Journal For Poetry Challenge# 22/04/2012

Thomas Lansing Masson  (1866-1934) was an American editor and author, born at Essex Connecticut, and educated in the public school of New Haven.

Thomas L Masson

He became literary editor of Life in 1893 and a regular contributor of humorous articles to various magazines. As an editor, he was responsible for Humorous Masterpieces of American Literature (1904); In Merry Measure (1905); The Humor of Love in Verse and Prose (1906); The Best Stories in the World (1914)

RED CROSS NURSES

 

Out where the line of battle cleaves
The horizon of woe
And sightless warriors clutch the leaves
The Red Cross nurses go.
In where the cots of agony mark death’s unmeasured tide–
Bear up the battle’s harvestry —
The Red Cross nurses glide.

Look! Where the hell of steel has torn
Its way through slumbering earth
The orphaned urchins kneel forlorn
And wonder at their birth.
Until, above them, calm and wise
With smile and guiding hand,
God looking through their gentle eyes,
The Red Cross nurses stand.

By: Thomas L. Masson

This poem speaks of the bravery of the young women who joined the Red Cross nurses. They came from all layers of the class system, Ladies, middle class women and working class girls. They all mixed in together and for a while the demarcation lines of class disappeared. Some of the young women had never been away from home before and found it extremely difficult to cope, but cope most of them did  during training and on the front line .

They were extremely brave and worked in the trenches and on the front lines. They were unarmed . The worked abroad at the theatres of war and at home in huge country and town houses of the rich who turned their homes over to the war department as hospitals and nursing homes. The Nurses worked in India, Africa, France, Singapore in fact on every battle front .

The Red Cross of America were also very involved in the war efforts, first second and Vietnamese war. Not only did they care for the troops they also looked after children who were orphaned or injured when caught up in  the war’s onward march.

The poem sings their praises and their praises should be sung they were all very very brave women.

Poetry Challenge #7 is to create a journal of links and your reactions to poems by established (living or dead poets.) Details are here.  Example response is here. Mr. Linky for Challenge #7 is directly below:

Guy and Dan

The house is quiet and light from the computer flickers on Guys face. He is busy talking to his friends. Talking about how the football team is doing, what is happening at school. How parents are so inconsiderate and never let you do what you want.  Finally getting round to who is meeting who this Saturday night!

Guy is really excited he will be meeting his new friend Dan. He has been talking to him for weeks. He has got to know Dan really well, where Dan lives, how old he is,which school he goes to what he looks like. He thinks he knows him really well.

Yes they are going to meet at MacDonald’s then after they have had something to eat and drink  he is taking Dan back to meet his friends. They will not be coming back here to Guy’s house that is not convenient  but his friend Charlie has a sound proof basement with a separate entrance from  the house …very private. That is when the party starts, when the fun begins.

Oh! yes Saturday is going to be a good night, well deserved after all these weeks of chatting  and coaxing information out of Dan. ……. suddenly the door opens and Guy clicks the screen saver up! “Dad” shouts Jimmy from the door, “Mum says dinner is ready.”  Closing down the computer Guy gets up and scooping a happy squealing Jimmy up into his arms he say “right son lets go eat.

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The story above is to highlight “Internet Grooming  ” Young children, boys and girls groomed by adults pretending to be their age and their friends. Lure them in to sex situations that they cannot handle. Some even are murdered ….. it is a dangerous form of abuse  and needs to be highlight and somehow , finished.  The photo is just one off of the internet and the person in has nothing to do with grooming. Thank you again for reading the short story is in aid of Child Abuse Awareness Month.

 

mademosiellebluebell has a wonderful way with words she has been writing about this little girl, her parents and grandma are not interested in her, she is a nuisance. They do not listen to her so she stops telling them anything , so when something does happen that her parents or grandma should of listened to her about , she did not bother to tell them. This is another poem for Child Abuse Awareness month.

Münchhausen By Proxy

Mummy says I am not well she made me take some of her medicine but I am not allowed to tell. I am feeling sick now, that is true but I was okay until I had to drink her brew.

