The Thinking 

English Girls

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Lovely Laura’s Laments

March 3, 2011


Grapes and Pears, Edward Ladell


Where is the Man is tried and true?
Where is the Man will see me through?

Don’t want a Wimp;
Don’t want a Slug;
Don’t want a Pimp;
Don’t want a Thug.

Where is the Man is tried and true?
Where is the Man will see me through?

I want a bit of Force;
Want a bit of Bite;
Him to be a Source,
And not to dodge a Fight.

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O, Warrior Queen

March 1, 2011


Boadicea (also known as Boudicca), Queen of Iceni


Boadicea, Charioteer;
Boadicea, Charioteer.
Queen of Iceni, Boadicea;
Queen of Iceni, Boadicea.

Government comes to burn and slaughter,
Burn and slaughter, burn and slaughter.
Government comes to burn and slaughter,
Roman soldiers rape her daughter,
Rape her daughter, rape her daughter.

She raised an army, came on down,
Came on down, came on down.
Raised an army, came on down;
Came to the towers of London Town,
London Town, London Town.

Banksters, Frauds amass Golden Hoards,
Golden Hoards, Golden Hoards;
Banksters, Frauds amass Golden Hoards,
City of Quislings, London Town;
London Town, London Town. Read More »


Five Men Who Could Have Benefited from Game

February 27, 2011

Patience, Leonard Campbell Taylor

Patience, Leonard Campbell Taylor

HERE is a free rendering of the Prologue to the Wife of Bath’s Tale by Chaucer. This is the third of five poems in Keith Jacka’s series “English Girls.” 


The Wife of Bath trod the Marriage Path,
Husbands five took her to wive.

Three dowered her with Gold and Land,
She had them eating out of her hand.

Those three were rich, but also old,
Not long before their blood grew cold.

Said she: “I can’t keep chaste for years,
I only wait till a man appears.

“No sooner a husband’s dead and gone,
Another one shall take me on.

“I tantalise a little bit,
I make them beg; I tell them ‘Sit.’

“What have I got? I’ve got what they need,
They’re all the same from Adam’s seed.

“A shapely breast, a rounded bum,
Will hold men’s eyes till Kingdom Come.

“But husband four put me in my place,
I fell down hard, fell flat on my face.

“He set it all up; me safely wed,
He looked about; who else could he bed?

“He had an eye; he played the field,
No trouble for him to make them yield.

“I seethed inside; I raged with spite,
To see another woman his delight.

“I had my methods to do him down,
No need to shout; no need to frown. Read More »


“She Did Her Bit, She Played Her Part”

February 26, 2011

Factory Girls, Frederic Shields

Factory Girls, Frederic Shields



Annie Rose Smith of Bethnal Green
Couldn’t care less what Life should mean;

Didn’t use her Mental Powers
Mulling over the passing hours;

Didn’t believe it was her Station
Spending her time in Cogitation.

Worked in the City with Needle and Thread,
Sewing fine seams for her Daily Bread.

Sewing fine seams for not much pay;
That’s how it was, in her Day.

Stitch for the Rich, make silken dresses;
Saturday Night she’d comb her Tresses,

Put on Glad Rags, Ribbons and all;
She was going to Wilton Hall.

Wilton Hall with Marie Lloyd,
Johnny the Clown, and Murgatroyd.

When an Act was finished, in between
She’d parade with a friend, to see and be seen,

Displaying all her pretty curls
For Right-Looking Boys with eyes for the Girls.

Nineteen Eighteen, World War One,
Soldiers on Leave, out for fun.

An Aussie Boy was he whom Fate
Had singled out to be her Mate.

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English Girls

February 25, 2011


A Young Widow, Edwin Killingworth Johnson

A Young Widow, Edwin Killingworth Johnson

KEITH JACKA  is the author of English Girls,” a series of five poems. Here is “Arundel,” one of these poems and the first to be published here. The others will appear shortly. Mr. Jacka, who lives in London, is a reader of this site



Arundel the kindly girl. She knew
How to be both Wife and Mother; true
To her vows. Not one to ruminate and fret,
Or turn aside to nurse some old regret.

Contented with her busy life, minding
All the tasks of Hearth and Home, binding
Up the hurts, wiping away the tears,
And shielding all her brood from nameless fears.

O Arundel, poor Arundel; she’s lost
Her man: John Penruddock, a Royalist,
Caught by Cromwell’s Boys. They took him alive,
Hanged him high in Sixteen Fifty Five.

Poor Arundel the loving Wife. She wrote
A letter to her dear, a final note,
A letter to the one who mattered most,
Against his final fading to a ghost.

A flood of tears assails her sober reason;
But yet she must not yield. It would be treason
To the little ones … must not be left
By Mother, though the Wife is full bereft.

O Arundel, poor Arundel; her man
Is gone; lost and gone forever. He can
No longer reach and hold her in his arms,
Make her smile, safe against all harms.

May the third, eleven o’clock at night;
No act of hers can bring him to her sight.
Next morn he’ll sleep alone in his last cold bed
Never again to be disquieted;
Never again, O never again to be disquieted.

                             — Keith Jacka

  Read More »

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