Denis Foley





In the infinite universe there is an endless capacity
For acts of infinite mercy, deep wisdom and universal good
But also immortal Legions of Death’s Head killers
Singing endless gory orisons, paeans of deathly praise
To the ageless ugly sisters, Ladies Couldhave, Wouldhave and Should.
In this boundless reality is every possible situation
Every style and fashion and endless affectation
A Beggar Queen with a sickly Prince dancing her attendance
A Pope in his red silk dress, declaring his repentance
Where gentle, coiffured women, perfumed and dressed in silk
Over pastries and pomegranates, cardamom and coffees with steaming milk,
Meeting with their friends to complain about the rising cost of slaves.
As Canute fell off his tidal rocker when he tried to rule the waves.
Then a nano-slice of time away, across another whole idea
A time before the birth of fear, where infinite suffering
Was unknown, before the Oceans filled with tears.
When guilt and shame had not yet names and neither had the clock
Or the terror of the years
Just the tick of the drip wearing holes in the rock.
But the tilting world keels over, stars rise and falling spin
The wheels of time will wear you thin until, at last, your mind gives in
To the rhythms, to the rhymes.  And soon you will listen for the chimes
Of the watching clock and the hesitant hand that says only Tock
Ten thousand times as it jerks away to its next delay
Then ten thousand times ten thousand times
And more and more each day.
But the depths of our own absurdity will prevent us
From looking down too deep
Because it’s hard to go back to sleep when the sky sucks you in
When your mind begins to spin with the fear of what you know
Whether you’re living way too fast or dying much too slow
You must examine your own validity and ascertain your worth
Do you occupy by accident, your position on this Earth?
This small blue satellite of a lost and fading Star.
It’s so easy to fall right off the planet if you take a step too far.
Then it will matter not, the direction that you’d prefer to go
For you’ll be taken by the tide, for not going with the flow.

The Wizard Priest stands alone within his temple of standing stone
Singing the Maker, of mountains, the strength in your bone
Chanting the Ways of the Legend, of times gone past
When the gods were as kind to the first as they were to the last
Then fish crowded the weirs, silver changing to red
And our golden harvest ground down to bread.
We are glad of the gifts, the river wheel, the turning stone
And now the strangers among us say that we are not alone
They sailed all this way. From Phoenicea they came
To exchange our red gold with silk from Cathay
A dark eyed people, dark hair.  Their living God a living flame.
They would share their wisdom with us, if we would do the same
With our priestess they said.  She smiled and nodding her head
Declared ‘It’s been good years since they came, for the children mainly
more living now than dead.

A moment later Merlin’s voice was heard again
Behind the cannon fire, sirens moans and wails
When Spitfires fought with Messerschmitts
And soared in intricate patterns, lethal ballets
In three dimensions, leaving lacy vapour trails
Spiral climbing to Angels Twenty
Berserkers hiding in the sun
Above the ancient magic circle stones
To slay the ancient raider, Viking, Sassenach or Hun
In that sky that until recently  only eagles knew
The young men murdering their brothers flew
Black smoke and agony across the burning blue.



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