Category Archives: The Legend of Prometheus

Prometheus

In Bardic voice I join our circle, one of many in a chain
Linking us to Bards of old, may their spirit our words sustain.
My job it is to tell a tale, to conjure from the flames
Of our flickering fire great heroes with glory to their names.

Our theme this night, the chaired Bard’s choice of test,
Is the legend of the immortal who loved us mortals best,
Who made of us makers, thinkers, creators in his image,
With fiery ingenuity our future to manage.

Our breath a flame, our very gaze an horizon,
We stride like giants this earth our mighty footprint lies on.
I would illuminate tonight with beams of verse
The titanic struggle between the best of man and worst.

Our elemental being was shaped by that fond incendiary,
Whose tricks on the gods landed him in quandary.
But while they would have had us four-footed, snuffling in the mire,
Legend says that twice he gifted us with fire.

Our culture, science and arts all arise from there,
From burning particles which like us feed on air.
We stared in cave or camp at white, yellow, orange, red.
The flame bit our brains, like visions, like horses in the head.

From cooking and a hearth rose human sensuality
Such comfort perhaps cut us off from animality
With time to sit and use the captious brain
Human inventiveness and a world of ideas were set in train.

So man became maker of marks, urging to pursue his line,
His tracks he left by wheel and forge, the metal and the mine.
Outgrowth and carapace now covered the Promethean clay
Of Iron John who feared his own tenderness, you might say.

Somehow we all got robbed of our birthright in nature to dwell,
The commons stolen from under us and work sent to hell.
The iron grip of industry ripped us from the land,
Into the maw of commerce we were pitched by Mammon’s hand.

To animate and generate, transform mere natural matter,
The glamour of such alchemy is a spell that didn’t shatter.
The march of progress on an anvil beats out time
Bronze age, Iron age, through to Nuclear age, heart of this rhyme.

For whereto has it brought us, this civilisation?
A knife-edge, a cliff-edge, from our own annihilation,
Where all that is beautiful in the human world
Seems to have a shadow around it cankerously curled.

Maths, music, medicine, astronomy and art,
Architecture, navigation, and of science the dark heart,
To what ends have these been twisted, sating artificial need?
Humankind’s bright, bold abilities made void by yawning greed.

Power-hungry leaders, of economies and armies flick the switches.
Under concrete, under shelling, the seed of hope scarce twitches.
Against this barrage, the world in oil, arms and money remade,
We consumers flick switches too, on battalions of gadgets arrayed.

Only the technological fix can ease our woes.
Natural, renewable, self-sufficient, small-scale? None of those.
And here in Somerset, Hinkley Point’s the way to doom.
By the holy carrot of jobs we’re driven its miasma to consume.

EDF ONR DCO EPR, an alphabet soup of toxicity,
Letters which brand us like cattle and fence us in with electricity.
Dead in the water of Bridgwater Bay the notion of public utility
Sold off and then subsidised, guess who foots the bill for so-called profitability.

They say, ‘We’re all about low carbon, we make the world cleaner and greener.
Our inspiration gives you a future, we’re as pure as the breath of Athena.’
Sweeteners and backhanders, energy bosses at the government table.
Consultation’s for the birds, their PR twitter a new Tower of Babel.

The pressure is on in a company town to take their radiant shilling,
Sucking crumbs from corporate finger, as subcontractors aim to make a killing.
While Ukippers winge about windfarms, the nuclear behemoth circles our boat.
And Hinkley buzzes and blazes like some nightmare carnival float.

Denatured, disenchanted, the sacred elements in there they fix,
Splitting, rearranging, rewriting nature’s old wise tricks.
Infecting, injecting the body of the land with radiation,
Laying waste docile populus, sick from vaccination.

To keep the lights on in Britain, have we put out our own?
To blight our grandchildren’s lives with dangers well-known.
Our faith is in Atomic Rod, not Church or Earth, intuition, spirit divine.
On flat-screen TV, The Blue Planet HD. Gone Fission says the sign.

Against nature we have bent our wits, oh! hubris improper.
Did even Pandora imagine what we might un-stopper?
Can the nuclear genie be put back in the steel and concrete jar?
Human paradigms remade, earthly paradise regained, by seeing far?

Corporations and their scientists life’s divinity blaspheme.
Economic necessity the wheel on which they break our dream.
Fire would be our attribute, so thought our benefactor,
But not even the gods saw the anti-worlds within the reactor.

