Poems by Madalyn Morgan

CRYING WOLF was written when I was eleven years old after almost drowning in the Minnesota River USA and rewritten in 2012 during The Writers Holiday at Caerleon, University of South Wales.

 Crying Wolf
 Dougie, Dougie, I’m drowning.
 I stepped back and bobbed down
 And the American Indian boys dived into the Minnesota River to save me.
 What fun it was, I’ll do it again.
 But Dougie, Dougie, was all I said, when, 
 Like Alice, I disappeared down a hole.
 Gasping. Hands flailing. And feet treading water
 My nose and mouth filled. Then, I gave in.
 I felt calm.  Still.
 I was the river now, and the river was me.
 Caressing me, seducing me with, its pull and sway,
 I waited for Neverland.
 Then, whoosh!  I was plucked from the water.
 Pulled by my hair, my arms,
 And dropped like a stone on the shore.
 I can hear voices. Blows rain down on me.
 My chest is hurting.
 I’m sorry, I say.
 She’s alive! Everyone cheers!
 They hold me, hug me, and kiss me.
 Then my aunt told me off, and I cried. 

CLEOPATRA AND ANTONY was written during The Writers and Artists Weekend at Fishguard 2018  
Cleopatra and Antony
“My own Cleopatra, Queen of the Nile
 Come hither now and set this old heart free.
 With your enticing smile, your wayward wiles, 
 your lusty infinite variety.” 
 Bathing in milk to preserve her beauty
 painted Eunuchs fan her to keep her cool.
 Hand maidens dance attendance to duty
 While the Emperor Caesar looks the fool.
 Mistress in turn, to two thirds of the world
 Power and sovereignty in her hand
 Her plan to marry Antony now unfurled 
 She will reign supreme over all the land
 Held lovingly in Lord Antony’s arms
 Cleopatra applied her seductive charms 

Battle Cry - written at the Writer's Summer School - Swanwick 2019
Battle Cry
They thundered, plundered, fought with grit,
 Hail Caesar and commence battle -
 the cry.
 Rome’s generals raised ten thousand men.
 They fought, were killed, raised ten again,
 To die.
 Lances thrown and horses falling
 Swords are drawn soldiers are mourning,  
 the dead.
 Army strongholds now depleted.
 Garrisons and legions wiped out.
 A bloody, broken army. 
 Beaten, they enter the city.
 But why?
 No standard for them raised on high.
 No celebration feast or toast.
 Just lies.
 Hail Caesar, the victory cry.
 Hail Caesar the generals lie
 To wives
 Now another battle ensues
 Justice for the dead, or your head 
 Jimmy Packing To Go On Holiday - was written during The Artists and Writers Weekend - Fishguard 2018
 Jimmy Packing To Go On Holiday
 I knew before she started packing,
 Mum wouldn’t let me take my skates.
 So while she wasn’t looking,
 I put them in Dad’s case.
 ‘You’re not taking a kite,’ she said,
 As I flew it through the door.
 Spiderman, above my head.
 ‘I’ve told you, nothing more!’
 ‘Oh, Mum!’ I Said, ‘it’s very small.
 It can go right in your case.’
 Mum looked at me and rolled her eyes.
 ‘Leave me a little space!’
 So the skates were packed, my cars, my kite.
 My cricket bat and ball.
 My X-box, Drone, and Finger Spins,
 But no underpants at all. 
 Ethiopian Mother was written after seeing a bust of an Ethiopian woman

 Ethiopian Mother 
 Sunrise. The day already blazing.
 Beads of perspiration on her skin,
 Her thin cotton shift clings to her angular body.
 Back straight, legs aching, the soles of her leathery feet burn in the sand.
 But she will not stop until she finds water.
 Only then will she take the crude ochre pitcher from her head.
 At last. The water hole is in sight. But the stench of filth and fear halts her.
 Exhausted she casts her wary gaze. 
 Should she compete with the wildebeest and hog?
 Amidst a chorus of buzzing flies, she licks her dry chapped lips.
 Tastes the salt of her sweat, and walks on.
 The children will have to wait.