An angel came into my room
One night, and hovered by my bed,
With subtle beats of golden wings,
And gentle light about his head.
And while my shock about my guest
Continued, so he spoke to me:
“Why, pray, shall you so hate God
When all He shows is love for thee ?”
“The Lord…?” I stammered once or twice,
Then found some voice from who knows where
To make reply “I hate him not,
The truth is that I do not care.”
“Now come,” the angel mocked with jest,
“For all your claims of disbelief,
Why would you spend so much strong speech
On what should matter slight and brief ?
If you upon such proof insist
As only science can provide,
Then, please, we wish you go in peace,
And as you go, let us abide.”
And as his light began to fade
And too his form began to fly,
I softly said, perhaps too late:
“So I shall you. Shall you so I ?”
Listen, son, you take these wings,
And fly ! You fly, because you can !
You fly for all your strength is worth,
Until all lands are in your span.
And you see all that I can’t see,
And never mind what gods may say –
You fly on up, towards the sun,
And maybe touch his face some day…
You fly, and you become a god !
For gods are made by what they know –
So you learn what the gods won’t say
And you take what the gods won’t show.
Just like Prometheus before,
And just like Newton yet to come,
You are the god the gods most fear
Who spreads the word and bangs the drum.
They claim the sun will melt your wings –
They scoff, until your dreams are heard
By star-struck brothers on a beach,
And giant leaps beyond the birds.
There’s many let their dread of hubris
Quench the spark that’s just begun –
But others leap with open wings
And dare to fly – so fly, my son !
Save a place for me in Hell
Should you get there first.
Get the drinks in, anyhow,
And find a joke or two to tell,
Dress up in your fine attire,
(There’s not much point in skimping now.)
Cos soon I’ll hit that lake of fire
With a raging thirst.
Save a place for me in Hell
Cos I don’t believe;
Just like many cohorts swell,
Who lived it good and lived it well.
I reckon it can’t be so bad,
When friends like these are those who dwell.
It sure ain’t Heaven, so be glad –
And raise a toast to Eve.
Paul is dead, man. Miss him, miss him, miss him !
So I call out to the devil, and offer him my bed –
I tell him “Sleep with me, I’m not too young;
But bring my lover back, put his words into my head.”
Satan he hears me, he has me believe:
“Just play all your albums, and listen where they’re slurred.”
He says “It’s fun to smoke marijuana,
It changes all music and the way you hear the words.”
So here’s to my sweet Satan –
I hear, against the flow, hidden in the track
The voice of Paul. Turn me on, dead man.
He speaks to me once more when I play the records back.
The odd-numbered lines are examples of backtracks, or backwards-masking, that people with more time and less care for scratches have found hidden in their favourite albums.
She rises to the golden glow
From ev’ry cloud beneath her feet,
And curls her hair in ringlets so,
In waves romantic, loose yet neat.
She pins each blossom into place
To form a halo round her tress,
And adds a paleness to her face,
And dons her fine and pleated dress.
She plucks her harp and tunes its strings,
And warms her voice to sweetermost.
And so, with flexed and polished wings,
She finally rejoins the host.
This poem was written in response to the painting shown above (sorry she’s so small).
They’re pious in Cornwall, or proud, or just quaint, Sennan and Bryvyth, Morwetha and Cleer They name half their villages after a saint; Piran and Tudy, Winwillo, Gwinear Not many Marys or Peters or Pauls, Nevet and Probus, Mabena and Breock For ev’ry Saint Helen’s we find a Saint Mawes. Leven and Cuby, Wennapa and Feock Our corp‘or‘ate saints have been roundly withstood, Sithney and Breward, Lalluwy and Ruan
For theirs are so local, old Cornish done good.
Mylor and Sancreed, Illogan and Mewan
I’m sure I’m getting the emphasis wrong on some of these names, but that’s the beauty of English – anything goes, and my mispronunciation is just as valid as yours, especially when you definitely have never heard of these names before. And yes, they’re Cornish, not English, but consider them now Anglisised. And yes, I did just spell Anglisised with two esses – deal with it.