Monday, 18 November 2013

Links to Language:

A flurry of links:

One to a telling of archaic Welsh magic and love - "Bloudedd of the Owl-Face" (with a few lines from it below). Whilst at the school we prefer the un-scripted tongue when telling stories orally, these are useful devices for study of the stories deeper implications. I'd really ask you to share this link if you enjoy it - it's a great and rootsy way of getting this information out into the world. A hundred thousand thank you's.

Also a link to a youtube video about the Shepherds Hut i've just take residence of at Schumacher College and the course i will be leading there in 2014: "The Green Teeth of the Earth and the Blue Tent of the Sky: re-awakening the ecological imagination".

Many thanks to the great local craftsman Duncan Passmore for it's creating. Slange. has also had a subtle make over.

A mildly less busy November is giving me some time to work on the Parzival play with Peter Oswald for a Sharpham showing in summer 2014, and also contemplate the great migration over to Norther California for the Stanford residency of the winter quarter. I very much look forward to being back with Jonah and the Stanford Storytelling Project - what a brilliantly far-sighted thing to be established there. Also very much looking forward to seeing my old compadre Lisa Doron - so vital to the School of Myth - and the great sprouting group of artist-tellers leaping out the fertile Californian ground over there.

Reading some great books - will review here soon.

I'll be in London with the Crick Crack clubs story festival on December 14th - before rushing back to Devon to be master of ceremonies at the launch of Satish Kumar's new book that night (details very soon). I'm bringing tabla to that - don't reveal my hand with those arcane drums very often. (maybe for good reason..)

Bloudeuedd of the Owl-Face
Welsh (with Tony Hoagland)

They all knew Llew was handsome.

Llew Llaw Gyffes:
laughing boy, stag proud,
wheat-blond, a lively wit
but gracious to all -
A catch.

Surely one parade of the market square,
one giddy night of dancing
would secure him a wife?


Years before, his own mother
had bent her calm finger in his direction
and swore that he would never take a wife
from any race on this earth.

Oh, he could rut till he was giddy,
grow hair-backed and barking in the May day rituals,
but no deeper union would be his.

He would never truly be rooted to a woman.

With her hex she thinned his lovemaking,
cut the banks of wild flowers to a buzz trim,
drained his forest pool of all its gloaming fishes.

Bait would drag his shallows and no more.

Off you go, lover man.

Llew's uncle, Gwydion, was a witch of repute,
and he observed this crippling with a keen eye.

He saw his sweet nephew
grow thinner with each amorous clamber,

a waning not suited to his years.

Vast Gwydion resolved to help.

With another cunning man, Math,
they looked hard to find cracks
in the old bitch's casting.

“On this earth?" they asked each other;
"What if she was not from this earth?”

With their night intelligence
they packed provisions for a quest - a hunter's kit -
and made for the black hills.

Shuddering in gale, salmon-pinked by sun
they scooped up flowers of the oak, the golden broom,
and the far-laced meadow sweet.

Tumps of wild blossoms,
heaped like a woman’s curves,
until a body was arrayed on the sweet grasses.

A fume-tangle of heavy scent, of delicate buds
and foliaged beauty.

Then they muttered with their stubbled jaws,
cast great arcs of potion liberally over
the sex, the heart, the brain of this leafy thing.

This great ship of flora,
wet-rooted in the underswing of earth,
drawn up into collaboration with freezing blue stars.

Proper magic.

Wild geese in the smoky air
peered down into the changeling, -
a shape alive - shifting in invisible gusts,

- rootsy hips, mooned face,
scalding the wetling grasses.

It was two who went up.
It was three that came down from the hills.

Copyright Martin Shaw 2013

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