Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Asterion's birth:



Instead of the two mothers on their knees,
the cold marble floor indifferent to their grief,
as their hands clasp the babe
and each claim the maternal right,
we have a single mother who stands aghast,
her lips, a wide circle of a shock,
her eyes wide also an attempt to dispel,
both hands forward hands open
as if she can manage to push away the horror,
behind her, the father who is not —
it is obvious from the facial features,
the hooves for feet
and in the room the bellowing;
a bull’s roar claiming god’s ownership.

And though it is a god
that has cuckolded the monarch
imagine the trembling
of mother and king (for different reasons)
their minds seared by the image
of the bawling babe.

Both condemn
the culpable affairs of the god
determined to maintain their own feeble control
over events that have spiralled away
as if both mother and king
found themselves within
a labyrinth of the bull-god’s design.

And surrounding this scene
of king and queen and new born beast,
the faces of humanity, a sea
that at any moment might rise up
and depose the king who cannot control
or usurp the child who cannot rule —
not with those feet,
those bull lips
that skull ready for the horns.

Is it a surprise to anyone, then,
the cave to be a prison,
the beast to become a powerful symbol
and all the tributes paid in full
in the flesh and blood of normal children
who have done no wrong except be born
without the influence of a god.


Freedom #1 and #2

#1:

In the darkness he stands, his head thrown back
his cloven feet firmly apart, his nostrils lifted up
to catch the memory of the breeze.
His eyes closed, his fur on end,
his fists clenched, his thighs aquiver,

and in the centre of who he is
is awareness the cycle is passing and soon
the boats will arrive at the port
with the new seasons cargo of children
forced to try their luck
and pass through the maze not knowing
at its blackest heart is he


and though he wishes it were not so,
that he could find the strength to resist,
the truth is he craves the light so
that he will perform the act,
give them the blood,
honour the god and hope
one day he will gain release.

The beast then. the abandoned child,
the son, the lover who seeks an innocent’s blood;
he is them all, the bequeathed, the vanquished
the hero, the monstrous savage,

standing in the centre of the labyrinth
in the night that never departs,
with memories for companions,
death in all his deeds, he is what we fear
and he is wretchedly us.


#2:

He waits for the ray of sunshine
to wind its way down the shaft
carved in the solid rock, Daedalus
understood the plight of light,
though not that
it is both wave and particle,
down into the heart of the mountain,
to the cavern hollowed up
destined in carver’s mind
to be the minotaur’s prison.

The minotaur stands in the cavern’s centre,
has the sense to know the timing
of that sunlight’s descent,
waits with his eyes closed,
his head held straight –
when the time is right
the light hits the two horns,

twin crescent moons shine in the darkness.

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

the bull dancers: (edit 2)


The minotaur and Minos, the king, the servant,
the beast, none moreso, none the least,
the father, the son, the unholy ravager,
unspeakable trinity, fearful the side they hide
be seen by an innocent eye —
how can a good man be bad (and if the king, who else) ?

Then there are the bull dancers, daughters —
caught within — in the intimate ritual,
hidden from humanity, especially from the mothers
(do mothers remember their own time in the maze?).

Labyrinth nights, darkness encloses,
deep-sea tentacles attach and drag dancers
down to the sea-bed in a tangle they cannot evade;
sleep as a means to escape — hear
all manner of things that move inside
the room, and out,
little noises expand into terror, known bumps
and scratches at the window twist into noises
brimming with sinister intent; finally, as the dancer
falls asleep, the bedroom door creeps open
and the parent in the daytime enters as the beast.

The minotaur’s fate remains with us,
we remember Theseus, the hero, even recall Icarus
and Daedalus, who constructed the maze,
but the bull dancers who danced across
the horns, do we remember the innocents at all —

and if we do, we do so
for only a moment or two,
too determined to remain in sunlight
and not recall the maze in the night
when the beast calls listening fathers.

