Monday, 23 August 2010

AUGUST: Moon when cherries turn black


There’s nothing much more I can say about Edinburgh than: it’s August; it’s Festival-time. Some find this season deeply irritating; others, invigorating. Either way, it hits your pocket. Even if you stick to the Free Fringe, you get stung for the price of a pint, and then feel guilty for only having 73 pence to put in the donation bucket. Well, here’s a tip: nearly every free show I’ve been to this year has featured a ukulele or a p**dophile joke – or both. If that floats your rhyming aquatic transport, fine: just look for old episodes of Mock the Week with Frankie Boyle, OR clips of the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain.

One is more entertaining (and talented) than the other.

There’s nothing much more I can say about this month’s mythical creature, the Crow, that hasn’t already been said by Ted Hughes, or Joni Mitchell. Yet I’ll hammer it out, with a few stolen quotes from other crow-poems (if you can spot ‘em – it’s been so long, I’ve forgot ‘em) and let the great edifice of my turreted pretence dissolve. Like Crow, and all Creation Myths, I am a fraud. None is less entertaining (or talented).

Moon Phases, August 2010

Last Quarter – August 3, 04:59
New Moon – August 10, 03:08
First Quarter – August 16, 18:14
Full Moon – August 24, 17:05

The Blackest Bird

Eskimo legend tells us the world was black,
Out of which pall came the darkest bird,
Before the owl blessed the ground with purer snow.

Heath Stubbs gave the Raven a hard time over the Dove;
That rainy November which extinguished Eden's lustre,
Sent for clues, he pecked at the entrails of fallen existence

Preferring Eve's blackened cherry to Adam's peace-offering
Fresh from the soil; and the sister's nocturnal illumination -
Corruption and diving, diving - to daylight's misty spectrum.

Then, in lunatic retribution, silver shadow was eclipsed:
Raven plunged into the dark that bore him in the beginning.
And if the Tower crumble: no great loss. Legend has it, yet.

Besides, he claimed the damp and smelly loam his own.
This strange year, there are more than the months' number
Of ways to view or justify the hidden side of mirrored sun.

I'd rather hear, from the dark side of that bird's abyss,
Heath Stubbs recalling the Raven's querulous 'kark'
Than Ted Hughes' or Joni's black and ragged Crow.