The Sphinx 

Pharaohs, conquerors come and go but the Sphinx remains….

The Sphinx 


I lie upon the arid sand,

A relic from an ancient land.

One face,

Many names

Khafre,

Horus on the horizon,

Father of terror.

My secrets are my own,

Such secrets unknown,

Hidden.

I’ve seen it all,

Mighty men,

Would be gods,

Kings,

Conquerors,

Keeping power by majesty, sword and gun.

Iron men easily corrode.

I lie upon the sands,

I gaze and smile,

Adored by those 

From beyond the banks of the Nile.

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Princeps

Not a King,

An actor upon a newly marble stage.

Divi Filius,

Adopted by Uncle Julius,

Caesar

But what’s in a name?

Made divine,

Constant with the annual passing of time,

Eighth of Twelve.

An actor needs a costume,

Armour makes way for priestly robes.

Warrior now builds bridges.

No to Rex,

He shall be instead

Princeps.

Union

Why should I be sad on my wedding day?

The bells ring, the people of Auld Reekie say

Was it James who said to Westminster,

You the husband, she is the bride,

She the Mrs, you the mister.
Why not marry,

For long we have tarried.

For a century, we have courted,

One King,

A flag of red white and blue flown atop ships,

Scottish stories on English lips.
Paranoia drove necessary action,

Fear over succession or invasion,

Taking the throne from a brother 

to promise to a distant cousin.
Not a love match,

But a dynastic match,

Strategy over romance you see,

When Anne takes her daughter to the altar

To do her duty.

‘I will grow to love you,’ the groom does say,

‘I promise to honour love and obey’

Despite the promise of a new birth,

Why is she sad on her wedding day?

   
 

Poem: Union Jack

I’m writing a series of poems about the Stuarts and how their dynasty helped create for better or worse the Britain we have today. Here is a shape poem, called Union Jack.

  

Hidden chamber

With the presence of new hidden chambers detected in Tutankhamun’s tomb, here is my poem influenced by Tutertiti fever! 

Hidden chamber 

What will be behind that door,

Sealed with painted plaster for 3000 years or more,

Papyrus rolls,

Hieroglyphs 

to dispel entrenched myths.

Necklaces of carnelian

Gold amulets and signet rings

A multitude of wonderful things?

Perhaps the body of a lost queen

A chamber pristine?

A tomb within a tomb,

A divine teen with his stepmother queen,

What will be behind that door?

Piercing the Veil. 90 years since Tut’s discovery

To commemorate the 90th anniversary of the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb by Howard Carter, I’ve written verse about the thrill of discovery.

Piercing the veil

We shone a light into the tomb,
Piercing the antique veil of gloom,
The candle begins to flicker, flicker, flicker,
Curiosity made our hearts beat quicker, quicker,
At first we saw nothing, nothing,
But then something,
Strange shadows danced upon the walls,
Animals, men silent sentinels of the underworld
then the warm glow of gold,
Everywhere the glint of gold,
In that one second we crossed centuries,
Millennia,
In that one glimpse we entered an ancient world.
We lifted the shroud,
We pierced the veil.

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My defence of my history education- Pre GOVE!

 Writing in the Daily Telegraph on Thursday, Michael Gove lamented the absence in the curriculum of figures such as Winston Churchill, Florence Nightingale and Horatio Nelson, and he wants more “facts” in England’s national curriculum, as he launches a review of what children are taught- http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-12227491 .

He called the current curriculum was “sub-standard” – Mr Gove, I beg to differ. At high school in history we studied many things ranging from the Middle Ages, the Tudors, Slavery, Industrial Revolution and the cold war. We did a depth study on Germany bewteen the wars and saw first hand how people can be manipulated by media, by fear into believing a horrid racial ideology that culminated in the Holocaust. We learned about how in Britain at the early 20th century, the suffragettes gained the vote, and how in the 16th century how the reformation created religious turmoil for many people.

A theme running through all of these is the lives of ORDINARY people, of how they influenced change and how they were caught up in it. To me this is a more valuable history than solely learning about so called IMPORTANT figures such as Churchill and Nightingale. To me, learning about the treaties after WW1 is vital due to its consequences which still plague us today (the middle east, the Balkans etc).

I urge you Mr Gove, do NOT sacrifice such a rich story in favour of teaching solely about so called important figures. These issues such as ideology, nationalism and equality still have relevance in todays world and by learning about the above aspects of history has allowed me and will allow others a greater understanding of the owrld around them and how it was shaped. I went on a history trip to Auschwitz and I witnessed a place that bore witness to how evil humanity and hatred can be. THOSE WHO DON’T LEARN FROM THEIR HISTORY ARE DOOMED TO REPEAT IT!

You wish to change,

Change the way we learn,

Change the things we learn,

To you dates and figures reign supreme,

Nelson, churchill on their pedastals reign supreme.

What about how we fought for fairness, for equality,

How our neighbours were enslaved by ideology, theology,

Intertwinned we are, their story is our story, is also YOUR story,

He who forgets is doomed to repeat his own history!

Those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it!