by Chris Nash
A Queen is dead, now long live the people,
in service and dedication we are all her equal,
we, who wear everyday faces of common duty
not for wealth or reward, but in natural beauty.
From Grenfell tower through Glastonbury Tor,
in reach & teach our diverse island spirits soar,
all things counter crown the commonest brow,
island breezes sedition dissent in rustling boughs.
From Athelstan to C Rex 111, our island story
is mass trespass on power’s grasping privacy;
we Ashoka, we Selassie, we Ren, yes, we Queen
sceptre our human animal, past days Trumpian, obscene.
Now hand in hand, in revival at majesty’s grave
we evolve our new commonwealth of equal Love.
'All things counter' - an echo of 'Pied Beauty', Gerard Manley Hopkins
Athelstan - 895-939, perhaps the first ruler to give the Western Isles, a native identity
Ashoka - King of India from 273 to 232 BC, who established Buddhism as a major philosophy among the people.
Selassie - Haile Selassie, Emperor of Ethiopia from 1930 to 1974 and a Pan Africanist celebrated in reggae music
Ren - 仁 - Ren is a key idea in the philosophy of Master Kong (Confucius in the West) expressing a common humanity that all can perfect
Commonwealth - The Commonwealth was the title adopted by the English Republic after The English Revolution in the 1640's. The idea of 'commonwealth' was revived in the 1800's and then again as the voluntary international association that evolved from Empire
Chris Nash writes international ‘poetry without borders’ and is now working on a collection of ‘songs’ for species threatened by extinction called ‘Is this Goodbye?’. See www.chrisnashpoetry.com.