Travellers’ Tales

Far-away fancied travellers-tales

Told to us floating islands on an alien orient sea,

Where little choppy waves delight in sunlight wallowing;

The natives face-in-chest, one-eyed, or

Heads of dogs

And other lubber clutter to the factual brains

Of tidy minds swept clean for seven devils to abide in


We are today well taught that faerie things they are not so

That actuals are our wonders, works empiric


Platefuls of fairytale-like fiction host our daily dose

Supplied on widescreen entertainment animation;

Financial blockbusters


And names refrained explain in plain the things of moment

Exponents feel they ought to seal what we believe

True, speculative, most-likely;

Effusive diction tables terms as Scrabble chips

The points add up

To scores accounted on The Richter Scale


Call-up a theory, explicate, give exposition

Next move position

Welcome in play potential counterfactual statement

Remote-control rolls out like product-placement:

That’s science


Although, you ought to know, a certain seems ago

Some time before, when what is deemed now truth

Was not, (successive new advancements

Unfolding roll-out access to this kingdom); once a seems  

Conferred the world as flat, now scored configured round,

And time was Centaurs, Amazons, walled halls of public prayer

Before when continents scored static, certain, never-moved,

Before that study discipline grew legs, gestated, birthed,

Geology in diapers underrepresenting earth


Though, lo, a finding pioneer arose at latter days

Whom ousted, out on ear, by all the common conversation

The admirable community would nary him entail

Nor entertain

His ruminations, figures, computations,


A compact of agreement felt among the nations

On knowledge with its current necessary baggage

Excluded floating islands as old travellers’ tales,

Faces in different places, gangly Cyclops, canine heads,

Perhaps immortal souls?


Removed to deepest recesses in nether holds

Along with cornucopias of ancient manna

Pandora’s Boxes, Chinese dragons; blather from

Old Mother Hubbard’s ales swim addled brains,

The mulls of normal men, and women’s tipple too


No, no, today; today we say (That is the abstract

Consensual community whom we call ‘we’) – say Yea!

A solid elemental Yea! Indeed, indeed!

Our globe (the same consensual) is a slew of floating isles

Go hither, thither, continents no question, certainly:

No lowly, antic Rowley, travellers’ tale


Again, and in the main, it was once thought

By those, the thoughtful,

Those mortals who decide us in our lucubrations

Like giving hand-me-downs (my brother left me

After his use I used to go to school with) gift us relics

Come manufactured ‘fragile’ stamped all through them,

Packaging admirable by Brand;


And we (no not that glam consensual community;

Another ‘we’) a race of trolls and lolling humdrums

Too occupied and tied by low employments

Hard to The Man, and drive a van or bargain

With leisure scrying widescreen entertainments

With educations lingering in life’s bargain basements

With liberty unfree and shackled, halt and cripple:

Are these, those with degrees in this and that, by breach delivery

Of a shapeless child called lightly common understanding,

Spoon-feed and battery-breed for easy-handling


A potted portrait of a sorted world

No Fra Angelico, nor Raphael

A Brownie camera still in black and white and neon

Touched up (but by machine) just here and there a fillip

To realism, in the eyes sat in the shuttered cave

Admiring shadow actions dancing on a wall


The Bachelors’ and Doctors’ rules define their worlds

Assumption never far from concrete certainty – nearby

And keenness to be ranked a street contender cries

Out loud its wares; itch hopes, impair its vision,

Defy sobriety too many times

Too many fairytales for sale in claims in theses

The magic hop; proponing leaps; a wish to be so



Up strainers’ nostrils; zanier pasquils

Than dog-heads, single-eyes, and anthropophagi

Writhe limber, quivering stretched out like an angling palm

For a way up to illusion – being Somebody


Pursuviant of the world, the world becomes the loadstone

A Nobel Prize, a hunting accident

A classic household name or Birthday Honour,

Assumes a mantle, obfuscates the real:

Those existential passions in the human heart

Which move among the bloods a burning scalding verve;

Our trysts alive His presents in the gift of Love

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