Friday 29 September 2023
Wednesday 12 July 2023
Born of dark enchantment the dread demon made good its escaped from the mouth of the fireside storyteller. Freed from its infernal bonds, the narrator set about sculpting the creature a grotesque and terrible form. Then with carefully crafted undertones he invoked in it the first signs of life. Gaining strength and stature the monster made quick and suddenly disappeared into the darkness that lay beyond the meagre glow of the fire's flame. Those who had been gathered around the hearth that night would later swear to a man, that they had heard the steady thump of this loathsome creature's heart. Yet, none would admit to having seen the beast.
'I will not speak this monster's name,' said the teller of the tale to his enrapt audience. 'Fore all of you know this beast of which I talk. As each and every one of you here has already lost something greatly valued to this demons's whim.'
He then pointed a long slender finger at a man that sat across from him. 'Shepherd, did you not lose you entire flock to it's inhuman savagery naught but a week ago?'
'And you,' he turned to face a gaunt looking man to his left. 'You, the fisher of these rivers. Have you not noticed that your catch is much diminished and what is caught is inedible due to disease and rot? A plague, no doubt, bought about by the very thing we now talk of.'
'You, tiller of the soil,' the narrator's voice was now raised to a greater volume. ' I see you hidden in your shame. Fore was it not the failure of your harvest this past year that has brought such privations upon this village?'
'Yet, this I know,' a wry smile quickly passed across the story teller's face. 'You can rest assured, that what ever blighted your crop last year was not of your doing. The beast, it seems, has been abroad for longer than any of you could have known.'
The fire sputtered suddenly like the flame of a dying candle. Consumed by the shadows of this flickering half light, the people concerned look to the narrator for solace. It was then that they each noticed he had shed a single glistening tear, which slowly rolled down his left cheek. 'Oh, but these trials and tribulations that you have suffered of late, are as nothing compared to the agonies suffered when a child's life is snuffed out. And, I know that all who are seated here before me are well versed in that exquisite pain.'
From around the encircled fire a low moan started to issue, suddenly the men of the village began to gnash their teeth and beat at their chests, and as the moan increased in volume the womenfolk took to clawing at their flesh and tearing the hair from their heads. It was all the narrator could do to contain his ecstasy as he watched this scene unfold before him, but he knew he must maintain his composure. He needed to complete his tale.
'Oh, my poor flock. Please, I beseech you.' The storyteller now standing raised his arms in an effort to calm the orgy of pain and wild abandon. 'Fore, you see, I too know your pain, and, so it is I share in your loss too. In fact this is why I am here on this very eve. I stand before you as your saviour.' With these words spoken the villagers stopped their violent frenzy, and slowly regaining their senses they turned to look upon the man that stood before them.
He continued. 'My own loss did set me upon a path and I followed where my pain led me. You see, yours is not the first village that I have visited. There are many more in your position. Indeed situated just beyond your borders there are but three more villages in similar dire circumstance. I have also sat about their hearth, like I now do with you. But I must here admit, I did quickly realise that these poor souls were already lost to the very same demon that afflicts you so. That he had enlisted them all to help him with his abominable work. So, it is not by his own hands that you have suffered as such, fore he is cunning and clever and he has used these retched folk under his control to wreak this havoc upon your lives. It is they who have killed your livestock, poisoned your rivers and salted your lands. And they who wrenched your children, in the cruelest fashion, from your loving bosom.'
The Devil stepped back from the fire and surveyed the faces of the people sat about him. He watched in delight as the agony of their pains slowly transformed into an unbridled rage. The men of the village, in their fury, reached for anything that could be turned into a weapon, whilst the women screamed into the depths of night sky their desire for bloody revenge.
His work now done the Devil made to take his leave, but he was stopped in his tracks by the decrepit farmer.
'Thank you sire,' he whispered. 'You have lifted a heavy weight from my heart. Fore I was sure it was I that had damned this village, but you have now shown us that the fault is not ours. Instead all our woes lie at the feet of this terrible fiend and his legion.'
The Devil smiled at the man and it was the most beguiling of smiles.
'Please,' continued the old man. 'We have no riches with which to pay you, but, perhaps a little food may help. To see you on your way?'
The Devil leaned forward and looked into the old farmer's face. 'No need my good man. Indeed, I have dined well enough tonight.'
Turning from the chaos that had erupted all around him, the Devil then set forth into the blackness of the night, and as he crossed the wooden bridge on the outskirts of the village the people paused momentarily in their madness, for they were struck, one and all, by some vague and horrific memory.
Wednesday 18 January 2023
|Old Wive's Neck|
She as ancient as rivers run
As contours carved from glacial sun
She of sky and sea and shore
Of unknown lands unexplored
She of the frozen hill, a sacred seat
Of hidden domain & lofty peak
She of the ice sheet that recedes
The diluvian throne she succeeds
She of deep cut vales & long lost lakes
Of future kingdoms, that she would shape
|Venus of Hohle Fels Figurine|
Dated between 40,000 - 35,000 years old
Friday 14 October 2022
Wednesday 28 September 2022
Within those curious hills
Our ancient founders lay
A tangled mass of root & stone
Their memories bound in clay
A sleeping land cultivatedWith spell and ceremony
A once sown permanence
Now lost to age & history
Their gods held exiled
Captive in the earth beneath
Never to trespass again
Upon these desolate black peaks