Posts tagged ‘Labyrinth’

28/07/2013

Ariadne’s Ritual (video)

 

 

 

 

a short film for the poem Ariadne’s Ritual, which can be found in this collection.

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11/06/2012

The Final Ritual

 

Before your long descent you bathe

In waters drawn from Acheron.

You feast and light the fires of death.

The shadows start to move and speak.

 

The first few steps into the dark

Will take you from the world you know.

These final minutes of your life

Will shred all sense of what is real.

 

The dampness of the walls and air

Has soaked your naked, puckered skin.

The deeper in the maze you move

The louder come the shadow’s taunts.

 

You stagger in your final room,

And here – where echoes cease – you see.

11/06/2012

The Minotaur Waits

 

The mystery ends when life ends

When eyes can see beyond this light

When fields are mountains, seas and skies:

A labyrinth of passing states.

 

The limestone springs which burst from cliffs,

The hawks and snakes which flow like streams,

The towns which grow and crumble back,

And through them all the binding thread.

 

Beneath a slope of sage in bloom

The monster licks his face and stares

Into the darkness of his lair.

He waits to take another life.

 

As all the other creatures here

He ties the strands of many fears.

02/06/2012

Creatures of the Labyrinth

 

The hawkmoth flew on silent wings

Around the dancing moon of fire,

With pink and tessellated eyes,

And scent of oleander brier.

 

A jackal prowled the maze at night.

She stripped the flesh and stole the bones.

She spoke the language of the hills,

And cowered when I cursed her moans.

 

A whipsnake sheltered from the sky.

It coiled and wound its way this deep,

To prey on rats and sleeping bats,

It warmed its scales on rotting meat.

 

They came as innocents, unplanned,

Like messengers of other lands.

29/05/2012

Mazes and Mines

 

They use the strongest men to cut,

The fleet to carve, the weak to smooth,

The dying breathe the dust and choke

On leaden lodes and metal veins.

 

They pile the spent in pits of lime,

Their bodies covered quick and deep.

The ones who make eternal works –

The slaves and workers – pay their tax.

 

The maze beneath the palace walls:

In marble, onyx, granite, bones.

The mines behind the Empire’s rise:

The tailings heaps which hide its graves.

 

They mark the cost of their success:

These kings and heroes, rich and blessed.

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.

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.

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.