Category Archives: history

Cocky Young Meno – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

Teachable – Word of the Day

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Image: lounge.obviousmag.org   A bust of Plato

Cocky Young Meno

Meno strutting in Athens with entourage
sycophant of Gorgias
that overblown sophist and Socratic doubter,
Plato counter-posed you
in a double counter play
of the virtue of virtue
how innate, how not,
and you were confused
a mere child caught in
a permanent aporia,
but Socrates,
dear, tragic Socrates
showed you the way,
to search for that which
we do not know.

©Paul Vincent Cannon

Note: Plato wrote ‘Meno’ as a Socratic piece, a dialogue between Meno and Socrates. Meno is young and believes he is accomplished and clever, but Socrates proves him to be confused and lacking. Meno was also a mercenary who became involved with Cyrus the 2nd’s attempt to take the Persian throne from Artaxerxes, Cyrus was killed and Meno and other generals captured, all but Meno were beheaded. And I quip, at least he kept his head that time. The poem is really an elegy for Socrates who taught Meno a lesson.

 

Paul, pvcann.com

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Filed under Free Verse, history, life, philosophy, poem

Invitation – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

Spike – dVerse Poets Quadrille 75

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Photo: healthwealthhappiness.com.au  Himalayan Spikenard

 

 

Invitation

Solomon
threw wisdom out the window
just for a moment
as he lay with the woman from Shulem
who came to him in the night
naked, spiced,
sweet to taste,
whose garden,
that holy of holies,
was pure spikenard
fragrance of invitation
to explore.

©Paul Vincent Cannon

 

Note: This poem references Song of Songs variously known as The Canticle, Canticle of Solomon, Song of Solomon, etc. which is part of the Jewish canon (from the scrolls of the Tanakh). The Song of Songs (holy of holies) is a poetic tribute to erotic love focussing on Solomon and an unnamed woman from Shulem. Solomon names her physical parts and she reciprocates, poetically, spikenard being the penultimate aroma of the vagina, or as Solomon says, her channel, or, her garden.

 

Paul, pvcann.com

 

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Filed under Free Verse, history, love, poem, Quadrille, Sex

The Longest Walk – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

Walk – RDP Saturday

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Photo: The Hull River, NT, usually a dry river, but a raging torrent if heavy rains come, behind me is Lasseter’s Cave.

 

The Longest Walk

Days of dehydrated confusion
heat boiling my blood
the camels had bolted
their pegs loosed and broken
and only the Pitjantjatjara people
knew what to do,
they led me along the Hull River
to the Tjunti soak
and put me in a cave
shaded, watered, and fed,
Old Wart watched over me
while the old women brought me food.
But that reef is calling
and I’m so fevered for gold,
barely able to stand
I set off yet again
driven, determined,
maddened,
but little did I know, though,
in my bones I sensed it,
this next short walk
would be my longest.

©Paul Vincent Cannon

 

Note: Lasseter, who alleged that at 17 yrs he’d found a 16 km gold reef in the outback, came to grief on his expedition in 1931 to reestablish its whereabouts. His companions were away and he was alone when his camels spooked and bolted, taking the water and food with them. The local indigenous found him nearly dead, and cared for him, laying him up in a small cave on the Hull river. Weakened, he set off on foot again, walking 55 kms eastwards and collapsed and died. He was 51 yrs old.

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Filed under bush walking, Country, Free Verse, history, life, poem

There Was No Donkey – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

Royal – Word of the Day

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Photo: unsplash.com  – a Classic Royal Enfield

There Was No Donkey

They set off from Nazareth
where love always hurts,
and it did because Mary was pregnant
and not yet married,
it was complicated,
as life always is,
but tongues wagged nonetheless.
The overlords were holding a census,
typical bureaucrats,
and so to Bethlehem they were headed
to be registered.
But there was no donkey,
cept on Christmas cards,
as poetic licensing can do.
No, this child to be,
of royal blood,
deserved a true steed,
so Joseph kick-started
an Enfield so Royal,
they made it to the inn by supper,
and all were in awe,
even the angels.

©Paul Vincent Cannon

Paul, pvcann.com

42 Comments

Filed under Free Verse, history, poem, religion

I Hope Someone Remembers – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

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Photo: https://media.iwm.org.uk/ciim5/36/103/large_000000.jpg

A World War 1 trench, not quite the Hyatt, Hilton or whatever, way beyond my experience.

I Hope Someone Remembers

Trenches could not be loved,
they were open tombs,
flooded, muddied, with
congealed wire garlands and
sodden timber treads,
and the stench of the living dead all round,
their sunken eyes testimony to
the glue of resignation and guilt.
Our feet blackened for love of country,
our minds already lost
in battles of their own,
Dante’s Inferno come to life,
with the sting of gas and metallic chatter,
always the thudding, crumping, shells
that shake our bones
and reshape our vision.
Our thoughts occasionally turn to
going home, could it be?
But that thought is scotched
as machine guns lace the air,
and the referee’s whistle calls play,
all the while the unrelenting cries
of death and pain rain down.
No more to hold a hand or taste her lips,
no more to cup her breast or hold her close,
what chance of laughter, to share life’s joys?
But then I dare not think of her,
such thoughts have no place here,
they could hold me in this tomb.
The whistle resounds,
my bayonet gleams,
a macabre accessory,
one I may yet wear.
Ladders ready,
up we go,
king and country,
I hope someone remembers us.

