Kombo and Kinyonga

“I see you Kombo

Daughter of the African sunset

That burns its majesty on the land

And paints the end of the day

May your gentle eyes see deep in the darkness of the night.”

 

“I see you Kinyonga

Son of the African dawn

That wakes the day with the hush of expectancy

And lifts the shadows of the magic night

May your gentle steps and brilliant colour rejoice the day.”

 

“As we cling to the tree

These changing times

What shall we do?”

 

“Let’s call Anansi and listen to his tales

For he speaks in many, many ways.”

 

“Anansi, come and regale us, as the crack between the worlds deepens and the cicadas pluck their violins as the night takes its hold…….”

 

I tell you a story of a mouse from another land. Harmony was his name and he was born in discord with the spirit of life. He was born in a land of mist and rain, where voices sang to the heavens and the struggle to live marked every soul and the deep memory of the race knew that this had not always been so.

 At the splitting of his birth they gave him a collectors sack so that he could piece the notes together and sing, as he was meant to.

 As Harmony grew he ran hear and there, all bristling whiskers sniffing the air. They took him across the world to feel the lands where the dreamtime lived and showed him the rainbow serpent’s footsteps on the land; to wake the memory beyond the form and stir the cauldron of his inspiration. They brought him here to show the smoke that thunders and the bushman caves, to mark the river’s crocodile path and teach him lessons for later years. Then he went home. And he forgot.

On a hot summer night in a far off land he heard the spirit knock and watched the majesty of the Blue mountain’s glory dawn.

 And he forgot.

Harmony became ill and wanted to die. A mouse is just a mouse he said. So one fateful night he felt his death breathe softly on the hairs of his neck. He scurried home and found in the dusty cobwebs of his heart his collectors sack. So he began again in earnest to seek and to find.

From then on he counted all the moons, the ones that shone the change upon him. The mighty Wizard became his friend and he learned and he learned. He searched for the harbour of his youth and went there back, to the Southern Cape and in the mountains of beyond, it all went wrong. Seared by the Southern sky he began to die.

Back in the land of mist and rain, he crossed a bridge never to return, now collecting in a different way. For now his bag was a bag of dreams. As he passed with-in all was changed in the fire of birth. The mouse became a man and he stood all, all alone.

For now the song was in him and he began to sing. On, a birthday dawn he saw the sun of Sinai’s flaming brush that painted him back.

 He searched again for the Wizard in a heather land, of lochs and castles in the air. Yet for him, he was not there. So he danced in the morning when the world was begun, and he danced in the evening with the setting sun. As he howled at the moon, he knew the freedom of the Wolf and the twinkle of a far off star. His howl resonated with the birth of all the worlds and tickled the hairs that were touched by death’s softest breath.

 And the only remnant of what was, is, the hint of pink in his eyes.

Epithet for an Epitaph

Deep in the darkening forest

the travelling knave

came upon a clearing,

a clearing and a grave

 

There beside a ramshackle hut

a single mossy stone did stand

and written upon it well

cut by a skilled mason’s hand

 

Here lies one hand clapping.

 

Now sheltering against the storm

the knave did enter the hut forlorn

and as the candle now burned bright

strange things came swift and into sight

 

On a lectern carved of finest oak

Their lay a wizard’s velvet cloak

and beneath that mantle rare

lay a tract on all secrets fair

 

A Treatise on the Art of Solitude.

 

He ran his fingers o’er the book

with bated breath began to look

easing back the leather bind

a tale before him did unwind

 

Sat now in the wizard’s chair

he brushed the rain from out his hair

there he sat in the silence of the storm

to learn of things beyond the norm

 

Blessings upon you pilgrim reader.

 

Harken close to read my tale

which speaks to you from the veil

care though for these words will chain

and this shack will be your own domain

 

For should you pass beyond this page

then ‘twill be you, who now the sage.

A curse it is for shoulders new

this is my warning given unto you.

 

Warnings for you oh pilgrim lost.

