Archive for ‘Grassington Minotaur’

16/05/2012

Confession of a Minotaur

 

I am a minotaur: I stand.

I am a minotaur: I crouch.

I am a minotaur: I hide.

I am a minotaur: I stride.

 

They’ll find a way to cut me down.

They’ll work their magic through the cracks

And soon they’ll have me by the throat

And drag me out to face their fear.

 

I am a minotaur: I cry.

I am a minotaur: I shake.

I am a minotaur: I bleed.

I am a minotaur: I know.

 

I hear his creeping, sandaled feet,

This death the gods have planned for me.

15/05/2012

The Minotaur Ritual

 

Up from the sickly flowers of lead –

Whose blueish petals pale and drooped

Are soaked in black and matted blood –

The horns of consecration rise.

 

A liminal state of recompense

For ancient slights in sacrifice:

A creature born to neither form

Is left to wander through the dark.

 

Galena glints and burns within.

The furnace tipped towards the south,

And molten metal flows through time:

The monster slips between two states.

 

The flowers are gathered up and crushed.

Amongst the mines a new bull reigns.

14/05/2012

The Pride of Daedalus

 

Amongst the marble and the wax

I sketched geometries of traps,

Created endless loops and chains.

I calibrated depths of fear.

 

I devised a maze exquisitely formed,

A stone philosophy of pain,

So subtle none could ever leave,

Its boundless horrors measured in.

 

And deeper down the screaming rooms,

Would echo all the terror out.

The final sacrificial cries

Would fill the golden palace nights.

 

Its heart became a dancing ground:

A bloodied chorus stamped with death.

13/05/2012

Monsters

 

I’ve heard the bunyip howl in swamps,

Its screams as loud as hurricanes.

I’ve seen the creatures crouch and hide,

As bunyip footsteps shake the earth.

 

I’ve felt the dread of moonless nights

In forests writhing, thick with snakes,

Majestics shrieking from the trees,

The sounds of death and feeding life.

 

I’ve woken in the dark of dawn,

My mind ablaze with wordless fears,

Anxieties dragging monsters out.

From every shadow: clashing teeth

 

And now I walk into the maze,

To find the beast and face it down.

13/05/2012

The Keeper Above

 

Across the moors in evening mist

The keeper drifts by candlelight.

His coat as dark as sodden peat,

His eyes as empty as the stars.

 

The burning fires around the works

Can’t drown the moans from deep below.

The keeper traces Saturn’s path,

And whispers soft protection prayers.

 

He walks on by the shattered men.

Unseen his candle flickers on.

Three thousand years and more he’s been

The keeper of the fear beneath.

 

He looks at Taurus through the mist,

Its horns are hidden, the moans are stilled.

12/05/2012

The Lies of Heroes

 

His jacket, buttoned tight and neat,

A face of honour, proud and true,

An air of quiet dignity:

A man for all that they might say.

 

He stands to face the hero’s sword.

He offers up his throat quite calm.

His death was written long before.

His life was made to take that thrust.

 

As Erskine Childers said “shoot true”.

He knew the world would judge him well –

Might even call this martyrdom.

He stares the man right in the eyes.

 

The monster’s death was not the end:

They severed his head, then spun their lies.

12/05/2012

The Minotaur’s Image

 

His blank façade was made for tales:

Where nothing lives the world exists

And meanings flood to fill the space.

Where monsters lurk we build our homes.

 

The venerated beast and man:

A test to all who leapt and prayed.

Then later he was hid away:

His appetites too close, too true.

 

And in that inhumed form was left

The residue of lust and death,

The tales of innocents sacrificed,

The tales of writers, tales of pride.

 

Our monstrous elements abide

However many times we’re slain.

08/05/2012

The Empire of the Minotaur

 

They built the halls and weighing rooms

Of millstone grit and avarice.

They birthed the monster, fed its spite,

Then hid it deep beneath the moors

 

The maze they dug stretched out for miles,

To Yorkshire mills and cotton fields,

To sugar cane and gold and slaves,

Through merchant men and ship-o-line.

