Man of the West

From : Graham Searle

This is my way of summing up the diverse past of my part of the world and my passion for my heritage...

 

Let us wander a landscape steeped in hard history

Where words might be spoken from centuries past,

Where once on green slopes of the wolf and the bear

Men built the stone circles and prayed they would last.

We begged from the earth the tin and the gold

From under old cliffs and beside ancient streams;

We severed the oak as it rose in its might

So men in their ships could steal and build dreams.

 

These are the words of the Man of the West -

Born from the granite, sprung from the sea,

Facing all foes, bearing all loss...

Yet deep in the soul the need to be free.

 

The bard spoke his verse in the times of a king

As we cast out our nets in the hue and the cry,

Yet now boats lie dying by some foreign decree

And the nets and the timbers must crumble and dry.

When a fleet sailed our waters, we rushed to the call...

The admiral had spoken and we were the crews;

A victory we took, yet the lads of this country

Have learnt how to grieve and ever to lose.

 

When the giant of a tanker broke its dark back

And spilled out its filth on our rugged shore,

Or the men of Penlee paid the ultimate price,

We might ask in our minds what the dying was for.

When the floods snatched our homes in their wretched greed,

We rose up as one in each desperate hour;

When the bombs in the blitz poured down on our land,

Our hearts grew together to defy such cold power.

 

When a muse shall be summoned our land sings so strongly

To call poet and painter to take what they might...

Some story of magic, some canvas or sculpture -

That a man in his fear feels his spirit take flight.

But what shall we do when the rich folk come calling

To buy homes for a weekend on some fanciful whim?

Where streets filled with such laughter windows lie shut

And the villages empty when the future looks grim.

 

What shall the West hold when we have given

In our need to survive where we know we belong?

Shall our past be remembered just sadly passing

In the words of some verse or a solitary song?

We took from our realm and we sought to give back.

And now for our children we know we must try...

They shall know of our strengths and our weaknesses too,

They shall know Western hearts and hopes never die.

 

These are the words of the Man of the West -

Born from the granite, sprung from the sea,

Facing all foes, bearing all loss...

Yet deep in the soul the need to be free.

 

© Copyright Graham Searle

 

 

 

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Man of the West

Above - Graham performs at the AONB 50th Anniversary birthday party, Kinsgbridge Show, 2010

Graham Searle has recorded a selection of his poetry on CD and produced an accompanying booklet. For details of CD and book & ordering please contact him directly by e-mail: graham.c.searle@btinternet.com

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