Monday, 16 October 2017

first edit

The making of the beast #1:

In the darkness he discovers not
through design rather because of
difference what is not the same must
be hidden, destroyed, or shamed;

Through no misdeed only the luck of
the coin's other side he finds himself
the centre of the maze, watches in horror as
his horns grow, his reputation too, and
the shed blood also, because he was other than
as all should be and being the son of
a king or god saves him not
from the curse of deviation.

How the word spreads then, like ships
leaving the port, sails full to carry the whispers to
all the distant ports, to the bars and homes and even,
so it seems, into the bedrooms, to set a pulse within
the hearts and thighs of  those who crave
the very things they are told to despise.


the bull dancers — edit 1


The minotaur and Minos, the king, the servant,
the beast, none moreso, none the least,
the father, the son, the ravager, the unspeakable trinity
we mention not, fearful the side they hide
be seen by innocent eyes —
how can a good man be bad (and if so the king, why not me) ?

What then of
the bull dancers, the daughters —
caught within
in the ritual known intimately,
hidden from humanity, especially from the mothers
(or do they know and remember their own time in the maze)?

Picture the labrynth nights,
the darkness that encloses,
deep-sea tentacles attach and drag the dancers,
a tangle they cannot evade; sleep as a means to escape;
t
hey hear all manner of things that move
inside the room, and out,
little noses that expand into terror, known bumps
and scratches at the window, that twist into noises
brimming with sinister intent and then finally, as the dancer
falls asleep, the bedroom door creeps open
and the parent in the daytime enters as the beast.

T
he minotaurs fate remains with us,
we remember Theseus, the hero, we even recall Icarus
and Daedalus, those who constructed the maze,
but the bull dancers, those children who danced
across the horns, do we remember them at all —

and
if we do recall those innocents
that fell or escaped, we do so
with little more than a moment or two,
too determined we are to remain in the sunlight
and not remember the maze in the night that devours

innocents when the beast calls listening fathers.

Sunday, 15 October 2017

the making of the beast:



In the darkness he finds himself
through no design
rather because of difference
and isn't that the way of the world
what is not the same
must be destroyed, hidden or shamed;

so Asterion through no misdeed
only the luck of that other coin's side
finds himself the centre of the maze,
watches in horror and his horns grow,
his reputation too, and the blood
also, because he was other than
as all should be
and being the son of a King or God
saves him not
from the curse of deviation.

How the words spreads then,
like ships leaving the port,
break the waves with sails full
to carry the word to all the distant ports,
to the bars and homes and even,
so it seems, into the bedrooms, 
to set a pulse within the hearts and thighs
of those who crave

the very things they are told to despise.

Saturday, 14 October 2017

the bull dancers:

So, one way of looking at it —
the minotaur and Minos are one
and the same, the king, the servant, the beast,
none moreso, none the least, the father,
the son, the ravager,
the triad we do not look upon, we mention not
fearful the side we hide
be seen by innocent eyes —
how can a good man be bad?

Imagine the  bull dancer, the daughter, then —
in the ritual she knows intimately
and hides from all humanity, especially the mother;

the darkness encloses her, deep-sea octopus tentacles,
with suckers that attach and drag her back,
a tangle she cannot evade,
even as she tries to sleep as a means to escape
she hears all manner of things that move
inside her room, and out,
little noses that expand into terror,
known bumps and scratches that twist into noises
brimming with sinister intent

and then, as it is in the way of things,
just as she falls asleep
the bedroom door opens and the parent
in the daytime enters as the beast.

So many children must navigate
the labyrinth
yet when they make a mistake,
even years later,
we never look at the direct line back
to the terrible consequence
of that nightly stumbling around in that terrain,
we call out choice and free will and forgetfulness or worse
how the victim must always forgive —

the truth is we know the minotaurs fate,
we remember Theseus as the hero,
we even recall Icarus and Daedalus,
those who constructed the maze,

but the bull dancers,
those children who danced across the horns,
what do we remember of them at all?

Or if we do recall those innocents
that fell or escaped, we do so
with little more than a moment or two,
too determined we are to remain in the sunlight
and not remember the maze some
are consigned to through no choice of their own —
yet how did their lives unfold
those rescued...and those not?