(All poetry by Bruce Dale Wise)

The Children’s Crusade

Amendment II of the US Constitution: A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

by Brice U. Lawseed

While armed police protected thousands at the rally site,
with AR rifles, handguns, even military might,
more than 200,000 demonstrators had arrived
in March 2018 for the big March for Our Lives.
The overarching message was quite simple to surmise,
supporters of the NRA must be cut down to size.
Supported by the actors and directors famed in film
of making the most violent of movies, mayhem filled;
Planned Parenthood and riled rappers joined the child crusade;
though only 10% were children, all there were kept safe.

Brice U. Lawseed is a poet of DC and its environs, of politics and law. 


A Prison Speech: 18 March 2018

by Clide Abersuwe

Friends, Britons, lovers of free speech, I’m not your countryman.
My name is Martin Sellner, and I am an Austrian.
I came to speak at Speakers’ Corner, but I’ve been detained;
I’m sitting in detention, my cell phone has been retained.

My woman friend named Brittany was taken from my side.
We both will be deported. O, we did not come to Hyde.
Lend me your ears. I represent a patriotic group
called Generational Identity; we love the truth.

But I’ve been silenced by authorities for my beliefs
to slow migration of the neonazi feudal fiefs.
I did not come to bury Britain; brutal people have,
on rubble of the freedoms they despise, at which they laugh.

From London, Paris, Rome, Vienna, even on the beach,
we will fight on for freedom, homeland, and identity.
Unlike the fascist, racist haters we will not wear masks
and blow up children at their concerts, people at their tasks.

I have not come to praise tradition, but to bury it.
I am an Austrian. I will remain a patriot,
despite such vile venom and such vicious, wretched phlegm;
today we face a new totalitarianism.

You know that Britain always had new people come to it,
and such were welcomed when they came here to be a new Brit;
but when they come to trash the Scottish, Irish, Welsh, and those
who make United Kingdom good, what are we to suppose?

Authorities consider free speech is more dangerous
than gangs or terrorists, than rapists or cult criminals.
Replacing English, Scottish, Irish, Welsh—all those born here—
is what some want, to make some feel foreign, filled with fear.

And now we are not being let to talk about this death.
But in my cell in Colnbrook, with each and every breath,
I will continue to speak out against such tyranny,
beneath an English-Scotch-Welsh heaven on an Irish Sea.


Clide Abersuwe is a poet of the Scotch. He transcribed this poem, with artistic license, from a speech by an Austrian crusader against censorship.


The Deputy Blaine Gaskill

by W. Belaid Secure

The deputy Blaine Gaskill was the good guy with a gun,
who stopped the shooting killer kid in Great Mills, Maryland,
who quickly ran straight for the gun sounds, he did not want to,
but did his duty faithfully, his training tried and true.
He had to cover quite a bit of ground to reach the shots.
He never paused to hide behind a bush. He never stopped.
And when he got there, Gaskill fired at the shooter just
as he was firing one more round. But, o, he bust it up.
The SRO did what was right, but still the loss of life
is tragic in such incidents, with which our time is rife.

W. Belaid Secure is a poet on security issues.


NOTE TO READERS: If you enjoyed this poem or other content, please consider making a donation to the Society of Classical Poets.

NOTE TO POETS: The Society considers this page, where your poetry resides, to be your residence as well, where you may invite family, friends, and others to visit. Feel free to treat this page as your home and remove anyone here who disrespects you. Simply send an email to mbryant@classicalpoets.org. Put “Remove Comment” in the subject line and list which comments you would like removed. The Society does not endorse any views expressed in individual poems or comments and reserves the right to remove any comments to maintain the decorum of this website and the integrity of the Society. Please see our Comments Policy here.


6 Responses

  1. David Watt

    ‘A Prison Speech’ highlights the need to preserve freedom of speech in contemporary society. We may choose to agree or disagree with points of view. Voicing an opinion from Speakers Corner is certainly not on a par with the all too frequent acts of violence we see today. Well done for examining a recent event and giving us pause for thought.

  2. James A. Tweedie

    “We did not come to Hyde.” lol How unexpected to find humor injected into such a humorless subject.