 

At these words the knave did shiver

he did not want to swim such a river

and so with much a hasty pace

he closed the book away to race

 

He ran out the hut and passed the stone

quick and into the fast falling dark

for he did not want always to be alone

best sleep with trees on a bed of bark

 

When dawn stretched its welcome arms

he sped off to the village near

there spoke of the strange hut of charms

whilst others heard his song with fear

 

Back in the darkened wood

a lonely ghost began to tread

dressed in his magic hood

to lay again his marble bed

 

Here lies one hand clapping.

Praelucere

He reached down to pick the chestnut from the ground; holding its green and spiky roundness in his hand. Transported back to the schoolyard of short trousers bruised knees and conkers. Vinegar soaked and the pain at loosing a sixer to Jones. He cracked the shell and marvelled at the smooth and shiny surface. He eased it from the tender flesh and held it to his eye. Such perfection and mint as the first garden. He smelled matron and armpits, polish and carbolic, shoe parade before school, chalk, Parker pens and Quink.  It flooded back into the tide of his life. Tears held and distant hillsides waiting for his parents who never came. Table tennis and essays, letters on a Sunday and prep before “lock up”. His pride at the first hair and the confusion of his body. Boyhood fondlings and the first time, the first time that he was silent for the sake of another. Visions of bushmen caves and arrows and hidden skulls. Of buried treasure and lost parchments. How could he know that they would call him a liar for what he saw? He learned to pull back that tongue.

He let it go once and he didn’t know why. He spoke of the dream, in the dream and he touched their hearts.

He ran it through his fingers. Every finger, like silver balls chiming with the rhythmic motion of his life. He weighed and he measured. In that conker he felt. He saw it as the tree it would become. He saw it dangling on a thread. He saw it on the mantelpiece and in a jar. He saw it baked in the oven to make it hard; the conker to conquer. He saw the tricks of the trade. He saw it in the light. And he remembered Mariabronn. 

He stepped forward and into the glen. The cold dawn light matched the colour of his vision. Grey blue, grey blue. And the Son lifting the will o’ the wisp mist. Rising and swirling, seaming the world and steaming. On the edge of the clearing he saw the lone Wolf. Watching. Watching him and he thought he saw it wink. There was a lush knowing in its eyes. It watched him a little longer and in a cough of recognition it turned and left. He went further into the clearing and lay down his sack. He sat down by the sycamore and sighed. He closed his eyes and summoned the dream. He called it to him, asking for the vision of the way ahead. He stilled his breath, closed his eyes and called into the void. He muttered the words the wizard had taught him. And it came.

He saw the lengthening shadows of summer sunsets, long and longer, stretching into the gap between the worlds, the ephemera of a dusk and the in between. The sense of connectedness and the burning in his hands. The feeling of the surge of power in him and his eyes beginning to shine, the pregnancy of the moment and the movement all around. Hush! Hush….Hush. 

Oak tree stump, with clothes of linen white. Pierced by the sword. Sangraal. On the caw the clearing shifted to the marble Temple floor. The oaken altar like pulsing veins and heart, in the clarity of the incense filled room, alive in the rock. The two visions overlapped the clearing and the Temple. How? He felt himself standing and his coarse peaty robes became at once light and delicate. He looked at his hands dirty and fine. He held them out and felt the rainbow between them. He played with it a while, balancing and measuring the flow.

He walked and the moss floor of the Temple moved the marble. Footstep, echoed in hall and in wood, dew and holiness at the same. He moved to the altar and knelt. He felt the dampness of the grass on his knees and then he crossed himself. He bowed his head and the chain-mail rustled.  He reached to his temples feeling his hair and the crown. He clasped his hands together in prayer and the Monks began to sing.  He stood and bent his fingers in doubt. Why? Slowly he reached out his hand then brought it back. He turned and looked back into the clearing it seemed far away. Caught on the song he turned again. As he reached the sleeve fell back. Each hair on his arm was like ocean footsteps, with electrifying eels of exquisite tension. He spread his fingers and turned his hand to cup. As he touched the golden circle exploded in his eyes, the lighting force surged through his feet and welded him to the ground. A circle of light bonded him.  The earth and the heavens flowed within him and he knew. He knew more.

