1st Chorus

2nd Chorus

Old Man

Young Boy




Edward and Bishop

The Bishop passes a paper scroll to Edward



What do you think of that?



I see a trigger realm.



Bishop understand I need a certain space:

A sphere within a sphere:  a recreation

Explicable to our existence

Yet impenetrably woven.  Inert.



For Him to admit us

Into this mystery of how we live, I think

Is the greatest gift that may be given.

Yet you would lie in wait, as your people

Emerge from their abode of prayer

To come towards you?  To enter this garden?

The people run about, tasting the fruit

The Word discarded-

It falls alone about the body

Like an ill-fitted garment.

Then we shall see whole choirs bowing for confession

A public confession, and they will mean it

To confess not a sin against the Father's word

But a sin against themselves only.

How can that be ?



How I choose to govern, that is my word.



And you would place yourself

At the centre of this life space?

To rule within it?

Your word be a sword fold across your heart

No place for any surgeon-

Only for a true word put there.

But the physician with an over eager hand

How much life will he strip away

To install some monstrous pump?



Nature is politic, not inviolate force.

It would be a place to rest until

My speech is heard in living things

So that it be their ripening

For I am like the tree before it blossoms

Or even before it strikes roots

I am not wholly visible

Nor may I assert my true position

Until I have learnt to feed myself:

I must search for a stronghold of knowledge

An initiation into simple things

How my legs implant me

How my sturdy chest gives life.

All this knowledge has abandoned me.



Does man balance on the very petals of the flower of God?



I knock the vase and the petals disembark:

I have long since fallen from grace.

The Father is enthroned, unapproachable.

He whirls the planets with his slingshot

In dizzying circles around my head.

The Mother is lost, separated by this fire.

Many messengers are sent, but none return.

The world no longer comes to me as long ago

To fill my sleep with dreams.

Instead a voice arrives

As a flame hissing in each ear

Trickling hot wax into the canals, drop by drop

Into the ears and into the nose and mouth and brain

Slowly filling the ears, then the eyes, then nose

Which altogether lose their sense…

I fall dead within sleep as a waxy mold.


For Self only speaks a few vital words, and only these

When united with full-blooded Desire

Who never pretends truth, whose all-seeing eyes penetrate

The dark dreams of half-crazed Self, to help and comfort him.

Thus does my wife, Phillipa, visit me in sleep.

She gave me a child, a child like a warrior sent

To search my weakness out.  A tiny plant rising in darkness

Saying:  'This tree has only one blossom and it is mine'.

I  am the demon trapped beneath the Navelstone

My child the victim I pushed into the Labyrinth

Whose unfolding seemed a strange dumb show

Before which I would silent sit and enact my truest wishes

Just in dreams, we advise ourselves without knowing, in images.

But Bishop, know this.  The little dreams are like our valets

Whose job it is to explain, expel, delight and we soon forget.

Whereas the big dreams follow large displacement:  they are meant to lead.

Such is my son Edward, of himself unafraid: he shall be King!

I should waver on the tremulous life of all this

My words given for the wind to blow them all around

And the dust left to settle on my unseeing eyes.







Strange, he thought.  Nevertheless, a stunted trace of doubt flicked across his presence.  It was now or never as he drew his weapon from its holster.  Stirring the underneath of all the branches they came.  He wipes his sweaty brow.  The salt tastes like the rocky deposits found on the crest of mountain ridges.  A whole flock of mutant ravens was approaching the gang, threatening to disembowel the party.  The leader mobilised defence which retaliated in the form of a laser ray which crisscrossed the undergrowth that was crawling with the monsters to leave them charred and smouldering.  Amongst the ambush of these large birds had been a small platoon of wild savages comprising a few rabid women and men, their faces bowed and backbones contorted.  These half-people had been dispatched in the first laser fire which had ripped across their filthy bodies to instantly tear them apart so that now the gang watched as their corpses began to disassemble, as if the atoms had never agreed to stay together in the first place.  The atoms themselves were noted then obliterated in the second wave of laser fire which was more discriminate and this time tracked down each bastard particle and smashed each individual solar system out of orbit.  All evidence of the renegade pack was dispersed.  The gang dug a burial pit in which was placed certain items of weaponry that had managed to find its way outside the scene of the bloodbath and into the zone of the gang.  Before burial, all items were quarantined in a bath of lethal half-life waste so that any heat-seeking atoms could not survive.  This done, the weapons of the raven squad were laid to rest…

Ten days march brought the gang to uncharted territory.  Here lay fifteen miles of desert left over from the last tests.  For as far as then line extended, the sand covered the horizon and the ground merged into the sky.  The whole scene was relentless:  you could not tell if the sun had come up yet-it might have and might not.  Still, in two days the map said city and the men knew this meant a rest or a least a change in the terrain.  But now they had to cross the empty square on the map page-empty square that was fifty millimeters or fifteen miles.


Edward is lying on the ground.

Enter Phillipa and 2nd Chorus.



Come here.



Where are you?



I am here.


