The following poem, author unknown, was found on a Flashdrive preserved beneath the ruins of Old London, excavated by the Northern Nations Archaeologist Team in 2237, over two hundred years after the Great Invasion. The poem is now displayed in the Renaissance Museum as a poignant reminder of the Lost Years.
A New Creed
The sun rises, and sets, and the world turns
In the clear sky, and if I close my eyes
I can hear the birds sing their happy lie,
Though Paris has fallen, and London burns,
And in the smoke-stained streets men lie rotting,
Unburied, unshriven, easy pickings
For the Tower crows. Shakespeare and Dickens
Wouldn’t let this heartbreak be forgotten,
They would immortalise that historic
Day when our green and precious Earth, our home,
Was invaded, when, although unwelcome,
Our blue skies were darkened with great warships.
That momentous day, when all working men
Took to the streets with spades and kitchen knives
And fought to defend their homes, gave their lives
For their wives and children, fought even when
The black soldiers outnumbered them ten to
One, till they fell in lines like dominoes,
While the women wept for their dead heroes.
Then it was their turn, as the cold wind blew
Down the death-filled streets, to try and protect
Their sobbing children, the screaming babies,
To the acrid end. All died. Though maybe
There are others, like me, in this crushed, wrecked
World, who have survived. But we are scattered,
Homeless, hungry, frightened and so alone
In this alien world of death, bleached bone
And burned flesh. Our tender souls are battered
Beyond repair, suppressed. We can’t go back
To what we were. We are now a new breed
Of man, with a new goal and a new creed,
To finish the soldiers, the beasts in black.
We will fight on, no matter what the cost,
Though all is lost, and all will ever be lost.
The following poem won third prize in the Harker Prize Poetry Competition a few years ago.
Dark Figures are on the Beach
On Whitby beach, memories flicker like lightning.
The sky is grey as a first world war battleship,
The thunder its guns, firing rounds into the night.
In the dark of the ocean, the Rohilla stirs,
Taunted in her watery gaol by cruel dreams
Of the day she broke her back on the violent rocks.
The wind’s long fingers stir the sea, spin the eddies;
The currents play pick-up-stix with her aged bones
And scour her skeleton with stones and rough sand.
Rohilla lifts, murmurs, hears the melancholy
Echoes of whales and dolphins in the deep.
Suffused with sleep, she groans, calls to her waiting ghosts.
Dark figures are on the beach. They send the spider
Crabs scuttling and clicking their claws. The figures
Gutter in the gloom like dismal burnt-down candles.
Their round, moonlight-white faces are blanks for the press;
Seaweed hangs in their hair, and mussels and limpets
Clutch forlornly like leeches at damp, clammy skin.
Shell-shocked hands claw at the pearls in their oyster jaws,
While their swollen tongues muffle their insistent moans
To Rohilla to rise up from her timorous grave.
They wait for her to break the surface, like a seed
In spring stretching for sunlight. But the storm subsides.
The guns fall silent. And so do the dark figures.
The Rohilla sighs, sinks to the soundless seabed,
Nestles in the silt, lists to one side like a dog.
Sleeps. The dark figures dissipate like cold, wet mist.
And this poem won second prize in Writing Magazine’s Space Travel Poetry competition. I’ve included it for fun.
Andromeda Galaxy Space Cruise – Check List
A lien dictionary (Martian and Moon)
N on-slip boots in green or tan
D igital camera with light-year zoom
R ay gun (with option to stun or scan)
O rion’s Utility Belt (women’s or men’s)
M ulti-layered fibre-glass pressure suit (white)
E instein’s theory of relativity (condensed)
D ay clothes (suitable for long space flight)
A ntacids (for after those freeze-dried meals)
G alaxy Guidebook (Lonely Planet)
A luminium suitcase (with or without wheels)
L uxury (with speakers and sun-visors) helmet
A tomic clock with space-time continuum display
X ray Sun lotion (SPF 2000)
Y our own copy of “Welcome to the Milky Way”
S tellar Federation member’s arm band
P ostcards and inter-galaxy stamps
A ndromeda Ague, Pegasus Pox and TB shots
C ave helmet with ultra violet lamp
E vent horizon tables with vernal equinox
C redit card (Visa) for Universal Bank
R ope (carbon fibre, ten metre length)
U nderwater breathing equipment (half tank)
I nsect repellent (galaxy strength)
S mall pot for collecting Martian rocks; oh, and don’t forget an
E xtra pair of socks.
Have a nice trip!