Mahout on an Elephant
Gabriel Cornelius von Max
All my prayers for the men, women and children - and for the families of men, women and children - who have lost their lives in the Gaza massacre. InnAllaha Ma’ As’sabireen.
How will we return to life its splendor after the bodies of the young are stolen? He carries his body in his hands and needs no coffin. His hands have become a coffin for his child shrouded in white cloth. He walks with his head high and his tears flowing. But he is lucky that he is still alive to pay his child the last honors. Entire families were buried in their homes and no one remained to pay them these last honors. It is so simple. In this civilized world of international rights and conventions and the right to life and the right to housing and the right to education and the right of expression, these rights are not for Palestinians but for someone else…
Gaza based writer, Hedaya Shamun, 'I Do Not Wish For You To See Gaza As Anything But a Rose'
raven black/ the rapture-of-heaven
From ‘Beowulf’ as translated by Frances B. Grummere
Having lost his arm (sliced off by Beowulf), Grendel drags himself back to his den/swamp where he would eventually die. Illustration by Kevin Crossley-Holland for a 1960s version of Beowulf.
march-stalkers mighty the moorland haunting,
wandering spirits; one of them seemed,
so far as my folk could fairly judge,
of womankind; and one, accursed,
in man’s guise trod the misery-track
of exile, though huger than human bulk.
Grendel in days long gone they named him,
folk of the land; his father they knew not,
nor any brood that was born to him
of treacherous spirits. Untrod is their home;
by wolf-cliffs haunt they and windy headlands,
fenways fearful, where flows the stream
from mountains gliding to gloom of the rocks,
underground flood. Not far is it hence
in measure of miles that the mere expands,
and o’er it the frost-bound forest hanging,
sturdily rooted, shadows the wave.
By night is a wonder weird to see,
fire on the waters. So wise lived none
of the sons of men, to search those depths!
Translated by Frances B. Grummere
These ink stains - dark as old blood -
well in each curve, fill groove and whorl,
carve stark patterns against my skin.
Words flood from these fresh wounds:
I’ve made them myself, kept scores
in sensitive flesh. Let me ask you,
what choice did I have?
Later, syntax clogged and clotted,
wrecked my clean lines, pulsed
on the page distinct as inkblots.
My Rorschach. Let me ask you,
what choice do you see?
(Bat or butterfly?
Chalice or staff?
The woman in
Sin and salvation.
(In words and in blood
there is both.)
© Stacie Taylor. Originally published in Strange Horizons.
Oil and pencil on wood
Not troublous seemed
the enemy’s end to any man
who saw by the gait of the graceless foe
how the weary-hearted, away from thence,
baffled in battle and banned, his steps
death-marked dragged to the devils’ mere.
Bloody the billows were boiling there,
turbid the tide of tumbling waves
horribly seething, with sword-blood hot,
by that doomed one dyed, who in den of the moor
laid forlorn his life adown,
his heathen soul, and hell received it.
Translated by Frances B. Grummere
…when the sheen of the sun they saw no more,
and dusk of night sank darkling nigh,
and shadowy shapes came striding on,
wan under welkin…
From 'Beowulf' as translated by Frances B. Grummere
Destroy the Four Olds
120 cm x 120 cm
Scene stills from Landscape in the mist (1988), Theo Angelopoulos
"Before I saw Angelopoulos’s film, I, who had been brought up without a father, would never have thought that I would discover him in the image of a tree. This last scene of Landscape in the Mist was a revelation for me. It is a unique, one could say ‘Japanese,’ moment, which surprised me, because I had always thought of the Greek tradition as exclusively one of stones, rocks, and gods. I saw in that scene a challenge to every inhibition and authority. This is why I would use Bergman’s words to say that the goal of cinema is to bring the dream back into our life, and thus help us to confront life’s difficulties.” Dusan Makavajev (Serbian film director)