©Paul Vincent Cannon

 

Paul,

pvcann.com

49 Comments

Filed under Free Verse, history, life, war

Leap Of Faith – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

Effigy – Word of the Day

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Photo: listverse.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com

Guy Fawkes effigy. If you remember 🙂 the gunpowder plot set for the 5th November, 1605 when parliament was due to be opened by James the 1st of England & 6th of Scotland, by a group of Catholics who wanted to end the persecution of Catholics in England. This was during the period of the Reformation in England and there were strict laws governing any expression of the Christian faith other than that authorised by parliament, and the Catholic Church was very hemmed in by regulation. The architect of the plot was Robert Catesby. The plot was foiled and Fawkes was captured. Under torture he named all the plotters. All were captured and sentenced to be hung drawn and quartered. Fawkes avoided this excruciating death by jumping from the ladder for the scaffold and broke his neck and died.

The parliament named November 5 as a National Day of Thanksgiving which morphed into a bonfire night, and later fireworks were added to round out the Gunpowder Plot aspect.  Fawkes was never burned, though others at that time were, but bonfire night caught on nonetheless. The question in my mind is do people get what it was about, and do they understand the reason for the plot? Not only that, the pure barbarism to hang draw and quarter? I’m not one to support murder, but nor am I one to support state sanctioned torture or murder either.

Leap of Faith

How did it come to this?
That you would cease to breathe this day,
your body smashed and broken,
your heart and passion gone.
That you dreamed of freedom,
believed for better,
for rights held by others,
but not by you or yours.
You were squeezed for servitude,
under those who looked down on you.
A king was your hopeful prize,
your evening bulletin,
but in truth he was an effigy of ill,
and your surprise was sprung against you,
then the scaffolding was strung.
Yet you beat the plot against you,
and found your freedom at last,
as you left the ladder of doom.
Centuries would pass before
freedom came to yours,
now I see you everywhere,
not least on tindered heaps,
more in the masks of dissent,
where freedom is eroding,
and we must leap the ladder
of protest once again.

©Paul Vincent  Cannon

Paul,

pvcann.com

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Filed under Free Verse, history, poem, politics

The Dragon

Enthralling – Word of the Day

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Last week we spent a couple of days on the wildflower run, and at Leda Reserve, apart from the stunning array of flowers I was enthralled with this gem as well, a gargoyle perched on a rock – can you see it too? This one was clearly sent to protect Leda.

 

The Dragon

La Gargouille, terror of Rouen,
you lost your head When Romanus made the sign,
and now you sit in judgement of your kin,
though, instead of fire, you spout water,
La Gargouille, protector of Rouen.

©Paul Vincent Cannon

 

 

Note: Gargoyles date back to ancient Egypt, but the term gargoyle comes from the dragon slaying story of c. 600 AD where the priest Romanus captures the Dragon –  La Gargouille, which was terrorising the town of Rouen, and the villagers cut off its head and burn it at the stake. However the head wouldn’t burn, so instead they place Gargouille’s head on the church to ward off evil and warn other dragons to stay away.

Paul,

pvcann.com

31 Comments

Filed under bush walking, Country, Five Lines, history, Mythology, poetry

Read Your Maille

Panoply – RDP

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Photo: http://www.medievalfantasieco.com

 

Read Your Maille

Complete,
needing no one,
guarding every fibre of your being,
impenetrable,
your body chained,
protected against the words
that might one day creep under your maille,
and steal your distance,
bring you close
and expose the wound of love
you cannot bear to feel.

©Paul Vincent Cannon

 

Note: Chainmail is derived from the French ‘Maille’ which is in turn derived from the Latin ‘Macula’ (meaning mesh or net). Chainmail is thought to have been invented by the Celts before the 5th century AD.

 

Paul,

pvcann.com

13 Comments

Filed under history, life, love, poetry, Quadrille

The Clock Has Tocked

Exemplary – Word of the Day

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Rachel Carson (1907 – 64) (Photo: post-gazette.com) Carson was a marine scientist whose most known public work was “Silent Spring” (1962), a clarion call for humanity to address their impact on nature. In particular, Silent Spring is an investigation into pesticides. Carson wrote: “They should not be called “insecticides” but “biocides.” Rachel Carson, Silent Spring, p. 189.

“We stand now where two roads diverge. But unlike the roads in Robert Frost’s familiar poem , they are not equally fair. The road we have long been travelling is deceptively easy, a smooth superhighway on which we progress with great speed, but at its end lies disaster. The other fork of the road – the one less travelled by – offers our last, our only chance to reach a destination that assures the preservation of the earth.” Rachel Carson, Silent Spring p. 277.

Carson was an exemplar of both environmental awareness and activism as a scientist and writer.

 

The Clock Has Tocked

The old grandfather clock in the hallway is ticking,
but there’s no one to note the passing of the hour,
they’re everywhere else in this big old house,
in rooms of self,
halls of bustle,
where the carpets are dusty and threadbare,
the varnish no longer present to the wood,
and the paint so sallow.
Things should have been fixed long ago,
but our will wasn’t urgent to the task.
Grandad’s monocle popped when the quotes came in,
and we gave up,
preferring the pleasured, anaesthetised life.
Had we ventured to the hallway,
and listened closely,
we’d have known that the clock had tocked its last.
The eleventh hour cried to us,
but we mocked its melodrama,
and bargained that Chronos would let us slide,
and all the while our house is falling,
falling down upon us.

©Paul Vincent Cannon

Paul,

pvcann.com

28 Comments

Filed under chemicals, environment, history, life, Link, mindfulness, nature, poetry, quote, Science

Divine Humour

Peddler – Word of the Day

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Source: flickr.com  A street peddler in Istanbul.

 

Divine Humour

The smell of sulphur fills the air,
bell, book and candle won’t help you now,
the devil incarnate roams the streets,
seductively peddling false hope, old ways, more tax.
Been like that since the ancient of days laughed and said
“Let them try democracy.”

©Paul Vincent Cannon

 

Paul,

pvcann.com

8 Comments

Filed under Alt-Religion, history, life, Philosophy/Theology, poetry, politics, Quadrille