Saturday, 18 June 2016

The flame so bright: a poetry post.

Since I came across Edward Spenser's epic poem, The Faerie Queene recently (it was published in 1590, which is an indidication of how far behind I am on my reading list), I've been wanting to try writing in Spenserian stanzas myself. This is my attempt. I think it's OK, obviously not on Spenser's scale (the Faerie Queene has more than 2,000 stanzas!), and I've found I really like its rhythm.  

It's focused on recent events because that's all I can think about. 

I don't like how gender binary it gets at the end. I don't like to be gender binary. In my opinion people are people and love is love. A friend was complaining about the news constantly repeating the fact that The Pulse is a gay club, as far as she's concerned that's irrelevant. If it was some tragedy like a fire, then I'd agree with her. But gender did matter to the man with the gun. Sexuality did matter. We don't have to agree with him to recognise his twisted motivation. The people murdered in Orlando were murdered because their killer didn't like the way they did gender and sexuality. Or he didn't like the way he thought they did it anyway. 

May their light keep shining. May we never forget. And may the lawmakers make changes to keep us safe. I don't claim to know anything about the people affected (other than them being people), or indeed Orlando. I've read a couple of really good blog posts on the topic this morning though, which are worth checking out. You'll find a gorgeous description of Orlando, and how the city is faring, written by Carey Sheffield, a British blogger who's moved to Orlando at Truly Madly Kids. And there's a really interesting American (pro-gun) perspective on gun ownership and assault rifles at The Other Fork in the Road.

The flame so bright

I do not do all that perhaps I could.
I don't know what to do but think of you.
For families, distraught, that is no good:
No more to see your smile, or what you'd do.
If only we could start that day anew.
He killed you. He who dared to snuff your light;
to take away the future held in you,
in name of gods or theories of the right.
There's nothing that excuses quashing flame so bright.

Go check your holy books and you will find
that life is sacred, not to be snuffed out,
neither in war nor in a peaceful time,
not for your gods nor for the lunar lout.
Enough. My thoughts may well be all for nowt.
What can my heart do 'gainst such wilfull hate?
Somebody sold that gun for coins to count.
Someone designed it to annihilate.
What chance the human heart against such mighty weight?

They say that for the bad to win the day
good people should do nothing. Stand aside.
We cannot let that happen, come what may.
And yet, what can we do to turn the tide?
To take up arms is to let hate reside
and then we find we're no better than them.
We must stand strong. Together. And with Pride, 
to start the Pulse of brotherhood again.
To falter is to fail our women and our men.

© Cara L McKee 18/6/16

Prose for Thought