All posts by Stuart France

About Stuart France

Writer and Director of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School.

Looking Out…

*

I have lain here for millennia

watching ages pass.

*

Great beasts once roamed my slopes.

I saw them take to the air.

Their leathery calls scarring the sky.

In a fiery eye-blink they were gone.

*

Ice flows then kissed my rugged cheek

with cold, thin, sticky, lips

and time ushered in a new form of dominion.

Bi-pedal.

*

But they too have all but gone now

transforming themselves into machines

which will devour everything

like the great beasts of old.

*

But I will still endure, watching

ages pass, for millennia more…

 

 

Sylvan Grade…

*

Can stone

turn to tree

or was that just eroded memory?

*

Yet, if water turns to earth

and air

and earth to fire

and air to water

by dint of long forgotten alchemy.

*

And if indeed

the Fire-King and Earth-Maiden

have spawned a beautiful daughter…

*

There may yet be

some fleeting semblance of hope

for me…

Bone Age…

 

*

Three skulls.

Three lives.

Three deaths.

*

One life for the minerals, substance of earth.

One life for the flowers, blossom of soul.

One life for the animals, projection of dream.

*

The dream of reason produces monsters.

The dream of love produces life.

The dream of death produces light.

*

Three skulls.

Three deaths.

Three lives.

*

Stone is the bone of earth.

Tom Banjo…

*

Down the dark stairwell,  a silent progress plotted.

‘Twas death in that  house were Tom but spotted.

…He reached the door, a tree clad Owl hooted.

Three seconds more and Tom was Seven League Booted.

One stride it took to clear that grim ravine.

By the dimly waking watchers, Tom was never seen.

A toe hold caught the receding lip of night.

Poor Tom was spilled out, and tumbled into flight…

*

In the glow

far, far below…

High keening Kites.

*

*Tom Banjo is a character who appears in the Grateful Dead song entitled ‘Mountains of the Moon’. About two-thirds the way through the song, and upon hearing of the Marsh King’s daughter, Tom mysteriously disappears…

Doors of Conception…

“Excuse me…”

I woke up and looked at the walking stick  insistently tapping my boot, then up at the black face in the sun, and shaded my eyes…

“…Do you want to be human?”

The voice was young, but also insistent. The black face in the sun had spiky hair.

“…thought I was human.”

The black spikes shook, “You’re currently all lopsided.” The stick pointed down a hole in the earth by my side, “You see the three doors?”

It was true, there were three transparent doors… superimposed…

“First is mind, then movement, finally heart… doors to humanity. You coming…?”

 

Armoury Show…

*

The prosperous town of Armore was built next to a forest.

Late one night Old-Man-Log came out of the forest and sat down in the middle of the town’s market square.

He opened up the palm of his right hand and started cackling.

The next morning as the sun came up he was still sitting there cackling at the palm of his hand.

The towns-folk of Armore gathered around him to learn the source of Old-Man-Log’s amusement.

There in the middle of his palm was a little red man who was dancing.

“Who is that little red fellow?” asked the townsfolk falling over themselves to get a better look  at him.

“Why, his name is Mammon,” said Old-Man-Log, “see how he dances and spins for your amusement growing redder and redder?”

“Let me see…”

“And me…”

So it went with the towns-folk of Armore as they pushed and shoved and trampled each other in order to get a better look at the spectacle being played out before them…

At the end of the day when Old-Man-Log returned to the forest forty of the towns-folk lay dead.

*

The next day Old-Man-Log was sitting in the market square again and this time the crush to see his show left eighty people dead.

The day after that, the death toll was one-hundred-and-sixty.

Finally Old-Man-Log said, “People of Armore, why do you put up with this day after day. Don’t be killed. Pick up stones and stone me.”

Without hesitation the towns-folk of Armore immediately picked up stones and threw them at Old-Man-Log.

They stoned him from all directions and before long he lay dead.

*

But then the dead man’s body began to stink.

The stench was so bad that people fainted and died.

The wind blew and wherever it carried the foul smell people died.

The dead man opened his mouth and spoke, “People of Armore, why do you put up with this. Don’t be killed. Bring your hauling ropes and haul me away.”

*

Without hesitation the towns-folk of Armore immediately ran for their hauling ropes and tied them around the body of Old-Man-Log.

They began to tug the ropes but Old-Man-Log’s body was hard to shift.

The towns-folk tugged harder and one of the ropes snapped. The men pulling the rope fell on top of each other and died.

Another rope snapped killing more people and then another with the same result.

The dead man opened his mouth again, “People of Armore, why do you put up with this. Don’t be killed. Sing me my song.”

He sang it to them, “Pull our log/Old-Man-Log/Pull our log…”

*

Altogether the towns-folk sang the dead man’s song and the body began to move…

It moved so quickly, sliding along the ground that whenever anyone stopped for breath they were run over by the body and killed.

When at last Old-Man-Log was sung back into the forest the few towns-folk that remained returned to their homes to sleep.

Next morning when the towns-folk of Armore awoke they remembered nothing of Old-Man-Log.

It was as though they had been intoxicated.

*

Threshold…

rs-266*

We live with hidden presences.

The village street, its air heavy under the hot sun, its surface baked hard beneath our feet, is lined with dwellings.

Vessels of the, as yet, unknown…

Before we enter any one of these home-steads we are confronted by a labyrinth painted in brightly coloured sand.

As the morning sun rose through the sky the Mistress of the House laid out this elaborate design and we cannot now enter her dwelling without passing through this pattern, the new focus, of those auspicious natural forces.

A protective screen now guards the home.

We cannot see that screen, we can only see the focus.

A reflection of the inner workings of cosmos has been externalised at the boundary: that line which divides inner and outer; the pure form from the purely chaotic or accidental.

The boundary is always fraught with danger.

It represents the primal division at the heart of all things.

A wholeness has been rent so that creation can occur.

This labyrinth is a symbol but it is also both more-and-less-than any symbol. As the day progresses it will be worn away by many feet entering and exiting the house. The coloured sand will mingle with the dust of the street. The symbol will lose its true form like the stone temples and that illusory stability which sees them abandoned when their utility is spent. They are both constructed, despite the appearance, merely to capture the momentary, unpredictable reality of the unseen.

Labyrinth and temple express an untold reality as that which is hidden but held in external form.

Both are held open for the invisible yet still, in other ways, sensed powers.

Both then hold these powers in partial and temporary control.

Both mark a transition from inner to outer and suggest movement to come…

Like all vessels of divinity they are potential turning points.

They contain and obfuscate.

Imbued with powers of their own they yet point beyond themselves to the divine wholeness.

We forget this at our peril.

*

A Border-Land of Spirits…

*

We do not doubt the immortal nature of the Spirit in Man.

Neither do we care to speculate on its probable state or condition in any future life.

The Spirit, breathed into Man by the Great Mystery,

ultimately returns to the one who gave it.

After being freed from the body it is everywhere and pervades all nature.

So much reverence is due to the disembodied spirit we do not name the dead aloud.

Ohiyesa