Hospitals are almost my home we have been in one or another they are almost all I have known. I just get to like a place and make friends then we have to move on. I get so lonely maybe I shall be allowed to go to school soon then, I can move on.

I hate these tests my arms are like a pin cushion, the doctors and nurses are so nice and they always say mummy is so brave. I like that because then she will behave. Sometimes she makes me drink funny stuff or she cuts me and put the  blood in my wee….. I don’t like that it means more tests for me.

It always ends the same they tell mummy they cannot find anything wrong with me. She gets angry, then the Drs seem to change. Then off we go into the night again we flee. Mummy says it is an adventure  and we will find another hospital to make me well she hushes me when I say no, I am well she says “You Must Not Tell”

Now at last mummy has said when we are settled and I can start school I was so excited but then I was vext. My beautiful hair she is going to shave off she said I have cancer  but I have not even a cough. Mummy got that angry look, no point to argue I can read her like a book.

I have to say I have cancer, “Tell the teachers, tell the girls let them see how brave you are.” she said delightedly. But I want my hair I do not want everyone looking at me ..pitying me. I am tired of only having tiny meals , no sweets no biscuits I have to keep thin. I have to look ill and always having to take the pills.

Mummy is right I do feel ill I am so empty inside it hurts I feel sick. Why must I be always ill does it have to be this way to give my mum a kick. Will I always have to look pale and sick for mum to get some kind of sick kick?

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Münchhausen by proxy is  a fairly un- common ‘illness’ where usually a parent or carer presents with a sick child. They often make the child ill by poisoning them or giving them pills or putting blood in their urine.

The mother or carer ( the Münchhausen suffer) often has some medical knowledge and is happy and at ease in a hospital environment. Strange as it may seem the Drs and nurses   do not always spot this as they do not suspect the parents/ carers to harm the patient.

Children who are subject to MBPS are typically preschool age, although there have been reported cases in children up to 16 years old, and there are equal numbers of boys and girls. About 98% of the perpetrators are female.

The long-term prognosis for these children depends on the degree of damage created by the perpetrator and the amount of time it takes to recognize and diagnose MBPS. Some extreme cases have been reported in which children developed destructive skeletal changes, limps, mental retardation, brain damage, and blindness from symptoms caused by the parent or caregiver. Often, these children require multiple surgeries, each with the risk for future medical problems.

I have written this poem for Child Abuse Awareness Month because it is an uncommon and insidious for of abuse. Blink and you miss it but it cause no end of damage.

 

No Weep For Your Mother

Photo Credits Google images.

They came in the night, they made the women scream like animals. Then they killed the men, then they cut the breasts off of the women with babies, then they burnt the men’s bodies the village and the crops. Some of them were men, but more were children boys and girls.. with angelic faces, dead eyes , tight curly hair and machetes and gun.

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They came in the night they caused a terrible fright. They butchered the men  and raped the women again and again then cut off the breasts of the mothers with babies. They shot those that ran like a dog with rabies.

They rounded us up, those under five they did not leave alive but us that could walk they took. The last sight we had of our sweet lives was the flames of our village, the last sight for those brave enough to look.

No weep for your brother, no weep for your father or mother  no weep or they beat you boy. Now you be a soldier you carry a gun say goodbye to happy days no more joy no more fun. You learn to shoot, you learn fast, you do as you are told you do not get asked. You sleep when your told you march till you drop if you do good you get a blanket to keep out the night’s cold.

You learn how to throw a grenade and set a mine then you learn to watch as people die from famine. You learn no pity you learn only pain  what ever you can get is someone’s loss but now it’s your gain.  You eat when the big boys say eat. If you take too much or steal it you get beat.

They don’t just take us boys they take girls too and what’s worse they have to sleep with the men and they get babies which is a curse. They have to do all that we have to do but don’t worry what the men do to them they sometimes do to us too.

