: "In this sign, you will conquer," as my last verse refers to!
Thine ever-faithful children born
Amidst thy mirthful knoll and lawn,
Rippling rivers, bubbling brook,
Known in tale and glee and book.

Made up of kith and kin alike,
Bridling horse or riding bike.
Be it by lake or under tree,
This people surely known to Thee.

Folk which temper from hewn rock,
Few have known more hardened stock,
Though brother-wars and streams of blood,
They fought gale and raging flood.

To whom owe we our yore so long?
Carved buildings and pretty song,
A stead of kings and noble lords,
Standing firm with swords and boards.

From glacial seas of Northern hearths,
To scorching plains and bloodied sparths.
Traditions range from meal and brick,
Tilling soil and healing sick.

Rich glories befall this folk,
Crafting metal, stone and yoke.
Humble start of pain and ill,
Overcome by might of will.

Where does it end, our precious land?
Warding foes from sea and sand.
Those granted gifts from bloodied mitts,
Forebears strengthened by their wits.

In many ways those heroes fell,
Sharpened axe or fired shell.
Unmatched fury in the soul,
Evelandish men with rage like coal.

Stand once again, O noble folk
Let not this foe thee string and choke.
Recall the glory of thy yore,
Richest lord or begging poor.

My Europa, ever-Queen,
Snowy peaks and hilltops green.
A thousand tongues which touch thine ears
Ripened over untold years.

So all tales come to be,
Yore’s unending symphony.
Taking in its last drawn breath,
No mighty cry... but silent death.
Those outstretched arms upon the Cross
beckon to you their embrace;
not as a thrall loth to return to cruel master,
but as a child fain towards his father!

Howsoever far we fall from the path,
the yearning of nail-pierced hands calls.
Amidst hateful sin and wrothfulness,
we comprehend not such unwarranted mercy.
Inspired by Kristin Lavransdatter.
A battalion stationed off France,
Were commanded when to advance.
But one would tell
Of his living hell
As his comrades littered the expanse.
Hello, my dear friend.
We meet once again;
a unique sting of longing
do you never fail to produce in me.

St Leonard's red monolith
stands atop Church Street Hill;
ever a friendly face before night's backdrop,
oddly menacing in the artificial light.

The two churches rise as we approach,
over the bridge which begot your name.
St Mary's stares longingly towards the other;
St Leonard's stands warden looking ahead.

We swing past The George;
those same folk are ever making merry.
Though their hair ever greys and thins,
the same can't be said of their love of mirth and ale.

Up Squirrel Bank; it feels steeper each time.
The Bell and Talbot has changed hands so often,
its once merry hall now sits doubtingly,
sheltering a few with stories of their own.

I'm back in my home; the silence is deafening.
The hearth is cool, no-one is in;
a chilling reminder of days gone by,
before we grew elder, seeking thrill far from your eye's reach.

I've breathed in the freshness of your fields;
I've felt your soil upon my face,
your water up to my knees,
and your birdsong in my ears.

I know not how many more years you will be 'home',
but by name or by heart, you always will be.
I've seen your warts and all of your sorrows,
but you, sweet Bridgnorth, will I always love.
Herregud, jeg påkaller Deg.
Jeg ber Deg om ikke noe stort
eller noe som endrer verdens evighet.

Jeg ber Deg om å rense min sjel,
og føre meg til det gode, omgitt av
en verden hvori jeg angrer meget.

Jeg ber Deg om å dyrke min tro
slik at jeg dyrker Deg på den måten
som fortjenes og trenges.

Jeg ber Deg særlig om å forsyne
min slekt med helse og nåde,
selv om ikke alle innser Ditt ansikts lys.

Men mitt siste ønske ber jeg mest innvilges;
jeg ber Deg om å tilgi oss alle, Herregud,
Freds Prins, i all Din herlighet.

Led alle Dine falne barn
inn i Din evige tilstedeværelse.
The Thompson’s youngest son Mark,
Really was quite a bright spark.
His family cried
When they heard that he died,
In a trench alone in the dark.
Have you ever looked into an old man’s eyes
as he ****** himself in his broken wheelchair,
quivering from the cold under a shop canopy
and all you have to offer him is some carrot soup?

That sheepish smile is the worst, when it’s time to leave.
You’ve given him an old beanie, maybe a cup of coffee with no sugar.
What do you say? See you soon? Have a nice evening?
You’re disabled and sleeping in your own ***** tonight.

Perhaps you've heard the ramblings of a mentally-ill stranger
shouting loud nothings at passers-by; incoherent, confused;
He's emaciated, with an empty coffee cup in his withered hands
carrying but a single 2 pence piece to his estate.

Some of these chaps even leave their sandwiches to go rotten.
See, if it’s rotten, you’ll get sick,
and then you can’t be ignored
because your ***** is making the pavement stink.

That mentally ill fellow, he sits outside Tesco’s every night,
sitting up against a lamppost laden with stickers:
“Smash the Patriarchy”;
“No country for white men”.

The Women’s March goes straight past his sleeping bag;
this example of human detritus means nothing to them
but for the smell it produces and the rats it attracts;
I imagine it'd put me off my macchiato too.

Maybe you deserve it; your eyes are blue and your skin is white;
You're out there in winter-time at 02:06
and I don't know if we'll meet again.

Sorry I couldn’t do more, my friends.
O humble woman,
A gift to behold.
Her caress a cure,
Her nature a smile,
While the world rages.

