i love dylan

Altarwise by Owl-Light

Altarwise by owl-light in the half-way house
The gentleman lay graveward with his furies;
Abaddon in the hangnail cracked from Adam,
And, from his fork, a dog among the fairies,
The atlas-eater with a jaw for news,
Bit out the mandrake with to-morrows scream.
Then, penny-eyed, that gentlemen of wounds,
Old cock from nowheres and the heaven’s egg,
With bones unbuttoned to the half-way winds,
Hatched from the windy salvage on one leg,
Scraped at my cradle in a walking word
That night of time under the Christward shelter:
I am the long world’s gentleman, he said,
And share my bed with Capricorn and Cancer

– Dylan Thomas

One critic has dismissed this poem as being ‘wilfully obscure’.
It sounds good though.
Especially that opening line.
And ‘ the atlas-eater with a jaw for news’
I like that.
And the dying fall of that last line……
And the alliteration..

Anyhow it’s not only meaning of the words that attracts  you to a song,
or a poem,
it’s the melody, the rhythms, the sounds;
the meaning of the words is often subsumed in their sounds.
Listen to a few readings of Thomas’s stuff –
Richard Burton (he’s terrific),
Dylan himself, Anthony Hopkins, Peter Bellamy,
(not so  good, too thespian, too sonorous)
and you come to realise that what you are listening for/to
is not the intellectual meaning
but the sensual music.

A bit like Bob Dylan,
forging strange meanings from metaphors
that gave their component parts new life,
an appeal to the ear as much as to the intellect.

Dylan! What a genius you were!


“Altarwise by Owl-light in the half-way house
The gentleman lay graveward with his furies…”  –  Dylan Thomas

The obscurity of this sonnet paradoxically carries a certain advantage. The absence of a readily intelligible surface of meaning relieves us of the usual obligation of analysing the real or supposed intellectual content of a work. We are left with words isolated from a general message and consequently more likely to be found interesting in their own right.

St stanes pic

just been to see ‘django unchained’
(would rather have read ‘prometheus unbound’)
especially didn’t like the bit
where tarantino (a la hitchcock) appears on the screen
in his own film
as a cowhand
(pudgy and pasty)
just to say
you just can’t get enough of me, can you?

standinstanes oil 2

Difficult to know what these stones mean which is probably part of their attraction.

Rhynie Stone

This happened when I started my training on  provosts at RAF Ternhill. After a session of aerobatics with my instructor I did another session straight away, solo this time …loop…barrel roll…stall turn….loop – but this time something went wrong. Perhaps because of such a constant succession of g force experiences, I blacked out in the  loop –  greyed out really because I was vaguely aware of what was happening – I was aware that the plane was falling out of the vertical, sliding to one side – one part of my mind was very actively aware of what was happening and was jumping up and down screaming You’re going into a spin! Wake up! You’re going into a spin! while the other part of my mind – just as aware of what was happening – was reacting in quite the opposite way, telling me quietly like one of these hypnotic tapes not to worry, don’t open your eyes because if you do what you’re going to see is going to be so very unpleasant so just relax, relax, things will work out, just you wait and see
and when I did open my eyes I was looking down at a farm 1,000 feet below going round and round and round….

Pleasant Voices

The poems of Dylan Thomas

Dylan Thomas

Richard Burton


all had rich brown voices that gave their clearly enunciated words  a mellow music that bypassed your ears and  slid straight into your soul.
Especially James Mason – he purred like a contented cat. Such rich, pinguid notes.
Dylan Thomas had the confident, booming voice of a Welsh minister “……and deaeaeath shall have nooooo domminnnion….” that commanded and demanded your attentive hearing
And handsomest of them all, Richard Burton could send those rounded polished streamlined words spinning effortlessly gracefully through space ….

I can still see them, still hear them, still shut my eyes and listen to their voices like remembered music……

Still are thy pleasant voices, thy nightingales, awake;
For Death, he taketh all away, but them he cannot take.