Tag Archives: vision

Armoured Knight

Armoured Knight

Armoured Knight stands guard on my sitting room shelf.
His post was once on my bedroom window sill.
He is part of my past.
An ornament I bought in a gift shop in Woolacombe
on the North Devon coast.
Souvenir of a summer.
1970. I was eighteen. Worked in a hotel kitchen,
my brain blown open by ocean,
I pined to find words for what I could hear in sea gull cries,
far and high in the sky,
yearned to see white sailed boats voyage out from coves
to Atlantis.
Photographs of sunsets never developed well.
My camera could not capture
the hues of heaven I saw on the western horizon.
Armoured Knight I brought home in my haversack.
2017. Sixty five now.
Years ago, I somehow managed to break his lance.
Now his right hand grips only air.
Once I had to glue him back on his black plastic stand.
But why now the mention?
Recently, late one evening, I turned my CD player on,
leaned back in my arm chair.
My body light, forgotten, I attended to song,
became just an eye,
my spirit clasped by the top joint in the stalk of my spine,
aware only of words and notes in the air,
my gaze came to settle on Armoured Knight,
stood guard in his place on my sitting room shelf.
His helmeted head suddenly moulded into a mask.
The mask melted to reveal a bare face,
that of a man, a captain of soldiers.
He stared at the ground. His face pale, bony, stern.
His thought on battlefields behind him,
wars he had witnessed, weapons used by men,
from bow and arrow, sword and spear,
rifle and cannon to machine gun and tank.
He grew more macabre than a ghost,
a foul portent, ill omen,
till he could be given no other name than Death.
There he stood, Death himself.
Cold, battle boned, sword sharp, hard.
The spell broken, the vision vanished.
Armoured Knight restored himself.
An ornament. Nothing more.

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The Cry

The Cry

( Lines inspired by a fragment from The City of the Scorpion, being Chapter 45 of my book, Angel War. )

If born with no flaw
would we live forever more?
I was stopped on my walk.
My soul yearned to be saved from solitude.
Though I could speak, I would seldom talk.
Looked over a brown wooden fence,
down on a school playing field.
Above a far trench, I heard a cry,
higher than the cry of sea birds.
A tear broke through my eye,
for in the cry I heard words.
Not made by my mind,
they came from outside.
We’re sorry now. We’re sorry now. We’re sorry now.
They were the words I heard, it seemed to me.
They hurt my heart, disturbed my soul.
Closest to a seagull’s cry, it was to my ears,
one blown far from its flock,
away from the cliffs of the coast
by the wind of a storm.
Lost above the middle ocean waste,
it pined to be on the flight path to its nest.
We’re sorry now. We’re sorry now. We’re sorry now.
From the sky, the cry came again,
now like the cry of a child who fled from a fire.
We do not yearn to go.
We do not pine to leave.
Why should we want to go
when paradise is our home?
Here we came with our angel kin.
From our Honeycomb Mountain home we flew.
With gnarled edged swords, we fought against our great betrayer.
We went too far down,
as our elders told us not to do.
We went too far down,
but we had to see.
We dug a hole,
so we could see.
We went too far down but we found a ledge.
And we were brave. We looked down.
We had to see
the Citadel in Michael’s scarlet flame,
after we had fought so long
against our ancient foe we do not name.
We were stranded, afraid to be slain,
but we found a way and up we flew.
We’re sorry now. We’re sorry now. We’re sorry now.
There is a way. There is a way. There is a way.
We’re sorry now. We want to be free.
We’re sorry now. We’re sorry now. We’re sorry now.

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.

Sailors of the Summer Stars

Sailors of the Summer Stars

“I travel far,” he said. “I travel far.
I am a sailor of the summer stars.
I bring you treasures in my shining jars.
I am a sailor of the summer stars.”

She said: “I saw you,
mounting from the sea.
I did not know you
had come for me.
Once, outside my window,
I saw you flying in the sky.
Your pearly vessel
signalled to my eye.”

He said: “Let’s go now,
to the landing place.
All our ships are leaving,
voyaging to space.
O, come, let us travel,
let us travel far,
and you’ll be a sailor of the summer stars.
We shall leave a message in my shining jars,
gift from the sailors of the summer stars.”

Cloud of Birds

Cloud of Birds

I was inside a cloud of birds,
and they were all singing,
and flapping their wings,
and I was not flying,
but standing on a mound,
and beyond my left ear,
in a screen in the sky,
bells bigger than cathedral bells
were swaying, to and fro,
with no sound of ringing,
and slowly the birds flew and faded,
and I was sat in my chair,
not feeling anything,
just light, quite empty,
and I lifted my mug from the floor,
and took another sip of my coffee,
and listened to the birds,
outside, in the garden,
nest building, territory claiming, singing.