Category Archives: Act 1

Canto 2: The Argument



So arose the practice of celebration in exalted verse the battles & other notable deeds of men together with those of the gods.
Boccaccio


Invocation

There is a glade in an ancyent forest
Where glittering pools of molten azure
Assail ripe sense… insliding, moonbeam-bless’d,
Soul bathes in blissful dreamtimes gleaming pure;
Attended by
My nine naked maidens,
Vulvaean lullaby lilting thro’ love gardens.

She harps a song, she summons stars,
She waltzes round the waters,
She treats these sainted battlescars,
She paints a floating lotus,
She strums her summergold guitars,
Loxianic daughters!
How lovely & how livid floods thy light,
What verses & what wonders must I write?

They ring & weave thro’ tryptych tones,
Sing rich enchanted chime,
Soft music hones their mystic moans,
& so… my all must rhyme…
With hopes of flashing heroes up Parnassus slopes we’ll climb!


 

Dedication

Five hundred years ago, most gracious prince,
Oer thirty thousand ancestors were yours,
Victoria, of all them, must convince
Ye are most worthy of we troubadors;
Thy fruitful days
Adds to our garden joy,
When piles of pyre-steep’d praise heap’d on Di’s happy boy.

Remembering thine own fair birth
When I was only seven,
Your majesty has grown on Earth
Amang the Sons of Heaven,
New to the world ye’ve shewn true worth
Aye, & that’s a given –
Maturity hast bless’d thy diadem,
At heart thou art of us & less of them.

My prince, with praise, I offer thee
This book of rumbling words,
Mnemone to Melody,
Midst lines of waltzing thirds,
Life shimmers ever phosphorous as if t’were sufi birds.


 

To My Readers

I know these words rest heavy in the hands,
When reading them should creep a little while,
But think of me alone in distant lands,
With heavy load, abroad an extra mile;
Thro’ thorn, up steep,
In search of awesome views,
Where I would sit in deep communion with the Muse.

Gadswounds! My global chronicle
Will preserve the violent show
Of our planet’s lust for battle,
Men panting for Megiddo;
Friends! Be ready for to Google
All words ye do not know,
When mining into human history,
This is a kind of University!

Prepare a bath, pour out your wines,
Light up a candle’s flame,
Encase your minds, embrace these lines,
Enlightenment our aim,
War’s business is but terrible – not glory, nor a game.


 

Impulses

I sing of Mars, whose blood-besplatter’d reign
Lived long among the secret brotherhoods,
& if these verses vast mine aim deem plain:
To elevate auld lives before the Floods;
When to the stars,
Or in our upmost caves,
This exile song of Mars an epic epoch saves.

As the vestige Villanovan
Found in Verruchian tombs,
As golden-thron’d Glasgerion
Immortalis’d ladies looms,
Ready, my lithe young mind…. Open!
When poetry resumes,
I’ll pay the World its histrionic dues,
Quite polyamorous to every Muse.

Non sono nazifaschisti,
Fair freedoms forged in blood,
The mystery of history
Spreads thro’ me like a wood,
In which I’ll twist unfettered feet as only Clio could.


 

Valedictions

I am no pickpurse of another’s wit,
Yet understand tradition is a tool,
When mostly I’m the Muses’ conduit
& sing to them, prostrately, as a fool,
Je suis rien,
Per je ne suis pas dieu,
Vous etes tout mon bien, le lustre de mon cieux!”

As when old Thales’ Iliad
By princely rhapsodes utter’d,
The ghosts behind these lines glow glad
Whenever they’ll be mutter’d,
As if some new Upanishad
Down the Deccan flutter’d,
Containing all the epos of an age,
Far from the sterile tombstone of the page.

As when elders Albanian
Sang legends kith & kin,
Or Suqatran, hoary herdsman
Harps word-hordes held within…
Verse-vestibules of history maintain Cruachan’s Djinn!


 

Arcadia

Always preparing, always reparing,
The new ensemble of a Danaan song;
No single impulse, but many sharing,
A swirl of verse, a whirl of words among
Eternal heights
Of endless mountenance:
Criss-crossing cloudless nights wild woodland swans advance!

