Arthur L Wood





I’m moving through a village, in my dream,

A tourist in the world of frightful air.

I see the pageant wagon and the crowds;

I’m wearing tie and tails -- people stare.


My father thinks it bliss, and I agree.

The centre of the square is for a grave;

I thought some ancient architect was here.

Within this endless shell I hear a wave.


Toward the shore we roam, as all avoid

The lure of death around the summer air.

Two giant fishes swim the giant sea,

Leaping in the skyway, everywhere. 


Toward the chalky cliffs one fish repairs,

Forgetful of the poison on the land,

Then, part by part, the sea reveals her face,

And coaxes him to death upon the sand.


The ocean then becomes a host of love,

Mere thirty strokes away in sparkling sheen. 

I leave this loving for another day,

And return to Bruegel’s village green.



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Macavity the Cat Part II


Abandoned on the moor again, searching for a sign,

A tattered man approached me; he issued me a fine,

I told him I could never pay; he fixed upon my eye

And said, You’re gonna pay my son or else you’re gonna die.


I handed him my shoes and my coppers in my coat

And pleaded, This is all I have. He said, I want your vote.

And then he led me onward to a polling station booth

And fixed me squarely in the eye and said, No vote, no tooth.


I quivered as I crossed his name and threw it in the hat;

The other candidate was named Macavity the Cat.

I stood out on the moor again, the devil by my side,

As round the bend a choir chants, Macavity has lied!


Macavity has lied, my Lord, Macavity has lied!

He promised me a baby boy! Said I was dignified!

Lynch him on a cross again and whittle every stone! 

And so Macavity was killed, and we were left alone.


The votes were slowly counted; all two votes were cast.

They sa’id, It’s been a landslide! Macavity out at last!

The tattered man was drumming on his giant timpani

And slowly sung the sacred words, Everyone is free.



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An Early Encounter with a Spirit


I was lost upon the mountain

I was long in the abyss

I looked too hard for beauty

Therefore, beauty I did miss.


A wind was growing wayward

The air a hazy light

When before my wild, wild eyes

A figure in mid-flight.


She was graceful there before me

A nymph of ancient lore

Of woman’s perfect nakedness

Fairy-white and pure.


This silvery nymph approached me

In a manner quite sublime

And led me to the forest

Where she slit the thread of time. 


She was a pixie maiden

And her power was serene

Flowers dressed her crinkled hair

Her eyes of turquoise green.


She stared into my person

I was quivering in awe

She swirled, an ancient avatar

A mystery of yore. 


The colours of the woodland

Melted in her glow

The source of her enchantment

I never thought to know.


We trickled on the stream side

We frolicked over dale

I knew my nymph wished to abide

With me, her human male.


She spoke, Dear man, entice me

Entice me in this Spring

Entice me in this memory

Entice me, my darling!


I know too much of magic

For a juvenile of time

Impossible it is to weave

My images in rhyme.


Mortal is the hand of love

Eternal is the glen

Infinity must supervise

The realms of wayward men. 


Feel me in your morning

In the moth-hour of eve

And speak my final warning

And make them all believe


The silver nymph is in me

I hold the Gods in awe

I have become her poet

A mystery of yore.



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A Sonnet on Time


I almost hear the witching act of time

The life will be and go and soon shall die

All perturbations thought live in my rhyme

The mourning bed that bears the truthful by.


Alas the air smells green and feels all wet

The time is not I know. I feel the sense

Of morning dew and condensation sweat

Incense the day today with muddled tense.


Tomorrow shall the shadow of today

O'ercast and leap the woe from there to here

Through weather we will be as we be May

Inside the inner prison of our sphere.


And time will plod and mock and blow his horn

And man will fear the clock and be forlorn.




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