For England & St. George

In praise let’s raise our flagons
to the conqueror of dragons
to the Saint who fought for all he thought was fair.

Let’s fly our flags and bellow
for that bold, courageous fellow
with a stomping-monster tale beyond compare.

Sent forth in times of togas
in an England crammed with ogres
asking for a stonking glance from George’s lance;

he snuffed out fire breathers
and the mealy-mouthed deceivers
instilling faith and giving truth a chance.

He tamed all flaming lies
taking scoundrels by surprise
when he lunged and plunged his blade through scaly skin.

And now the House of Commons
begs a George to conquer dragons—
politicians spouting flagonfuls of spin!

In praise let’s raise a glass
to St. George who kicked the arse
of the roaring morons billowing hot air.

Restore Old England’s beauty
with your quaint and saintly duty
and brave bombast-preying, dragon-slaying flair…

‘cause the citizens are tearing out their hair!

 

 

Susan Jarvis Bryant is a church secretary and poet whose homeland is Kent, England.  She is now an American citizen living on the coastal plains of Texas.  Susan has poetry published in the UK webzine, Lighten Up On Line, The Daily Mail, and Openings (anthologies of poems by Open University Poets).


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32 Responses

  1. Susan Jarvis Bryant

    I wrote this some years ago and although relevant today, my dear friend, Peter Flowerday, has just sent me a St. George’s greeting that he has just composed. It’s all the way from Kent in England and I think it is apt for today’s celebration. I hope it brings you a smile:

    St. George is in lockdown in old London Town,
    The Dragon is seizing its chance.
    All huffing and puffing and acting the clown,
    While Georgie boy buffs up his lance.

    Happy St. George’s Day, Peter, and thanks for the smile.

    Reply
    • C.B. Anderson

      May God preserve Old England, or restore her, if necessary. God knows she needs a bit of help these days. A significant portion of my own legacy comes from there, via the house of Birdsall (Biddesal), whence the “B” in my pen-name. It wasn’t until I was well into my adulthood that I realized that Anderson was a Scottish, not an English, name. But let’s observe that the British flag is a superimposition of St. George’s cross with St. Andrew’s cross. May England once more be jolly & old, without a trace of irony.

      Reply
      • Susan Jarvis Bryant

        C.B., thank you for this input, it’s interesting and much appreciated. What I love even more is the comments thread on this page. I love to celebrate St. George’s Day (which happens to be Shakespeare’s birthday) with poetry and joy. All of the people on here (including your good self) have gone a long way to making the day perfect. It’s tough in these times of lockdown to keep our chins up and maintain a stiff upper lip. A cup of tea usually does the trick, but today all those who have visited my page have made me smile. What a difference a day makes. Thank you!

    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Thank you, Leo. Here’s to the bravery or, maybe in this day and age, the effrontery of St. George. 😉

      Reply
  2. Sally Cook

    Dear Susan —

    St. George’s Day reminds me of another,
    St. David’s Day, on which my sainted mother
    Was born., so long ago in Michigan,
    Then taken home,across the lake. I can
    Remember all the tales she shared with me
    Of good St. David, who soon came to be.
    The one for whom you wore a daffodil
    To show your Welsh descent, and that you still
    Remember all the lovely things once told
    To you by this Welsh lady, brave and bold. .
    We certainly could use a St. George right now ! Too many dragons by far ! Sorry, I’m a bit off the track, but still in the main category.
    Nice poems, yours and your friends.

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Sally, I love your comment and the beautiful poem within. Your family history intrigues and inspires me. Wales lives in my heart. I have spent many a holiday there. Leeks are a Welsh symbol along with daffodils. I know this poem is not in keeping with The Society, but as it’s in the comments section, I hope it’s okay to share. I missed leeks when I arrived in Texas, and found some on a shelf in Walmart one day. I simply had to introduce leek and potato soup to my husband. Eating soup in the blazing haze of a Texas Autumn resulted in this. I know you’re going to smile,

      A Bowlful of Autumn

      Yesterday, in Walmart, next to the prickly cactus
      (a spiky reminder that I’m living in Texas)
      were leeks, leeks, leeks upon leeks.
      They were long and cool and cream and green,
      dusted with earth and the dream of soup.
      An autumnal bowl of soul…

      Today, I snip, slice, dice, steam and stir
      until a cosy aroma of my homeland
      bubbles to the top of the pot.

      This evening, as dusk’s haze of humidity
      seeps beneath the mesquite,
      and runs in rivulets down Lone Star longnecks,
      I’ll serve my velvet broth.
      I’ll garnish it with talk of flame-licked trees,
      frost-nipped leas, Guy Fawkes and bonfire smoke.

      Reply
      • Sally Cook

        A lovely thought, beautifully expressed. I once found leeks in New York , of all places, and made the same soup !
        Haven’t seen them since.
        Please do share my poem with anyone you like, and especially Peter with the lovely lastg. name of Flowerday..

      • Susan Jarvis Bryant

        Sally, we must be soup-soul sisters! I hope your soup tasted as wonderful as mine.

        Peter Flowerday lives up to his name. He is full of joy and wonder. Peter and I are lovers of art and have been to many exhibitions at the Royal Academy, Tate Modern, and National Gallery in London. I must send Peter your link – he will love it! Peter has been a huge influence in my life. I miss him desperately. Thank goodness for modern technology. His poem was hot off the press, and now you’re reading it. Peter will be thrilled at your appreciation.

