the heft and the edge                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     10/6/2020







            VERSE                 two wizards, an angel and a monster































































































































    The Wizard and the Master  


    The Wizard dreams
    on his bed of moss,
    while the stars wheel high above,
    of an age now passed
    and of courage shown
    when hatred vied with love.

    The Master rose
    and walked the paths,
    looked up with a troubled eye,
    for the stars were flown,
    dark clouds took shape
    and thunders shook the sky

    The Wizard twists
    on his bed of moss,
    as the Nazgul stalks his prey;
    when the bravest deed
    and the fairest hand
    could not their loss allay.

    The Master raised
    his song to calm
    the sheets of lashing rain
    into gentle tears,
    and solace deep;
    then silence fell again.

    The Wizard moans
    on his bed of moss,
    as the Mouth holds forth his token,
    at the grinding fear,
    and the promised pain;
    but their spirits shine unbroken.

    The Master breathed
    warm airs to ease
    the Withywindle flow,
    to wash away
    the hurt of grief
    in currents dark below.

    Then the Wizard stills
    on his bed of moss,
    and the dawn comes rain-washed blue,
    and his dreams are turned
    to a high stone field
    where a seed of Nimloth grew.

    “Wake now, my friend,”
    the Master spoke,
    “Wake now and greet the day.
    Your trials have passed,
    your victory won,
    all sadness flown away.”

    The Wizard rose
    from his bed of moss,
    and the gulls above him wheeled.
    “Not all is gone,”
    the Wizard sighed,
    “some hurts cannot be healed.”

    Yet the Wizard smiled:
    “The deeds remain,
    though the sun climbs high above;
    and much was good,
    in courage shown,
    when hatred vied with love.”

    The friends left then
    the lawn of moss,
    and climbed to the Master’s door;
    where they heard her song,
    as the Daughter strew
    fresh rushes on the floor.



Gandalf’s days with Bombadil are not described in The Lord of the Rings. No doubt there was, in Gandalf’s words, “such a talk that I‘ve never had.”

But I wonder if the wizard may have been in need of the Master’s magic too.



    Angel of New York


    An angel flew over the city today,
    She made the people stare.
    The thing about angels is
    No one now expects them to care,
    Seeing as we don’t believe anymore.
    She landed in Times Square.

    Folk were amazed by iridescent wings,
    Even the blind could see.
    The thing about angels is
    They never think to charge a fee,
    So out we came from shops and blocks,
    Each with our “touch me, cure me” plea.

    She stopped the traffic dead in its tracks:
    Our angel started to sing,
    The stars came out in the middle of the day
    And the birds of heaven took wing.
    “It’s a miracle” people cry,
    St Patrick’s bells did ring.

    But then a boy in the crowd
    He said to his mom:
    “That angel is so rude!”
    Then everyone saw
    For the very first time
    Their miracle was nude.

    Then the people all laughed
    And they pointed and pried,
    Took mobile shots for the net.
    The celestial song
    Faltered and died,
    But her bits they would never forget!

    The angel burned so red in the face,
    Her beautiful eyes turned black;
    The thing about angels is
    Once shamed they never come back.
    A man who’d been blind kindly gave up his coat,
    She ran off down the street in a mac.



    Here is a traditional tale told by Tregar McNabær, the only Spurladian of note mentioned in the
    Song. As you will quickly discover the piece is written in dialect. If you decide to try it out
    loud go for a Scottish accent (less Glasgow more Eastern Isles) or just make it up as you go along.
    Have fun.    Audio page is here


    The Kræken of Great Spurl

    "A deep-swimming Kræken, an’eldvildret monster,
    crawlt forth upon the slakit lånd,
    defiled the shore and the shoreline,
    and a’the fields beyond the shore
    and a’the hames beyond the fields. 
    The Kræken spoilt the food in its spite,
    poisoned the clean wæter;
    and the people could nothing but hide. 

    No wåpon had they to pierce that hideous skin,
    no power of magic had they to dismay. 
    When a’then seemed lost,
    and the monster devouring e’en the childer o’ men,
    then he came to them:
    then the mighty wiezart,
    come for their succour,
    alone and unbidden
    when a’had seemed lost.
    Come to the Spurl, he did,
    come to the sunnert Spurl.
     Dreight o’er the Miedden,
     he came to the heart and the soul of the Spurl.

    Warrh-Mester they calt him:
    he faro’emed a’ff the seas of the world,
    and where he wish’e’at the seas wud not hinder him,
    and a’the winds ran for him:
    his sail nea’loost
    in the seas of the world

    "The Elders begged handr’o’him
    and clear did he answer then:
    “I’m come t’dreither this fiend,  naught an’less.” 
    On an evil day darkling, alone he set onward,
    striding to meet then his foe in the dale,
    and none dared come near then for fear of his ean’. 
    Some watchet from a distance, lang i’the lea,
    and after described the battle so grim: 
    They saw the dun shadow,
    fell shape o’ the monster,
    one full quarter filling the far Westring vale,
    and små’there below him,
    the små’shape o’a man,
    hard to be seen in the deep dackle dale. 
    This man he cried out then:
    a voice that rent clouds then,
    and a’the folk watching a’feared for his ean’. 
    Again he cried out, and as he cried out
    the Mester o’ Warrh took fire in the dale.

    Then through the reeking
    watchers in wonder
    saw now the wiezart with flame at his hand.
    Held he a fiery wånd,
    star-bright to blind them,
    star-bright and dinning
    in the darkness of the vale. 
    Fierce as a beacon
    advanced on the Kræken, 
    and ever he came,
    and the Kræken wud’wane,
    wary and feared of the terrible flame. 
    And then wi’ a rush
    the Mester he caught him;
    the fiend was frozen wi’ fear and misdoubt.
    He thrust then his brand,
    his fiery, keen brand sharp
    into that cold and aughlit maw.

    Watchers saw then a terrible sight:
    like rags tæken oil,
    the sluhlik beast took flame.
    In vain the beast sought,
    in pain the beast havered,
    but ne’er could regain
    his hame in the warrh. 
    The heat of the blazing
    reached those in their hiding,
    found them in wonder,
    and fear of an eand;
    but the wiezart undaunted, ran clear of the fiend,
    and left him to fate in that drå’briht dale.
    With the flame fierce and death to him
    the Kræken was strackert:
    and the Wiezart’s draht rran’flam’
    had lendert his ean’.