davidbrucehaiku: ARTIFICIAL BLOOMS?






Artificial blooms?

Not the same as real flowers

Floating plastic patch


Free davidbrucehaiku eBooks (pdfs)


Free eBooks by David Bruce (pdfs)




David Bruce: William Shakespeare’s 2 HENRY VI: A Retelling in Prose — Act 4, Scenes 3-6

— 4.3 —

The battle took place, and Sir Humphrey Stafford and William Stafford were slain. Jack Cade and the rebels then discussed their victory.

Jack Cade asked, “Where’s Dick, the butcher of Ashford?”

Dick the Butcher said, “Here, sir.”

“They fell before you like sheep and oxen, and you behaved yourself as if you were in your own slaughterhouse; therefore, I will reward you thus: Lent shall be twice as long as it is now, and you shall have a license to kill for a hundred lacking one.”

During Lent, people did not eat meat unless they were invalids. Special licenses were granted to butchers to kill animals for food during Lent. Many licenses were granted for 99 years. However, Jack Cade was ambiguous. He could have meant that Dick the Butcher could kill 99 animals or that he could kill as many animals as would feed 99 people.

“I desire no more,” Dick the Butcher said.

Jack Cade said, “And, to speak the truth, you deserve no less.”

He pointed to Sir Humphrey Stafford’s helmet and armor and said, “This memorial of the victory I will wear, and the bodies of the Staffords shall be dragged at my horse’s heels until I come to London, where we will have the Mayor’s sword borne before us.”

Dick the Butcher said, “If we mean to thrive and do good, break open the jails and let out the prisoners.”

“Don’t worry about that — I promise I will do that,” Jack Cade said. “Come, let’s march towards London.”

— 4.4 —

In the King’s palace in London, several people were meeting: King Henry VI, Queen Margaret, the Duke of Buckingham, and Lord Say.

The King was holding a document sent to him from Jack Cade. Queen Margaret was holding the Duke of Suffolk’s severed head.

Queen Margaret said, “Often I have heard that grief softens the mind and makes it fearful and degenerate. Think therefore on revenge and cease to weep. But who can cease to weep while looking at this head? Here may his head lie on my throbbing breast, but where’s the body that I would embrace?”

The Duke of Buckingham asked, “What answer does your grace make to the rebels’ written petition?”

King Henry VI said, “I’ll send some holy bishop to entreat them to be peaceful, for God forbid that so many simple souls should perish by the sword! And I myself, rather than allow bloody war to cut them short, will parley with Jack Cade, their General. But wait, I’ll read the written petition over once again.”

Still holding the Duke of Suffolk’s head, Queen Margaret said, “Ah, barbarous villains! Has this lovely face ruled, like a wandering planet, over me, and could it not force them to relent, who were unworthy to behold the same face?”

Astrologers believed that the planets, which wandered the night sky, unlike the fixed stars, ruled human destiny.

King Henry VI said, “Lord Say, Jack Cade has sworn to have your head.”

“Yes, but I hope your highness shall have his,” Lord Say replied.

“What is this, madam!” King Henry VI said to Queen Margaret. “Still lamenting and mourning for Suffolk’s death? I am afraid, love, if I were the one who is dead, you would not mourn so much for me.”

Queen Margaret replied, “No, my love. I would not mourn, but die for you.”

A messenger entered the room.

King Henry VI said, “What is it? What’s the news? Why have you come in such haste?”

“The rebels are in Southwark, just south of the Thames River. They will soon cross London Bridge,” the messenger said. “Flee, my lord! Jack Cade proclaims himself Lord Mortimer, descended from the Duke of Clarence’s house, and he calls your grace a usurper openly and vows to crown himself in Westminster.

“His army is a ragged multitude of rustics and peasants, uncivilized and merciless. The deaths of Sir Humphrey Stafford and his brother have given them heart and courage to proceed. They call all scholars, lawyers, courtiers, and gentlemen traitorous parasites, and they intend to kill them.”

“Oh, graceless men!” King Henry VI said. “They lack the grace of God, and they know not what they do.”

Luke 23:34 states, “Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots” (King James Version).

The Duke of Buckingham said, “My gracious lord, return to Kenilworth, near Warwick, until an army is raised to put them down.”

Queen Margaret said, “Ah, if the Duke of Suffolk were now alive, these Kentish rebels would be soon subdued!”

“Lord Say, the traitors hate you,” King Henry VI said. “Therefore, go away with us to Kenilworth.”

Lord Say replied, “If I go with you, then your grace’s person might be in danger. The sight of me is odious in their eyes, and in seeking to harm me, the rebels may harm you. Therefore, in this city I will stay and live alone as secretly as I may.”

Another messenger arrived and said, “Jack Cade has captured London Bridge. The citizens flee and forsake their houses. The rascal people, thirsting after prey, join with the traitor, and they jointly swear to despoil and plunder the city and your royal court.”

The Duke of Buckingham advised the King, “Don’t linger, my lord. Go away, and take to horse.”

