Maze For The Minotaur

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                                             Maze for the Minotaur

      (Poem by Philip Dodd, inspired by the Minotaur sculpture by Michael Ayrton.)

Here we are, this is it,
his last work, his final finished sculpture,
made of stone and glass,
intriguing, enigmatic,
not one to easily pass,
compels the mind to study,
step up a ladder,
to reach the higher mass,
the homes of golden tomes,
small enough to stand
on this sturdy legged table,
as you can see,
deserves a room to itself
in the exhibition,
I think you will agree.
An oversized paperweight,
he called it once,
more serious than in levity.
Maze for the Minotaur, its title.
Why did he carve this bull headed monster?
What did he search for?
Proof of the soul as something separate,
intellectual clarity?
He knew Greek, all the myths,
so its subject is no surprise,
the Minotaur, the creature unique,
the prisoner of Crete,
trapped in a maze,
the labyrinth Daedalus made,
held by his own reflection
in a mirror wall,
his bull brow frowns,
his beast mind asks:
who am I, me or him I see?
The longer he looks,
the harder the puzzle.
As ever, he was trying
to say something with his sculpture,
grasp something, heal his mind,
step into his own maze, blind.
For Samuel Beckett’s dramatized despair,
he had no time.
No, no, he protested,
it is not that,
there is something there.
Understood that Heart of Darkness quote:
the horror, the horror.
Yes, when the veil is torn,
what is real can seem that way,
to study history, a slow, silent, self torture,
he said, to concentrate on war and empire,
unredeemed by culture,
was to hunt with the wolf,
nest with the vulture.
With existential works,
he refused to agree.
Surely that is not philosophy,
but a passing mood,
an arrogant adolescent attitude,
that some of us go through,
he once said, that he for one had long out grew.
What did the Minotaur see in the mirror?
Why did he strive to be victor
over the ones who said all was futility?
It was his last work, as I have said,
we have gone through all his papers,
his sketches left behind,
since he was found, full stretched,
collapsed, in his garden, dead,
and found no new lines he planned
to build upon.
His heart failed him before he reached
his small quarry of broken stone.
What he would have made next
will remain unknown.
Let us leave it here,
his bull headed guardian,
to study his reflection
in one mirror of his maze,
his stony labyrinth underground,
closed off, sealed, silent,
no interruption of sound.
He said he knew what Theseus saw,
after he had slain the Minotaur,
more than ocean with no shore,
more than sky stunned by thunder,
with a grey glint in his granite eye,
as he left the maze behind,
no longer in peril, no longer blind,
he glimpsed, for a moment,
there was something more,
and found release in a cry,
the wonder, yes, the wonder, the wonder.

Sigurd

                                                      Sigurd

 

Listen. Thunder clouds,
herds of black bison
stampede silent space.
Wait. Relief of rain.
Hut folk from windows watch
lashed land, hardened face.
Trauma. When storm broke,
something slept in a sudden woke.
Loom weaver hand mosaic moved,
bright beads changed place.
Wake. Birds spread wings in water.
Air clear. Survivors show gratitude
for given grace.
Blown horn. Names of mighty men remain.
Sword of Sigurd the dragon Fafnir slain.Image 

Searching For The Sangreal

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                                                 Searching For The Sangreal

 

Farewell, my lord, King Arthur,
this may be my last farewell,
I go on the quest you gave us,
I go searching for the Sangreal.

This task is great you gave us,
one so worthy of our name,
I’ve a token of my true love,
for I may never see her again.

Searching for the Sangreal,
our Lord’s Holy Grail.
Searching for the Sangreal
in my shining mail.

Sir Galahad you dubbed me,
all at your fair table round.
A dragon’s head I gave thee
that I slew on dark, burning ground.

Searching for the Sangreal,
our Lord’s Holy Grail.
Searching for the Sangreal
in my shining mail.

I stand before a tower,
it shines ruby, sapphire light,
and I walk across the drawbridge,
and kneel before tall angels bright.

Farewell, my lord, farewell, my lord,
this is my last farewell.
I achieved the quest you gave us,
I have seen the Sangreal.

( Searching For The Sangreal was published in the Summer 2013 issue of The Dawntreader, a quarterly poetry magazine, published by Indigo Dreams Publishing: http://www.indigodreams.co.uk   Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/indigodreamspublishing

 

Chimneys

Chimneys and Clouds
by Philip Dodd

I lay on my bed
head on my pillow,
weary, worn, I looked
out of my window,
dark chimneys and clouds
is all that I saw,
the light and shadow,
I wanted to draw,
in chalk and charcoal,
made me feel tranquil,
that is all, nothing more.

Roused no emotion,
just observation,
dwelt on the present,
the pleasant word combination
of chimneys and clouds.
Feeling playful, I thought,
what about, the other way round,
clouds and chimneys?
Same vision, same sound.
Clouds and chimneys,
high above ground.

I rose from my bed,
paced from my pillow,
pensively, I gazed
out of my window.
Still chimneys and clouds
is all that I saw,
the light and shadow
grew solid and sure.

Felt simple and sane,
not broken, not bored,
by chimneys and clouds,
all else was obscured.

Chimneys and clouds,
light and shadow,
chalk and charcoal,
outside my window.

Chimneys and clouds,
seen from my childhood,
I had to grow up,
got lost in the wild wood.
At last, I came clear,
stood calm and serene.
Chimneys and clouds,
concrete and clean.

Philip Dodd, Author of Angel War

About Angel War

My name is Philip Dodd. I was born in 1952, live in Liverpool, England, have a degree in English literature from Newcastle University, and I have been writing songs, stories and poems since I was twelve. I began writing what became Angel War in 1986 and I did not finish its final version until September, 2012, so it took me twenty six years to write. It was published as a paperback in April, 2013 by Fast Print Publishing and as an E-book in March, 2014.  On its front cover, there is a print by Gustave Dore, called The Woman and the Dragon, and on its back cover there is a print by the same artist, called The Fall of Babylon.  My book, Angel War, could be described as a work of fantasy fiction, rooted in The Bible. It was chosen as one of the twelve finalists for The Wishing Shelf Independent Book Awards for 2013 in the adult (fiction) category, I am very pleased to say. It was given a Wishing Shelf Finalist logo and sticker for its cover and a Wishing Shelf Finalist Certificate. On this blog I intend to write more about Angel War, my light-hearted science fiction story, Klubbe the Turkle and the Golden Star Coracle, and my poems, which I intend to publish one day in a collection, called Chimneys and Clouds.

 

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