Napoleon beneath the Castle.

Thick brown mud & horse manure, a mountain full beside the plot

An old man gathers, collects his shovel and slowly, sturdily, moves the lot

Winter’s ice on broken land, a cold wind blows and silence calls

A king commands a one man force, struggling against the snow that falls

Or rain or sleet or bloodied shine, prepares the ditch & plants his flag

Campaign begins, tools all prepped, a man with heart that will not sag

Unending groups of fertile green, battalions stand in row on row

This army nourished, watered, fed, 12 months of blood will make it grow

Each day he tends, and hands produce, an ancient source of fantasy

An elder man, his hands all cracked, retired now from destiny

Nature controlled and organised, this man a genius of the magic green

A plot of land so abundant in food, a man of freedom, a man unseen

It makes me sad, it makes me cry, to see this guy talk so proud

Of the things he’d done, of the victories won, of the miracles that only he’d inspired

By blood and guts, of reading much, and those manual days in which he’d perspired

In fighting off disease and nature, of jealous fools and the years gone by

He, Napoleon, beneath the distant castle, victorious in defeat, one day will die

& there in the fields he will lie down buried, a cross erected & the world will know

That this is my Father, the gardening master, & just like his plants, his kudos will grow.

(c) Ed Simkins