My weekly Friday blog post offers writers the opportunity for their work to get out there and be read by others. I’m happy to accept stories, poems, articles – in fact, anything and everything. If you would like some of your writing to be featured on my blog, please contact me here or by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
This week’s guest writer is talented poet Gordon Simmonds. Here’s a little bit about him, in his own words:
“My name is Gordon Simmonds born and raised in Essex, England. I left school aged 15 and joined the British Army where I discovered early on that I was a good scholar but a bad soldier. I left the Army nine years later and became what I now call an industrial mercenary – in fact I’ve never had a proper job since, and have worked in, and travelled the Middle East as well as my adopted Lincolnshire.
“I would describe myself as a shy extrovert. If you see me on the street I’m likely to be wearing a cowboy hat and boots, or a Scottish kilt and playing the bagpipes. I love to race – either bikes or karts and I once had some talent as a fencer where my hard, aggressive style achieved some notable victories.
“As a writer and poet my work is severely limited by work and inclination. My first poem was broadcast on the BBC while I was still at school. My next poem wasn’t published until 34 years later.”
You ask me why?
Why my words are dark and dwell on the horror of man’s inhumanity.
Here, my friend is why.
Once I could see as poets do,
A host of golden daffodils, a sun drenched valley.
Flowers of spring, pure and beautiful on a wooded hillside
In a lake of green grass or yellow corn.
I could see trickling streams, fish rising to the fly,
And dazzling kingfishers darting ‘mongst the reeds.
I knew of birdsong, warm sun and times of quiet reflection.
I knew of a world that God planned and the poets could espouse.
Yes I knew it all; like a child looks through a telescope and sees so much,
So far away; and yet so little that is close.
But now I know of dark satanic mills beyond that pretty hill.
I see ragged, barefoot children condemned to work from dawn to dusk.
Work and sleep, work and sleep, work and survive.
Young boys, reckless, dodge among machines that clack and hiss.
Young girls feed the maws of industry as looms rush forward and back.
Forward and back in the relentless pursuit of someone else’s wealth.
The beauty of the sun so eloquently quoted in verse and prose
Is dampened through small windows stained with dirt and dust,
And my eyes see flecks of cotton in muted beams of light.
My ears hear the constant clack and clamour of the looms.
I breathe and my mouth tastes of cotton, my nose can smell cotton,
And oil, and that all-pervasive smoke that belches from coal fired chimneys.
Then home, a humble meal and always wanting more.
Until injury or sickness or age intrude upon the working man.
Then abandoned, lost, destitute, they die.