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Writing by Ruth Ann Oskolkoff

Thomas Rainsborough: Friend of the People

Sea green ribbons color the procession
Down through London in sixteen forty-eight;
Rosemary sprigs were worn in unison;

Thousands of mourners in demonstration
Numerous Levellers participate
As sea green ribbons gild their procession;

Our Vice Admiral has sadly fallen,
He who had used his voice to liberate,
Pinned rosemary sprigs showed their unison;

Lain in Wapping, in dim oblivion–
Yet his words are still clear and resonate,
While green ribbon adorned the procession;

Some cry, but other pilgrims wait for none
To rescue them, instead they congregate,
Sprigs of rosemary sprigs show their unison;

“The poorest has a life,” his words are spun,
“As the greatest,” so sing and jubilate–
Sea green ribbons gild the procession,
Rosemary for unyielding unison.

Copyright – Ruth Ann Oskolkoff 2021

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PiNCC

Progressive Independent Creative Collective

PiNCC E-ZINE FEB 2021

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Writing by Ruth Ann Oskolkoff

The Last Stand at Mona

A battle buried in antiquity
When Rome invaded Ynys Môn with might
Yet druids still gather on Anglesey;

The fourteenth legion crossed the Irish Sea
Cavalry, infantry—soldiers alight,
A battle buried in antiquity;

Women hollered curses like the banshee
In black, disheveled, a terrible fright,
Yet druids still gather on Anglesey;

Brave armed warriors faced the enemy
With brands of flame, each one ready to fight,
A battle buried in antiquity;

The Romans slew the druids savagely,
Blood soaked altars, groves cut down through the night,
Yet druids still gather on Anglesey;

Rome herself has vanished in history,
Rowanberries grow on this sacred site,
A battle buried in antiquity,
Yet druids still gather on Anglesey.

© 2020 Ruth Ann Oskolkoff

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Writing by Ruth Ann Oskolkoff

Hedgerow Adagios

Medieval hedgerows of woody trees stretch in vast privilege, to define grassy boundaries, allege privacy, or seclude from prevailing winds. Formed as part of parish edges which ran along the original broad fields, boundless colorful foliage, darkened sod, odd fences made of nature, low trees and shrubs, smoldering lavender, blooms of flowering quince all together to cast an ancient shape upon this bejeweled green. Notice how the lilies of the field grow; they do not labor, nor do they spin. The narrow leafed Portuguese laurel is a dense evergreen hedging shrub which produces beautiful white flowers in June fields and by the roads so drivers know which direction to go and sheep know where to graze. Uncertain of owner, ancient boundaries of charming hawthorn, sloe, blackthorn, ash and spindle rise like an expansive tor. I want to be in that living world. Give me a copse of eight woody trees–a flutter of leaf, a scurry of animal, and a freedom of birds who sing adagios. That is the life we all deserve–not encased and captive with claims written on paper many miles away, locked with a key away in a useless wad. My reality shall be the wind and rain, the spring hare and wandering deer. I want history and stories, the sounded and voiced. This is the stuff of brood and life near the flood of the communal stream. I will believe in mud in front of my face, seeds blown past by the breeze. I want to find a share that cannot be sold. The real profit is to live within the long boundary, straddle rhythms of the distant sky and the moody moon. The divine way is to give shelter to the living creatures among blessed root and stone in a sacred pledge. We will then be rich in imagination with a living hedge.

© 2021 Ruth Ann Oskolkoff

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Writing by Ruth Ann Oskolkoff

A Toast For Mat Mason

We grieve you comrade, you are gone too soon–
We’ll sip some whiskey while awake all night,
Then raise a toast in the light of the moon;

Our hearts are gutted, the pieces now strewn
In our pathways, crushed, crumbled dolomite,
We grieve you comrade, you are gone too soon;

You crazy meme lord, lovable buffoon,
Ever kindly, authentic and forthright–
Let’s raise a toast in the light of the moon;

You made us laugh with your quirky toon,
Laconic, irreverent, renegade knight,
We grieve you comrade, you are gone too soon,

A trusted friend in our rag-tag platoon–
Your loss unbearable, we mourn our plight,
We raise a toast in the light of the moon;

Your words remain like a modern-day rune
“Be good to each other” will be our rite–
We grieve you our comrade, gone far too soon,
We’ll raise a toast in the light of the moon.

