Sunday, 30 November 2014

Herb Spiral

Herb spiral looks like the coil of a snail
Or a fat snake curled upon it's tail
Made from stones by the garden wall
With soil, then herbs, we filled it all
Like a sea shell, like a fern
Listen and some herbs we'll learn
What a lot of lovely herbs
Are growing on the herb spiral

There is a pond at the bottom
Then an earth path spirals up and round
Water Cress, Sweet Flag and Bogbean
Are there in the wetness found
Peppermint and Penny Royal
Lady's Mantle are in the soil
Chervil, Chives and Camomile
Marjorum it's such a joy

I am a tiny caterpillar munching on a flower
I crawl along the edge of a leaf
In the hedge by that spiral tower
I eat all day I fill my tum
I munch more every hour
One day soon I will make my cacoon
Then fly into my power

Herbs have uses did you know
They can be medicinal
They also taste good in a stew
Herbs are really good for you
Carraway and Tarragon, Lovage, Rue and Marigold
Cumin, Borage, Parsley, Dill, Mellisa and Nasturtium

I am a little butterfly flying by the herb spiral
looking down I think I'll try to sit down on it's top a while
I fly up, I fly down, I flutter by I flit around
What a lot of lovely herbs are growing on the herb spiral

Yes, what a lot of herbs there are
Growing on the herb spiral
Did you know there are many more
Growing in the whole wide world
Basil, Yarrow, Lavender, Sorrel, Coriander
Thyme and Sage and Rosemary
All crowned with a tall fine Fennel

Herb spiral looks like the coil of a snail
Or a fat snake curled upon it's tail
Made from stones by the garden wall
With soil, then herbs, we filled it all
Like a sea shell, like a fern
Thank you, now some herbs we've learnt
What a lot of lovely herbs
Are growing on the herb spiral

Gin Still Jim

Oh what a holler oh what a strife
They're kicking down my farm door
They're coming for my life
Execute me they would for stillin' shaky gin
But if they knew the half of it they'd make me shaky King

Five thirty AM on a cold December day
In their stupid uniforms the tax men came my way
My dogs were a~howling just like they're supposed to
We're making out the back way straight to Timbucktoo

Ain't no man allowed to make good in his own time
I ain't making shandy beer or drinking pussy wine
Gin in my still Sir and it will give you the most
But when you see those excise men just make like a ghost

Then I thought I'd lead them fools all in a merry dance
So I lit off in a boat that set me down in France
Jumped ship back to England on the returning tide
Them excise men is searching but all on the wrong side

I ain't paying no gin tax to give no government no hand
To fund some war overseas. Who fights. The poor man
Gin for your soul my friend, juniper makes no smoke
See them excise men run around they just don't get the joke

So I skipped it up to Scotland and found a monastry
On a holy Island, man would you believe
Them monks is stillin' something holy Benedictine
And if you come and try some then you'll know what I mean


Friday, 28 November 2014

The Corn, the Fork and the Spoon

Thirty ships bound for the Kingdom
Graciously bestowed
With gifts and presents from the suitors
It's their love they want to show
Carpets and precious scents
Spices rare, fruits succulent
Many coloured jewels and beads
All this for her

She was called Emma the Fair
Beautiful was she
Golden hair fell in many locks
And round her neck were pearls
The suitors came from oversea
They came from over land
But her father bid her not the love
That she wanted so much

The man that princess Emma loved
Was called Justin Dare
He wooed her with a flute of wood
When he didn't know she was there
She was walking in the woods one day
And heard the shepherd's pipe
And when the two saw each other
There was a flash of light

As he was just a shepherd poor
How could this love be
The princess cried many nights
Because of her cruel destiny
Her father had seen her in Justin's embrace
And threw the man in jail
He did not think it fit that Emma wed
Someone of no avail

To Emma side came the friendly monk
Nigel by name
He comforted her with kindly talk
But in his head he knows
The suitors will soon be here
And for all the words he has to say
Emma may soon be married off
And her nightmares live by day

I shall work out some plan
He says scratching his head
You and Justin shall be wed
And live to produce an heir
'It shall be done' he says to himself
As he thinks later alone
'But quite how I do not know'
Then the walls quake and groan

Out steps a figure small and strange
From the breathing wall
'I am Genkrill, gnome of night
I appear when starlight fails
I have listened to this plight
Of Emma, Justin and the princes
For your friendship you the princess show
I deign to help you out'

'I have an ear of corn' he says
'I have a fork and spoon
When the suitors show their wares
Justin will show these'
'Shh' says the gnome conspiringly
I know what you're thinking
That Justin is in that deep dungeon
But just leave that to me

Genkrill shows Nigel the magic corn,
Magic fork and spoon
Bows low and vanishes
It's all happened too soon
Nigel takes a sip of water
Sits down and rubs his eyes
Looks down to the courtyard
What should his eyes spy

Justin is walking proud and tall
Genkrill is also there
As are many courtiers riding horses fair
So handsome and debonaire
He joins the suitors at the end of the line
Nigel jumps for joy
It all seems somehow beyond hope
But magic is in the air

In the Throne Room a long line
Of suitors in costly array
Is boring the Queen into the ground
Making Emma terrified
They are either overfed and ugly
Or thin, cruel eyed and evil 
Their gifts make the King's eyes light up
But make the princess quail

One by one they roll by
The pile of presents grows
And who will gain the ladies hand
No one really knows
Last of all comes Justin
Emma is startled quite
The King recalls him not at all
Then Justin speaks forthright

