Twas not at Southwark’s famous Tabard
But at St Paul’s where pilgrims gathered,
Where some months ere, no Christian pity,
Could save ye twine-tied tented city.
No holy sanctuary was given,
Ye chapter did well as t’was bidden
For though St Paul’s dost boast a cross
Ye corporation’s almighty boss.
So there began, at winter’s close
As t’ward ye steps was turned a hose
A quest to find another way
To cry for peace another day.
At length was hit upon a plan
To form a motley caravan
A penitent walk for thirteen days
Following ye pilgrim ways.
And if ye clergy saw it right
To clear ye steps on fated night,
Pardon ye bailiff, constabulary
We alight now for Canterbury.
That thine alms may be in Secret… “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face… And now abideth faith, hope, charity… but the greatest of these is charity.”(I Corinthians 13:12-13)Through the dark glass of international politics, witness a curious spectacle. Indian politicians are calling for India to refuse British aid, whilst Britain is pleading with them to continue accepting it. Dissenting voices were also heard in the UK in February, when India chose 126 French fighter jets over British, despite our International Development Secretary making it clear during a diplomatic visit that this was just not cricket. Referring to the £1.2-billion project, he said “The focus is also [sic] about seeking to sell Typhoon.”
Of course, anyone visiting the world’s 13th fastest growing economy must be prepared to haggle, but whilst this looks for all the world like the cynical machinations of arms dealers and morally bankrupt politicians, let us consider a more charitable explanation. The whole problem, brothers and sisters in revolt and rapture, arises from a mistranslation of scripture. (more…)
(Also published in The Occupied Times of London)
“In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.” – (Jdg 21:25)
The School of Ideas returns to dust, and our tents to ashes or landfill, but the seeds of resistance have been planted in the hearts of the tent-dwellers, who ate of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Eviction. What will emerge from those seeds, what runners and creepers, climbers and stingers are sending out shoots beyond the square mile, and what flowers will bloom in the coming seasons?
It sounds hard to believe, but Nemu’s End has gathered something of a following at Furrowbrow Abbey in Norfolk.
In fact, this is one of the finest examples of 14th century church architecture, so I am pleased, if a little surprised, to find that my book has found its way into its cloisters.
Stranger still, the abbot and some of the sisters of charity have been sending me poetry they have composed.
I can’t quite fathom the connection with my own researches, but I will share it all the same.
Writes riddles and roles,
Binding and unwinding,
Text tells two tales or more.
But at the centre,
Six swords slice through
And pages of thoughts undisciplined,
Cutting a path past sorrow and peace
To something left ineffed.
Thoth's ink covers the parchment
With combinations of letters exhausted,
Forms fixed in finite space.
Sphynx, hold thy tongue and keep thy secrets
Lest the goddess remain veiled.
Naked, she is revealed in brilliant black noise.
And in the word CHAOS let the book be sealed.
(by Sister Josephine Thirdspoon)
Subversion on the Mount
The bells, the bells, the bells which ruined my blessed sleep on the first Saturday of the occupation barely register anymore, having merged into the general background, but who ever imagined that all this Jesus-talk would become so normal? On the cathedral steps, everyone has become a theologian, taking up whips against the money-changers and rendering unto Caesar what is his.
We seem to have agreed that social justice and consideration for the poor are fundamental Christian values, and, along with several important men in frocks, we are prepared to make sacrifices for them. But what kind of tactics does scripture suggest?
“Resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.” (Matt 5:39)
This must be one of the best known Biblical passages, and one of the least understood, because whilst it appears to be a piece of masochistic nonsense designed to enslave you for generations, it is in fact a subversive’s crowbar. (more…)
Moving from the academick to the poetick.
Mercury, Oh Mercury,
Much more to me than 5 and 3,
In and out and back to me
He walks the sky intrepidly
He fools the gods mercilessly
Mercy mercy Mercury
White hot and scolding morphing key
This is how daimistas make ayahuasca.