Forces beyond our control, as thunder is heard to mutter.
Five miles down, they carve hell’s chamber and death in there they shutter.
What monstrous betrayal of the love our Mother Gaia bore,
Human folly punched in deep by iron fist to her core.

A fog of lies they spew, media mockery they orchestrate.
We’re naysayers, nimbys, tree-huggers, we hold hands, sing and demonstrate.
Effete vicars, bloodless twerps, dim nostalgics, kith of Ludd,
They say we want the world dragged back to primeval dark and mud.

Life’s tremulous sacred flame we act now to defend,
A task greater than that of our champion and fire-stealing friend.
Prometheus, you’ve been dishonoured by the race who won your trust.
Elemental you made us, out of sparks and rain and dust.

We are the stuff of cosmos and the heroes of the hour!
We shall stand tall and not before presumed consensus cower.
No man is god for all his power, that’s the moral of this tale.
Let’s remember our maker’s gentle hands, who loved us human-scale.

Flesh of clay, soul of fire, our perfection he built in.
Scientific improvement not required, just to see the light within.
May human clay give body to the spirit of the earth,
And sweet energy, of natural source, speak not death but birth.

Jeremy Bull, Beltane 2013

The Legend of Prometheus

prometheus_chainedStanding up in front of you is like walking on fire,
and that’s my passionate muse and my deepest desire.
I teach and share, to break down limitations.
I lay myself bare – In Truth – Inciting transformation.

I keep this sacred flame, that never grows cold,
and I make no claims on this flame I hold.
The light of divine consciousness arising within man,
Burns at White Spring, cavernous, within this sacred land.

And I nurture yet another flame, smouldering ember in my heart.
Breath of muse ignites a blaze, to stand me here playing the bard.
Well it’s the legend of Prometheus, I’ve got to play my part,
and when I check in with the Awen – I find something to impart.

Always reaching for the light, that bold Prometheus,
Refused Titanic fight spared the jail in Tartarus,
He spent night after night, with his brother Epimetheus,
Shaping man after might, in name of his love.

And so by his design, and his love for all humanity
He shaped mankind, then; no mere technicality,
Athena was consigned, to breathe life; mortality.
Human being was defined, but what of personality?

Endurance, strength and nerve, an afterthought to give,
To the creatures of the earth, Epimetheus’s gift,
but it never does occur, to give humankind a lift,
and Prometheus observes this rift.

Epimetheus’s cup had nothing left for man,
The animals all supped from the lion to the lamb,
but we were snubbed in favour of his plan.
So Prometheus stood us up and the resistance began.

He felt his love for humans like fire in his brain.
And under no delusion he nurtured tender flame.
To bring it to his people to rise against their pain.
And a way to keep all of us warm in wind and rain.

Zeus declared that sacrifice must be more robust,
He took the best of the flesh and left the rest for us,
So Prometheus did a trick and the jape was later sussed,
and with only bones to pick, Zeus took fire, left us dust.

Prometheus flew higher than Icarus, and even though it stung,
with treachery vociferous he lit a torch from the sun.
Imagine the aurora! Yes! Zeus was set to stun.
He sent pretty Pandora, deceptive heart and lying tongue.
And a funny looking box that should never be undone
Oh, what a stunning beauty, was sent to live among
Athena, Epimetheus, Prometheus and us.

Pandora’s curiosity, was bound to do us in.
Her apparent generosity was not to be boxed in.
And she unleashed an atrocity of suffering and sin.
and all manner of monstrosity to get under our skin.

Now it is debatable, who left us with false hope
so we could be capable, to cope.
Was it he in chains unbreakable, or that dope,
of a woman unobtainable who revealed the boxes scope.

Yes, he in chains unbreakable. The last part of my tale,
Prometheus unmistakable apparent epic fail,
Made his freedom unsustainable, his passion was curtailed,
He was seized by Gods unshakable, chained on Caucasian Jail.

Day and night tormented by a giant eagle’s need,
Prometheus never repented, Liver heal and liver bleed!
Man, I would go demented while the hungry beast did feed,
Yet Prometheus never lamented, it’s greed.

Then Zeus gave two conditions, his freedom to be met,
If he could proposition and somehow get,
An immortal volunteer to agree to be dead,
And a mortal so sincere to destroy the daily threat.

