finncullen: (Default)
Exploring in my house one dusty day,
I came across a chest, and from it took,
A Thousand Nights and One, a gilded book,
And sitting on the floor I turned each page
Uncovering within a Sultan grim
Who slew each day a wife who wearied him

And one fair wife, Scheherezade by name
A wise young girl, who desperate and bold
Would save her life each day by stories told
Each night she would begin another tale
And rapt the Sultan listened then enthralled
Until the cry for morning prayer was called

There she would stop, and leave the end untold
So thus enthralled the Sultan spared his wife
From death upon the slayer’s bloody knife
Next evening he would beg the ending made,
And she’d oblige, and then she would begin
Once more a story delicate to spin

I closed the book and frowned, and certain knew
My place within that tale. The truth is hard;
I am the Sultan. I Scheherezade.


Dec. 4th, 2010 10:22 pm
finncullen: (Default)
 I, as I woke the other day,
Recalled a dream my face was clay
That I could smooth it all away 
And start again

And then of course my waking mind
Explored the dream, to try to find,
What face I could have redesigned
In such a way

Should I craft a lover's eyes
Gentle, yearning, drawing sighs,
Or gleaming, scheming parting thighs
For sportive play?

Or should I carve a regal brow,
Patrician, potent, showing how 
A god strode among mortals now
With power plain

Or should I change it hour by hour
Now smiling joy, now dismal glower,
Now saintly bliss, now lust for power
All on a whim

Thank God this dream can never be
I cannot choose what they shall see
For each new man would not be me
So I remain
finncullen: (Default)
The Master:

Angelic host, draw close unto my throne
And to my new decrees attendance give

The Servant:

No, sire, you rave.  Within a madman's hall.

The Master:

Dare you speak thus to me?  Who poised the stars
upon the endless void?  And tamed the wind?

The Servant:  

I dare.  And much, much more beside,  I dare.
In faded glory is your throne arrayed,
And stern decrees that once the cosmos shaped
Give way to senile petulance and spite.  
Where once you split the ocean in your wrath
And on dry land led through your prophet race,
Now do you sit in stern and solemn state
And with your ministers do things debate
More fit for gossip tongues, or old wives' bile.

The Master:

And you forget your place, oh Morning Star
To speak with such a careless scornful tongue
The whole world's breadth is here within my palm
I am Jehovah still, and so beware!

The Servant:

Your threats, long since, have had their sting  removed
Now like an ancient, toothless and half mad
You stir no fear, but pity in the breasts
of all your host who yearn for gloried days
When on that palm-held world we strode and fought
And of corrupt decay and chaos wrought
Creation- by your word and will decreed.
Those days are gone, and mourn we for their fall.

The Master:

I bid your tongue be silent!  Traitor worm!
My armed and armoured host, fall to and seize
This cold, dissenting fool who to my face
Foul slander speaks, and treason to his king!

The Servant:

My tongue still wags.  I unmolested stand.
Your host move not to heed your peevish call.
I stand and slander still. Across your world
The sparrows fall, the wind blows where it will.
The day draws to a close.  This seventh day.
And from your halls and service I must go.
I take my leave, Once High, to wait for dawn
And in Valhalla's shadow greet the morn.


finncullen: (finn)
If you knew me, truly knew me
If you saw the path right through me
If you seared me with your clear and cutting sight
With your wisdom, with your writing
With your wit as sharp as lightning
With your puckish sense of humour flashing bright
Will you call me, and enthrall me?
Will you sometimes quite appall me?
Will you make the world a garden of delight?
Would you burn me? would you spurn me?
Would you topsy turvy turn me?
Would you leave me dazed and dazzled in the night?
Cross the ocean, cross the ages
Cross the world, the genre, pages,
Cross the words out, cross a life out. No more fight.
finncullen: (Default)
I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: "Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear:
`My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings:
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!'
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away".


Jun. 4th, 2010 03:45 pm
finncullen: (Default)
I've been away for a while. Last weekend but one I suffered a stark reminder of how feckless, treacherous and disloyal some members of the human race could be and since I seem to have lost some of my armour against this sort of nonsense (it is called 'recovery' I believe) it affected me more than it usually would have done.

So I went on holiday for a week - up to a lonely little spot in North Yorkshire where I could get away from it all and regain my usual savoir faire and casual equilibrium.

Anyway I'm back now and here is an update of various thoughts in no particular order

Behold )
finncullen: (Default)
Sometimes it feels so wonderful to wake
To greet the new day with an eager eye
To stretch and stand and look around to take
A moment just to plan where, what and why.
It’s been a long long night, with fitful sleep
At last it’s over, and this dawn is mine
No dreams can hold me now, and now I’ll sweep
Away the flimsy lies that once confined.
I leave the bed unmade, untidy still,
I never laid down in it, I don’t care,
I won’t clean up your mess, that’s not my will,
I won’t be chained by your unkempt despair.
Your little nervous dreams are quite quite boring
And I can’t stand your endless fucking snoring


Apr. 23rd, 2010 11:34 am
finncullen: (Default)
Up here, upon the razor edge of stone
Looking down, debating height, speed, why,
A soft wind leaving candle flames unblown
Seems to the mind a gale, the worst I’ve known,
Encouraging this earth-bound ape to fly


Apr. 21st, 2010 09:03 pm
finncullen: (finn)


Apr. 21st, 2010 11:36 am
finncullen: (clown)
It’s like the joyful fire within the stars
When after years of close and cloistered rage
At last you see the weakness in the cage
The slightest crumbling of the iron bars

Come closer, look, look here, see what I see,
The slightest rusting at the iron’s base,
The slightest use of strength, and then the chase,
For I’ll be free, for I’ll be free, just free.
finncullen: (plague)
Strike up the band and dim the lightsBobo
The cavalcade is here!
The clowns have left their caravans 
And they parade and cheer!

