Tuesday, 22 August 2017

The Rolling English Road.

Poems about death are usually not worth reading but this is a real classic, if a little dated these days.

Each verse refers to a notorious suicide spot except for the Goodwin Sands which are a dangerous place for shipwrecks and of course the last, glorious one.

To go to 'Paradise via Kensal Green', refers to the great rambling Victorian cemetery at Kensal Green, where every Londoner has attended a funeral at one time or another.

The Rolling English Road.

Before the Roman came to Rye or out to Severn strode,
The rolling English drunkard made the rolling English road.
A reeling road, a rolling road, that rambles round the shire,
And after him the parson ran, the sexton and the squire;
A merry road, a mazy road, and such as we did tread
The night we went to Birmingham by way of Beachy Head.

I knew no harm of Bonaparte and plenty of the Squire,
And for to fight the Frenchman I did not much desire;
But I did bash their baggonets because they came arrayed
To straighten out the crooked road an English drunkard made,
Where you and I went down the lane with ale-mugs in our hands,
The night we went to Glastonbury by way of Goodwin Sands.

His sins they were forgiven him; or why do flowers run
Behind him; and the hedges all strengthening in the sun?
The wild thing went from left to right and knew not which was which,
But the wild rose was above him when they found him in the ditch.
God pardon us, nor harden us; we did not see so clear
The night we went to Bannockburn by way of Brighton Pier.

My friends, we will not go again or ape an ancient rage,
Or stretch the folly of our youth to be the shame of age,
But walk with clearer eyes and ears this path that wandereth,
And see undrugged in evening light the decent inn of death;
For there is good news yet to hear and fine things to be seen,
Before we go to Paradise by way of Kensal Green.

G.K. Chesterton.

Neil Harris
(a don't stop till you drop production)
Home: helpmesortoutstpeters.blogspot.com
Contact me: neilwithpromisestokeep@gmail.com

Monday, 21 August 2017

Pride before a fall.

As Robyn is only too prepared to remind me - I'm too proud.

She is right, I am proud and to me it's a virtue. It's how I've survived this long; as my treatments failed too soon, through pain and despair. I fought on.

This morning (because of my pride) I moved instantly from ecstasy to agony and now I just need to find another empty yoghurt pot.

I have problems with my feet; it just hurts too much when I need to wash them, cut my nails, put on socks and take my socks off. I can't cross my legs any more. It's agony.

The choices are giving up - which is not me. Getting in carers which is expensive and demoralising or getting Robyn to do it all for me which changes our relationship for the worse.

So, I've been struggling on and afterwards spending a couple of hours to get over it all.

Today I had a really great idea - I 'borrowed' one of Robyn's old yoghurt pots which is a bit like a tiny bucket. I set it down on the bathroom floor and put my left foot on it . Suddenly washing my toes was a pleasure, putting on a sock a delight.

With a certain degree of misplaced pride, I patted myself on the back. Then I put my right foot on the upturned pot.

Suddenly there was an ominous cracking sound, a crunch and then the pot collapsed. Then I screamed in pain. My big fat leg broke the pot.

I was back in the world of pain.

Of course, my mistake was that I didn't bother to find the lid of the pot and just used it upside down. I'm guessing that if I put the lid on it, the pressure of the air inside would hold up my leg. That's what I'll try tomorrow.

But, as they say, pride goes before a fall.

Neil Harris
(a don't stop till you drop production)
Home: helpmesortoutstpeters.blogspot.com
Contact me: neilwithpromisestokeep@gmail.com