Thursday, 3 April 2014

88. Adjustments to Be Made

Fig. 6 The Poet Wonders How

It is true that our origins lie with the bears, whose dance welcomes us to play outside this cave, where fixity erodes & dissipates. Hullo bears! The lions will tell us what a fine day it is, that useful animal the red lion, glad to help us with our stories, our unending stories. Hullo, red lion – top of the morning to you, sir! And then, you too, little elf fluttering so bravely & briefly, your dear little dance through space & time a perfect improvisation – oh, we salute you & your butterflies, little one. Notice then obtrudes: pus is seen & warned against – all that decay suddenly not part of life’s great cycle, Brother Rot Our Friend – but what is ruled against & banned. Goodbye, innocence. Hullo, gullibility. Here comes Thomas, welcoming fluid & unprovisional actuality’s replacement by sheer eternal dogma. The man with the organ can carry on grinding it for ever, now he knows his place – he is lost. Somehow, ignore him. And that little wandering poet, like all poets looking the wrong way & choosing non-existence – please! Hatless. Saladin’s horse’s hoof adjusts his head for him, reforms it nicely, but can’t maintain any more momentum. Back into the bone-pit.

Only the jolly tumbler knows enough to fade into the light itself, & drift warily out of Old Sawney’s reach. Let, too, the funny little red fairy bless him, as she kicks up to choose rebirth & idiocy amongst the bears again.

In sacrificing herself, knowingly & unknowingly, she restarts the process. There are adjustments to be made. They will be made on us.

1 comment:

  1. Fig. 5: cave is, you can guess, Sawney Beane’s, at Bannane Head in Ayrshire. Black-&-white illustration in upper right, of boy & girl standing by a notice is from a mid-Twentieth Century children’s encyclopedia (details of which I’ve misplaced), in a section on printing, and labelled “Reading a printed notice.” Saint to their right is "St Thomas and the Miracle of The Girdle" (of the Blessed Virgin Mary – descending from her in Heaven to demonstrate to the ever-doubtful one, who was typically late to the scene of her Assumption), from the Tabernacle of the Madonna delle Tosse, by Benozzo Gozzoli. Figure on extreme right is from an illustration to “The Borough Organist” by Silas K. Hocking, and below, in bottom right hand corner, from cartoon, “Denomination” by Inder Burns (text - Miss May Denn: (To applicant for post as house boy) - / “What is your denomination, John?” / John: “I’m a Bachelor, Ma’am”), both from edited D MacKenzie, The Tribute: Tendered by Artists, Authors and Advertisers of the Empire on the Anniversary of His Majesty’s Recovery (John Horn, 1930), pp 65 & 202.