“Come, Margaret,” King Henry VI said. “God, our hope, will succor us.”

Queen Margaret replied, “My hope is gone, now that the Duke of Suffolk is deceased.”

King Henry VI said to Lord Say, “Farewell, my lord. Don’t trust the Kentish rebels.”

“Trust nobody, for fear you will be betrayed,” the Duke of Buckingham advised.

Lord Say said, “The trust I have is in my innocence, and therefore I am bold and resolute.”

— 4.5 —

A commander named Lord Scales walked on top of a wall of the Tower of London, which King Henry VI had ordered him to defend. Two or three citizens arrived and stood below him on the ground.

Lord Scales saw them and asked, “What’s happening? Has Jack Cade been slain?”

“No, my lord,” the first citizen said. “Nor is he likely to be slain, for the rebels have captured London Bridge, killing all those who stood against them. The Lord Mayor begs your honor for aid from the Tower of London to defend the city from the rebels.”

“Such aid as I can spare, you shall command,” Lord Scales said, “but I am troubled here with the rebels myself. The rebels have attempted to capture the Tower of London. But go to Smithfield and gather troops, and thither I will send you the great warrior Matthew Goffe.

“Fight for your King, your country, and your lives. And so, farewell, for I must go away from here again.”

— 4.6 —

On Cannon Street in London, Jack Cade and other rebels, including Dick the Butcher and Smith the Weaver, stood. Jack Cadestruck his staff on London Stone, a historical landmark that is thought to be a remnant of London’s Roman history.

Jack Cade said, “Now I, Mortimer, am lord of this city. And here, sitting upon London Stone, I order and command that, at the city’s cost, the Pissing Conduit run nothing but claret wine this first year of our reign.”

The Pissing Conduit was a source of water for London’s poor.

Jack Cade continued, “And from now henceforward it shall be treason for anyone who calls me anything other than Lord Mortimer.”

A soldier came running and shouted, “Jack Cade! Jack Cade!”

Jack Cade said, “Knock him down there.”

His supporters killed the soldier.

Smith the Weaver said, “If this fellow is wise, he’ll never call you Jack Cade again. I think he has had a very fair warning.”

Dick the Butcher said, “My lord, there’s an army gathered together in Smithfield.”

Jack Cade said, “Come, then, let’s go fight with them, but first, go and set London Bridge on fire, and if you can, burn down the Tower of London, too. Come, let’s go.”


Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved


David Bruce’s Lulu Bookstore (Paperbacks)


David Bruce’s Amazon Author Bookstore


David Bruce’s Smashwords Bookstore


David Bruce’s Apple iBookstore


David Bruce’s Barnes and Noble Books


David Bruce: War Anecdotes

Bahlool the wise fool was drafted to serve as a soldier although he wished very much for peace. However, when one king decides to go to war against another king, sometimes even a peace-loving person is forced to serve as a soldier in an army. Why? True fact: In a war, someone has to fight and die, and kings don’t want to fight and die, so they need soldiers to fight and die. An enemy champion challenged any of Bahlool’s king’s soldiers to step forward for a one-on-one fight to the death. Bahlool’s king ordered him to fight the enemy champion, and so Bahlool went out to meet the enemy champion. The enemy champion drew his sword and rushed at Bahlool, who stood still, holding a basket. Because Bahlool did not draw a weapon or run away, but simply stood still, the enemy soldier was puzzled. Bahlool then explained that he had a few questions to ask the enemy champion: Do you wish to kill me because of a blood feud? Do you wish to kill me because I owe you money that I have not repaid? Have we ever met before? Have you ever heard of me? The enemy soldier was forced to answer each question with, “No.” Bahlool then said, “I have food in my basket. Why don’t we have a picnic and see if we can come up with a good reason for you to kill me?” The enemy champion agreed to the picnic, the warring kings saw that Bahlool and the enemy champion were eating together, and for that day at least the two kings called for a truce and no fighting occurred. In addition, Bahlool’s king decided that Bahlool was a bad influence on his soldiers and that thereafter Bahlool would be allowed to go home and not be forced to fight in the war.

Could a British POW in Auschwitz save the lives of Jews? Yes. Major-Sergeant Charles Coward was a brave man. He was a liaison with the International Red Cross, a position that helped give him access to things he could use to bribe Nazi soldiers. He once traded valuables for the corpses of three Jews so he could use them to save the lives of three Jews. Here’s how it worked. Each day Jews who could no longer work were marched from Auschwitz to Birkenau to be murdered. Some of these Jews died along the way, and their corpses were collected later. Major-Sergeant Coward had three Jews pretend to die and lie by the road, and then he arrived and gave them civilian clothing so that they could escape into the forest. He and fellow POW “Tich” Keenan then left the three Jewish corpses that he had bribed a Nazi for along the road; that way, the Nazis would not know that any Jews were missing. Major-Sergeant Coward did this over and over.

