Collins’ Twelve Apostles Defend Their Credo


There’s no arguing that idealism has its place;

If it does not flower, bloom, and spread its seeds

As the dying dandelion spreads its downy remnants hither and yon,

Then we have wept our tears and trodden in our funeral processions

In the pursuit of nothing more tangible than the wind itself.

That being said, my boys, we don’t live out our days

In some misty fairyland where the streams run with single-malt

And the trees are heavy with lamb and rashers.

The world can be a bitter, unpleasant place

Where the unconditional love of mankind is the province of Our Saviour alone,

And a man will kiss his wife goodbye, then give a swift kick

To a limping puppy sitting on the stoop,

Or the kindly veterinary will beat his missus

Upon returning from his local on a Friday night.


That’s the game as it’s played on this pitch,

And injury time has a whole new meaning here, lads;

Many’s the striker who’s carried off here with pennies over his eyes.

Again, we have no quibble with Locke, Voltaire, and the rights of man;

But know this—your leaflets will tear and blow away,

And the speeches that roll through Parliament and trade union halls

Like great thunderstorms blowing in from off the North Sea

Shall fade into the silent minutes to be bound and shelved away

In some corner of the vast library of the forgotten.

And though you shun the handwork of Messrs. Lee and Enfield,

Simpering that the rifle is the gavel of the coward,

That the garrote plays the music of the cretin,

Tell us where the bravery lies in writing crimson prose

In the warmth and safety of your rooms,

Or what dignity is gained by meekly dropping your gaze

In the face of the stares of the Black and Tans?

There is no valor in sighting down windmills.


9 thoughts on “Collins’ Twelve Apostles Defend Their Credo

  1. Wonderful!!

    Misty fairylands. Take me away to your cool corners wherein pink squirrels scamper away with popcorn and candy.

    “Like great thunderstorms blowing in from off the North Sea”

    If I read about the dimensions of one more Viking Ship and try to wedge my little Bayeux horses onto it…

    “Shall fade into the silent minutes to be bound and shelved away

    In some corner of the vast library of the forgotten.”

    The corner will be DA.190.B33 where lie all the Anglo-Norman Battle Conference books, deep in the underground stacks that no one seems to visit except those of us who are charmed by William the Bastard (please write a poem on him..pleeeasse…said the little girl in misty fairyland) and his miraculous cross-channel feat.

  2. There are a few writers or pieces of writing around these hallowed halls of the internet that I have a writers crush on…this piece fits that bill. Holy hell….superb in every sense of the word…lamb and rashers, I just want to keep saying that over and over again….lol. This rocked.

  3. excellent, w.k.
    …remember that time we were sitting around the fireplace at Ralph E’s house and Henry T looked wisely out on the fading sun and said, ‘how vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live.’? …
    Ralph never had much by way of libation to offer the group. the streams never did get to running with that single malt.
    but anyway, you’ve captured the true thought.
    with a tone that carries with it all the weight of a general’s pre-battle address. sending those 12 out into the bare-faced, toothsome world without the least vestige of disillusion.
    the orders stand: go out and find true valor. … feels like i’ve been on that particular mission for a long bloody time.

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