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THE CELTIC VERSES

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SION PYSGOD

Explore Our Changing World

 

"Ond, rhag ofn y bydd fy hun yn euog i hunan yn anghywir, byddaf yn stopio fy nghlustiau yn erbyn cn y mr-forwyn"
"But, lest myself be guilty to self-wrong, I'll stop mine ears against the mermaid's song"
Shakespeare, The Comedy of Errors

 

When a blood red sun sets in the west on your old world

Over the horizon of the eastern shore of the Atlantic Ocean

Then the Star of Pembrokeshire rises up into your night sky

And tomorrow at dawn your life's voyage to a new world begins

 

His life seemed to be totally meaningless, going nowhere. It hadn't always been like that but somehow it seemed to reflect the times he lived in.

 

I know what you're going through

And I know how you feel when redundancy strikes

The company is being rationalised, you see

To maximise shareholders' profits, you see

And you're in the way, you see

To a rich man's dreams of holiday in Barbados

Whilst your dreams are put on ice

 

Once I was a rich man of possessions a-plenty

Now my health is taxed by my poor eyes and teeth

My water and excreta is being sold off too

Why anyone should put such a value on me ...

But not just on me, on all of us too

The world has been turned upside down

And my senses don't cognate like they used to

 

If I was a rich man would I be free

If I was naked would you see my knobbly knees

If I was a blue bird would I whistle and sing

If I was a piece of rubbish would I be put in a bin

But it wouldn't solve nothing

We're in hell of a fix

 

What say you

Is there a way out of this mess

Well I don't know what's really best

Okay it's crazy

That I'm going to be taxed on the air I breathe

But when the ship is sinking it's all hands to the pumps

Either that or buy a generator for when the electricity stops

It's like my head's tied up in a Gordian knot

I know what Alexander would do

He'd chop it in half

 

So now I got two heads

One left and one right

But how to march with two best feet forward

Is a problem of a magnitude I can't solve

So I stands still in my oblivion

For with two heads I don't know what to say

And I don't even know how to think no more

But still I can hear through each ear

 

Year in year out each ear hears the same

There's a wisdom there to free this slave

Because it's not their hearing that's changed

It's just the things they hear sayed

So I'll listen to H.G. Wells and build me a time machine

And see if the future will say what the past used to

Or find out if my schizophrenia

Is of an evolutionary destiny

 

And while I'm building it I'm not going to listen

In through one ear and out through the other say I

Because what comes in through one

Is the same as the other

Then it all swirls round inside my head

So if it could all come out and leave me alone

Would I really miss it all?

 

Everything all went wrong at once. It was like he'd been caught in a pincer movement. Practically simultaneously his marriage broke-up and he lost his job. Still, no children were involved and things hadn't looked too good on the job-front for quite awhile. Whether one led to the other, or even vice-versa, he just didn't know. But his little world collapsed like the proverbial pack of cards and he found that the foundations of his life were built on sand. It all seemed so crazy now, for it was all glued together by a job. A job which allowed him a mortgage and car. So he could provide for his wife and, hopefully, one day a family. But without that job he was as good as dead. He thought she realised that quite awhile before he did. In hindsight certain things became crystal clear, not that he attached all blame to her. Perhaps the middle-class dream was just him being nave.

But it wasn't just his life that was changing, society was too. In hindsight the midwife of change was the Falkland's War, though at the time it just seemed to be a continuation of the past.

 

We fought for them and did not know why

Yet for them we were prepared to die

A long way away in southern ocean's depths

Yet lusted by one whose strength was immense

 

So Britannia's ships once more ruled the waves

Fuelled by memories of Drake, Nelson and sea-waves

A last gasp of strength from our epic past

We cast fear to the winds and fought with our last gasp

 

The clarion call sounded clear over our land

We emptied our treasures and threw money to sand

The air-waves screamed with our bolts of death

And all who stood in our way we entombed in death

 

We built a fortress to protect our heart

But nearly forgot that money means nought

But we pulled through by forgetting about greed

And putting our faith in our democratic dream

 

So Britannia's victorious in a new Elizabethan age

Strengthened, ennobled, no longer in chains

Breathing free air with each beat of our hearts

Standing so firmly no longer apart

 

But when victory was celebrated it brought with it a change in the course of history. As the victorious forces were paraded before their monarch there was a massive explosion, and so Britain became a republic for the rightful heir to the throne was a girl-child barely out of infancy. And with the republic they had a president: The Maggie. Not that the change was universally approved of, but such was the former prime minister's majority in parliament that the necessary Acts of Parliament were rushed through with little or no public debate.

 

You're a member of parliament

A democratically elected public servant

You can't be head of state, Her Majesty is

You're not God, you can't make up our game

You're a human being who happens to be a woman

You're a wife, a mother, a home, a heart

Play to the rules and forget about being the Iron Lady

 

One day, in the merry month of May, he was out driving his car, with no particular place to go, when he saw a sign-post for Stonehenge. The last time he'd been there was when he was a child so, as his fancy took him, he went there. Stonehenge too had changed. Instead of being in the middle of nowhere it had been commercialised. As he drove into the visitor-centre's car-park the new national anthem was playing on the car's radio.

 

Oh Britannia, Oh Britannia

Oh Britannia, Oh Britannia

Oh Britannia I love you

Oh Britannia we love you

 

Oh Britannia how we love you

Oh Britannia how we adore you

Oh Britannia how we need you

Oh Britannia we love you

 

Oh Britannia she's so gentle

Oh Britannia she's so loving

Oh Britannia you're our heart

Oh Britannia we love you

 

With your shield you protect us

With your spear you defend us

And lead us to victory with our battle-cry

Oh Britannia we love you

 

To your bosom Oh you suckle us

To your heart Oh you nurture us

With your love Oh you soothe us

Oh Britannia we love you

 

With red for heart

For you love us all

With white you're so pure

Oh Britannia we love you

 

With blue for sea and sky

With green for nature

Oh Britannia you're our home

Oh Britannia we love you

 

Oh Britannia, Oh Britannia

We sing your praises all day long

And sing them all night too

Oh Britannia we love you

 

Oh Britannia, Oh Britannia

Oh Britannia, Oh Britannia

Oh Britannia I love you

Oh Britannia we all love you

 

Though since, to the popular imagination, The Maggie was equated with Britannia it was often sung with a slight change: Oh Britannia we hate you. He got out of his car and strolled over to the pay-booth where, under the watchful eye of two black-uniformed custodians, he prepared to buy a ticket. There was a small queue and on the wall, behind the young lady who was servicing the queue, he could see a portrait of The Maggie. But as he was about to exchange cash for ticket he heard a woman's voice, she sounded distressed: "Don't serve her, serve me, serve Britannia."

He stood there, open-mouthed. The young lady and those in the queue behind him grew agitated. The custodians moved in and one of them tapped him on the shoulder. He stepped back and they faced each other. His hands reached for his hips and theirs did too. Then with pointed forefinger guns they drew. He could hear the bullets leave his lips: "Pshoo ... Pshoo."

One gasped at his stomach and fell to the ground groaning, the other grasped at his arm and his face disfigured into an agonised grimace. He blew on his finger-tips, winked at the now open-mouthed young lady and the now silent crowd respectfully parted as he returned to his car.

As he pulled out of the car-park and out onto the open road a bright-pink car was approaching with flashing blue lights and a siren which sounded like a woman wailing. It was a detachment of Iron Maidens ...

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