      • Peter Hartley

        A fine poem this, showing a good ear for assonance, consonnance, consommé, and leeks. Have you ever seen the fruit bats in Sydney?
        When I lived in Devon as a student for three years one of my regular rock-climbing haunts was near Chudleigh. The cliffs were riddled with caves and the ceilings thereof plastered with Greater Horseshoe Bats. If you poked them carefully with a long stick they would drop off and could then be gently grilled at 220c with a knob of butter, a sprinkling of oregano and a few parsnips. After that the whole would be boiled in a pan for two hours until all the moisture had evaporated from it then the disgusting mess would be scraped off the bottom of the pan and thrown straight in the bin.
        It was probably this youthful experience of Devonian Chiroptera that has engendered an immense love for these creatures in their natural habitats ever since. It almost certainly inspired my magisterial magnum opus on “Whiskered Bat Droppings in the Mediaeval Belfries of West Sussex”. Happy St George’s Day to all.

      • Susan Jarvis Bryant

        Mr. Hartley, utterly hilarious! The images you conjure are pure poetry I will, however, avoid the recipe. I’d have to be a little batty to indulge – what a waste of good parsnips. On a serious note, I love Devon. It must have been wonderful to climb there. I’m also intrigued by bats. There are around 100,000 Mexican free-tailed bats living under the Congress Ave. Bridge in Downtown Austin. I’m yet to see them rise up on a night flight. I’m glad you liked my leek poem. Thank you for stopping by to read it.

  3. Rod

    Beautiful, hilarious and so accurate too Susan. I can see that, like me, you are getting the lowdown from friends in the Old Country !

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      I really appreciate this spot-on comment, Rod. It makes physical distance seem irrelevant on a day like today. Thank you!

      Reply
      • Joe Tessitore

        Yours and Sally’s poems made me smile, just when I was thinking that perhaps not even Saint George could save us at this point.

        I wonder too, Sally, if you we’re talking about digging them out of the ground, as opposed to finding them on a supermarket shelf?
        If so, then I would suspect that you were talking about wild ramps which, in my opinion, are even better than leeks.
        My wife and I spent many a happy hour digging them up in the forest, washing them in the little stream behind our Catskill house, and of course making unforgettable soup.

      • Susan Jarvis Bryant

        Mr. Tessitore, I do believe, having read your delicious comments on soup, we need to have a poetry soup competition on here. You and Sally have me and Mike craving soup in 91 degree F weather here in Texas… oh the power of words.

  4. Joseph S. Salemi

    Susan, this is a rousing piece. And you wrote it in the same measure as Kipling’s “Gunga Din” —

    In Indja’s sunny clime,
    Where I used to spend my time
    A-servin’ of ‘Er Majesty the Queen…

    What a nice tribute to St. George the dragonslayer!

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Thank you, Dr. Salemi. I really appreciate your passion for and knowledge of literature. Your spot-on take is second to none and one of the main reasons I’m on this site. Please know that in spite of this observation, I do have a backbone and welcome any constructive criticism. 😉

      Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Thank you, Mr. Whippman. I appreciate your observations. Happy St. George’s Day 🙂 Let’s hope my words have the dragons quaking.

      Reply
  5. Mike Bryant

    I feel it is incumbent on me to point out that this poem reveals your misdirected dragophobia. I believe that dragons MUST be granted the exact same rights that any other person has… whether undocumented or not.

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Mr. Bryant, I am sorry to say, St. George is after your arse! 😉

      Reply
    • Sally Cook

      Dear Mr. Undocmented . Sea Turtle –
      My list of edicts:
      Dragons are not people, no matter how much liberals insist.
      One thing about liberals — they do insist.
      Don’t quibble. Once I have sniffed out your undocument.ality, you .remain .Undocumented.
      Dan’t you see, don’t you know who I am?
      Think about it..
      f am the red queen. Or is it the black one?
      Bother !! Never mind. Enjoy your day.

      Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Thank you, Corey – much appreciated. Happy St. George’s Day.

      Reply
  6. Julian D. Woodruff

    Dear Ms Bryant,
    Brilliant and fun, as usual. But did you have to? In a few lines you’ve laid waste to my St. George mini-epic, which rests (now for good, maybe) at 2500 words! At least I’ve more or less finished How to Cook Your Dragon. (I wonder how my recipes would go with cream of leek soup.)

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Thank you for your comment, Mr. Woodruff. It’s absolutely hilarious and has made my evening. I think How to Cook Your Dragon is definitely the way forward, and when mixed with cream of leek soup – success is yours. Here’s to England, St. George, Dragons, and Leeks!

      Reply
  7. Sally Cook

    Soup poems – that’s the ticket ! .Or why not just food poems? That should get the poets hungry for rhyme and ravenous for meter.
    If you want, we can exchange e-mails through Evan. If we do, I can send you more of the family stuff you expressed interest in. If you would rather not, I’ll understand..
    S.

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      A wonderful idea, Sally. In fact, I have plenty of food poems just waiting for publication. Poetry Soup for the Soul!

      I would love to hear more about your family. You are most welcome to my email through Evan. I look forward to hearing from you, Sally.

      Reply

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