anarchy, Andromeda, Animal Farm, Burne-Jones, Cassiopeia, casuistry, censorship, Diaz, Dr Atl, etymology, free expression, guerilla warfare, hacendados, Heaven, Hell, Liberty, liberty/licence, Pre-Raphaelites, Prometheus, revolution, volcanoes
Another poem inspired by Prometheus Unbound
by P B Shelley:
Andromeda by Burne-Jones: Wikipedia
A wheel will come full circle, you will find.
The outcome’s in the etymology
of ‘revolution.’ Think ‘Animal Farm.’
‘You seize the flower; the bloom is shed,’ Rab said.
Heaven and Hell are one’s inner landscapes.
Give a man an inch; he’ll take a mile.
Liberty/ licence – where to draw the line?
Free expression/ censorship : who can judge?
Anarchy is based on casuistry.
Prometheus played with fire and was burnt.
Imagination versus tyranny.
He who is king over himself is free.
Cassiopeia took the liberty
of a frank assessment of others’ looks.
Say nowt if you can’t say anything nice.
Why did the Pre-Raphaelites feel free
to create soft porn from mythology?
Liberty bodices off; shackles on.
‘When tigers are unleashed, who controls them?’
said Diaz, while Dr Atl opposed
slaves’ exploitation by hacendados,
exploding guerilla warfare into print,
like lava from his beloved volcanoes –
but he still became a neo-Nazi.
So, I’m suspicious of all these Titans,
larger than life, whose words stream in the wind.
They’re the self-acknowledged legislators,
crying, ‘Liberty, equality… (Blah!)
prior to being overthrown – not by a coup –
yet everywhere men are free, but in chains.
A poem to celebrate the bi-centenary of ‘Prometheus
Unbound’ by PB Shelley:
We always want slightly more than our share,
whether it’s food, or perceived liberty
and we, like Prometheus, play tricks,
but gods fore-know what is our little game.
Everyone wants to live in Mecone,
in a Golden Age of wealth, abundance,
with a personal cornucopia;
or to be on the same standing as gods –
expressing a modicum of Free Will;
able to question who has sovereignty.
The problem with challenging Order is,
it often involves (slight) deceit.
Liberty! Desirable; dangerous!
There is shame in personal ownership:
else, why do we hide sparks in fennel stalks,
or in off-shore tax havens, for that matter?
The flames of liberty need to be fed.
They will consume us, as they are consumed.
Demeter found there was a compromise.
Persephone, you lied. You were not forced
to eat pomegranate seed. You screamed rape.
Pandora, with a thief’s temperament,
you actually had the soul of a bitch.
Is it better to reign in Hell, or serve
in Heaven? Prometheus, your attempt
just raises the age-old dichotomy:
liberty / licence. Where is the balance?
Some can subsist on sacrificial smoke;
Titans and men require sustenance:
labour, nourishment and nobility.
(Tarrawara Estate. Creative Commons attribution edwin.11)
When I was in the Yarra Valley, Victoria, a couple of years ago, I
was fortunate enough to see Ian Fairweather’s series ‘The Drunken
Buddha‘ at Tarrawarra, in the art gallery attached to the famous vineyard.
It takes me some time to process things I have seen, so I was delighted to
begin to read the original literary work, in translation, last week.
Here is a choka I wrote as a poetic response to chapter 1:
Life’s a paradox.
Yes, it is good to seek peace,
but engagement yields
understanding through conflict.
There are nuances
between life and death and each
marks vital process,
on the way to extinction
of Ego. Volunteer!
Go another round
on Reincarnation’s wheel,
though you have ‘arrived.’
Do it for your fellow men.
Help them to Enlightenment.
Trusting there’s justice
causes disappointment, when
was not honoured in his day.
Gangkwai was moral,
yet his life was not easy.
Servants desert you
and friends are often fickle.
Today men don’t keep their word.
means sometimes you’ll be surprised –
pleasantly, one hopes.
If you are open-minded,
you’ll navigate through Life well.
All is cyclical.
In Autumn, bronzed leaves descend,
but you could say that
they are pushed by forming buds.
Energy will sprout
and as old people die, new
to take their place in the world.
Bearing this in mind, one should
live Life to the full,
for no one knows when Time’s up.
Nature calls the tune,
but what comfort to know that
we’re part of the scheme of things.
on your books shows lack of taste.
in anything is mundane.
often left a chapter out
and some palaces,
by art, were left incomplete.
Three marks: sanboin, mujo, ku
are vital concepts.
Reality shows nothing
lasts; nothing’s finished;
nothing is perfect.
Serenity comes with age
and it is a flawed beauty.
Even The Palace
at Kyogoku and the
Hojo Temple are
fallen into deep decay.
The family of
the Mikado’s guardian
could not preserve them.
Nine images of Buddha
Kaneyuki’s painted door
has somehow survived.
Elsewhere, not even ruins
are able to tell stories.
A basic paraphrase of a 14th century Japanese monk’s
observations in prose. I just arranged them into a
Depressingly harsh, but true??
Hmmm, as my Anglican priest friend responds
when he wants to be non – committal and to appear
Your face is ugly;
your heart probably foolish.
You’re not accomplished;
you are getting on in age;
have various health problems.
Death is approaching.
You have been less than righteous.
Can you criticise others?
What of your failings?
Gain self-knowledge, if you can:
the vital life skill.
It would be commendable
if you took stock and retired!