The Bout

Bare knuckles – whelps and bruises make,

No Ali dancing, but standing firm – His ground he takes –

Pugilistic warrior –

His honour and the prince’s forty thousand at stake –

Crowds of ten thousand, surround the ring –

Where neither George nor Daniel, but Richard is king.



Based on the second Mendoza-Humphries fight of 9 January 1788.

Daily Writing Prompt





Bird of Knowing

Idiophone: Bird of Prophecy (ahianmwen-oro)
16th–19th century (CC0)

Ahianmwen-oro – Messenger Bird,

The sound of you shaken –

Brings prophetic word.

In ritual acts, you bring from the sky,

Glimpses of the fate – empowering the king –

His people to bond, and even time – to defy.

With ceremony and trust –

The rhythmic bronze bird –

Helps shape history –

As its people are stirred.




Daily Writing Prompt: Ahianmwen-oro

Museum Link




Spring Before Summer’s Untimely Fall


Oh rounded hill, springtime greet –

You are so unprepared for what your wooded slopes –

So soon shall meet –

For centuries, you have welcomed spring and summer’s sun –

Quiet blossoms, and shoots of green –

Seldom visited by man – a never his gun.

Hold onto the memory of this warm, sunlit day

Let it it overshadow recollection of the coming fray.

Oh Pennsylvanian hill – weep-

For the men of  Alabama and Maine,

Whose life-blood shall spill –

Leaving you never the same.




Teresa Grabs’ Daily Writing Prompt today is a painting of a peaceful springtime hillside.  It immediately reminded me of depictions of Gettysburg’s Little Round Top.  The stones, and trees are very similar to the location used in the 1993 Ronald Maxwell film, Gettysburg to shoot “Chamberlain’s Charge.”  I have added links to some other paintings of The Little Round Top, and I have let the combination of all of these images flow into this poem.


Painting 1

Painting 2

Painting 3





Wild Country

Bison Near Kelly Wyoming, Bison, Nature


Wild country –

Barren land –

Sweeping grasses –

Untouched by man.


The wagons roll,

Across the wide prairie –

Keen eyed scouts –

Of dangers wary.


Intrepid settlers –

New lives to make –

Establishing their homesteads –

With plough and rake.


Soon this land –

Settled –

Will be wild –

No more.


(44 Words)




dVerse: Quadrille #96: Wild Monday







Duet about a Duo: Knopfler and Taylor Sailing to Philadelphia

Sea, Lake, Water, Ocean, Ship


This week’s Song Lyric Sunday challenged us to write about a duet.

In 1763 Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon were appointed to survey the boundary between the colonies of Pennsylvania and Maryland.  Their survey became the symbolic border between the northern and southern American states and their ideologies.

In 2000 Mark Knopfler (a Geordie like Mason) and James Taylor released their song about the pair of adventurers.


I am Jeremiah Dixon
I am a Geordie Boy
A glass of wine with you, sir
And the ladies I’ll enjoy
All Durham and Northumberland
Is measured up by my own hand
It was my fate from birth
To make my mark upon the earth
He calls me Charlie Mason
A stargazer am I
It seems that I was born
To chart the evening sky
They’d cut me out for baking bread
But I had other dreams instead
This baker’s boy from the west country
Would join the Royal Society
We are sailing to Philadelphia
A world away from the coaly Tyne
Sailing to Philadelphia
To draw the line
The Mason-Dixon line
Now you’re a good surveyor, Dixon
But I swear you’ll make me mad
The West will kill us both
You gullible Geordie lad
You talk of liberty
How can America be free
A Geordie and a baker’s boy
In the forest of the Iroquois
Now hold your head up, Mason
See America lies there
The morning tide has raised
The capes of Delaware
Come up and feel the sun
A new morning is begun
Another day will make it clear
Why your stars should guide us here
We are sailing to Philadelphia
A world away from the coaly Tyne
Sailing to Philadelphia
To draw the line
The Mason-Dixon line



Imperious He Stands

Egypt, Pharaoh, Ramses, Old, Monument

Image by Maatkare from Pixabay 

Imperious he stands,

Master of the lands,

Above all – who fall beneath his gaze.


Born to power and privilege

All bow before is visage

The very sight of his splendour does amaze.


There is really none that doubt

That he deserves all his clout

And none would withhold from him their praise.


For he – palace born

Bringer of dusk and morn

Illuminates all with his divinely given rays.


Master of peace and war

From river to delta shore

Powerful enough to set whole worlds ablaze.


With false beard upon his jaw

His very word – becomes the law

So all strain to catch his each and every phrase.


Where e’er Pharaoh does stride

Whether in Memphis or countryside

His wishes are fulfilled without delays.




Weekend Writing Prompt #141 – Imperious: in 123 words













The Big Picture

imageedit_1_2366321278 (1).jpg

Image: Padre’s Ramblings

It is the beginning of a new year, and it hold many opportunities and mysteries.  But it isn’t always easy to gain perspective on events as we are experiencing them.  Despite the year’s name, it is the past which actual offers us that 20/20 perspective.  “The Big Picture,” if you will.   OFMARIAANTONIA‘s photo challenges for this year include one entitled, “Big Picture”  I have attached one such Big Picture from Guernica in the Basque Country in Spain.

This image by Pablo Picasso was his response to the Fascist bombing of the town during the Spanish Civil War.  The original oil painting measures 3.49 meters (11 ft 5 in) in height and 7.76 meters (25 ft 6 in) across.  Though huge, the meaning of the painting is perhaps even bigger.  It was painted to raise money for war relief and to bring the world’s attention to the atrocities being committed in the conflict.

Franco’s Fascist government with the aid of the Nazi Condor Legion attacked the Basque capital on 26 April 1937 during market day thus insuring maximum civilian casualties and instilling psychological terror of Franco’s opponents.  The choice of target was calculated on several levels.  First, the aforementioned psychological impact was evident.  But Guernica also symbolised democracy, as the fiercely independent Basque people had their ancient parliament in the town.

The attached photo is of a tile reproduction of Picasso’s work which has been erected in the town as a reminder of the Guernica’s past, and of the consequences of democracy being eclipsed by dictatorship.  That is truly, a “Big Picture,” to remember.





Peace On Earth, Good Will To Men

As it was in the American Civil War, and many other conflicts as well, the First World War began with the expectations of “it will all be over by Christmas.”  But as the winter of 1914 closed in, the European conflict had entered stalemate with both alliances bogged down into trench warfare.

In the midst of this there was a moment of hope with the unofficial “Christmas Truce” of 1914.  This event has become part of the popular perception of the war, and it has featured in popular culture in such films as the 2005 Joyeux Noel.  

I am not a great fan of commercialised Christmas, but one of the most outstanding television advertisements I have ever seen is the 2014 Sainsbury’s Supermarket ad.  I have posted it below, and believe it really does capture a bit of the spirit of Christmas – Peace on Earth, and good will to me.



The Pump: A Haibun


Steam Engine

steam engine

The Industrial Revolution changed lives forever in rural Britain. Factories replaced farms, and towns eclipsed villages.   James Watt and Matthew Boulton, as well as other inventors, led the way with increasing the power available to looms and spinning frames by the use of coal produced steam.  The social changes aside, the cost to the environment is ongoing.

If James Watt had known
The pump’s carbon legacy
Would he have it made?


Heeding Haiku With Chèvrefeuille, November 27th 2019, steam engine