.

More than My Queen

My Queen has always been a noble force—
A force for good on chilly English days.
Her friendly face, her air of grace—my source
Of joy in more than crown-and-sceptre ways.
I saw her wave her white-gloved, regal hand
When I was nine and knotted up inside.
Her gilded, horse-drawn coach sailed up The Strand—
She looked at me and smiled a smile so wide,
I loved her from that London moment on,
Took comfort in her cozy, calming air—
I knew beneath the pomp her hug was warm.
I knew her heart was full of fun and care.

I’ll always be her loyal, lifelong fan
Because she looks exactly like my Nan.

.

.

Merry Jubilee, Ma’am!

I’m raising a glass to the Queen—HURRAY!
__It’s been seventy years right now!
All those years on the throne with never a moan—
__That’s worth a deep curtsey or bow,
Along with a toast from a Magnum of course
__That I stashed for this fabulous day.
I’m dizzy with glee on the Queen’s Jubilee—
__Keep the Moet a-flowing my way!

I’m refilling my flute. I am under her spell.
__I am draining the goblet dry.
I’m sipping at fizz in the name of our Liz
__And feeling a trifle high.
I’m pouring and chinking and slurring and shinging
__Of shaving the gracioush old gal—
So, before I fall down, one more toast to the Crown,
__The Kingdom and corgis as well!

.

.

Susan Jarvis Bryant has poetry published on Lighten Up Online, Snakeskin, Light, Sparks of Calliope, and Expansive Poetry Online. She also has poetry published in TRINACRIA, Beth Houston’s Extreme Formal Poems anthology, and in Openings (anthologies of poems by Open University Poets in the UK). Susan is the winner of the 2020 International SCP Poetry Competition, and has been nominated for the 2022 Pushcart Prize.


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33 Responses

  1. Russel Winick

    Susan Bryant’s poetry’s terrific –
    And more amazing since she’s so prolific!

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Russel, your comment’s so winning
      I’m typing a couplet and grinning!
      Thank you.

      Reply
  2. Margaret Coats

    Beautiful tributes, Susan! I am seeing the military ceremonies live on TV; my memory of seeing the Queen in person comes from the Braemar Games, where crowds were much smaller than today. Started Jubilee observances yesterday with champagne in church after a partial performance of Mozart’s Coronation Mass. But I was expecting a poem from you, and these surely suit the spirit!

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Margaret, it’s wonderful to hear of the marvellous time you’re having celebrating the Queen’s remarkable milestone. I raise a toast to you on your joyous trip and I’m pleased to have sprinkled a little linguistic sparkle on the occasion. As for the Braemar Games – wow! There’s a special place in my heart for the Scottish Highlands… I’ve spent many a holiday there and the place and the people are quite something. Cheers Margaret! I hope you have more festivities planned for the next few days.

      Reply
  3. Brian Yapko

    Two deeply charming poems, Susan, which I believe Elizabeth herself would be delighted by. I hope they are brought to her attention! I’ve always been impressed by the Queen’s dignity, discipline, elegance and kindness. History will truly regard her as one-of-a-kind and, in these inelegant times, I’m not sure her like will ever be seen again.

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Brian, thank you for your lovely comment, and as ever, your perceptive take on character and current affairs. You capture Queen Elizabeth II’s persona beautifully. Sadly, I agree with you wholeheartedly on your closing observation.

      Reply
  4. Joseph Salemi

    These are nice pieces that you have produced in your speedy way, Susan! Every decent person, British or non-British, has the deepest respect and affection for this kindly and dedicated woman who has given the bulk of her life to the service of her country — freely, selflessly, and whole-heartedly.

    I remember her coronation, when I was just a small child. We watched it on our big Dumont TV. What a radiantly beautiful young lady she was! And my parents recalled that in the war she had worked devotedly as an automotive mechanic to add her contribution to the war effort.

    When Queen Victoria had her Jubilee in 1897 a special vintage of port wine was bottled called “Jubilee Port,” and sold in a fancy cut-glass bottle. Jubilee Port was highly prized, and an oenophile writer said that he was still able to purchase a bottle in the 1950s. I hope the great makers and merchants of port wine will do the same thing for Queen Elizabeth.

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Joe, I really appreciate your comment. It taps into the conversations I heard at family gatherings. My grandparents bought their first TV for the Coronation. They were one of the first families to have a telly and the whole street piled into their house to witness the historic event. My mum and aunt invited the teachers from school.

      Queen Elizabeth’s war efforts were remarkable. Buckingham Palace was bombed during the Blitz and King George and the Queen Mother met the people on the London streets to boost morale… it worked.

      I’ve grown up with the royals playing a huge role in British life. Times have certainly changed, but my affection for Queen Elizabeth II hasn’t. As Brian mentioned, she has dignity, discipline, elegance and kindness. She certainly deserves a special vintage of Jubilee Port bottled in her honour. Long may she live and reign.

