Popular Posts

Saturday, 21 January 2012

I sang "Onward Christian Soldiers": He sang "La Marseillaise".

I sang "Onward Christian Soldiers";
he sang "La Marseillaise".
I don't know now which one of us
was winding up the other,
except we did it all the time, it was
our usual mode of converse.
Whatever either did
would aggravate the other.
He led me three miles just to see
a twite's nest in a hedgerow, then
he blew an egg. Much later, after tea,
I filled it with my balsa wood cement.

I was staying with his folk
to dodge The London Blitz.
Very distant relatives.
Six terraced houses in a wilderness.
No running water, outside loo,
I envied him. He, me.
We couldn't be apart.

Well, that's the background, then
we went for this long walk.
Became completely lost.
No one to ask, I thought
we'd not get home. He knew we would -
took us across (it seemed
like) twenty fields. Exhausted,
the corn above our heads,
singing to keep our spirits up.
Concurrently,
in failed attempts at harmony...
I sang "Onward Christian Soldiers";
He sang "La Marseillaise".

18 comments:

Cloudia said...

funny how people and incidents engrave themselves, not, like young trees, they are winds or rocks or Summers of exceptional sun, that lead us to grow as we do. Looking at our rings, at the tilt of a branch, we instantly remember: "Ah that Summer....he sang the M. . . "
Aloha from Waikiki
Comfort Spiral

> < } } ( ° >

rch said...

Why is it that we often gravitate to those that stir the biggest conflicts within us? Great Dave!

Andreas said...

A nifty piece. I really enjoyed it.

haricot said...

It's a beautiful idea that the two who have different nationalities or thoughts get along with.
The facts that the songs are marchs is symbolic.

Rachel Cotterill said...

I love this, full of memories and life.

kaykuala said...

Amazing Dave! How a song can transcend barriers of language. Singing then is an act that fuses and combines to bring it to a whole. It is an art in fact when different languages are heard in unison.

Hank

jabblog said...

That conjured a wonderful image but getting lost in the country is not great fun. Every step is a worry in case you're going in the wrong direction!

Mary said...

This memory poem touched me greatly, Dave...and the fact that your parents arranged for you to live somewhere safe during the blitz. I can almost hear the two of you singing. I DO think you have a book in you!

Brian Miller said...

very cool capture of a memory...personally, i hate that song...it carries some pretty abusive memories for me and the church quite honestly...as for being lost i dont mind that...smiles.

That Janie Girl said...

I like the conflict in this. I can hear it.

Daydreamertoo said...

You reminded me of my mum's tales of her life as an evacuee during the WW2. She was evacuated from Brighton to a farm in Wales and she hated it there. This is so lovely because it's so authentic. I could 'almost' see the pair of you ... Lovely read.

Lightverse said...

What a great way to express a memory. I could imagine the mix of emotions that would go with a life like this. Thanks for telling the story.

Windsmoke. said...

They definitely knew how to rattle each others cage all in good spirit i hope :-).

Carl said...

great read. I enjoyed it!

Tommaso Gervasutti said...

The past flashing in the present, the "cadenza" of the songs marking the physical reality of that walk. Vividly real.

Dave King said...

Cloudia
I like your thinking. Yes, I agree with you. Very much so. Thanks.

rch
Good question, but it's true: we very often do. I think in this case he was a natural wind-up merchant, which I'm not. But that doesn't explain my liking of him.

Andreas
Hi, welcome to teh blog, and many thanks for saying.

haricot
Actually, we were both English through and through. I've no idea why he sang the Marseillaise - or La Marseillaise, as he insisted - or even how he came to know La Marseillaise!

Rachel
Thank you very much.

Hank
Yes, very much agree with this.

jabblog
Yes, certainly every step worried me - until I saw a tree that I remembered.

Mary
Thank you so much for this. I think I agree about the book, but whether it will ever come out... ah, there's the rub!

Brian
I think we would have sung almost anything at one point, just to keep going!

That Janie Girl
Welcome to you, good to have you visiting. Thank you for the encouraging remark.

Daydreamertoo
Hi, thank you so much for your visit and the comment. Both are much appreciated.

lightverse
A warm welcome to you, and many thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Windsmoke
Absolutely!

Carl
Thanks a lot, Carl.

Tommaso
I very much appreciate the comment. It appeals to me immensely. Thanks for it.

Ygraine said...

'Like Chalk and Cheese'
Isn't it strange how opposites attract. Maybe there is an evolutionary message somewhere in there - we're most drawn to those who can teach us opposite ways of seeing, and so help us to grow more tolerant.

JeannetteLS said...

Sometimes I think it is just all that energy of conflict--where there is no hitting of the soul, that is--we simply get all fired up and have fun.
Like the poem.

Okay, my word verification is squellys,and all I can think of are squishy white wellies. Courtesy of your current poem.