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Posts Tagged ‘mythology’

A PARTICULAR DEVICE

When we look so close at life inside us,
it simply becomes a tree of madness
where ghosts host and catcall,
swapping bodies and their nightmare mysteries
( from which we have never, ever, recovered).
Such strange animals. So many hands.
So many dances. So many attributes.
A collective deity ( or a pan Demonium).
There is a clue in it all somewhere,
a clue, a clew, a thread, a maze,
a spider, a monster, an eater of the charming ones,
a hungry axis, a deliverer,
a coin on his eyes and on his tongue.
The rite of the Opening of the Mouth,
escaping gravity through the small angled shaft,
homing on the singular, most singular star.
Dust to dust. An assay of hearts
before the animal-headed ones.
We are Jongleur, kindly admit us.
Remove our head. Give us the bliss of love and asses.
Return us whole to the world without end.
And let us cease to burn.
Let our mouths be filled with the cool waters.
Seven rivers from the Garden.
A lascivious sprouting of leaves, a splayed, secret hand of fig.

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NIGHT PATTERNS

I had forgotten completely about this work, which I had worked on during an Artist’s Residency in Lincolnshire. It is one of several that I conceived. Only one ever got performed – too metaphysical for most Arts Council’s tastes, I expect.

Here they are presented on the theatre stage of your own mind, no need for tickets, no need for polite applause.

Not quite film, not quite poetry, not quite “Under Milk Wood” ! A sketchbook of a journey through a landscape……..

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Night Patterns – Fragments of a proposed performance.

These are the names they suffer.
Name and form.
Foam from the distance,
Light eaten by hungry eyes.
Light locked in the memory of cells,
That recall the first time
They grew from the glimmering dark.

[Followed by names and translations of constellations and stars whilst body outlines are transferred onto the floor]

The woman in chains
Sadalsud
The flying eagle
Thyterion
The sign
Heniochus
Nekkar
The hunting dogs
The scorching
Al kalb al mutakaddim
Gredi
Schedir
Caph
Cih
The serpent bitten
Mira Ceti
The pair of compasses
Zaurak
Rana
Beld
Enif
…….

“Whose eyes are these?
These cold eyes.
These flickering eyes.
What names are theirs?
In what designs do they fall?
These cold fires.
These flickering fires.

What are their names
And what are their designs?”

We know them by our own fires.
We name them from our own names.
We shape them to our own designs.

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‘Men and creatures were more alike then than now. Our fathers were black, like the caves they came from; their skins were cold and scaly like those of mud creatures; their eyes were goggled like the owl’s; their ears were like those of cave bats; their feet were webbed like those of walkers in wet and soft places; they had tails, long or short, as they were old or young. Men crouched as they walked, or crawled along on the ground like lizards. They feared to walk straight, but crawled as before time they had in their cave worlds, that they might not stumble or fall in the uncertain light……..”

(Zuni creation myth, New Mexico)

“Earth Doctor saw that when the sun and moon were not in the sky, all was in inky darkness. So he sang a magic song, and took some water into his mouth and blew it into the sky, in a spray, to make little stars. Then he took his magic crystal and broke it into pieces and threw them into the sky, to make the larger stars. Next he took his walking stick and placed ashes on the end of it. Then he drew it across the sky to form the Milky Way. So Earth Doctor made all the stars.”

(Pima peoples, Arizona)

A Persian munuscript of the 14th century: “The Book of Fixed Stars”, shows two versions of each constellation: one as seen from the Earth, and one as they would appear to someone looking down on them……..

“By their powers
They traversed the whole world,
Measuring the ancient divisions,
Unmeasured.
They restricted all existent beings
To their proper forms;
They distributed in many directions
Light amongst the people.”

(Rig Veda, Mandala X. 11. 14)

[Walking barefoot along a pathway or border of chalk powder: leaving black footprints. Then walking on to a black path, leaving white footprints.]

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Echoes in the skull’s dome
Sift and shape.
We dream at the cavern’s mouth
Still.
(In the deeps, the horned one chants).
Looking out
At flickering shadows,
Dumbstruck with thoughts
We cannot utter.

“Stroking the thighs of Night”

The border. The point between. Grey dawn.

It is late October in the hours before dawn
When the night is all corridors and roofless rooms.
When darkness is milky grey and moving with echoes.
When the wind in the dry leaves might be rain.
When the rain might be crackling flame.
When the whining of dogs might be the crying of children.
When the creatures with no shape move
Along the lines between spaces.

There is a figure in the centre sitting.
The arms extending, holding two rods
Down towards the ground.
There is a figure standing
On one leg between two poles.
There is a figure moving slowly
Along a marked-out path.
There is a tightrope walker.

The mariner’s card.
The flower of distance.
The astrolabe of thought.

Whence these movements of mind?
Walking the shore – neither land nor sea.
Waking nor dreaming.

To consider one possesses thoughts
Is erroneous.

The mariner’s card –
The hunt,
The transformation,
The accidental illumination.

“Not Quite and Only Just”

Waking before dawn, 24th October. The image of a seated figure, holding out as extensions of arms, two long white poles. The sound of the night – rain or wind on the dying leaves; the echoes of a dog or a person shouting…..

[Most movement will involve these two poles, which are the same height or taller, than the performer.
The tightrope.
A figure-of-eight, or a circle is walked, with one pole turning around the other. One stationary, one moving.]

From where do these images emerge?
Who thinks our thoughts?
Why have meaning attached to action?

Action free from explanation.

The line of thought. Ariandne’s thread. Bells, echoes, repeats, repeats. Siva and Ganesh. Time and Space. Doorways.
Justify actions with thoughts, reasons for actions. Categorize, plot, file.
A relationship of patterns.
One electron moving through all dimensions creating everything.
Walking a line on the shore between waking and dreaming.
Random thought or didactic progressions.
Terra incognita.
Fear of the dark, fear of empty spaces.
The filling in of names and dates.
The movements and positions are visual – mapmaking pins and string..

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I am trying to put sounds,
Words, to the movement.
Why?
Why not silence?
(Cage’s silence in his music – no silence).

Cause and effect.
To describe each action as it occurs.

“Where the moon is now?
At this moment.”

Cause and effect.

“I want you to watch as I watch.
I want you to watch
Because I cannot watch.
You think therefore I am.
You watch therefore I move.
The observer and the observed.
The thought, the act of thinking, the thinker….”

A pattern drawn out in the dust:
Memorised to allow passage through,
Despite the witch who continually tries
To erase it………

Bowls with mirrors and lights,
Skins broken reflecting on the face.
Narration of Cerridwen and Taliesin.
Transformation of thought,
The line of thought,
Awen.

Pouring torn paper, reflecting silver
Into bowls of light.
Ritual emptying and filling.
Long Man of Wilmington,
Surveyor,
Discriminator of Two Points.
Tracing the pattern, memory,
The way beyond the stagnant hills.
Uncovering,
The revealing of power,
The footprint,
The pattern.

“Not Quite and Only Just”

[A black background, white figures. Drapery. Covered and revealed. Pouring bowls. Spinning, shifting lights. From an empty space to a full space. Wheels. Movement of the spheres. Scientific facts. Mythological fact. Symbolic fact. Fictional fact.]

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Walking barefoot,
The pattern drawn in the dust.
Delineate, explain, comment….

The woman in chains,
The serpent bitten.

The exact position
Of the moon,
Right Now.

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