Crusader Will is back. See his latest contribution below:
“Crusader Will reflects on changes in his circumstances and in the world scene over seven years into advancing age.
Once I’d wait all year for it to get warm.
Now I can’t wait for it to get cool.
Erratic behaviour is now the norm
At the climax to Satan’s age-old rule.
I was told I would ‘come into my own’
At ’62’. But my initial guess
That it concerned my age was overthrown
When the reference proved to be my address.
Shrunk have my horizons. Big City scope
Eludes a small-town shift. Public transport
Is limited; most people drive. There’s no hope
For the pedestrian but to resort
To the furnace of the street, and the relief
Of the hat, the occasional awning
And the well-spaced tree. It’s past all belief.
An abyss of stuck-at-home is yawning
As Christ’s Church is being split and contents hurled
To the ground, worshipers blinded by falsehood
Into thinking all is well with the world.
Economics made me move. But all right
Much in my world was, and I had certain plans
That even gave a reporter delight
To report. What hopefulness is a man’s.
The Church, the stage. A garden, photographs
And poems: all exercised my mind. I walked
Everywhere, even biked. A load of laughs
Not everything in my health was, but i balked
At few initiatives. I joined a troupe
Of entertainers. A charity cafe
Saw me wash dishes as well as serve soup.
A one-man show I wrote; work-shopped an old play;
While a visit to friends capped off a trip
To an overseas touring exhibition
Of Grace Kelly’s costumes and clothes, in whose grip
I wrote a piece on her life. This mission
I have still to completely accomplish.
And hope will segue into another piece
Of quasi-apocalyptic anguish
As Church-and-State transitional woes increase.
Task still in progress as I stem the decline
In my physical and artistic powers,
Where changes in tolerance work to consign
Me and my race to our darkest-veering hours.
Now we must be circumspect. I feel alone,
Utterly alone. I don’t know who to trust
in a town whose truth-awareness at-the-bone
Stays unsounded: lurking beneath a tough crust.
Back to Grace: a Hopkins-like verse come-back
(Hand ‘a little out’ at first). I need a theme
To tempt my inner Muse to take up the slack.
That, or a cooler climate for the dream.
Eternal salvation a personal quest –
And a spur to intercession – as hordes burn
In hell, untaught how to gain eternal rest.
In my country we run the gamut of modes
Of allegiance: God, gods. no god at all,
Or the Prince of Darkness, who makes great inroads
Even on the once-true, who have the gall
Never were the Seven Deadly Sins so bold,
So many ancient virtues put to the sword,
So many of the old pieties grown cold.
The sordid, the grotesque, mass corruption,
Scorn for the eternal, deadness at the heart.
Many no longer have any compunction
About unrighteousness in trade or in art.
All been foretold, of course, though the future
Looked to is either too bleak or too far
To the turnaround for the makeshift suture
To hold. God’s wounds weep over the last hurrah.
Now, Catholic Prophecy by Yves Dupont
Was published nearly fifty years ago.
Though my Charismatic phase found in this font
Of gloom too Fundamentalist an echo.
Brought me through to more recent Marian veins
Of forecast too close at hand not to have won
From me the conviction there of great truth-gains.
Came a plunge into a mission that has, since,
Wrought a change that once and for all severs
All from all other reasons for existence.
The aging process and a small town afford
Distinct disadvantages. Bus lacks have cut
Some interests back; stamina woes have gnawed
At some volunteering; and some doors have shut.
Verse I now write mainly to discursive ends,
Sometimes as song parody. Lyrical scope
Only occasional travel now lends.
(Beware of that slippery downward slope.)
Then came this poem (after calls to rescue
My lamp from the bushel). A fine-film club
(Complete with soft seats and a piano) grew
A poetry sub-group. Aye, there was the rub.
Now I was really ‘coming into my own’.
A small town could provide the right milieu
For testing the waters and getting known
On a small scale and in an esprit de jeu,
In temperate times of ‘mellow fruitfulness’
In which my body was holding level
And my mind receiving the astute coolness
Of peer endorsement. Long-last cue to revel.
My caution. The lowdown on the Showdown
Lies in Revelation and Daniel. The stain
Of original sin swamps this land this town.
Note: The bulldozer image was requested by the author.
The other images and the coloured highlighting were added by the editor/administrator of this site.