“Plant a stone in a field.
Any stone in any field.
And watch it grow…”
Incongruous in Yorkshire stone and sleepy market town
Where unexpected masterwork still wears His thorny crown
Where history, both false and true, unfolds upon the walls
And legend, faith and memory adorn its hallowed halls.
For slaves and saints remembered and a wordless story told
Of dragon-slaying warriors and courtly knights of old,
Must tell the myth that captures hearts and comforts bended knee
Creating visions of what was and what the world could be
If those who owe allegiance to the earthly rule of man
Can look past duty’s confines to a world where faith began.
Beck ‘n’ Call
With spine to earth, She watches as eternities pass by
Marked by the dreams of seekers sleeping ‘neath a starry sky
Held deep within the womb of She whose body forms the ring,
Warm flesh melds with cold stone to learn what visions night may bring.
Upon the mound and deep within the Old Ones shape the night
And guide the questing steps of those who bear the gift of Sight,
With eons marked in ancient stone, the seasons take no heed
Of painted bones whose guardians protect the portal’s need
From seekers old and new whose feet still walk upon the green
To wonder at the face of time and learn what it may mean.
Beck ‘n’ Call
Eight dragons watch the landscape, gazing out across the land
To where the lines originate and guarding where they stand
An ancient story carved in stone depicts old myths and new
To show that though the story shifts, its essence still holds true,
Just as the church’s sacred heart hides Mysteries untold
Carved figures point the way to finding spiritual gold.
Beyond the painted windows where the secrets are concealed
Held in the arms of Nature is Divinity revealed;
For as above, so is below, and as without, within…
There is more to the Crucifix than pardon bought for sin.
Beck ‘n’ Call
…”I don’t get it.”
“In Geometry, before one can draw a human eye, one has to draw a cat’s eye.”
“I still don’t get it.”
“It’s a process.”
“And in any process things have to happen in a certain order…”
“You said that without using your brain.”
“…First one thing, and then another.”
“But what thing and what other?”
“Ah ha! In this case, Night and Day.”
“Cat’s-Eye and Human Eye!”
“There’s more to it than that though.”
“In what sense more?”
“In a magical sense.”
“Well, it would have to be, very old magic.”
…It happened that one day Pryderi’s doorkeeper, Conan Duffy,
was sunning himself at the portal, along with his cat,
and he saw two beautiful youths
heading towards him over the game plain…
…When they reached the enrtrance to the Dun
the two youths saluted him, and he saluted them back.
“And who might you be?” Said Conan looking the
two of them up and down, “and what is your business?”
“Why, I might be Maech,” said one of them.
“And I might be Amech,” said the other, and she smiled…
Just then a loud groan issued from the fair mound, it was
Pryderi, Lord of Underhill, at pains with his arm again.
“…And we are both physicians,” said Maech and he smiled too.
“Well, if you are both physicians,” said Conan, “you’ll have
no problem putting a new eye where my old one used to be,
now will you?”
And he veered up close to show them his scar.
Amech looked at the cat sunning itself by Conan’s side and said,
“we could put one of the eyes from that there cat, where your old eye used to be.”
“You could?” asked Conan.
“We could,” said Maech and with that the two of them swiftly
seized the cat, which is no easy thing if a cat does not want to
be siezed, and they did what had to be done, until one of the cat’s
eyes sat, as pretty as you please, in the head of Conan Duffy.
Conan blinked increduously and ran off into the fair mound…
“And the Geometry?”
“For the Geometry, you’ll just have to wait.”
SPOILS OF THE ABYSS
When Pryderi, Lord of Underhill, was treated for the
injury done to his arm by Tyrnonos, Thunder-of-Water,
his leech, Nudd, found that he was unable to save the limb; so
he hacked it down to a stump and put a silver hand on Pryderi which
was so cunningly crafted that it had all the movement of a natural hand.
Yet still Pryderi had no end of pain and trouble with the arm
and he was forever lying sick in his bed from the grief of it…
“Not a particularly auspicious start, and no sign of our ‘Eye-Guy’.”
“Give it time.” …
“Did they have ‘bionic’ hands in those days then?”
“A ha… I don’t know, did they have ‘bionic’ hands in those days?”
“I think not.”
“We are dealing with the Crafty Folk here, remember?”
“I still think not.”
“So, to what can the silver hand or arm refer?”
“It would be useful to know which we are dealing with, actually.”
“Some sources specify hand, some specify arm, and this lack of precision may itself be the clue to our non literal interpretation. You’d think they’d know!”
“Let’s settle on limb, then. To what can the silver-limb refer?”
“If it’s silver it could have something to do with the moon?”
“I think that’s a very auspicious start.”
“Or a tree?”
“Even better, what sort of tree?”
“A birch tree.”
“Now, I know that is an incredibly auspicious start.”
A far distant isle
lies in leagues fifty-thrice
over the ocean to the west
larger than Erin, twice.
Many faceted Emain
encircled by sea
rising from tide into sky
an ever wondrous beauty.
On the fair isle of Emain
a hoary tree grows
its silver-laced branches
blossom like no-one yet knows.
sing within the tree tops
on a white-silver plain
do dragon-stones drop.
Unheard is wailing
as sweet-music strikes ear
it issues through Emain
banishing all fear.
A band of nine women
come down from a height
over variegate plains
to the seaside, pure-white.
Onward they run
to a stone shining-bright
for about it to dance
raising songs in the night.
The pure man arrives there
rowing in on the flood
stirring the ocean
as sun turns to blood.
At dawn he arises
a delight to sore eyes
his coracle of bronze
illumining blue skies.
A splendour of colour
glistens in the land
spreads its glorious range
over sea-washed sand.
The host he brings with him
for long ages stay
their beauty in freshness
knows not death nor decay.
In happiness and health now
their laughter peals loud
on Emain in each season
reigns joyousness proud.
My song to you all then
still in strife and in pain
you must voyage on the ocean
to the fair isle of Emain.