During World War I, German soldier Heinrich Weindorf was fighting on very muddy terrain in December of 1916, during the Battle of the Somme. At one point, he sank in the mud and water up to his armpits, and his fellow soldiers could not help him because of the fighting all around them. Fortunately, an English sergeant-major pitied the German soldier and rescued him, although he knew that he was rescuing an enemy soldier. He stood on a plank of wood so that he would not sink in the mud and water, then he grabbed Mr. Weindorf and pulled him out of the mud. He then kicked Mr. Weindorf in the butt—after all, Mr. Weindorf was an enemy soldier—and both ran back to safety to their respective sides. Mr. Weindorf says, “I owe him my life.”

United States Marines used Reckless the horse to carry artillery shells during the Korean War. After training, Reckless arrived in Korea during the winter of 1952, and the Marines she worked with battled for a hill they named Outpost Vegas. During the battle, Reckless made 51 trips carrying artillery shells across an open field with falling bombs and flying shrapnel. She was wounded twice—in the head and in the side. After the battle, Marine Corps general Randolph Pate recognized her bravery, reading a special citation to honor her and pinning a set of bars to her blanket to show that she had just been promoted to Sergeant Reckless.

Mark Kurlansky, the author of Nonviolence: The History of a Dangerous Idea, once spoke to a couple of World War II veterans about the book Men Against Fire: The Problem of Battle Command in Future War, in which author and historian Samuel Marshall stated that most soldiers never fired their weapons at the enemy during World War II. In fact, Mr. Marshall thought that only one in four soldiers had fired at the enemy—at best. One of the veterans Mr. Kurlansky spoke to said, “I had a machine gun. I never fired the thing.” The other veteran asked, “Why not?” The first veteran replied, “If you fired it, they’d shoot back at you.”

During World War II, United States Army nurses stationed in New Guinea were given two helmets of water a day. The helmet was put in a stand and used as a sink. One helmet of water was used for washing their body, and the other helmet of water was used for washing their undies. Many of these nurses ended up in Tacloban, Philippines, where they were still given two helmets of water a day. Alice Weinstein remembers that if an air raid occurred while someone was washing, “Zip! There went your water! You had to put your helmet on your head!”

Youthful attitudes toward war can be very naïve. For example, during World War II, German young people were excited when bombs fell on Cologne for the first time, even though people were hurt. Geerte Murmann writes about kids looking for pieces of shrapnel and regarding them as prized possessions. She was in Bavaria, away from Cologne, when the first Allied bombs fell, and she was disappointed that she wasn’t in Cologne. She wrote a friend, “Finally something terrific is happening in Cologne, and I’m not there.”


Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved



(Scroll Down for KINDEST PEOPLE Series of Books)


David Bruce’s Lulu Bookstore (Paperbacks)


David Bruce’s Amazon Author Bookstore


David Bruce’s Smashwords Bookstore


David Bruce’s Apple iBookstore


David Bruce’s Barnes and Noble Books


Edgar Lee Masters: Thomas Trevelyan (Spoon River Anthology)

READING in Ovid the sorrowful story of Itys,
Son of the love of Tereus and Procne, slain
For the guilty passion of Tereus for Philomela,
The flesh of him served to Tereus by Procne,
And the wrath of Tereus, the murderess pursuing
Till the gods made Philomela a nightingale,
Lute of the rising moon, and Procne a swallow
Oh livers and artists of Hellas centuries gone,
Sealing in little thuribles dreams and wisdom,
Incense beyond all price, forever fragrant,
A breath whereof makes clear the eyes of the soul
How I inhaled its sweetness here in Spoon River!
The thurible opening when I had lived and learned
How all of us kill the children of love, and all of us,
Knowing not what we do, devour their flesh;
And all of us change to singers, although it be
But once in our lives, or change—alas!—to swallows,
To twitter amid cold winds and falling leaves!


A thurible is a container in which incense in burned.

Procne was the elder daughter of a king of Athens named Pandion and the wife of King Tereus of Thrace. Her beautiful sister Philomela visited the couple and was raped by Tereus, who tore out her tongue to prevent her revealing the crime. She wove a tapestry which made it clear what had been done, and the two women took their revenge.

Procne killed her son by Tereus, Itys (or Itylos), boiled him and served him as a meal to her husband. After he had finished his meal, the sisters presented Tereus with the severed head of his son, and he realised what had been done. He snatched up an axe and pursued them with the intent to kill the sisters.They fled but were almost overtaken by Tereus. In desperation, they prayed to the gods to be turned into birds and escape Tereus’ rage and vengeance.The gods transformed Procne into a swallow, Philomela into a nightingale and Tereus into a hoopoe.

Source: Wikipedia

An Early, Bitter Tanshi from a Most Cheerful Girl — Glover Gardens

where o wheredid you hide my anaconda?i need that snake Bitter over some teenage breakup, I wrote that tiny little poem in my high school journal. For some reason, it has always stuck with me; it’s so bitter and melodramatic that it makes me laugh. I remember the poem but not the boy who broke…

via An Early, Bitter Tanshi from a Most Cheerful Girl — Glover Gardens