With Saint John & the Patmos vine,
The Bard of the Scyldingas,
Dante’s Comedia Divine,
Tasso’s inspired Crusaders,
With Spenser’s store of faerie wine
& Milton’s masterclass,
I made my bed – from patchwork eiderdown,
I pluck’d my quills & ink’d them up in town!

From erudition constancy
To genius applies;
Consistency, coherency,
Watch phaerie wonders rise
From paranormal mutterings… them given golden guise.


 

Astrophel

I stretch to grasp the gross Orphean lyre,
These fingers on the fringe with fuga fraught,
When en-plein-air whisp’ring perfumes transpire,
Hyblean murmors of prophetic thought;
Beside Mankind
I find my social niche,
Reflective & refined; the poesy of pastiche.

Along the road I drank my wine,
While others gave it gladly,
Good souls were they, old friends of mine,
Such thanks to all who’ve had me,
Some tickl’d by this soul-sunshine,
Others flummox’d madly,
For poets & their strangely ancyent ways
Are meant to men affix… affront… amaze.

As from the Wealth of Nations rise
A pleasure-loving soul,
Invested ties friendship supplies
Up puff me proud & tall,
To conjure something rich & queer to steer us, each & all.


 

An American Epic

Ye children of America, awake!
What world terrific lies beyond thy shores,
That ne’er your Founding Fathers could forsake,
Nor Modern Masters; as the Old World wars,
From Dante’s lines
Unto Fall River’s weaves,
Our syllabus entwines across sibyllic leaves.

As every atom you & I,
My language thee’ll be sharing,
Sometimes Mark Doty’s lullaby,
Sometimes John Weiner’s daring,
Behold our clan-like landscape’s tie,
Consubstantial pairing,
Whom mighty oak-bold tyrants fought & fell’d
A Lion & an Eagle’s Gryphon-meld.

Yes… I guess we can forgive her,
Thy blessed Libertie,
She’ll endeavor to deliver
This world from Tyrannie,
As we, yon waves inveterate, conflate thy destiny.


 

Testamundi Poeticus

I am a man, many have gone before
& will come yet; to thee I trust this song,
Pray let her fly to every foreign shore,
Shewing the World how once the World went wrong;
Such manic times
Have ended, only just,
Whose freshness fills these rhymes far from the bookish dust.

I would the World should hear this song
& sing her down the ages,
So when the epic, proud & long,
Renaissance ever stages,
Let poets ply their trade among
Polytechnic pages,
Finding a thing or two that they could use
In future conversations with the Muse.

Namore shall Homers chaunt War’s praise
Or Owens curse it’s game;
Some psychic craze, unbridl’d days,
Crude torture, quelling shame,
This is my long-wrought testament to what Mankind became.


Canto 3: Genesis

A perfect things participating any nature, makes a likeness to itself, not by absolutley producing that nature, but by applying it to something else

The Summa Theologica of Saint Thomas


 

The Birth of Life

Before we taste the worst of wasted lives
Whom others breath deny by martial deed,
Before the flailing alien arrives
On Earth alight that bruis’d, enthirsted steed,
Before an age
Is vitrified in gore,
Let us devise the stage & lay its playful floor.

From stardust is a planet made
Then leave the rest to science,
Eftsoons we’ll hear the rise & fade
Of songbirds in alliance,
A never-ceasing serenade
Most happy circumstance
Of swallows following Dawn’s constant roll
Aslant a planet spinning pole-to-pole.

Curving sleekly like a discuss,
Lights flashing strobe-on-strobe,
The collossus that is COSMOS
Coughs up a tiny probe,
Sizing the climate, analyzing carbon & microbe.

Earth


 

Benvenuto

On Earth hath nature pour’d her bounties forth
With such a full & unwithdrawing hand,
Her colours blushing from the snow-blanch’d North
Thro’ flower-fields to drifting Afric sand;
O perfect sphere
Of ecosystems fair,
Oer which, in flight, appear strange light-storms hung on air.

With wrenchly might hot starships land
(As Cook of the Endeavour
Once stood upon Australic sand
& culture changed forever),
Here, two-by-two, with talon’d hand,
Gimbling altogether
Terrific lizards press on pastures new,
Marshall’d by monkey slaves & suited crew.