 

And soon there lurked beneath it all

The monster’s barely human form:

The towns and cities bent in smoke,

The fenced and drained, the turned and choked.

 

Beneath the art the bullets forged,

Beneath the war the moneyed hoard.

07/05/2012

Mirrors of the Labyrinth

 

They’re sacrificed to autumn flights.

Enslaved by time or caught in light,

They’re made to turn ten thousand times:

Reflections of the world below.

 

The distant skylarks trapped by song,

In endless spirals through the blue,

Must sing and sing and not be done.

Their songs mean nothing to the sun.

 

The tack and flick of wheatear’s white

Along the crumbling Yarnbury Dam,

Are calls of spirits bound in lead,

Compelled to fight their pointless fights.

 

And way off by the Grinding House,

A buzzard wheels above the waste.

05/05/2012

Three Pasts in the Labyrinth

 

They rattle in the slightest breeze

Like wooden kookaburra’s cries.

Their scent lays thick all through the rooms:

The eucalyptus pasts of home.

 

Another past: of lemon groves,

Of almonds, olives, perfumed blooms,

Of questions in a language lost,

Of hoopoes on the ruined walls.

 

Then deeper in the endless tombs:

The aura of a summer moor

Where heather pollen drifts with bees

And curlews mourn the passing years.

 

Between the halls, Ariadne’s twine:

Unwound from love to memory’s end.

02/05/2012

Sacrifice to the Minotaur

 

The linnets gather on the ling

And watch the knitting party pass.

Another morning thick with dust,

The men and women click and cough.

 

The ponies start their circling trudge.

A pipit rises then is lost.

The children gather at the pit:

One spits his blood into the sedge.

 

And from within the moaning starts,

A roar so deep the slagheap shifts.

The children by the ladder shake.

The knitting party help them down.

 

Their sacrifice will never still

The Minotaur’s half-human lust.

01/05/2012

Grassington Minotaur (II)

 

Across its name are scattered stars

Which spiral round its buried heart,

And sear into its awful hide

The marks of its divided soul.

 

Its bellowed cries are heard for miles

Across the ruined moor-top mines

When twice a month the moon has horns,

And mocks the wreck which sobs beneath.

 

A hundred years they fed its lust

For sacrifice and poisoned blood,

Then left it trapped below the spoils

To howl as only monsters howl.

 

Although the stars which brand it shine,

Its fate is lived through buried shame.

30/04/2012

The Minotaur’s Freedom

 

In here the fields are lush and warmed,

The dew is soft, the light is gold,

In here, within this head of mine:

This wasted, wicked, murderous head.

 

I’m free to wander where I like,

To trace my family heritage,

Parade around the castle walls,

To fly: if egrets take my thoughts.

 

I’m cut adrift of time in here.

I sometimes think I hear the sea,

And other times the hooves and herds,

Then once a year I’m paid in blood.

 

The ones out there seem full of dread.

They seem so trapped, they’re better dead.

30/04/2012

The Minotaur Hunt

 

You get a single ball of twine,

A single sword, a single chance,

And every single step you take

Is one more step towards your fate.

 

Down there the air is thick as rock,

The cold is rotten, damp with slime.

The smell crawls through you,  coats your mind.

Down there your only friend is fear.

 

And in your hand that ball of twine –

A point of day imbued with flight –

Like air in lungs it has its time,

And step by step the ball unwinds.

 

You hear the breath and know it’s time.

You stop and wait for death’s red eyes.

29/04/2012

Grassington Minotaur (I)

 

They saw the beast and not the man,

Forever circling: hooves and feet.

And lowered down and round and deep

They heard the moans and not the grief.

 

They sucked the poisons from below,

The core of earth, the heart of rock,

The seams of endless, twisting stone.

They opened sluices, stoked the fires.

 

They built their world to last through time

On lungs of arsenic, fields of lead.

And in the galleries, banks and schools

They built their wall around the dead.

 

But now within the maze of mines,

The beast and man as one arise.