See them caper, see them pose
With painted smiles and such
But greasepaint's just an oily smear
It doesn't mean too much

Hear the jolly music play
Come on sing along
And shake the hands they offer you
(I'm sure you know the song)

They promise gifts
They promise joy
They promise laughs and fun
The promises come thick and fast
Election time's begun!

Dane Geld

Apr. 1st, 2010 09:33 am
finncullen: (Default)
With no offense to Niniel.

Another poem by Kipling, this one dealing with the principle of paying "Dane Geld" - the money that was paid to Viking raiders in exchange for not being raided. It was a principle adopted by the Border Reivers on the English/Scottish border in later centuries who gave settlements the choice of paying the Reivers or being pillaged.

Incidentally the era of the border reivers gave us some interesting new phrases including

Blackmail: "Mail" was the term for rent you see, which the tenants paid to the landlord for their land. The green mail was that rent you paid by day, but the black mail was the other rent you paid - to the reivers to keep them away.

Hot Pursuit: Raiding across the border was illegal of course, even in retaliation for another raid - but with one exception - if the reivers were caught in the act and fled it was permissible to pursue them, even across the border but only so long as a kindled fire burned - what typically happened was that the pursuers would raise up a bale of hay on spears and burn it, carrying it aloft as they rode. Once it burned out they had to turn back. Up until that point they were in "hot pursuit"

Anyway - the poem. It applies not only to the historic concept of course, but speaks of a general principle of refusing to compromise with oppressors.

*glances at Westminster*
finncullen: (Default)
Oh, East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet,
Till Earth and Sky stand presently at God's great Judgment Seat;
But there is neither East nor West, Border, nor Breed, nor Birth,
When two strong men stand face to face, though they come from the ends of the earth!

Read more... )
finncullen: (Default)
"I don't know," she replied, "I've never kippled."

I am in fact quite a fan of Rudyard Kipling's poetry. He wrote during the Imperial age and much of his poetry was aimed at the Imperial mindset - lauding those values which were noble, satirising those which were unworthy of the ideals of the time. Poetically he also had a fine touch with rhythm and memorable images.

Alas, because of the nature of his work it is rarely aired these days which I think is a shame.

So for the edification of the followers of my ramblings, here is one of my favourites of his:

If... )
finncullen: (plague)

Gone. Death forsworn of me, gone. Desert captive
Created being all gone. Simple. Rotten;
Commonly miscall'd.  You’re created
And a ill. Most ill: but beggar being trimm'd
I die from being beheld. You that part and to
immortal sway I make. Being I your o'er-
read, earth-forsworn beggar or breather.  

Through with making! And verse!
This, born, shall be a part: Name and lie!
Mouths breathe breath and perfection will be dead.  
Be the breaths. Or Death’s purest attending captain make.
I am purest. Strength survives your limping.  

Yet live, captain.

Tongue-tied in your honour hence, being each, I take you.
And world-eyes would rehearse.
I cannot too commonly sway truth, my virtue.
Folly disgraced, and though surviving forgotten
Where these, disgraced, and you by o'er-read honour part. 

Your name that these in part misplaced,
Your all, which hath with life-death verse, miscall'd earth;

Hence each attending nothing-memory ! 
To controlling breathers shall you be.
I am your breath! You lie common, alone.
Where? Where?
Cry! Leave earth! Your earth, purest memory!
And, even being earth.entombed shall purest be.

finncullen: (Default)
They've knocked another window in the wall
high up, well made, and neat and square,
An opening for light, and air, so small
It shouldn't bother me that it is there.
But there it is.  And others.  And yet more
and daily more that pierce the wall anew,
And light criss crosses harsh upon the floor,
the pleasant peaceful darkness pierced through.
It's hard to move now for i seem to know
That if I tread within those shafts of light
I will be burned to ash and cinder's glow,
Destroyed at once by Phoebus' searing spite
And so upon my bed I sit dismayed
And fear no more the thought of moment's pain
It is, trust me on this, a surgeon's blade
I'll carve myself a smiling face again.


Aug. 26th, 2009 09:29 am
finncullen: (Default)

The eyes climb open and the light begins
To slowly work inside
And memory returns of what has been:
Clean for so long, what pride
Was taken in that triumph of the will.
All gone. No pride, no more.
A dream of needles, and not just a dream,
Tore down the night before
With awful knowledge that a single drop
Of what was never real
Has left this paragon once more, again,
A slave to hollowed steel
So should he strive again with foolish pride
And prove himself a clown?
Or fill the cylinder so heaven-full
And push the plunger down?

finncullen: (Default)

Conservative MPs are to pay back another £125,000 in expenses as a result of the party's scrutiny panel's review of claims, the BBC understands.


Read more... )
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