Peter Philpott

Telling the Beads

(11) Three Milks Month

Here, let's sit in the sun then
& the cool breeze playing over: let
the air surround & caress us
this is the world finally as
we want it to be — our lover
maybe our mother spoiling us
nothing promised not performed

Little cloud, we don't care
you cover the sun just for a minute
we'll hear the birds squeak at us
you silly feathered things! we won't
chase you from your food! — come!
this world is open to everyone
clear & kindly as it is

Life is good only briefly
we shall remember this for ever
three milkings of the cows!
let their young ones thrive
and we'll let ourselves too
fat spilling over our bellies a little
comfortable & close as the smell of may

"That hegemony recently is recognition in lands — change England muddled — oh, nearer alternative The House."

ruined world awaits newer words
                                       — total constraint
                                       encountered traumodonts
                                       stained & worthless
                                       concretions this night

                                       mongrel rabble
                                        enrolling us

                                                         — dream off!
                                                         fuck on!
                                                                    (or not)

"some new source enclosed"

11a A Day for Dyeing Your Hair

Those birds still frolicking
the whole town is busy
let's have a market today
that's what a town is for

or sit & drink warm beverages
what a preposterous habit!
hot milk flavoured w/ bitterness
isn't that just what we're made for?

some people here talk about dogs
we will ignore their folly
this isn't a bad case
tho it's not what human life is for

just carry on a bit however
at peace w/ the voices in our head
it's OK — for what else is there?
only gods know what life is for

11b A Day to Remember That Language Too Will Die

"Yip! yip! yip!" they cried, then "Volvolvolvol-volwe! otototot-otso! yopyopyopyop-yopso! loulouloulou-loups! luplupluplup-lupoy! volvolvolvol-volves! lobloblobloblob-lobos! luplupluplup-lupi! madmadmadmad-madaiyeanallaiy! bleiðbleiðbleiðbleið-bleiðiaid! valvalvalval-valf!"

The others, the ones who were definitely people, sat above in the branches of the trees. They were worried. Nehtan had lured them to their destruction. They had forgotten that this is not a month to be trusted. The last of winter still circulates around. Everything still needs to be paid for. No harvest yet, but plenty of time for drought, rain, hail, frost, wind or heatwave. That smiling mien, that fragrant air — sharp and duplicitous as a Pict or a Jute. Unwin, his face dark with all foreboding, looked down at the cavorting creatures. "Ssssh! There are Attacotti down there, too — listen!"

"rginngchqodtosombs — nehtetri — nehhtvrobbaccennevv maqqotalluorrh — nehtetri — gedevem...dos — m..quntenac..t — monnorranrr ulucuvute — vndar — vuunon itedovob b — von...ecco.. bahhrrassudds — besmeqqnanammovvez — qmi b — bqi

"crroscc:nahhtvvddadds:dattr:ann bennises:meqqddrroann — caltchu — ttlietrenoiddors ..uhtuoaged ... a — duv nodnnatmaqqnahhto... — hcsd.t..v.nh.t l ....vqrrhmdnhq — irataddoarens — iru — inehhetestieq...inne — ineittemen mats — idbmirrhannurractkevvcerroccs — iddarqnnnvorrenn ikua iosie — eddarrnonn — eddarrnonn... tti... gng.. — etmiqavsallc

"ettecuhetts:ahehhttannn:hccvvevv:nehhtons — etteca... ..v:dattua ...rtt.. — ehteconmors ...dov ..ddrs — ammaqqtallv lv — allhhallorreddmaqqnuuvvhrre. rr"

"It may be that we are all doomed," he said.

11c A Day When the Swifts Are Returning

Ahhh, slowly, slowly, they trudged the paths — sometimes hard, sometimes dusty, sometimes claggy mud and standing water. What a land to control! What a mistake. What is to be done? Punish Hengist? keep back the Attacotti? take revenge on Nehtan? throw in their stocking caps with Cerdic, their old chum?

Ohhhh. The sky comes grey again. The people of the land are equally leaden, hopeless, constrained, "We don't want to be party of this beautiful world," they said. "We are Maia's people — she is our stern cold lady. So solid, so strong, so stable, so unmoved by our suffering we can only admire her & aim to be like her. Then all may be well." "Oh, foolish people," declared Unwin. "Look — the swifts are coming back to you. I have been to where they really live. Yet they still return to you, even to this funny little nook-shotten island. Look around you at where you live. Is it really how you want? Is it making the best of how you could be living together? Do not trust her — trust only people, not those who set themselves up above people as your natural born leaders."