Tag: Poetry

The Hangman

The Hangman

The Hangman

by Maurice Ogden

Stanza 1

Into our town the Hangman came, smelling of gold and blood and flame. And he paced our bricks with a diffident air. And built his frame on the courthouse square.

The scaffold stood by the courthouse side, only as wide as the door was wide; a frame as tall, or little more, than the capping sill of the courthouse door.

And we wondered, whenever we had the time, who the criminal, what the crime, that Hangman judged with the yellow twist of knotted hemp in his busy fist.

And innocent though we were, with dread we passed those eyes of buckshot lead; till one cried: “Hangman, who is he for whom you raise the gallows-tree.

Then a twinkle grew in the buckshot eye, and he gave us a riddle instead of reply: “He who serves me best,” said he, “Shall earn the rope on the gallows-tree.

And he stepped down, and laid his hand on a man who came from another land and we breathed again, for another’s grief at the Hangman’s hand was our relief.

And the gallows-frame on the courthouse lawn by tomorrow’s sun would be struck and gone. So we gave him way, and no one spoke, out of respect for his hangman’s cloak.

Stanza 2

The next day’s sun looked mildly down on roof and street in our quiet town and, stark and black in the morning air, the gallows-tree on the courthouse square.

And the Hangman stood at his usual stand with the yellow hemp in his busy hand; with his buckshot eye and his jaw like a pike and his air so knowing and businesslike.

And we cried: “Hangman, have you not done, yesterday, with the alien one?” Then we fell silent, and stood amazed: “Oh, not for him was the gallows raised.

He laughed a laugh as he looked at us: “Did you think I’d gone to all this fuss to hang one man? That’s a thing I do to stretch the rope when the rope is new.

Then one cried, “Murderer!” One cried, “Shame!” And into our midst the Hangman came to that man’s place. “Do you hold,” said he, “With him that was meant for the gallows-tree?

And he laid his hand on that one’s arm, and we shrank back in quick alarm, and we gave him way, and no one spoke out of fear of his hangman’s cloak.

That night we saw with dread surprise the Hangman’s scaffold had grown in size. Fed by the blood beneath the chute the gallows-tree had taken root;

Now as wide, or a little more, than the steps that led to the courthouse door, as tall as the writing, or nearly as tall, halfway up on the courthouse wall.

Stanza 3

The third he took — we had all heard tell — was a usurer and infidel, And: “What,” said the Hangman, “have you to do with the gallows-bound, and he a Jew?

And we cried out: “Is this one he who has served you well and faithfully?” The Hangman smiled: “It’s a clever scheme to try the strength of the gallows-beam.

The fourth man’s dark, accusing song had scratched out comfort hard and long; and “What concern,” he gave us back, “Have you for the doomed – the doomed and black?

The fifth.The sixth. And we cried again: “Hangman, Hangman, is this the man?” “It’s a trick,” he said, “that we hangmen know for easing the trap when the trap springs slow.

And so we ceased, and asked no more, as the Hangman tallied his bloody score; and sun by sun, and night by night, the gallows grew to monstrous height.

The wings of the scaffold opened wide till they covered the square from side to side; and the monster cross-beam, looking down, cast its shadow across the town.

Stanza 4

Then through the town the Hangman came and called in the empty streets my name – and I looked at the gallows soaring tall and thought: “There is no one left at all for hanging, and so he calls to me to help pull down the gallows-tree.” And I went out with right good hope to the Hangman’s tree and the Hangman’s rope.

He smiled at me as I came down to the courthouse square through the silent town, and supple and stretched in his busy hand was the yellow twist of the hempen strand.

And he whistled his tune as he tried the trap and it sprang down with a ready snap— and then with a smile of awful command he laid his hand upon my hand.

You tricked me, Hangman!” I shouted then. “That your scaffold was built for other men. And I no henchman of yours,” I cried, “You lied to me, Hangman, foully lied!