Now trembling he willed his hand to move and as he lifted the Angels called. The fabric of the world was rent and he knew. He moved his hand towards his mouth and inhaled the scent, figs and fenugreek, cardamom and lace, roses and blood, lavender and lemon, corpse and cadaver, butterfly and mint, harpsichord and thunder, seagull and spray, virgins and devils, priests and parchment. Quivering now he brought it to his lips. He raised it and began to sip… 

The raindrop landed on his nose, wetting his marrow within. Quenching like blacksmiths and calming like cobwebs, strung in the mist. He heard the deer approach and bow its head and the robin at his feet. He felt the worms in the earth and the doves in the sky. He felt kangaroo and penguin, polar bear and ant. He felt ivy and hawthorn, mushroom and milk. He saw candle and cavern, river and stream. He knew all that there is and all that has been. And he wept and he laughed.

He looked to his hand and ran it through his fingers, soft and waxy, precious, perfect and Heaven scent.

Y Ddraig Goch

Eyes closed,

In his homeland,

On the spare bed,

He exhaled.

 

Sunk into the depths of his being,

Waiting.

 

The darkness breaks

And…..

Old,

Very old,

 

He saw it.

He saw it,

Waiting.

 

Quickening of breath,

Huh, huh, huh,

It began to form.

 

Summoning the dragon to guide him.

 

Those eyes….

They watched him.

 

Patience and waiting.

 

He touched its power,

Felt it absorb him,

His him probed with an awareness.

 

Alien and ancient.

 

Terror, blind terror.

 

Lithe and poised

Those eyes….

 

Wise beyond wisdom

Since the first days of man

And beyond.

 

Amused and laughing,

In smoke.

 

He held it and the fire in his heart

Began to burn.

 

The crows outside called

Their battlefield cry,

Hungering for food

 

Taken on the caw to another time.

 

Heathered hillside,

In the mist of lore

The dragon breath cloaks

Shimmering in be-coming.

 

Hessian cloth upon his skin

Staff in his hand,

Rain in his beard

And silence in the world.

 

Weary

Proud

Beaten

Defiant

 

Behind him,

They marched,

From their deaths to their deaths,

 

They reached the place

And settled on the rocks.

 

Less faces than before

Heads hung on Castle gates.

 

And those eyes.

 

Why must they stand and die?

 

Doubts, oh the doubts

They plagued him

 

It hangs all on the next few seconds.

 

The dragon’s dice have been rolled

His fate is sealed.

 

What was it that the wizard said?

 

“Re-member, re-member.

Focus on the feelings for that is what you store.

The memory will guide you back

Learn the lessons well….

For next time”

 

He reached into his pack and took it out.

He tied the flag to his staff.

Silently and into the circle he walked.

 

He planted his staff and unfurled the flag.

 

Y Ddraig Goch.

 

They watched him

And slowly someone began to sing.

 

The sound of a hundred Male voices together

Blew back the mist

And the sun broke through.

 

One by one they stood.

They drew their swords and stabbed the heavens.

 

By God if we die to day

Then at least we have died free men.

 

Hope flies on the dragon’s wings

Red and redder,

Like the blood of our foes.

 

Vengeance is ours,

For the lives of our brothers,

And the treachery visited upon us.

 

Let us kneel

And pray God that this bitter day,

Will seal our fate,

And theirs.

 

Are you ready Sons of Wales?

To rise against the Temple of the mind?

To send it crashing with the brimstone of the Heart?

 

Look to the Dragon’s eyes my friends

And see there your courage, your faith and your hope.

Let it conjure in you.

Feel its ancient force.

 

Written in the hillsides and the valleys of your lives,

Washed through your rivers,

Permeating your being-ness with the dragon’s fire.

 

Pure magic.

If we believe, though we are few, we can call the dragon to our aid.

We are an ancient race and we have been here long.

 

We have sung our songs and shared our poems.

We have laughed and we have cried.

We have learned.

 

This is now our last battle.