As Apeman whips broad cattle backs
The Higher Minds watch on,
Chewing on snacks of protein packs
Until the beasts were gone,
Plodding thro’ cudding undergrowth, good meat on every one.

Africa


 

Carnivores

The perfect state of Nature is ‘to war,’
Why else be frightful of night’s spiteful sounds
To feed on or be fed upon the law,
To e’er defend thy vital hunting grounds ;
Five dinosaurs
Compete for rotting meat,
The solo one arose, some Minotaur of Crete.

As vicious as those snarling seas
Off Cape Horn in the Autumn,
A slash… a bite… back-butt unfrees
Her neck as hard she fought ‘em,
Hard battle breaks the viney trees
Til’ sadly, as she caught ‘em,
Her final wounds unspill’d her life force free,
& swoon’d she down, down to her misery.

As silence falls, as battle ends,
Full phyrric are the frays,
A mother tends the wounded, mends
Each gash with spittl’d glaze,
To feast upon the spoils of war like werewolves in a craze.

America


 

Social Division

As particles drift slowly round the core,
Then start to rave far from its density,
Time, too, speeds up its progress more & more,
While flitting from the Big Bang’s gravity;
Where near the place
Vast Universe began,
Some cosmic, Klingon race wings fleuron caravan.

Beyond the speed of light they drew
Their mercantile intentions,
Cross dozen milliards they flew
Ships leaping through dimensions,
Until a sphere of green & blue
Promises fat pensions;
How many lizards caught up in the cull.
Chopp’d into squares & pack’d in icy hull.

Among the furball monkey-slaves
A leader rais’d his pride,
By roaring waves he saw the caves
Where they could easy hide,
& made a plan, that Adam-man, whom tyranny defied.

Europa


 

Cataclysm

From deep space depths ejected destiny,
Full seven miles across its rocky span,
One hundred terratons of TNT,
Randomly lands upon the Yucatan;
As DOOMSDAY slamm’d
& shudder’d underground,
The dinosaurs, all damn’d, grew flimsy at the sound!

Materielle ascends the skies,
An incandescent army,
Dust super-heated chokes the eyes
Flesh broiling to salami,
Collossal shockwaves terrorize
As Mega Tsu-na-mi,
Two thousand metres high, lay low the coasts
& leave a sludgy wilderness of ghosts.

Thro’ lightning flash, hail-stones of coal,
Destruction decollates,
Those mires that maul, those fires that fall,
All life-flesh devastates,
While dregs of all existence call hopelessly to their mates.

Mexico
65,000,000 BC


Liberty

They came to investigate the carnage
Churn’d by those vast, ruthless, triassic seas,
Neath shaking heads they burnt the starry bridge
To this scourg’d world, unfertile to the bees;
But not before
A spartacus of slaves,
Into the jungles tore to disenthrall in caves.

They wait until their Masters gone,
At last lights disappearing,
They form’d a tribe of twenty-one
In kinship quite endearing,
Despite the sun of safeness shone,
Still them all stood fearing
Those dazzling Lords of Flight, whose lightning rods
Had scarr’d their backs, those beings men call Gods.

As generations pass’d them by
Those Gods did not return,
Into the sky, with teary eye,
For homespheres elders yearn,
A memory grown ancient of the forest & the fern.

Asia
30,000,000 BC


 

Evolution

Beyond the formal motions of romance
There yearns a primal instinct men call lust,
We see it in a brooding woman’s glance –
To she we leave our favour’d fate in trust;
As monkeymen
Grow ever populous,
Some forced out of that den, the Monkeys’ ancestors.

As Aeons pass, thro’ mate-on-mate,
They wriggle in mutation,
As lither limbs regenerate,
They blend with vegetation
Up to the jungles fling their fate –
Sings primatial Nation,
”Urangatangs! Gorillas! Chimpanzees!
While men lord over plains we rule the trees!”

But what of Man? He too evolves;
Yeti… Neanderthal…
Each problem solves, his world revolves
Quite mathematical,
Swelling the brain against the cranials of each fresh skull.

Australia
1,000,000 BC


Mousteria

Far from the conflict of that cosmic war,
Ashroud the twin Antennae Galaxies,
Where Usgoth & Dadghabbi blood-pools bore,
A nobler race makes world enquiries;
On beryl wheels
Flames golliwogging rock
Steel-sinew’d, stake-like heels absorb the landing’s shock.

