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                    the heft and the edge                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     26/5/2017 wkj fantasy







      home under the spotlight




      previous: No Need for a Frown      start: Welcome


      All eyes now turn to the forest: the eyes of the Presidente and his Aide de Camp; the eyes of the common people of Himavante; and over and beyond these, the eyes of all the world.  All look to the trees for salvation.  For the Presidente and the A.d.C. salvation is counted in the gold pieces of profit.  For the common people, for the peasants, the forest holds a promise of decent lives (once you are rid of the trees of course).  Salvation for the world, however, is counted in the thickening of ozone layers, in the promotion of bio diversity, in the getting of other people to suffer for the greater good; in short, in the very survival of the trees.


      There are other eyes: the Army of Himavante is looking too, peering ever so closely into the dark depths of the forest but they are not seeking some form of salvation.  They are looking for foreign spies, dissidents, revolutionaries, saboteurs.  Someone as yet unidentified is wrecking the line, halting production, delaying the required advance of the rail-head, but no matter how hard the generals look they can find no-one to answer for these crimes.  Creative persuasion of the primitive indigenous population has revealed nothing. And yet, without the help of explosives track is twisted and broken, bridges are felled, and overnight, somehow, there are places where the jungle grows back into clearings made only hours before, lianas strangle the line, the jungle itself seems to be fighting the advance of mankind.  The peasant labourers are a superstitious breed, easily scared, but even the soldiers guarding the line are talking of ghosts, of spooks, of the angry spirit of the forest.


      But now, why not turn your eyes upon this mystery? You will see from your ethereal height - do you remember that you fly high above this madness? - you will see the unclouded truth beneath the trees. You will see deep into the forest, far beyond the furthest intrusions of modern man, beyond even the bravest wanderings of the naked Indian hunters, and there, hidden by some strange art from the common sight of spy satellites, of reconnaissance aircraft with their Hasselblad cameras, there deep in the forest live a people unknown to the world.  Deep in the forest there is a Home.





      Come with me now, I will show you Home.  A day of celebration.  Not a Fat Tuesday bacchanalia: no perverted rite of fertility here but a simple and honest wedding.  Here two lovers, Ammal and Rhianne will pledge themselves to each other and pledge the strength of their union to Home. 


      The Master of Ceremonies, an old man known simply as The Ancient will, in his way, tell all.  Or he will as soon as he manages to stop the children running riot.  The Ancient, the most wise, the master of ritual, nearly the most powerful person in Home spends most of his time looking after the children.





      a prologue

      Children!                                                                       ANCIENT

      Sit you down:

      You'll make yourselves giddy;

      Sit you down,

      While the grown-ups get ready.

      Oh, there's going to be some fun,

      There's going to be a party,

      But sit you down for now and

      Listen to our story.


      This is the Tale of Home,

      And a long tale it would be

      If I were to tell you all we know

      From the ancients down to me,

      But today is a wedding day,

      A promise for the future:

      Who knows, there may be children,

      We'll have to wait and see;

      But on days like these

      We all should stop and think

      Of all our days before

      And the reason we sit safe here now

      In peace and harmony,

      Quiet in the forest.


      There is a song they'll sing:

      The ancient Song of Home -

      The words a vision of our past,

      I wonder if you'll like them.

      Let's listen to them singing


      the song of home          ETHNIC INSTRUMENTS


      In the dark and distant past                                  BAND & SOME CHORUS

      Before the sailors came,                                           three vocalists

      Before the bloody temple bells                              each breaks in

      Rang out in Quetzal's name,                                  to take up thread

      Before the men with silent thought          

      And lonely lives became the kings

      Of all beyond our forest home,

      Like ants upon the silent plain,

      We knew that we were mighty.


      We knew that we were mighty

      For cities that we made

      With halls of light,

      With streets of gold

      And dreams of every shade,

      For science, art, the noble end

      Of man upon this earth,

      With power from the sky above

      The food for minds at play,

      With power from the living stream

      We lit the night and cooled the day

      All safe within the forest Home,

      We knew that we were mighty.


      We knew that we were mighty

      For then our minds had gift:

      We spoke afar, our thoughts were loud,

      We had the power to push, to pull,

      To squeeze, to stretch, to lift.

      Our power made us demi-gods;

      No threat to us was seen:

      Wherever in the world was man

      So resolute and strong?

      Whenever had there been?

      For us to rule, no finger raised!

      We knew that we were mighty.


      We knew that we were mighty,

      But dreams are never final dreams,

      Our wants were never satisfied:

      The urge to find, to search, to know

      Was all we thought important then

      And Nature was defied.

      Our pride betrayed the silent Earth,

      Then faster ran our season:

      Our lives were never long enough

      For all we longed to do,

      Our world was never wide enough

      For pleasure ever new.


      We knew that we were mighty,

      But as the cost of life grew dear,

      The best kept for the few,

      We learned to fight between ourselves,

      We learned the art of war.

      We fought for gain, a fuller life,

      Till every yard and every mile

      Became a cause worth dying for;

      And those whose skill created arms,

      Machines of dreadful night,

      Their pride grew stronger than before

      And unconcerned by wrong and right

      Knew well that they were mighty.


      We thought we all were mighty,

      But nothing could we do

      To halt the march to endless night

      Our fathers had begun.

      The war they made destroyed so much

      No road or town was left beneath

      The angry glaring sun.

      A million died to bring us news

      That nothing we can do

      Could ever bring us happiness

      If pride is all we know.

      We learned the truth so long ago

      That ever makes us humble:

      Beside the Earth, the Sun, the Stars,

      Beside the endless river flow

      Neath everlasting sky,

      Naught we ever say or do,

      Nothing we could ever be

      Could ever be called mighty.


      Naught we ever say or do,

      Nothing we could ever be

      Could ever be

      Could ever be

      Could ever be called mighty.


                    ©  Wilf Jones 2014