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Glory In The Bone

by Echoes and Edges

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1.
Intro 00:43
2.
Everything beautiful has edges The safe boundary of ribboned love The wish for continuity Not to live the unbidden life to stop by a field of grace And regret you lost the key To unlatch yourself at evening . Everything beautiful has edges The lady of Shalott In her loveless tower Unravelled by desire Her prediction of demise The wish for an embroidered life A symmetry of stitches Of light and shadow The salvaging of closure . Everything beautiful has edges This page this table this room Each a space of opportunity This hand bounded by skin Meeting surface of wood Even the sea, phantom with azure Has somewhere an edge Somewhere a return Somewhere surely an ending .
3.
It’s just me – and the deep blue sea Nothing more – nothing more except for... My friends chanting my name rhythmically And crowds of passers by who’ve stopped to see what all the fuss is about Saying “Look at this idiot” And I know That they mean me - and the deep blue sea And me – perched precariously On a wall, on a pier and there is no fear (Actually, there’s quite a lot of fear) Heart is thumping adrenaline pumping waiting for the moment that I’ll be jumping And I’ll take flight but I think I’ve lost sight of the fact that I am TERRIFIED of heights (What am I doing?!) But my mind is set and I won’t regret this is serious business ‘Cos this is a bet with one of my mates And you don’t chicken out of a bet... with Boris I must confess my initial distress is superseded by a feeling that I’m needing to impress My first thought is to get it over and done with But then I think to myself “There’s a crowd here. I’m going to milk this situation – for all its worth” (A little bit like I’m doing now). My arms are spread and I’m on one leg I’ll make the audience beg and I say “Ommmmm” And the crowd say “Ommmmm” And the ominous “ommmm” like a bee gone wrong Or a tone deaf mermaid with a REALLY rubbish song Is beckoning me into the void And it’s me – and the deep blue sea And the crowd and the wall and the seagulls call and we are all as one As I leap...from the pier and the audience cheer Something is replacing the sensation of fear For a millisecond, suspended in midair I experience the illusion of flight and invincibility Followed swiftly By the inevitability Of gravity And a wall of freezing water which slaps me back into reality As the crowd disperse I’m a bag of bones bobbing on the waves It’s just me – and the deep blue sea But for thirty seconds I was a hero.
4.
Black water pooling Silver-streaked, like haematite, like pain Down among the mangroves silent Slopping and the chug of river Boat between emerald claws, Dark tripods squatting in brine. Thin palings rising Netted trellises where the fish Crimsoned by night jump in arcs Of serpentine silhouette Against bamboo, sea-oak, palm Of paradise in the sea-eagle’s clutch. Here among these unending verges Of bark and coral depths are plumbed By the shadowed sailor walking Over the night taff-rail where Memory laps the fishing-stakes With circles of ebb and wrack. Slipping along the northerly coast of Mapur (Pale sand and towering casuarina) A solid rain pebbles waves like Jewel-heavy greaves in ranks Across a metal landscape, the water Ranged in pride above its coral secrets.
5.
After the wild darkness Of that estuary weathered Sailing- wind filled night Rocking, caravanseried In her weft of sleep Beneath the crimson Mandala Balmed by the Buddha She’s deep down ,deep down – And to awake then To a world washed clean, A gift unbidden Simply there The consequence of stratospheres While the world spun So fast ,she could not know The feeling of it Hefted in gravity On that shore of light She’s sure of light. And so it came On a gentle westerly Birdfilled, early cusp of Autumn dawn Dancing the trees to life Returning to her Consciousness of being There , on that estuary of slow Salty drift and flow Light and dark Love and light Drift and flow.
6.
Gull 02:29
We’ve got ‘em bang to rights, the noisy screamers and harbingers of our oceanic discontent; Jonathan Livingston, George Barker, Chekhov, fish and chips, snatched sandwiches, a certain stink of half-remembered, half-digested fish. Forgetting how huge they are is one thing; worse is forgetting how gull they are, how unlike anything else in the many wild kingdoms we pompously incline to regard as our home despite the anarchy of mosquito, buzzard, lynx. A white head endangered among rocks, scrabbling claws spread to meet the gust, there is nothing romantic about this unseasoned life, bare feed and guano, profitless, enduring, cold as midnight, we think, is cold; but always cold. In moments we are gull, instances of dream, flapping from the black precipice, swooning in the down-draught, knowing no knowledge except the squawking mouths, the endless need revealed for a second in cowl of black and grey.
7.
A length of tubing Where does it go? Where does it come from, Does anybody know? I pull it and I pull it, Across the floor, I pull it and I pull it, And I pull it some more! (repeat) No. They don’t.
8.
