All entries for Tuesday 07 June 2005

June 07, 2005

(credits)

Pastures In The Sky
Published by Pomegranate Artbooks
Bow 6099, Rohnert Park, California 94927 in association with Curved Space UK Ltd. and Increfible Images Inc., 1993
Illusrations and text copywrighted 1993 Pactrick Woodroffe

CHANGING PLACES – 1

Ask not to change your given place
To trade your plumage or your face,
For when such change becomes contagious
The consequence can prove outrageous!

CHANGING PLACES – 2

If things could be the way they aren’t
And get the things they think they want,
They’s still be bored with what they’d got
And changing places quite a lot.

I’M COMING TO GET YOU! (“The Hedgebank Nun,” HALLELUJAH ANYWAY, p 74)

Who is God, if he’s not the Sun?
Heaven knows! said the hedgebank nun.

THE DEATH OF THE AIR (THE SECOND EARTH, p 98)

Writing about web page http://blogs.warwick.ac.uk/images/stuecs/2005/06/08/al_woodroffe28_the_death_of_the_air_miasma_generator.jpg

“Put out my thousand eyes,” said the locust, “for I cannot watch a thousand locusts die.”
“Kill me now,” said the last fairy, “for I cannot kill myself.”
The rainbow broke in the sky.
No rain, no hail, no snow. The long-dead forests burned in root and branch, the last snail baked within his house.

THE DEATH OF BELTEMPEST

“Where are your flocks?” cried Malice to the good sheperd, for all his clouds had gone astray.
“The rainbow's broken in the sky, your kingdom is dead from end to end. Beltempest sleep forever.”

FOR ENGLAND AND SAINT GEORGE (“St. Gorge and the Martyr,” HALLELUJAH ANYWAY, p 11)

So bring thy ploughshare – let us forge
A sword for England and St. George.
Thy pruning hook I’ll borrow
To make an arrow.

ALICIA AND SARAH (“Alicia, Sarah and the Bailiff,” HALLELUJAH ANYWAY, p 15)

Writing about web page http://blogs.warwick.ac.uk/images/stuecs/2005/06/08/alicia_and_sarah.jpg

Alicia’s delice were her eyes made of jade,
And Sarah’s hair fluttered like split orangeade
Their blouses were gaped by a curious breeze
And, not knowing they did it, the temptresses teased.

THE COASTAL FOOTPATH ("St. Anthony in the Rain," HALLELUJAH ANYWAY, p 63)

He walked the gilded edges of the book,
And as the sea whitened on the rocks below
He glimsped nothing but a peeping verge
Where naught is writ.

THE POET AND THE WOOD–REEVE’S DAUGHTER (HALLELUJAH ANYWAY, p 22)

And the wood-reeve dressed her like an angler’s fly,
For his daughter was as deaf as a field of rye;
Having ears in plenty but hearing naught,
How else might a suitable suitor be caught?

NO PLACE FOR THE NAÏVE (“The Drowned Frog,” HALLELUJAH ANYWAY, p 33)

On the meadow the shadow of death passes by,
As the father says softly by way of reply:
“That tadpoles may drown, you’d better believe
For the world has no sympathy for the naïve.”

AU SECOURS! (“My Sweet Madonna,” HALLELUJAH ANYWAY, pp 28–29)

My sweet madonna must thou be
For best expressed is God in thee;
And did he not through nature speak,
I’d know him by thy tender cheek.

THE VIRGIN AND THE CHILD FOR NEDDY AND ROSIE

And as I God in nature see
No image do I need of thee;
For every painter seems to lease
Thy face for every altar-piece.

SHE’S NOT ALONE IN BED (“The Long Lie–in,” HALLELUJAH ANYWAY, p36)

Alas she sleeps too well
Untroubled by the bell,
And she shall rise no more
To kiss me as before.

MONS VERITATIS (The Truth Mountain)(“Mons Veritatis,” HALLELUJAH ANYWAY, p 66)

In his head he had a private world, though real enough to him,
And real as any world can ever be,
For are not all worlds in the head?
“And has not every sheep its own eyes,” he cried,
“Yet every flock a sheperd?”

THE SNAKE TREE (“The Hedgebank Nun,” HALLELUJAH ANYWAY, p 73)

For the beast shall retreat from its triumph
And its jaws shall be locked with a key;
Then the snake must recoil
And return to the soil,
As the rain must return to the sea.

TRESPASSERS WILL BE FORGIVEN (“The Hedgebank Nun,” HALLELUJAH ANYWAY, p 75)

And the pilgrim retraces his footsteps
From his search at the end of the aisle;
She was not in the shrine
In the bread or the wine,
But outside… by a cliff… on a stile!

MOUNTAIN DRAGONS (“The New Messiah,” HALLELUJAH ANYWAY, p 91)

So take what you need and look after your own,
It’s as blessed to take as to give.
And the dragon is blameless when stealing our fruit
For the duty of beasts is to live.