Often it's said
No love can be
Like that of a mother;
A timeless truth
For all to bear.

It is to you our Maker
gave life-bearing might.
Turn not your back
on your greatest gift
and suffer bitter loneliness.

O woman, sold a lie,
A venomous creed,
pitted against your true self:
A joy in cruelty,
A strength in adversity.

No, my lady, you are not God
You are not the light in darkness,
Nor an idol to bid and worship.
You are though something of outstanding importance:
A woman, a mother, the giver of Life.
"Brothers will fight one another
and **** one another.
Cousins will break peace
with one another.
The world will be a hard place to live in.

"…an age of the axe, an age of the sword,
an age of storms, an age of wolves.
Shields will be cloven."

Brothers fought one another
and killed one another.
Cousins broke peace
with one another.
The world was a hard place to live in.

But this is no battlefield of
gods and men
Nor triumph over fell beast
and the splitting of shields.

This is the exploding shell
down cobbled streets of old;
of thatched roofs ablaze,  
the ashen ruin of hearth and abode;
The weeping eye of Theotokos
in Ragnarǫk’s gaze.

Two decades before;
football on Christmas morn’.
'Stille Nacht' from the trench,
that soothing tune.

Giving of gifts and handshakes
And smiles in between,
When it first dawned upon you:
You were brothers.
Vǫluspá in the Poetic Edda details the mythological Norse end of the world; Verse 44 constitutes the introduction of my poem.
Stå fram, du, som skjules i mørket.
Stå fram inn i verden.
Det kan være uhyggelig;
Det kan være urolig;
Det kan oppvekke gru innafor deg
som du ikke visste var til;
Det kan føles som om jordas lunger
puster deg inn og spytter deg ut;
Men sånt har det alltid vært.

En vismann har sagt før:
Syn uten handling er kun en drøm.
Handling uten syn fordriver tiden.
Syn med handling kan forandre verden.

Reis deg opp; ta på livet, grip tilværelse,
møt folk, snakk språk, drøm sagn,
bygg ting, slå deg ned, få barn,
les, gråt, le, rop, løp, hopp, ta feil, gå deg vill;
så blir ekte tilfredstillelse til.
Sitatet er av Joel A Barker.
The dust will gather on beaten forge
which crafted hardened steel.
Even hardest blade it gorged,
but all forget the Blacksmith.

Rooted deep in township’s yore
with a trade of kings and conquest.
Upon him once relied your lore,
but all forget the Blacksmith.

Leathered hands, up night and day
with visage of steel and focus.
Sparks will reign and fly and spray,
but all forget the Blacksmith.

But when your steed wears down his hooves
or your gate-posts starts to splinter,
you’ll be found needing hardened grooves;
you won’t forget the Blacksmith.

For it is he who works all day
And keep the townsfolk working.
If you need hardship kept at bay,
Don’t forget the Blacksmith.
When I sit among the oaken seats
surrounded by Your endless faithful,
the angelic choir in my ear,
incense cleansing my soul of woe,
I am there. I am there beneath
Your golden altar presiding, steadfast;
I am there. I am there feeling that same spirit
that has endured for millennia and imbued the souls of
our greatest writers, our greatest poets,
our most beautiful songs, our most saintly people,
and our drive for charity which
no force of evil in the world can ever, ever undo.

I sit there in awe, astonishment and fear,
as Your humble and quaking servant
raises Your True Body and Blood to the heavens;
You are among us!
Not riding in a chariot of gold nor bearing an ivory crown,
nor in flaming glory nor terrible thunder,
but amongst the sick of heart, the poor of soul,
the vain of face and the dreadful of mind.

It is then when I hear those chanted words
from the mouth of Your servant,
whatever tongue of men they be uttered in,
that I come to fully understand Your unchanging core:

"Through Him and with Him and in Him,
O God, almighty Father, in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
all glory and honour is Yours,
forever and ever. Amen."

The goosebumps upon my skin,
the shiver down my spine,
the sideward glance to your tearful faithful;
my own eyes brimming amidst such wonder.
Looming over deep dug dale
with wending fjord below,
the Pulpit Rock stands over all
in Norway's chilling snow.

A sunny day it was that time
when I fared with my kin.
Up the Pulpit Rock we marched,
met with glory's din.

Imagine now, a cloudless sky
with sapphire blue abounding;
folk from far and wide had come;
the beauty was astounding.

That ancient Northern land in front,
home to the god of thunder.
Though sweat dripped from our weary brow,
we stood and basked in wonder.

So if you've never hiked that way,
you're in for quite a shock.
You'll find a world beyond your own
upon the Pulpit Rock.
There was a young man from Gibraltar,
Whose loyalty never did falter,
A wince of despair
And pain filled the air
As his coffin was brought to the altar
See your gathered people,
Huddled in a house of stone
clad in bloom.
A chilled aura
lit by candle light.
Ef veröldin vissi að hve miklu leyti
þú þjáðist á krossinum þínum,
myndi trú hjá oss brenna eins og þúsund sólir.

Þeir munu aldrei þekkja
þyrnana sem stungu í þig,
eða hvössu flísarnar sem brunnu á bakinu.

Jafnvel þú, Drottinn vor,
spurðir Föðurinn af hverju;
Æ, sjáðu ekki vort trúleysi!

Fyrirgef þú oss syndugum mönnum;
veit þú oss þína miskunn;
börnin þín erum týnd;
þó ég allra týndastur.

— The End —