Under An Indigo Moon
Under an Indigo Moon is a 372-page collection of poems by Keith Stanley-Mallett. It was published in 2009.
Below, you can read a number of poems from the book.
To buy this book, please see the purchasing page.
Poems from Under an Indigo Moon
The Timeless Inn and Traveller
The sun did lower its flaming head
Upon the moor and marsh,
Young creatures scampered for their bed
At the approach of dark,
And on the lonely road that wound
Between the gorse and rock,
The mantle of the gloaming frowned
And did the traveller mock.
Then gibbous hung the climbing moon,
Beyond the fleeting cloud,
And dim the landscape loomed,
Beneath the pale-lit shroud,
And ever he trod the dusty road,
Seven leagues long gone that day,
As intent upon his journey strode,
While darkening shadows lay.
But then a wind most chill did spring,
And evilly whipped and smote
The weary traveller, to bring
A curse, then tighter clutched his cloak,
Then did he espy a dim-lit light
Soft gleaming and forlorn,
And quickened his pace at the sight
Of the lamp, friendly and warm.
And slowly the traveller drew near
To the glow at the side of the road,
Hard by a black-fingered woodland drear
Stood the inn, soft-lit and shadowed,
He looked at the sign, creaking
On its rusted spigot of iron,
"The Pilgrim in Time," and squeaking,
The sign, swung in its dark environs.
The lantern he'd seen from afar,
Hung swaying in the wind,
And dearer to him than any bright star
Was the message it brought and he grinned,
He sought the ancient studded door,
And pushed upon its weight,
Slowly it opened and in he stepped to stand upon the floor
Of the Inn, by luck or fate?
"Welcome friend" says the keeper of the inn
"Is it ale or wine for thee?"
"I"ll take some ale if you please put in
Some spices sweet and hot for me."
The traveller in five strides, crosses to the fire
And warms his hands and sets his back
On settle, but none to him, enquire
Of business, trade, or pilgrimage facts.
Until he had eaten of pasties and bread,
Warmed his heart, his feet, his life,
And drunk spiced ale enough, to shed
From his tired body, the aches and the strife,
Then all become friends as evening closes,
A game of dice, mulled wine to cheer,
Some remembered verses, night encloses,
Travellers rest, who to this Timeless Inn have steered.
The jolly fire burns low,
The hound by the hearth, head on paws
Listens with one ear, as the bolts are thrown,
On window and on door,
Outside, the moon rides high,
The cold wind whistles shrill,
And shadows dance in evil
Fun and mockery, at will.
Enfolded within the refuge
Of the ancient timeless inn,
All, with a smile on their lips, refuse
To mind the morbid din.
A haven rare, protective,
For all weary travellers,
And throughout all time respected
Are the timeless taverners.
What do you think of life, my boy?
What do you make of manhood?
Come then, tell me of yourself
Are your ambitions bad or good?
Tell me your philosophy
What strength and depth of mind,
Have you answers, can you see
Through life's mediocrity?
Have you found the things that count?
The truth of living, its measures?
Show me that you're man enough
To know the world's real tresures,
I must know that you're not shallow,
I must see that you won't falter,
You must demonstrate your strength
Before you marry, sir, my daughter.
The Scientist and the Farmer
A scientist out walking
Passed by a farmer's field.
He watched the farmer working
Amongst the Norfolk yield.
Now here's the chance for a chat
When there's so much to say,
So thinking, I'll call the chap
To pass the time of day.
The farmer, hearing his call,
Eased his low-bent back,
Then ambled up to the man
Who stood there by the track.
"Good day to you, good fellow,"
Said the man of science,
"Mornin'" answered the farmer
Relapsing to silence.
"I, was admiring your crop,
They look healthy enough,
"Aye, they be best cabbages,
None of your weak and rough."
"Tell me" said he on the track,
"Are you content with life?"
"Oim 'appy with what I do"
The answer held no strife.
The scientist shook his head.
"Cabbages are boring,
Where is the stimulus
To stop one from snoring?"
"Oi also grows potaties,
Onions sometimes too,
It all depends yer see on
Market trends and value."
The man on the track was lost,
He did not understand
The joys of spring thro' autumn's
Simple life of the land.
The scientist clasped his hands,
Paced then both back and forth,
Looked at the man before him,
Deciding the best course.
The farmer took off his hat
And scratched his head, content,
Then looked into the distance
Breathing the summer scent.
At length the man stopped pacing,
Turned to face the other,
"You can't compare what I do
With fields you seek to cover."
"Using atomic physics
Is what my work entails,
Like making atomic bombs
Which could destroy all Wales."
"With theories and discussions,
Arguments and bitter talk
To find the cheapest ways."
"That's what I call interesting,
You have the danger too,
There's so much to think about,
No time to stand, like you."
The farmer listened and said,
"Why d'you make bombs to kill?
When you 'ave such brains to help
Starving bellies to fill."
The farmer then shook his head
And gestured with his arm,
"Oi prefer the countryside,
The trees, the sky, the farm."
The scientist persisted
And pressed him yet again,
"Working with clever people
Gives one an active brain."
"No thanks" replied the farmer,
"There's not much that oi lack,
My work is nice and peaceful,
The plants don't answer back."
He turned again to his field,
To his cabbages green,
The scientist plodded on,
Unseeing and unseen.
Listen, can you hear the sound of time
Softly bellowing down the line of years,
Echoing the ghosts of marching feet,
Strident brass and the rhythmic beat of drum,
Still, still, living heart of yesterday,
Fortune and emotions waylaid by fate,
Becoming memories in the sand
Of history, where each your hand did play.
Listen, can you hear the sound of time
Silently shouting as a mime to view,
Set in shadows of the past contained,
The raw machine, electra tam'd in part,
Fill, fill, the empty coming aeons
By megaton, bullet or laser-light,
Or leave to sweetly pass unhurried
To join the throng unsullied and serene.
I saw the rising day
Slowly chase the topaz blue
Of eternal scattered starlight,
Beyond the drifting moon.
As fireborn scintillation
Thrusting earth-lit golden rays,
Appear'd upon the horizon's
New hemispheric way.
While troubled lives of mortals
Interchange and interweave,
Few in life become aware
Bound to city lives of grey,
That ever-reaching beauty drawn
That dawn and night convey.
Cloak'd in darken'd shadow-veil
To hidden joys surrender,
Conscious naked, oblivious
Wake, to sun-wrought splendour.
I saw descending night
Slowly chase the earth-lit day,
Reveealing scattered topaz blue
Manifest fireborn ray.
The ancient spirit moves
Unbound by time,
Pulsing through all, sublime.
Aged cloud-topp'd mountains
Hold fast their birth,
While sapphire seas
And golden sands conspire
With Mother Earth.
Each hill and dale,
Winding valley river,
Keep still the memories
That myth and legend make.
To pause awhile,
Seek out the wild, and go
With open mind,
For if the thread runs true
Then we may sense
The elemental kind.
Deep in freeborn flowers
Lit by sunrise,
Lonely scented woodland
In secret twilight lies.
The very stones
Enclose a once known truth,
If we perceive
Nature's bones, a part of
Understood and believ'd.