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Thursday, 31 December 2009

New Year with Fred


...and a very happy 2010 to all OtherStuffers, sober or otherwise!


Monday, 21 December 2009

It sounds like one

Continuing our tradition of Other Stuff musical offerings at Christmas - here are some Bulgarian ladies with a song which isn't a Christmas carol but sounds as if it should be:

Keith's Reindeer

and a very Happy Christmas to all Other Stuffers near and far!

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Young Son Looks On -- by File


[POV: forgotten omniscient]

[fade in] fragrant, folded boy stares out from linen basket
at man, intent on mirror, shaving, at an angle

[cut to] hidden, protected contemplation from inside wardrobe
of me, as I try to write a poem

[reveal] earnest, herb-flecked eyes from warmest kitchen corner
where I stir the Bolognese

[voiceover] The surveillance
of the ordinary by the oughtn’t be there really.

[man turns to squint through blinds]
[pan to flat horizon]


Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Abercuawg: translation of a Welsh poem of the 9th or 10th century -- by Captain Ned

on a hilltop     idle
there would be comfort
but I do not stir
from this desolation

there's no grazing
bitter winds
scour the summer
of all but brightness

I am stiff     I am old
I cannot get about
no retinue aids me
but let the cuckoo sing

Cuawg's cuckoo sings
on flowery branches
I hear its mocking
but I'll not ask for respite

Cuawg's cuckoo sings
on flowery branches
what pain would come
hearing it no more

once I heard the cuckoo sing
and I forsook my shield
left it sleeping by a tree
     the cuckoo's song
     the cuckoo's song
left it sleeping by a tree

a tall and rustling oak
the home of jostling birds
there I left my shield
     and the cuckoo
     wounds me still

the moon shines
my mind is raw
I do not sleep

I look to the hill-top
white against the dark
it is cold

I do not deny
I am sick tonight

the birds are raucous
old age should bring rest
leaves fall
     from the ash tree
in youth I was loved

broad wave in the estuary
the wave is broad and bright
ebbing wave in the estuary
the wave ebbs

on Edrywy Hill
the birds are raucous
while in waste-lands
the dogs bark

now it is May
when all the land is fair
this is the young men's time
this is the soldiers' time

but I am old
my wounds sear me
I do not go to battle
I am old

rain soaks the pathway
the moon brings affliction to my heart
a far wave ebbs
sickness has chosen me

bring me my mead-bowl
bring me my ale
the cattle are sheltered
shield me from the rain

I speak now of treachery
of deceit while cups were raised
of an evil deed
  done when men were glad

but atonement has come
and now the warrior is ragged
trading a little in exchange for much
  there's no reward for the wretched

branches are high      oak and ash
cow-parsley's sweet
the wave laughs
God's not merciful in this world

my sighs betray my sickness
good is not permitted me
hated here and in heaven

the wave strikes the shingle
the sea flays the shore
I look to the hill-top
     and the cuckoo sings