How the blog works

The poems on this blog are mostly written on the basis of my historical reading and are intended to be both educational and entertaining.
Recently I have also begun posting some of my work with Anglo-Saxon charms. This work is somewhat speculative and is conducted as an amateur researcher and keen Pagan historian.

Please feel free to use anything on this site as a resource if you think that it may be relevant to your needs.

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Border Morris

Border Morris is the more dynamic style of Morris dancing that was originally practiced along the English side of the Welsh boarders. Men would dance for fun and money with blackened faces, perhaps to avoid recognition. This later has tended to be replaced by the wearing of masks. The dances are performed with short sticks which are knocked either together or on the ground. The dancers wear dark jackets now mostly of tatters, the colours of which will denote their side (team). The movements of the dancers is often quite boisterous with some modern sides going for a dark style of presentation.
Here is a link to a video of me with Bacchus Border Morris, the dance is called Tipsy:

Border Morris

We dance in winter, to have some money,
There be twelve of us, when it be sunny.
In hard winters, we dance for our dinners,
In our last lives, we must have been sinners.

Once our little gang, only had one dance,
But it could differ, quite a lot by chance.
After a few pints, masks come in handy,
But all I had, was a glass of shandy.

We be rather proud, of our short hard sticks,
We bang them and knock them, and do high kicks.
Some still insist, on fertility myth,
But only our short sticks, do end up stiff.

Spare a few pennies, for our Morris dance,
Before we collapse, in a shamanic trance.
Empty thine pockets, for a little beer,
If thee fancy, to stop me feeling queer.

Copyright Andrew Rea Summer 2010

Friday, 13 September 2013

‘Grimston a message from the past’


This poem focuses on a hamlet and old peoples home just outside of York on the road to Stamford Bridge. The landscape around contains many towns and features called through their many Saxon names after significant constructs. For reasons of clarity all the Saxon words on the modern map are translated into modern English within the poem.

Grimston (ghost settlement) – a message from the past?

Were Yorkshire village, Grimston it was named,
Ghost wood to west dial, hast not yet been tamed.
Reduced so only, does hamlet remain,
The ghost farm hamlet, on elf friendly lane.

Lying south east dial, village of elf friends,
Where elf friendly lane, cunningly extends.
Witch friendly village, it lays to the west,
To south dial village, is death ditch possessed.

North dial witches wood, south dial witches wood,
But here thirteen hearth, ghost hall it once stood.
Death ditch to south dial, or is drake a beast?
But thirteen hearth hall, is long since deceased.

Grew ghost manor where, there once stood ghost hall,
Then ghost court arose, and manor did fall.
Now ghost court awaits, the angel of death,
And folk take their last, shallow ghostly breath.

Saxon messages, through time they have passed,
Death ditch or dragon, warning from the past?
Elves witches and ghosts, in landscape around,
Still angle of death, is to the land bound.

Copyright Andrew Rea March 2012