We have to kill without mercy, burn villages and crops , us boys and the girls right up until their babies drop. No good looking frightened that will not save you, no good being pretty or cute that don’t bode well for you.

We loose what love we had, it is replaced by the gun and for long hot days in the sun covered in blood eventually you forget your mum. No chance for learning at school we are soldiers now on the road stealing and killing……… now isn’t that cool. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

They came in the night, they made the women scream like animals. Then they killed the men, then they cut the breasts off of the women with babies, then they burnt the men’s bodies the village and the crops. Some of them were men, but more were children boys and girls.. with angelic faces, dead eyes , tight curly hair and machetes and guns.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Child soldiers, taken from their villages, boys and girls both. Taken , used and abused. Beaten , hardened until they have no feelings.  Girls forced in to marriage and made pregnant still take part in raids..pregnant or carrying babies on their backs. Boys treated no better abused and hardened . Another horrible type of child abuse for this month of Child Abuse Awareness……………………..

Mummy says I am not allowed to say.

Every night it is the same, mum and dad play their game. Daddy shouts and mummy cries it is very frightening when daddy’s arms start to fly.

It no fun to hear things go bump and see mum fall after dad given her a clump.  In the morning  mum looks pale but she always smiles as the neighbours she hails.

I don’t like to see mum’s bruises or to hear the words that dad uses. I don’t want to go to school I want to stay with mum in case dad is cruel. He rings her in the day you see he and threatens her, I know I’ve heard yet they think that I don’t see.

Hiding  underneath the bed clothes pretending it is not real they just keep on and on not caring how I feel. Mummy says I must stay quiet and keep out of his way.I am not allowed to talk of this at school or mention that my dad treats my mummy so cruel.

Domestic Violence hurts everyone

SSSH! what was that awful scream, I hate daddy he is so mean…. that was the font door ……….. it is quiet now there is no shouting any more. Mummy Mummy are you there , mummy mummy are you there ( creeping forward and then down the stair ) Mummy is laying on the floor her head at a funny angle to the door. Mummy , mummy answer please , mummy mummy please don’t tease. Mummy mummy daddy has gone away mummy mummy speak to me something say.

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Another poem to bring the effects of abuse on children who live in fear of violence, out into the open. When parents fight the whole family suffer. Children live in fear. This is not right.

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Their Ships Have Souls

They came from Jupiter, they come from Mars they came from Alfa Centori they came from near and far they sped towards me from every home planet and the stars.

Every favour Lars and I ever laid down. I was calling it in now.I dared not tell what I had seen they would of dismissed it with a frown. Call signs tumbled into my birth over the shipwide radio relay. I grabbed my helmet headed to the bridge.

Names I had not heard spoken for years were crashing across the airwaves and falling through my ears. OH! how I wished Lars was here to see how many had answered our call. The delight and joy would of near burst his heart had he been here to hear the roll-call

We all met on the Aura  she was the biggest ship. She was a huge battle cruiser with a flight deck she even had some fighter ships and with pilots too  she may of need painting  but for me she’d do! Everyone was shouting , everyone had a plan. The noise was doing my head in so I raised my voice and shouted  “Quiet” ……….. they obeyed me to a man!

The crew

I felt lost, without Lars I felt so very small. But somehow I found my voice and I addressed them all. I told them what I knew and I told them what Lars and I had seen and when I was sure they were on my side I told them about my dream.

Everyone  accepted me everyone agreed they were all behind me and I was so relieved!! I felt a gentle touch upon my shoulder and I turned around to see my dear mum smiling down on me!

For Dapoet

the snake charmer

Sultry skin and yellow eyes pale lips and tongue that flies.Dark green snake wrapped around her arm she makes a stark silhouette all who see her are charmed.

Tinkle, tinkle the bells on her ankles and toes announce her arrival where ever she goes. Silver and gold her bangles and chains glow snakes in her dark hair and rings and chains from her ear to her nose.

As her body sways and writhes  those who watch her are mesmerised. Tiny waist and ample hips, long firm legs luscious breasts with bejewelled tips.