Then in walked tender Chiron and brave Heracles,
The trickster may find asylum with God’s such as these.
With a sweet surrender and sudden irony,
wounded healer and defender died with notoriety.
It was no small labour, but the mortal killed the bird,
And unchained poor Prometheus … at least that’s what I heard.

Until today,
When I met him on the bus!
Yes, I know it’s an unlikely place for people like us
Still, I took the chance to ask him, why Prometheus?
And he told me …

I Prometheus, wild adversary,
Thief Immortal, paradoxical trickery.
I bring you Fire! I offer Power!
Bring you liberation, to create or to devour.

I Titanic traitor chained unto a stone.
Bird satiater, cursed to live and die alone.
Yes, my fate was always marred, the gate to Olympus barred,
permanently scarred, and on what charge?

My unrepentant, holy burning heart.
He despised my cunning, he shunned my art,
Why? Because I dared!

Bound in chains, my Olympic fall from grace.
Each day an eagle’s feast, my sacrifice to warm your face.
Why? because I cared!

And a thousand vestal virgins, do not do me honour,
and a million clay built humans still shun the sacred fire.
Why?

Well don’t just stare!

You heard me! I gave up what I got!
I suffered and I sacrificed, for what?!

You! Yes, you! Clay built flora in God’s image,
tormented by Pandora, holding false hope’s privilege.

I conspired, I inspired you to take charge of your own,
to stand against authority, to take wisdom gods have known,
And now little metal boxes warm your heart and heat your home,
Orange coiling filaments, light switches. Flame dis-owned!

And you choke in the smoke of your ill fed bonfires.
Eyes burning acrid; blinded by fools and liars.
And like Zeus, you bind me! Another rock to sit upon
You stand me in eternal golden form, beside your temple to Mammon.
Rockerfella wraps me in a zodiacal chain,
To witness your torture again and again.

You take my fire, run it round, with a corporate charade,
New World Order bound, coca-cola reign on your parade!
Five rings for the race of man, five rings of fire ascend,
An Olympic spell with one to rule them all, one to pretend.
A million eyes gaze on the screen, open to suggestion.
‘Go back to sleep,’ they say. No need to beg the question.

All you vacant vestal virgins wear about your neck, false chains.
And my deluded clay creations. You know nothing of my pains.
Do you.
Or do I judge too quick?

Will you awaken from the eternal torture of your soul?
Will you break the chains that bind you before your liver is sold?
Will you tend a sacred flame? Will you keep it pure and clear?
Take the power of my prophecy to those who would hear!

Will you light a simple fire, to sit by with your friends?
Will you grasp your sovereignty? You have a planet to mend.
Do you dare to burn and sack your Gods of corporation?
Do you care to claim back? Reinstate your sovereign nation!

I Prometheus,
A living mythology.
In the darkness of mystery,
I leave with you my history.
Complete it!

Lisa Goodwin

Open Gorsedh 2013

Poster for PrometheusThis year’s contest for the Bardic Chair of Ynys Witrin was won by Lisa Goodwin. The crown was awarded jointly to Harmony Davies and Hugh le Provost; Richard Field won the fool’s prize for the second year running and the Tim Sebastion Memorial Trophy was awarded posthumously to Graham Coles. The standard of entries was higher than ever and the atmosphere for the Finals was electric.

We had a gorgeous Gorsedh ceremony on Sunday afternoon – the weather held off ominously overhead. It is with great sadness we remember the passing this year of Graham Coles, Glastonbury’s Town Crier and Honorary Bard and Nikki Dorakis, who provided valuable magical support in the initial setting up of the Gorsedh. Gerry performed her duties admirably, initiating seven new Bards and graduating to Elder herself. We would like to welcome Thalia Brown – *Lady of Avalon, Senga Skylark, Duncan Batey, Steve Astronaut, Lisa Goodwin, Jeremy Bull and Hugh le Provost as new members of the college. It was lovely to have the Mayor attending this year and it was a profoundly moving experience to welcome Geoffrey Ashe as an Honorary Bard. I shall treasure the look on his face for years to come! Thanks to Lydia Lyte (Swordbearer), Denise Michell (Elder Druid) and Shamus Joy (Herald) for holding the energy of the ceremony so gracefully. It was great to be able to chill out at the Buddleia Bar afterwards and ground the energy with some mouth-watering cheesecake!