Cometh Queen Oryana’s passion,
She with the natives mated,
Left her womberie to fashion
New life, ’til satiated,
This osculant, meddling mission
Better men created –
She, with six clapping hands laughs her delight,
“These darling furballs bend their backs upright!”

The Starguild builds her landing strips
Across the Nazca plain,
Magenta lips sing, “Each eclipse
We gods shall come again
Back to Teotihuacan, sixty ‘Humans’ to obtain.”

America
100,000 BC


 

The Cull

From grots & caverns shagg’d with horrid thorn,
Men wander’d over land & over sea,
A clever race of higher species born,
Advanced in Science & Astronomy;
Old Gods return
“These Apelings grown too wise!”
Three days of lazars burn, rays churning up the skies.

Inferno follows thunderflash
Wondrous things all vapourized,
Sodom turn’d dust, Gomorrah ash,
False concupiscence chastis’d,
Atlantis sunken, crunch & splash
Harrupa cauterized,
What little left alive thro’ Mankind warns
Of divine vengeance when the faithless spawn.

Bold memories of old events
Thro’ bardic sagas rage,
Each line laments, each song cements
The passing of an age,
What once was glad & golden naught but sad words on a page.

Earth
20,000 BC

 

Canto 4: Mythomemes

Surely it is not the poets that are responsible for what happens
But Zeus himself, who deals with each of us toilers on earth as he sees fit
Homer

***

Birth of Faith

Man sits & shivers in the golden stream
Of fresh intelligence, O shiny leaf!
His delightful capacity to dream
Shall to the visionaries pin belief;
Speech primitive
Discusses bird & beast,
While offerings votive prelude the fruitful feast.

Enacting ancyent vaudeville
Orchestrates a cooing crew,
Who place the face of every kill
Upon a headless statue,
Dark, bloody meat roasts on the grill,,
Around the fire they drew
Drumming & chanting in a magic trance,
As if them Korybantes at the dance.

This was the moment marvellous
To make a man-made mead;
Salubrius, luxurious,
Stuff which religions need,
The liquer call’d ambrosia on which all Godheads feed.

Italy
10,000 BC

***

Mahabharata

From lakes of ash destruction rose the Gods;
From power comes respect, & with this love,
The one thing that connects we anthropods
With all the majesty of those above;
From litanies,
To crude cults of the dead,
Scuttling theologies across our planet sped.

Of these beings form’d contingent,
Huddl’d in epicentres,
On Asia’s great sub-continent
Rose the perfect spiritus
Know Brahma! Born most sentient
From a navel lotus,
Beside him, as life’s swarming cells divide,
A pantheon strode forth, & multiplied.

Of all the Hindu deities
Tis Kali we must fear;
As Bharatas, vainglorious,
In battle disappear,
Men hear Vyasa’s saga sung in temples sweet & clear.

India
3102 BC

***

The Sun God

Some Coonor Colonel, post ‘forty-seven,’
Remaining in the Raj to reap full worth
From former glories, a hard-won heaven,
One born of stars has linger’d long on Earth;
By holy Nile
He mingles with Mankind,
Who, fawning & servile, croon, ‘’Sire, do please be kind!’

Round Heliopolis night slows…
Dawning day… an avatar
Daub’d in finery, more fragrant rose
Than Phaeroe… watch florid Ra,
Strike solid, adamantine pose,
Some gallivanting star,
Whom, every day, dispels the dismal dark
From rainbow barge, sky-soaring in an arc.

He teaches us papyryses,
How best to harvest wine,
Shu, Osiris, Tefnut, Isis,
Descend from him divine,
For each a pointed pyramid to dream, & dance, & dine.

Aegyptus
2,500 BC

***

Joa-Pater

Knossos sits where European thought
Has sought a font, for there Minoan mind
By Hyksos necromancers once was taught
In detail how are deities design’d;
Aegyptian born,
Fair Rhea reaches Crete,
With Cronos, in the corn, their seed-time passion sweet.

