Welcome to my blog, where I take pleasure in words and pictures, be they my own or those of others. I'm a creative individual, and the crafty side I explore on my 'other blog', Picking Up The Threads, which I hope you'll visit too. I'm sure you understand that I have sole copyright of my original work and any of my contributions, so please ask if you want to use them. A polite request is rarely refused. So, as they used to say on the BBC's 'Listen With Mother' radio programme, many years ago: "Are you sitting comfortably? Then we'll begin."

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

These Bones

These bones have mouldered many years,
laid to rest with none to mourn, 
nor mark my time on earth, 
save the tolling of the Greyfriars bell, 
and the holy brothers’ funeral dirge.

I lost my life on Bosworth field, 
mired in mud and treason. 
A sword cleaved my crown,
an arrow pierced my misshaped spine,
and sent me, grim-visaged, to the next world.

And now this garden yields a harvest rich,
these bones, cheated of feature,
are hung up for monument.
The ground is rudely stamped, 
and there are merry meetings. 

I foresee the winter of their discontent, 
and wranglings twixt the learned few, 
who wish to prove a villain of these bones, 
but first must ascertain that this was 
Richard’s tomb indeed.

Yet I remain, unfinished, scarce half made-up, 
brought before my time 
into this breathing world.
How long before these bones 
will know their rest?

© Marilyn Brindley

I had the honour of a third poem being published on Poetry 24, two weeks ago. I was mesmerised by the thought that the dig in a Leicester car park may have unearthed the lost bones of Richard III, that much-maligned monarch. Here is the link to the report on the BBC website.

I couldn't resist including some of the words from Richard's speech in the opening lines of Shakespeare's play. I have seen the play live on stage only twice, once as a teenager, with Norman Rodway at the RSC in Stratford; and another RSC production with Robert Lindsey at the Theatre Royal, Bath in 1998. I have several performances on DVD, including Ian Holm and, of course, Laurence Olivier. All wonderful productions with different interpretations put on Shakespeare's words, by the actors and directors. However, Shakespeare's Richard is not the Richard of history though it is the one most people will bring to mind. The Richard III Society lays out many arguments in his defence and it is worth visiting their website for a more balanced view.

If you enjoy Shakespearean themed poetry you may like my 'Sonnet' about a rather special artifact. You can read it here


  1. Hello Marilyn:
    How deftly you have woven Shakepeare's words into your own in this poem.Such an exciting thought that the body of Richard III may have been discovered after all these centuries and what a wonderful tribute to the event this poem is.

    We have many fond memories of seeing Shakespeare performed at Stratford but have yet to see the newly refurbished theatre. Performances were always marvellous but sometimes, as in Peter Brooke's 'A Midsummer Night's Dream', were absolutely historic and shall remain in our minds for ever!!

  2. This is great, congratulations. I've always been interested his status as a villain of history.

    Have you ever sent any of your poems to Roundyhouse Magazine? It's a long running poetry mag (small, as they all are, but interesting) based in Wales, my Dad is on the editorial board. I can let you have the details if you're interested.

  3. Wow! Your poetry is always wonderful, Marilyn. Congratulations on the publication of your 3rd poem with Poetry 24! I am very happy for you, and have enjoyed your last two posts very much.

    Kathy M.

  4. A beautifully-wrought poem; always good to hear from RIII, even if only from the grave. As Joni Mitchell might say, "They buried Richard and put up a parking lot!"
    The winter of my discontent has to do with how attacks on Dick the Three - or Hank the Cinq, among other Shakespearean dignitaries - often don't seem to distinguish between the person, the guy himself, the actual historical figure, and Will S's fictional creation. They were usually very different people...
    Keep up, as Anaximander used to say, the good work. It's a pleasure to be able to read such intelligent, literate posts.


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