from THE BOOK OF GAWAIN
They are still looking for it
Poetry and magic see the world from opposite ends
One cock-forward and the other ass-forward
All over Britain (but what a relief it would be to give all this up and find the surcease in somebodyelse’s soul and body)
Thus said Merlin
Who saw through time.
from THE BOOK OF PERCIVAL
‘Ship of fools,’ the wise man said to me.
‘I used to work in Chicago in a department store,’ I said to the wise man never knowing there would be a ship
Whose tiny sails, grail bearing
Would have to support me
All the loves of my life
Each impossible choice I had been making. Wave
‘Fool,’ I could hear them shouting for we were becalmed in some impossible harbour
The grail and me
And in impossible armour
The spooks that bent the ship
Forwards and backwards
from THE BOOK OF LANCELOT
Walking on the beach and you both hear the sound the ocean makes.
The sailors at Tarawa, Java, burning oil at their backs
Swimming for dear life.
You say, and he says and meaningless says the beach’s ocean
Grail at point 029.
In the slick of the thing music
Waves brushing past the beach as if they wanted to be human
The sailors screaming.
Walking on the beach, fondly or not fondly, they hear the sound the
from THE BOOK OF GWENIVERE
What you don’t understand are depths and shadows
They grow, Lance, though the sun covers them in a single day.
Grails here, grails there, grails tomorrow
A trick of light.
A trick of light streaming from the cup
You say, knowing only the unbent rock
That have somehow survived their maker.
The depths and shadows are beside all of this, somehow
Each man to what of him is not bone and skin and mortal
Which is beautiful and shell of the earth
from THE BOOK OF MERLIN
The tower he built himself
From some kind of shell that came from his hide
He pretended that he was a radio station and listened to grail-music all day and all night every day and every night.
Shut up there by treachery that was not quite his own (he could not remember whose treachery it was) he predicted the future of Britain.
The land is hollow, he said, it consists of caves and holes so immense that eagles or
nightingales could not fly in them
The Grail, he said,
No matter what happened.
from THE BOOK OF GALAHAD
The Grail is as common as rats or seaweed
Not lost but misplaced.
Someone searching for a letter that he knows is around the house
And finding it, no better for the letter.
The grail-country damp now from a heavy rain
And growing pumpkins or artichokes or cabbage or whatever they used to grow before they started worrying about the weather. Man
Has finally no place to go but upward: Galahad’s
from THE BOOK OF THE DEATH OF ARTHUR
A noise in the head of the prince. A noise that travels a long ways
Past chances, broken pieces of lumber,
‘Time future,’ the golden head said,
‘Time present. Time past.’
And the slumbering apprentice never dared to tell the master. A noise.
It annoys me to look at this country. Dead branches. Leaves unable even to grimly seize their rightful place in the tree of heart
Arthur, king and future king
A noise in the head of the prince. Something in God-language.
……….In spite of all this horseshit, this uncomfortable music.