Siring the peerless Jupiter,
Him no soul could dare neglect,
With a BOOM he brings us terror,
With a kiss he can protect,
One of them who live forever,
As long as his proud sect
Pays heed to all the prayer-needs of faith,
Else fade him to the shades a jaded wraith.

O best of Gods! Thy golden scales
Our destinies suspend;
Lord of the gales, thy hard-flung hails
& storm-bolts that ye send
Roar over us, ‘til glorious thy softer swells descend!

1600 BC
Hellas

***

Chivalry

A love of Rhea’s handsome son will spread
Across the waves to where the Argives dwell,
Whose banded Titans think of him with dread
& fortify their mountains, where they yell;
”This is our land
& for it we shall fight!”
They stood, weapons in hand, a megaron of might.

As at them jagged boulders thrown
The firmament was shaking,
The sun went dark, the earth did groan,
Fork’d lightning forests raking,
Piebald invader blew his horn,
Mercifuls foresaking,
He bounden them in chains & cast them low
Below the Earth, ten killers on death row.

The onqueror takes up his seat
& there begins to breed,
A task complete, the Twelve compete
For faith on which they feed,
But in all things Zeus-Jupiter must ever take the lead.

1400 BC
Mount Olympus

***

Pantheon

Above the puny jarrings of the world
Olympus of innumerable folds
Reflects the melting moon, whose peaks glow pearl’d
With frozen happiness & Heaven’s gold;
Urania
Flings stars oer divine heads,
Frolicking together, luxuriant, on beds.

While Vulcan stokes eternal fire,
Of constant, cooking casket,
Venus fills deity desire
& thrills them ‘neath her blanket,
Now Lord Apollo plucks his lyre
& his Muses thank it,
To play them songs the seasons’ sweetly bring;
Summer, Winter, Autumn, & the Spring.

Far, far, below that mantl’d stone
Lord Hades hews his halls;
At first alone until the groan
Of death releases souls,
Them to his kingdom lumber as a leaf quite lifeless falls.

Hades

***

Herakles

We mortals are the Gods’ unwilling toys,
They treat us with a fickleness & play
With our soft lives, ‘til waking fate employs
The true directions to a human day;
Yet some of us
These higher lives defy,
Being  wild chimeras gain footholds in the sky.

Sailing east with famous Jason
On the quest to fetch the fleece,
He fought the birds Stymphalian
In sharp taskings across Greece,
Wrestling the lion Nemean
At last his trials cease,
Tall stood upon the cusp of further fame,
No beast on Earth this god-man could not tame.

Light lifted him from pointed pyre,
One by his own hands made,
Before the fire could flicker’d high
Oer lead limbs limply laid,
Zeus knighted him Olympian, imputed to the grade.

Divinnia

***

Forbidden Fruit

With flash of awe best stories are begun;
Upon immortal Mount Olympus dwell
The brightest members of that pantheon
Which binds all mortal motion to its spell;
Our fable falls,
Where Jupiter resides,
Thro’ Heaven’s gleaming halls a golden apple glides.

Upon its deep, dawn-colour’d skin
Was written, “For the finest!”
Three goddesses desir’d the win,
Much smitten by the contest,
Their chatter made a magpie din
To find out who was bless’d,
With Beauty’s art, more than the other two,
Says Jupiter, “I know what you must do!

Seek out a pure & mortal youth
To cure thy bickering,
His choice, I sooth, rare voice of truth,
Shall judge this siren spring,
Alas, I sense these strange events shall violence to us bring!”

Olympus

***

The Judgement of Paris

They search’d all Earth for that rare quality
Which fortifies a man from lustful thought,
Noble enough to love a true beauty,
Give honest answers to opinions sought;
Just one was found,
A handsome Prince of Troy;
Three goddesses drew round, seductive, sweet & coy….

“Tell, prithee, Paris, which of us,
Fairer than fairest flower?”
Minerva offer’d genius,
While Juno promis’d power,
“If I am chosen,” quiff’s Venus,
“The roseate bower
Of womanhood shall spread across thy mind –
When you may pluck the fairest of your kind!”

“Then thee I choose…” from Venus flew
Helen’s bright araura,
The other two disdainful grew,
Grating with displeasure,
“She waits for you!” sings Venus, “In Lacedaemonia!”

Troy
1274 BC