Then a twinkle grew in his buckshot eye: “Lied to you? Tricked you?” he said, “Not I. For I answered straight and I told you true: The scaffold was raised for none but you.

For who has served me more faithfully than you with your coward’s hope?” said he, “And where are the others that might have stood side by your side in the common good?

Dead,” I whispered; and amiably “Murdered,” the Hangman corrected me; “First the alien, then the Jew… I did no more than you let me do.

Beneath the beam that blocked the sky, none had stood so alone as I – and the Hangman strapped me, and no voice there cried “Stay” for me in the empty square.

Poetry link

For those of you that like poetry… Here is a very good site.

blackswanpoetry

I am not

An old school plagiarist

Stealing all that I write

From this life

Obvious to those

Cursed with sight

Funny how I still

Know nothing despite

 

The writings on the wall

And the many scribbles

In the stalls

Bumping into other thieves

Busy at their theft

Rolling up their sleeves

All of us trying to take a bow

For something we were presented

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An awesome poem…

We numb what we hate to crucify,
In fear we can’t be free.
To kill the sin seems unjustified,
Scared to lose identity,
I ignore what’s killing me.

Christopher Clody

Fear to Crucify

We numb what we hate to crucify,
In fear we can’t be free.
To kill the sin seems unjustified,
Scared to lose identity,
I ignore what’s killing me.

The sin within must never prosper,
Fed through vices sheepishly,
The death of Christ revealed to sinners,
God’s judgment of sin to see –
The cost of depravity.

 Bruised and broken,
He hung for me,
Love unspoken,
Death…sets… me… free.

 As the incarnate Word gives up His Ghost,
He sends another to my side,
He too is God who convicts selfish boasts,
Hanging sin on my whipping post.

 My sin must accept its bitter passion,
For Christ out-loves my harmful rebellion.

Now that the Father has drawn me near,
I dare crucify sin without fear.

 ©2012 by Chris Clody 4/10/2012

How does the following verse speak to you?

“Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him, that…

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A Sad State of Freedom

You waste the attention of your eyes,
the glittering labour of your hands,
and knead the dough enough for dozens of loaves
of which you’ll taste not a morsel;
you are free to slave for others-
you are free to make the rich richer.
The moment you’re born
they plant around you
mills that grind lies
lies to last you a lifetime.
You keep thinking in your great freedom
a finger on your temple
free to have a free conscience.
Your head bent as if half-cut from the nape,
your arms long, hanging,
your saunter about in your great freedom:
you’re free
with the freedom of being unemployed.
You love your country
as the nearest, most precious thing to you.
But one day, for example,
they may endorse it over to America,
and you, too, with your great freedom-
you have the freedom to become an air-base.
You may proclaim that one must live
not as a tool, a number or a link
but as a human being-
then at once they handcuff your wrists.
You are free to be arrested, imprisoned
and even hanged.
There’s neither an iron, wooden
nor a tulle curtain
in your life;
there’s no need to choose freedom:
you are free.
But this kind of freedom
is a sad affair under the stars.

by Nâzım Hikmet Ran

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Awake! Young Men of England

The Henley and South Oxfordshire Standard, 2 October 1914

Oh! give me the strength of the lion,
The wisdom of Reynard the fox,
And then I’ll hurl troops at the Germans,
And give them the hardest of knocks.

Oh! think of the War lord’s mailed fist,
That is striking at England to-day:
And think of the lives that our soldiers
Are fearlessly throwing away.

Awake! oh you young men of England,
For if, when your Country’s in need
You do not enlist by the thousand,
You truly are cowards indeed.

Eric Blair

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Jewelizean

Just a quick few lines I put together for my fellow Belizeans

Always and 4ever I will remain a Jewelizean…
Brought here a Belizean and will leave a Belizean.

You may change your style
You may change your name
You may change where you live
You may change your Citizenship
One thing you can never change
Is the fact that you are a Belizean

If you like this post, please remember to share it. If you are visiting from Stumble upon, please do me a favor and click the I like it! button. It will be much appreciated. Thanks for visiting.