Tag Archives: dream

Harper In The Hall

Harper In The Hall

 

Silence in court. All stand for the judge.
All present are on trial.
Let the judgement begin,
the cleansing of crime,
the balancing of sin.

At first I attended to the words.
Distracted by windows and walls,
though willingly left behind,
I heard the culprit calls.

I was a harper in the hall.
The king bid me play after the feast.
Of his servants I was not that high
nor was I among the least.

The sheep upon the mountainside,
startled by a hyena’s howl.
They never ceased to make me smile,
be the weather fair or foul.

Unless my foe stands on the plain,
points his sword at me alone,
I cannot pull back my catapult,
I cannot aim my stone.

Silence. Silence in court.
The verdict has been passed.
Alert again, I shed my dream.
Allowed to go outside,
I joined the others in the empty dark,
pleased to see the jewel lamps gleam.

These Oceans

These Oceans

I strayed into long ago,
somewhere in the east,
yes, the Orient.
Time moved slow,
like the wings of a cormorant.
I made my way to a stall
in a market square,
shiny stones drew me there.
The old jeweller said:
“Did you know,
this earth sits on a sapphire,
and by its glow the sky is blue?”
I told him of that I was unaware,
but what he said made sense of all of it.
Who I once was I never knew.
To where I was, I had lost the clue.
Among these turning wheels,
the truth we strain to know.
The cold chain we grasp,
to fly or fall when we let go.
There was I,
a sailor not long stepped ashore.
A strange harbour to explore,
haven for ships with scarlet sails.
I stayed in an inn,
slept without dream.
When I woke,
I felt I had the key to a paradise.
These oceans I would voyage,
accept what was shown to me,
till I knew I had found
what I was looking for,
that which my eyes alone would ever see.

Wooden Horse

Wooden Horse

The bird that lays eggs on the shore
told me any truth was rarely pure.
Its bill drooped like a pelican,
its tail fairer than a peacock’s fan.
The time was the time of Troy,
I was a shepherd boy.
I played my pipe on a slope.
I knew if down a well I fell,
a passer by may hear my cry,
tell me not to struggle,
let down a rope.
An old man, a smile on his mouth,
said he had journeyed from the south.
To think the Trojans fell for the trick,
they seem now dumber than a brick,
the Greek ploy of the wooden horse,
seems simple to work out now, of course.
Such were the words he said to me,
voice like waves of a far off sea.
They should have chose a better fate
than to drag it through the city gate.
Set fire to it with a defiant roar,
made it stand a beacon on the shore,
for the Greeks to see red fire and black smoke
that rose on high for the sky to choke.
Dismayed, they would have known for sure,
they had lost the siege and the war.
Never take for granted what may seem,
he warned, then I woke from my dream.

A Man From Syria

A Man From Syria

A man from Syria was on the news.
They filmed him on a bridge.
Below him a river flowed,
somewhere in England.
He had made it here,
journeyed by lorry on the roads,
on a boat on the water,
he managed to be stowed.
It seemed to me,
his spirit was still and cold,
but he had saved his body.
Bent and hollow,
he stood in his shoes.
That he was free
to him was no victory.
He had lost his homeland,
the one he was,
he was not allowed to be.
Next he sat at a table
by the river in the open air,
a reporter with him,
in another chair.
“What’s the answer?”
the reporter asked.
“Do we allow more refugees
to come to our shores?”
The man raised his head.
“No,” he said. “You want the answer?
End the war in Syria.”
The reporter nodded, pale and sad.
Then it was back to the newsreader
in the studio,
the next item to be portrayed.
The man from Syria
had vanished from the screen.

I could not help but think of Bible times,
all those wars and sieges, long ago,
that happened in the Middle East,
the lines of lamentations,
the broken psalms of despair and woe,
ever since Moses said to Pharaoh:
“Let my people go.”

