Friday, 4 April 2014
89. Beware the Cave: An Opera
The cave is on a sea coast, facing West. It is within a grove of trees. A stairway descends the steep wooded slope – the trees look like maple & oak, fairly young & straight. At the base of the cliff is a rocky shelf, which leads at once onto a shingle beach, that continues under cliffs to a small, primitive classical temple and another wood, beneath rocky crags. The sea is glaucous and quite troubled.
What is strange is that the stairway extends beyond the wooded cliff, up above the clouds to where the sun is being laid to rest. This opens up the landscape into a scene of total allegory, a locus for extraordinary transformations and voyages. Whatever you want. However you want to read it.
The light is very muted & silvery, quite fishy, though with ruddy-to-pink shadowings & shadings. Any people, actual people, are dressed, though, in scarlet.
THE TWO GREEN BEARS:
It really is not good
for children to be here – oh you
are mistaken to be here – best
for little ones to go, to go, to go
THE FRIENDLY RED LION:
It is a fine day to be alive!
Let me help you with stories for
once you have told them you can die
THE LITTLE ELF:
Thrrllp snyy fwrr
Fwrr thrr thrr ghrh
Szhszh szhszh hnrr
THE BOY TO THE GIRL:
SAINT THOMAS, CALLED DIDYMUS:
I must believe or I shall die!
My only hope is Our Lady’s Girdle!
Upon its green string I shall hang myself
To prove its real existence & thus
Live for ever.
THE BOROUGH ORGANIST:
Grind on for ever
despite your cancer &
your cough! Grind
& blur. Your stone
will be your marker
Please, ma’am, I am a bachelor
but I do hope to study further poetics
& deep theory. I have
a portfolio of workshop poems
that I believe will enable me
to live for ever as a work of art
Fund me! Fund me!
THE HORSE OF ṢALĀḤAD-DĪN YŪSU IBN AYYŪB
[makes threatening noise of hatred
for thus he spurns the poet
poor unbelieving wretch]
THE JOLLY JUGGLER:
Turn it upside down & float!
Don’t hear a word they say but
concentrate on the deadness in their eyes!
Spring sideways! Leave it &
don’t believe their gift
– it is a Thulian Ice World Cosmogony
absolute accretion of dark matter
unacceptable to any life!
THE LITTLE FAIRY IN A RED DRESS:
How I love all this world of tutus & of muumuus!
How delicate & complex like the folds of our flesh
the prime plasmic reticulum that grounds our being
rich & diverse as a woodland or any city
always on the border between brute matter & information
constantly adjusting each moment a universe
how I love it! I love it!
[offstage from within the cave] C H R I S