© 2021 Ruth Ann Oskolkoff

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Writing by Ruth Ann Oskolkoff

Wistman’s Wood

I want to walk in Wistman’s Wood at dawn
When the light arises through the dappled trees,
Visit moss-covered boulders all roughhewn
While I wend my way through sonorous peace;

I shall commune with those ancient stones
Where druids danced, wild faerie played,
Ponder simple imperceptible tones
In the cathedral of this emerald glade;

I will take to the woods for a visit now
Leaving the thunderous din behind,
A moment between each branch and bough,
To breathe blessed air, let my soul unwind.

© 2021 Ruth Ann Oskolkoff

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Writing by Ruth Ann Oskolkoff

Prisoner # A9379AY

Julian Assange, detained by-and-by
In southeast London’s Belmarsh Prison corps,
Prisoner A  –  9  –  3  –  7  –  9  –  A  –  Y;

Made to suffer tortures they classify
for publishing truths of crime, murder, war,
Julian Assange, detained by-and-by;

A small cell, grey cement, dark termini,
Winner of a peace prize, bold editor,
Prisoner A  –  9  –  3  –  7  –  9  –  A  –  Y;

Apache choppers gunning from the sky,
Reuters staff versus executioner–
Now Julian is detained by-and-by;

Must collateral damage belie
A better world, humane, superior?
See inmate A  –  9  –  3  –  7  –  9  –  A  –  Y;

We resist, protest, it must be asked why
The killers go free, not this expositor?
Julian Assange, detained by-and-by,
Prisoner A  –  9  –  3  –  7  –  9  –  A  –  Y.

© 2021 Ruth Ann Oskolkoff

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Writing by Ruth Ann Oskolkoff

Candles for Assange

I joined this gathering of crucial light
Outside the gallery, next to rough stone,
Candles for Assange are kindled tonight;

At dusk each Saturday people unite
In Trafalgar Square, together or lone,
I joined this gathering of crucial light;

One hundred flickering flames flutter bright,
Countless small glowing beams carefully shone,
Candles for Assange are kindled tonight;

Courage remains imprisoned out-of-site
For publishing proof of crimes unbeknown,
I joined this gathering of crucial light;

All hour, undulate flashes delight
So weekly rites shall continue anon,
Candles for Assange are kindled tonight;

One day they will end Julian’s long plight–
All those who hold truth as sine qua non,
I joined this gathering of crucial light,
Candles for Assange are kindled tonight.       

© 2021 Ruth Ann Oskolkoff

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Writing by Ruth Ann Oskolkoff

A Birthday Fancy for Julian Assange

When we finally open that sealed box which now lay
undiscovered, you will surely be released through an
unlocked door, shall leave your prison walls through
solemn peace, riding one car home, filled with gifts
piled on tables, blessed children, seas of love, happy
family. Light collides with light. Cosmic innocents
bestow smiles, laughter rises into blue expanses like
bright helium balloons, pops inside burst clouds, rain
down tears, loud thundering freedom for witnesses
who will never have to watch another journalist shot
from war helicopters because now everyone knows
they should not, cannot allow this within our world,
instead must bequeath happiness, spring daisies,
countless peace doves, and safety granted on each
child, who are in reality sweet blossoming branches
of Brahma incarnate, sacred now, wholly blameless.

© 2021 Ruth Ann Oskolkoff

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Writing by Ruth Ann Oskolkoff

Song of the Chieftess

 
I am the nesting wren in May.
I am the tall blue elderberry.
I am the queen of dragon flies.
I am the angry geese on the shores.
I am salmon swimming up stones.
I am the black bird who suddenly swoops.
I am the steady swishing of rain.
I am the rising wind on the Sound.
I am the ancient mountain Tahoma.
I am the lanterns of remembrance.
I am poetry recited as if in trance.
Who throws light on the Sun-a-do peaks?
Who is both fir and lightning which strikes?
Who knows both sun and silver moon?
Who but I know the secrets of midnight?
Who gathers the memories, sings to the lands?
Who attunes to the fields, the rivers, the peoples?
Who If not I? I invoke the waves of Salish Sea.
Who if not I? I call out peace to all community.

© 2021 Ruth Ann Oskolkoff

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Writing by Ruth Ann Oskolkoff

My Keepsake

That flash of inward light, unexpected
Prostration, awakening tenderness,
What have I turned into? Overpowered
By some inner sense, a profound largess;
I meet myself but cannot see my face,
My eyes are soft as if I wept all night,
My sense of me is gone without a trace,
Like the new moon, this lone Seattleite
Must arise, must face that I will never
See you again, nor grasp your hand, asleep
With no farewell kiss, I left forever,
You did not see me off, yet still I keep
Directions you kindly scribbled for me–
My keepsake, this old hallowed memory.

© Ruth Ann Oskolkoff 2021