'I bring these gifts simple and true
The corn, the fork and spoon
To express my love for the princess here
I wish to wed her soon'
Justin bows most graciously
The queen wakes up and stares
'Who is that man' she asks the King
'Haven't I seen him somewhere'

Nigel, watching from behind
Holds his breath here
Will Genkrill's plan all come undone
This is what he fears
But no, the Queen is fully charmed
And lo! Something more
The corn fallen from Justin's hand
Is growing on the floor

It grows and grows and spreads about
'Till a foot high, then ten feet and more
And round about, it has spread outside
It's broken through the doors
'What! What!' says the King
'Pray, stop this awful growth
If you can ~ The princess's hand
Shall be yours in truth I troth'

'A~ha' says Justin Dare
'I have a fork and spoon
If I give them to the poor
They'll know what to do
Use their scythes to cut this corn
And eat it, as my tool's purpose can
You do not feed your people well
Yet I feed every man

Soon the Kingdom was eating
As it never had done before
And empty tums were filled with food
And needed nothing more
The King he then bowed his head
And said 'I have done wrong
I realise I am a mean old man
And far too headstrong'

The gnome then gestures to Justin
And Justin made a bow
'This cutlery is magical'
He said, 'And here's how
The fork will talk and grant good harvest
When the spoon is polished with good deeds and truth'
To the King he gave the fork   
To the Queen he gave the spoon

'I have seen you before' then mused the Queen
As she looked in Justin's eyes
We put you in our prison
I don't remember why
Then Genkrill sprung up front to proclaim
'The King has consented
Emma and Justin are to be wed
By the moon and stars it meant is'

The two were wed beneath those stars
And the King had changed
His people were fed by the magic corn
The fork and spoon prevailed
Nigel kind continued his work
Grew in wisdom to be old
Genkrill vanished into the wall
And so their story is told

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Three Times Three and A~Roll Me~O


I went up to the blustery clifftop
I surveyed the land
I breathed the very breath of life up there
Looked down far below to the rocks and sand
I felt the sea air filling up my lungs and blood
And I remembered things I only remember here
The sky was cloudy
There was wind in my hair

The sun came out and the sea turned to dancing crystals
Or bright stars burning on the water
Then from behind a tump stepped a child of Iluvatar
She stood there radiantly
Her shawl flickered a thousand star eyes
Of morning fire come plainly
And I wondered
Who was this beautiful Lady

She took a small blue flower and placed it to her lips
She puffed out her cheeks and blew upon it like a trumpet
As she did this she looked me into the eyes with both joy and sorrow
My heart was leaping, my body trembling like there was no tomorrow
The flower was echoing, swirling me with a story told so quick
That when I awoke I could hardly remember any of it
She had gone
I was forlorn


I wandered through the gardens
I heard the Elven echo again
In the Botanical Greenhouse
I asked several species her name
I walked past the Bandstand
Had she danced on that stage
I felt a twinge of sadness
And looked the other way

I went down past the museum and the church to the shops
People were about doing their business but for me time had just stopped
Passing the Post Office I saw people walking by reflected in the windows
A chilly wind blew up from the sea and it challenged my soul
So I walked down the street as it began to gently rain
I went into a gallery in a tiny lane
I felt OK
The pictures were colourful

I went over to the Curator who was standing by a clock
And he told me of the golden hill where dwells the Golden Ox
He who drinks at the well of infinite causational changes
Where from the heart's prayer arc it ranges
That Ox is tended by several men both honorable and skilled
Who make the harps that resound in these faerie hills
What could I say
I was startled to wonder


So I took off for that Golden Hill
I had nothing, no one, just my own good will
Then Mother Mary lit a candle and illuminated me my way
And her light revealed the land as a bright patchwork tapestry
Then I turned around once more and once more I heard no sound
Darkness had enshrouded me
Nothing found
No one around

In the dark I could faintly hear voices
And I also heard many strange rustling noises
Yet there was one voice pure and clear among the others
Which was not always by the other voices smothered
Lost as I was this was my guiding star
The pure smooth voice had a persuasive sound
I had no chance
I became unwound

Now I hardly have to say
It was by love I was held sway
It was by love I now will tell
That I stumbled upon that Golden Well
There was nothing else in that black hole
But then I perceived a sparkling
My body was dissolving
I had gone in between


Then with faces of folk I knew and all with their due cordialities at that
Passed by, the Mad Hatter, March Hare, Mole, Ratty, Toad and the Cheshire Cat
I swooped with Archimedes flying all upon the nocturnal breeze
So was Owl, Ant and Minnow and Boy and Merlin was pleased
And through these transformations I knew that I had no name
Or had lost it or it had got washed out in the rain
I looked all around
But was in blackness again

Afloat upon the mistral wind the nowhere boy he flew
Upon his raft of playfulness which he thought might just see him though
The further off from Eng~er~land the nearer is to France
He looked into his mazing mind and there he caught a glance
Of a Golden Loom on a Golden Hill with Silver Trees and Elven Jewels
Her hands were weaving all upon that Golden Loom
Her eyes
Were shining in the gloom

The Golden Ox lapped the waters of the well nearby
But the ripples were washing me away on the tide
I breathed the air deeply and felt kind of free
And in no time at all was back in my body
I was sitting on a park bench
I wasn't far from the town
But my heart was lifted
And so it goes around.