The grace of accuracy Is to have no requirement for accuracy Setting out on a path Linear with eastern light Return to this shore of pebble crunch And finding all along the need Was to stop, breathe , be In silence And memory turns this way and that In wan sunlit air Like a crystal roped On plumblined light Now this shine Now that opacity. Discard the getting it right Measuring all distance between Now and then , here and now- Just to stand by water Allow it’s ebb to lap Your small child’s toes High tide your heart. Just to stand by water Argent at heron lakes’ margin Shadowed with reed Just to stand by water Phosphorescent with loss Just to stand by water The castled ferry heaving to leave Just to stand by water Savour samphire’s ozone bite Just to stand by water Pooled with estuarine light Just to stand by water With the certain knowledge That this is the now of Life Just to stand by water This is the grace of accuracy
9.
I’m egalitarian, wash to all shores Embrace all customs continents and offer bounty My reliable moon drawn tides Wash over , foam wash white The detritus of Nations. I’m relaxation and briney Conviviality personified And we do love to be beside the seaside Don’t we ? Don’t we ... We crawled from that elemental Liminal place , we Formed of gills and scales Gasped the air transformed by light Scraped to survival Evolved Set Gods and Mythic creatures Steadfast on those shores To save our souls whilst we turned landwards Foraged pillaged fished Plentied Filled the creels . Yet I will always have my due Will persist under The moon’s argent Apogee, perigee To draw you closer. You built craft, bridges To span isthmus and estuary As if one world was yours As if to celebrate a oneness You came to despise. Now the freedom I once offered All that bounteous plenty Squandered once pellucid waters With waste And on, To the dreadful terminations Of frail life Embarking disembarking hopeless With loss to the shore . Then, Aeons of time and tide Will wash and drift Before my gift Of freedom will appease. Come to the shoreline then Kneel in the intertidal space Cast flowers of homage Upon my wavelet forehead Make art from death Make penance Fly a sea bleached Freedom flag Light beacons of welcome restitution Before it’s all too late Before I take you all.
10.
The clouds are piled like turrets formed of gold, The silver water slides along the quay; My morning body against your sleeping thigh, The heron darts down from the moving tree. Pale zebra-fish and green and purple wrasse Trace rivulets of pattern on your arm And incandescent colourings of delight Break like defeated waves upon your calm. Our love is like the water as it flows Through channels to a landing-place unknown; It imitates the starling as it glows And brings forth all the glory in the bone.
11.
12.
Your poem made that dog bark I don’t think he enjoyed it Your poem made that dog bark I think you have annoyed it Your poem is a bad’un It is an utter mess And now that dog is pitifully Howling with distress The audience is silent No woops to claps no cheers And that dog is on his hind legs With his paws inside his ears He’s dug a hole But not to hide his bone because instead He’s stooped down And now he’s busy burying his head That dog has just had kittens He’s climbing up a tree ‘Cause he doesn’t want to have to put up With your poetry He doesn’t want to listen He doesn’t want to hear it If your poem smelled like dog food Then he still would not go near it ‘Cause that canine is discerning He’s a pooch with pucker taste That’s why he’s found the exit With the speediest of haste My poem made that dog bark He’s made his feelings clear He’s woofed his disapproval And he won’t be staying here And now I am dumbfounded I’m astonished, I’m agog For I cannot believe it I’ve been heckled by a dog
13.
You say they're rubbish but I rise above it It's a small grey rodent which I covet Chin chin chin chin chin chinchilla, chin chin chin chinchilla Chin chin chin chin chin chinchilla, chin chin chin chinchilla It's a dog, not very big Like a barking guineapig Chi chi chi chi chi chi chi, chi chi chi chihuahua Chi chi chi chi chi chi chi, chi chi chi chihuahua As a pet it is impractical As a gift it is unsuitable Eh eh eh eh eh eh eh, eh eh eh eh elephant Eh eh eh eh eh eh eh, eh eh eh eh elephant
14.
Let the gold antlers flash in the night Let cold rivulets flow from the eye of the kite As he navigates west from Apollo to Marss When I marry the Maiden of Stars. Let the juniper flourish its power Let a hectic of youth jump through each velvet flower Let the green deadlights float in their porphyry vase When I marry the Maiden of Stars. Let old rustlers and cardsharps declaim Let strong grasses wave over each decayed name And dry ghosts prop the counters in long disused bars When I marry the Maiden of Stars. Let a circle of diamonds explode In the temple of Kali at the end of the road Where oxen and buffalo sing in their cars When I marry the Maiden of Stars. Let the liquid all wash to the floor In a land where we still wish to tarry once more Let languages live which no tongue can parse When I marry the Maiden of Stars.

credits

released March 27, 2020

Written, performed, arranged, recorded and produced by the Echoes and Edges Collective in 2019

Mixed and mastered by Ben Mowat in 2019

Artwork by Caroline Case

© and ℗ Echoes and Edges 2020

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Echoes and Edges Bristol, UK

Echoes and Edges is a collective of Bristol based poets and musicians, working together on ideas that incorporate and merge spoken word with improvised and composed pieces of music. We aim to bring new ideas to the words and new imagery to the music.

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