  3. B. S. Eliud Acrewe

    I am content with the words of Clide Abersuwe’s two tennos, “The Children’s Crusade” and “The Deputy Blaine Gaskill”; they both say what he wanted to say in those docupoems, and say it succinctly. If I were to recommend a revision to “The Children’s Crusade,” I would draw in the Pied Piper peripherally, and maybe add an historical fact or two from history; but I don’t care to. One of the things I like about tennos generally, is that once you’ve had your say, you can let them go and move on.

    Unfortunately, the three who have commented on this thread have focused on a poem that needs more work. It is a bit of a disaster, but with greater qualities than the other two poems. Why does Clide Abersuwe present such a shoddy work? Well, first off, perhaps he’s busy writing. In our world of 24/7, things occur so quickly, especially in the terratoria of docupoetry, maybe, he has time commitments, like journalists do. Secondly, maybe he didn’t expect this poem to be posted, as it might have been in a group of a dozen or so other poems that were not docupoems, poems with much more attention to detail. Thirdly, however, it doesn’t hurt to show glaring artistic flaws, because many of the works in prose and poetry posted diurnally across the Internet are filled with flaws. C’est la vie.

    Anyway, here are some of the flaws that irritate me:

    1. I don’t like the phrase “neonazi feudal fiefs”; it’s too alliterative; it’s too au courant; and it’s too opaque.

    2. Likewise I am offended by the phrase “the fascist, racist haters”; it doesn’t say anything of value; it is cliche name-calling; and it is mindless, virtue signalling. Abersuwe really should get rid of such phrases.

    3. I also thought the overall phrasing in stanza six was awkward. The rhyme pair “to it/new Brit” is appalling.

    4. I don’t know how he could change it, but the listing of “English, Welsh, Scotch, Irish” is tiresome. Each one of those stanzas in which those strings occur need to be revised.

    5. Mr. Watt is right on target to note that “voicing an opinion from Speakers Corner is…not on a par with the…acts of violence we see today.” I think that is one of the good themes of Mr. Abersuwe’s poem.

    6. Both Mr. Sale and Mr. Tweedie noted the humour in the poem. Mr. Tweedie even points out that it is unexpected to find such humour “injected into such a humorless subject.” And yet, think of the Porter in “Macbeth,” the banter in “Hamlet,” and the foolery in “King Lear,” to mention only three instances in one writer.

    7. I am rather more taken aback by the alliteration, almost Swinburnean, in line 19, “vile venom and such vicious, wretched phlegm.” I think Hopkins, and many other Victorians, drank out of that same Beowulfian pot that Abersuwe has.

    8. I don’t think the Churchillian echo works either, for that matter; nor the Brooke allusion. The comparison between the poem’s material and those two examples places Abersuwe’s lines in a poor light.

    9. I don’t mind the echoes of Marcus Antonius from Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar”; for that is one of those qualities that makes the poem superior to the tennos; but I would have rather had it more thoroughly integrated into the work. There are times it simply doesn’t succeed.

    10. I did like the mention of Colnbrook and Mr. Sale’s remark—”yea, what a place”; but overall I think the energy at the end of the poem flags terribly, and does not pull off what it could potentially accomplish.

    Finally, I hope Mr. Abersuwe will pardon this cursory critique and forgive any uncomplimentary remarks I may have made, and take my thoughts in the spirit with which they was meant to be given—Get to Work, Clide.

  4. Dave Whippman

    “A Prison Speech” is interesting because of the political content. I am not sure how well this version works, technically, as a poem. But the content carries it, because this question of national identity is such a topical one, and a heated one at that.

  5. Wilbur Dee Case

    Mr. Whippman is correct; the question of national identity is a heated topic at the moment. “Prison Speech” is worthy of improvement. I particularly like the repetition of “I am an Austrian” and the rhyme of “bury it” and “patriot”.

    In an email message, Waldeci Erebus pointed out that in reference to “The Children’s Crusade,” violent rhetoric could easily be found in some of the speeches and placards at the March for Our Lives (e. g., “Hey, hey, NRA, how many kids have you killed today?”).

    In an earlier poem, “The Parkland, Florida, School Shooting,” Mr. Damian Robin pointed out that the “ancient Greeks [likewise] grappled with tragedy,” and noted there is a “power in simply naming.” The putting of such situations right before our eyes, (as in these docupoems) Mr. Robin, acutely identified the literary term “enargeia.”


Leave a Reply to B. S. Eliud Acrewe Cancel Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.