Saturday, 14 August 2010

The Wreckers: A Poem By Pete Marshall


The Wreckers:
 A Poem By Pete Marshall

The bells would chime as lowered heads
Would march in line to pay their debts
But coppers weighed on ravaged hands
As wolves would bay in greedy clans

And nights would close on darkened rooms
Where paths were chose that led to doom
And on the beach from tunnels deep
The ships would breach as wreckers meet
Amongst the brine the cries of men
That took to crime to feed their bairns
Whilst sailors drowned in torrid seas
And booty found beseeched by pleas

They climbed the rocks and journeyed home
As hope would mock their tired bones
But death would lay upon the cliffs
When state would claim their laden gifts

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You might or might not know but a lot of my poetry has been inspired by my experiences with being unemployed? I have written a series on this which can be viewed on the following link, My Struggle With Unemployment.

The above piece came about by the thought of how far you would go to feed your family when faced with mounting debts & hard times. I then began to think back to a time so much different from the one we live in but when these problems were just as rife. The wreckers tells a tale of a village whose men paid the ultimate price.

If unemployment has affected you in any way, if you would like to talk about it, share your experiences, then I am willing to hear. You can leave a comment or email me.

Regards Pete

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image courtesy creative commons flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/cpieters/

24 comments:

Boonsong said...

This is very deep. I like it.

All the best, Boonsong

Pete Marshall said...

hi boonsong..thanks for your comment..the poem helped me explore the risks people take whikst setting it in a historical time..cheers Pete

Gwei Mui said...

Yes very telling and I popped over to read your other work on the subject. Your poems capture the essence of what it is to be on the dole. What's cheesing me of big time is the label that's creeping back in that we're spongers, that we're deliberately squeezing the state dry! It's smoke and mirrors. I've paid my dues, NI and tax ever since I started full time work back in the 80s. Now that I'm out of work and need help that doesn't seem to figure. Sadly I can't see the sitation getting any better for those that are out of work

Pete Marshall said...

Hi Gwei...you are so right..i have only ever had two jobs, starting from 1983..this is my first experience of being out of work..i was paying over 1k a month in NI's, more than contributed, but you are so right, i am also being tarred with this label..thanks for commenting and good luck with you plight..cheers Pete

Claudia said...

strong writing Pete!
and lots of questions you raise with it - will give me some food for thought...

Pete Marshall said...

hi claudia - thanks for commenting..Pete

TALON said...

Desperate times call for desperate measures - that's what ran through my mind when I read this, Pete. Funny how things haven't realled change much, have they?

Pete Marshall said...

Hi Talon..thats my point, despite technological enhancements, mankind still suffers with the same basic problems..thanks for commenting..Pete

Christine said...

How true to life this poem is. When I was teaching we visited the Smugglers caves in Hastings many times and the children learned how hard life was and how the smugglers had to turn to crime to survive, often dying in the process. Even today people can be this desperate. A wonderful and poignant poem.

Christine

f82bfat said...

What a beautiful and insightful poem. I guess the times change but people really don't. Would I cheat on my taxes to feed my kids..damn straight, whatever it would take. The government taketh and taketh, then when you are unemployed you have to fight to get some back. Quite a system they have going.

Pete Marshall said...

thanks Christine..its always a pleasure to see you comment..i have also been to those caves in Hastings..a frightening time indeed..cheers Pete

Pete Marshall said...

hi f82bfat...a great comment and very true..of course we would..the mouths of our children are the most important thing our lifes...cheers Pete

Brian Miller said...

as you know petey...i have been part time the last 18 months...T just took a ful time gig after 8 years of raising boys...it is discouraging at times...i hocked and sold things i never thought i would...never crossed the line...but i wont say the thought never occured...

moondustwriter said...

we have faced desperate several times. Sold many things to feed the children. Glad I had them to sell. We never had to sell our children or our souls.

Thanks Pete for giving us something to ponder - I appreciate your willingness to lay your struggles before all of us.

Moon hugs

You know there are many who support you!!!

Beachanny said...

Pete, I sympathize with your plight and with the characters of the poem. I want to compliment you on its beauty notwithstanding its meaning.
I love that sort of paradox. From the ballad-like iambic tet to the center rhyme and the ending assonance this poem is elegantly and eloquently crafted. The rhyme at center is like creating a peak from which one has to slide back down. Exquisite work.
I hope you find a way to continue doing this and getting paid for it.
You are most deserving.

G-Man said...

Pete...I've been between jobs and it does test your mettle thats for sure. Sadly enough, out of turmoil comes fantastic inspiration. You my friend have got a great gift going on right now. And that is the ability to bare your mind, heart, and soul by way of beautiful poetry. I guarantee that anyone reading this is transported by your eloquence to that place.
Marvelously told My Friend..
Thank You for sharing this...G

Pete Marshall said...

Hi Bri.. thats the thing that you do to survive..but also knowing where your line is and how far must you go to cross it...the sad thing for me is that those who cross it through desperation are treated no different from career criminals and the like...oh well a though provoking Saturday..cheers Pete

Pete Marshall said...

Hi moonie...you make a statement like "never had to sell our children" and yet as crazy as it seems this was common in times gone by and i believe even now in certain countries this still happens...i hope i am wrong....thanks for the Saturday ponder..cheers Pete

Pete Marshall said...

Hi beachanny...wow that in itself was a very well crafted comment..thanks ever so much..cheers pete

Pete Marshall said...

hi g-man..another great comment that i really appreciate..being out of work most certainly has given me the time to resonate and i hope that when things do finally change all this is not forgotten and i continue with the poetry...thanks Pete

Neva Flores said...

Very deep and so beautiful...........

Pete Marshall said...

thanks neva..appreciate that..cheers pete

dustus said...

Hi Pete! Agree with all the comments regarding the evident depth of the poem. I wish to add that the lines seem pitch-perfect, melodic.
cheers

Pete Marshall said...

Hi Adam...thanks for your kind words..cheers Pete