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GLASTONBURY

 

           

            I find Somerset so much more in focus

          Than any surrounding counties

          Perhaps A Glastonbury Romance

          Opens my eyes to the world evoked within

          Drawing Arthur home to Camelot

          Beguiled by Temple and Chalice Well

          More than the festival colourscape kaleidoscope

          Blinded out by the dark castle keep on top of the Tor

 

          Marrilion send their chords soaring to the stars.

          Fairie folk shield their ears against the feedback

          Leaving me to arm myself against Timnitus

          Until I settle to the gentle harmonies of the acoustics

          Between bursts of heavier metal torment       

          Melding Woodstock to the Mendips

          Waving us all off to Avalon with songs in our hearts

          Before the big bands bring us back down to Earth

          With a Sound Of Silence that isnít Simon Or Garfunkel

          But the snoring of sleeping Knights in dreams of chivalry

          Beneath hills dead, not alive to the Sound Of Music.

         

          The latrines are as legendary as their setting

          If Excalibur were   here I wouldnít want to be King

          Not if it meant hauling the sword from that sludge-stone seat.

          I hold my nose to get past as though crossing the Somme

          Until upwind in the open hashish wonderland

          That leaves me so stoned that I need no drugs of my own

          Flowers lose all perfume and take refuge and root in womenís hair

          As though   the sixties never left us to the ravages of punk and Ska

          Sweat smells good when no one else has washed for a week either.

 

                  

Samosas and flapjacks, washed down with Scrumpy Cider

Some of the food didnít fill me with anything but high

The Ambrosia here was anything but tinned rice pudding.

I walked among the gods and made merry with Merlin

Till morn, when I tasted only my own bloated tongue

While the fairies took the fun and Morgaine laughed in my face

Bewitching me with a headache from Hell that only Grail-water could cure

Till a maiden dismisses my demons with a   chocolate drop and a kiss

A stranger being friendly just for the sheer Heaven of it, Damsel

To the rescue of this errant Knight who takes more alcoholic apple-juice

In her honour to start the whole cycle happening anew as my mouth

Adjusts to the   new day and seeks out fresh sweet sensations to savour.

 

         

Ankle grazes guide ropes and the lost boy stumbles in a sea of tents

To become one with grass and greenery amidst the mud that claimed

A boot from him and many shoes from other strollers around the court

Of the last of the Pendragon Dynasty touched by the Sun, where many

Kiss their clothes goodbye to commune closer to nature among the trusted fellow travellers caked in mire-muck to resemble the bog-beast terrors knights once slaughtered.

 

Finally reaching the sleeping bag that was home for the whole weekend

As the Once And Future Festival winds to a close with a final encore

And this weary traveler waves farewell to the Court Of King Arthur to Head North towards less focussed modern times and a touch of work to earn The means to come back on such strange pilgrimage on some future quest.

 

                             Arthur Chappell

 

 

                            GLASTONBURY (Rhyming version)

 

††††††††††† Travelingwith a great big heavy book

††††††††† Pausing from pageonce in a while to look

††††††††† At theWorld Iím about to abandon for that of fairy tales

††††††††† Irealize I have crossed a border but the Nun sat next to me fails

††††††††† To see the spectacular change in landscape

††††††††† Into which Ican barely wait to escape.

††††††††† Reading John Cowper Powyís A Glastonbury Romance

††††††††† While seeing Somerset come to life with every glance

††††††††† From book to passing scenery,†† a county given clarity

††††††††† And focus that could onlyintensifyonce intercity

††††††††† Travel let me experience theair of Arthurian legend

††††††††† That dominated more than the concert I wasto spend

††††††††† The weekend at, Man. I was tripping on nature without

††††††††† Thehash for cash†† proffered about by Woodstock Two

††††††††† Festival folkwho sharedstrange pilgrimage with me

††††††††† I wastripping out on hill and Tor and ... oh, somuch to see

††††††††† Iwasgoing from black and white to colour vision

††††††††† The concertby Baez, & Marrilion might have been on television

††††††††† I wasblown away by the sea of tents and those awesome hills

††††††††† Wondering why anyonefelt the need for taking pills

††††††††† Or stuff to snort, whenall it tookwasthe imagination getting caught

††††††††† On thespectacular Mendip location of Mallory, Merlin, and Camelot

††††††††† It was only the smell from the legendarylatrines thatgot

††††††††† Up my nose and brought me down to Earth and the old†††† sense of reality

††††††††† The music deafened mydaydreamswith earwax melting clarity

††††††††† As thefestival threatened to pull my senses from Glastonburyís spell

††††††††† The enchantment††† was not going tobe taken by bad toilet smell

††††††††† I clutched the booklike a talisman againsttherarefied dream

††††††††† Dissolving. I know how ludicrous this mightseem

††††††††† But if the book could help me immerse myself inmy mystical roots

††††††††† The rain turnedfield to quagmire thatstole one of myboots

††††††††† Then the Sun came back out andI really started to bake

††††††††† I wondered if I descended from my mythical regal namesake,

††††††††† And watched the clouds swirl and unfurl over the top of the Tor

††††††††† Neglecting the†† gig andconcert that Iactually cameout for

††††††††† My senses fell in love with Somerset andthis May I may get

††††††††† To find out if the old magic remains when I go to Weston Super Mare

††††††††† Avalon, Arthur,and Gueneveremay well be waiting for me there

††††††††† Or the magic may have faded and I may see†† another pretty panorama

††††††††† Iíll be re-enacting the Civil warso I will be in period armour

††††††††† But from a different era than thatwhich I associate with Somerset

††††††††† Itíll be a different adventure this time. Itíll still begreat though, I bet

††††††††† I wonít get to touch Excalibur but the magic will still touch me

††††††††† No place ever looked or felt so real. Iím going home, and I feel so happy.

 

 

© Copyright. Arthur Chappell

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