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Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Short Official Guide VI

My Short official Guide to Ancestral Home reaches its conclusion with a look at the grounds. If you have stayed with me, my thanks. If you were not around for the earlier posts you can catch up on them by clicking on the label short_guide.

The Parklands

From the avenue that brought you to our door,
interminable though it would have seemed,
you would have seen a tiny fraction
of a small part of our land.
The work of many owners and the consequence
of many annexations. It contains:
a fountain (high-Baroque),
a lake with islands,
islands with fantastic grottoes,
grottoes with attendant ghosts
skeletons and water gardens,
a French parterre,
three formal gardens,
kitchen garden,
two burnt-out towers (North and South)
small theme park - and

The Sculpture Gallery

currently our hottest property. Cassandra Tiffany,
mother, father, midwife to the scheme,
self-styled Defender of the Average Man,
first ever data junkie, hooked
on ideas of a free society
and detonating smoke bombs in the halls of art,
found (as like as not)
polishing the bronze maquettes
of Epstein's Angel (wings like ruffled water),
a perfect combination of an earthly weight,
a gravitas with airiness
and what so nearly might have been.

In contrast, on a massive convolution of giant toes,
solid and supreme, a Hittite God;
purchase of stone,
earth-rooted weight,
Yazilikaya's finest, stands.
From toes to tip
of his comical,
conical hat,
a very modern model of the modern macho-man.

His sword has lions along its hilt.
The muscles rip.
The thrust is down and through the earth,
into an underworld of stone.
The lions are squeezed like hamsters in his grip.

The blade trepans the stone skull. Milt
of cold, cerebral thought is spilt:
red marrow from the bone.

Cassandra Tiffany departs
to keep the turnstiles clicking
with hurdy-gurdies, roundabouts
and throws in the casino.

You'll trust her as the dowager
survivor of Guernica...
The lithograph is value if you want a keepsake, dear…

Lord Noah for all his trekking,
could find no wilderness,
but hush! hush! deny them who dares,
Mandelbrot and Koch are mapping theirs
while all the frightened people say their prayers.

A louring sky, a souvenir,
a flurry of rekindled life
and sawdust in a dance.
Shabhala the ancient city is as near
to us as France.

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