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Monday, May 20, 2013

"The Voice of a Kingdom"...

started out as a poem in honor of the British accents I've fallen in love with through the TV or over the phone! However, by the end, it became something of a retort to the anti-British sentiments of one of my uncles who I saw for the first time in almost nine years during our NJ trip for my grandmother's funeral. Also, it reflects my own emotional connection to the UK, and guesses at the meaning of a prediction made by a priest before I was born. Forgive me if the following comes off as overly sentimental or disjointed! It was just one of those things I felt the need to express on paper...



The Voice of a Kingdom


They ask me why I love this land,
Then mock me for my lack of words;
How can I define such a mystic thing,
Bound by a cord that cannot be traced,
Swelling in my soul like the twilight tides,
Chanted by a people I have never seen?

Her voice is ruby-rich and ocean-deep,
Befitting a kingdom with hard-hewn ways,
Formed in fighting for a way of life
Where freedom and law hold balanced sway,
Rooted in the old, yet blooming anew,
Using head and heart to dare and dream

Her past is glory-gold and bitter-black,
Blazing passion and lashing pain,
With stiff-lipped courage and pompous pride
That won an empire but wounded the weak,
Hiding truth behind good intentions
And cursing herself with the stain of sin

But her children rose to their better selves,
Battling tyrants without and within;
From nobles to commons they voiced their minds
And bold, unbending nerve displayed,
For their fathers had signed at Runnymede,
And slammed grand doors in a messenger’s face

***

Humility shielding a brilliant thought,
So simply expressed, yet deeply profound,
Spoken in tones of warmth and frankness,
Clear and lilting, like silver whistle notes,
Drifting to earth like clean, crisp snow flakes,
Covering dark soil with a cloak of white

Searing words from sarcastic tongues
When a challenge is made and the fight is on,
Opponents striking with wit and wile,
With harsh tones clashing like unsheathed swords,
Echoing through venerable, hallowed halls
And rousing pale ghosts from picture frames

A voice uplifted in a jaunty song
Of ship and sail and a lust for life
Or easing into a slow, sorrowful ballad
Of lovers parted by the veil of death,
Rising in the night like mist on the mountains,
Mingling with the fiddles and the pounding drums

A haunting wail in the midst of war,
As the red gore flows and the souls are judged,
Scorning the sting of cold steel and hot lead,
Piercing men’s hearts and bidding them fight,
Stirring the blood through the breath of the piper,
Settling on the ground like thick morning fog

A ringing bell in the London air,
Keeping the time and pacing the pulse
Of a city as intricate as its streets are tangled;
Or a stag in the moors making his moan,
Bellowing like a horn of the early nomads,
Weaving through stones that encircled stand

***

I’m caught by an ancient magnetic pull,
With an ocean to cross and a people to reach,
As a wayfaring pilgrim, youthful, untried,
Called by a voice of a kingdom and land,
Waiting for the time, like the prophets of old,
When my mission is ready and the harvest is ripe

I know I must go, or reach out a hand,
Since before I was born, I was meant for the quest,
How can one define such a mystic thing,
Bound by a rope that burns like fire,
Blowing through my soul like a heavy gale,
Beckoned by a people I have yet to see?



"Drifting to earth like clean, crisp snowflakes....."






4 comments:

  1. "Her children rose to their better selves." Perfect!

    And they / we will again.

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  2. Wait, wait...what was this prediction!?

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  3. @Mack: I'm glad you like that line! Indeed, I believe that they/we can rise from the ashes of our present morbid situations, if we trust God and "Keep Calm and Carry On." ;-)

    @Emerald: Now, I don't put total credence in this, as it was only said to be a private revealation of my parents' old confessor. But basically, when my mom was pregnant with me, the priest told my parents that "this child" would go on to make them very proud and "effect the nations." Who knows what that means? I certainly don't, but judging from my inordinate feeling of connectivity with Britain, I think perhaps that is one of "the nations" I'm supposed to effect.

    I have similar feelings to those of the Italian priest who brought John Henry Newman into the Catholic Faith. He knew in his heart he had to go to England; he didn't know why, didn't know how, but he knew he had to go there. In fact, when he almost drowned in a boating accident in Italy, he was asked if he had thought he was going to die. "Of course not," he replied. "I will die in England."

    Blessings,
    Pearl

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  4. MOST interesting about the private revelation!

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