Friday, October 21, 2011

On the Death of Gaddafi

Not Gaddafi

Gaddafi: a petty desert dictator, shot down,
the Internet makes his brutal slaughter its own.
Primping despot with massive ego
-- no one mourns to see him go!

Inspired by "Ozymandias"

Some say the desert dictator was shot
in the skull with his own gold pistol
by a kid in a Yankees baseball cap.

The lone and level sands stretch on and on.

Western leaders and media pundits vied
to press the flesh of the tainted officer
who primped in medals and comic braid.

His wrinkled lip, his sneer of cold command.

So used to ordering death with the swish
of his fly whisk, oasis-emperor dragged
from his sewer hiding-place like a rat.

Look on his works ye mighty and despair.

Christopher T. George

Shelley inversion

"Ozymandias" by Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792–1822)

I met a traveller from an antique land,
Who said—“Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. . . . Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed;
And on the pedestal, these words appear:
My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings;
Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.”

The picture above the great poet's sonnet is a color inversion of a portrait of Shelley, an image perhaps more suited at this time of the year to his wife, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, the author of Frankenstein. You can read about Mary Shelley's unhappy life through the title to this blog posting.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Yoria's Ashes, October 8, 2011

Yoria's Ashes

Photograph by Kev Keegan

Mum in the Mersey

As you wished
I followed your request
-- not so swish --
our hairdresser, Mr. Bill,
expressed the wish
to be "The Fairy 'Cross
the Mersey" in absentia.

So we gathered, we few,
to remember you,
a new adventure
on a blustery day,
Liverpool child set
sail for horizons wild.

Mum: the urn unwrapped,
I poured your ashes
down a varnished ramp
cast your ashes
onto the Mersey breeze:
gone, gone -- vanished
into the waters below.

Christopher T. George

Donna and I were here in Liverpool at noon Saturday for the scattering of my Mum's ashes from the Mersey ferry, as per her wishes. Yo Liverpool forum webmeister Kev Keegan kindly took the shots of us on the boat and later in the Crowne Plaza hotel at the Pier Head enjoying refreshments. Further photographs may be seen by clicking on the title of this blog posting. Following are remarks I posted on the forum.

Thanks to Kev for the great photographs and to all who were thinking of us at the moment when my Mum's ashes went into the Mersey. Kev, it was great that you could be with us to welcome my Mum home to Merseyside. As I stated in my remarks, my Mum and I left on the Cunard liner Saxonia from the landing stage in January 1955 bound for New York, and though she henceforth lived in the U.S., mostly in the Baltimore area except for a year in Connecticut when my Dad worked at a hospital in Wallingford, she never forgot her English and specifically Liverpool roots. When I asked where she would like her ashes scattered she said unhesitatingly, "In the Mersey." Lindy, the weather conditions could have been better but the rain held off for the actual ceremony, the river relatively calm as Mum's ashes slid into the water. Also had a private message from a member who came to the Pier Head and thought it might be a bit rough, so did not join us but nonetheless cast a rose into the water for my mother. Thank you!

In terms of the people in the photographs, you will recognize me in the red Liverpool hat and my wife Donna is the pink jacket. The man seated next to me is Alan Bennett, a cousin who runs an extensive genealogical website which lists my Matchett relatives. His mother Edith Jones is in the light blue -- she and Alan had come over from the Haydock Park area for the occasion. The lady in purple is Sue Shinkfield, along with her husband Neil, a school friend of mine from Quarry Bank High School in the Sixties. Neil was telling us that he was an extra in "Ferry Cross the Mersey", the Gerry Marsden film of 1964 and got paid £5 for the day's shooting. The song by Gerry and the Pacemakers was played during the voyage.