Phillipa lies down beside Edward.

Long pause.



Do you see me Edward?



What is that?



Do you have me here, yet cannot place me?



I see a cold black empty space.



You face yourself alone.



Behind this screen, that is true.  My vision is twisted, as if I were carried across this land to search rather than to find.  Grinding the land into a realm of parts or trained to reflect a dull tract of sky.  Then you are a flickering that never forms together, aloof; a guide.



Patience.  The time has not come.  You are too expectant, hence you are always sad.  Wait quietly even if you must wait in pain.  Your time comes.  It forms itself within you for years and you will find it.  You speak too softly.  You are bold-then show this boldness.  You are an adventurer-then set off on journeys.  You are weak-then be restful.  I can escape from this place but you cannot.  Don't rest too long.  But you cry?



These gaps sadden me.  This place frightens me.  You will leave and I must remain.  All this saddens me and I cannot rest.



You will rest-rest with me.  Dawn is not far and your men will arrive soon.  This atmosphere forces me to flee.  Rest with me.  Strength now-we have many times like this to face.  Strength now and don’t think of me.  As yet you don't know me.  How could you exist where we lie now?  God, I am in pain.  Stay here for now, Edward.  Lie with me.



I love you and have ever only loved you.

So early you came and so late to leave.

This thought keeps me.  I will rest with you.



When I was a girl-I remember this place, remaining here all alone, left behind.  This house has kept me.  Sometimes it is too cold.  But it was from here you first went away.  It was inside this house that I first saw you Edward.  It was restful then.  I did not mind remaining.  But who will look after these rooms?  That dusty bedroom, then that darkened sill.  You will not forget me?  Don’t forget me even if perhaps I will pass on.  But who will remain here and tend to this old house?  It is a sacred place now-as a shrine and I will never leave these rooms or their sandy perimeter because you are the only one I have loved even if now I pass on.  I must sleep.  I will see you again.



I wish sleep would come.



Sleep will come when I am gone away.



Plummeting intent

Stay briefly

Wait a moment

I need you just a while longer

Thunder rent

Scarred concern

Hold fast

Another instant

Worried am I for all stronger

Weather turn.


Exit Phillipa



Waking now, he cries hard

Of woman gone, his intent scarred.

Strange how far off things come near

A flickered memory close to sear.

Now that she was six years distant

Away to east across sands twisted

But just then with awesome clarity

Came her to here to talk with thee.

'What shall come of this ?' he said

'I shall measure all that's dead.'

Morbid telling

Faces clear

Down into the place

Now near.


Enter Old Man and Young Boy



Men you know now that we cannot make it to the city.

There is nothing to stop us resting here

Until the sun rises again

And heats up this frozen earth

Which the long day cast off

For us, my lovers

Every one

Afraid, as I

To travel on, finding nothing.

What brought us here men?

Do you feel sad and tired now?

The blowing tree hides a message

Of us and our journeying.

I love you men

Served me well

On our kindred always dwell.



Edward you speak true

The men can see your knowledge

For one so young.

This place frightens me

Now that I have nothing to do.

That mountain range

I see as a giant fulcrum

The force on the blowing tree


To prise change

Us rearrange.



I love you Edward

Like a father a brother a friend.

But this night shall end

And another day shall pull itself

Across these restless hills.

And the force on the blowing tree

Will signal another.

I am said to go

A boy I am and ought to know

Of other things but to coming a man.

I am uneasy now

Sing me to sleep

As my memory try to keep.



My body pulls itself tight before it shuts down

It waits but tells of the end near

Now it feels old then restless

Then again it is waiting

Across the sky storm clouds pulsating.



They look up to see sky dark

A blank silhouette

A hill

The sky flashes and begins to rain

That great silence between things


And is buried.


Exit Edward, Old Man, Young Boy



On that high ridge was a small cave

That  had been hollowed out by a man's hands.

I crawled inside-

The space was only large enough to fit one person.

What I found there was not alive

It was already a week long dead

A young child's carcass an old man's head

It had been stripped by hungry animals

Half buried by sand

On the side of the cave

A design scratched in

Of a tree

And above it this saltbush




The body recovers as a seed.  The head nestled like a finch's egg inside the nest.  Its tiny hands and arms folded under its chin, its legs tucked over its stomach.  The latent corm is restful; the husk is like a shield; the fluttering tassels are singers and dancers.  Inside these layers the body grows.  Its health soon springs out across the earth.



The stems of life that rise in candelabras

Out of the earth's hardness

Each shall melt with changing colours.

That renegade, let him come

Let him slice through the living swathes.

He tries to come closer but the frogs drop silent

As he approaches, his heavy steps become their song.

The newborn must learn to break free from the middle

The yawning pull of the womb

Then pass through the father's mass.

The Mother and the Father:

The twitching life and jelly sphere

The child moves beyond that their sphere may be seen.

It moves outside to hear the frogs in the sedge grass

The spawn in the reeds and the life going within.

A boy or a girl but always a child

That moves us out to see all this.