The disgrace of human history
we all must learn about at school,
the list of empires and emperors,
the names of those who broke every rule,
conquests, invasions and wars,
the trap self woven that will never break,
the dark dream from which we cannot wake.
The ones who work without weapons
always the ones to pay,
as the man from Syria
made clear to us today.

End the war in Syria.
Listen to the refugee.
The politicians know what must be done
to help him return to his home
to be himself, the one he was born to be.

John Barleycorn of Larkhill Lane

John Barleycorn of Larkhill Lane

Golden woman of the golden tree,
when I grow up, will you marry me?
I am John Barleycorn of Larkhill Lane,
when I grow up, will I see you again?

I am John Barley, John Barley,
John Barleycorn.
I am John Barleycorn of Larkhill Lane,
when I grow up, will I see you again?

Golden woman of the golden tree,
now I’ve come back and you’ve married me.
I am John Barleycorn of Larkhill Lane,
now I’ve come back, there will be no more pain.

I am John Barley, John Barley,
John Barleycorn.
I am John Barleycorn of Larkhill Lane,
now I’ve come back, there will be no more pain.

Golden woman of the golden tree,
wind may blow low over land and sea.
I am John Barleycorn of Larkhill Lane,
our child will play in fields of golden grain.

I am John Barley, John Barley,
John Barleycorn.
I am John Barleycorn of Larkhill Lane,
our child will play in fields of golden grain.

O, John Barleycorn,
John Barley, John Barleycorn,
at the end of the road a golden tree,
and the golden woman you waited to marry,
O, John Barleycorn,
John Barley, John Barleycorn.

Keys Keeper

Keys Keeper

I was in Moscow
with my Bible and my cross,
to say beneath icons
the Lord’s prayer for Russia’s loss,
loss of her freedom,
loss of the right of her faithful
to praise their Lord,
loss of her soul fire,
to pray for the cross to be restored.
With your Iron Curtain
and your missiles and your pain,
freed yourselves from serfdom,
only to find you are slaves again.
Your politics have changed now.
To him they worship,
the faithful ones can bow.
I pray for the Jews,
exiles from their holy land.
Remember their old ways,
their coloured tents upon the sand.
Give them their freedom,
give them their right to praise their Lord,
release their soul fire,
all souls that knew loss will be restored.

I was in Cairo,
somehow lost in a bazaar.
I was looking for something,
in the land of Isis and of Ra.
Over sand I stepped,
to stand inside the Great Pyramid in awe.
“To know its secrets,
you must first go through the maze,”
the keys keeper told me.
“And you must do this alone.”
So on my hands and knees I crawled,
along low, narrow shafts,
the darkness solid as the silence.
I could only breathe brokenly.
I can still smell that sand and stone.
A square hole in a wall
I found and fell through.
On the floor of the inner temple I sprawled.
A young priest in a white tunic stood over me.
“It is you,” he said.
“The stranger from the desert.
How did you come through?”
Then my vision faded.
I woke in the early morning,
knowing not what I knew.

Cedric’s Close Encounter

Cedric’s Close Encounter

I was sailing round the heavens
when I saw a blush of light.
It was so I found your planet
and it made it worth the flight.

I left my old grey mother ship
in a crimson solar storm.
The freedom of the galaxy
means I never come to harm.

I landed only yesterday
on this splendid mountain range.
You’re having a close encounter,
if you wonder why I’m strange.

I’ve no idea what’s going on,
I’m as foggy eyed as you.
You’d have to ask the Star Shepherds,
but they never give a clue.

Well, I had best be going soon,
wing away in my spaceship.
I invite you to come with me,
to fly quicker than a quip.

Perhaps you can call me Cedric,
though that’s really not my name.
The great plan is not my business,
I don’t play the cosmic game.

Let us climb the spiral mountain,
my ship gave a warning beep.
I’ll pretend you are a princess,
and I’ve woken you from sleep.

Say your farewells to your planet,
partly looks like a pleasant place,
but you will never be lonely,
I’ve got many friends in space.