Painted toe nails and ankles  stomp and dance to the tinkle of her bells her slender hands have tales to tell. The men are all beguiled by her what she carries they don’t care . So for them she does her dances they watch her whirl and prance. One the bravest warrior so they say, is entranced by her body’s sway he leans in to steal a kiss she hold his leer and she offers her lips just as he  reaches bliss he feels a bite and hears a hiss!

 

Journal For Poetry Challenge# 15/04/2012

Michael Brett

Michael  Brett was born in Accra, Ghana in 1955. He was educated in England at Cranbrook School and the University of Reading, where he read English. He worked in the City of London for over ten years, has a background in financial journalism, and continued to write throughout that period.

During the Civil War in the Former Yugoslavia, Michael worked in the Press Section of the Information Centre of Bosnia-Herzegovina in London, promoting US and NATO military intervention in the Civil War in the Former Yugoslavia. He believed in the ideal of a multi ethnic Bosnian state and that it would stop the widespread massacres of civilians that were taking placing at the time.

He is currently Head of English at a school in South London. More information at Michael Brett

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
DEAD MACHINE GUN CREW

The gunners’ green faces are crowned with flies
And their grey arms flung, across the barrel of the gun,
Like drunks around some girls.
They lie sliced like lemon into strands
By holidaying shells and rockets.
They are brothers in arms, in decay, mingled
Next to their brassy, live and gleaming bullets.
You cannot tell which foot, which hand
Goes with which dry and tearless eye
Filled with dust and scraps of leaves.
Around them, tracers lace the upper air.
Raindrops drum on helmets, hearts and broken glass.
Shells plod their way across the street.
Some soldiers looting beers from the shop next door
Spare them no second glance.
For now they are neither friends nor enemies.
They are part of a different army,
Whose drill is stillness, whose bond is silence.
Their new country is the greatest secret.
It is more secret than their map that lies beside them, still,
With its scribbles in red, its lines and times of attack.
The clouds burst. Naked, face uppermost, dead,
Its paper crackles in the rain.

Michael Brett

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The war in Bosnia between Neighbour and Neighbour from 1992/1995 split the people apart. Those who and for years lived amicably alone side each other suddenly, Muslin, Christian, Serb, Croats and Bosniaks all turned on each other.

This Poem again shows how low humans will go in the name of what they see as right. The sad pointlessness of a machine gun who’s crew are dead. It is just a piece of metal rusting in the rain. Draped in dead bodies and slime. It is stilled and no longer dangerous and is so ignored by looting soldiers .

It shows that again nothing is learnt in war. The old, the ill and the young are thrown out of their homes or made virtual prisoners in them. Shells and bullets trying to rip them in two. Starvation gnawing at them, cold nipping at them disease waiting on every corner to claim all, soldiers and civilians alike!

Poetry Challenge #7 is to create a journal of links and your reactions to poems by established (living or dead poets.) Details are here.  Example response is here. Mr. Linky for Challenge #7 is directly below:

This a daunting post but well worth reading and watching the videos therein.The statistics are American ( I am English ) but I feel they must comparable the world over. Sadly there are some countries were they are far worse. Please read and listen and learn!

Mirth and Motivation

“From small acorns, mighty oak trees grow…”   Geoffrey Chaucer’sTroilus and Criseyde


Suzanne VegaLuka

My name is Luka – Lyrics via azlyrics.com
I live on the second floor
I live upstairs from you
Yes I think you’ve seen me before

If you hear something late at night
Some kind of trouble. some kind of fight
Just don’t ask me what it was
Just don’t ask me what it was
Just don’t ask me what it was… Contd below

25 years ago today, Suzanne Vega wrote and performed a song, My Name Is Luka, about child abuse that became a huge hit. When it came out in 1987, I listened to it incessantly. It struck a nerve with many people; child abuse survivors and advocates alike. The song was somewhat couched in careful words; just like a scared kid would do when the abuser has cautioned him/her…

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