      Reply
      • Joseph S. Salemi

        Just a brief note on Jubilee port wine: Taylor-Fladgate has brought out a Jubilee Port for this occasion, a rich tawny made from old vintages (some over 90 years old). It costs 352 quid a bottle. Niepoort has also brought out a Jubilee port, for $107 a bottle.

        I’m sure Dow and Graham’s have also done the same, but I can’t locate any prices for their stuff. By the way. Graham’s still has a 1952 port that wasn’t released until a few years ago. It costs 275 quid per bottle. Jancis Robinson says it was the best tawny port she has ever had. It had been intended as a Coronation port when Elizabeth ascended the throne, but for various reasons was not made available in 1953. A seventy-year old port wine, to celebrate the Queen’s seventy years on the throne!

  5. Cheryl Corey

    Wonderful of you to recognize this incredible woman on her special day.

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      I couldn’t do anything else but write a poem… and raise a glass (of course). Thank you, Cheryl!

      Reply
  6. Norma Pain

    Wonderful stuff Susan. The Queen has always reminded me of my aunt Enid, someone I loved to be around, especially since she baked the most amazing strawberry-rhubarb pie. Enjoy your celebration… I may join you today.

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Strawberry-rhubarb pie… that sounds delicious. I have fallen in love with Aunt Enid just thinking about it. I was very partial to rhubarb crumble and clotted cream when I was in England. There’s no rhubarb on the coastal plains of Texas, sadly.

      Norma, thank you for your lovely comment. I hope you are raising a tipple to Queen Elizabeth as I type. Chin-chin and cheers!

      Reply
  7. C.B. Anderson

    Alright, Susan. Then why has she failed to speak up about all the terrible shit that is going on in her kingdom? No one in the Royal Family shows much inclination toward doing so. Are they all woke?!

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      C.B., you make a significant point, a point that I have mulled over many a time. I’d like to think if I were in Queen Elizabeth’s position, I would stand up, speak up, and lift the United Kingdom out of the current mess with words of acknowledgement, wisdom, and a plan. I have been angry with her. After all, she witnessed the horrors of WWII and the narrow escape we had from falling into the clutches of dictatorship. She should know better… but, she’s powerless… damned if she speaks, damned if she doesn’t. I’ve decided to celebrate her. I believe she has human failings and a good heart. I will leave the judgment to God.

      And yes, I believe the Royal Family is woke for all the good it will do them. The new world order will ensure there is no royalty. Perhaps the Queen is trying to preserve her lineage for as long as possible… she’s being a mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother because she’s powerless to be anything else… we know it and she knows it. Long live the Queen!

      Reply
    • Margaret Coats

      C. B., I have heard no royal condemnation of recent serious problems, but there is one royal highness who dared to address a politically hot topic. The Duchess of Kent suffered German measles while pregnant, and unwillingly aborted on the advice of highest Anglican clergy. She later spoke out as an opponent of abortion and criticized views of abortion as a way to help women solve their problems. This put her at a distance, although I believe she still performs duties as a royal patron. She gave her aborted child the name Patrick.

      Reply
    • Joseph S. Salemi

      Kip, the royals have not had any real political power since the 19th century. In fact, it is now absolutely taboo for them to speak out publicly on any political issue, or even anything that might lead to argument. Some years ago, when Prince Charles dared to make his disparaging comments on modern architecture, and on his preference for more traditional styles, he was roundly criticized.

      All the Queen can do is make a speech opening Parliament, and that speech and its contents are dictated by the current Prime Minister. The P.M. can visit Buckingham Palace to consult with Her Majesty and listen politely to her views, but she has no effective input into governmental policy.

      I don’t believe the royals are “woke.” You have to be invincibly stupid to be “woke,” and that is not the case in the royal family, except perhaps for Prince Harry.

      Reply
      • Susan Jarvis Bryant

        Joe, I believe the new generation of royals are woke – not because they’re stupid, but because they want the monarchy to survive or they really feel they’re doing good. I don’t want them to be and I feel uncomfortable even mentioning it, but facts are facts and Prince William warned viewers in a BBC climate change documentary in 2021 that we must act now to solve climate change issues. Vanity Fair calls him a ‘Climate Change Influencer’. It used to be frowned upon (as you mention with Prince Charles on architecture) to give a divisive opinion… things have changed. Sadly, I don’t think they’re for the better. I hope I’m wrong.

  8. Paul Freeman

    A couple of heartfelt tributes, Susan, giving a perspective on this historical moment.

    Hope you don’t mind me posting a short Platinum tribute chanelling Dr Seuss.