THE MILK ROBBERS (“The New Messiah,” HALLELUJAH ANYWAY, p 94)

What an ethic were that if the swallows required
Permission to nest in the eaves;
Shall the crust from your bread or the milk on your step
Be denied to the prettiest thieves?

NEAR DURGAN – AUGUST (“Choose Your Own Dream,” HALLELUJAH ANYWAY, p 110)

May belief be the slave of aesthetics
And the prettier doctrine apply
Where doubts arise.

THE FORGET–ME–NOT GARDENER (“Myosotis,” HALLELUJAH ANYWAY, p 113)

Writing about web page http://blogs.warwick.ac.uk/images/stuecs/2005/06/08/forgetmenot.jpg

Were flower beds the sea,
Then Neptune should I be,
The laird of every leaf and cherished bud;
Forget-me-nots – forgotten not –
I’d scoop them by the flower-pot
Like brimming cups of azure from the flood!

PASTURES IN THE SKY (“Pastures In The Sky,” HALLELUJAH ANYWAY, p 116)

But when we drop from Summer’s brink
And through the cliff is high…
Are there no flowers by Heaven’s towers,
No pastures in the sky?

THE POET (“Haymaking Time,” HALLELUJAH ANYWAY, p 123)

Afresh from bed the poet strode
To write the new-born sun an ode.
And, navigating by her light
Through cobwebs on the cliff-top height,
He clove the May flora like folds of dimity,
Or veils upon a bier.

TRESPASSERS WILL BE WELCOME

The world was a maid on a jeweled stile
All petticoat-frills and golden smile.
She begged him share her brithday tea,
But deaf to every plea was he,
And scribbled his note-book with vain graffiti
To prove that he was here.

A BIG BLACK DARKNESS (“The Fishes’ Sermon to St. Anthony,” HALLELUJAH ANYWAY, p 71)

The folly of his wisdom
Shone like a candle,
A big black darkness
On a big brass handle.

SEA–CHANGE (“The Sky–Boat Song,” HALLELUJAH ANYWAY, p 132)

Writing about web page http://blogs.warwick.ac.uk/images/stuecs/2005/06/08/the_elven_drummer.jpg

So we’re going on a voyage
In the old sky-boat,
And a word is all you pay
To crowd the old sky-moat!

ICH–THEOLOGICAL METAMORPHOSIS (“The Sky–Boat Song,” HALLELUJAH ANYWAY, p 130)

Has the weight stopped swinging?
Did you hear the chime
When the clock struck zero
For the only time?

HELFORD RIVER – MIDSUMMER (“Choose Your Own Dream,” HALLELUJAH ANYWAY, p 106)

For the beasts of the field are like children –
Not ready for sermons yet –
And do not hear.
While the mer-babies down at the seaside
Think only of keeping wet
Throughout the year.

FAIRY IN A SWING (“Choose Your Own Dream,” HALLELUJAH ANYWAY, p 112)

For the saint is less blessed than the gardener,
Whose husbandry makes of the earth
A paradise.
The naïve – who embellish his garden
Like innocent blossom – are worth
More than the wise

DEAD MERMAIDS? (“The Sky–Boat Song,” HALLELUJAH ANYWAY, p 130)

I spy with my little eye
Something beginning with sea!
Did you see the mermaids with your extra eye?
Did the mermaids show you
Where the Hyksos lie?

THE RUNAWAY BULL

The smoke from the fire just flies away
The tide leaks through to the narrow bay;
If you read the assassin’s false pretence
Get you gone to a field that has no fence.

THE TRIUMPH OF GREEN ("THE SECOND EARTH", p 22)

When the king is asleep and the sailors aweigh
And green things come from the sea and play,
The bells shall wait for the ladling can
And time and tide for the weather man.

THE MADONNA WITH THE SPARROW

What gold shall drip from the sparrow’s beak
When all who can sing shall learn to speak!
If there’s a hand that turns the Earth,
Then would a hand but turn the worm!

MEYER MADONNA

The little mother would be queen
The child to king arise
If every man the child would see
That hides behind his eyes

A PRAYER FOR AFRICA

God give a lever to the meek
A fulcrum on some mountain peak
That all the world and all her lands
May turned be by tiny hands

PROUD FATHER

Writing about web page http://blogs.warwick.ac.uk/images/stuecs/2005/06/08/the_proud_father.jpg

If only the year would stay its clock
In the farm when the farmer spares his stock
When even the mightiest cleaves to the meek
And even a dumb beast’s tongue may speak

THE SPIRAL ISLAND

And when the blue of night is done
Defeated by the yellow sun
In the holy green they make their peace
To camouflage the golden fleece

SWISS HERD

Both at night and day I hear some magpie song –
Always black and white, neither right nor wrong.
But, please stay black and white – Swiss cows are never grey!
So ring your bells, take flight, on any sunny day!

June 2005

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