‘Edenbray in Exile’
A Retrospective Anthology of 50 Poems, Articles and Essays
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#50 ~ THE SENTINEL
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Hold hard the grey coated sentinel
Who draws his breath upon faint hope
Of prussian nights and eternal lights
The sentinel knows his task is certain, pure
To ride the faithful stallion named ‘Endure’
To ride through mud and human gore
Around the coast of Britains shore
Through valleys decked blood-red golden
Summer sun bids summer days to lengthen
And face this morbid terror with burnished fist
Faces of morning joy emerge as though through mist
Children of a new day born through trial & risk
Birth, tempered now by no techno-squalid season
Our commanders, priests & thinkers meet to reason
Count the cost, pray the night, face another day of loss
This horse, this horse by whose fetlock, hock & hoof
Has stretched each sinew, elbow, flank & cannon
Born its worthy rider forth to carry unfurled banner
Thru streets, the alleys & the moors and on beside the Manor
While proles consort with trolls to cause a minor stammer
Thus people – do step forward then, to a one, without tremor
This sentinel so adored, while brass coffin handles glimmer
Memories so burned, so broken by the wounded page of time
Some feel more than a brother, some drink more then of wine
The object then of war is lost in laughter’s pain, winters frost
The mountain birds surround the evening dell, a private hell
To them unfurls, unfolds to these masters of the carrion well
Death always is the final wave to those we love or try to save
Regret, sadness, a feathered cowel for each the bravest brave
I salute you, I adore you in your weakest momento mio amico!
Button your tunic then O’tired counsellor, leader of our clan
You rode as well as any could & more perhaps than any should
Dismount your steed, attest the greed yet call only heroes fore
To set in tribute store this army to whom we can add no more
The brave, the true, the sure of heart & foot so dressed in blue!
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#Authors Note – It seems entirely incongruous yet at the same time entirely suitable that a piece I wrote on March 24, 2020, not 2 months ago should seem to have been written a lifetime ago and therefore a suitable final piece in a Retrospective Anthology of my work post-2013. The Poem itself was the last edenbray post before I embarked on the task of compiling this my 2nd Retrospective of 50 Poems, Articles and Essays.
The Sentinel itself has since been on a ‘virtual’ world tour these past 2 months and thanks to Word Press and Pinterest has visited and been viewed in nearly 100 countries and many hundreds of times. I surrender it to you now dear reader as I complete my journey through these 5o written pieces I value and offer to you for your consideration. I believe they cover as wide a vista of imagination and experience as one poor soul could muster in basically 7 short years. So, if you have travelled with me these past 2 months and read my extensive Authors Notes you are indeed a valued Amigo – Ciou & God bless you richly ~
#Original Authors Note 24.03.2020 – I have tried to write it all down in poetic prose – kind of an open journal of my scrambled, jumbled thoughts, hopes, prayers and honest observations. – This our current history – so fresh and now a puss-riddled, infected, open wound, so sore to touch and hugely contagious – rife! An embittered, venomous snake and yet still an invisible, silent foe. A conniving, insidious monster – to which we currently have no other response than to hide, skulk, dismantle our life patterns and almost the very infrastructure of our national history and our future.
Into January, 2020, this year, I will be frank, like many of us, I am not sure I had even heard of the title – Coronavirus, much less Corvid-19 or Wu-tang, Hubei Province, social distancing or of any one of the many terms and appreciation of our bronchial biology that I seem to know as if I had studied for it at one of the great seats of learning in this our nation that currently lies, eunoched and buried under the duvet, one eye scanning with suspicion any visitor, guest, relative or friend. Even Bamber Gascoigne would be turned away today from his Alma Mater as a potential harbinger and spreader of this evil bug.
The premise of this piece is that we will triumph, normal life will return to this our fairest Isle and although we will be the saddened, chastened, thankful and heroic people poetic romanticists like edenbray, like me and myself always believe us to be.
Let me introduce you then, to the sentinel – our own heroic version of an invisible warrior and a commander. A captain – he rides on an Arabian stallion, he is brave, stirring and true. He might be an archangel like Michael or a puritan and a soldier like Cromwell, a politician and leader like Hugh Gaitskill, Winston Churchill, Nyree Bevan or a preacher, bold and pure as a Charles Wesley, John Knox or Charles Sturgeon. Whoever he is, represents or reminds us of – he came to us at the right time – Pray then the Lord of Hosts He might send us a sentinel right now – for right now we need him!
edenbray ~ 24.03.2020
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A further footnote
2nd March, 2020
Today I have decided to update this poster design I completed 50 years ago by adding some text relevant to the current situation.. . the unknown soldier .. . this was an early pastel sketch I completed for a poster back in the early 70’s. It was an idea inspired by a Doors song title of the same name .. . I always felt this image was kind of powerful, kind of haunting — We are at war with a deadly and invisible enemy and the weapons of our warfare are completely peaceful but used effectively WILL defeat our enemy Coronavirus … edenbraytoday