    The Queen on the Throne, said: “It’s time to have fun,
    some Platinum fun
    in the rain and the sun;
    with street parties, bunting and Union Jack flags,
    sodas and crisps and goody-filled bags.
    I’ll wave from my balcony, standing on high
    at Buckingham Palace as airplanes zoom by,
    while Cambridge One (William)
    and Cambridge Two (Kate)
    join me. With who else?
    Well, that’s in debate.
    As Horse Guards parade, and the Colour gets trooped,
    I’ll smile, smile, smile, smile
    even if I feel pooped.
    The ‘Great’ in ‘Great Britain’, we’re putting it back,
    so sit down and watch, with a beer and a snack.”

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Paul, thank you for this. You’ve captured the mood and it’s made me smile.

      The first Jubilee I celebrated was the Silver Jubilee, and I can see the balloons and bunting, taste the lemonade, crisps, egg and cress sandwiches, sausage rolls (I love sausage rolls) and mini trifles with hundreds and thousands on top, all laid out on trestle tables in the street. And oh, the singing and dancing! We were easily pleased back then!

      Reply
      • Paul Freeman

        Yep! I remember the Silver Jubilee, too, Susan. In fact, almost exactly the same street party memories, including the egg sandwiches, sausage rolls and trifles.

  9. Jeff Eardley

    Susan, last night, we witnessed a huge fireworks display, accompanied by “Land of Hope and Glory” as all around our distant moorlands, the beacons were fired. Once again, an Elizabeth with the body of a weak and feeble woman gazes out from Tilbury at the Armada of bad news heading our way. Time to dust off the bowls and head for Plymouth. Terrific is the only word for your verse today. Super stuff. The old bird should give you an MBE for this.

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Jeff, thank you for this magnificent comment – you’ve painted a poetic picture with your words. I am there at the scene. I’ll look out for notification of my MBE in the mail. 🙂

      Reply
  10. David Watt

    Terrific poetry as always Susan. I particularly appreciated the inventive
    internal rhyming of “Keep the Moet a flowing my way!” The Queen does
    deserve plenty of praise for her stamina and gracious smile.

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      David, thank you very much… I must admit I was grinning when I wrote that line. I will definitely be raising a toast to Her Royal Highness today! ‘All those years on the throne with never a moan’ deserves a Champagne-nod in the Queen’s direction from here in Texas. 🙂

      Reply
  11. Sally Cook

    Thanks for these sprightly poems, Susan. I believe we share some similar thoughts about her.
    The dear Queen ! Having been a mainstay during the War and long after, I still cannot help thinking of her as a Civil Servant, with all that implies. Rules and obfuscation. How could she stand it? Never her opinions but that of a committee.
    And those awful hats, with suits to match. A group decision, no doubt!
    Rarely any time to be alone.
    And yet She married for love, and has had a long and happy marriage and family life. That alone could put many of us to shame.

    Reply
  12. Jan Darling

    Good Gracious Sally! Awful hats? And suits? The Queen I share with other loyal subjects has never put a faux pas for me. She is unfailingly elegant and gracious. She dresses exactly as I expect her to (I do hope she has her own choice of undies). More importantly, in these tempestuous times, she stands as a beacon of moral fortitude and old-world correctness that can be matched by none. I have enjoyed every tribute to her enormously and thank you, Susan, for your enchanting habit of tying the coat-tails of our future history so perfectly.

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Thank you very much, Jan and Sally. As far as the Queen’s clothes go, I think of them as a uniform in a rather beautiful array of eye-catching colours. I think the Queen is happiest in her Balmoral attire… tweeds, waxed jacked, wellie boots, striding over her heathered estate with a grin. She once said she couldn’t change her hairstyle because that would mean all British coins and stamps would have to be changed too. As for the Queen’s underwear… I think she has the final say on that front. If I were the Queen, that’s where I’d go utterly wild. Mint green chiffon on top, scarlet and black lace beneath. 🙂

      I’m thrilled you both enjoyed my poems. Here’s to a fair few more years with our dear Liz on the throne!

      Reply
      • Joseph S. Salemi

        I was told many years ago by some English friends that the Queen’s (and the Queen Mother’s) eye-catching wardrobe colors and very large hats were specifically designed for public occasions, and that they served the purpose of making the monarch stand out clearly and prominently for those attending members of the public, and for the cameras.

        It makes sense, and seems to have been the case for all royalty throughout history. A monarch must dress for the public role.

      • Susan Jarvis Bryant

        Joe, thank you for this interesting piece of info. It certainly makes sense… and, Her Majesty is always easy to spot… she shines… though, I do believe that her gleaming aura has as much to do with her heart as it does her attire.

      • Sally Cook

        Dear Susan, I mean
        I do hope that you all know my sartorial comments were offered in a sympathetic vein.

        And when I say the Dear Queen, I mean just that~

        PS – Joe, thanks for that sensible explanation of the large hats and bright colors; Susan, I’m with you on that lavender chiffon.

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